In an interview with the “burning Zionist” Jonathan Møller Sousa on Danish media, non-Zionist Jonathan Ofir shows that the two-state solution has been made impossible by Israeli colonization of occupied territories, and that occupation is actually manageable. All because the international community does nothing to enforce its demands.
Category Archives: Israeli Government
Nora Lester Murad and her friends organize an Iftar dinner next to the rubble of a demolished Palestinian house in East Jerusalem, “We planned the Iftar to show solidarity with Ashraf and Islam, and the tens of thousands of Palestinian families whose homes have been demolished, partially demolished, or sealed, and who live every day under the imminent threat of demolitions by the Israel authorities. Home demolition is not merely an Israeli administrative policy, as it is often presented in the western media. Home demolition is part of Israel’s political strategy to expel Palestinians from any place they want control, often through the establishment of Jewish settlements. My friends and I felt that the least we could do to show these families–families who are on the frontline of the continuing Nakba–that they have real allies, that they are not alone.”
According to Israeli lawmakers, Palestinian prisoners shouldn’t demand more than dry bread and a glass of water. A bullet to the head could be humane too, says member of Knesset Oren Hazan, who took a selfie with Trump,
Charlie Zimmerman recaps his trip to the West Bank with a delegation of 130 from the Center for Jewish Nonviolence, “If you spend a few hours in H2, you don’t need any guides or speeches to tell you that it is a tense and surreal place where violence can break out at any moment. Issa calls Hebron a “ghost town” and YAS has published a pamphlet about the city with that title. But “ghost town” is an understatement and a misnomer, since people do live there—it’s just that everyday life activity is actively and brutally suppressed. I and another delegation member agree that a more accurate characterization would be “The Most Fucked Up Place on Earth.”
Palestinian hunger strike leader Marwan Barghouti released his first statement today since an announcement that the 42-day strike ended on Sunday, bringing to a close to the longest collective protest organized by Palestinian prisoners in Israel’s history. The statement lauds gains from the strike and describes how Israeli guards punished protesting prisoners during the six-week strike. Barghouti said he could resume the strike in the coming months after the close of the Ramadan holiday if planned negotiations with Israel’s prison service fail.
Read an excerpt from Gershon Shafir’s latest book, “A Half Century of Occupation: Israel, Palestine, and the World’s Most Intractable Conflict,” which investigates the strategies, policies, and historical continuities that promoted Israel’s colonization of Palestinian territory. In this excerpt Shafir seeks to answer the question, why has the occupation lasted 50 years? “Israeli colonization, to paraphrase William Faulkner, is not dead; it isn’t even past. The tools of colonization, honed before 1948 to a sharp edge, and subsequently deployed within Israel’s new boundaries, were available and ready to be pressed into service in the territories newly occupied in 1967,” Shafir writes.
Howard Cohen returns to the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran where he meets more members of his student’s, Noor Abu al-Qia’an, family, and finds a cousin who was nearly lynched by a mob of Israelis, “Noor’s expression grew animated with tension and excitement as he related the story, as if he himself was reliving it. His cousin was working in a supermarket in Tel Aviv and had stepped outside into the street to smoke a cigarette. A young man came up to him and demanded aggressively that he show his ID. The Bedouin youth was indignant at this unwarranted intrusion into his life and replied that he was not a police officer and had no right to demand from him anything. ‘Show me proof that you are a police officer otherwise just leave me alone,’ said the youth proudly. The man refused to show any ID and also refused to accept that the Bedouin Arab could defend his rights according to the law like any other citizen and set upon him brutally. His friends who were nearby came to the scene and joined in the lynching. Noor’s cousin was beaten to a pulp and hospitalized as result. ‘I think I remember hearing about this on the news at the time,’ I said. Noor nodded, confirming that the event indeed reached the mainstream news outlets. ‘A campaign was set up for him and he received 80,000 shekels which was paid into his account.'”
