Category Archives:
Occupation

A burning Zionist and non-Zionist debate the settlements

Jonathan Ofir on

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.

From lamentation to triumphalism: the story behind ‘Jerusalem of Gold,’ Israel’s second national anthem

George Smith on

George Smith shares the history of Naomi Shemer’s song Yerushalayim Shel Zahav (Jerusalem of Gold) which became Israel’s unofficial second national anthem soon after if debuted on the eve of the 1967 war. Smith writes, “In the case of Jerusalem of Gold, no matter who sings it, the taint of Jewish supremacism just can’t be avoided. It’s intrinsic to Shemer’s lyrics.”

Iftar on the rubble

Nora Lester Murad on

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.”

Israel cancels 250,000 Palestinian permits to enter Israel during Ramadan after deadly attack

Sheren Khalel on

Israeli authorities on Friday rescinded 250,000 Israel entry permits from Palestinians hours after a deadly attack in Jerusalem left four dead and several injured, a spokesperson for the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) told Mondoweiss. Three Palestinians were shot dead after killing an Israeli police officer and injuring several others in an […]

Dispatch from ‘the most ****ed up place on Earth,’ Hebron’s H2 quarter

Charlie Zimmerman on

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.”

Why has the Israeli occupation lasted so long? It’s good for business.

Michael Friedman on

Michael Friedman reviews Jeff Halper’s book “War Against the People,” where Halper argues Israel has no intention of “winning” the conflict with the Palestinians. It’s protracted state is far too valuable for its international export brand, “In Halper’s view, Israel is an essential partner in this global pacification effort because it has developed such a model and used it successfully against the Palestinians for over 50 years. Governments buy what Israel is selling because it is not only sophisticated and comprehensive, but it has been field tested and shown to work.”

In first statement since end of hunger strike, Marwan Barghouti celebrates ‘the victory of the strike of freedom and dignity’

Allison Deger on

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.

Why has the Occupation lasted this long?

Gershon Shafir on

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.

Testing nonviolence in the South Hebron Hills: Day 8 of Sumud Freedom Camp

Jodi Melamed on

Jodi Melamed is on the front lines of a joint Palestinian-Jewish effort to reclaim confiscated land through strategic nonviolence: taking back the village with a peaceful protest encampment, “Eight days ago, I woke up with 130 other American and international Jews on a rooftop in the South Hebron Hills and in order to avoid being stopped at checkpoints, hiked into the village of Sarura to take part in an unprecedented number of Jews from abroad who are participating in a Palestinian-led coalition seeking to return families forcibly evicted from that village in the 1990s, and to launch a resistance camp, modeled on Standing Rock, to test the power of nonviolence to reverse the systematic displacement of occupation in the West Bank.”

Baby ‘Aya’ is only 2 months old, and she’s already a victim of home demolition

Nora Lester Murad on

Every single home demolition is devastating to a family. Every single demolished family tells a unique and surreal story about the day when Israeli bulldozers rolled over their children’s schoolbooks, their grandmother’s prescription medicines, and letters from their uncle overseas. Nora Lester Murad tells the story of Ashraf and Islam Fawaqa and their four daughters — Ritaj, 9; Rimas, 7; Saba, 4; and Aya, a newborn whose Jerusalem home was demolished while they were taking Aya to an infant checkup.

‘We learned not to leave our homes and to stay away from windows’: Remembering Operation Defensive Shield

Michael Merryman-Lotze on

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.”

Hebron settlers are trying to erase the city’s Palestinian identity

Issa Amro on

Youth Against Settlement’s Issa Amro writes about signs settlers have posted inside of Hebron, “At the front of Shuhada street in the old city of Hebron is a street sign pointing multiple directions: Chabad Cemetery, Old Jewish Cemetery, Ancient Tel Hebron. The words are in Hebrew and English only. The purpose of the sign is not to provide directions but to erase Palestinian identity, and even the Arabic language, from the area. For more than a decade Israeli settlers have been installing these types of signs throughout Hebron. Over the past two years, the installation of these signs has increased exponentially.”

