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August 2017

Blunt references to Israeli apartheid are published by ‘Peace Now’ and ‘The New Yorker’

Philip Weiss on

Eleven years after Jimmy Carter was excommunicated for using the word “apartheid” to describe Palestine, the description is showing up in more mainstream places. The Israeli human rights organization Peace Now says that Hebron has an “apartheid system,” and Israeli journalist Avi Issacharoff says in the New Yorker that it’s only a matter of time before Europe says “No more apartheid!” to Israel.

US literary figures renew call for freedom for Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour

Jewish Voice for Peace and Adalah-NY on

Prominent U.S. poets, writers, playwrights and publishers issued statements today in support of imprisoned Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour ahead of her upcoming trial verdict on October 17.  The statements calling for her freedom, and demanding that Israel drop all charges against Dareen, released by Jewish Voice for Peace and Adalah-NY, come just as the Israeli government threatens to cut funding to a Yaffa Theater that agreed to host an artists’ solidarity event for Tatour on August 30th. Tatour, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, was arrested by Israeli authorities 22 months ago, in October 2015, and charged with incitement to violence primarily over a poem she posted online, “Resist, My People, Resist Them,” as well as two Facebook posts.

One little sentence, so many lies

Bruce Mastron on
New York Times headquarters

In its story about a renewed investigation into the murder of Naji al-Ali, this is how the New York Times describes the British occupation and then The Nakba: “He fled his home in the British Mandate of Palestine at the age of 10 during the war that accompanied the creation of Israel.”

Refugees on North American tour: ‘We’re the other Palestinians and we want you to hear our story’

Amena El-Ashkar on

Amena El-Ashkar, a Palestinian refugee from Lebanon, will speak on the Nakba Tour at events across the U.S. and Canada this fall alongside Khawla Hammad, a survivor of the Nakba who was “16-years-old when she last lived in Palestine. That was 1948, when the Zionist militias drove her out along with her family and more than half the Palestinian population in Palestine.  Since then, she has lived as a refugee in Lebanon, with no citizenship in any country, and few rights.”

Shooting and crying, in ‘The New Yorker’

Donald Johnson on

The New Yorker runs a long article about an Israeli TV series involving an Israeli military unit in the West Bank, and it’s filled with the usual shooting-and-crying theme — the oh so sensitive but tough Israelis telling an American journalist about the occupation.

American Legion calls on Congress to finally investigate ‘USS Liberty’ attack, 50 years after

Philip Weiss on

“The American Legion has looked at us with disdain and dishonor for years,” says Ernest Gallo, president of the USS Liberty Veterans Association, but last week pushed by its grassroots, the Legion’s convention voted to call on Congress to investigate the June 8, 1967 attack on the Liberty by Israel that killed 34 sailors. There has never been a U.S. government investigation of the matter.

Palestinians protest new ‘segregation fence’ in Hebron

Ella Hattey on

On August 28, Palestinians in Hebron took to the streets to protest a newly-extended fence that divides the road leading to the Ibrahim Mosque in half; two-thirds of the street is divided off and allocated to the Israeli settlers, with the remaining third left for the Palestinian community. Ella Hattey writes, “The segregation fence of Salayma makes life intolerable for its residents, it imprisons a community guilty of no crime-except that of being born Palestinian.”

Family of Palestinian girl killed by settler vehicle say investigation is a sham

Kate on

Eight-year-old Palestinian girl Aseel Abu ‘Oun was killed Saturday by an Israeli settler who drove his car near where she lived in the Foroush Beit Dajan village, in the Nablus district. She was buried Sunday, and her family said the announcement of an investigation by Israel of the killing is likely meaningless, meant to quell public anger.

Netanyahu declares West Bank is Israel ‘forever,’ as liberal Zionists cry out for ‘make-believe peace process’

Philip Weiss on

The never-ending deathbed vigil for the two-state solution has reached a new stage. The Trump administration’s refusal to commit to the two-state solution is horrifying liberal Zionists who fear threats to the Jewish state, but Netanyahu is overjoyed. He celebrated the settlements this week: “This is the inheritance of our forefathers, this is our country… We came back here to stay forever. There will be no more uprooting of settlements in the Land of Israel.”

‘By the time they let me go my mother was gone’: Daughters of imprisoned Palestinian lawmaker Khalida Jarrar speak out

Sheren Khalel on

Suha and Yafa Jarrar have come to accept that their family is never safe. Being the daughters of Khalida Jarrar, a well-known leftist lawmaker in the occupied Palestinian territory, brought its challenges, but the young women are proud of their parents for their involvement. “No matter how hard it has been, we could never fault our mother for her involvement in politics, even if it can be dangerous, it is something she is passionate about and she always encouraged us to follow our passion,” Suha says. “So we will always support her in hers.”

