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Tag Archives: featured
Before journalist and author Max Blumenthal turned his eye towards Israel/Palestine, he was a dogged investigator of the seedy world of neo-Nazism and white supremacism in the U.S. But now, liberal Israeli newspaper Haaretz has joined right-leaning Israel advocates in trying to turn the tables on him by linking the journalist to Frazier Glenn Miller, the suspect in Sunday’s deadly shooting at two Jewish centers in Kansas City.
The Gaza Writes Back book tour has brought the lack of Palestinian freedom of movement home to American audiences in an unplanned way. Sarah Ali, a contributor to the book, was supposed to be on tour with Rawan Yaghi, Yousef Aljamal and Refaat Alareer. But she was denied a visa by Israel. Nevertheless, the tour has carried on, with the contributors giving presentations on the realities of life in Gaza and the impact of Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s attack on Gaza at the end of 2008.
Many have expressed fear of Arab and Muslim-American political actions on campus. The fear is of a different point of view being expressed, the challenge to an establishment that has killed 100s of 1000s of Muslims around the world.
Earlier this year, University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft condemned the American Studies Association’s boycott of Israel as “antithetical to the core values of academic freedom.” Now, critics of the president are pointing to her extensive ties to Israel and financial interests in the country. Genshaft’s family foundation accrues interest from corporate bonds from the Industrial Development Bank of Israel, which is co-owned by two banks that are deeply invested in illegal West Bank settlements.
Max Blumenthal attended the University of Michigan divestment debate last week and was able to witness firsthand the tactics pro-Israel students and organizations are using to defeat BDS by any means necessary. Blumenthal writes, “Under the influence of a zealous cast of communal elders and with a powerful, astroturfed political apparatus at their disposal, pro-Israel forces on campus initiated a campaign of subterfuge and manufactured persecution designed to intimidate and silence students inclined toward Palestine solidarity activism. It was a disturbing spectacle to behold, especially at such an intimate distance.”
Katie Miranda contrasts anti-BDS concerns heard on U.S. campuses versus the reality of life for Palestinians in the occupied territories.
Amos Yadlin is very comfortable with Israel’s regional situation. In a conversation with New York Times journalist Ethan Bronner, the former Israeli general predicted that the peace talks with the Palestinians would fail. “The chance of Kerry succeeding is like my chance to win the lottery if I didn’t buy a ticket,” he said, but dismissed predictions of doom if that came to pass, suggesting that Israel can cope with pressure and that the country should unilaterally withdraw to the line drawn by the West Bank separation barrier. Yadlin was also sanguine about the Arab Spring’s impact on Israel, saying that Arab countries are focused internally and that Egypt’s military regime is preferable to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Pro-Israel groups are laying the blueprint for an attack on Middle Eastern studies programs. At a recent panel in Washington, D.C., Israel advocates outlined their plan: use amendments to an education law to pull federal grants from Middle Eastern studies programs they deem overly critical of Israel.
Liberal Zionists like MJ Rosenberg and Prof. Yael Aronoff are the new front line against the Palestinian-led BDS movement. Aronoff exemplified this trend during the University of Michigan divestment debate, above, when she argued the Israel boycott rejects an idealistic project — the self-determination of the Jewish people.
Adam Wolf shares a harrowing account of how the refugees of Aida camp in Bethlehem have renewed a campaign of resistance against the apartheid wall that encircles much of their home. Last Friday, youth from Aida drilled a hole in a previously damaged section of the wall beginning a week of Israeli attacks which culminated yesterday with a section of the Wall being destroyed by protesters. Very few avoided the fighting, including the author who was used as a human shield by Israeli forces.
Debate on divestment and Israel exploded on college campuses last night. For the second time in two weeks, Loyola University’s student government voted to call on their school to divest from corporations involved in the Israeli occupation. But in the vote that captured the most attention, the University of Michigan’s student government voted down a call for divestment. Still, students in support of the resolution said it was a victory to spark a campus-wide debate on the occupation and Palestine.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s office has produced a legal document claiming that transferring Palestinian citizens and their land to a future Palestinian state is legal. Such a plan has already been raised with U.S. officials in the past, and Lieberman is now throwing it back into the mix as the U.S.-led peace process continues. Members of Knesset have slammed the proposal and Palestinian Officials from the Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm have called the proposal a “second Nakba”
As the United States begins implementing travel restrictions on Russian officials involved in the military occupation and annexation of Crimea, there are signs that the State Department has been quietly denying visas to Israeli military and intelligence officials in accordance with a separate set of U.S. laws.
