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Israeli authorities have found another way to impede free access to the occupied territories for American travelers. Haaretz’s Amira Hass reported over the weekend that tourists from the U.S. have had to sign a declaration requiring them to obtain a military permit for travel to the occupied West Bank. It’s another example of Israeli restrictions on American travel to occupied Palestine, and it exposes a galling aspect of the “special relationship”: all the military aid and diplomatic support to Israel doesn’t shield Americans from being routinely discriminated against based on their political affiliations or ethnic background.
A cartoon from Katie Miranda looking at the changing meaning of the term “anti-Semitism.”
What power on earth can prevent two people from the same country meeting in their own land? Walaa Al Ghussein (on the right) had a permit to be in Israel for one day. She had to get back to Gaza by 7 PM. She had never been to Jerusalem before in her life. Her friend Maha from Umm al-Fahem was desperate to see her…
In the wake of the horrific Nour Joudah case, in which an American teacher was refused entry to Palestine to resume her job this year, activists are ramping up their campaign to thwart the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act. The legislation would “codify into law U.S. acceptance of Israel’s discrimination and allow it to continue to deny visas to U.S. citizens,” according to a letter sent by a coalition of Palestine solidarity groups.
Christians denounce Israel’s manhandling of worshipers at Holy Sepulcher on Easter weekend; Israel apologizes to Egypt
Heads of Christian churches in Jerusalem denouncing attacks on worshipers: A day of joy and celebration was turned to great sorrow and pain for some of our faithful because they were ill-treated by some Israeli policemen
May 15 marks the 65th anniversary of the Nakba. Although this commemoration remembers a moment in history, the Nabka is an ongoing process to displace and dispossess the Palestinian people of their land. As the Badil Center’s Amjad Alqasis writes, “The Nakba fundamentally altered Palestine. However the idea of forcible displacement of the indigenous Palestinian people did not end with the establishment of Israel in 1948, it rather started that year.”
For the second time in two years, students at Tel Aviv University (TAU) commemorating the 1947-49 Palestinian expulsion and the destruction of villages were met with a counter-protest. At last year’s event over 1,000 amassed on campus, ending in clashes incited by members of Knesset. Again this year, the youth-based “new Zionist” group Im Tirtzu bottom-lined the demonstration, distributing a counter analysis pamphlet titled “Nakba Harta” or “Nakba-Bullshit”.
Dershowitz says the BDS movement is gaining ground and it’s become an “embarrassment” to support Israel on college campuses
Faced with a diplomatic impasse between Israel and the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas, John Kerry extracted from the Arab League an agreement to dust off a decade-old regional plan, the Arab Peace Initiative. The new Arab overture, like its antecedent, barely raised a flicker of interest from Israel. This response serves as a rejoinder to one of the conflict’s most enduring myths. Even before 1967, Israel presented itself as eager for acceptance from the Arab states. This fiction, which continues to shape western perceptions.
Allison Deger reports from Jerusalem Day, a celebration of Israel’s 1967 conquest of the holy city, as religious-nationalists parade through the Palestinian sections of the Old City. Above, Israeli girls sing and dance in front of the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City.
Israeli cabinet ministers recently approved a plan that will forcibly displace Bedouin citizens of the state against their will. At the heart of the plan is the destruction of at least 25 unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev and the forcible relocation of residents into seven government-created areas and 10 recognized Bedouin villages. The Bedouins themselves, who have inhabited the Negev area in southern Israel long before the establishment of the state, are rejecting the plan.
‘The policy of the present Israeli government is likely to lead to disaster’: Stephen Hawking pulls out of conference hosted by Shimon Peres, backs academic boycott of Israel (Updated)
Controversy erupted over a Guardian report last night that Professor Stephen Hawking backs the academic boycott of Israel and cancelled an appearance at an academic conference organized by Israeli President Shimon Peres. Initially Cambridge University issued a statement that Hawking pulled out over health concerns, but now it has now retracted that statement and affirmed that Hawking’s decision was made out of support for the Palestinian call for boycott. Above, Stephen Hawking visiting staff and students at Birzeit University in 2006.
Recent debate and discussion in Jewish activist spaces have raised questions about the role of “Jews identifying as Jews” in work for justice in Palestine. These conversations have led us to think more deeply about this question. In this piece, we explore the particular significance, strategically and otherwise, of the relationship to being Jewish and how we enter this work, and how we can be meaningful and genuine partners in the struggle for justice.
