Category Archives:
Israel/Palestine

British Parliament to vote on recognition of Palestinian state on Monday

Allison Deger on
PALESTINIAN-UN-STATE-DEMO

Today the United Kingdom will vote on recognizing the state of Palestine. The House of Commons’ symbolic motion is poised to pass the Parliament despite Britain’s history of refusing to approve previous and similar bids. When the UK government was faced with Palestine’s own plans to seek recognition from the United Nations in 2012, Britain abstained. The bill’s backers from the Labour party have shored up votes from Liberal Democrats and Conservatives alike, making Monday a likely Palestinian victory. But the vote is coming at a cost. The Independent is reporting inside of Britian’s Labour party, pro-Israel members of Parliament are “furious.” Still the measure more or less models what former Prime Minister Tony Blair has proposed through the Quartet. And the House of Commons bill is also being pushed by heavyweights from within the government

Israel and the g-word

Jonathan Cook on
Mahmoud Abbas addresses the U.N. General Assembly.

Mahmoud Abbas’s use of the word “genocide” for Israel may not have been helpful given popular conceptions of the word but we need a word to describe the incremental destruction of Palestinian communities. The late Baruch Kimmerling invented a word, “politicide”

New site catalogs documentary films about Palestine

Henry Norr on
PalDocs home page 10-5-14

If the quality and quantity of documentaries on the situation determined matters, the Palestinians would have won a substantial measure of justice long ago. Now two European professors of film have set up a one-stop-shopping site called PalestineDocs that will serve as a web resource for films chronicling the lives of Palestinians

Eight hours on Third Avenue

Dorothy Zellner on
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Hundreds of people demonstrated outside Senators Schumer and Gillibrand’s offices in New York yesterday over eight hours, calling on them to enforce the Leahy Law and cut off aid to Israel because of human rights violations. Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews Say No co-sponsored.

Pogroms rage in Europe? Kidnaped Israeli teens were Freedom Riders? Liberal Zionists’ desperate slogans

Philip Weiss on
Todd Gitlin

Liberal Zionism is in crisis, because its answers have proved to be helpless against the occupation. Still some hang on, using slogans. Todd Gitlin says that pogroms are “raging” in Europe and people who support boycott of Israel are “tribalists.” Susan Talve, St. Louis progressive rabbi, suggests that the three Israeli teens killed in occupied territories were kin to American martyrs Schwerner Chaney and Goodman.

Knesset shell game: Aid meant for Israeli towns affected by Gaza war sent to illegal settlements instead

Orli Santo on
Israeli settlements in the West Bank (Photo: Reuters)

The residents of Israel’s southern periphery, bordering the Gaza Strip, are among the Israelis who suffered the most from Operation “Protective Edge.” By the end of the Operation, it was clear that residents of the embattled south — one of Israel’s poorest regions to begin with — were in dire need of the state’s aid. Yet money designated for the rehabilitation of the south is apparently being diverted to bolster West Bank settlements — again

Netanyahu lectures Americans on open housing and ‘ethnic purification’

Philip Weiss on
Netanyahu-Airport-PMO

This takes crust. Benjamin Netanyahu went on Face the Nation yesterday and lectured the U.S. on open housing and “ethnic purification” even as he’s trying to swallow up Jerusalem for the Jewish state. After your meeting with the president last week, the White House issued what some call “a very sharp rebuke,” host Bob Schieffer began.

Desperately seeking Jewish settlers, at $136 a day, to colonize Palestinian neighborhood

Kate on
IrDavid2

Middle East Monitor: The Ir David Foundation, known as Elad, has published an announcement on social media networks in search of Jewish settlers to live in Palestinian homes that it has captured in the town of Silwan, occupied East Jerusalem, in return for a financial reward estimated at 500 shekels ($136) per day, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported on Wednesday

Why must Gaza wait in the dark?

Sam Bahour on
Gaza students study by candle light.

When Sam Bahour asked his colleague in Gaza about her biggest dream, her answer made an impression on him: “I dream of what life would be like with 24-hour electricity.” This was the answer of a single, mid-career, western educated, professional woman who lives in the more affluent part of Gaza City. Her response suggests the depth of despair among Palestinians throughout Gaza

The face of Gaza

Tamara Ben-Halim on
Ahmed Abunammous (Photo: Cycling4Gaza)

Tamara Ben-Halim writes about her experience with Cycling4Gaza, a group of 40 people who cycled from from Philadelphia to Washington DC to raise awareness and funds for Gaza. One of those 40 was a 16 year old boy from Gaza, Ahmed Abunammous. Ahmed was shot in the leg by an Israeli sniper last year, at the age of 15. His leg had to be amputated, and Ahmed was lucky enough to be treated by the tireless PCRF (Palestine Children’s Relief) who flew him out to the US soon after to be operated on and fitted with a prosthetic leg. Ben-Halim, writes, “A year later, this time last week, Ahmed was cycling with us across the east coast, working his one leg nearly twice as hard as the rest of us.”

