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August 2015

Gaza Ministry of Health: Hospitals on the verge of collapse

Kate on

Ma’an and MEMO report: The healthcare system in the Gaza Strip is on the verge of collapse, Gaza’s Ministry of Health said Monday, warning that hospitals could stop operating within hours due to the territory’s energy crisis. Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesperson for the ministry, said that “Shifa Hospital, Kamal Adwan hospital, the European Gaza Hospital, and Rantisi Hospital could stop offering services because they are about to run out of fuel.” The Ministry holds the national unity government accountable for any harm that may befall their patients due to “the government’s lack of responsibility.”

One year later, Gaza is still in crisis

Robert Ross on

Robert Ross reports from a recent trip to Gaza: “Indeed, despite 12 months of relative peace, Gazans are still enduring the aftermath of three Israeli wars in the past six years, an ongoing Israeli and Egyptian imposed blockade, a crippled economy, and internal political strife. “Everyone here—100 percent of the people—are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder,” Hamza said. Just moments earlier, he and his brother instinctively ducked their heads upon hearing a nearby firework explode. This sentiment was echoed numerous times by the doctors, public health officials, journalists, artists, and aid workers I spoke with throughout my visit to Gaza.”

Etgar Keret sometimes worries about what’s happening to Palestinians

Claire Paddock on

Israeli writer Etgar Keret’s new memoir, The Seven Good Years, has been almost universally lauded in the U.S. Claire Paddock finds it to be a justification of Jewish privilege and state violence with a self-indulgent manner, reminiscent of the French aristocracy before the deluge

51 Christian faith leaders urge Congress to vote for Iran Deal

Mondoweiss Editors on

51 Christian leaders representing dozens of denominations and Christian organizations sent a letter to Congress today, urging lawmakers to vote in favor of the Vienna agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program. The letter, signed by leaders from all the major streams of Christianity in the United States— Roman Catholic, evangelical, mainline Protestant and Orthodox, warns lawmakers that “rejection of this deal would be a rejection of the historic progress our diplomats have made to make this world a safer place.”

‘NYT’ and Chris Matthews are frank about Jewish role in Iran Deal debate

Philip Weiss on

Why not outsource our foreign policy to the Knesset? Chris Matthews challenged a Republican opponent to the Iran deal, and when Jonathan Capehart said Chuck Schumer opposed the deal after study, Matthews said Schumer opposed it because he’s “going to defend the interests of Israel”

4,500 killed in Yemen in 150 Days of Saudi-led bombing

Ben Norton on

Approximately 4,500 people have been killed in Yemen since the Saudi-led coalition began bombing 150 days ago, according to the UN. An average of 30 people have been killed in Yemen every single day since the beginning of the war on March 26, which pits a US-backed coalition of Middle Eastern nations and forces loyal to President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi against Iran-backed Houthi rebels and fighters loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

How my return to Zimbabwe redoubled my enthusiasm for BDS in Israel/Palestine

James North on

James North writes: “I recently returned to Zimbabwe for the first time in three decades. My visit reminded me that even the best intentioned liberation movements can turn bad, an insight that might be relevant to Israel/Palestine today. In fact, witnessing Zimbabwe’s decline has made me an even more determined supporter of BDS as the best — possibly the only — way to promote lasting justice in Israel/Palestine.”

Israeli begins construction of Jewish-only town on ruins of demolished Bedouin village

Kate on

Ma‘an reports: Israeli excavators on Sunday morning began work on infrastructure for two Jewish-only settlements in the former Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev desert in southern Israel, locals said. Locals told Ma‘an that excavators and bulldozers were building a new road under heavy protection of Israeli forces.

Beinart’s fear of ‘Israstine’

Philip Weiss on

Peter Beinart says a one-state future in Israel and Palestine is utopian because the Jewish-Palestinian army of “Israstine” would soon descend into civil war. He should stop bringing up bogeymen and look at the Israeli army today, which institutionalizes racism worse than the U.S. army pre-1948.

Racism is part of the landscape in the southern Israeli town of Dimona (Updated)

Dan Cohen on

To American sensibilities, the Negev town of Dimona, Israel recalls the Jim Crow south. Throughout through the town of 33,000, racist graffiti can be seen in abundance on signs, walls and buildings. “Death to Arabs” is a common sight, and stickers promoting Lehava, the state-funded anti-miscegenation group, are posted around town.

Omar Barghouti on Matisyahu: ‘Perfectly reasonable to oppose performance by any bigot’

Ben Norton on

Jewish American rapper Matisyahu (the stage name of Matthew Paul Miller) was disinvited from a music festival in Spain because of his support for Israel. Organizers of the Rototom Sunsplash European Reggae Festival say they were pressured to cancel the performance by supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement—an international movement that, through peaceful economic means, seeks to pressure Israel to abide by international law and ends its illegal military occupation of the Palestinians. After Spain’s foreign ministry condemned the cancellation of the performance, the festival apologized and re-invited Matisyahu. Denying accusations that the decision to cancel Matisyahu’s performance was motivated in any way by anti-Semitism, Spanish BDS activists maintain that they objected to Matisyahu’s “incitement to racial hatred and his defense of Israeli war crimes, including in his lyrics,” and “his hateful and racist views that dehumanize Palestinians and justify their oppression.”

Server Update: Posts & Comments on Hold

Mondoweiss Editors on

Alert! It’s time for some housekeeping around here and we are switching servers. This means that as of 2 pm EDT on Friday, August 21 all posting and comments will be put on hold until all files are moved over to the new server. See you soon!

Palestinians struggle to leave Gaza as Egypt opens Rafah crossing for four days

Isra Saleh El-Namy on

Egypt recently opened the Rafah crossing with Gaza for four days; the first time it had been open in over two months. Isra Saleh El-Namy interviews people trying to leave Gaza through Rafah, including families trying to receive medical treatment, students attempting to return to school and workers hoping to return to jobs. Suhaib Sameh, a university student who had been stranded in Gaza says, “I started to feel as if I am living in a nightmare.”

Jimmy Carter says Netanyahu has turned his back on peace

Philip Weiss on

“The government of Israel has no desire for a two-state solution, which is the policy of all the other nations in the world,” Jimmy Carter said today, when describing his greatest hope for the world, peace for Israel and its neighbors