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January 2014

Kerry’s billions: US economic plans for Palestine place investment over freedom

Alaa Tartir on

Since May 2013, there has been intense debate about US Secretary of State John Kerry’s economic plan for the occupied Palestinian territories. The plan – known as the Palestine Economic Initiative (PEI) – aims to develop the economy of the West Bank and Gaza over the next three years, as a prerequisite for a political […]

‘NYT’ fails to disclose that Op-Ed author arguing Israel’s case against BDS is husband of ‘NYT’ reporter in Israel/Palestine

Alex Kane on

The New York Times Sunday Review this week reflects the growing consensus that the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is the main game in town.  Two columns on BDS are published: one by Omar Barghouti, a leading advocate for BDS, and the other by Hirsh Goodman, an Israeli-South African analyst who is also the […]

American Jewish leader calls Iranians manipulative ‘bazaaris’

Philip Weiss on

From Haaretz’s Chemi Shalev, who interviewed Malcolm Hoenlein, head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations: When Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Zarif was his country’s envoy to the United Nations, he invited Malcolm Hoenlein to have dinner at his New York home. “I keep kosher, so I didn’t eat,” Hoenlein recalls, “but […]

Israel demolishes entire Jordan Valley village, displaces 13 Palestinian families

Kate on

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing Israeli forces demolish entire village in Jordan Valley IMEMC Thursday evening 30 Jan by Chris Carlson — The Israeli army demolished, on Thursday, at least 50 structures, including residences, displacing 13 families in the northern Jordan Valley, as a result, according to a local official. According to […]

SodaStream flap educates Americans about the illegal settlement project

Philip Weiss on

The good news is that the Scarlett Johansson Oxfam meltdown has educated Americans, somewhat, about Israel’s illegal settlement project. A few items… First, Keith Olbermann featured the story on ESPN II segment, “World’s Worst Persons in the sports world.” His focus was the contradiction between Johansson’s role as Oxfam’s global ambassador and her cluelessness re […]

Palestinians launch campaign against Israeli annexation of Jordan Valley by reviving village of Ein Hijleh

Popular Struggle Coordination Committee on

Hundreds of Palestinians announced today the launching of “Melh Al-Ard” (Salt of the Earth) campaign by reviving the village of Ein Hijleh in the Jordan Valley on land belonging to the Orthodox Church and St. Gerassimos monastery. The campaign is launched in refusal of Israeli policies aimed at Judaizing and annexing the Jordan Valley. Campaign […]

Renowned cartoonists and illustrators call on International Festival of Comics to drop association with SodaStream

Adam Horowitz on
International boycott threatens Israel's occupation of Palestine. (Cartoon by Carlos Latuff)

The following press release was sent out this morning: CARTOONISTS TO DIRECTOR OF ANGOULEME FESTIVAL: DROP SODASTREAM Sacco, Siné, Katchor, Kerbaj, Coe, Drooker, Kuper, Madden, Tobocman, among dozens of others, protest sponsorship by Israeli settlement manufacturer FRIDAY, JANUARY 31, 2014– Over forty cartoonists and illustrators from a dozen countries around the world released an open […]

Gaza residents fear another Israeli military offensive

Abdulrahman Murad on

Gazans fear another Israeli military offensive is imminent, as Israel flexes its military muscle and Egypt joins the band, beating the drums of war. In November 2013, the Israeli military simulated a ground incursion into Gaza. The move came weeks before Israel stepped up its threats against the Gaza Strip. I have received two inquiries from overseas […]

‘You seem to be on both sides of this legitimate/illegitimate kind of a thing’: State Dept. spox says neither Israeli settlements, nor settlement boycotts, are legitimate

Annie Robbins on

There was an amusing exchange today at the State Departments’ Daily Press Briefing the sums up the confused and contradictory U.S. policy towards Israeli settlements. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki dodged questions about Israel’s settlements, the boycott of Israeli goods, and the ‘framework agreement’, claiming both Israeli settlements and the boycotting of good produced in settlements are […]

The impending detention of African asylum protest leader Mutasim Ali

Allison Deger on

Last week, noted African asylum seeker organizer Mutasim Ali, 27, was given a summons to report to prison, which he promptly circulated on Facebook. Mutasim is a fixture of the refugee community. He is the interim CEO of the African Refugee Development Center and one of the coordinators of the three-day strike where over 20,000 […]

‘Without doubt, the biggest loser in this well publicized BDS campaign was SodaStream’: Reactions to Johansson leaving Oxfam

Adam Horowitz on

The Institute for Middle East Understanding sent out the following reactions to the news that Scarlett Johansson is leaving her role with Oxfam in order to maintain her sponsorship with SodaStream: OMAR BARGHOUTI, Independent Palestinian commentator and human rights activist, founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and thePalestinian Civil […]

