Category Archives:
Israeli Government

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.'”

Facing pressure from the right, Netanyahu supports ‘racist’ muezzin bill to appease settler base

Emily Mulder on

The Israeli government this week continued to stall a so-called “muezzin bill” that if passed would criminalize mosques for playing the call the prayer over loudspeakers. Critics say Netanyahu’s support for the bill is an effort to counterbalance internal political pressure he faces over the future dismantling of the illegal outpost of Amona, a decision that continues to spur mass controversy with many in the far-right settler bloc. “This law is not about noise, it’s not about quality of life, Netanyahu doesn’t care about these issues. The bill is about inciting against the Arab population in a time that Netanyahu doesn’t look ‘right’ enough for his right-wing settler base because of everything going on with Amona,” says Reut Mor, spokeswoman for Joint List head MK Ayman Odeh.

Israel plunders West Bank tourism economy as part of ‘creeping annexation’ of Palestine

Jonathan Cook on

This month, Israeli military authorities published a video on social media publicizing Palestinian attractions in the West Bank. At first glance, it looked like a generous promotional stunt by Israel to aid the Palestinians’ struggling tourism industry. But the deception at the campaign’s heart operates on several levels – and reveals much about Israel’s long-term policy towards the Palestinians.

Palestinians remember Peres as ‘mastermind of occupation’ and tweet Abbas-Netanyahu handshake as betrayal

Allison Deger on

More than 80 world leaders attended Shimon Peres’ funeral today in Jerusalem with addresses from both President Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, both of whom spoke of the late president and prime minister’s work to achieve a lasting agreement with the Palestinians. Though hailed as Israel’s ambassador of peace, absent were Palestinian leaders in Israel’s government, detractors who remembered the statesman as the architect who “masterminded the occupation and settlement-building,” in the West Bank and Gaza.

Shimon Peres and the nuclear world

Ted Snider on

Shimon Peres was central to the creation of Israel’s nuclear weapon program, the development of the Apartheid regime’s nuclear weapon program in South Africa and was responsible for recasting Iran as a nuclear bogeyman and archenemy of the Western world. None of these three key moments will be mentioned as the press remembers Shimon Peres, but they all played important roles in the story of the nuclear threat faced by the world.

Shimon Peres, dead at 93

Mondoweiss Editors on

Shimon Peres, a three-time prime minister and former president from Israel’s generation of founders has died at the age of 93. Although celebrated internationally as a humanitarian and peacemaker, Peres true legacy includes the ongoing colonization of Palestinian lands and creation of Israel’s nuclear weapon program.

Banned from leaving Gaza, Palestinian group rocks out at border

Mohammed Asad on

Smacked with a travel ban after Israel denied permits to leave Gaza through the northern Erez crossing, the musical group Dawaween performed a protest concert on the strip’s border with a windswept demilitarized buffer zone and chain-linked fence in the background.

Israel’s plan to retool occupation includes color-coding ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Palestinians

Jonathan Cook on

Launched this month, Avigdor Lieberman’s plan for the Palestinians – retooling Israel’s occupation – received less attention than it should. It includes, the defense ministry producing a map of the West Bank marking in green and red the areas where, respectively, “good” and “bad” Palestinians live. Collective punishment will be stepped up in towns and villages in red areas, while green areas will reap economic rewards.

After Israeli military clears soldiers of killing families in Gaza, Palestinians call on Hague to investigate

Allison Deger on

Israel’s military has cleared soldiers of criminal wrongdoing in alleged human rights violations committed during the 2014 summer war in Gaza. According to a report published yesterday, Israel closed investigations into the killing of three Palestinian families and other civilians, and the shelling of a medical clinic, Gaza’s main power plant, and a United Nations shelter, among other offenses. “We did not expect anything less than Israel’s justification of war crimes,” chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said after the publication of the military report, and urged the International Criminal Court to investigate the offenses.

Israel bans entry for two more US activists

Wilson Dizard on

Israel has banned an American activist who has worked for years helping Palestinians in Gaza, after denying her entry into the country, detaining her for hours and deporting her against her will. The woman’s ban comes after Israel banned five U.S. citizens at the border in July, all of them the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, and another American woman last week crossing from Jordan.

A losing battle in Israel’s High Court of Justice

Yotam Ben-Hillel on

Two recent decisions in the Israeli High Court of Justice represent different policy trends regarding the Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem: using the annexed territory to Israel’s own benefit; and keeping a clear separation between the two city populations and treating its Palestinian inhabitants –residing in their hometown for many generations – as second-class citizens. These rulings and others have proven to East Jerusalem Palestinians that their Israeli IDs are no shield against the systematic discrimination of the Israeli judiciary.

Israel has demolished more Palestinian homes in first half of 2016 than all of 2015

Allison Deger on

More Palestinian homes were demolished in the occupied territories in the first half of 2016 than in all of 2015, according to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. The increased demolitions have been accompanied by a rising number of new settler homes under construction, prompting the U.S. State Department to issue an atypical condemnation of the Jewish state.

Israeli racism unmasks Netanyahu goodwill video

Jonathan Cook on

In an effort to apologize for last year’s notorious election-day comment when he warned that “the Arabs are coming out to vote in droves,” Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to social media to last week to urge Palestinian citizens to become more active in public life. They needed to “work in droves, study in droves, thrive in droves,” he said. “I am proud of the role Arabs play in Israel’s success”. Swiftly and predictably, the reality of life for Israel’s 1.7 million Palestinians upstaged Netanyahu’s fine words. In a radio interview, Moti Dotan, the head of the Lower Galilee regional council, sent a message to his Palestinian neighbors: “I don’t want them at my [swimming] pools.” Sounding like a mayor in the southern United States during the Jim Crow-era, he added: “Their culture of cleanliness isn’t the same as ours. Why is that racist?”

Palestinian Foreign Affairs Ministry to World: Stop issuing useless condemnations

Dorgham Abusalim on

On the heels of the Israeli government announcing 1500+ illegal settlement tenders since Monday, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a strongly worded statement, available in Arabic only, that said in part, “as long as these countries’ bilateral relations with Israel are treated separately from the occupation all Palestinian land will be annexed in the not too-distant future, relieving these countries from the trouble of circulating their useless condemnations.”

Israel’s opposition parties plan to filibuster bill to expel Hanin Zoabi

Allison Deger on

Members of Israel’s opposition coalition will filibuster overnight to stall a vote on a controversial bill to expand the Knesset’s power to oust one of their own. The expulsion bill, formerly called the suspension bill, grants parliamentarians the authority to permanently kick their peers out of office, without loose criteria for disqualification. It is aimed at one member: Hanin Zoabi of the Joint List.

Israeli human rights organizations push back against law designed to ‘silence opposition’

Emily Mulder on

Israel’s human rights NGOs pushed back this week after the Knesset passed a transparency law that critics say was the most recent attempt by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition to persecute the country’s left. Leading Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now vowed to wage legal war against the new law, which requires NGOs that receive more than half of their funding from foreign donors to declare their funding sources prior to addressing Knesset committees, speaking with public officials, as well as on publications and websites.

After attack, Netanyahu gov’t pours money into rightwing settlements

Allison Deger on

Israel’s security cabinet said Sunday it will spend $13 million to expand social and education programs in West Bank settlements “in order to make it easier” for residents “to deal with the effects of the security situation and minimize its impact on the daily routine.” Peace Now said the funding was a backdoor policy to build up settlements under the cover of responding to the recent bout of violence.