Michael Merryman-Lotze remembers Israel’s siege on the West Bank city of Ramallah during Operation Defensive Shield: “The night of April 2 was one that I won’t forget. That was the night that the Israeli military took over the Preventative Security Office in Betunia. They surrounded the building with tanks and forced out the Palestinian police inside, arresting many. They searched the prison, releasing criminals and detaining others. They then proceeded to destroy the compound, firing tanks and missiles into the buildings throughout the night.”
After Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev wore a dress celebrating Israel’s conquest of Jerusalem at Cannes yesterday, social media lit up with parodies. The redesigns include an added separation wall into the Old City scene, air strikes over Gaza, soldiers raiding a Palestinian home, and a tribute to leading hunger striking prisoner Marwan Barghouti.
A diplomatic storm arises over the fact that American consulate diplomats in Jerusalem have stated that the Western Wall is in the West Bank. Nikki Haley walks that back in a hurry, and says the U.S. should move the Embassy to Jerusalem.
Rebecca L. Stein talks with Rela Mazali, a founding member of the Israeli feminist organization Gun Free Kitchen Table which is working to decrease small arms proliferation in the Israeli public sphere and to eliminate the violence facilitated by easy access to firearms. In March the organization issued the report “Loose Guns: Israeli Controlled Small Arms in the Civil Sphere,” which finds that Israeli civil sphere is dangerously over-armed and that this condition has been normalized within mainstream Jewish Israeli society.
Yesterday, the Israeli Knesset passed a bill titled “Nation State of the Jewish People” in a preliminary vote. In explaining the need for the bill MK Avi Dichter said: “Israel is the state of all its individual citizens. It isn’t and won’t be the nation-state of any minority living in it…That is a right this bill gives to the Jewish People alone.” Jonathan Ofir says a close examination of this one statement, reveals a wealth of Zionist lies, contradictions, obfuscations, and sheer chutzpah.
The Jahalin Bedouin in Jabal al-Baba face imminent demolition. Mersiha Gadzo reports: “Forty-two-year-old Atallah Mazara’a from the Jahalin Bedouin tribe recalls a time when residents were free to move, unhindered by concrete walls and unobtainable permits. Such a scenario today remains a distant dream, even though Jerusalem is only 2.5 miles away. Now, Bedouin communities stand in the way of the E1 zone, which would expand settlements from Ma’ale Adumim to occupied East Jerusalem.”
In a recent video, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu slammed the new Hamas charter saying, “[Hamas] brainwashes kids inside suicide camps,” before throwing the document in a trash can. But Jonathan Ofir asks – what about the ways Israeli institutions are brainwashing children to hate Palestinians?
The mockery campaign against Marwan Barghouti and the hunger strikers has brought Israeli political culture to a new depth of dehumanization. Pizza Hut ran a mock campaign on its Facebook page yesterday, using a still caption of Barghouti on the toilet, with a banner saying “Barghouti, if you’re going to break a strike, isn’t pizza better?” – the meme added a pizza box on the floor
I., a European living in Israel, explains why she decided to keep her kindergarten-aged daughter home from school when Israeli schools are mandated teach about the Holocaust to children as young as three years old: “Because of the decision other people made about when and how it is appropriate for our child to learn about genocide, we chose to keep her at home yesterday and today. We want our child to learn about injustice; moral, critical thinking; and courage. We want her to grow up to be strong, fair, kind and safe. And, we think that learning about blurry dangers in a distant past does not teach her that.”
Responding to international concerns with respect to the recently declared massive hunger strike held by Palestinian prisoners, the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs declared: “The Palestinian prisoners are not political prisoners. They are convicted terrorists and murderers. They were brought to justice and are treated properly under international law.” Amitai Ben-Abba counts no less than seven lies in this statement.
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 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.
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.
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.”
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.
A new Israeli law bars entry to those involved in boycotting Israel and criminalizes even those who have supported a ‘partial’ boycott targeting settlements. Activists and organizations, even the liberal Zionist ones who have supported boycott of settlements, now have to ask themselves: If Israel does not differentiate between itself and its occupied territories, if Israel bars entry to any foreigner who boycotts (even if they are Zionist), why should the boycotters make the differentiation between Israel and its settlements?
“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.