Category Archives:
Israel/Palestine

Israeli lawmakers advance bill to ban Muslim call to prayer

Kate on

In a hotly contested session of Knesset, Israeli lawmakers passed the first reading of a bill to ban the Muslim call to prayer, sparking Arab representatives to walk-out mid-session. Al Jazeera reports, “A law to muffle mosques’ amplified calls to prayer in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem won preliminary approval on Wednesday in a charged parliamentary session where Palestinian legislators denounced the measure as racist. The bill passed a preliminary reading with 55 votes in favour and 48 against as the assembly broke out into chaotic arguments.”

Women in Gaza share their grievances and joys on International Women’s Day: ‘we have to pay the bill, as usual’

Ahmad Kabariti on

On March 8, women in Gaza marked International Women’s Day along with their counterparts in the countries across the globe. But in Gaza, International Women’s Day is less of a celebration and more of a harsh and painful reminder of three wars in the last decade, and years of siege. Laila Qarmout, 57, a member of the General Union of Palestinian Women said: “Women are indoctrinated from the age of five to see ourselves as less than our brothers or less than our husbands. Despite this, we have struggled a lot against the world’s only long-running occupation. Women know too well the iniquity of repression.”

‘It’s scarier this time’: Hunger-striking Palestinian journalist’s health deteriorating quickly

Sheren Khalel on

On his second long-term hunger strike in the past year, Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qiq’s health is deteriorating faster than anyone expected, leaving his family to plea for support before it is too late. “If Mohammed were to quit his hunger strike now, the first one that almost killed him would be for nothing, so he feels he must continue his strike—not just for himself, but for all the other Palestinian prisoners on strike against their administrative detention as well — they must stay strong together,” Fayha Salash, Mohammed’s wife, tells Mondoweiss.

If Israel is unwilling to differentiate itself from the settlements, then boycotters shouldn’t either

Jonathan Ofir on

A new Israeli law bars entry to those involved in boycotting Israel and criminalizes even those who have supported a ‘partial’ boycott targeting settlements. Activists and organizations, even the liberal Zionist ones who have supported boycott of settlements, now have to ask themselves: If Israel does not differentiate between itself and its occupied territories, if Israel bars entry to any foreigner who boycotts (even if they are Zionist), why should the boycotters make the differentiation between Israel and its settlements?

Human rights lawyer: Israel’s new anti-BDS travel ban violates international law

Sheren Khalel on

Michael Sfard, an Israeli lawyer and political activist specializing in international human rights law, tells Mondoweiss it is difficult to know how Israel’s controversial new law aimed at barring boycott activists from entering the country will actually be enforced, but he says the law is in direct violation of international law. “Countries have wide discretion to allow are deny entry to foreigners,” Sfard says. “However, International Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination on the basis of a person’s opinion and provides freedom of conscious and thought. The law is definitely a violation of both.”

Trump’s pick for amb. to Israel funded settlements in Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter

Kate on

Haaretz reports Trump’s pick for U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman has a “leadership role in an organization that raises funds for the West Bank settlement of Beit El [that] is frequently cited as grounds for disqualifying him from becoming U.S. ambassador to Israel. It now emerges that Friedman’s financial ties to the settlement movement run deeper than Beit El. Friedman has also made contributions over the years to Ateret Cohanim, a right-wing organization that buys land in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City and Arab East Jerusalem for creating a ‘Jewish presence’ there.”

Israel’s welcome now reserved only for Jews who back Netanyahu

Jonathan Cook on

Legislation passed by the Israeli parliament on Monday night forbids entry to anyone who supports a boycott, even if it is only of the settlements. Israel has long denied entry to Arabs and deported those such as migrant workers and African asylum seekers who might ‘pollute’ the Jewish state with non-Jewish genes. Now it is openly targeting Jews whose politics do not align with the far-right government of Netanyahu.

Banksy’s ‘Walled Off Hotel’ is a form of gentrification

Tamara Nassar on

Banksy’s new hotel has drawn much praise from the international community for its initiative to attract tourists to the West Bank and educate them through space as a medium and an object of art, but Tamara Nassar says, “Banksy’s hotel is a form of gentrification that exploits Palestinian suffering and imposes an ‘art space’ that thrives on fulfilling an example of white fantasy in travel, in order to witness war zones as an educational and historical amusement when in fact it is very present and happening in real-time.”

A Palestinian state has always been a fiction for Zionists

Jonathan Ofir on

A Palestinian state is anathema to Zionism – and must therefore be kept in the realms of fiction. The Palestinian state does not arrive, because Israel doesn’t intend, and never has intended, for the Palestinian dream to come true. After Palestinians accepted a partition of the land and initiated the peace process, Israel came up with a charade to convince the world it meant business– what Yitzhak Shamir called the “teaspoon” process.

Sanders suggests giving Gaza a portion of $38 billion US military aid to Israel

Allison Deger on

On Wednesday, Senator Bernie Sanders sent a one-page letter to David Friedman, President Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. ambassador to Israel, asking the envoy-designee to explain his funding of a West Bank settlement and to consider repealing the tax-exempt status for charities financing settlements, like the one Friedman runs.

Video: ‘Apartheid has been here for ages. It doesn’t really bother us’ — Israeli comedian says in closing act

Allison Deger on

The Israeli comedian Assaf Harel and the host of the show “Good Night With Asaf Harel,” used the monologue of his series finale on Monday to dive into a speech where he said Israel had reached a state of “apartheid” long ago. “Apartheid has been here for ages. Ages. It’s just that we’re on its good side, so it doesn’t really bother us. We’ve been abusing the Palestinians on a daily basis for years, denying them their basic rights.”

Elor Azarya’s ‘normative’ support for genocide

Jonathan Ofir on

Last week, Israeli medic-soldier Elor Azarya was given an excessively lenient sentence of 1.5 years in prison for killing Abdel Fattah Al Sharif in Hebron. The military court based its conclusion in part on Azarya’s “positive personality and his being a normative person”. Yet this was the same person who wrote “kill them all” on social media as Israel considered a ceasefire with Hamas during the 2014 Gaza onslaught. This may seem to be a contradiction, but Jonathan Ofir writes the Azarya case cannot be seen as disconnected from the overall genocidal vein within Israeli society that he and his actions represent.

Palestinians in Hebron plead for international intervention to stop settler violence

Sheren Khalel on

Palestinian activists say life in Hebron has become unbearable, and that international intervention is the only hope to ease the daily tensions and violence carried out by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the city. “We are fighting a just cause, we are trying to end the occupation and get our human rights, our city, and our country back and bring the occupation government to justice for their illegal actions and crimes, but we need international support,” activist Farid al-Atrash tells Mondoweiss.

Natives and the blessings of progress

Abba Solomon on

From the beginning, Zionists regarded Palestinians as primitive natives– “2,000 or 3,000 years behind the Jews in civilization,” as one Jewish leader put it.