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August 2016

Israel bans entry for two more US activists

Wilson Dizard on

Israel has banned an American activist who has worked for years helping Palestinians in Gaza, after denying her entry into the country, detaining her for hours and deporting her against her will. The woman’s ban comes after Israel banned five U.S. citizens at the border in July, all of them the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, and another American woman last week crossing from Jordan.

I continued to act as if I was above feeling afraid. Till the last war

We Are Not Numbers on

Although I love to write, I refused to write about the war or the injured in Gaza. The number of jokes I told or laughed increased. And when I heard that my best friend’s husband had been killed in an Israeli attack, I cried bitterly but not for long. And then it hit.

Pro-Israel groups close in on anti-BDS victory in California legislature

Alex Kane on

For months, pro-Israel and Palestine solidarity groups have been locked in a fierce debate over legislation in California against the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. Now, to the chagrin of Palestine solidarity activists, the California State Senate is set to consider the bill that would require state contractors to certify that a boycott of Israel they were engaged in does not violate laws against discrimination. Jewish Voice for Peace activist Estee Chandler says it’s likely it will pass, which would make California the 13th state to pass anti-BDS legislation.

A look at Breitbart’s ‘Alt-Right Lite’ plan for Israel/Palestine

Wilson Dizard on

Breitbart News head Stephen Bannon has replaced Paul Manafort as Donald Trump’s primary campaign adviser. Bannon describes his site as a “platform for the Alt-Right,” referring to the growing white nationalist movement, and noted pro-Israel Islamophobe Pamela Geller has praised Bannon in heroic terms. What this revamped campaign means for Trump’s take on the middle east remains to be seen, but alt-right leaders are already imagining a future where they are directly influencing foreign policy.

Let’s talk about Russian influence

Philip Weiss on

Clinton campaign manager says the “hand of the Kremlin” has been working in US elections, but no one talks about the hand of Israel, which is on everything from pushing the Iraq war to censoring any reference to the “occupation” in the Democratic Party platform. The system is rigged by the Israel lobby, and everyone knows it, even if they can’t talk about it.

Scottish football fans raise over 100,000 pounds for Palestine following flag controversy

Wilson Dizard on

The defiant display of Palestinian flags in Glasgow last week by Scottish fans of the Celtic soccer team has roused over £100,000 (just over $130,000) in donations online, all marked for helping Palestinians. As the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is mulling what consequences Celtic fans should face for showing solidarity with the “illicit banner,” the Green Brigade, the hardcore cadre of Celtic fans who raised the Palestinian flag, responded to the threat of sanction with a call for donations for Palestinian medical aid and a refugee camp.

A French, a Palestinian, and a black woman all wade into a pool

Nida Hussain on

During the same week that African-American swimmer Simone Manuel scored a historic victory at the Olympics, an Israeli Regional Council leader called for segregated swimming pools for Israeli Jews and Palestinians while three French towns banned burkinis from public beaches. These stories all remind us that racism and sexism still permeate the very same societies often touted as progressive, democratic, pluralistic, and post-racial.

Amid mass hunger strike, UN deplores number of Palestinian detainees, now at an eight-year high

Kate on

“The number of administrative detainees is at an eight-year high. I reiterate the United Nations’ long-standing position that all administrative detainees — Palestinian or Israeli — should be charged or released without delay,” Robert Piper, the UN coordinator for the occupied territories, said, as detained journalist Omar Nazzal has joined a hunger strike to protest detention.

A new milestone: BDS at the Olympics

Nada Elia on

“I have no problem with Jewish people or any other religion or different beliefs. But for personal reasons, you can’t ask me to shake the hand of anyone from this state, especially in front of the whole world.” These words, spoken by an individual who has just engaged in a gesture of support for the Palestinian people, are a standard response to the accusation of anti-Semitism which is routinely hurled at pro-justice activists. Yet as Egyptian judoka Islam El-Shehaby uttered them last week in Brazil, they signified a new milestone: the sports boycott had arrived at the 2016 Olympic Games.

The omnipresent hawks-in-waiting of the Clinton administration

James North and Philip Weiss on

Stephen Cohen and Juan Cole say that Russia and Iran are trying to defeat ISIS with attacks in eastern Syria. A. Trevor Thrall says US attacks on Assad would lead to another endless war. But the media are ignoring leftwing, realist and libertarian voices in favor of the hawks-in-waiting of the Clinton administration.

The Palestine-Israel language trap

Avigail Abarbanel on

By using words like ‘occupation’, ‘conflict’ and ‘peace’ we play within the rules and the traps that Israel has created for us, writes Avigail Abarbanel. The real issue is ‘settler colonialism’ (and Jewish exceptionalism tries to explain that away).

Jill Stein defends BDS in CNN town hall

Wilson Dizard on

Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein on Wednesday night provided an alternative vision for U.S. policy with Israel that questioned whether Washington was doing “Israel any favors” by dumping money into warfare and occupation.

The endangered white cucumbers of Battir

David Kattenburg on

Israel has been itching to run its Separation Wall across the occupied valley of Battir for years, a move that would surely destroy that valley. But Battir has UNESCO status because of its agricultural traditions, including terraced irrigation and heirloom apricot and cucumbers, and this has put Israel’s plans on hold for the time being.

Druze Arabs in the occupied Golan Heights discuss borders, identity, colonialism and war

Aaron Cantú on

Aaron Cantú visits Majdal Shams in the occupied Golan Heights and interviews Wael Tarabieh, who led a cultural center that became a center of local support for the Syrian revolution in 2011, and Kamara Abu Saleh, who works at the anti-occupation human rights group Al-Marsad. They discuss the changing understandings of Druze identity in Israel and the impact of the Syrian civil war on the Golan Heights.

Trump and Clinton campaigns both send message that Muslim loyalty to US hinges on condemning terrorism

Wilson Dizard on

Donald Trump received his first classified briefing today from U.S. intelligence officials on Wednesday, two days after laying out his vision for foreign policy that measures the worth of alliances by whether countries oppose the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Although there are big differences in Trump’s and that of the White House, there are significant similarities, analysts say. For one, both Trump and President Barack Obama are willing to look the other way when it comes to human rights violations committed in campaigns against the ISIS. More than that, both Trump and Hillary Clinton talk about a world where Muslim loyalty to the United States hinges on their condemnation of terrorism.

UN data shows Israel tightened Gaza siege in July

Kate on

Middle East Monitor reports: New data released by a United Nations agency and an Israeli NGO has confirmed that Israel’s blockade on the Gaza Strip actually tightened during July.

The politics of Jewish ethnocentrism

Yakov Hirsch on

How can Bret Stephens, who is so sensitive to any slight he perceives against Jews, use the phrase “disease of the Arab mind” when writing about an Egyptian Olympian, and hundreds of millions of other people, in the Wall Street Journal no less? The answer is that a group of ethnocentric spokesmen for the Jewish people, including Jeffrey Goldberg and Benjamin Netanyahu, exercise an Orwellian influence over what can and cannot be said out loud.

‘The Forward’ fails to find source of anti-semitism hoax that its reporter concocted (Updated)

Phan Nguyen on
"Pro-Palestinian Student Group Accused of Compiling List of Jewish Student Dorm Addresses"

The Jewish Daily Forward’s Laura E. Adkins reported Israeli Knesset Member Anat Berko as saying that Students for Justice in Palestine is “collecting information on where Jews live at New York University among others.” What Adkins fails to mention is that Berko’s claim likely originated from a hoax conceived by Adkins herself when she was a student at NYU.