This Thursday, Peter Beinart and Alan Dershowitz will once again square off on the subject of Zionism at CUNY, a debate that promises to cover a spectrum of opinion from A to B. It is unclear exactly what new ground they will cover, having debated at least twice before, but one thing that is for certain is that Dershowitz will use the occasion to unveil newer and better lies. There is no shortage of exposés of his breathtaking dishonesty, and Dershowitz keeps the lies coming fast and furious, so someone has to keep up with the Great Fabricator. Here are three major whoppers from last year’s Martha’s Vineyard debate with Beinart.
Seven candidates for New York City mayor gathered on Sunday at a one-of-a-kind forum devoted to Muslim community issues. The debate focused on a range of issues, from police surveillance of Muslims to school holidays to the Brooklyn College BDS panel. While most candidates spoke out against police surveillance of Muslims, only two said the program was unconstitutional. And the front-runners in the race–Christine Quinn and Bill de Blasio–did not denounce the expansive surveillance program. Above, from the left, is Public Advocate Bill de Blasio; Comptroller John Liu; City Council Speaker Christine Quinn; and Rev. Erick Salgado.
The cartoon movement held its celebration of World Press Freedom Day yesterday; and Mohammad Saba’aneh, a Palestinian artist locked in an Israeli jail, was honored
‘Strategic Partner Act of 2013′ would give US seal of approval to Israeli discrimination against Arab-Americans
Racism by another name: The US-Israel “Strategic Partner Act of 2013” is raising ire across the nation
Islamophobia has reared its ugly head post-Boston bombings. This time, though, the major purveyors of it aren’t right-wing bigots. Instead, it’s the U.S. government and a general tolerance for the violation of Muslims’ civil rights. The treatment of Dzokhar Tsarnaev, the main suspect in the Boston bombings, is a case study in how there’s a “Muslim exception” to the U.S. Constitution. This “Muslim exception” is rooted in Islamophobia.
The only hope for Palestinians is a one state solution. Accomodating the settler-colonial ideology of Zionism with concessions only brings misery
On March 15, The New York Times Magazine broke important ground in the mainstream by publishing Ben Ehrenreich’s long and often-thrilling account of resistance in occupied Nabi Saleh. While the Forward and Haaretz were quick to attack Ehrenreich for his failure to believe in Zionism, there has been surprisingly little media followup to this important article. Phil Weiss talks to Ehrenreich about his article, the reaction it received and the media landscape for discussing Israel/Palestine.
Yet another Palestinian solidarity activist is questioned for hours on entering Israel and refused entry to the occupied territories. Frank Barat, a coordinator of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, had wanted to visit friends in the West Bank. But Israeli security officials demanded he open his email account, so they could see whom he was in touch with. Barat gave a second email account. His story follows
The window for the two-state solution was a few years in the ’90s. But because the US sided with Israel during its unending expansion, partition is now dead, and everyone in D.C. policy circles knows this but is afraid to say it out loud. “The emperor’s clothes are beautiful,” Rashid Khalidi says. In this interview about his new book, Brokers of Deceit, the Columbia scholar also says that his friend Barack Obama, then a state senator, asked him and his wife sympathetic questions about the Palestinian narrative back in Chicago, but he was developing his knowledge, not his solidarity.
A smear campaign against UN Rapporteur Richard Falk distorts his words to claim that he blames Israel and the US for the Boston bombing—and that he believes the vicitms had it coming. Yet Falk never made the comments he was accused of making. Above, Falk talks at the United Nations.
Last week’s episode of “This American Life,” the popular public-radio show hosted by Ira Glass, included a striking 23-minute segment about the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. The piece was reported by Nancy Updike, an award-winning producer who’s been with the show since it began in 1995. Updike explores the routinized harassment of villagers in Nabi Saleh by the Israeli military. Above, Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian from the village.
Writing from Ramallah, Sam Bahour calls on Jews in the diaspora to speak out against the Israeli Law of Return, which bestows automatic Israeli citizenship on an Jewish person who seeks it while Palestinians are prevented from returning to their homes and lands. Bahour says, “if Diaspora Jews can accept having an Israeli citizenship being held ‘forever’ for them while Palestinians are denied not only citizenship, but basic human rights, then they too are directly partaking in the continued apartheid against Palestinians.”