Internet ‘redresses’ Miri Regev’s ‘capture of Jerusalem’ themed gown at Cannes

Allison Deger on

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.

Interview with Rela Mazali: Israel’s loose guns, military occupation, and its blindspots

Rebecca L. Stein on

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.

Family of 16-year-old Palestinian girl killed by Israeli forces remembers a bright young math student, poet, and politically charged youth

Sheren Khalel on

Last Sunday 16-year-old Fatima Hjeiji was shot dead by Israeli forces as she approached a group of five Israeli border police officers in Jerusalem, allegedly carrying a kitchen knife with the intention of attacking them. Sheren Khalel talks to her family who remembers the teen as an activist, poet, and stellar math student. “Even though Fatima was a young girl, she had a very strong personality — very strong,” Fatima’s grandfather says. “Ever since she was a little kid she was always carrying the Palestinian flag, speaking about Palestinian land. She went to Jerusalem to be in solidarity with the prisoners, she went to Jerusalem for Palestine.”

‘We shall remain’: Bedouin of Jabal al-Baba face an uphill battle to keep their land

Mersiha Gadzo on

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.”

Israel’s proof that Marwan Barghouti is a terrorist – a cookie

Jonathan Ofir on

Israeli Prison Services released footage of hunger strike leader Marwan Barghouti supposedly breaking the strike by eating a snack on the toilet. There seems to be no bottom to the abyss Israel is willing to sink to in its desperation to save its image against the current Palestinian hunger strike.

6,000 runners take part in the Palestine Marathon, demand freedom of movement for Palestinians

Sheren Khalel on

The fifth annual Palestine Marathon kicked off on Friday in the West Bank city of Bethlehem—with 6,000 runners participating, this year’s marathon was the largest ever in the city. The marathon, which takes place every year to publicize Israel’s restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement, saw runners from at least 65 different countries, according to Bethlehem Mayor Vera Baboun.

‘New’ Netanyahu policy on settlements promises Trump less building, and Israeli settlers more

Allison Deger on

While the White House is still formulating a new policy towards Israeli settlements, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got out in front of the forthcoming changes by announcing his own set of rules, with differing messages aimed at the Trump administration and right-wing members of his coalition. The policy is still vague. Reportedly it will restrict where settlers can build in the West Bank, but not how many or how often, according to cabinet members who were in the meeting and spoke to Israeli media anonymously.

Actor Richard Gere in Hebron: ‘it’s exactly like what the what the Old South was in America’

Allison Deger on

While Richard Gere was in Israel and the occupied West Bank promoting his film “Norman,” he was recorded in an unguarded moment wandering the desolate streets of Hebron’s Old City. A dumbfounded Gere is near at a loss for words in the clip, which aired on Israel’s Channel 2 network. “I mean it’s like…it’s exactly like what the what the Old South was in America. Blacks knew where they could go, they could drink from that fountain, they couldn’t go over there, they couldn’t eat in that place. It was well understood. You didn’t cross it or you’d get your head beat in or lynched,” Gere said.

Video: Israeli forces force crying 8-year-old boy barefoot through gravel looking for stone-throwers

Sheren Khalel on

Palestinian activists on Sunday filmed Israeli forces dragging 8-year-old Sufian Abu Hitah through the al-Harika neighborhood of Hebron in the occupied West Bank for more than hour. The video, received and edited by Israeli rights group B’Tselem, shows the boy crying and barefoot, being pulled by his arm by Israeli forces as they tried to get the boy to identify other children who soldiers suspected of throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba earlier that day.

Thousands attend funeral of Basil al-Araj, fugitive activist killed by Israeli forces

Sheren Khalel on

Around 2,000 mourners marched on Friday in the Bethlehem-area village of al-Walaja for the funeral of slain Basil al-Araj, 36, who was slain by Israeli forces March 6. Al-Araj’s ideology against normalization and security coordination is popular among leftist Palestinian youth. His success in eluding Israeli forces for six months, and then refusal to surrender when he was found, only made his ideas more popular.