Trending Topics:

Monthly Archives:
May 2016

Israel is at war over nature of a Jewish state, and NYT spins it as ‘changing of the guard’

Yakov Hirsch on

Israeli leadership is in crisis over the nature of the Jewish state, with leaders saying the political culture is reminiscent of Nazi Germany; and a NY Times editorial that treats the events as a political reshuffling is an embarrassing and obfuscating contribution to the discourse. What will it take for the Times to stop making the most preposterously generous interpretations of Israeli actions?

After 68 years of Nakba, is coexistence still possible?

Mohammed Alhammami on
Palestinian boy climbs through an opening in Israel's separation barrier in Shuafat near Jerusalem. February, 2009. (Photo: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

Mohammed Alhammami recalls stories he heard growing up of Jews, Muslims and Christians living alongside each other in historic Palestine as one people, not divided factions. But he wonders what about now? Can Jews and Palestinians (Christians and Muslims alike) really coexist in the Holy Land, after 68 years of Nakba?

Sanders appoints Palestine advocates to committee drafting Democrat’s 2016 platform

Wilson Dizard on

Advocates for the rights of Palestinians will join Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in Philadelphia this July for the Democratic National convention, part of his five selections for the fifteen member Executive Committee drafting the Democrats’ 2016 platform. Three of the five selected have expressed skepticism about Israel. According to The Washington Post, they are James Zogby, the head of the Arab American Institute; Cornel West, a social justice activist and author critical of Israel, and Minn. Rep. Keith Ellison, one of only two Muslims in congress. “Our lives depend on the outcome of this election. The stakes are much higher for us,” said Linda Sarsour, co-founder of the Muslim Democratic Club of New York, a Palestinian-American born in Brooklyn who has been a vocal surrogate for Sanders during his campaign.

French premier says ‘loathing of Jews’ is behind BDS

Philip Weiss on

Two irresponsible charges of anti-Semitism are leveled against Israel critics. French premier Manuel Valls says BDS is based on anti-semitism, while the Asheville Citzen-Times runs a letter defaming human rights activist Jeff Halper as an anti-Semite.

‘New York Times’ finally tells its readers: Netanyahu is ‘dangerous’

Philip Weiss and Yakov Hirsch on

A NYT article by Ronen Bergman says Israel’s top military leaders regard Benjamin Netanyahu as a religious, ideological ambitious man who seeks “belligerent” solutions to problems. Then why is Hillary Clinton saying she wants to invite this “dangerous” man to the White House in her first month as president?

Religious zealots ready for takeover of Israeli army

Jonathan Cook on

In a surprise move, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week forced out his long-serving defense minister, Moshe Yaalon. As he stepped down, Yaalon warned: “Extremist and dangerous elements have taken over Israel.” He was referring partly to his expected successor, Avigdor Lieberman, and Israeli commentators pointed out that the new government will be the most extreme in Israel’s history. Less noticed however has been the gradual and parallel takeover of Israel’s security institutions by those espousing the ideology of the settlers – known in Israel as the national-religious camp.

‘His only crime was that he’s not Jewish’: Israeli police caught on video attacking Palestinian in Tel Aviv

Kate on

Off-duty Border Police officers in civilian clothes savagely assaulted a Palestinian supermarket worker in central Tel Aviv on Sunday after he refused to identify himself because he didn’t know who they were, according to eyewitnesses. “The blows were murderous, from the guy and from one of his friends. I’ve never seen anything like it. Teeth were flying through the air. The Arab was torn apart,” Erez Krispin, an eyewitness, wrote in a Facebook post.

Video: Gaza family mourns children who burned to death

Dan Cohen on

On May 7, 2016, fire broke out in the Abu al-Hindi home in Gaza’s Shati (Beach) refugee camp. Started by a tipped candle, the flames grew quickly grew out of control. Three children, Yusra, 3, Rahaf, 2, and Nasser, 6 months, perished in the burning house, and Muhannad, 8, was severely burned. Ali, 6, is the only survivor without physical injuries but lives with deep psychological trauma. The fire is a direct result of severe electricity shortages due to the ongoing and tightening Israeli/Egyptian since and repeated Israeli military assaults.

