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December 2018

When will the mainstream Jewish community call us to ‘light a candle’ for the Palestinian people?

Howard Horowitz on

A coalition of Jewish organizations’s lead by the American Jewish World Service and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, invited “concerned Jews across the U.S. to unite in solidarity against the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya people of Burma” by dedicating the 6th candle on the 6th night of Chanukah to the Rohingya people. Howard Horowitz asks when will these organizations also call on American Jews to honor Palestinians in a similar way. 

NYU student government passes resolution to divest from corporations that violate Palestinian human rights

NYU Students for Justice in Palestine on

The New York University Student Government Assembly passed a resolution calling for the university to divest from corporations that violate Palestinian human rights and for NYU to adopt a socially responsible investment policy that upholds human rights for all. “I co-authored this resolution because I have a role and stake in the Palestinian struggle for liberation and justice,” Bayan Abubakr, a Senator-at-Large and Students for Justice in Palestine NYU member explained. “I want NYU to reckon with the fact that it profits off of the destruction of Palestinian livelihoods, communities, and homes.”

One year on: The political and human impact of Trump’s Jerusalem decision

Yumna Patel on

One year ago today, US President Donald Trump announced that he was officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, breaking with decades of US and international foreign policy in the region. The announcement sparked widespread protests across the occupied Palestinian territory and Gaza, some of which are still continuing today. The political implications of Trump’s decision were clear: the US was virtually erasing any Palestinian claims to the city, specifically occupied East Jerusalem, which Palestinians maintain must be the capital of their future state. And over the course of the next year, Trump and his administration would announce and enact a series of measures against the Palestinians in an effort to wear them down until they were forced to come to Trump and Netanyahu’s negotiating table and take whatever they could get.

‘NYT’ editorial on Flynn’s misdeeds has a laughable omission, Israel’s role

Philip Weiss on
Michael Flynn

Israeli officials asked Trump to intervene on the UN Security Council vote against settlements during the transition in 2016, and Mike Flynn did it, and is now criminally charged in that connection. But the New York Times leaves Israel out when it opines about Flynn’s guilt in the Russian influence scandal.

Open Letter: The call for prison and police abolition is consistent with support for Palestinian liberation

Open Letter on

Students for Justice in Palestine and the Palestinian Youth Movement write a letter to the University of California’s Task Force on University wide policing drawing the linkages between divestment from Israeli colonization/occupation and the need to remove the presence of police and policing from UC campuses: “Students recognize that these patterns and structures of oppression are deeply interlinked, often enabling and sustaining one another, and that the call for prison and police abolition, even in local spaces/contexts, is consistent with the imperative to support Palestinian freedom and liberation.”

ADL invites police forces to train in Israel, and Northampton says, No thanks

Joseph Levine on

When activists learned that the Northampton, MA, police chief had accepted an invitation from the Anti-Defamation League to train with Israeli “counter-terrorism” experts, they mobilized and the chief decided not to go. The ADL is seeking to enforce a highly-politicized mission of supporting Israel on law enforcement agencies that are supposed to be above partisanship. More and more police forces in the Northeast are declining to go.

It’s Hanukkah, and what that means

Jonathan Ofir on

The Hanukkah story is also a religious-political one from its beginnings – and it still is. It poses the question of how we view religious fundamentalism, and the separation of church and state.

Israeli soldiers shoot and kill a disabled Palestinian man on International Day of Disabled Persons

Yumna Patel on

Israel, along with the rest of the world, commemorated International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Monday, December 3rd, by promising greater integration of the country’s 1.5 million disabled citizens. As Monday’s activities came to a close, just across the Green Line in the northern occupied West Bank city of Tulkarem, Israeli forces shot and killed a disabled Palestinian man in the back of his head.

‘From the river to the sea’ is just fine so long as it’s Israel’s sovereignty

Jonathan Ofir on

CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill was fired last week after he advocated Palestinian rights “from the river to the sea”. Of course that has been Israeli policy from the days of Ben-Gurion, in defiance of the indigenous population, and no one advocating Israeli sovereignty in those boundaries ever loses their job, Jonathan Ofir explains.

