The State Department has shut down rumors of an imminent transfer of the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, however officials have yet to announce whether the waiver to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv would be signed by U.S. President Donald Trump by the required time, Dec. 4.
Monthly Archives: November 2017
Israel can expect more understanding from Donald Trump’s negotiating team because they are all observant Jews, Natan Sharansky of the Jewish Agency said Tuesday night. Netanyahu will come forward with a ‘serious’ proposal for peace, Sharansky says, and Arab countries will put pressure on Palestinian leadership to accept it.
“During one of my visits, as I stood reading the names engraved on the wall, I noticed the name of Maria Teresa El-Tit, one of Villa Grimaldi’s disappeared prisoners. I paused. It was a Palestinian family name, and I was in front of a different story – a story I had found resonance of in other conversations and settings. I wondered: had some members of her family arrived from Palestine in the early 1900s as other immigrants had? I thought of the Palestinian martyrs’ bodies which Israel refuses to hand over to their families, and thus denying them the act of saying goodbye to their loved ones and living with the pain. I thought of Palestinian martyrs, of prisoners, and of those who were, and continue to be, tortured and subjected to multitude forms of violence.”–Basil Farraj
Last week Dr. Hatem Bazian, a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, became subject to intense criticism and calls for his dismissal after it came to light that months earlier he had retweeted an anti-Semitic meme. The incident follows years of false accusations of anti-Semitism and outlandish claims. Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi, a professor at the nearby San Francisco State University, explained in emails this week to her colleagues and the UC Berkeley Chancellor that Bazian is being victimized by a campaign: “I urge you to strong reject this bullying and smear campaign. I call on you to publicly defend Dr. Bazian against this witch hunt.”
Ahmed Alnaouq pens a letter to an Israeli drone: “Dear friend, I didn’t want to write you this letter, but I was provoked—you could say I was driven to it by your incessant nagging, keeping us up all night long. I have known you for a long time, since 2008. I remember when I saw you for the first time. You were terrifying—tiny, but terrifying nonetheless. It was just days after the launch of what would become a 21-day war on Gaza. When I heard your low, persistent whine, I had no idea what you were. Your sound alone caused chills to go up and down my spine. Then, seeing your sleek, silvery shape in the sky filled me with wonder and fear.”
Liberal Zionists are in crisis. Alon Ben-Meir says the left is alive and strong in Israel, and it will revive the two-state solution. While Danny Seidemann of Peace Now warns that Netanyahu has approved a “Doomsday settlement” that would cut off Bethlehem from Jerusalem for Palestinians, meaning the dream of a Palestinian state is dead.
“The light disappears.
Was it real?
Again he lifts his wings
and prepares to fly.
He turns to the tree,
as if to ask if she sees.
His olive tree is silent.”–Basman Derawi
In an apparent escalation of Israel’s anti-BDS policy, an American Jew disclosed to Mondoweiss that in order to receive a valid visa they were forced to sign a loyalty oath to the state of Israel. The individual, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, was summoned to the Interior Ministry’s office and forced to write and sign a letter declaring allegiance to the state in order to receive a tourist visa. Handwritten on official Ministry of Interior Population Immigration and Border Authority stationery, the letter, as dictated to the individual by an agent of the ministry reads: “I declare that I will not do any activities against Israel, the army, and its institutions.”
“Suggesting, as the posters do, that Jews have been driven out of their land (like indigenous people) and have finally returned to Israel–a trajectory that all indigenous people should unite behind–is a crude and cynical manipulation of (Jewish) history and a vulgar fabrication that not only makes no sense, but is also offensive in its use and abuse of indigenous peoples’ histories of oppression,” writes professor Gil Hochberg.
55 Israeli lawmakers including the Prime Minister and several ministers have petitioned the President Reuven Rivlin to reconsider his refusal to pardon the soldier-medic-killer Elor Azarya. Azarya is likely to get out of prison next spring, but he is so popular in Israel these lawmakers don’t want him to spend the winter in prison.
Palestinian leadership has been told that the U.S. government is on the verge of decertifying their right to maintain an office in Washington because they had the audacity to complain to the International Criminal Court about Israel’s land theft and settlement activity in the occupied territories. James Zogby writes, “Imagine that you are a victim of a violent crime or theft but are forbidden from reporting it because Congress has passed a law that not only prohibits you from reporting the crime, but threatens punishment if you dare to do it. This is the situation in which the Palestinians find themselves today.”
