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October 2016

Jeffrey Goldberg should come with a warning label

Yakov Hirsch on

Jeffrey Goldberg paints critics of Israel as vessels of Jew hatred — including Jimmy Carter, Jill Stein, and a Norwegian band that supports boycott. And his fixation on the Holocaust caused him to be wrong in his reporting on Iran. So it is absolutely fair to bring up his Jewishness in critiquing his journalism.

Palestinians join Standing Rock Sioux to protest Dakota Access Pipeline

Aida Najar on

Nadya Raja Tannous drove from the Bay Area to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation near Bismarck, North Dakota to join hundreds of representatives of Indigenous Nations around the world who have come to support resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline: “I had spent most of the hours on the road to North Dakota contemplating the connections between the obstacles and oppressions facing those in Standing Rock and the obstacles and oppressions facing we Palestinians under occupation and apartheid. However, upon arriving at Standing Rock, I no longer just thought about the similarities, I felt them in my bones.”

Jeffrey Goldberg is Jewish

Philip Weiss on

Tablet has published an attack on Phil Weiss’s piece about Jeffrey Goldberg’s ascension to the editorship of the Atlantic, in which he pointed out that the Atlantic announcement cleanses Goldberg’s resume, leaving out his moving to Israel to escape American anti-Semitism and serving in their army, his publication of a memoir about serving as an Israeli prison guard, his disastrous support for the Iraq war, his failed promotion of an Iran war, and his Jewishness. Tablet says Weiss’s assertion that the Atlantic is leaving out Goldberg’s Jewishness is a proof of his anti-Semitism. The attack is absurd because Weiss mentioned Goldberg’s Jewishness in the very context that Goldberg himself has mentioned it again and again: We Jews support Israel.

Palestinians across the political spectrum express outrage over cancelled elections

Isra Saleh El-Namy on

The Palestinian Authority’s high court has delayed elections, once set for Oct. 9, because of concerns that it was impossible to ensure free and fair voting in the Gaza. The decision comes as two rival Palestinian parties, Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank, continue to struggle for power. Gaza-based analyst Ibrahim el-Madhoun tells Mondoweiss, “It is shameful and totally unacceptable that the Palestinian judiciary system serves particular political interests and does not abide with the Palestinian people’s aspirations.”

Israeli border police hold ‘stun grenade’ training in middle of Palestinian neighborhood

Kate on

Al Jazeera reports: “Israeli border police carried out stun grenade training in the Palestinian neighborhood of al-‘Issawiya in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, a new video purports to show. In the recording, the neighbourhood, home to around 16,000 people, is quiet, raising questions as to why border police decided to practise there with the risk of provoking tensions. One officer is seen teaching another how to operate the grenade. “Throw lower,” he tells him. The trainee officer detonates the grenade between the homes and is praised for a “good job” before he walks away with the rest of the officers.”

Petition: We stand with Palestinian rights activist Christoph Glanz against Zionist witch-hunt

Jews for Palestinian Right of Return on

On October 10, 2016, the Jerusalem Post published an article by anti-Palestinian propagandist Benjamin Weinthal under the screaming headline, “‘Antisemitic’ German teacher posed as a Jew to push anti-Israel agenda.” The designated target is Christoph Glanz, German activist, teacher, lifelong anti-fascist, and self-described former liberal Zionist. This is at least the seventh time in 2016 that Weinthal has falsely accused Glanz of anti-Semitism, and reflects a pattern of such smears by Weinthal against numerous other Palestinian rights advocates.

Gaza farmers rebound despite Israeli siege

Sarah Algherbawi on

Yasser Shamallakh, 58, stopped growing fruit during the first Intifada, but two years ago he started again and has found success growing the crop, as have many other farmers in Gaza according to official figures. Although having been under a severe Israeli siege between 2007 and 2014, a combination of good weather and a lifting of Israeli restrictions has helped Palestinian agriculture bloom in recent years.

