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This is not yet an intifada, Palestinians say

Philip Weiss on
A Palestinian uses a sling shot during clashes with Israeli forces following a protest against Israeli restrictions to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, at the Qalandia checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014. (Photo: AP/Majdi Mohammed)

Phil Weiss reports from East Jerusalem where Palestinians say the current violence in the city does not represent a third intifada . . . yet. But there could be an organized uprising if Jewish zealots’ incitements about the Al Aqsa mosque continue. In interviews, these Palestinians say that Israel’s escalation of violence in East Jerusalem has isolated and terrified neighborhoods. “There is no security. You are afraid economically, politically, and physically.” And the individual acts of violence by maddened Palestinians who feel they have nothing to lose reflects the universal demand for human dignity.

Videos: Jerusalem Skunk

Annie Robbins on
Image of Skunk spraying, apparently on West Bank

It appears Israel’s ongoing incitement of Palestinian children has taken a particularly macabre turn. Videos have surfaced of Jerusalem police driving calmly through quiet empty East Jerusalem neighborhoods drenching elementary schools and residences with a putrid liquid with the stench of feces and rotting animal carcass, commonly referenced as “skunk spray”

West Bank protesters cross separation wall in effort to get into Jerusalem

Allison Deger on
Palestinian activists use a metal ramp to cross the separation wall near the Israeli Qalandiya checkpoint between the West Bank city of Ramallah and Jerusalem, November 14, 2014. The activists were protesting against Israeli authorities allowing settlers to enter the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and Israel imposing restrictions on Muslims wishing to perform Friday prayers at Al Aqsa Mosque. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills)

On Friday Palestinian protesters crossed Israel’s separation wall by Qalandia checkpoint, the artery from the West Bank to Jerusalem, demonstrating for access to the city that has been ensconced in unrest over the past three weeks. Using makeshift ladders tens of protesters walked over the barrier, but Israeli police prevented them from entering Jerusalem.

Despite attempted coverup, Israeli border policeman arrested for murder of Palestinian teen during Nakba Day protest

Kate on
CNN footage of Israeli soldier firing at Nadim Nuwara during the Nakba Day protest. (Screenshot: Electronic Intifada)

Haaretz reports: “A Border Police officer arrested Tuesday over the killing of a Palestinian youth during Nakba Day protests six months ago is facing murder charges. His commander was also arrested for allegedly covering up the shooting. The Judea and Samaria District Police on Tuesday detained an enlisted border policeman on suspicion that he shot and killed Palestinian youth Nadim Nuwara.”

In mind-boggling contradiction, UNICEF Ambassador Robbie Williams books gig in Tel Aviv

Annie Robbins on

British mega pop star Robbie Williams, a UK Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) since 2001 , signed on last month to front a new campaign launched by UNICEF UK Children in Danger, which “aims to protect children from violence, disease, hunger and the chaos of war and disaster.” Less than a week later Williams announced on his website he’s booked a gig at Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv on May 2, 2015, as part of his Let Me Entertain You Tour

Why I confronted Gregor Gysi

David Sheen on

David Sheen writes: “In the last week, the German media has been replete with articles accusing me and my fellow journalist Max Blumenthal of spreading hatred of Jews. These baseless accusations are not only defamatory, but also amount to a real physical threat to myself, as I live in Israel, where dissidents are branded as “destroyers of Israel” and are often subject to rape threats and violent physical attacks. Despite the orchestrated attempt to smear our names and get our Berlin speaking gigs cancelled, we testified at the Bundestag – the German Parliament – about the recent Israeli attacks on Gaza and incitement to racist violence by top Israeli leaders. After giving our testimonies, we confronted one of the leading legislators who had publicly endorsed the smear campaign against us.”

Israeli government plans 185 miles of new Jewish settler roads in the West Bank

Kate on
Segregated roads: the 4-lane highway in the background is for Israelis; the unusable blocked road in the foreground is for Palestinian Christians & Muslims. (Photo: International Women’s Peace Service via Jews for Justice for Palestinians)

The JTA reports: “The Israeli government has drawn up plans for some 185 miles of roads in the West Bank, largely for the benefit of Jewish settlers. The 44 proposed roads would connect Jewish settlements to each other and nearby Israeli cities, and their construction would require expropriating more than 6,000 acres of land, according to a report by Israel’s i24 News.”

Rather than exhibit real solidarity, church leaders appeal to Israel’s occupation to protect Al Aqsa

Marc H. Ellis on
Israeli border police officers walks in front of the Dome of the Rock on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City November 5, 2014. (Photo: Ammar Awad/Reuters)

Ritualized solidarity remains the name of the game in Israel-Palestine, as the fate of Jerusalem hangs in the balance once again. So it was when church leaders in Jerusalem showed a sign of solidarity to Islam and the Muslim community by gathering at the Al Aqsa mosque for a photo-op last week. They also issued a statement on the need to respect the rights of Muslims to worship freely and show respect for holy places. But as the church leaders and their advisors know well the backdrop for their visit isn’t about freedom of religion or worship. The backdrop for increasing tensions at Al Aqsa is occupation and the dwindling place of Palestinians in Jerusalem and the land itself. It’s about an occupied and ghettoized Palestinian people with their backs to the Apartheid (political and religious) Wa

New Israel Fund partners with Israel Football Association on racism project as IFA segregates Israeli youth league

Annie Robbins on

The New Israel Fund (NIF) has partnered with The Israel Football Association (IFA) to form a new campaign called “Kick Racism Out of Israeli Football”. However, during the initial stages of this new partnership the IFA chose to segregate the Israeli children’s national football league in Israel’s Triangle area which is home to the majority of Israel’s Palestinian citizens

Palestinian citizens of Israel protest across country following police killing of Kheir Hamdan

Kate on

Oudeh Basharat writes in Haaretz: “Why bother looking into the circumstances of the killing of Khayr al-Din Hamdan of Kafr Kana? Just watching the police officers throwing him, like a sack of onions, onto the floor of the police car after he was mortally wounded says everything about the value of an Arab’s life. The video shows no hesitation or embarrassment on the part of the ones who took this young man’s life.”