An event in Washington DC featuring Jerusalem activist Fayrouz Sharqawi, Brookland Manor tenant leader Cheryl Brunson, and community organizer Yasmina Mrabet highlighted the parallels of women fighting to protect their homes and communities in both occupied East Jerusalem and gentrified Washington DC.
Hamza Abu Al-Tarabeesh reports from Gaza: “With most of the fine print incomplete, at the moment reconciliation is in a transitional stage where most of the fallout is occurring inside of Gaza. Merging government ministries between the two geographically separated and occupied Palestinian territories has started, but is far from over.”
David Harris of the American Jewish Committee is pained that young Jews don’t feel “a sense of unbridled joy and pride and thrill” in the creation of Israel, but in fact some feel hostility. “What are we doing wrong in our homes? What are we doing wrong in our schools?” he asked at Temple Shaaray Tefila in Bedford Corners, N.Y.
The residents of Jabal Al-Baba Bedouin community, east of Occupied Jerusalem held a rally a week after receiving an eviction notice from the Israeli authorities. The protest, in cooperation with the Avazz organisation and international activists aimed to send the message they are refusing Israeli orders and are determined to remain on their land.
The BDS Gulf conference, which was welcomed by the speaker of the Kuwaiti parliament and attended by a number of parliamentarians from several GCC countries, called for the adoption of national laws and regulations that would require private entities and public institutions alike to exclude companies complicit in Israel’s regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid from bids and contracts.
Dean Issacharoff, a former army lieutenant and member of Breaking the Silence, says he beat a Palestinian stone-thrower in the West Bank town of Hebron while trying to handcuff him in 2014. The Israeli Justice Ministry claims the event never happened and that Issacharoff had made a “mendacious claim.” Achiya Schatz, a spokesperson for Breaking the Silence, says. “This was a politicised investigation, made-to-order for the elimination of opposition (voices).”
David Harris of the American Jewish Committee says Israel has greater legitimacy than the United States, because the U.S. doesn’t have the bible or the Balfour Declaration to affirm the connection of Americans to the land. The bible talks about Zion and Jerusalem, not New York and Washington. And Harris praises colonialism in the Americas and Australia/NZ in justifying Zionist claims.
Israel seeks to remove 40,000 African refugees by deportation. How convenient it is for Israel that so many countries in the West are now governed by right-wing, white-supremacist, anti-immigrant and fascist forces. Herzl knew this over a century ago, where he noted, “The anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies”.
The Trump presidency as hateful and unpleasant and regrettable as it has been, has created great openings for the left. We are now living in a radical age, and the left is getting to offer its answers, on such matters as capitalism and the patriarchy. If Clinton had won, the sexual harassment wave wouldn’t have happened.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tipi Hotovely was hoisted by her own petard and Prime Minister Netanyahu has been reported as “checking the procedure” for firing her. Hotovely’s sin is that she committed a classic gaffe: she was caught on tape saying what she thought. About American Jews. In English.
Nasser al-Qudwa, spokesperson for the Palestinian party Fatah, said that if the Trump administration follows through on the congressional effort to shut down the PLO mission in Washington, D.C., “there will be a serious repercussion” — possibly the collapse of the efforts by Trump’s negotiating team of Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt to restart peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.
Lashing out against American Jews, Israel’s top diplomat Tzipi Hotoveli said that they were living “quite convenient lives” and that they don’t send their kids to the military. “People that never send their children to fight for their country– most of the Jews don’t have children serving as soldiers, going to the Marines, going to Afghanistan, or to Iraq.”
By playing Tel Aviv, Nick Cave silenced Palestinians, explains flutist and composer Nai Barghouti, who offers the Australian musician a description of how Israeli forces at an occupation checkpoint stopped Barghouti at 13 when Barghouti was trying to go to an important music lesson in Jerusalem.
“Your child is taken to an interrogation room and bullied into confessing a “crime”–insulting the honor of a soldier, for instance, or throwing stones at a wall. Like you, your son was born into a military occupation and under military law a soldier’s honor is worth 10 years of your son’s life.”–Nyla Matuk