Palestinian jailed for Facebook post casts light on PA attacks on free speech

Allison Deger on

When the plain-clothed men came for him, Kifah Quzmar, 27, did not need to be told why they were dragging him out of a popular Ramallah cafe on a sunny afternoon last week. “Call my brother,” he told bystanders before being tossed into the back of a tinted SUV parked outside. “The muhaberat are rotten,” Quzmar wrote on Facebook two weeks before he was detained, using the Arabic colloquial term for undercover Palestinian intelligence agents. In the West Bank, such words are a punishable offensive under a 1960 Jordanian law still on the books making illegal “insulting a public official.” The crime carries a maximum of a six-month prison sentence.

‘This is not an environment to learn’: Palestinian college struggles to exist next to IDF training ground

Steven Davidson on

Welcome to Khadoori Institute. Located on the pre-1967 border with Israel in the city of Tulkarem, this Palestinian agricultural and technical college has lost 200 dunams of land to Israel’s separation wall and neighbors an Israeli chemical factory that was built in the occupied territories to circumvent environmental laws. In the 1990s the IDF took 23 dunums of school property to place a military training field on Khadoori’s campus and since tensions rekindled in October 2015, soldiers have shot at protesting students on campus with live bullets, rubber bullets, tear gas, pepper spray gas, and also sprayed skunk liquid over university buildings.

Israeli leader’s ‘extremism’ charge makes headlines around the world — but 10th paragraph in New York Times!

James North and Philip Weiss on

“Extremist and dangerous elements have taken over Israel and also the Likud Party and have shaken the house and are threatening to hurt the inhabitants,” Defense Minister Ya’alon says in resigning. The shocking statement makes headlines around the world, but the New York Times treats the story like the CT governor’s race, and buries the “extremism” quote.

Joint List MK: Lieberman deal reveals ‘the real face of Netanyahu’

Emily Mulder on

Amid mass political upheaval this week, the Israeli prime minister’s government reshuffle has brought in the creme de la creme of Israel’s far-right and raised the hackles of those fearing an apparent rise in extremism among Israel’s political leadership. “The question now is: what is the world going to do?” Joint List MK Aida Touma-Souliman tells Mondoweiss. “The world until today still believes what Netanyahu says about his willingness to talk to the Palestinians. To have Lieberman as defense minister…I think this is a very clear message Netanyahu is sending to the world over his goals for the future.”

UW-Madison graduate student union endorses BDS

Mondoweiss Editors on

Members of the Teaching Assistants’ Association at the University of Wisconsin-Madison vote overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution to divest from the State of Israel and corporations that profit from the illegal occupation of Palestine. During a two-week vote distributed to all union members, the Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA/AFT Local 3220) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the oldest graduate student labor union in the United States representing over 9,000 graduate workers and students, voted overwhelmingly (81% of voting members) in favor of adopting a resolution to divest from Israeli state institutions and international corporations complicit in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the ongoing violations of Palestinians’ human rights.

Youth Against Settlements: Hebron closed military zone ended following activist campaign

Kate on

Press release: “Youth Against Settlements is pleased to announce that the closed military zone orders in Hebron were not renewed today by the Israeli military. The Tel Rumeida neighborhood in Hebron had been under closed military zone orders since November 1, 2015 with the order having been renewed at 2-4 week intervals. Youth Against Settlements attributes (YAS) this success to the Open the Zone campaign that YAS and International Solidarity Movement (ISM) launched on May 3. The campaign involved video testimony of families and individuals living in the closed military zone describing the difficulties the closed military zone created for their lives. “

354 European human rights organisations, church groups, trade unions and political parties call on the EU to support their right to boycott

Mondoweiss Editors on

More than 300 human rights and aid organisations, church groups, trade unions and political parties from across Europe have called on the EU to uphold its legal responsibilities and hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law and to defend the right of individuals and institutions to take part in the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for justice and equality.

Whistleblower: US General Sean Swindell bears responsibility for deadly Kunduz hospital attack

Wilson Dizard on

Unfair blame has come down on the heads of American soldiers and allied Afghan forces over an attack on a civilian hospital in Kunduz last year, while the general in charge of the mission, Major General Sean P. Swindell, faced no consequences, according to an Army officer who spoke exclusively to Mondoweiss, “I wish the general in charge was prosecuted for this, but that’s my personal opinion. He should be taking ultimate responsibility for it, since he set up the conditions that something like this would happen.”