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January 2018

‘We’re going to have nothing to do with (peace process) any longer’ — Trump threatens Palestinians

Philip Weiss on

Trump brags that the U.S. removed the “toughest issue” from peace talks between Israel and Palestine. “We took Jerusalem off the table, so we don’t have to talk about it anymore.” He continued to threaten Palestinians with financial damage but warned that if they don’t agree to talk, but said the U.S. would have “nothing to do with it any longer.”

‘Without UNRWA we have nothing’: Palestinian refugees speak out against US aid cuts

Jaclynn Ashly on

Palestinians in Bethlehem’s Aida refugee camp have expressed their mounting anxiety over a US decision to slash funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Ahmad Abu Salem, who owns a small shop in Aida camp, tells Mondoweiss, “UNRWA is all we have. We don’t have any alternatives if they continue cutting services. We would have no jobs and nowhere to go. If these cuts continue the situation here could explode. Without UNRWA we have nothing.”

Norman Finkelstein’s new book on Gaza is a meticulous account of Israel’s crimes

James North on

Human rights organizations Amnesty International, B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch stopped itemizing Israeli crimes in the 2014 assault on Gaza, the worst of them all, Norman Finkelstein documents in his impassioned record of war crimes against the strip, Gaza: An Inquest Into Its Martyrdom, published by the University of California Press.

Messianic Mike Pence spouts pseudo-biblical literalism in Jerusalem

Dorgham Abusalim on

John Kerry was once accused by an Israeli leader of being messianic in pursuing peace. Mike Pence is messianic in the opposite cause. His speech to the Knesset positioned the vice president as a Zionist prophet, speaking of God’s faithfulness in delivering a state to the Jews.

‘ICE is out of control’: Amer Othman Adi continues hunger strike as family fights for his freedom

Jesse Rubin on

Eight days have passed since Amer Othman Adi was detained by federal immigration agents upon arrival at a “routine” check-in, as mandated by the Immigration, Customs and Enforcement (ICE) office in Cleveland. Following his arrest, Adi’s family has applied unrelenting pressure on the immigration agency, both engaging the press and elected officials via social media, letter writing, and direct action. “This isn’t [ICE] deporting immigrants; this is ICE bullying and tricking people,” Lina Adi, Amer’s daughter, tells Mondoweiss “ICE is out of control.”

There are two narratives, but one reality: Palestinian dispossession

Joseph Levine on

Reading JMN Jeffries’s reissued 1940 study of the Balfour Declaration, scholar Joseph Levine concludes that it is true that there are two narratives about the foundation of a Jewish state in Palestine — but only one of them, the Palestinian one, has much connection to reality.

Israeli Defense Minister urges ban against poet for calling Ahed Tamimi a hero

Jonathan Ofir on

And on the day the story of the struggle is told,

You, Ahed Tamimi,

With red hair,

Like David who slapped Goliath,

Will be mentioned in the same line  

As Joan of Arc, Hannah Szenes and Anne Frank.

On Monday, Israeli poet Yehonatan Gefen posted a poem on his Instagram honoring Ahed Tamimi. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman was so infuriated by this he called for all media outlets to ban Gefen and his work completely.

Fearing breakup of Israel lobby, liberal Zionists stress the power of Jewish unity

Philip Weiss on

Jane Eisner of the Forward says the identification of Israel with one party, Republicans, is “terrifying,” and so Democratic Jews should support AIPAC, the Israel lobby. Liberal Zionists hate the occupation but they hate the threat to US support for Israel even more. She endorses the idea that the lobby is an instrument of Jewish influence.

Examining ‘Ten Myths about Israel’, by Ilan Pappe

Allan C. Brownfeld on
Ilan Pappe

Palestine was not empty. The Jewish people are not a nation with a homeland in the Middle East. Palestine was not ‘redeemed’, it was colonized. Its people did not flee, they were ethnically cleansed. Jews are not all Zionists. These are some of the myths that scholar Ilan Pappe exposes in his new book.

Netanyahu has taken a wrecking ball to Israel’s favorability ratings among Democrats

Philip Weiss on
Benjamin Netanyahu

Liberal Democrats have turned against Israel. Nearly twice as many liberal Democrats say they sympathize more with the Palestinians than with Israel– 35% vs. 19%– in the latest Pew survey. Just two years ago, Israel’s number was 33. We can thank Netanyahu’s ugly international image for that, as well as the attitudes of the young.

