In her remarks on “Black-Palestinian Solidarity,” organized by Columbia University Apartheid Divest and the Columbia Black Students Organization in honor of Black History Month, Dr. Robyn Spencer, a history professor at Lehman College, explained how her work as a longtime prisoner solidarity activist led her to an explicit solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Monthly Archives: February 2018
On Sunday, February 25, at their annual convention in San Diego, California, Democrats approved a set of positions on pending legislation that includes opposition to S 720/HR 1697, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, a federal bill that would impose draconian penalties for boycotts regarding Israel under certain circumstances; and S 170/HR 2856, the Combatting BDS Act, which purports to permit and encourage states to enact similar laws–as many have.
Leftwing Israeli author Avraham Burg called for one state in Israel and Palestine and described some of his cousins as “literally speaking racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, homophobic, OK, a few other phobias”, and he got a less than hearty welcome for his remarks at B’nai Jeshurun, a progressive NY synagogue. The sad state of American Jewry.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre closed its doors Sunday to protest a new Israeli property law and tax policy that would allow the government to take over church properties leased to private companies, and begin imposing taxes on church properties. On Tuesday evening, as crowds of tourists and Christians gathered to pray outside of the church, local Palestinian Christians and Muslims marched together from the Christian quarter of the Old City to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to protest the new policies.
Major General Yoav Mordechai, Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, claimed that 15-year-old Mohammad Tamimi admitted that the injury to his head was sustained from a bicycle accident, and not from Israeli forces shooting him in the face. Mohammad tells Mondoweiss he only said this because Israeli forces had “beaten him” into confessing. “We were in a car on our way to the interrogations and there were two Israeli officials who kept beating me in my face, back, everywhere and kept telling me that I had to admit it was a bicycle accident,” Mohammad said. “I was very scared and I didn’t want them to continue beating me, so I confessed.”
After 75,000 views, Youtube removed a cover version of Lorde’s hit song “Royals” that exalted the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) “due to a copyright claim by Kobalt Music Productions.” Youtube let stand many other parodies of the song, often savage toward the artist. There is always an exception for pro-Palestinian creations.
In a sign of how unsettled Israeli society is by the Tamimi family’s nonviolent resistance in occupied Nabi Saleh, Major General Yoav Mordechai claims that Mohammed Tamimi, 15, was not shot in the head by Israelis in December, a lie of stunning audacity.
Two months after US President Donald Trump announced his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem are expressing renewed fears of a changing status quo in the city. Earlier this month, Israel completed construction of a permanent watchtower checkpoint at the entrance of Damascus Gate, the main entrance to the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. Jerusalem resident Nasser Isa tells Mondoweiss that the construction of the watchtower is a clear step towards Israel establishing full control of the city: “This tower reveals the occupation’s security strategy for the city and the people who live here, and how they don’t believe in the freedom of expression, the freedom of movement, and the freedom of worship.”
After President Donald Trump praised a group of white nationalists in Charlottesville last year, describing “some very fine people on both sides,” at last 20 groups cancelled events at his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago in protest. But one group stood with the president amid the controversy. “I wanted to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. President, for being a supporter of the state of Israel, our only ally in the Mideast,’” said Steven Alembic, organizer of the The Truth About Israel Gala Event at Mar-a-Lago.
In the middle of the night on Monday, the Israeli military raided the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh in full force, a common occurrence for the village’s internationally-recognized residents, the Tamimi family, who have seen several family members arrested from the village in the past few months. On Monday alone, Israeli forces detained 10 members of the extended Tamimi family, including five minors between the ages of 14 and 17. Among the detainees was 15-year-old Muhammad Tamimi, who is scheduled to have reconstructive surgery on his skull due to being shot in the face by Israeli soldiers with a rubber-coated steel bullet in December.
The premier Israel lobby group AIPAC fulfills its mission of guaranteeing bipartisan support for Israel by having many liberal Democratic speakers this weekend: Rep. Adam Schiff, Jake Sullivan, and Tamara Cofman Wittes. Even as the progressive Democratic base grows alienated from Israel, establishment Dems need to show support for the rightwing country so as to preserve their careers.
Christian leaders in Jerusalem announced Sunday they will close one of Christianity’s most sacred sites, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, in protest of an Israeli bill targeting church-owned lands, and the repeal of the church’s tax-exempt status. “This reminds us all of laws of a similar nature which were enacted against the Jews during dark periods in Europe,” Christian leaders said in a statement.
