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March 2016

Similar to the West Bank, Gaza’s workers protest to demand fair pay

Isra Saleh El-Namy on

Mahmoud Matter says that participating in demonstrations held by the workers’ syndicate in Gaza is his only hope to receive his wages. He has been employed by the Ministry of Health since 2010, but has not yet received a full wage. “I go early to my work every day, and do my best to efficiently do my duty and serve my people. But instead of being honored by receiving my salary, I am left to demonstrate and shout in order to get my right of a salary,” Matter said. “We are blackmailed in political splits, and left prone to extortion so that our leaders can achieve their narrow political interests,” he added.

Israeli army stations dedicated PR officer at site of Hebron execution

Dan Cohen on

Dan Cohen visits the site Abed al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif was executed in Hebron and finds a representative from the IDF Spokesperson Unit stationed there to prevent journalists from speaking to combat soldiers. As locals tell Cohen what occurred during the killing a young Israeli settler tells a Palestinian showing Cohen the area, “My father will kill you.”

Palestinians march in Negev to protest Bedouin evictions on 40th ‘Land Day’ commemoration

Allison Deger on

Palestinian citizens of Israel today marked “Land Day,” an annual commemoration of protests that began 40 years ago on March 30, 1976 when Israeli police killed six during a demonstration over land confiscations. As in years past, a general strike was announced for one day, and thousands protested in the north and the south of the country in opposition to a similar looming round of land expropriations.

Palestinians commemorate 40th anniversary of Land Day

Sheren Khalel and Abed Al Qaisi on

Palestinians across the occupied West Bank on Wednesday gathered to commemorate the 40th anniversary of “Land Day.” The first Land Day, on March 30, 1976, saw thousands of Palestinians take to the streets in protest of the confiscation of thousands of acres of Palestinian land in the northern Galilee region of Israel. During the protest, six demonstrators were shot dead and over 100 were wounded. Forty years later, Palestinians are still taking to the streets in protest of massive Israeli land grabs.

Netanyahu and Sen. Leahy tangle over Israel’s killing of Hadeel Hashlamoun, 18

Philip Weiss on

The horrifying killing of 18-year-old Hadeel al-Hashlamoun at an Israeli checkpoint in occupied Hebron last September has at last become a public issue in the U.S. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy has called on the State Department to determine whether the killing, and several other Israeli “extrajudicial killings,” violated the Leahy law.

Wit, Conflict and other Entanglements: A discussion with Palestinian filmmaker Muayad Alayan

Silvia Hassouna on

Silvia Hassoun interviews Palestinian filmmaker Muayad Alayan about his first feature film Love, Theft and other Entanglements, which presents a fresh and innovative way to look at the reality of occupation in Palestine. Alayan says, “We wanted to create a story that is somehow unreal like a fairy tale. Not because the characters and their problems are not real, they are very real, but because we wanted to express a state of mind and a feeling that I myself go through everyday living under occupation. My generation, the post-Oslo generation, we are really exploring the dark comedy and sarcasm.”

Eric Alterman contradicts himself about anti-Semitism on campus

James North on

Eric Alterman says he’s never heard “a single anti-Semitic syllable uttered” in 12 years on the CUNY faculty. Then he asserts without evidence that there is “no doubt” anti-Semitism at campuses across the U.S. Which is it?

‘We don’t want to find ourselves in a position like apartheid South Africa’: A report from Israel’s first national conference against BDS

Antony Loewenstein on

One of Israel’s biggest newspapers, Yedioth Ahronoth, staged the country’s first national conference against the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in Jerusalem. Antony Loewenstien reports, “It was a surreal day, filled with determination to defeat BDS, but participants were seemingly incapable of truly understanding why the movement was surging globally. Fear, paranoia, anger and determination was ubiquitous amongst the panelists and audience. BDS could never have imagined a more high-profile advertisement for its agenda.”

Senior advisor to Clinton calls Obama’s rationale for withdrawal from Mideast ‘strange, bizarre, illogical, odd’

Philip Weiss on

Last night Tamara Cofman Wittes, a senior adviser on the Middle East to Hillary Clinton, said that a statement President Obama made about the US withdrawing from the Middle East earlier this month was “strange… bizarre, illogical… odd” and reflected “inconsistency and incoherence.” Wittes spoke at Columbia University on a panel about Israel. She said: […]

The occupation of the American mind, documented

Abba Solomon on

The new documentary “The Occupation of the American Mind,” narrated by Roger Waters, asks when US public opinion will shift on Israeli treatment of Palestinians and what it will take for the media to shift from reflexive pro-Israel reports.

Right to education, from Pine Ridge to Palestine

Osama Mor, Amira Sakalla and Kristian Davis Bailey on

Next week the 2016 Right to Education tour will arrive in the United States. During the first two weeks in April students from universities across Palestine will be speaking at American university campuses about their experiences studying under Israeli occupation and the impact of colonialism on their education. Organizers are putting a spotlight on two locations the tour will be arriving in this year: The University of Hawaii and the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Both of these locations reflect the long history of US settler-colonization and their inclusion in the tour aims to accentuate the continuing struggle of both the Kanaka Maoli and Oglala Sioux indigenous peoples.

Obama said in Cuba what he couldn’t say in Palestine

Philip Weiss on

In Cuba, President Obama revealed himself as a man of the left who cares about racial justice, human rights, and not being trapped by colonial history. His bold statements apply to Palestine too, but the president will just have to settle for opening Cuba.

Video: Meet the brave shoemaker who filmed Israeli soldier executing a Palestinian

Philip Weiss on

Imad Abu Shamsiyah, the Palestinian who shot the video of an Israeli soldier executing a Palestinian youth in Hebron last week, is a shoemaker who says he will never leave his house despite pressure of Jewish settlers, even though he needs to present his number, 242, at a checkpoint in order to enter the ghetto he lives in.

Rejected by Brazil, Israeli settler leader Dani Dayan given diplomatic post in US

Allison Deger on

Last year Brazil refused to accept Israel’s bid for settler leader Dani Dayan to become the country’s next Israeli ambassador. According to a statement from Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office today, Dayan will now take a post in U.S. as the newest Consul General in New York instead.

Reflections on the Brussels attack

Richard Falk on

Richard Falk writes that the Brussels attack for which ISIS claimed responsibility exhibits the new face of 21st century warfare for which there are no front lines, no path to military victory, and acute civilian vulnerability. As such, it represents a radical challenge to our traditional understanding of warfare, and unless responses are shaped by these realities, it could drive Western democracies step by step into an enthused political embrace and revived actuality of fascist politics.

Netanyahu defends Israeli military after soldier caught on tape executing Palestinian: ‘Any challenge to the morality of the IDF is outrageous’

Kate on
Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the Israeli army Sunday as controversy gripped the country over a soldier caught on video shooting a Palestinian in the head as he lay on the ground: “Any challenge to the morality of the IDF is outrageous and unacceptable. The soldiers of the IDF, our children, maintain high ethical values while courageously fighting against bloodthirsty murderers under difficult operational conditions.”

Hebron settlers file complaint against Palestinian who filmed execution

Dan Cohen on

Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bentzi Gopstein, far-right settlers and followers of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, have filed a complaint with Israeli police against Emad Abu Shamsiya, the Palestinian videographer who captured the execution of an incapacitated Palestinian suspect in Hebron. In their letter to the police, they claim that Abu Shamsiya’s presence during the killing is no coincidence, but was coordinated with the alleged attack in order to capture damning video.