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April 2016

‘The IDF and security forces are not murderers’

Jonathan Ofir on

Netanyahu claims that Israeli killings of Palestinians wielding knives are in self-defense and not extrajudicial executions. So why do Israelis treat a knife-wielding Jewish killer so differently?

Maryland coalition defeats anti-BDS bill in State Assembly

Mondoweiss Editors on

The Freedom2Boycott in Maryland coalition won a significant victory when the 2016 Maryland legislative session ended April 11 with no anti-boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) bill being introduced into the General Assembly.

An Israeli journalist asks, ‘What happened to the people in the photographs?’

Michaela Whitton on

Israeli photojournalist Miki Kratsman has documented the effects of Israel’s brutal occupation on Palestinian life for over three decades. Since 2011, he has uploaded over 6000 facial portraits to his ‘People I Met’ Facebook page. Captured over decades all over Gaza and the West Bank, the faces are uploaded with just the date, location and Kratsman’s simple question: “What happened to the people in the photographs?”

As right-wing incitement spreads through Israeli society, Netanyahu looks to extinguish fire he has stoked for years

Carlos Latuff on

Last week more than 5,000 Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square in a massive outpouring of support for the Israeli soldier recently indicted on manslaughter charges for executing a wounded, immobile Palestinian man in Hebron. The rally included signs featuring the motto of the Nazi SS and was the latest example of the genocidal current running through Israeli society. In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “I suggest that everyone lower the flames,” but Netanyahu himself has been stoking these flames since Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a Jewish opponent of the Oslo Accords.

Donna Edwards’s campaign unsettles the Israel lobby inside the Democratic Party

Philip Weiss on

Liberals are snickering over the explosion of the Republican Party, but why they think the Democratic Party is so stable? It’s not. Everyone in the establishment is worrying what Bernie Sanders is going to do now. His populist base is bound to become more and more voluble in months to come, amplified by social media. And of course Palestine is helping to destabilize the Democratic power structure. These tensions are evident in the electrifying, seesaw race between two Democratic Maryland congresspeople, Chris Van Hollen and Donna Edwards, to win the Democratic nomination this Tuesday to the Senate to replace Barbara Mikulski.

Another interview on Israeli TV

Alice Rothchild on

Alice Rothchild is portrayed as an extremist for supporting BDS on Israeli television, and her Facebook page lights up with rage. She responds: Israelis, you must wake up from your stupor and see how the world sees you.

Clinton’s Passover message about ‘fighting oppression’ is highly selective

Nida Hussain on

As she wooed the New York vote, Hillary Clinton chose to pen a Passover address to Jewish communities globally. In her piece Clinton claims to impart wisdom drawn from parallels she sees between the lessons from the Book of Exodus with current challenges being faced by Israel, and yet for all her worldly wisdom, it is the Former Secretary of State’s willful ignorance of the realities of life for Palestinians and the direct implications of Israeli policies fostering this reality, that shines through strongest.

The legacy of the Lesbian Feminist Seder for the Palestine solidarity movement

Brooke Lober on

The tradition of the social justice Passover, also called a “freedom seder” or “liberation seder,” has taken hold in grassroots social justice movement networks in the U.S. and beyond. In these movements, Jewish practice emerges as a liberatory spiritual and political force, and becomes intertwined with other traditions that are relevant to communities organized around struggles for justice and freedom—including justice in Palestine, an aspect of social justice seders that has become increasingly popular over the last 25 years.

Jewish anti-occupation activists arrested blocking ADL offices during Passover protest

Wilson Dizard on

Birthright got what it wanted — American Jews who care about Israel. Encouraging young American Jews to take an interest in the affairs of the Jewish state brought 17 of them on Tuesday to walk into the lobby of the Anti-Defamation League’s offices in New York City, prepare a seder on the marble floor, start dancing and singing Hebrew songs of resistance and solidarity and then calmly, still singing, feel a police officer cinch flex cuffs around their wrists and lead them back outside, take down their names — a permanent arrest record for criminal trespass — and take them to jail.

Clinton will hold fundraiser in Tel Aviv

Philip Weiss on

Bernie Sanders’s stand in favor of Palestinian human rights appears to have hurt him slightly in NY city Tuesday as he lost NY state primary. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, has gotten huge new donations from Katzenberg, Spielberg and Saban, all Israel supporters.

The end of apartheid in Israel will not destroy the country, it can only improve it

Nada Elia on

Nada Elia says she keeps hearing that if BDS accomplishes its goals and Palestinians achieve their rights then Israel will disappear. But in the same way she cannot fathom how someone would claim that “there is no South Africa” after apartheid, she says the end of a Jewish supremacist state will not be an act of destruction, but a global victory for justice.

Whose Birthright?

Sophia Goodfriend on

Tufts student Sophia Goodfriend introduces the new ‘zine ‘Whose Birthright’ which seeks to expose the politics embedded in each site visited on the Birthright Israel trip and challenge the explicitly Zionist Jewish identity that Birthright Israel imparts.

Israel destroys Bedouin village al-Araqib for the 97th time

Kate on

Israeli forces on Tuesday destroyed the unrecognized Bedouin community of al-Araqib in the Negev for the 97th time in a row, amid a record-high wave of demolitions to be carried out by Israel this year. Al-Araqib resident Salim Abu Mdeighem told Ma‘an that riot police from Israel’s Yasam unit raided the community before securing the entrance of two bulldozers that carried out the demolitions.