A conversation with Gaza’s ‘boy wonders’ Arab and Tarzan

Pam Bailey on
Mohammed and Ahmed Abu Nasser – better known as Arab and Tarzan.

Pam Bailey interviews twin brothers Mohammed and Ahmed Abu Nasser, who are better known as Arab and Tarzan. Their film “Condom Lead” was the first film from Gazan Palestinians to be accepted into the Cannes Film Festival, and it will soon be screened at the DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival in Washington,

Netanyahu at the United Nations: Hamas, Iran, ISIS and 100 cheering Israelis

Allison Deger on
Netanyahu at the UN General Assembly

With much anticipation Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the stage at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Monday morning to lambast Hamas and refuting claims of his soldiers targeting civilians during Operation Protective Edge. He followed the Palestinian Authority President’s charges of “genocidal” Israeli army conduct in Gaza, but, like in years past, Netanyahu focused on Iran (and employed the use of a prop). As he spoke the galley of the GA assembly hall was stacked with members of the Israeli delegation, including casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who cheered at key moments while delegates from member countries refrained from applaus

NYT’s opening to a ‘fringe voice’ excites rage from Israeli army, journalism, business leaders

Philip Weiss on
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The battle is taking place now inside the walls of elite institutions; many people are talking about American-Israeli writer Mairav Zonszein’s op-ed piece at the New York Times, saying that Israel is becoming intolerant of dissent because of its increasingly “exclusivist ethno-religious nationalism.” This has allowed the us-versus-them mentality to bleed into Israeli Jewish society.

The Greater Gaza Plan: Is Israel trying to force Palestinians into Sinai?

Jonathan Cook on
The Israeli-Egyptian border (Photo: Idobi /Creative Commons/ Wikimedia)

What is Israel’s endgame in Gaza? It is a question that has been puzzling analysts and observers for some time. But indications of the future Israel and Washington may have in mind for Gaza are emerging. Reports in the Arab and Israeli media – in part corroborated by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas – suggest that Egypt may be at the heart of plans to solve the problem on Israel’s behalf. This month the Israeli media reported claims, apparently leaked by Israeli officials, that Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, had offered the Palestinian leadership the chance to annex to Gaza an area of 1,600 sq km in Sinai. The donated territory would expand Gaza fivefold. The scheme is said to have received the blessing of the United States

‘Only a suicidal country doesn’t recognize the Bedouin problem': Israeli minister seeks ways to lower Bedouin birthrate

Kate on
Al-Arakib, an unrecognized village of the Al-Turi Arab Bedouin tribe (8 km north of Beersheba), being demolished for the 54th time in August 2013. (Photo: Eloise Bollack)

Haaretz reports: “Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir said during a visit to the south on Sunday that he was examining ways to lower the birthrate of the Bedouin community. Shamir heads the ministerial committee on Bedouin resettlement arrangements. “We have to take all the Bedouin and get them out of the desert a bit and bring them closer to a normal state from the perspective of legislation, life expectancy, education and livelihood,” Shamir said. “Perhaps we could even deal with the phenomenon of multiple wives to reduce the birthrate and raise the standard of living.”

Netanyahu heads to New York to ‘refute all the lies’ and praise ‘the most moral army in the world’

Allison Deger on
Netanyahu-Airport-PMO

Although some friends will receive him at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows tomorrow he will be in hot water. When he left for New York this morning for his speech on Monday, he gave a bitter farewell: “In my address to the UN General Assembly,” he said on the tarmac, “I will refute all of the lies being directed at us and I will tell the truth about our state and about the heroic soldiers of the IDF, the most moral army in the world.”

The name games

Hatim Kanaaneh on
Hatim Kanaaneh

Israeli Population, Immigration and Border Authority announced the winning first name for Israelis: Youssef. But the statistics were for Jews only. Mahmoud, Muhammad and Ahmad, all variants on the prophet’s name, are hugely popular among the Palestinian population and easily outpace Yossi, says Hatim Kanaan

A catalog of impunity

Philip Weiss on
biblical-city-of-david2

Omar Robert Hamilton compiled a list of Israel’s actions since the Gaza ceasefire at the LRB blog two weeks ago. The catalog has obviously gotten much longer in the interim, but this list is a poetic reminder of the power imbalance in a conflict that is treated so often in the U.S. as mutual. I excerpt