Category Archives:
Israeli Government

BDS co-founder: Israel’s arrest and interrogation of Omar Barghouti next step in ‘war against BDS movement’

Sheren Khalel on

Palestinian society has condemned Israel’s arrest and interrogation of Omar Barghouti, a co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as the next step in Israel’s fight against BDS. On Sunday, Israel arrested Barghouti on charges of tax evasion, raided his family home in Acre, Israel, held him for 16 hours and released him — however the BDS co-founder has been subjected to daily interrogations with Israeli authorities since then. Fellow BDS movement co-founder Adnan Ramadan says this is just another step in Israel’s strategy against the BDS movement: “It’s part of their war against the campaign, but it won’t work. They can arrest whoever they want, they can do more than that, but that won’t prevent people from continuing to use BDS as a tool in the struggle for Palestinian freedom.”

The explosion hidden inside the UN Apartheid report

Jonathan Ofir on

The UN-commissioned report on Israeli Apartheid that was shelved last week (two days after it appeared) is no doubt explosive. The very idea that Israel is guilty of the crime of Apartheid is one that should give everyone pause. But there is another explosion in the report. Israel and its supporters have desperately sought to shelve a discussion about Zionism as a racist ideology. The Apartheid report brings it back to the forefront.

Apartheid wears a veil

Jonathan Ofir on

Israel has both effected and veiled a comprehensive policy of apartheid directed at the whole Palestinian people in Israel, in occupation, and in exile, the stunning UN report says — and it was promptly veiled.

Israeli lawmakers advance bill to ban Muslim call to prayer

Kate on

In a hotly contested session of Knesset, Israeli lawmakers passed the first reading of a bill to ban the Muslim call to prayer, sparking Arab representatives to walk-out mid-session. Al Jazeera reports, “A law to muffle mosques’ amplified calls to prayer in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem won preliminary approval on Wednesday in a charged parliamentary session where Palestinian legislators denounced the measure as racist. The bill passed a preliminary reading with 55 votes in favour and 48 against as the assembly broke out into chaotic arguments.”

‘It’s scarier this time’: Hunger-striking Palestinian journalist’s health deteriorating quickly

Sheren Khalel on

On his second long-term hunger strike in the past year, Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qiq’s health is deteriorating faster than anyone expected, leaving his family to plea for support before it is too late. “If Mohammed were to quit his hunger strike now, the first one that almost killed him would be for nothing, so he feels he must continue his strike—not just for himself, but for all the other Palestinian prisoners on strike against their administrative detention as well — they must stay strong together,” Fayha Salash, Mohammed’s wife, tells Mondoweiss.

I am a proud Palestinian woman and a humanitarian. I am also the mother of the youngest Palestinian prisoner in an Israeli jail.

Farihan Daraghmeh Farah on

“Shadi was arrested on December 30, 2015. He was just 12 years old. The news took my breath away; the whole family was in a state of shock. For a long time, none of us could eat or sleep properly. When I closed my eyes, all I could see was my little boy, scared and alone, in a freezing cold prison cell. I later learned that they had forced him to stand in there naked, at one point.” On International Women’s Day, Farihan Daraghmeh Farah tells the harrowing story of her son Shadi and how her family has struggled to free him from Israeli occupation prisons.

Israel’s welcome now reserved only for Jews who back Netanyahu

Jonathan Cook on

Legislation passed by the Israeli parliament on Monday night forbids entry to anyone who supports a boycott, even if it is only of the settlements. Israel has long denied entry to Arabs and deported those such as migrant workers and African asylum seekers who might ‘pollute’ the Jewish state with non-Jewish genes. Now it is openly targeting Jews whose politics do not align with the far-right government of Netanyahu.

Israel’s settlers clear path to annexation with new land law

Jonathan Cook on

In practice there has never been a serious limit on theft of Palestinian land. But now, after passing the “Regularization Bill,” Israeli government support for the plunder will be explicit in law. It will be impossible to blame the outposts on “rogue” settlers, or claim that Israel is trying to safeguard Palestinian property rights.

Rights group: Israeli online incitement towards Arabs doubled in 2016

Allison Deger on

An Arab rights group has found tens of thousands of Israelis are publishing “widespread hatred and incitement against Arabs and Palestinians” on social media, and are often motivated to harass following charged statements by Israeli politicians. A report published by 7amleh, the Arab Center for Social Media Advancement shows slanderous, provocative, and threatening posts made by Israelis against Arabs and Palestinians more than doubled in 2016, reaching 675,000 posts made by 60,000 Hebrew-speaking Facebook users. That number amounts to one inflammatory post every 46 seconds.

Legalizing the theft of Palestinian land has been Israeli policy since Day 1

Jonathan Ofir on

The new law legalizing theft of Palestinian land is very similar to earlier legislation the Israeli government passed after Partition in 1950 and after the occupation in 1967, giving legal title to Jews of land formerly owned by Palestinians, who had either fled, been expelled, or were gerrymandered out of Israeli bounds.

