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August 2016

Israel’s plan to retool occupation includes color-coding ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Palestinians

Jonathan Cook on

Launched this month, Avigdor Lieberman’s plan for the Palestinians – retooling Israel’s occupation – received less attention than it should. It includes, the defense ministry producing a map of the West Bank marking in green and red the areas where, respectively, “good” and “bad” Palestinians live. Collective punishment will be stepped up in towns and villages in red areas, while green areas will reap economic rewards.

Tim Canova calls Debbie Wasserman Shultz ‘corporate stooge’ after primary loss. But they still agree on Israel.

Wilson Dizard on

Incumbent Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz defeated challenger Tim Canova, a law professor, in a primary election this Tuesday, disappointing some Berniecrat-boosting voters who want to see the Vermont senator’s policies on Capitol Hill. Despite Canova’s outsider status, the race showed how Israel/Palestine is sacred political territory for all Democrats.

Beyond the flag

Nada Elia on

Nada Elia says that for those who strive to rise above nationalism, activism for justice in Palestine is rooted in a belief in justice and equal rights for everyone, everywhere. Yet, many of these same activists celebrated with millions around the world when Celtic FC fans flew the Palestinian flag at a game in Glasgow against Israel’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva. She explains that even though activists were waving the Palestinian flag, those events were not about nationalism: “The Palestinian flag has come to symbolize defiance to censorship, a rejection of the Zionist narrative that would have people believe Israel is “defending itself” rather than brutally maintaining its occupation and apartheid policies, and grassroots opposition to state violence, to colonialism, to brutal military oppression.”

Syrian death tolls and the kinder gentler jihadists

Donald Johnson on

The answer to a failed intervention is, more intervention. And to justify such a policy, the interventionist media cite low civilian casualty figures in the Iraq war, and now appears to be grossly undercounting civilian deaths caused by rebels in Syria.

Family fights to free disabled Palestinian man in Israeli prison

Steven Davidson on

Disabled from a young age, Bara Abudheir was finally on his way to pursue his dream in computer animation in a master’s program in the United Kingdom. However, his parents were shocked to learn he was arrested as he crossed the Allenby Bridge into Jordan and charged with being a member of Hamas. Steven Davidson talks with Bara’s father, Farid Abudheir, who is doing everything he can to save his son’s future, “I have for a long time believed that Bara will achieve his goals and make his dreams real. I have not lost that hope.”

Huma Abedin dumps Anthony Weiner, occupation denier

Wilson Dizard on

Huma Abedin, a top Hillary Clinton aide, announced Monday that she is divorcing her husband, Queens-native Weiner, a disgraced former New York Congressman whose sexting of pictures of his engorged genitals to his fellow Americans cost him his political career in 2011. Her decision comes in the wake of yet another report of his digital infidelity. Before gaining international infamy for his online philandering, Weiner had distinguished himself as one of Israel’s most ardent apologists in Congress, apologizing for Israeli militarism, denying the existence of a military occupation in the West Bank and scolding critics of Israeli policies, even condemning the New York Times for its lack of Zionist cred.

‘Everything that we have done since 9/11 is wrong’ — the worldview of Major Todd Pierce (Retired)

Philip Weiss on

Guantanamo defense lawyer Todd Pierce was an army computer technician when he witnessed the U.S. implant itself in Saudi Arabia in 1990, and an Army lawyer when he saw the hysteria following 9/11. He says Americans have no idea why Arabs and Muslims hate us, and meantime we are losing our historic legitimacy by conducting drone warfare on civilians and sacrificing our tradition of civil rights.

Gaza 2 years on: These children are now gone forever and an empty space remains

Mondoweiss Editors on

The London Visual Activist Collective created “Empty Spaces”, a unique paper doll chain remembering all of the children that were killed by Israel during the 2014 massacre in Gaza. Measuring over 160 metres in length and made by people from the UK, it contains over 550+ cut outs of kids, signifying the empty spaces left in the world because those children were killed.

Critiques not fit to print: Students and allies respond to ‘NYT’ coverage of Palestine activism on campus

Leah Muskin-Pierret on

The New York Times August 3, 2016 article “Students and the Middle East Conflict” misrepresented student activism and served as an implicit endorsement of a right-wing “dialogue” effort. Following the article, the Times published a strategic compilation of letters to the editor that constructs the future of Israel/Palestine as an internal Jewish conversation largely concerned with dialogue. In response, Tufts SJP alumni gathered letters by students and their allies critiquing the article and dialogue efforts that take attention away from ending the Israeli occupation. The Times refused to publish any of the letters, but you can read them here.

