If Georgia congressman Hank Johnson had not been criticizing the Israeli occupation when he likened Israeli settlements to “termites,” no one would have noticed. The smearing of Johnson as an alleged anti-Semite is vicious and contradicts the Torah.
Monthly Archives: July 2016
Residents of Bil’in village were joined in solidarity by international and Israeli activists, including several activists from the Black Lives Matter movement. Two protesters were arrested as the demonstration was dispersed.
The forces that tore apart the Democrats in 1968 were arrayed in Philadelphia, but the party and the police (the establishment!) were determined to defuse the destructive energies this time round. It’s not working so far.
On the heels of the Israeli government announcing 1500+ illegal settlement tenders since Monday, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a strongly worded statement, available in Arabic only, that said in part, “as long as these countries’ bilateral relations with Israel are treated separately from the occupation all Palestinian land will be annexed in the not too-distant future, relieving these countries from the trouble of circulating their useless condemnations.”
Wilson Dizard talks to Mark, a Democratic Party consultant in Philadelphia for the DNC, about U.S. responsibility to the Palestinian people given decades of support for the Israeli occupation. “I feel for them. Palestinian Americans, great. They’re Americans. But Palestinians not my problem. We have things to deal with here,” Mark explains.
During his speech to the DNC Bill Clinton said, “If you’re a Muslim and you love America and freedom and you hate terror, stay here and help us win and make a future together, we want you.” Imraan Siddiqi responds: “The DNC is presenting itself as a more tolerant, open option in comparison to what the RNC has to offer. If we look a little deeper, however – it seems as though there is still much work to do. Bill Clinton’s comments were just a glimpse of this looming beneath the surface.”
Nesma Seyam shares a diary entry written during Israel’s 51 day attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014: “I have finally realized that what I have experienced was truly a dream and why it had occurred that night. My soul was aching, and my lust for sweets was an attempt to sooth the bitterness in my heart. But all the sweets in the world would still not be enough to erase the cruelty, strife, and bitterness in our hearts.”
The Israeli army states that a commander wasn’t lying when he said he fired rubber bullets at Palestinian youths; but an x-ray clearly shows a bullet in the skull of one of the victims.
The broadcast of Mahmoud Darwish’s famous poem, ‘ID Card’, by the Israel Army Radio made the country’s far-right defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman equate the poem to Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee writes “Israel would do well to ignore its propagandists and allow that contrary voice of the Palestinian poet to be heard. Or else only the deaf and the deafening will be left to prolong this endlessly bitter saga of violence.”
Wilson Dizard reports from Philadelphia on day three of the Democratic National Convention: “The Academy Awards of Democratic Party politics continued into its fourth day on Thursday after Hillary Clinton clinched the nomination from the party of the people on Tuesday. Protests outside the Wells Fargo Center continue, and sometimes include dissident Bernie Sanders’ delegates who have come to feel the Democratic party doesn’t want them around, and that security confiscates their signs. ‘The DNC has its reps ripping up signs that support Palestinian rights so ppl can’t take them out of the trash,’ tweeted journalist Rania Khalek.”
Joseph Grim Feinberg reflects on Jewishness in contemporary political discourse: “Yes, I am troubled by persistent anti-Semitism in the world. But I am also troubled by the damage done to Jewishness when Jewish identity is collapsed into support for Israeli policy, and when accusations of anti-Semitism are wielded as a tool for silencing debate. What I found so compelling about Jewish history is the wealth of ideas that have emerged surrounding what Jewishness can be. That wealth is lost when name-calling replaces debate, and when a single, tendentious version of Jewishness renders itself impervious to criticism.”
Ma‘an reports: Israeli forces demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Negev region of southern Israel for the 101st time on Wednesday morning. The demolition followed several weeks of Israeli bulldozers entering the community to level lands, which escalated to Israeli police conducting raids on the community and detaining several Bedouins after locals attempted to stop the bulldozers. The first demolition of al-Araqib took place a little over six years ago on June 27, 2010.
Ali Kurnaz of Orlando electrified Palestinian human rights community by unfurling a Palestinian flag on the Democratic convention floor Monday. Millennials have thanked him for his act, and he says he is the future of the Democratic Party.
Jerusalem official Meir Turgeman says the municipality is taking advantage of U.S. election season to push forward on stalled construction projects in the occupied territories, including expanding the settlement of Ramot.
