Ashton Kutcher and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky were just getting settled into their chairs on the stage of LA’s Orpheum theatre when Ariel Gold unfurled her Airbnb out of Settlements banner. “From Los Angeles to Palestine it is time for Airbnb to end their role in displacement,” she shouted. The common theme between Airbnb’s refusal to remove settlements listings and attempts to evade city regulations on short term housing rentals is the company preferencing profits over people.
Monthly Archives: November 2016
American Jewish spaces have refused to hear Palestinians calling for one democratic state in Israel and Palestine. Last night Temple Israel in New Rochelle broke that taboo with the appearance of Jonathan Kuttab, a human rights lawyer who challenged a respectful audience of 80 and members of the temple’s Israel action committee to end the persecution of Palestinians by granting everyone between the river and the sea equal rights.
Hiba Anis Mustafa Shurafa guides students in her Gaza classroom, instructing them on the art of how to hold a pen and keep a steady hand when writing out letters. She understands the task is challenging because, like her students, Shurafa has Down syndrome.
From the International Solidarity Movement: This weekend in al-Khalil brought thousands of extremist Jews and settlers from all over Israel and abroad to celebrate the week’s Torah study on Chayei Sara (Life of Sarah), where Abraham purchases the cave of Machpelah (which they think is in al-Khalil) in order to bury his wife Sarah. On Friday evening, a group of settlers coming from the illegal settlement Kiryat Arba attacked one of the two remaining Palestinian shops on their way to the Ibrahim Mosque in Hebron. The Israeli soldiers present did not prevent them from committing this crime.
Under a quarter of American Jews voted for Donald Trump, yet the Republican candidate received 49% of the Israeli-American vote. On Tuesday, November 22, Mondoweiss reporters asked Israelis in West Jerusalem’s Zion Square what they thought about the election of Donald Trump and found overwhelming support for the incoming U.S. president. “In this difficult time all over the world, it’s time for strong leaders,” says one Trump admirer.
Former FL state senator Dwight Bullard, who was defeated partly because of his stance on Israel, is running for Democratic state party chair, but faces the same pressure from pro-Israel forces. Democratic African American Women Caucus president Leslie Wimes warns that there will be rage in the black political community if Bullard is further humiliated and degraded.
Trump’s upset victory recalls another rightwing demagogue’s, Netanyahu in 2015, and it’s no surprise that Trump transition team members praise Netanyahu. The two political cultures seem connected; and the right won’t be defeated by lukewarm centrists.
Months after the British gov’t produced an inquiry on the Iraq war revealing Tony Blair’s assurance to George Bush that it would “free up the region,” an American organization is at last holding an Iraq War tribunal. Not the government, not the media, but the antiwar group Code Pink, this Thursday and Friday in D.C.
Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared his support this month for the so-called “muezzin bill”, claiming it was urgently needed to stop the dawn call to prayer from mosques ruining the Israeli public’s sleep. But the one in five of Israel’s population who are Palestinian, most of them Muslim, and a further 300,000 living under occupation in East Jerusalem, say the legislation is grossly discriminatory. Haneen Zoabi says legislation is not about “the noise in [Israeli Jews’] ears but the noise in their minds”. Their colonial fears, she said, were evoked by the Palestinians’ continuing vibrant presence in Israel – a presence that was supposed to have been extinguished in 1948 with the Nakba, the creation of a Jewish state on the ruins of the Palestinians’ homeland.
In October of 2015, a Florida State Senator from Miami, Dwight Bullard, voted against a measure to blacklist companies that endorse BDS. DNC chairwoman and member of Congress, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, told Senator Bullard that his political future was over and top donors to the Florida Democratic Party called Bullard personally and threatened their support for him and the Democratic Party because of his position on the BDS blacklist measure. Senator Bullard eventually lost his reelection campaign earlier this month, after being labeled a “terrorist sympathizer” by media outlets, pro-Israel groups, and by both his Democratic primary opponent and then his Republican general election opponent.
Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt says that the “alt right” is a euphemism for white nationalism and supremacism, and the media should tell Americans as much; but as for those who oppose Jewish nationalism in Palestine as a form of Jewish supremacism, she says they are anti-Semites.
Rejecting the two-state solution was seen as repudiation of Zionism and the destruction of the concept of a Jewish state, so unthinkable that in many venues, no serious discussion of a one-state solution was tolerated. That era is over. Let us imagine a state where one person equals one vote.
David Brooks is angry about the non-interventionists who have taken over the Republican Party. These populists “hate journalists,” he says. He ought to reflect on his support for the Iraq war, which paved the way for the political revolution on the right.
Israeli security forces shot and killed Mohammad Zeidan, a Palestinian boy said to be 14 or 16, near Shu’fat checkpoint in Jerusalem Friday after he allegedly approached guards with a knife. He is the 241st Palestinian killed in the last 14 months of unrest characterized by lone knife attacks.
We have long been told that boycotts against the state of Israel are divisive and illegal. But there’s been a boom of boycott activity in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory. Nada Elia writes, “Boycotts are legal, they are protected by our First Amendment right to free speech and freedom of expression, and they can be targeted at department stores with liberal policies, as well as at companies that profit from the violation of human rights and the desecration of indigenous lands, from Standing Rock to Palestine. We cannot allow Zionists, be they Democrats or Republicans, to abrogate our constitutional rights, so as to further shield Israel from accountability.”
Here’s the juice from Yakov Hirsch: Six years ago Peter Beinart came to realizations about Israel and the US Jewish community that Jeffrey Goldberg tried to suppress but that he is now expressing himself. For this reason Beinart is about to replace Goldberg as most important Jewish journalist and leader of the Trump opposition.
Israeli-American author Miko Peled says Americans blind themselves to horrific conditions in Palestine, including endless prison sentences and killings of 13-year-olds, by focusing on such distractions as whether his purposely-provocative tweet about Israeli Jews celebrating the US financial aid package was anti-Semitic
“I felt it was important to take the opportunity to meet with the President-elect to counteract neocons’ steady drumbeats of war, which threaten to drag us into an escalation of the war to overthrow the Syrian government” — Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s report on her controversial meeting with Donald Trump
Happy holidays from Mondoweiss.
On Monday, Israeli security guards at Qalandiya checkpoint shot and killed Jihad Muhammad Said Khalil, 48, after he allegedly drew a knife and then engaged in a fistfight with a guard. He is the 240th Palestinian killed in the last 14 months in the series of lone-rebellions.
Sunday night demonstration in NY was a time to reclaim Judaism from the crotchety bastards who have taken up space at the head of the dinner table for too long, plugging their ears with their fingers and yelling “self-hating Jew” at any critic of Israel until they ended up so out of touch that they thought it was okay to give a guy like Steve Bannon a pass.
Israel is once again the elephant in the room in Democratic Party politics, with supporters trying to quash Rep. Keith Ellison’s bid to be party chair, and Ellison fighting back by saying he is against Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, BDS.
In Boston Sunday night, VT Senator Bernie Sanders said the “fight” and “struggle” within the Democratic Party is whether it will go beyond identity politics, and claims for diversity, and stand up for workers. “The working class of this country is being decimated. That’s why Donald Trump won.”
Israel is set to demolish the Bedouin village of al-Hiran, with 1000 people in it, to put a Jewish village called Hiran in its place “for strictly racial reasons”. But a global outcry seems to have stopped the demolition for one day.
Only Israel: Leading Jewish groups, including the American Jewish Committee, AIPAC, and the Jewish Federations, have not criticized Trump’s appointments of men who have promoted bigotry, because they do not want to alienate the president-elect on the only issue they really care about: supporting Israel. Though some Zionist groups have stood up for human rights in America.