Land Grab: Israeli Knesset passes law legalizing expropriation of privately-owned Palestinian land

Sheren Khalel on

The Israeli Knesset on Monday passed a controversial new law that allows the Israeli government to expropriate private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, making more than a dozen Israeli settlements legal under Israeli law. It is the first time in history that the Knesset has imposed Israeli civil law the occupied West Bank, which is under Israeli military and civilian rule. Xavier Abu Eid, a spokesperson for the PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Department said the law essentially “legalized theft of Palestinian land” adding that the legislation “negates peace and the possibility of the two-state solution.”

Al-Qiq launches new hunger strike, wife calls detention ‘illegitimate’ attempt to imprison journalist

Sheren Khalel on

Mohammed al-Qiq, a Palestinian journalist who spent 94-days on hunger strike last year to challenge his administrative detention—Israel’s policy of imprisoning Palestinians without charge or trial—announced Monday a second hunger strike, this time against his re-arrest. Al-Qiq’s wife, Fayha Shalash, told Mondoweiss that the proceedings, which were held in Ofer Military Court, were illegitimate, “This whole thing is just a way to put Mohammed back in jail, they have no proof of anything against him, they just want to keep him away from everything.”

Israeli supermarket chain glorifies army killer on grocery bag

Jonathan Ofir on

Benjamin Netanyahu claims Palestinians celebrate murderers and Israel does not, but grocery bag glorifying Elor Azarya proves he’s wrong. The medic who killed an incapacitated Palestinian on the ground last March is pictured with a rifle on bags given out for free at Rami Levy supermarket chain.

Israeli Knesset set to vote on ‘unconstitutional’ Palestinian land appropriation bill

Sheren Khalel on

The Israeli Knesset on Monday night is scheduled to vote on the so-called “Regularization Bill,” which, if passed, will appropriate hundreds of hectares of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank by legalizing — under Israeli law — thousands of settlement units built on privately owned Palestinian land. The bill would legalise at least 3,921 Israeli settlement units in the occupied West Bank built in contravention of Israeli and international law. The Palestine Liberation Organisation called the bill a “declaration of war.”

Video: Israel evacuates Amona outpost but the settler movement looks as strong as ever

Mondoweiss Editors on

Israeli police evacuated more than 200 Israeli settlers Wednesday from the West Bank outpost of Amona, dragging families with young children out of the illegal community that was built more than a decade ago. It may seem that justice prevailed in favor of the original Palestinian landowners, but for many it is not a victory. Amona residents will ultimately be relocated in adjacent plots of land, which also belong to Palestinians.

Netanyahu scandals reflect corruption at the heart of Israeli society

Jonathan Cook on

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in danger of being brought down, possibly soon, over what initially appears to be little more than an imprudent taste for Cuban cigars and pink champagne. In truth, however, the allegations ensnaring Netanyahu reveal far more than his personal flaws or an infatuation with the high life. They shine a rare light on the corrupt nexus between Israel’s business, political and media worlds, compounded by the perverse influence of overseas Jewish money.

The Israeli police’s extrajudicial execution of Israeli citizen Yaqoub Abu Al-Qia’an

Jonathan Ofir on

Israeli police and authorities have rushed to produce a ‘terrorist’ narrative of an official killing; but autopsy indicates the Israeli teacher Yacoub Abu Al-Qia’an was executed at Umm al-Hiran village last week and left bleeding for twenty minutes when there were medical vehicles at hand. “They murdered him not once, but several times,” his brother Ahmed says.

Israel’s violence at Umm Al-Hiran and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine

Jonathan Ofir on

Yesterday, Israeli police forces demolished homes and structures at Umm Al-Hiran, a Bedouin village in the southern Negev desert. Umm Al-Hiran is one of 39 ‘unrecognised’ Bedouin villages in Israel’s southern Negev and has faced state repression since the founding of Israel in 1948. Therefore it is best to understand yesterday’s violence and the case of Umm Al-Hiran as part of an overarching policy of ethnic cleansing.

The truck attack that killed four Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem was not ‘terrorism’

Jonathan Ofir on

“We in Jerusalem have just experienced an unprovoked terrorist attack, a murderous attack that claimed the lives of four young Israelis and wounded others”, said Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement right after the car ramming attack in East Jerusalem two days ago. But is an attack on military personnel in occupied territory a terror attack? Jonathan Ofir writes, “By such rhetoric, Netanyahu blurs the distinction between military and civilian targets, a principle which is very important in the distinctions concerning terror. When we sum up the whole of the setting, what we actually have is a Palestinian under occupation, targeting a gathering which is rather exclusively manned by soldiers, military representatives of the army that is occupying him. All this falls, prima facie, within the distinctions regarding legitimate resistance to occupation. It does not matter how ugly it looks, we cannot without critical appraisal of the context just call it ‘terror.'”