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July 2015

The extremism of the center in Israel

Michael Marder on

This Thursday was a day of terror in Israel. Almost immediately after an ultra-Orthodox fanatic Yishai Schlisser stabbed six people at the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade, Jewish extremists perpetrated an arson attack in the village of Douma, near Nablus, killing a one-and-a-half year-old Palestinian toddler. Both crimes were explicitly condemned by the Israeli Prime-Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu, who even expressed his “shock and horror” at the events. Yet, both would not have been possible without the climate of hatred incited by Netanyahu’s own extreme right-wing government.

Inside a CUFI Summit: Christian Zionists dance the hora and prepare for end times in Washington DC

Ben Norton on

Ben Norton remembers attending the 2014 Christians United for Israel summit held last summer at the height of the Israeli attack on Gaza. He writes, “a CUFI summit is a place where there is no distinction between church and state, between religion and nation, between faith and ideology. It is a place where the world is perpetually on the brink of absolute destruction, where Israel’s leaders—Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Ambassador Ron Dermer—warn “Islamists” are mere moments from setting the globe ablaze, and yet all their steadfast Christian supporters can do is celebrate, dance, ululate under the ecclesiastical influence, that hallowed intoxication only the Holy Spirit can induce.”

AFSC commemorates one year since attacks on Gaza with beach remembrance

Ruby Mascai-Goren and Sanah Yassin on

On July 19th, the American Friends Service Committee held a symbolic morning commemoration on Montrose Beach in Chicago to remember the children killed by the Israeli military in the summer of 2014. AFSC’s morning remembrance on Montrose Beach consisted of placing black pinwheels in the sand. Each pinwheel symbolizes a child killed, and is labeled with their name and age. AFSC chose the location of a beach to symbolize the loss of the four Baker boys who were killed by the Israeli military while they were playing soccer on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea on July 16, 2014.

What about Palestinian academic freedom?

Howard Davidson on

Howard Davidson writes: “If Palestinians’ academic freedom is to be valued as it is for Israelis, then a boycott of Israel state sponsored research and teaching is justified until the forces that deny academic freedom for Palestinians no longer exist. It is admirable to treasure academic freedom and to bristle at any suggestion of boycotts. It is hypocrisy to admonish the BDS call for academic boycott of Israeli institutions with no protest against a colonial regime that is denying Palestinian the same freedom.”

Palestinian toddler killed in settler price-tag attack

Allison Deger on

A Palestinian toddler was killed in the central West Bank village of Duma in an overnight settler arson attack that targeted two homes. Eighteen-month old Ali Saad Dawabsha died in the gasoline fire-bombings, and his mother and brother were seriously injured. The wounded were transferred by helicopter to a Israeli hospital in Jerusalem for treatment. A funeral was held in Duma this morning for Dawabsha.

Leading American writer Abulhawa is denied entry to Palestine

Annie Robbins on

Susan Abulhawa, the renowned Palestinian American novelist and political commentator, was denied entry to Palestine at the Allenby Bridge yesterday. Her wrath is on full display: “Denied entry to my homeland by a bunch of fucking Zionist colonizers who didn’t think I was sufficiently deferential. Livid.”

John Kerry, please don’t act like Israel’s foreign minister

Philip Weiss on

Asked at the Council on Foreign Relations what the Iran deal has done for us, Sec’y of State John Kerry reels off everything he’s done for Israel. James Traub’s criticism that this shows the dangerous degree of power enjoyed by Israel supporters in the U.S. is a sign that the lobby is under attack in the mainstream at last.

Sheldon Adelson bankrolls NBA player trip to Israel to fight BDS

Annie Robbins on

Israeli-born Sacramento Kings forward Omri Casspi and pro-Israel mega-donor Sheldon Adelson recently teamed up to recruit NBA stars for an anti-BDS promotional jaunt to Israel and Sports Illustrated is all over it, without mentioning the anti-BDS angle.

Amnesty: Israel committed war crimes in retaliation for capture of Israeli soldier

Ben Norton on

“What we saw was not just war,” Rafah resident Iyad Ghaboun said of Israel’s summer 2014 attack on Gaza. “It was like a meat machine making mincemeat from people without mercy.” Israel carried out war crimes and “possible crimes against humanity” in its attack on Rafah, Gaza from 1-4 August, according to a new report by Amnesty International.

‘This is our Israel, this is for the Jews. No Palestinian should come to Israel’: A Palestinian-American’s story of being detained at Ben Gurion airport

George Khoury on

George Khoury tells a harrowing story of being detained and deported from Israel’s Ben Gurion airport. Khoury, an American citizen, was attempting to visit his homeland for the first time in 21 years. Even though he was traveling with an American passport an airport security agent told him, “You belong with the Palestinian people. This is our Israel, this is for the Jews. No Palestinian should come to Israel.”

Time Warner executive moonlights as speechwriter for Netanyahu

Philip Weiss on

Gary Ginsberg, a top executive at Time Warner, is a speechwriter for Benjamin Netanyahu in his free time. Ginsberg says Time Warner is fully aware of his service but has not disclosed it because he does so in his personal capacity as a friend of Netanyahu’s.

Anniversaries: Who counts?

Alice Rothchild on

At the first anniversary of Operation Protective Edge, we are facing a crisis of memory; Israel’s massive ground, air and sea assault killed nearly 2200 Palestinians, including over 500 children, but it pales in the media discourse next to the portrayal of the Palestinians as the sole aggressors

Once we were embattled, now we are insurgent

Ahmed Moor on

Young people studying the Middle East are almost all sympathetic to the Palestinian point of view. Many are conversant on the history of the region and root causes. They understand BDS as a moral imperative. Once we were embattled; today we are insurgent.