‘Nobody knew where I was, nobody… I was simply disappeared’: An Italian tourist’s Ben Gurion nightmare
Andrea Pesce is a 44-year-old Italian tourist who flew to Ben Gurion airport on his way to a month-long vacation in Bethlehem. He expected the routine security checks the Israeli airport is known for, but he never could have anticipated what was in store for him. He writes after finding out his entry to Israel/Palestine was denied: “I was told that I was going to stay in a separate facility, waiting for the flight back to Italy. This is the beginning of the nightmare.”
Ali Abunimah’s new book, The Battle for Justice in Palestine, chronicles how Palestine solidarity activism in the U.S. is on the move, with the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement growing in leaps and bounds. Mondoweiss’ Alex Kane sat down with Abunimah to discuss the state of the battle over Palestine, lessons learned from the end of South African apartheid and the potent coalitions the BDS movement is forging in the U.S.
On Tuesday night, Loyola University Chicago became the first Jesuit University in the United States to pass a student government resolution to divest from companies complicit in aiding the Israeli occupation. The Senate voted 26-0, with 2 abstentions, to call on the school to remove its holdings from eight corporations that play an active role in the human rights abuses committed by the Israeli government.
Does Israel Have a Right to Exist as a Jewish State?: An excerpt from Ali Abunimah’s ‘The Battle for Justice in Palestine’
Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state has become his latest rhetorical strategy to stymie US-brokered peace talks. In an excerpt from his new book, “The Battle for Justice in Palestine,” Ali Abunimah deftly unpacks this talking point by showing what it means today in practice: “The cumulative impact of Israeli policies deemed necessary to protect Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state can be seen in the yawning gulf that exists between Jewish and Palestinian citizens.”
The Israeli journalist David Sheen has brought the reality of Israel’s war on African migrants to American audiences over the past three weeks. The details he presents are downright devastating, documenting how a state founded to protect refugees has become a state systematically targeting refugees for indefinite imprisonment and deportation. As Sheen notes, at the root of these policies is the driving ethos in Israel of maintaining Jewish supremacy in the face of so-called demographic threats, whether they be Palestinian or African.
The DNA of Israel was established by two laws in 1950 and 1952. The Law of Return gave Jews special rights to the state. And the Citizenship Law bestowed a weak form of citizenship on all citizens who were not Jewish nationals. So says Shira Robinson, author of Citizen Strangers, in a lacerating interview
Northeastern University’s Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter has been suspended by the school administration for at least a year because the group distributed mock eviction notices. The remarkable move by the school leadership was followed up with phone calls and visits from campus police officers, while two SJP members were threatened with expulsion. The suspension is the culmination of a long-running campaign against the group led by powerful pro-Israel outfits based in Boston.
Tuesday marked a day of funerals as Palestinians across the West Bank and Gaza mourned six killed by Israeli forces within twenty-four hours. Three were killed in the West Bank in separate instances and three were killed in the Gaza Strip from an air strike. Above, the funeral of Saji Darwish, 18, in Beitin, a village in the West Bank.
J Street cheerleading for Kerry features Congressman warning Palestinians will demand the vote if two states fails
J Street is going all in for Secretary of State John Kerry’s quest to broker a two-state solution. Last night, the liberal Zionist group held their latest town hall gathering in New York City to amplify calls for a two-state solution. The event featured Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and former Shin Bet head Ami Ayalon, among others. Nadler told the crowd there would be no Palestinian right of return, but that settlers who wanted to stay in a state of Palestine should be able too–a revealing double standard.
Maryland legislators heard testimony on Israeli human rights abuses and the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement last week at two separate hearings on a bill that would prohibit spending public funds on academic groups in favor of boycott. Some Israel advocates testified in favor of the bill by calling BDS anti-Semitic. The legislation has split the Israel lobby, though, with some groups arguing the effort will backfire by bringing attention to boycotters. Meanwhile, civil liberties and Palestine solidarity groups continue to mobilize to kill the bill.
More than any other boycott campaign, the one against the Israeli company SodaStream crystallized the growing momentum and challenges for critics of Israel’s policies, especially the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The main obstacle that BDS supporters encountered was pro-SodaStream Palestinian testimonies. Writer Benjamin Katz-Nussbaum critically dissects how those testimonies were used.
The House of Representatives passed the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act by a 410-1 vote today. The legislation, a major priority for the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), designates Israel as a “major strategic partner”–a first for any U.S. ally. AIPAC members lobbied Congress to approve the bill on Tuesday, in addition to asking elected officials to sign letters stressing that Congress should be informed of the nuclear negotiations with Iran. Only Thomas Massie of Kentucky voted against the bill.