Palestinian activists shut down a meeting in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Tuesday between a delegation from the U.S. Consulate and Palestinian city officials, marking an escalation in the widening rift between Palestinians and the U.S. after Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December. After interrupting the meeting with banners comparing Trump to Nazis and ISIS, and shouting “you are not welcome anymore!” the American officials abruptly walked out of a conference room at the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Monthly Archives: January 2018
In Oct. 2017, Al Jazeera said it had done an undercover investigation of the Israel lobby in the U.S. in 2016. But the documentary has never aired — and meanwhile Israel advocates Alan Dershowitz and Mort Klein have visited the monarchy and surely put pressure on the government to rein in Al Jazeera. The network should air its findings.
Al-Shabaka’s Executive Director Nadia Hijab speaks in London to Palestine solidarity activists: “We badly need a positive, forward-looking narrative of what we are for, a narrative that unifies us and communicates the power of our vision. A narrative that provides a direction for the movement until the time comes for a political outcome. That unifying Palestinian narrative already exists: It’s Freedom. It’s Justice. It’s Equality.”
In his State of the Union speech, Donald Trump extemporized to characterize countries that receive aid from the US but voted against our recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last month as “enemies of America.” That list includes France, Germany, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Indonesia and Pakistan.
In an unprecedented victory for the BDS movement, a federal judge has blocked Kansas from enforcing a state law which punishes those who express support or engage in the boycott of Israel. “The government has no right telling people what they can and can’t support, and this preliminary injunction will protect other Kansans from enduring the First Amendment violation that [Wichita public school teacher Esther] Koontz has endured,” said Micah Kubic, director of the ACLU of Kansas.
Palestinian photographer Hamde Abu Rahme visits Jerusalem for the first time, and posted video: “Finally, after 30 years of waiting, I got the chance to see my beautiful capital Jerusalem, which is only a 30 minute drive from home in the West Bank town of Bil’in… It makes me sad because maybe it will be my last time or maybe I visit this place in another 30 years.”
According to his family, Laith Abu Naim, 16, was unarmed when an Israeli soldier shot the boy at a distance of two meters during clashes in their village of Mughayer, northeast of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. “The soldiers killed him from a short range. They could have arrested him; they could have injured him; they could have shot his leg,” Laith’s uncle Marzouq Abu Naim told Palestinian media. “But the soldier meant to kill him. The bullet went through his eye and through the back of his head.” Abu Naim is the fourth Palestinian minor to be shot dead by Israeli forces in 2018 to date.
“We have to remember, it’s a Jewish newspaper,” Israeli author Ben-Dror Yemini says of the New York Times, linking it to the “sickness” of American Jews in seeking meaning by attacking Israel. He spoke at a Reform synagogue on the Upper West Side.
The Israeli Knesset voted earlier this month to amend the penal code in order to remove restriction on judges issuing the death penalty for those involved in murders while carrying out “terrorist operations.” The bill has not been adopted yet. From the monthly report on Palestinian health and human rights from Jewish Voice for Peace.
A hospital in the northern Gaza Strip suspended its services on Monday due to a lack of fuel, the hospital and a spokesperson for the Hamas-run health ministry said. “All health services provided at Beit Hanoun hospital were suspended due to power cuts and the lack of fuel for the hospital’s backup generators,” the hospital wrote in a statement posted to its official Facebook page.
Steven Salaita on why Zionists should be excluded from left-wing protests: “The most important reason why ‘no Zionists’ is justified has less to do with strategy than with comradely spirit: is the US left finally willing to respect Palestinian (and more broadly Arab) sensibilities? Or will it continue to demand that Palestinians defer their liberation in order to assuage Zionist fragility?”
Granted an op-ed in the New York Times to spread distortions and lies regarding Israel’s critics, the country’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett attempts to whitewash the recent Israeli ban against BDS activist groups, by demonizing them as “enemy soldiers” and slyly comparing them to those who “helped Nazi Germany.”
Israeli poet Yehonatan Geffen caused a furor in Israel for his comparison of Ahed Tamimi to Anne Frank, but he has now recanted his offending comparison. This followed incitement by Israeli government ministers creating what he calls “effective house arrest” for the past week. Not so bad compared to Ahed Tamimi’s detention or Dareen Tatour’s house arrest.
