The writers’ organization PEN urges Enrique Iglesias not to play Azerbaijan because of its political prisoners, but it accepts money from Israel as a “champion” of its world voices festival, even as Marilyn Hacker, Richard Ford and Junot Diaz urge it not to accept the money.
Monthly Archives: April 2016
Two 14-year-old Palestinian girls are the latest to be accused of attempting an attack on occupying Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint in a Palestinian village. One girl was shot and is in serious condition, the other was arrested.
Legendary investigative journalist Sy Hersh says that Bernie Sanders’s freedom from having to go to pro-Israel NY Jews to raise money to mount a presidential race may allow the United States to finally get a peace deal in the Middle East. “A forbidden statement,” he tells Amy Goodman
Wilson Dizard reports from Washington DC where Donald Trump gave a speech this week outlining his foreign policy: “The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony,” Trump said. That was kind of the scariest thing he said, and also the most indicative of his white, christian-ness trumping the constitution, a document designed in a secular spirit to defuse the deep religious rivalries between Europeans in the New World. It specifically prohibits religious tests, but one of Trump’s main platforms is the banning of Muslims from entering the country. Trump embraces Western values, but all the worst ones. The ones that put Westerners first and everyone else second.”
Officials of Brooklyn’s Park Slope Food Coop issue a crazy fiat: to “stop scheduling any events related to SodaStream, BDS, Israel or boycotts related to these subjects in the meeting room.” The censorship begins after a meeting this Sunday about SodaStream’s new facility in the Negev and the treatment of Bedouins there.
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A Vice News report claiming to expose a “leaked” Israeli military investigation into last month’s execution of a Palestinian man in Hebron is actually a regurgitation of the official Israeli government line disseminated shortly after the killing, and part of an effort to portray the killer as a bad apple, rather than a soldier following orders.
Aluf Benn urges Israeli elites to fight BDS because it will transform Israel into a state of its citizens, possibly ending up with an Arab prime minister. But that’s what decolonization means.
A photo taken by the Christian Peacemaker Team shows Palestinian men being detained at a checkpoint in Hebron while Israeli soldiers take a group selfie.
If Sheldon Adelson would buy the world, then Jeffrey Goldberg would be alright. But his troubles are beginning. He is a ruthless propagandist for Israel at a time when young American Jews don’t think it’s cool to shoot wounded Palestinians dead in the name of ethnic solidarity.
Peter Beinart shows how Zionism puts Jews in a double bind: raised to oppose injustice but required to support Israel.
Sandy Tolan analyses the remaining Republican presidential candidate’s views on Israel/Palestine. Donald Trump, despite his wish to be “sort of a neutral guy” on the issue, has adopted the standard Likudnik call to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. John Kasich, for all his “likeable guy” rhetoric, offers up a standard blame-the-victim narrative driven largely by hard right Reagan-era advisers and neocon engineers of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. While Ted Cruz, as virulently pro-Israel as any candidate, it is not about the traditional AIPAC alliance. Of course, he loves AIPAC, but for Cruz, Christian Zionism is the key.
Why is the New York Times touting Matti Friedman, who has said critics of Israel are anti-Semitic, as “temperate and careful” while ignoring authors such as Max Blumenthal, Ilan Pappe, and Anna Baltzer?
American forces have adopted Israeli military tactics employed in Gaza of dropping cautionary leaflets and knocker bombs intended to warn civilians of incoming attacks. The method was used outside of Mosul in a recent operation, yet a woman and a child were killed upon re-entering a building shortly after it was targeted by a hellfire missile. The deaths were disclosed by a Department of Defense official in a briefing yesterday on expanding U.S. forces in Iraq as it battles fighters with the Islamic State.
Ma‘an reports, “Israeli authorities closed the Kerem Shalom crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel from Thursday for the end of the Jewish holiday of Passover. Head of the PA’s Crossings and Border Department, Nathmi Mhanna, told Ma‘an the crossing would be sealed until Sunday with the exception of fuel entering the besieged enclave.”
Pulitzer Prize laureate Michael Chabon’s recent interview in which he describes the horrors he witnessed while on a tour of Hebron has been circulated amongst Palestinian-rights activists like brush fire, often prefaced with an explanation that he is a “Jewish-American writer.” Nada Elia says, “Israel does not now, and indeed never did, speak for all Jews. It is time we put an end to that myth by putting an end to the celebration of Jewish voices denouncing Zionism as ‘exceptional,’ or ‘heroic.’ They belong with all other such voices, and must magnify, rather than occupy, the Palestinian narrative.”
MD Rep. Chris Van Hollen got into office opposing the Iraq war and in 2006 said Israel’s disproportionate response in Lebanon was hurting the United States. Then AIPAC got him over its knee! And today Van Hollen is the Democratic Senate nominee for Maryland, with the Israel lobby’s support.
Hamas scored another victory on Wednesday at Birzeit University in the occupied West Bank, winning 25 seats in the university’s student elections. The university, considered the most liberal of all campuses in the West Bank, is seen as an indicator for the political climate across the West Bank.
In a wide-ranging interview, Norman Finkelstein says the Palestinians are, at this moment, a defeated people, they should recall the success of the first intifada, and “I used to live for my teaching” but has not had a job in ten years.
In Tuesday’s Maryland primary, out-going U.S. Representative Donna Edwards lost her insurgent bid against establishment Democrat Christopher Van Hollen for the party’s nomination for senate. Edwards has been one of the few lawmakers to take a stand for Palestinian rights, and would have been only the second African-American woman to serve in the senate. In her concession speech Tuesday night Edwards slammed economic inequality, racial inequality and pay disparities for women. “It is time for us to have our seat the table as women and workers, as black and brown people, as communities of color. We are no longer content to have you make the decisions for us,” she said, after announcing it was time for Democrats to ask where marginalized communities fit in its “big tent.”
For the second time in 16 months, Israelis arrested a renowned Palestinian astrophysicist, Imad Barghouti. The last time it was because of his Facebook posts, and an international campaign helped to free him over the issue of freedom of expression.
Israeli forces killed two Palestinians, a woman and a minor, Wednesday morning at Qalandia checkpoint in Jerusalem after the female threw knife at border officials, according to a preliminary Israeli police investigation.
Students at the American University of Beirut have been organizing on campus since AUB President Fadlo Khuri canceled the hiring of Professor Steven Salaita based on accusations of ‘procedural irregularities’ during the hiring process. As a #StudentsforSalaita press release explained, “Students are concerned this controversy follows Salaita’s persecution at UIUC, as well as the changing perspectives within the administration on the legitimacy of pro-Palestinian scholars.”
This past week the NYU Graduate Employee Union (GSOC-UAW 2110) and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Graduate Employee Union (GEO-UAW 2322), both representing 2,000 members each, endorsed by full membership vote the call from all major Palestinian trade unions and civil society groups to impose Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. These resolutions by aspiring educators of future generations significantly contribute to the already evolving discourse on justice for Palestinians.
Hillary Clinton’s views of Israel are dictated by AIPAC and have nothing to do with the “mythology” of shared values, says Miko Peled; but a grassroots movement of Palestinian solidarity and BDS activists is changing the US conversation and in the end will force politicians to adopt more evenhanded views.