Please join the 9th annual Open Shuhada Street campaign

Issa Amro on

When Issa Amro was a child, he remembers Shuhada Street in Hebron being so crowded his father had to hold his hand tightly to keep him from getting lost. Today, the street is a ghost town, due to Israeli military control to protect illegal settlers. And Amro calls for international protests for the 9th annual Open Shuhada Street day on February 25, to demand an end to apartheid

Israel’s expulsion of African refugees – betrayal with a kiss

Jonathan Ofir on

Israeli officials in the Population and Immigration authority have begun distributing an ‘information page’ for African refugees at the Holot desert detention center. The document is chilling. It does not name the third country the refugees would be deported to, but ends with a warning that “if you do not agree to leave voluntarily to a third country, enforcement and deportation steps will be taken against you.” Not mentioned in the document is the new rule that refusal to leave will entail indefinite incarceration. The document ends with a “best of luck” wish.

Open Letter to Ben Jealous: Please take a progressive stand on Palestine

Kim Jensen and Laila El-Haddad on

Ben Jealous, the former President and CEO of the NAACP, is running for governor of Maryland. Kim Jensen and Laila El-Haddad are encouraged by his stances on public education, worker’s rights, and single-payer healthcare but say his position on BDS reveals a troubling inconsistency in his platform as a progressive.

Why is the Israeli army finally worried that Gaza is on the brink of collapse?

Jonathan Cook on

Gaza is effectively an open-air prison, an extremely overcrowded one, with only a few hours of electricity a day and its groundwater polluted by seawater and sewage. After a decade of this horrifying experiment in human endurance, the Israeli army finally appears to be concerned about whether Gaza can cope much longer.

After disturbing tour of Hebron, Roger Cohen takes a step away from Zionism

Philip Weiss on

Roger Cohen published a NYT column from occupied Hebron that takes a step away from Zionism– stating bluntly that the Israeli goal of sterilizing Hebron streets by emptying them of Palestinians is reminiscent of anti-semitic rhetoric, and that the occupation is neverending and it is imposed in the name of Jews, which he rejects.

Abbas’s crime was saying that Zionism is a colonial project

Jonathan Ofir on
Mahmoud Abbas

There was no end to the denunciation by Israelis of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech last Monday: “Laced with vile antisemitic conspiracy theories,” Abbas has “lost his marbles,” “disgraceful lies.” But Abbas’s crime, as Gideon Levy points out, is correctly identifying Zionism as a colonial project. That must not be said, and marks Abbas as an extremist.

No one cares about intermarriage anymore

Philip Weiss on

The Jewish establishment threw itself into the battle against intermarriage 25 years ago with warnings about Hitler and books by Dershowitz. Now no one cares anymore; and there are countless half Jews. The same thing is going to happen to Zionism, another anachronism the establishment is angrily defending.

Israel as a perversion of Judaism and the modern nation-state

Roland Nikles on

Jewish identity is fluid, writes Yaacov Yagdar. It went from being public, political and communal in ancient days to a private matter of religious belief during the Enlightenment to being based entirely today on a commitment to the Jewish people and their nation-state Israel. The last is a perversion of the modern state and an offense to traditional Judaism in its treatment of its non-Jewish citizens.

The checkpoints, by Rawan Yaghi

Rawan Yaghi on

Why did Rawan Yaghi not see her family in Gaza for four years as she studied at Oxford? Why did she miss her brother’s wedding? Because of Israeli borders that turn Palestinian territories into prisons. “Qalandia checkpoint looks like a slaughterhouse. As soon as the bus moved, I could then see the wall, the massive wall that now stood between me and my sister. The grey force pressed down on my chest and I burst into tears. I haven’t seen my sister since then,” she writes. kpoints.

Aren’t Ahed and Nariman Tamimi women too?

Nada Elia on

As thousands of women, and men, dust off their pink pussy hats ahead of this weekend’s anniversary Women’s March, Nada Elia says we are seeing many of the divisions that riddled last year’s rallies surface again. Thankfully, she says, we are also witnessing the emergence of a solid alternative to the shortcomings of imperial feminism. Elia writes, “Palestinian women and our allies have long pointed out the erasure of our oppression from mainstream feminist discourse.  Hopefully 2018, and the grassroots insistence that Palestine must be included in intersectional struggles for justice, will put an end to that.”