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February 2016

Israel’s ethnic cleansing of its parliament

Jonathan Cook on

Benjamin Netanyhu’s government is drafting legislation that ought to resolve in observers’ minds the question of whether Israel is the democracy it proudly claims to be. It breathes new life into the phrase “tyranny of the majority”. But in this case, the majority will be Jewish MPs oppressing their Palestinian colleagues.

Israeli farms exploit Thai workers and Palestinian children as government looks the other way

Matthew Vickery on

Matthew Vickery reports from Israeli farms in the northern Negev and occupied Jordan Valley where Thai workers and Palestinian children work long hours, in often dangerous and hazardous situations, all for less than the legal Israeli minimum wage. “This is not what I expected,” Dusit Doting says as he stands with other Thai workers outside the white shipping container they now call home.

All eyes are on Sheldon Adelson, and even Trump courts him with Israel rant

Philip Weiss on

The press is focused on Sheldon Adelson’s failure to publicly commit to a Republican candidate this year. Speculation is he wants to see if Marco Rubio can win a primary, that his wife likes Ted Cruz, and that he’s already secretly giving money to a Rubio-favoring PAC. But don’t count Donald Trump out. He also courts Adelson with pro-Israel rant on Hannity’s radio show.

Having a settler for neighbor in Hebron

Sabrina Tucci on

The Jabari family lives in the Hebron neighborhood of Wadi Al Hussein, between the illegal Israeli settlements of Kiryat Arba and the Giva Ha’avot. Since 2001, the family has been fighting a legal battle to regain control of their land after settlers illegally built a “Synagogue Tent” on it. Ayat Jabari explains, “When we first came here they [the settlers] stabbed my little brother in the stomach, then hit another of my brothers on his eyes. Another time they pushed my father from the hill and he broke his shoulder. Every day, every night they throw stones at us.” Jabari says the settlers want the land so they can connect up the different settlements in the city center with those on the outskirts.

Georgia is the latest state to consider anti-BDS legislation (Updated)

Anna Simonton on

A rash of state legislation targeting the Boycott Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement continues to spread. A Georgia lawmaker recently introduced a bill that mirrors legislation pending in six other states in an effort to outlaw government contracts with businesses that boycott Israel. “These bills exist because the BDS movement is growing in the U.S., and that’s making Israel’s fiercest advocates nervous,” said Rahul Saksena, an attorney at Palestine Legal, which has tracked anti-BDS legislation.

J Street is in denial of one-state ‘consensus’

Phil Weiss and Stephen R. Low on

J Street denounces Tom Friedman’s announcement that there’s one state in Israel and Palestine, but it won’t take its own members over to the West Bank. Doing so would make it clear as day that the two-state solution is past; and J Street’s stance is delusory. The organization wants Jews to sing HaTikvah (The Hope) for Zionism, when that hope has plainly curdled.

Viral video says BDS supporters want to shoot the bible and Dannon yogurt

Phil Weiss and Annie Robbins on

Pro-Israel video tailored to Christian Zionists shows a young Mississippian indoctrinated by the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement shooting up his possessions made in Israel till a friend points the gun at a bible and says BDS movement wants to boycott God and the bible

Israel demolishes only elementary school for Bedouin community in Jerusalem

Kate on

Israeli bulldozers predawn Sunday demolished an elementary school and seized all its contents in Abu al-Nawwar Bedouin community, east of Jerusalem, according to one of the Bedouin locals. In addition, Israel has razed over 200 EU-funded buildings in the West Bank in the past two years. This year alone around 480 people, including 220 children, have been left homeless.

Documentary feature ‘Killing Gaza’ needs your help

Dan Cohen on

Help support “Killing Gaza,” a new documentary feature by Dan Cohen and Max Blumenthal that aims to create an unflinching and uncompromising portrayal of the daily Israeli violence wrought upon Gaza and the complicity of Western governments.

‘NYT’ article on roots of recent violence in Israel/Palestine fails to use the word ‘occupation’

Dan Cohen on

The New York Times published an aesthetically engaging interactive titled “Roots of the Recent Violence Between Israelis and Palestinians” that attempts to explain the situation since October 1st. Rife with cliches and pro-Israel talking points, the piece fails to use the word “occupation” and tacitly lends support to Israel’s policy of land grabs and ghettoizing Palestinians behind walls.

Jews aren’t special

Jonathan Ofir on

Anti-semitism confirmed the belief that Jews are special, for many Zionists and secular Jews. We are not special. Any human can be brought to the abyss of nationalist absolutism and totalitarianism. Any religion can be applied in a way that accentuates the exclusivist ideological stream. If we let that idea haunt us to the degree of uncontrolled survivalist frenzy, we will be undermining our own future and fulfilling the next doom prophecy.

Did dodging foreign policy doom Bernie Sanders?

Peter Feld on

For a few magic weeks, Bernie Sanders was taken seriously as a presidential candidate with a chance to win – a huge watershed for a self-avowed socialist. But after falling short (even if slightly) in Iowa and Nevada, and with no friendly states on the horizon, Sanders is back in protest candidacy territory. Could taking on Hillary Clinton’s warlike foreign policy, which Sanders stubbornly refused to do, have changed the game?

Video: Israeli police continue firing after Palestinian attacker is incapacitated

Allison Deger on

Israeli police fired several rounds into an incapacitated Palestinian after he stabbed officers near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate yesterday morning. Two Israeli soldiers were lightly wounded in the attack. A team from Al Jazeera captured the killing as it unfolded in the background of their rolling cameras, astonished by the quantity of live-fire shot into the downed Palestinian.

Videos: Proof of Sanders’s lifelong anti-racist activism breaks on eve of Nevada Caucus

Annie Robbins on

Today is the Nevada caucus, an exciting day for people on the edge of their seats following Nevada’s dead heat race between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton for the Democratic primary. On the heels of Sanders ascension in the national polls comes breaking news from the Chicago Tribune archives — photographic evidence of Sanders being arrested as a young civil rights activist.

Shukrallah Karam: a hero and healer of south Lebanon

Hicham Safieddine on

Shukrallah Karam, 63, was killed by Israeli forces in south Lebanon in February 1977, 39 years ago, because he was a doctor who refused to flee when people needed him. His actions and beliefs embodied the secular politics of national unity and economic development that animated progressive forces in Lebanon prior to the civil war in 1975, before they were gradually replaced by virulent sectarianism.