Liel Leibovitz wants to excommunicate most American Jews, beginning with Beinart

Roland Nikles on

Most American Jews believe their faith is cultural, including dedication to social justice. But the fundamentalist Liel Leibovitz in a sneering, nasty article says these Jews ignore “the historical and doctrinal truth” that they became Jews by accepting the “burden of becoming God’s chosen children.”

#PayPal4Palestine campaign urges PayPal to serve Palestinians, not just Israelis

Wilson Dizard on

PayPal refuses to do business with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but allows Israelis and Israeli settlers to use their digital payment service. After PayPal ignored their requests for a meeting, Palestinian activists launched a social media campaign on Friday to call out the company in public with the hashtag #PayPal4Palestine.

Many Clinton Foundation donors oppose BDS– and so does Clinton

Philip Weiss on

Hillary Clinton has become a zealot against BDS in the last year, evidently in part because many large donors to the Clinton Foundation oppose BDS. These supporters suggest the new lineaments of the Israel lobby under Clinton, in which liberal Zionists and rightwing Zionists are merged.

Video intifada

Yakov Hirsch on

The world might be deaf to Palestine but it is not blind. And recent videos clearly documenting grotesque use of force by Israelis against Palestinians have the power to do more to end Israeli impunity and Netanyahu’s campaign of dehumanization of Palestinians than any other form of information.

Progressive foreign policy missing from revised Sanders revolution

Wilson Dizard on
Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders on Wednesday delivered a speech from Burlington, Vermont to his die-hard fans nationwide, calling on them to continue to support progressive politicians to achieve goals like campaign finance reform, universal healthcare and fixing an unfair criminal justice through the new Sanders-backed non-profit, Our Revolution. Absent from his address was any mention of Israel/Palestine or American foreign policy in the Middle East. “I think it shows a lack of courage,” said Robert Akleh, co-founder of Arabs for Bernie, a Brooklyn-based grassroots group.

After Israeli military clears soldiers of killing families in Gaza, Palestinians call on Hague to investigate

Allison Deger on

Israel’s military has cleared soldiers of criminal wrongdoing in alleged human rights violations committed during the 2014 summer war in Gaza. According to a report published yesterday, Israel closed investigations into the killing of three Palestinian families and other civilians, and the shelling of a medical clinic, Gaza’s main power plant, and a United Nations shelter, among other offenses. “We did not expect anything less than Israel’s justification of war crimes,” chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said after the publication of the military report, and urged the International Criminal Court to investigate the offenses.

ADL took US cops to Israeli prison, occupied Hebron and settler winery during counter-terror seminar

Alex Kane on

The Anti-Defamation League brought a delegation of American police officers to an Israeli prison, occupied Hebron and a settler winery in the Golan Heights as part of their 2016 counter-terrorism seminar in Israel, according to an itinerary of the trip obtained by Mondoweiss. Trips like these have come under withering controversy from Palestine solidarity activists and Black Lives Matter protesters. In an age of police militarization and a growing movement to combat police brutality, critics see these trips as potentially fueling harmful police tactics.

‘Democracy’ and ‘terrorism’ and the parameters of thinkable thought

Thomas S. Harrington on

As long as we accept the blithe use of terms like “terrorist” to refer to Palestinians fighting for basic dignity or accept the matter-of-fact description of Israel as a “democracy”, we lose the game. Those terms have been carefully designed to leave no room for a true dialogue of ideas. We need to stop expending our energies on arguments within their parameters of thinkable thought.

France’s burkini ban is a dangerous, Islamophobic assault on feminist values

Alex Shams on

French police on Tuesday forced a woman to take off her clothes on a beach in Nice because she was wearing a “burkini,” a bathing suit recently criminalized in 15 French cities. Apparently, telling women what to wear – or in this case, what not to wear – is now considered good nationalism and good feminism among a large proportion of French society. These incidents should be shocking to all of us.

Israeli military clears Israeli military of war crimes in Gaza

Kate on

On Wednesday the Israeli military closed its investigation into four cases of mass killings of Palestinian civilians during the 2014 Gaza war. The military report found that in the four cases, which included the deaths of 49 people, the Israeli strikes were legal due to either mistakes, Hamas being responsible or an attack not happening at all.