When he was 15-years-old, Hamza Abu Hashem was attacked by Israeli military dogs, and left with serious injuries on his legs, arms, and shoulder. In a video of his attack, Israeli soldiers can be heard saying “give it to him, son of a bitch” and “who’s afraid?” as the teenager cried and screamed in pain. Now, four years after the attack that left his mind and body scarred for life, Hamza, along with his family, is suing the Israeli government over the attack, as well as the Dutch company that has been supplying Israel with attack dogs for more than 20 years.
Adrian Chen’s piece on Russiagate in the New Yorker has an important subtext: There is a narrative to be narrated, dammit, and facts can get in the way. And if you naively choose the facts, you might find yourself demonized as a pro-Putin propagandist. When the truth is that leftwing skeptics of Russiagate are opposed to the MSM’s neverending warmongering.
Canary Mission seeks to destroy the employment prospects of students who are critical of Israel by smearing their on-line reputations. Scholars Margaret Ferguson and David Simpson call on responsible educators to denounce the project.
Steven Salaita wrote recently that we must exclude Zionists from left-oriented protests. I don’t agree with him. I think any movement that has no room for Noam Chomsky, Uri Avnery, Lisa Goldman and IfNotNow because they are or have been Zionists is not a broad one and not one that will be successful.
On a tour of the Muslim holy site, the Haram-al-Sharif, in the Old City of Jerusalem yesterday, a Colorado congressman’s wife advised messianic Jews that “seizure” of the site might be the best option. “Why not tomorrow– say it’s ours!” Jean Tipton said to zealots on the occupied site.
Ambassador David Friedman’s assertion that uprooting 100s of 1000s of settlers would “cause a civil war” is echoed by many on the left. Both sides imagine a one-state outcome, even as liberal Zionists attack Friedman for suggesting that Israeli society is not resilient and that the two-state solution is right around the corner.
In a wild speech in Munich, Netanyahu warned of a global Holocaust if Iran gets nuclear weapons. And he said that Iran was similar to the Nazis, in its supposed desire to annihilate 6 million Jews in Israel. Netanyahu is seeking any distraction he can get from the corruption investigation that is closing in on him, Jonathan Ofir writes.
A 33-year-old Palestinian identified as Yasin Omar Saradeeh from Jericho was pronounced dead shortly after Israeli forces detained him on Thursday morning. Saradeeh’s family said Israeli forces severely beat him after detaining him and that he was in a good health before his arrest.
Imagine a military watchtower built in Grand Central Terminal or the Piazza San Marco without the agreement of the locals. Occupier Israel has erected a steel wen of a watchtower in Damascus Gate, disfiguring the historic site, and all to police Palestinians more vigilantly. Though no one in the west says a word against it.
Abdulhadi Hantash’s report on crimes of occupation in the Hebron district in 2017 includes: 15 cases of soldiers’ taunting citizens, with loud parties and lewd dancing, and 10 cases of mixing of food supplies, in which soldiers raid homes and mix oil, rice, sugar, and wheat together so the family has nothing to eat.
Mahmoud Abbas’s former adviser Diana Buttu said his address to the U.N. Security Council would not achieve anything. It is “yet another iteration of speeches long ago, in which he once again implored the world to convene an international conference to address Palestinian rights.”
Mersiha Gadzo reports from Gaza,”Three-year old Ahmad Abu Amra from Deir al-Balah, Gaza died on January 27, 2018 while waiting for an exit permit to be approved as he suffered from internal bleeding in the head. Despite submitting an urgent transfer application, his family waited three weeks and received the approved permit a day after he died. All permits to leave Gaza for treatment in Israel must first be approved by the Palestinian Authority. Leaders in Gaza accused Ramallah of delaying and out-right refusing to turn over the requests to Israel.”
New York Times columnists Bret Stephens and Roger Cohen repeatedly bashed the left for not tolerating dissent at a JCC panel about Israel in New York last week. Cohen called for “unsafe” speech and “open discussions, fierce debate” so as to fend off a “monolithic” McCarthyist “mob” on campuses. But the panel itself embodied Jewish intolerance of dissent: All three speakers on stage were ardent Zionists, introduced by a JCC official as people who could reinforce “our commitment to Israel.”