Palestinians living near West Bank SodaStream factory urge Scarlett Johansson to end role with occupation profiteer

Annie Robbins on

A network of Palestinians living near the SodaStream factory in the illegal settlement of Ma’ale Adumim in Occupied Palestine, as well as Israeli and international grassroots activists who work with them, have issued a press release today calling on Scarlett Johansson to step down as SodaStream spokesperson. Press Release: Bab al Shams Village Council (in coalition with The Jahalin […]

Celebrity justice

Marc H. Ellis on

This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page. So Scarlett Johansson has stepped down as an Oxfam ambassador. She’s certainly global but it seems Palestine is a huge stumbling block when it comes to celebrity. Ambassadorships of all kinds are […]

Rep. Grimm threatens to throw reporter off Rotunda balcony

Annie Robbins on

GOP Rep. Michael Grimm, representing New York’s 11th congressional district (Staten Island/Brooklyn), keeps making the news, and not in ways that he wants. Grimm is a congressman who was brought into office in 2010 with support from the rightwing Israel lobby; he is being investigated by the FBI for circumventing campaign finance (he got half […]

Scarlett Johansson not only abandons Oxfam but throws it under the bus

Phan Nguyen on

“On one hand you’re thinking, [the celebrity life] is so surreal, but it’s my work and helps me bring awareness to Oxfam.” —Scarlett Johansson, 2007 On the other hand… The Associated Press broke the story last night that Scarlett Johansson was quitting her role as an Oxfam global ambassador, ending a three-week battle that began […]

House committee advances bill to make Israel ‘major strategic partner’–and waive visas for Israelis

Alex Kane on

When Congress headed home for the holidays last year, activists celebrated because a bill that effectively gave American blessing to discrimination against travelers to Israel wasn’t voted on. A month later, the bill is back–though the version that passed a House committee does not include much criticized exemptions for Israel’s participation in the visa-waiver program. […]

‘An Israeli Sparta’ — from Finkelstein to Hecataeus

Martin Hughes on

‘An Israeli Sparta’: A pungent phrase, and a long tradition, from Finkelstein to Hecataeus The pungency of Norman Finkelstein’s phrase ‘an Israeli Sparta, beholden to American power’ has struck many readers and came powerfully back to me when I read a recent exchange on the subject of Sparta (on this site, between our colleagues Shmuel […]

Open Letter from NY Jews to Mayor de Blasio: ‘AIPAC does not speak for us’

Adam Horowitz on

The following letter was shared with Mondoweiss: An Open Letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio: We are Jewish residents of New York who read, in the leaked transcript of your private speech to a meeting of AIPAC leaders, the following: “City Hall will always be open to AIPAC. When you need me to stand by you […]

‘I’ll believe a corporation is a person the day it gets a colonoscopy’

Philip Weiss on

On Monday night I attended the NY book launch for Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA at Housing Works bookstore. CSPAN was there, and as you can see, the house was jammed. In this video, taken with my usual high standards, Debbie Smith, a contributor to the book, introduces her husband Michael Smith, lawyer and […]

‘One state for two people’ — Tom Friedman’s crystal ball

Philip Weiss on

A remarkably realist/detached Tom Friedman suggests that John Kerry’s mission is a “fantasy.” The Times columnist places chief responsibility for the likely failure on the more powerful party to the talks, Israel, saying that Netanyahu lacks the political ability to forge a new, centrist governing coalition to back up Kerry’s ideas, while the Palestinians lack […]

Human rights advocates meet with Oxfam & Scarlett Johansson reps over concerns with Israeli settlements

US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation on

In a meeting at Oxfam America’s Boston headquarters Tuesday afternoon, local human rights advocates urged representatives of the international aid agency Oxfam to be true to the organization’s principles and cut ties with their Global Ambassador Scarlett Johansson if she remains the Global Brand Ambassador for SodaStream, a company that operates a factory in an […]

Israel battles to hold Jerusalem with bulldozers on north, south, and east

Kate on

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Judaization / Apartheid Israel barrier threatens to split Bethlehem villages BATTIR (AFP) 28 Jan — Israel’s separation barrier could soon destroy the livelihoods and redraw the demographics of two Palestinian villages south of Jerusalem, locals say, should an imminent court ruling approve its planned route. The […]

Chilean soccer team defies league, retains Palestine on jersey

Ira Glunts on

  Despite an explicit ban by the league on using the map of historic Palestine on their uniforms, the Club Deportivo Palestino soccer team defied the league ruling when they debuted their new uniform on Friday. The new jersey has a gold image of Palestine on the front and a much smaller map of Palestine […]