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September 2018

Abbas and Netanyahu present competing visions of peace, and Trump, at UN General Assembly

Yumna Patel on
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech at the United Nations during the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, 2018 in New York City. (Photo: Thaer Ganaim/APA Images)

Both Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly on Thursday in New York. While Netanyahu spent most of his speech boasting of Israel’s raid on an alleged secret Iranian nuclear facility, railing into the Obama-administration’s Iran deal, and criticizing Iran’s influence in Syria and Lebanon, Abbas presented a lackluster criticism of Israel, the Trump administration, and the international community.

35 senators send letter to Trump opposing Palestinian aid cut

Kate on

Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.) led a letter of 35 U.S. Senators to President Trump to express strong opposition to his decision to cut more than $500 million in aid to the Palestinian people. “We are deeply concerned that your strategy of attempting to force the Palestinian Authority to the negotiating table by withholding humanitarian assistance from women and children is misguided and destined to backfire,” the senators wrote.

Palestinian withdraws from Jerusalem mayoral race after Israel moves to review his residency status

Jaclynn Ashly on
Aziz Abu Sarah in Jerusalem. Photo: Jaclynn Ashley.

After announcing his daring campaign to become the first Palestinian to contend for the seat of mayor in Israel’s municipal elections in Jerusalem, Aziz Abu Sarah, 38, announced on Tuesday that he has been forced into withdrawing due to mounting pressures put on his campaign from Israel and Palestinian political factions. Jaclynn Ashly talks to Abu Sarah about his decision to end his campaign.

Gaza’s economy is not ‘falling.’ It was pushed.

Marilyn Garson on

Marilyn Garson writes that a new World Bank report that describes Gaza’s economy as in “free fall”, is a bitter choice of words.  Gaza did not fall, it was pushed. “In Gaza, one always fears that new losses will become the new normal.  The report’s annex validates that fear,” Garson writes.

Jeremy Corbyn backs recognition of independent Palestine as Labour calls for halt of UK arms export to Israel

Yumna Patel on
Jeremy Corbyn addresses the annual Labour Party conference in 2017. (Photo: Getty Images)

A Labour government in the UK would recognize an independent Palestinian state as soon as it took office, Jeremy Corbyn said on Wednesday, during the annual Labour conference in Liverpool. During his keynote speech, the Labour leader criticized Israel’s passing of the Nation-State law earlier this summer and the killing of over 170 of Palestinian protesters along the Gaza border since March. The day before Corbyn’s speech, delegates at the conference passed a motion to support the immediate suspension of UK arms sales to Israel pending an investigation of Israel’s killing of protesters in Gaza.

Trump channels Netanyahu at the U.N., as his top policy-makers meet with Iran-war-mongers

Philip Weiss on

Trump all but called for regime change in Iran at the UN even as his secretary of state and national security adviser addressed Sheldon Adelson’s outfit, United Against Nuclear Iran. The Times has noticed Adelson’s enormous influence but it would be helpful if the press discussed the right wing Israel lobby’s push for war.

‘Trump will only accelerate the creation of a new political movement in Palestine’: Nidal al-Azza on the impact of US policy towards Palestine

Yumna Patel on

Nidal al-Azza, 50, is a Palestinian activist and leading advocate for Palestinian residency and refugee rights. Al-Azza sat down with Mondoweiss to discuss the current US foreign policy in Israel and Palestine, and the effects of Trump’s political decisions on the Palestinian people, Palestinian leadership, and the future of the Palestinian cause.

Israel’s new Jewish Nation State law is a reaction to Palestinian demands for equality — Ben White

Jonathan Ofir on

Journalist Ben White gave a speech last week about the meaning of Israel’s new Nation State of the Jewish People law. It can only be understood as a pushback against efforts over the last two decades by Palestinian citizens of Israel to challenge Zionism, assert their national identity, mobilise against discrimination, and, critically, to demand a state of all its citizens.

I’d much prefer an honest Zionist to a ‘liberal’ one

Avigail Abarbanel on

Avigail Abarbanel calls on liberal Zionists such as Rabbi Daniel Zemel to stop pretending to be nice and say clearly and unequivocally that they believe that the Jewish people have more right to survive than the Palestinian people, that Zionist forces were justified to kick 750,000 Palestinians out of their homes to create Israel.

Palestinians were right to reject partition

Fathi Nemer on
Palestinians were right to reject partition.

Had the Palestinians only accepted the UN partition plan in 1947, they could be celebrating their independence alongside Israel– is a common argument by those who fear the demise of the two-state solution. But partition was always an unjust and unworkable answer to the colonialist project of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine.

Beto O’Rourke is anti-Trump and pro-Israel — should progressives support him?

Nada Elia on

With midterm elections happening across the country, Americans are once again debating the value of voting for “lesser evil” candidates, or candidates who are not quite satisfactory on all issues. Texas’ Beto O’Rourke is a prime example. He has endeared himself to many because of his clear support for NFL athletes taking a knee during the national anthem but has showed the same directness in his unambiguous support for Israel. What is a progressive voter to do?

‘NYT’ columnist is one-trick-pony: being propagandist for Israel

Donald Johnson and Philip Weiss on

The anti-Palestinian racist viewpoint is adequately represented at the New York Times by Bret Stephens and Tom Friedman, who at least write about other things— Stephens wants war with Iran and doesn’t like Trump, Friedman loves CEO’s and occasionally says something sensible about global warming. But Shmuel Rosner can do only one thing: serve up rightwing propaganda for Israel.

‘What I gave America and what America gave me’ — an interview with the incredibly charming Reja-e Busailah

Phil Weiss and Annie Robbins on

Palestinian author Reja-e Busailah says he loves the United States although he has witnessed Islamophobia here for 60 years, going back to an ad on a NY radio station, “Give a dollar and kill an Arab.” At 89, retired in Indiana, he reflects on the Nakba that deprived him of his home, and on what terms he would return to the land of his birth. Spoiler alert: Equality.

When an Israeli settler is killed, everyone notices

Jonathan Ofir on

Israeli hasbarists are exploiting the death of settler Ari Fuld for propaganda value as they admonish people for being insensitive, or even complicit, if they do not mourn. At the same time, it is forbidden to note that Palestinians are systematically being dehumanized to death by the very ideology that Ari Fuld was championing and is being openly remembered for.

When conservatives supported Palestine

Brandon Jetter on
President Donald Trump talks with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jared Kushner in Jerusalem, May 22, 2017.

Brandon Jetter chronicles the conservative movement’s evolution on Israel from viewing it as a “racist state” back in the 1950s and holding pro-Arab sentiments, to adopting a position where Israel is seen as a moral and strategic alley.

The ethics of study abroad in Israel

David Lloyd on

David Lloyd says that the outrage that has greeted University of Michigan’s John Cheney-Lippold refusal to write a letter of reference for a student who wished to participate in a Study Abroad Program in Israel is astonishingly hypocritical. “No professor and no institution should engage in furthering programs that so systematically violate our long-cherished equal-opportunity and anti-discrimination policies, inscribed both in federal law and campus codes. US academics should do the right thing by following Professor Cheney-Lippold’s courageous example and refusing to participate in any institutional endorsement of study abroad in Israel,” Lloyd writes.