Possible Congressional move on Israel Anti-Boycott Act alarms activists

Peter Feld on
Congressman Peter Roskam of Illinois speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Pro-Palestine and free speech activists who have been mobilizing against the Israel Anti-Boycott Act are sounding an alarm about rumors of a secret attempt this week to slip the legislation, which the ACLU has declared unconstitutional even in its revised form, into the must-pass House spending bill before the blue wave comes into power.

Jewish allies cannot dismantle Israel’s racism by benefiting from it

Nada Elia on

Can leftist Jews really be part of the struggle for justice for Palestinians—a justice that hinges on an end to the violation of basic human rights, including the Right of Return of refugees—by making Aliyah to the country that privileges them, simply because they are Jewish?  

A free Palestine ‘from river to the sea’: Marc Lamont Hill’s call for justice has consequences

Robert Herbst on

Robert Herbst responds to CNN’s firing of Marc Lamont Hill: “Hill’s provocative call for freedom for Palestinians in the whole of historic Palestine (or Greater Israel), in a single state guaranteeing rights for both peoples, did not mention Jews or Israelis, leaving him vulnerable to the false attack that he was advocating eliminating Jews from the Holy Land.”

Neturei Karta’s long history of solidarity with Palestinians is subject of upcoming documentary

Emmaia Gelman on

The orthodox anti-Zionist group Neturei Karta is often kept at arms length by the left because of its socially conservative views. Filmmaker Heather Tenzer reached out to Neturei Karta for her upcoming documentary, The Rabbis’ Intifada, and shows how the group has been able to build bridges with conservative religious Muslims, thereby offering a challenge to our ideas about activism.

Who is at home and who is in exile: a review of ‘Fractured Destinies’

Lesley Williams on

Which is more painful: to be forced to abandon your homeland, or to remain, watching strangers erase all traces of your culture and history? This dilemma forms the crux of Rabai al-Madhon’s Fractured Destinies, which Lesley Williams calls, “a lyrically rich portrait of contemporary Palestinian society”

Doctor’s dispatch: house calls in Aida refugee camp

David Scales on

Dr. David Scales does house calls on patients in Aida refugee camp being treated for high blood pressure and diabetes, “The nearest UNRWA clinic with specialized care to manage complex chronic diseases is about three miles away and uphill. For elderly refugees with limited ability to walk, expensive taxis are the only way to get there.”

Israel’s new war of attrition on Jerusalem’s Palestinians

Jonathan Cook on

Israel has never hidden its ambition to seize control of East Jerusalem, Palestinian territory it occupied in 1967 and then annexed, as a way of preventing a viable Palestinian state from emerging. Until now, Israel had mostly moved with stealth, making changes gradually so they rarely risked inflaming the Arab world or provoking western reaction. But after Mr Trump’s embassy move, a new Israeli confidence is tangible.

Despite major setbacks, Palestinians in Silwan continue their fight against eviction

Yumna Patel on

After years of fighting to save their homes, Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood were hit with a devastating loss last week: the Israeli High Court denied their petition against claims on their homes by an Israeli settler organization, paving the way for the eviction of 700 residents. Despite years of relentless attempts by Israel to kick them out of their homes, residents insist that they won’t give up. “The situation in East Jerusalem, specifically Silwan, is really tough,” Zuheir al-Rajabi told Mondoweiss. “But all we can do is remain steadfast against the attempts to erase us from this land. We will prove that we have a right to exist.”

Video: After 8 months, Palestinians vow to continue the Great March of Return until the siege of Gaza is lifted

Yumna Patel on

November 30th marked the 8 month anniversary of the Great March of Return. Every Friday since March 30th, thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have taken to the borders with Israel to demand the right of return of refugees to their ancestral homelands in present day Israel, and an end to the siege on Gaza. Despite reported efforts from political officials to bring the Great March of Return to a close, protesters maintain that they will continue demonstrating until the siege is lifted once and for all.

The tragedy of Marc Lamont Hill’s firing

Philip Weiss on

The firing of Marc Lamont Hill by CNN for espousing Palestinian human rights shows the historical commitment by western institutions to Zionism as the answer to Jewish insecurity in the west. But now Zionism is in crisis, and Hill sought to bear witness to the actual conditions in Israel/Palestine– and was labeled an anti-Semite.