FIFA postpones decision on sanctioning Israeli teams in the occupied territories

Shireen Ahmed on

Last month, Human Rights Watch released a damning report emphasizing that soccer’s governing body, Federation International du Football (FIFA), should render a decision on Israel Football Association (IFA) teams that are being played on occupied Palestinian land. FIFA was expected to render a decision whether to suspend or expel six Israeli teams at at an executive meeting earlier this week, but in true FIFA form, the executive committee fouled and postponed their decision despite suggestions from special committee members, open letters from UN officials, and from academics and activists, an petition that garnered over 150,000 signatures, the HRW report, and an on-going digital campaign that calls for justice in sport. The oppression of Palestinian football by Israel is a hot-button issue for FIFA- which makes a profit from the matches and sponsorships of the IFA teams. While Israeli teams flourish, Palestinian football is hardly thriving due to a lack of resources, crumbling infrastructure, and unjust mobility restrictions on teams.

Israel’s bogus history lesson

Jonathan Cook on

It was presumably intended as an Israeli history lesson to the world. A video posted to social media by Israel’s foreign ministry shows an everyday Jewish couple, Jacob and Rachel, in a home named the “Land of Israel”. A series of knocks on the door brings 3,000 years of interruptions to their happiness. First it’s the Assyrians, followed by the Babylonians, Hellenists, Arabs, Romans, Crusaders, Mamluks, and Ottomans – all straight out of Monty Python central casting. The chauvinism in portraying Jacob and Rachel as the only normal folk, stoically enduring barbarians butchering each other in their living room, is ugly enough. But it is harder still to take seriously an account in which the Palestinians suddenly appear out of nowhere in 1948, as Britain departs.

Israel detains 10 high school students in Jerusalem’s Old City

Kate on

Israeli forces detained 17 Palestinians in raids across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem overnight and during the day Monday, including 10 teenagers at Dar al-Aytam school in Jerusalem’s Old City that Israeli police accused of throwing rocks. Locals told Ma‘an they were detained as they left school and were chased by Israeli forces through the alleys of the Old City. Samir Jibril, the director of the Palestinian Ministry of Education department, had told Ma‘an that the Israeli soldiers’ accusations of rock throwing were “bogus” due to the fact that there were “security bars” secured over all the school’s windows, making it nearly impossible for students to throw anything out of them.

B’Tselem calls on world to ‘intervene’ to stop ‘more perfect occupation,’ and Netanyahu goes ballistic

Philip Weiss on

Hagai El-Ad, the head of the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, urged the United Nations Security Council to take action at last against the occupation because, “The reality will not change if the world does not intervene. I suspect that our arrogant government also knows this, so it’s busy fearmongering against such an intervention.” Netanyahu has responded in outrage.

Trump is losing the Israel vote almost as bad as he is losing in New York

Allison Deger on

Republican candidate Donald Trump’s campaign team has aggressively sought to win votes from Americans living overseas in Israel, but the latest polls taken of the Jewish population show Trump trailing far behind Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The gap is so wide, the figures are almost as bad for Trump as those in Clinton’s home state of New York where she benefits from a 25 point lead.

Lesson from Kahane and Trump — ideology outlives the ideologue

Eli Massey on

A political candidate with a messianic complex, who has incited his supporters to violence, exhibited authoritarian tendencies, openly espoused racism, cheated on his wife repeatedly, and manipulated his associates for personal enrichment. The similarities between Rabbi Meir Kahane and Donald Trump are striking.

In email, Clinton calls for a ‘Potemkin’ peace process

Philip Weiss on

“A Potemkin process is better than nothing,” Hillary Clinton wrote in a hacked email about Benjamin Netanyahu’s prevarications on a Palestinian state in 2015, an indication that the U.S. will forever give cover to the Israeli government to manage the conflict.

A letter to Gaza

Amani Sawari on

Amani Sawari responds to Mohammed Alhammami’s essay ‘A letter from Gaza to black America’: Until recently I’d felt as though the African American community was alone in the fight against these types of injustices. After reading your letter I’m hopeful that the connection between Black people in America and people of color around the world, which has always been present, will only continue to strengthen.

Gaza’s population hits 2 million

Kate on

“There are now more than two million residents in the Gaza Strip after baby Waleed Shaath was born last night in Rafah in southern Gaza,” interior ministry spokesman Iyad Bezm told AFP on Wednesday. Gaza, a tiny enclave squeezed between Egypt, Israel and the Mediterranean Sea and just 12 kilometres across at its widest point, has one of the highest population densities in the world, according to the United Nations. The territory could be “unliveable” by 2020, the UN said last year, due in large part to “high population density and overcrowding.”