Category Archives:
Middle East

Boycott is Kosher

Iris Keltz on

Iris Keltz was shocked when she first heard leaders of the Jewish community in Albuquerque denounce the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement started by Palestinians. “Call me naive, but considering Israelis had been living under the threat of bombs exploding on buses, in shopping malls, restaurants, and other public places, there should have been a collective sigh of relief when Palestinian civil society chose a non-violent means to resist a fifty year old military occupation.”

On the campaign against Omar Barghouti

Haidar Eid on

Haider Eid writes, “A meaningful, just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian question must include all Palestinians, including those in the West Bank and Gaza, those who remained in Israel, and the 1948 Palestinian refugees. This is what Omar has been calling for – and what he continues to call for in his latest statement. This steadfastness of the BDS movement and its unwavering commitment to justice for all Palestinians is the real reason behind the false campaign against Omar; and this is why the BDS movement must, as Omar has called for – intensify its work, so that Israel is forced to comply with international law. More BDS is the way to end apartheid in Israel as apartheid was ended in South Africa.”

‘Jerusalem’ on Gaza TV set is as close as many Palestinians will get to real thing

Ahmad Kabariti on

Amid the quiet of Gaza’s white sand dunes that cover the grounds of Israeli settlements evacuated more than a decade ago, Palestinian actors playing ultra-orthodox Israelis get in a fight. They are shooting the dramatic series “Heaven’s Gate” on the Hamas-owned Al Aqsa TV network, which will premiere this summer during Ramadan. The show is filming in Gaza, but the show is set in Jerusalem, and the city has been recreated inside of the besieged strip. This is as close to visiting the holy city as any of the actors have come.

Confronting apartheid has everything to do with feminism

Rabab Abdulhadi, Suzanne Adely, Angela Davis & Selma James on

Rabab Abdulhadi, Suzanne Adely, Angela Davis & Selma James write: “Attacking the International Women’s Strike on March 8, supporters of Israel argued that the decolonization of Palestine has no place in feminism and further asked if there is a place for Zionists in the feminist movement. We turn the question around and ask if the occupation of Palestine, the bombings of Gaza, the apartheid that applies two separate and unequal systems to Israel’s relationship to Palestinians – can be compatible with feminism? While Israel’s apologists were posing such questions, the Israeli army, as reported by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, was busy shutting down two events in Jerusalem marking International Women’s Day.”

If baseball coverage of Team Israel is ‘the story of Israel itself,’ then we should not forget the Palestinians

Aubrey Bloomfield on

The media has embraced Team Israel’s unlikely success at the World Baseball Classic, referring to the team as a “Cinderella” story, “David and Goliath,” and a “fairy-tale.” In this “softball” coverage, Israel—home to the most powerful military in the Middle East and a cruel system of apartheid directed at the Palestinian people—gets to be the plucky, lovable underdog. Writing in the Forward, David Hazony argues “Team Israel is very much the story of Israel itself,” but central to the story of Israel itself is also the dispossession and expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their lands and a decades-long occupation.

Commemorating 75 years of advancing prophetic Judaism, free of nationalism and politicization

Allan C. Brownfeld on

On the 75th anniversary of the American Council for Judaism, Allan C. Brownfeld writes about how the group has challenged the Zionist philosophy which holds that Israel is the “homeland” of all Jews. He explains how the group advanced the philosophy of Judaism as a religion of universal values, not a nationality, and has maintained that Americans of Jewish faith are American by nationality and Jews by religion — just as other Americans are Protestants, Catholics or Muslims.

Iran beats US for wrestling world cup, but you wouldn’t know it from watching NBC

Robert Visznevski on

When Donald Trump stopped all incoming travelers from seven primarily-Muslim countries, Iran was on the list. Iran retaliated by blocking all Americans from traveling to Iran, including the U.S. wrestling team who were scheduled to compete in the annual wrestling version of the World Cup. When the ban got knocked down stateside, the Iranians relented and the plot thickened when it all came down to the U.S. vs. Iran in the finals. You might think a sports drama like that would be of interest to the media. But NBC, who had rights to cover the event, instead opted for a blackout on it.

Transnational meetings & meals of resistance: Palestinian-Chileans show solidarity with the Mapuche, an indigenous nation of South America in active struggle for self-determination 

Devin G. Atallah on

Dr. Devin Atallah, a Palestinian-Chilean psychologist chronicles his participation in the ‘First Session of the Mapuche Constituent Assembly.’ The Mapuche are the largest first nation and most populous indigenous group in Chile. Atallah calls the gathering “one of the most powerful and meaningful collective manifestations of decolonization that I have witnessed.” It leads him to organize “Meals of Resistance” in Santiago with members of the Mapuche indigenous group, Chilean allies, and members of the Palestinian-Chilean community, who all come together to show solidarity, share freedom foods and stories of resistance and resilience.