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May 2015

Israeli President: Academic boycott of Israel is ‘strategic threat of the first order’

Kate on

Haaretz reports: President Reuven Rivlin yesterday described academic boycotts against Israel as a “strategic threat of the first order.” During a discussion of the issue at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, the chairman of the Council of Presidents of Israeli Universities, Technion president Prof. Peretz Lavie, said it was still possible to stop the snowball effect of the movement, but warned that “we are at the 90th minute.”

Israeli propaganda dominates front page of ‘New York Times’ today

James North on

Israel discriminates sorely against Palestinians in their water supply and 90 percent of the water in Gaza is undrinkable but you’d learn none of this in an article that takes up the top of the front page of the New York Times on the Israeli water miracle

The totalitarian reign of Sheldon Adelson

Philip Weiss on

Peter Beinart says that Jewish public opinion in the U.S. doesn’t matter on Israel yet because Sheldon Adelson has too much money. But the community leadership plays an important role. A look at the totalitarian nature of the Israel lobby inside Jewish life, and how it may be breaking up.

‘Peace Now’ and ‘Breaking the Silence’ leader call on Americans to oppose peace talks (Netanyahu is ‘anathema to peace’)

Philip Weiss on

The new Israeli government is deadset against a two-state solution– as Allison Deger and the Institute for Middle East Understanding have both documented. And yet the other day the New York Times promoted a fantasy: Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu wants to enter into negotiations. Two voices from the liberal Zionist camp are saying flatly that […]

StandWithUs invests nearly half a million dollars in ongoing anti-BDS lawsuit against Olympia Food Co-Op

Phan Nguyen on

On May 28, 2015, the Washington State Supreme Court struck down the state’s anti-SLAPP law, following an appeal filed by five individuals who are suing the Olympia Food Co-op for boycotting Israeli products. The Israeli advocacy organization StandWithUs immediately hailed the decision as a “BDS Defeat,” “a major setback to the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) campaign,” and an “overwhelming victory.” But in reality the Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the plaintiffs’ case, much less on BDS.

New West Bank settlement casts light on clandestine role of international support for settlers

Hannah Sterling and Sara Anna on

Driving south from Bethlehem to Hebron on Route 60, a main settler road in the Occupied West Bank, is Beit al-Baraka, an old church compound made up of eight buildings built from Jerusalem yellow stone. Haaretz published last Friday that the site had been sold to Aryeh King, who was renovating the site in anticipation of moving settlers into it. Hannah Sterling and Sara Anna visited Beit al-Baraka and say the site shows the extent to which the settler enterprise will go to ensure the real identity and intentions of property purchases are hidden.

Despite differences, US showers Israel’s new right-wing government with arms and favors

Jonathan Cook on

Only a few weeks into Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government, the intense strain of trying to square its members’ zealotry with Israel’s need to improve its international standing is already starkly evident. While the US tries to reach a deal on Iran’s nuclear programme and revive peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel – however futile such a process may be – Israeli ministers will be in a contest to see who can make most mischief. The irony is that, just as the White House gears up for another 18 months of humiliation and sabotage from Netanyahu and his government, Obama is showering Israel with gifts, as part of its long-standing “security” doctrine.

Turning Lebanon into Gaza — Israel’s hole card against Iran deal?

Philip Weiss on

Dore Gold likens Lebanon to Gaza, and suggests Israel will have to “cut the grass” there this summer; war with Hezbollah could be Israel’s hole card on the Iran deal, as US legislators are sure to side with Israel, maybe with the help of the New York Times

Why some BDS activists are buying stock in Boeing

Katy Carlson on

While companies like Caterpillar and Hewlett-Packard have taken the center stage of the BDS movement, activism against Boeing has also been making its way to the front over the past year.

‘Oglethorpe stands with Palestine’: BDS comes to the American south (Updated)

John Yager on

On April 30, Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia became the first university in the southeastern United States to successfully pass an Israeli divestment resolution, a huge victory for supporters of the BDS movement as adversaries have shown renewed vigor in pushing for anti-BDS legislation in an attempt to stop the tactic.

West Bank Palestinians stuck in three-hour traffic jam due to Israeli settler bike race

Kate on

Ma‘an reports: Heavy traffic jams were reported along the main road between Hebron and Bethlehem on Monday as a settler bicycle race took place in the area. The 30-minute drive between the two cities took three hours as Israeli forces closed a main exit from Hebron connecting to Route 60 as settlers from Kiryat Arba took part in a race.

‘This land is ours. All of it is ours’: Meet the Netanyahu cabinet members focused on fighting BDS & annexing the West Bank

Allison Deger on

Confirmed last week Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely became the highest official in the foreign ministry, aside from Netanyahu who heads the portfolio. She will run day-to-day business, and is a vocal supporter of the greater Israel project. She is motivated by a religious belief that God gave the West Bank to the Jewish people, which she re-announced last week in her first address to the foreign ministry. In addition, another annexationist, Gilad Erdan became the public security, and the strategic affairs and hasbara minister. In his latter role, Erdan will produce public relations materials against the boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement and negotiations with Iran.

Tell Congress Now: Israeli military detention is no way to treat a child

Lynn Pollack on

Abed was only 15 years old when he was awoken late one night by a masked Israeli soldier standing over his bed pointing a rifle at him. “Wake up Habibti (my darling),” the soldier said, shortly before he blindfolded and handcuffed Abed tightly behind his back. This was the start of an ordeal that this child and his family endured when he was arrested in the middle of the night, taken to an undisclosed location, harshly interrogated and imprisoned on the suspicion of stone throwing. This grim scenario is played out in hundreds of homes each year across the West Bank. To bring attention to this horrific aspect of the Israeli occupation, the No Way to Treat a Child Campaign and the American Friends Service Committee will hold a Congressional Briefing on June 2.

Corey Robin revisits Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem

Roland Nikles on
Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt’s portrait of Adolph Eichmann is controversial to this day because it sees evil in his actions not in his underlying motivation; and Zionists are especially critical because they insist on the prevalence of anti-Semitism in Europe, as a basis for the necessity of the Jewish state

The crisis of the American Jewish community

Philip Weiss on

The American Jewish community is in crisis over Israel. Some support the state, others are sharply critical. The community used to be able to marginalize the critics, but now it is splitting, and a debate is beginning that will transform American politics of the issue.