As world marks 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Israel’s Wall has become a new global icon for oppression

Olivia Snaije on
(Photo: Un jour 2013 © Raeda Saadeh/2012)

Photos from “Keep Your Eye on the Wall,” a book conceived and edited by Olivia Snaije and Mitchell Albert. It brings together seven award-winning artist-photographers and four essayists, including an introduction by Raja Shehadeh, all responding to the Wall in images or words specially commissioned for this book. The photographers present unique perspectives, whether documenting the journey of laborers across the barrier, the desolation of abandoned checkpoints, a surreal grey bulk cutting across a landscape or the tattered posters of “martyrs” on a wall in Gaza

In and out of love with Israel: Tzvia Thier’s story

Philip Weiss on
Tzvia Thier

Tzvia Thier experienced many Zionist myths: she was a Holocaust survivor who made aliyah to Israel, she worked on kibbutzes, she taught in Hebrew schools in the US, she wrote Zionist texts, and her brother died fighting for Israel. But at 64, she experienced an “earthquake,” and today she is opposed to the idea of a Jewish state. Read her story.


Enas F. Ghannam on
A Palestinian woman walks past the rubble of a residential building, which police said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike, in Gaza City, July 22, 2014. (Photo: Reuters)

A haunting piece by young Gaza writer Enas Fares on the aftermath of this summer’s Israeli attack.

ICC believes Israel may have committed war crimes in flotilla attack, but not of ‘sufficient gravity’ to justify formal investigation

Annie Robbins on
The Mavi Marmara

Today, International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced the body will not be prosecuting Israel for the deadly attack on humanitarian passengers of the Mavi Marmara although she has reason to believe that war crimes were committed by Israel. In a statement Bensouda said the case is not “of ‘sufficient gravity’ to justify further action.”

Root cause of current crisis is Israeli government effort since 1967 to transform East Jerusalem into a Jewish city

Mondoweiss Editors on
Israeli border police officers walks in front of the Dome of the Rock on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City November 5, 2014. (Photo: Ammar Awad/Reuters)

The Institute for Middle East Understanding conducted an interview with Ingrid Jaradat Gassner on the current situation in Jerusalem. Jaradat Gassner is the Coordinator of International Advocacy and Public Relations for the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem. She explains, “The root cause of the acute current crisis is the effort of all Israeli governments since 1967 to transform occupied East Jerusalem into a Jewish-Israeli city, through aggressive settlement expansion that has encouraged settler violence, and a myriad of policies that have deprived Palestinians of the basic elements of a dignified life, such as freedom of movement, having a home, family and income from work, and respect of their culture, heritage and religious sites. The more immediate causes of the current crisis are of course the events that have transpired since this summer, in particular the collective punishment of the Palestinian population, including mass arrests and severe movement restrictions that followed the abduction and murder of the three Israeli youth in the West Bank, the kidnapping and murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir in Jerusalem, and the Israeli settler takeover of apartments in Silwan.”

Likud government official latest Israeli politician to make provocative visit to al-Aqsa mosque

Kate on
An Israeli policeman aims his tear gas launcher during clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians near the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, on November 5, 2014 (AFP Photo/Ahmad Gharabli)

Ma‘an reports: Israel’s deputy transportation minister Tzipi Hotovely of the Likud party toured the al-Aqsa mosque compound Tuesday morning while being escorted by Israeli police officers. Commenting on the unwanted visitor, director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani told Ma‘an that “the Israeli occupation continued with its policy of imposing siege on Al-Aqsa Mosque from dawn prayer until noon time.”

After deadly attack Netanyahu vows ‘iron fist’ as clashes and closures rock Jerusalem

Allison Deger on
Palestinians pass through an Israeli pop-up checkpoint to enter al-Aqsa mosque Wednesday morning. (Photo: Allison Deger)

A week after an assassination attempt on a prominent Israeli-American in the Temple Mount movement and the first closure of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in 14 years, turbulence continued in Jerusalem with clashes inside the al-Aqsa mosque and a vehicle attack that left one killed. In response Jordan, the administrator of the Muslim holy site, recalled its ambassador

Did you know radiant beauty could exist alongside vile ugliness?

Josette Souza on
Overlook of Jerusalem, October 30, 2014. (Photo: Interfaith Peace-Builders)

Josette Souza is a delegate on the third Interfaith Peace-Builders African Heritage delegation. The African Heritage Delegation program seeks to connect US African American leaders, media-makers and organizers with communities of color in Palestine/Israel to identify common issues and forge relationships. Souza writes about the shock and beauty of visiting the Old City in Jerusalem.

A reverend sermonizes justice in Jerusalem

Marc H. Ellis on

Palestine is occupied by Israel. Al Aqsa is occupied by Israel. Can the churches in Jerusalem and throughout the land escape that same occupation? Last Sunday, Rev. Páraic Réamonn from the Church of Scotland at St. Andrews gave a sermon in Jerusalem that promised a breakthrough in the relationship between the Christian church and the Jewish state.