Photojournalist Mohammed Asad sends photos from New Year’s eve in Gaza.
Monthly Archives: December 2016
Alan Dershowitz gave Keith Ellison’s campaign to become DNC chair its largest boost in weeks when told the Fox Business Network, “If they appoint Keith Ellison to be chairman of the Democratic Party, I will resign my membership to the Democratic Party after 50 years of being a loyal Democrat.”
Language matters because it impacts how we think of reality. Nada Elia’s New Year’s Resolution, which she hopes millions of others will also make, is to stop substituting “the occupation” for “Zionism.” She writes, “The era of discussing the occupation as the presumed greater Israeli evil is over, and should be tossed into the trash heap of history. As we celebrate the discursive change around Palestine, we must be cautious no longer to speak or write about “the occupation” except as one of the many varied facets of Zionism. Palestinians cannot afford any more erasures, as these are extremely detrimental to our cause, to justice. And just as we realize that the two-state “solution” was never a viable option, we must also inscribe into our new discourse that the occupation was never the problem. Zionism is.”
Netanyahu’s most impressive achievement is that he has associated his politics and even himself personally with sacred Jewish history and its hallowed lessons. That is why Jimmy Carter and now John Kerry must be vilified for pointing out the apartheid treatment of Palestinians. Netanyahu’s sacred construction is about to crash to the ground. Jeffrey Goldberg has already jumped ship.
Muckraking journalist George Seldes said it best: “The truth is not in the commercial media because the truth is a dagger pointed at its heart, which is its pocketbook.” Today is the last time this year that we will ask for your donations to maintain and grow Mondoweiss’s independence and leadership in defining, documenting and strategizing resistance to injustice. (If you have already donated, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!) Today we also follow the Mondoweiss tradition of ending each year by listing the year’s posts that received the most views. We present the top stories of the 1500+ published in 2016—a very diverse group. And this year our look back goes beyond a quantitative list to highlight the pieces that make us particularly proud.
UNSC resolution 2334 includes weaker language on Israeli settlements than prior UNSC resolutions which called for Israel to dismantle existing settlements and lacks a real enforcement mechanism. There is little reason to believe it will have a practical effect in halting and dismantling Israel’s settlement enterprise.
Question for John Kerry — You say the US has provided Israel the ‘protection of legitimacy’. Why does it need so much protection? Is it because the world hates it? Or is it because it actually enacts illegitimate policy?
An unnerving bunch, these Jewish public moralizers. Just when you think you’ve got their propaganda down pat, along comes a shift in U.S. power and they turn the whole game upside down. Remember when it was bad form to analogize Israel’s army of occupation to the Nazis? Well, that was then. Today it’s David Friedman, Donald Trump’s pick for US ambassador to Israel, who publicly accuses the liberal-Zionist Jews of J Street of being even worse “than kapos – Jews who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps.”
Jihan Muhammad Hashimeh, 35, of occupied Issawiya, Jerusalem, was injured after being shot by Israeli soldiers at the Qalandiya checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem in the central occupied West Bank, for allegedly attempting to stab Israeli soldiers Friday morning.
In the NY Times lead story on the Kerry speech, writer David Sanger says Obama has distanced himself from Middle East peace negotiations, which he “doubted would succeed.” This is false and a jab at Kerry. The policy was Obama’s, and set in place with the Cairo speech of 2009.
Scholar-activist Nada Elia writes: “I believe that BDS will play as important a role in restoring Palestinian rights as the global boycott of South Africa did in ending apartheid there. The BDS movement will achieve its full potential impact through mass information—by more and more people learning how they can advance the movement, and by corporations and governments understanding the breadth of BDS support. This is where Mondoweiss plays a pivotal role. In recent years, the growth in our movement’s success has been enabled by constant reporting and opinion pieces published in Mondoweiss, where they reach hundreds of thousands of readers regularly. I urge you to join me in supporting Mondoweiss as a key movement tool. By connecting those of us building power, Mondoweiss makes a difference that is essential for any hope of justice in our lifetime.”
Jeff Halper writes: Suffice it to say that a just peace will not come from Israel or governments, or from the collaborationist Palestinian Authority. A just resolution will only come when Palestinians and their Israeli allies come together pro-actively, in good faith and with a determination to resolve the situation justly. And it will take the form of a one-state solution – a bi-national, democratic state – because that is the only option Israel and Kerry have left us with.
