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.
Monthly Archives: September 2018
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.
Yad Vashem’s chief historian assists in the whitewashing of Poland’s role in the Holocaust and is willing to ignore the strengthening of Israel’s ties to anti-Semites, so long as Netanyahu stands to gain politically.
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.
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.
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 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.
In the last year, Israel’s supporters in the U.S. have been making frank appeals to Jewish money and power as weapons to fight Israel’s delegitimization from the left. Josh Block of the Israel Project says there are “billions… at rest in our community” that can be used to invest in media properties and make them tribunes for Israel.
Democracy won in the recent Maldives elections — after the Obama administration had stayed silent during long years of repression.
Naomi Kundera put out a call on Facebook for Lone Soldiers in the Israeli military to explain why they enlisted. The response was overwhelming. Many left homes in the U.S. to defend Israel, some wanted to escape troubled homes lives for adventure, others are described as “crazy.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
The Trump administration’s decision last month to cut $360 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is a purely political decision that has no relevance to the definition of Palestinians as “refugees”, nor to their legal rights.
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.
Israel’s plan to demolish Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin community in the occupied West Bank adjoining settlements, is a war crime, says community leader Eid abu Khamis Jahalin. “The real question is whether Israel will pay a price.” The ball is in the UN General Assembly’s court now as the Oct. 1 deadline for demolition approaches.
Rabbi Daniel Zemel of a Reform temple in Washington, D.C., says that Jewish “anti-Israelists” are scorning their “birthright” because of Israel’s rightwing practices. And Dana Milbank in the Washington Post warns that Israel’s future is at risk because the Jewish community here is dividing over support for it.
Israeli army shot and wounded 54 Palestinians during the Great Return March in Gaza yesterday, killing one of them, Karim Mohammad Kollab, 25, the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza confirmed.
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.
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.
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.
Washington’s decision to intensify swingeing aid cuts to the Palestinians – the latest targets include cancer patients and peace groups – reveals more than a simple determination to strong-arm the Palestinian leadership to the negotiating table.
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.