In a recent New York Times Op-Ed, Naftali Bennett argued that Israel’s ban on entry of foreign BDS supporters is logical and necessary, comparing it to the U.S. ban on the entry of Nazi collaborators. Jack Snyder responds, “I am a Jewish student. I study at the preeminent institution of the academic study of Judaism in America, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. And yet somehow, in the eyes of the state of Israel, due to my membership in Jewish Voice for Peace and the BDS movement, I am no better than a Nazi collaborator.”
Nada Elia writes about the efforts to challenge the pinkwashing agenda of the National LGBTQ Task Force, organizer of the Creating Change conference: “From the Women’s March to Creating Change, we need to persist in our demands for equal rights for all. As the global discussion of misogyny and gender violence continues to build up, denouncing their pervasiveness in all aspects of life, we must insist on a discussion of Israel’s intrinsic violation of the human rights of Palestinians, in the name of ‘Jewish democracy.’ Creating Change must do better. #Time’sUp to toss Zionism where it belongs, in supremacist communities.”
The New York Times runs a long investigative piece by Ronen Bergman praising Israeli generals for not risking the lives of civilians in their efforts to target Arafat for assassination in the ’80s. The article glances over the hundreds of Lebanese civilians killed by Israel in bombing any building it suspected Arafat of hiding out in, war crimes you will not read about in the Times.
The Campus Antifascist Network calls for an end to the serial and libelous harassment of Stanford University Professor David Palumbo-Liu perpetrated by Fox News, the Stanford Review, and the alt-right.
Henry Siegman’s landmark piece in the National applauds Trump for ending illusions. The two-state solution is dead and buried, Palestinians are making the right choice, a struggle for equal rights. And this will lead to a “significant exodus of Jews” as Israel faces a future as an acknowledged apartheid state or a democracy. Siegman’s defection from Establishment “scam” on these issues shows up Barack Obama, who endorses the same old illusions in NY synagogue appearance.
Israeli democracy performs its excited dance around the Ahed Tamimi case. A poet is slammed for comparing her to Anne Frank. Commentators call the judge’s ruling “hysterical.” But nothing changes at the heart of the case: a 16-year-old is in prison indefinitely for slapping an occupying soldier.
Rockers Nick Cave and Thom Yorke were both contemptuous of the BDS movement last year. But the indefinite imprisonment of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi for slapping a soldier, which highlights the detention of more than 600 Palestinian children every year, ought to convince these free artists where their real sympathies should lie, with caged young people who have no hope of realizing their dreams, Frank Barat writes.
Michael Oren has made himself a laughingstock by starting an investigation into whether the Tamimi family of Nabi Saleh is “a real family”, because they wear baseball caps backward. The more important question is whether Israel is a real country; and it gets harder and harder to believe that it is.
Mathilde Krim, who died at 91 this month, was honored in obituaries for his courageous advocacy for AIDS victims in the 90s. The press ignored her other great cause: Moving US foreign policy on Israel in the 60s to the “no daylight” stance we’ve had since. Krim had lived in Israel and married a leading Democratic fundraiser, and she twisted Lyndon Johnson’s arm to stand by Israel’s side.
In a talk yesterday at the Middle East Institute, Palestinian Ambassador Husam Zomlot accused Donald Trump of “backstabbing” Mahmoud Abbas, deepening a dispute over who is to blame for the failure of a peace deal with Israel. While earlier in the day Trump said Palestinian leaders had abandoned pre-talk discussions, Zomlot presented an altogether different narrative: the Palestinians were bystanders to internal divisions within the Trump administration that prevented peace talks from starting months ago.
Israeli soldiers shot, Tuesday, two Palestinians near Za‘tara military roadblock, south of occupied Nablus, after they reportedly attempted to stab them. On Wednesday and Thursday, 16-year-olds were shot near Nablus and Hebron, one of them as Israeli soldiers “ambushed youths.”
After pressure from local pro-Israel organizations, the New Orleans City Council yesterday voted unanimously to rescind a human rights resolution that the body passed exactly two weeks ago. “The hoods are off. We see the way Zionist organizations like the Anti-Defamation League and Jewish Federation are willing to kill a human rights resolution and undermine entire movements to protect Israel,” Anna Baltzer, Director of Organizing and Advocacy with the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, said.