Historian Avi Shlaim reveals a shift in his thinking on Israel and Palestine: Zionism was a colonial project well before 1967. And the US and Britain have traded roles as mother country.
Category Archives: Occupation
A peaceful march broke out into clashes on Sunday, after Palestinians gathered in the occupied southern West Bank city of Bethlehem to demand Israeli authorities release the remains of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces to their families for burial. Samir al-Khadour, the husband of slain Majd al-Khadour, said, “To see all these people here gives me hope that I will get my wife’s body back one day.”
“We will soon be the majority!” says a huge billboard in the heart of Tel-Aviv. Written in Arabic and showing Palestinians with Palestinian flags it is meant to frighten Jewish Israelis into supporting a two-state solution. The Israeli press is reporting that many Israelis “erroneously thought this to be a hostile takeover of the media by Palestinian terror organizations,” but the campaign is actually the work of a ‘liberal’ organization from the center of Israeli politics.
Is a two-state “solution” still possible? Or is it time to push for one state with equal rights for all? Palestinian youths in Gaza respond to the Paris Peace Conference.
Based on the responses he has received it is clear that Jonathan Ofir’s latest article questioning the whole label of “terror” touched a raw nerve with Israelis and Israel supporters. Ofir asks, what is that nerve really? And why is it so offensive?
“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.'”
Emad Abu Shamsiyah first started receiving death threats in March, after a video he filmed for Israeli rights group B’Tselem, which captured Israeli soldier Elor Azaria shooting dead Abed al-Fattah al-Sharif, 21, was released to the public. Now, the manslaughter ruling against Azaria has translated into anger among Israeli settlers and Shamsiyah cannot walk the streets of his neighborhood without fearing for his life. “It was already bad before, but after the court ruling, all these threats started to come in through my Facebook, telling me I will die and that people want to murder me,” Shamsiyah tells Mondoweiss.
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.
This January, after several years of often-heated discussion and review, the Modern Language Association’s representative body will consider a resolution to endorse the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The relative absence of Palestinian testimony from debates at scholarly associations prompted a number of MLA members to visit the West Bank and Israel this summer to explore first-hand the conditions in which scholars and students have to work throughout historic Palestine. David Lloyd shares his experience from the trip.
Israeli forces busted through the doors of a Ramallah aid organization founded by a leading Palestinian politician in the early morning hours Wednesday, and took away computers, servers and security camera footage, and leaving behind a mess of shattered glass and tossed papers throughout the downtown office.
Israa Suliman writes from Gaza to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe: “Although we are of different color, religion, culture and place, I have learned, as I read about the protests at Standing Rock, that we have much more in common than differences. When I read your history, I can see myself and my people reflected in yours. I feel in my core that your fight is my fight, and that I am not alone in the battle against injustice.”
For the farmers in Wadi Qana embracing their land and their agricultural traditions is more than just a lifestyle choice, it’s a form of resistance. By maintaining their presence on the land, they keep settlements and the wall at bay and preserve a traditional Palestinian communal economy that is struggling against eradication.
In March, Ramzi Abu Ajamia got word that Israeli forces were looking for him. Terrified of getting arrested, Ramzi stopped sleeping at home and going to school. He succeeded in dodging Israeli forces for five months before he was spotted at clashes during an Israeli night raid on Dheisha refugee camp. Israeli forces spotted the boy on the streets around 1 a.m., and fired. Ramzi was shot in both legs and doctors were only able to remove the two bullets in his right leg. Ramzi underwent six surgeries over the course of a few weeks before he was sent home to recover. Then a few days into Ramzi’s homestay, Israeli forces stormed his house, blasting off the family’s front door before raiding the home and arresting the injured 13-year-old. “That night I had a feeling they would come for me, I was sitting up in my bed waiting,” Ramzi told Mondoweiss, both legs still bandaged and unhealed.
In the middle of the morning on October 5, sounds of bombs reverberated throughout Gaza. The news would trickle out later that an extremist Salafi fringe group had shot a crude rocket into an Israeli settlement, reportedly as a way of pressuring the Hamas government to release some of its members from prison. Some in Gaza said they believe the Salafis are actually being manipulated by the Palestinian Authority. Israeli forces responded with more than 30 airstrikes and tank hits in two hours, these are the Palestinian accounts of that incurrsion.
“When Sa’id ‘Awad spotted the first pomegranate saplings popping up on his fields, he should have seen it coming. A part of him perhaps already understood that the long process threatening his land was nearing its logical conclusion; that the handful of tender trees would yield the poisoned fruit of dispossession.” Yigal Bronner reports on the the Kafkaesque tribulations of a Palestinian farmer in Area C of the West Bank.
A Palestinian from Gaza writes a letter to African-Americans pointing out the many similarities share as oppressed peoples: “I do not have to be black to understand the words of Marin Luther King Jr. when he said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ I am a Palestinian who is extending his arms in brotherhood to another people who know and live my legacy of oppression.”
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.
A Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor analysis of UN data show that a recent surge in reports of deportations of individuals attempting to transit through Israel to work with Palestinians is apparently the result of an official strategy implemented by the Israeli government beginning in January of this year.
Over the summer, one of the founding villages of the Palestinian non-violent movement, Nabi Saleh, decided to stop holding the weekly Friday demonstrations that brought the small West Bank town international attention. The move comes following scores of arrests and a general fatigue among protesters. “The tear gas is inside the village, the clashes are inside of the homes, and it’s a small village which makes it difficult for the people to continue,” said Bassem Tamimi, a leader in Nabi Saleh who helped organize weekly marches over the past six years. He estimates that more than 350 people from his 600 person town have been injured in clashes with the army since 2010, and 50 were left physically disabled.
Activists groups are calling on President Barack Obama to launch an investigation into the death of Mahmoud Shaalan, a Palestinian-American teenager killed by the Israeli military in February.
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.
Israel has been itching to run its Separation Wall across the occupied valley of Battir for years, a move that would surely destroy that valley. But Battir has UNESCO status because of its agricultural traditions, including terraced irrigation and heirloom apricot and cucumber, and this has put Israel’s plans on hold for the time being.
A year ago the Martyrs’ Cemetery in Sair, a town located in the southern occupied West Bank, was marked with graves a decade or more old. Today more than half the tombs are marked with dates from the past eight months. The village has been one of several epicenters of violence since the start of upheaval in October. Residents have endured the town being blockaded by Israeli forces, punitive home demolitions and thousands have had their Israeli work permits confiscated by authorities. The mayor of Sair village, Kayyed Jaradat tells Mondoweiss that Israel’s actions against the village have only fanned the flames of violence.
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.
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.