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November 2016

From affordable housing in Los Angeles to illegal settlements in Palestine, Airbnb needs to put people over profits

Ariel Gold on

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.

‘Make this my dream as well’ — in historic appearance, Palestinian offers one-state vision to a NY temple

Philip Weiss on

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.

Israeli settlers celebrating weekly Torah portion smash Hebron shop windows

Kate on

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.

Video: Israelis look forward to the Trump presidency

Mondoweiss Editors on

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.

The lynching of Dwight Bullard

Leslie Wimes on

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.

Finally, a US tribunal on the Iraq War!

Philip Weiss on

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.

The link between Israel’s forest fires and the ‘muezzin bill’

Jonathan Cook on

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.

FL State Sen. Dwight Bullard opposed an anti-BDS measure — and lost his job

Laila Abdelaziz on

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.

It is time to imagine how one state– one person, one vote– will work

Robert Herbst and Jonathan Kuttab on

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’s drumbeat: an ‘expansive foreign policy’

Philip Weiss on

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 forces kill Palestinian child after alleged stabbing attempt

Kate on

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.

‘Tis the season, to boycott!

Nada Elia on

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.”

A conversation with Miko Peled

Philip Weiss on

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.

Tulsi Gabbard’s screw-the-neocons meeting with Trump sparks anger, derision, encouragement

Philip Weiss on

During his round of interviewing potential job applicants, Donald Trump had one meeting with a Democratic politician: Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, a leading antiwar figure, an Iraq war veteran and Bernie Sanders ally and former rising star in the party. The Monday meeting is important because of what Gabbard said about foreign policy: screw the neoconservatives and […]

Rally marks the rebirth of the New York Jewish left

Rob Bryan on

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.

Leading pro-Israel groups dare not criticize Trump lest they lose access to White House

James North and Philip Weiss on

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.