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November 2013

Thousands across Palestine protest against efforts to uproot Bedouin

Alex Kane on

Protests erupted across the Palestinian territories today as a show of force against the Prawer Plan, the Israeli government’s initiative to uproot tens of thousands of Bedouin Arabs, demolish their villages and build new Jewish towns on top of their ruins. One of the biggest protests was in the village of Hura, a Bedouin area in the Negev desert. Police officers fired tear gas and “skunk water” at activists there, and arrested at least 10 people. Above, watch video of a protest against the Prawer Plan outside the settlement of Beit El.

International ‘Day of Rage’ against the Prawer Plan today

Adam Horowitz on

Today, activists in Israel/Palestine, and around the world, will carry out a “day of rage” to protest the Prawer Plan, an Israeli government plan to destroy 35 Arab villages in the Negev desert that will lead to the forced displacement of up to 70,000 Bedouin citizens of the state of Israel in order to clear the land for Israeli Jews. The call to action for the protests says, “Injustice, humiliation and forced displacement are a recurring theme in Palestine’s history. This is lesson that we as a group of youth take to the heart. We will oppose, resist and work against the continuous assault that our communities, across Palestine face. Therefore, we launched the ‘Prawer will not pass’ campaign with an eye to preventing this plan to be yet another chapter in Palestine’s long and tragic history. Opposing the Prawer Plan is to oppose ethnic cleansing, displacement and confinement in the 21st century. “

While we’re on the topic . . . Settler normativity and American football

Jimmy Johnson on

Settler normativity is the discursive normalization of indigenous removal. Settler normativity and are why the San Francisco 49ers are not yet critiqued in the way Washington football team is, why is has taken so long for criticism of Washington’s mascot to consistently break into the mainstream, and why so many will sit down on 28 November for the settler holy day Thanksgiving and enjoy one of the three NFL games with no mind to settler colonialism and genocide.

Ambassador Mohammed Assaf comes to the UN

Annie Robbins on

Arab Idol Mohammed Assaf visited the U.N. Monday as a youth ambassador. “I would like to remind you of the millions of other Palestine refugees just like me – the young men and women who are not standing here before you today. When we celebrate this International Day of Solidarity, they are the ones we need to remember.

The Siege of the Tel Aviv bus station

Allison Deger on

Israel approves a grab bag of laws to deport African asylum seekers, and the Tel Aviv’s central bus station is the focus of the new policies. And what is deadly serious for African refugees is sport to Israelis at a bar. “This is not a police state!” they chant, when their sound system was briefly confiscated.

AIPAC plays the long game on new Iran sanctions

Alex Kane on

America’s foremost Israel lobby group has expressed skepticism over the deal with Iran. In a recent policy memo, AIPAC ran through the deal’s details and expressed considerable skepticism over an interim agreement that contains “implicit acceptance of Iranian enrichment.” What they didn’t do, though, is press for new and immediate sanctions on Iran. Instead, they want new sanctions legislation in order to “shape” the final outcome a far-reaching accord with Iran. AIPAC is playing the long game on sanctions. They can’t try to scuttle an interim agreement already reached with Iran, as distasteful as they find it. Much like the fight over Chuck Hagel, which AIPAC sat out lest it go head to head with an administration they need to work with, AIPAC is not pushing for immediate sanctions because it would set up a public confrontation with the Obama administration.

Iran deal poses conflict of loyalties for US Jews, say Economist and Haaretz

Philip Weiss on

The Iran deal is an important moment in Jewish history because the Jewish state has made clear that it wants American Jews to support it and oppose the deal, but American Jews aren’t buying. This is a crisis both for the lobby (the dovish segments of which are supporting the U.S. government) and for the […]

ADL connection is suddenly a liability for a court nominee

Philip Weiss on

Dylan said a change in the weather is known to be extreme, and Joseph Berman, a civil rights advocate in Boston, knows this: his ties to the ADL, which denied Armenian genocide, are proving a liability to his nomination to a high court post in Massachusetts

The country that cried wolf

Philip Weiss on

‘Iran in final stages of production of nuclear bomb’ –Israelis said — in 1984

American Task Force on Palestine finds funding from anti-Palestinian billionaire and a repressive monarchy

Max Blumenthal on

Despite its claims to be “committed to strengthening Palestinian-American relations” as “an independent voice for Palestine,” the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) has begun accepting funding from one of the most aggressive funders of anti-Palestinian and Islamophobic initiatives in the United States. A recently released 2011 Internal Revenue Service Form 990 information return revealed that ATFP has accepted at least $10,000 from the Klarman Family Foundation. The donation highlights the trajectory of an organization originally founded to advance the position of Palestinian statehood advocates in Washington, DC, but which has increasingly diverged from the Palestinian consensus. It also exposes an emerging strategy of pro-Israel donors like Klarman who are propping up an array of Muslim and Arab-American groups to drive a wedge into grassroots Palestine solidarity organizing. In addition, ATFP claims to have never accepted donations from foreign governments, but the group accepted $148,800 from the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in 2011. Above, a controversial photo of ATFP President Ziad Asali with then Israeli Ambassador the U.S. Michael Oren.

Sydney Pollack, gunrunner

Philip Weiss on

Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan says that legendary actor/director Sydney Pollack participated in his spying activities for Israel by helping bring out sensitive military equipment to the Jewish state.