John Kerry’s closing act as secretary of state is a 72-minute speech devoted to a problem, Israeli settlements, that was removed from the Democratic Party platform just five months before. The bitter failure of the Obama administration to take on Netanyahu untill the last minute is proof of the power of the Israel lobby inside American liberalism. The Democratic Party will support justice in the Middle East only if it takes on the forces of intolerance in its own ranks. That means the Israel lobby. You can’t defeat an enemy if you can’t name it.
Haidar Eid writes from Gaza, “The entire world is against Israel, but how are we, Palestinians, going to build on that? The answer comes loud and clear from the Palestinian-lead BDS Campaign: a total boycott against Israel and divestment from it and from foreign companies benefitting from its multi-tiered system of oppression, namely occupation, colonization and apartheid, and the imposition of sanctions against it until it complies with international law. In a nutshell, what we, Palestinians, need right now is a diplomacy of resistance.”
Activist Felice Gelman writes: “What’s allowed Palestinians to endure under a hostile and oppressive rule for seventy years? I’ve been involved with the Palestinian struggle in many ways and I know that one of its most important elements is culture. Culture is where the heart speaks. I’m writing today to highlight the essential work of Mondoweiss in covering art and culture in Palestine, and to ask you to join me in supporting that work.”
Israel’s vehement response to Resolution 2334 speaks volumes. It will not “exchange land for peace,” it will not help create a Palestinian state, it will not stop settlements, it will not end the occupation. And in 23 days it will get a new American administration that will sign off on the end of the idea of a Palestinian state.
One-state Greater Israel is not consonant with democratic ideals, and Americans and the world will never accept it, John Kerry said. The unspoken challenge to Jews the world over was, will the Jewish people accept it?
John Kerry’s speech on Israel/Palestine today was a eulogy for the two state solution, some commenters said; while others said he laid down new criticisms of Israel with statement about “separate but not equal” residents of West Bank and saying “The settler agenda” is defining Israel’s future.
“Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!” Donald Trump tweeted today in anticipation of Secretary of State John Kerry’s much-ballyhooed speech on Middle East peace this morning. But Steny Hoyer joins forces with Trump in telling the Obama administration to leave Israel alone.
Nadya Raja Tannous writes, “On my trip to Standing Rock, I saw a kind of overarching control, surveillance and government force that is horrifyingly similar to life in occupied Palestine. Because of Mondoweiss, what I saw on the ground in Standing Rock reached communities who could not witness it themselves. Please join me in donating to Mondoweiss to support their commitment to covering real news on pertinent issues that mainstream news outlets don’t cover.”
In extensive coverage of the UN Security Council resolution against settlements, the New York Times has quoted only four Palestinians. One article was headlined that the focus is now “back on Palestinians,” but quoted numerous Americans and Israeli voices, but only one Palestinian.
2016 has been deadliest year of the past decade for West Bank children, according to Defense for Children International–Palestine. In the past year Israeli forces have killed 31 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Ayed Abu Eqtaish, Accountability Program director at DCIP, says, “Intentional lethal force now appears to be routinely used by Israeli forces, even in unjustified situations, with no accountability, putting more and more children at risk.”
President Obama’s decision to allow passage of a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements as illegal has done more to change the shape of the conflict than any other action in the last ten years, even than Israel’s massacres in Gaza. Israel supporters always said that the country would not move toward peace if the U.S. was tough on it. But the UN Security Council resolution against settlements shows the opposite to be true: a little distance is already causing huge positive developments, isolating the country in world opinion and licensing criticism of PM Netanyahu. Obama has nudged Israel, and the media, toward recognition of the country’s new status, as a rogue state.
Judah Ari Gross of the Times of Israel offers unflinching description of “ugly” Israeli occupation at a NY synagogue: Israeli police who deal with settler crimes are “terrible,” Israeli soldiers come out of service “crazy.” And it’s perfectly reasonable to discuss a one-state solution with equal rights for everyone, “call it a day and what will be will be.”
Journalist Eli Lake has been unhinged by the UN resolution against Israeli settlements that Obama allowed to go through, and has been accusing Obama of cowardice and hatred, invoking biblical claims to Jerusalem and attacking writers who disagree with him as terrorists