Category Archives:

UN resolution on settlements is a step back for Palestinians

Nicolas Sawaya on

UNSC resolution 2334 includes weaker language on Israeli settlements than prior UNSC resolutions which called for Israel to dismantle existing settlements and lacks a real enforcement mechanism. There is little reason to believe it will have a practical effect in halting and dismantling Israel’s settlement enterprise.

A bi-national, democratic state is the only option Israel and Kerry has left us with

Jeff Halper on

Jeff Halper writes: Suffice it to say that a just peace will not come from Israel or governments, or from the collaborationist Palestinian Authority. A just resolution will only come when Palestinians and their Israeli allies come together pro-actively, in good faith and with a determination to resolve the situation justly. And it will take the form of a one-state solution – a bi-national, democratic state – because that is the only option Israel and Kerry have left us with.

Following Kerry’s ‘historic’ speech we need a diplomacy of resistance

Haidar Eid on

Haidar Eid writes from Gaza, “The entire world is against Israel, but how are we, Palestinians, going to build on that? The answer comes loud and clear from the Palestinian-lead BDS Campaign: a total boycott against Israel and divestment from it and from foreign companies benefitting from its multi-tiered system of oppression, namely occupation, colonization and apartheid, and the imposition of sanctions against it until it complies with international law. In a nutshell, what we, Palestinians, need right now is a diplomacy of resistance.”

John Kerry gives the ‘separate but not equal’ speech to Israel

James North and Philip Weiss on

John Kerry’s speech on Israel/Palestine today was a eulogy for the two state solution, some commenters said; while others said he laid down new criticisms of Israel with statement about “separate but not equal” residents of West Bank and saying “The settler agenda” is defining Israel’s future.

Israeli forces killed 31 Palestinian youths in the occupied West Bank in 2016

Kate on

2016 has been deadliest year of the past decade for West Bank children, according to Defense for Children International–Palestine. In the past year Israeli forces have killed 31 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at DCIP, says, “Intentional lethal force now appears to be routinely used by Israeli forces, even in unjustified situations, with no accountability, putting more and more children at risk.”

Israel’s political left also condemns the UN’s anti-settlement resolution

Jonathan Ofir on

Israeli opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog said the UN resolution passed last week “seriously harms our capital Jerusalem, the settlement blocs and Israel’s status and diplomatic achievements accumulated over the years,” thereby expressing the strong Labor Zionist support for the illegal colonization project.

‘Guardian’ newspaper fails to support colleague facing deportation threat from Israeli government

Jonathan Cook on

Israel is reported to be ready to expel an award-winning Australian journalist and writer, Antony Loewenstein, after he asked a too-probing question of an Israeli politician at a media event last week. It is unsurprising to learn that Israel has no serious regard for press freedom. But more depressing has been the lack of solidarity shown by journalistic colleagues, most especially the Guardian newspaper, for which he has regularly worked as a freelancer since 2013. Not only has the paper failed to offer him any support, but its management and staff reporters have hurried to distance themselves from him.

In Photos: Gaza protest commemorates second intifada

Allison Deger and Mohammed Asad on

Every year, Palestinians in Gaza march to protest the Israeli shooting of Mohammed al-Dura which marked the beginning of the second intifada in the Gaza Strip on September 29, 2000. At the end of September photographer Mohammed Asad documented young protesters as they entered the buffer zone with Israel near al-Bureij refugee camp to challenge the Israeli military. “We came here to prove to the Israeli occupying forces that the memory of the uprising is unforgettable,” said demonstrator Abu Falasteen.

‘Friedman is a warm Jew’ — Israelis approve of Trump’s ambassador nominee

Mersiha Gadzo on

David Friedman, Donald Trump’s nominee as the next U.S. ambassador to Israel, may be controversial in the United States, but Israelis see him as a “warm Jew” who will restore amity between the countries’ governments. Both Friedman and Trump have been big supporters of Beit El, a settlement just north of Ramallah, and Shay Alon, the mayor of Beit El, says Trump made “an excellent choice”: “Friedman is a warm Jew who identifies with the roots of the state of Israel and Judaism. He is in the know of all things that have to do with our hold on the settlements, on Israel, and Judea and Samaria in particular.”


Rawan Yaghi on

I looked into her eyes / Smiled / And I said / We are free. “Faith,” a poem by Rawan Yaghi.

15-year-old Ahed Tamimi denied visa by State Dept for US speaking tour

Kate on

Richard Edmondson reports on his Fig Tree blog: Ahed Tamimi was slated to be part of the No Child Behind Bars/Living Resistance speaking tour that is to tour the US beginning on January 15, 2017, but according to an email sent out yesterday by the Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA), she has been denied a visa to enter the country.

Gaza music school uses Mozart and Fairuz to overcome effects of war

Ahmad Kabariti on

Music education is not common in Gaza but now nearly 190 eager students are attending the Gaza Music School, which was established in 2008 as part of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music. Many hope to use their instruments to escape from the turbulent situation in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Facing pressure from the right, Netanyahu supports ‘racist’ muezzin bill to appease settler base

Emily Mulder on

The Israeli government this week continued to stall a so-called “muezzin bill” that if passed would criminalize mosques for playing the call the prayer over loudspeakers. Critics say Netanyahu’s support for the bill is an effort to counterbalance internal political pressure he faces over the future dismantling of the illegal outpost of Amona, a decision that continues to spur mass controversy with many in the far-right settler bloc. “This law is not about noise, it’s not about quality of life, Netanyahu doesn’t care about these issues. The bill is about inciting against the Arab population in a time that Netanyahu doesn’t look ‘right’ enough for his right-wing settler base because of everything going on with Amona,” says Reut Mor, spokeswoman for Joint List head MK Ayman Odeh.

Israel plunders West Bank tourism economy as part of ‘creeping annexation’ of Palestine

Jonathan Cook on

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.

Azaria’s conviction will end a totalitarian ideology

Yakov Hirsch on

The real struggle in Israeli leadership is not Netanyahu cowering before settlers, but who can control a sacred ethnocentric discourse of Jewish persecution and innocence in the face of alleged Palestinian Jew-hatred. Jeffrey Goldberg has propagated that discourse in the U.S. The inevitable conviction of army medic Elor Azaria on manslaughter charges next month represents a crisis for that discourse at last.

Life in six words

Pam Bailey on

“For sale: Gazan passport, never used.” If you had to sum up life in six words, what would you write? Here’s what Palestinian refugees in Gaza and Lebanon are saying.

44% of Israelis support annexing West Bank; half of those favoring annexation think Palestinians shouldn’t be given equal rights

Kate on

According to the latest poll of the Israel Democracy Institute’s Peace Index 44% of Israelis favor the annexation of the West Bank. 48% of those favoring annexation said this would not require giving Palestinians equal rights of citizenship. From the Index report: “a small but significant minority of the Jewish public supports a situation that the international community regards as apartheid.”

‘We betrayed the legacy of the Holocaust’: Professor Yair Auron pushes Israel to confront complicity with Bosnian genocide

Mersiha Gadzo on

“We betrayed the legacy of the Holocaust when we’re committing acts like this,” Professor Yair Auron says. “To sell weapons to Serbia or to Rwanda during the genocide is similar to selling weapons to Nazi Germany during the Second World War. No country has the right to do it and especially not Israel.” Auron, a professor of Holocaust and genocide studies at the Open University of Israel, is on a mission to bring Israeli officials complicit in the Bosnian genocide to account.