BDS shakes up the House! Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s support for BDS “is inconsistent with our national values,” says a Republican congressman, while the Dems’ appointment of BDS-supporter Ilhan Omar to House Foreign Affairs shows “the days of the Democrats’ support-Israel-at-all-costs stance are numbered,” as the young Jewish group IfNotNow proclaims.
Monthly Archives: January 2019
Benny Morris, the Israeli historian who has documented Israeli-Palestinian history so meticulously, is again bemoaning that a full ethnic cleansing was not completed in 1948. In a new interview with Haaretz, the schism between Morris the historian and Morris the political pundit is on full display.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will end all its projects in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip on January 31st following the US administration’s decision to cut funding to the Palestinians, Dave Harden, former USAID Mission Director and Managing Director of the Georgetown Strategy Group, confirmed on Thursday.
Women’s March organizer Tamika Mallory talks anti-Semitism on the Breakfast Club: “There are forces that want to be able to use anti-black racism and anti-Semitism within the Jewish and black communities to keep us apart because God forbid we pulled our power together and really really starting working together.”
As more Palestinians enter the digital sphere, there has been an increase in violations of freedom of expression including hundreds of Palestinians who have been arrested by Israel, the PA, and Hamas for their social media posts. Activists, journalists, and local Palestinian and international rights workers gathered this week at the the Palestine Digital Activism Forum in Ramallah to discuss the constantly changing social media landscape and what it means for digital rights in Israel and Palestine.
“Sheldon Adelson now has more influence on American foreign policy than even the secretary of state… controlling the State Department’s view of Israel,” writes Timothy Egan, NYT columnist. Egan is plainly emboldened by the politicization of support for Israel to take a crack at the Israel lobby.
The Democratic Party is dividing over Israel. Buzzfeed quotes Waleed Shaheed saying that every presidential candidate will be asked where they stand on Netanyahu. Rep Rashida Tlaib says she will vote against aid to Israel till it gives equality and dignity to her grandmother. And Russ Douthat of the NYT says the party must debate anti-Zionism openly.
The Israeli Knesset’s Deputy Speaker (from the left Zionist Union) has invited Roseanne Barr to speak to the parliament about BDS. Barr is known for her outrageous racist statements, which are just fine for Israel as long as she’s a Zionist.
In December, 39 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished or seized by the Israeli authorities, the same as the 2018 monthly average, displacing 56 people and affecting over 270 others.
Israel’s Haifa municipality is unveiling major plans to transform the city in northern Israel into a Barcelona of the Middle East – a city with captivating ancient architecture redolent of a storied past. However, there is one problem: these homes belonged to Palestinians.
Two issues have dominated the UK over the last twelve months: Brexit and antisemitism in the Labour Party. Robert Cohen says the politics of both debates turn out to have much in common.
WoMen4All, a bizarre rip-off of the Women’s March, has set up an alternate network of “sister marches” to split the Women’s March. It is dedicated largely to condemning Palestinian rights and promoting Zionism by mixing naked Israeli war propaganda with standard feminist causes, such as enacting the Equal Rights Amendment.
The Gaza Strip is famous for its strawberries, which used to be exported all around Israel, Palestine, and the world. But as a result of Israel’s blockade on Gaza, which is entering its 12th year this year, strawberry farming is dying out.
Ilana Cruger-Zaken says non-Zionist Jews are deeply alienated from the mainstream Jewish community because Zionism is what currently constitutes the shared principles of the community. “Believing in Palestinian human rights is a threat,” Cruger-Zaken writes, “the question is, a threat to whom?”
The British took advantage of the potato famine to try to halve the population of its Irish colony, and prevent resistance, and nearly two centuries later the story can be told. But Avigail Abarbanel writes that “we see another such case unfolding in Palestine right in front of our noses and no one is doing anything about it.”
During a three period last November Christian Peacemakers Team Palestine observed on two separate occasions the Israeli military entered two Palestinian schools. Two students were removed from the premises of a school and transported in a military vehicle to an Israeli police stations.
The 2009 Goldstone Report accused Israel of war crimes in Gaza when it killed more than 300 children, but the only trial Israeli generals had was a meeting with an American State Department official under Obama who pressed them to counter the p.r. damage of the report by telling the “Israeli story” better and announcing “lessons learned.”
Jeffrey Goldberg, Jennifer Rubin, David Frum, Bret Stephens and the other American Bibi-ists went from All Netanyahu all the time to No Netanyahu ever, Yakov Hirsch explains. Because they can’t be leading the moral charge against Trump’s “evil plan to crush the press,” while offering obfuscation about Netanyahu’s actual evil plan to crush the press, as they once did, when they were empowering the now-run-amok prime minister.
The fight to block the criminalization of BDS should go beyond the focus on making it a matter of American freedom of expression, and American citizens’ constitutional rights, Nada Elia writes. It is a matter of solidarity with an oppressed people, suffering under brutal occupation, a genocidal siege, and apartheid.
Shoshana, an American in Palestine visits Jaffa and finds that it’s different from the movies, “I don’t like Jaffa. In my all-consuming Palestine obsession, I find it frustratingly Israeli. I hear so much Arabic but see no Palestinian flags. It feels generalized and deracinated.”
The World Food Programme has announced severe reductions and suspensions in aid for Palestinian beneficiaries in the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip, due to funding shortages brought on by major US aid cuts over the past year.
Nai Barghouti shares a story of being racially profiled and harassed at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport: “As furious as I am at the Israeli security officer’s ugly racism and vengefulness, I felt slightly bad for her. Despite her best efforts to humiliate me, I shall go on resisting her state’s racism and apartheid with my music. She, however, will continue to search Palestinians’ underwear and be an insignificant tool of a system of racist oppression.”
Marc Ellis writes that the rescinding by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute of an award to Angela Davis raises issues about the Black-Jewish alliance and the ability of Jews to set parameters for African Americans to speak on Jewish questions, including Israel. There is a war over that question. The Jewish establishment sees Angela Davis as an enemy. Jews of Conscience see her as an ally.
Zionism was founded on the Romantic nationalist idea that Jews really are a people apart from other peoples and that’s why we deserve a homeland, Joseph Levine writes; and liberal Jews who rejected the idea worried that Zionists would undermine their status in western countries. So dual loyalty was an issue long before US Rep. Rashida Tlaib was accused by Marco Rubio of raising an anti-Semitic “canard.”
“I wouldn’t have just moved the embassy to Jerusalem and not asked for something in return from Netanyahu or, or the Palestinians,” Tom Friedman says on CNN. Really? The embassy move was a kick in the gut to Palestinians, and the gaffe just reveals the reflexive need of a mainstream pundit to blame Palestinians for the conflict, even when they are blameless.