Jordanian companies end their contracts with G4S

Jordan BDS on

Jordan BDS thanks the private and public companies in Jordan that have discontinued their contracts with the security company G4S in response to a global boycott call against the company for its role in the Israeli occupation.

Prominent Israeli rabbi preaches rape in war time

Yossi Gurvitz on

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu is the Rabbi of the town of Safed, and is one of the most notoriously racist rabbis in Israel. He has publicly said he will not condemn “price tag” attacks by settlers on Palestinians, saying “if the government won’t act, then the public should” and his most notorious act was signing a petition demanding no Jew rent or sell apartments to a non-Jew in his town of Safed; 300 rabbis joined the call. Now, an Israeli blogger exposed an old ruling (from 2002) of Eliyahu allowing rape during war. Says the rabbi, “When lives are on the line, you do not educate the soldiers to morality.”

‘Auto-anti-Semitism!’ Naftali Bennett declares war on Jewish self-hatred in Israel

Jonathan Ofir on

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett made a genius triple breakthrough in the fields of psychology, psychiatry and sociology on Friday, offering a new term for the old idea of Jewish self-hatred: “Auto-anti-Semitism is a social-psychological phenomenon in which a Jew develops obsessive contempt and hostility towards Jewish tradition, customs, and observant Jews,” he wrote.

The US Jewish debate over white Jewish privilege in Israel

Robert Herbst on

Forward editor Jane Eisner argues that Israel, and the Jewish people, have a right “to maintain the hegemony of the dominant class” – privileging Jews over Palestinians, at the same time she decries the discrimination and occupation that resulted from such hegemony. The rest of us have a right to label such an order exclusionary and racist.

The United State of Israel and Palestine

David Gerald Fincham on

Scholar David Gerald Fincham says historical Palestine is too small to be divided. It must be one sovereign state, but it must include two nations, with an open border. The model is Scotland and England, which became Britain in the 1700s. But this time, plant a million olive trees.

In Yoaz Hendel’s revenge fantasy, Palestinians play the Nazi parts

Jonathan Ofir on

“The moment in which an Israeli soldier gets a gun and feels the power to kill and to defend with their own hands, is the moment in which a dream develops,” writes Israeli columnist Yoaz Hendel. And that means demonizing Palestinians; Israelis shouldy be applying the virtual-reality goggles, seeing a Nazi every time they see a Palestinian.

Andrea Mitchell suggests State Dep’t staged ‘fake news’ in Jerusalem with Kushner, Netanyahu and no press

Allison Deger on
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets with the American delegation led by the advisor to U.S. President Jared Kouchner, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on August 24, 2017. (Photo: Osama Falah/APA Images)

Did Jared Kushner star in a ‘fake news’ segment while media was banned from covering his trip to Israel?–Hours after an American delegation tasked with solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict headed by Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner met with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, back in Washington NBC’s Andrea Mitchell revealed the U.S. Embassy had blocked press access to the traveling officials.

As many as 1 million Israelis have left for the U.S.

Philip Weiss on

A minority of Jews ruling over a Palestinian majority would seal the “apartheid” label; and the latest numbers on Israeli expats suggest that’s now the case in Israel and Palestine. But US media are not picking up on a story that shows Israelis are leaving the country.

Ramzy Baroud and Rima Najjar on identity and resistance

Yoav Litvin on

Rima Najjar: “I don’t know what it means to be Palestinian Jordanian, which is how I began my life, nor do I really understand what it means to be Palestinian American, which is my current status. But I know in my bones what it is to be Palestinian.”

Israeli government threatens Jaffa theater over solidarity event for Dareen Tatour

Yoav Haifawi on

In retaliation for an upcoming event planned in solidarity with Palestinian poet Dareen Tabour, the Israeli Ministry of Culture has requested the Treasury to examine whether Yaffa’s (Jaffa) “Arab-Hebrew Theater” has violated the Nakba Law. Yoav Haifawi writes, “The common knowledge in Israel is that even as Palestinians are persecuted for anything or nothing, the freedom of expression for the Jewish population was more or less secure. Now the event in Yaffa may become a test case of the new laws and the old assumptions.”

On boycotts, Palestine, and resistance: a review of ‘Assuming Boycott’

Kim Jensen on

Kim Jensen writes: Why do critics of cultural boycotts insist on framing them as a form of censorship, rather than as an invitation to imagine and enact more principled forms of engagement? Are cultural and academic boycotts an effective strategy when some artists and allies may be marginalized in the process? These are the kinds of questions that are explored in a useful new collection of essays, “Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency, and Cultural Production,” which offers a rich and lively analysis of historical and present-day boycotts and the ethical, political, and practical issues they raise.