Activist Bill Fletcher, Jr., says “It’s easy to assume that someone else is giving the funds needed for organizations like Mondoweiss to survive, and to assume that survival is enough. But if we want to expand their influence for real change, it will take resources. Our opponents understand this, and they understand it very well. Knowing the pathbreaking, exceptional work of Mondoweiss, I cannot imagine letting it get to the precipice before contributing—and so I give regularly.”
As U.S. financial, military and diplomatic support for Israel bleeds into yet another presidential cycle, Americans are faced with reconciling lofty rhetoric on justice and security with actual policy domestically and abroad.
During an event in Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention, Representative Hank Johnson offered comments on the diminishing prospects for a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue, citing Israel’s ongoing settlement activity. Rep. Johnson analogized this settlement activity to that of termites hollowing out and undermining a structure, noting that settlement expansion has made the creation of a viable Palestinian state in the occupied territories all but impossible. This analogy was taken out of context in an article with a misleading headline written by a journalist with a longstanding record of anti-Palestinian reporting.
As the Democrats roll out their plan for America this week, it’s instructive to consider how the issue of Israel and the Palestinians plays out on the domestic policy stage. In a New York Daily News opinion piece, Reform movement head Rabbi Rick Jacobs criticizes the Republican Party’s platform for excluding language supporting a two-state solution. But Mark Braverman says the Republicans have actually got it right: their current platform, rather than departing from U.S. policy on Israel, is a more accurate reflection of four decades of U.S. support for Israel’s expansionism at the expense of Palestinian rights.
Wilson Dizard reports from the protests outside the Democratic National Convention where he meets Sameera Khan, 25, former Ms. New Jersey 2015 and a Muslim American opposed to Clinton: “I’ve been involved in the political community for a very long time and studied international relations. I’ve been involved with Democracy Spring ever since I read about the Israel lobby and corporate influence, that’s what awakened me and made me realize that I have to fight. We are only as powerful as what we know. Knowledge is power, and once we realize how much power we hold together then we can start a political revolution.”
Hatim Kanaaneh writes about Brig. Gen. Ofek Buchris, an Israeli general recently indicted for “rape and indecent acts,” who lives one town over from him: “Part of my anguish about the report is the geographic location of the accused general’s residence; Mitzpe Netoufa is practically in my backyard. The basic concept of a Mitzpe—Hebrew for ‘lookout’—the hilltop-positioned barbed-wire-encircled Jewish-only settlement dreamt up by Ariel Sharon in the 1970s to protect the promised land of the Jews from potential ‘goy’ usurpers. Those ‘goys’ turn out actually to be us, the Palestinians who have been ‘squatting’ on the land since the Romans destroyed their second temple! Be that as it may, the good general’s purpose in life and that of his fellow Mitzpe Netoufa religious Jewish residents, is to watch over me so I won’t steal my own Netoufa (Battouf) Valley Land.”
Palestinian writer and activist Nada Elia responds to claims that an economic boycott of Israel is bound to fail: “BDS will never bankrupt Israel, and that is not necessary for it to achieve its goals: showing that the emperor has no clothes, and empowering justice-minded people everywhere to disengage from a hyper-militarized, violent rogue state, until it stops violating international law and the human rights of an oppressed people.”
In what was intended as a message to Palestinian citizens of Israel on “equality and dignity for all,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s accidentally called Arabs “goats,” and received backlash from Palestinian political parties for staging a “hypocritical charade.”
As examples from our recent work show, Mondoweiss consistently, relentlessly and broadly covers United States attitudes toward Israel/Palestine. The last two weeks of American politics show that our work is needed more than ever. In our current fundraising campaign we have asked you to show us through your donations How Much Truth is needed. Please invest today to enable Mondoweiss to push even harder for change.
Launching his new collaborative work in East Jerusalem, esteemed Israeli historian Ilan Pappé, hopes to shift the paradigm through which we see the Israel/Palestine conflict: one of “settler-colonialism and its connection with apartheid.” In essence, the conflict is not between two competing national movements with an equal claim to the land, but between a movement of settler-colonialists and a native people.
Wilson Dizard wraps up his time in Cleveland and says the 2016 Republican National Convention was a watershed moment for American politics. He says the city’s Public Square felt a bit like Tahrir Square in 2013 during the counter-revolution and shares a conversation between a white nationalist Trump supporter who chatted with the children of immigrants, one of whom asked whether he would want to be saved by them in a hurricane. “Perhaps,” he said. But we’re in that hurricane, and people need to show compassion.