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December 2015

A Christmas message in dark times

Richard Falk on

The Christmas spirit entails a radical reworking of identity and worldview to interrogate our own tribal and ‘patriotic’ roots and touch the other. Donald Trump isn’t helping.

‘A real Israeli doesn’t abandon his duty’

Mondoweiss Editors on

Yasmin Yablonko, an Israeli who refused army service, describes the social pressure on those Jews who don’t want to sign up for mandatory service. Abandonment of duty is a source of great social shame.

Infected by atrocity

Marc H. Ellis on

Jewish life and Judaism is divided between those who want justice and those who commit and celebrate atrocity. When do we admit that errant weeds aren’t errant at all?

Video: O little invasion of Bethlehem

Tom Suarez on

Skunk gas, a foul substance that smells like feces and rotting flesh, is sprayed indiscriminately over Bethlehem during a routine Israeli army incursion into the village in December 2015. And young men have to ask soldiers for permission to move where they want to.

Israeli settlers at a wedding party cheer burning of Palestinian baby

Allison Deger on

Israeli police have opened an investigation into a group of extremist Israelis who recorded themselves rejoicing over the killing of a Palestinian baby by stabbing a photograph of the toddler who was burned alive earlier this year. Footage of the incident aired on Israeli news stations last night, depicting a wedding party in a West Bank settlement waving knives and guns in the air while singing “we will take revenge on the Palestinians.”

2015 in Pictures: What Mondoweiss Showed The World

Tova Perlmutter on

See a sample some of the amazing photographs published by Mondoweiss in 2015. Some shots portray victories, some the depths of despair or fury, and others simply the human moments of family and work life. We are proud to provide a channel by which these vital images reach so many people. The world needs to see these images, and so many more. Please contribute today so that Mondoweiss can continue to share the Images That Power Justice. With a week to go toward the goal of $90,000, we are on track to achieve it!

Your brain on Zionism

Katie Miranda on

Katie Miranda explores the mental process of an Israel supporter on campus.

European legal experts call on EU to stop trading with settlements

Mondoweiss Editors on

An open letter signed by dozens of prominent legal scholars calls on the European Union to stop trading with Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. This letter comes in the wake of the EU decision to label settlement products. However, as the international law experts confirm, the EU and its member states have a firm obligation under international law to stop trading with settlements altogether.

The occupation mentality, in Chicago and Palestine

Todd E. Pierce on

Israel’s government is selling a policing model to gullible or authoritarian-leaning U.S. police officials as a legitimate domestic policing model when, in fact, it is a military model of the sort used by militaristic, authoritarian regimes. Chicago’s police have adopted some of these methods

UN: 47% of Gaza households were food insecure in 2014

Kate on

An emergency report published by he UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) revealed that 47% of Palestinian households in the Gaza Strip were food insecure in 2014.

UC divests from private prisons — thanks to Afrikan Black Coalition

Mondoweiss Editors on

Due to pressure from the Afrikan Black Coalition (ABC), a coalition of Black student groups on University of California campuses, UC will have all holdings in private prisons sold by December 31st, 2015. The three corporations are Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), Geo Group, and G4S. G4S has been targeted by the BDS movement and profits from incarceration and deportation in Palestine as well as the US.

The most memorable stories of 2015

Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz on
Mohammed Zaidan

What are your most memorable stories of 2015? We are highlighting Interviews That Power Justice, stories published over the past several months that illuminate the life-and-death choices, daily struggles and heroic resistance of life under Israeli occupation. If you agree that the world needs to hear these stories, please contribute today to Mondoweiss’s year-end campaign. With your help, we can reach our goal of $90,000 and unlock the remarkable $50,000 Challenge Fund that can move our work to the next level.

Video: Days before Christmas, Bethlehem erects ‘resistance tree’ outside Nativity Church

Sheren Khalel and Abed Al Qaisi on

Tourists, political leaders, activists and residents of Bethlehem gathered right in front of the Nativity Church Thursday night with an unusual message. With Christmas just days away, the city of Bethlehem erected what they call a “Resistance Tree” — an olive tree which was recently uprooted by Israeli forces from a nearby neighborhood, was placed in the center of the main square, overlooking the towering Christmas tree and historical Nativity church. Instead of baubles and tinsel, the Resistance Tree was decorated with tear gas canisters clinking together like bells, photos of Palestinians recently killed or detained, Palestinian national scarves and sling shots.

Families in Gaza face harrowing winter in makeshift homes as reconstruction stalls

Matthew Vickery on

Up and down the Gaza Strip thousands of families are experiencing winter in freezing conditions, some living in makeshift homes and others in what remains of their homes after Israel’s deadly assault on the besieged Strip. Reconstruction efforts from last year’s war remain stalled despite promises made by Arab nations such as Qatar, United Arab Emirates and others to provide funds. Suad Najar, mother to eight children, says, “I have no idea how long I have to live like this. I can’t see an end right now.”

Students and academics challenge the ‘Palestine exception’ to free speech in the US

Megan Hanna on

The university is often imagined to be a utopian space where academic debates are freely and fiercely waged, traditional orthodoxies are challenged and marginalized opinions can be voiced without fear of personal attack. However, a disturbing movement across US campuses has been repressing pro-Palestinian free speech, and attacks those who are peacefully advocating human rights. A new report documents burgeoning attacks on pro-Palestinian human rights advocates in the US, with most of the victims being students and scholars.

Christmas in Bethlehem

Sheren Khalel and Abed Al Qaisi on

Over the weekend in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, men dressed as Santa Claus marched to the towering separation wall on a mission — to bring candy and gifts to Jerusalem. As marchers reached the wall, they were blocked by fully armed Israeli soldiers who know well that cameras from agencies around the world were pointed at them. Eventually, Israeli forces retreated behind the wall, shooting tear gas at the Santas from concrete towers. “We knew this would happen,” one of the Santas told Mondoweiss. “We didn’t expect to be allowed through, but it’s important we do something to show the world what’s happening here while people are looking our city. This is Bethlehem, tear gas and soldiers and walls and occupation. This is the holy land.”