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February 2019

We must thank Ilhan Omar for opening a debate about AIPAC at last

Jonathan Ofir on

Former AIPAC official M.J. Rosenberg has confirmed that Ilhan Omar’s description of AIPAC as being “all about the Benjamins” is actually right. He describes how AIPAC manages to handle money without it being official. We should thank Rep. Ilhan Omar for keying the debate.

Attacks on Ilhan Omar seek to derail an acknowledgment of Palestinian suffering

Nada Elia on

In the US, just as in Israel, Palestinian suffering is silenced, and any mainstream discussion of Palestinian pain immediately gets redirected towards sympathy with Israel, and gets recast as an act of bad faith. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is the latest public figure to be smeared with such false accusations of antisemitism by Zionists who are alarmed at the growing support for Palestinians in Congress. We can’t let this happen.

47Soul in DC: Shamstep is on the move

Kim Jensen on

On a wintery Friday night in Washington DC the Palestinian electronic debke band 47Soul plays a sold-out club show at the Tropicalia. Kim Jensen interviewed the band about their music that fuses elements of electronic dance, trance, reggae, and rock with Palestinian percussion and the mijwiz—a traditional Arab reed instrument—driving the vibe. “That sound deserves to be international,” guitarist and vocalist Hamza Arnaout tells Jensen. “I want it to be part of our music. Maybe later on it will contribute to the bigger pool of consciousness in pop music.”

‘There are no foreigners left’: Israeli settlers rampage in Hebron following expulsion of human rights observers

Yumna Patel on

Israeli settlers launched an attack on Palestinians in the Old City of Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank on Tuesday night, yelling “death to Arabs!” in the street and hurling rocks at Palestinian homes. Badee Dweik, co-Founder of the Human Rights Defenders group in Hebron, says the attack was a direct result of the lack of international human rights observers who had been expelled by the Israeli government. “Getting rid of [the observers] was a greenlight for settlers to be more violent, not just against Palestinians,but also against any internationals that they see here,” Dweik says.

In Hebron, Israel removes the last restraint on its settlers’ reign of terror

Jonathan Cook on

You might imagine that a report by a multinational observer force documenting a 20-year reign of terror by Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers against Palestinians, in a city under occupation, would provoke condemnation from European and US politicians. But you would be wrong. The leaking in December of the report on conditions in the city of Hebron, home to 200,000 Palestinians, barely caused a ripple. And now exposure of the confidential report has provided the pretext for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to expel the international observers. He shuttered their mission in Hebron this month, in apparent violation of Israel’s obligations under the 25-year-old Oslo peace accords.

Don’t blame the Israel lobby on Christians and Republicans

Philip Weiss on

Jewish journalists like to project the power of the Israel lobby on to Christian evangelicals, when in fact the Democratic Party is beholden to the Jewish part of the lobby. The journalists shift the blame because they think a discussion of Jewish influence is anti-semitic, but by doing so they are denying plain facts.

Maryland software engineer sues Gov. Larry Hogan over anti-BDS law

Jesse Rubin on

A Maryland software engineer and former state delegate is suing his state’s governor for signing an executive order into law which targets and penalizes supporters of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS), in what he says is a violation of his First Amendment rights.

Photo Essay: Caves bring depopulated villages in the south Hebron Hills back to life

Ahmad Al-Bazz and Anne Paq on

For weeks under the cloak of night Palestinians secretly renovated four caves and built a tin-roofed house in secret in the West Bank hamlet of Ar-Rakeez where only a handful of residents live. Because of rigid Israeli planning restrictions and frequent settler harassment, most of the Ar-Rakeez’s villagers moved to the nearby city of Yatta over the last 20 years. Yet in recent years locals have developed a strategy to repopulate the abandoned village by renovating caves, a legal loophole that circumvents Israeli policies of demolishing homes constructed or upgraded without a permit. Last week they opened the homes in a “bringing life back” ceremony.

Video: Take a trip down Israel’s new Apartheid Road

Yumna Patel, Saleh Zghari and Ahmad Al-Bazz on
A side by side view of Israel's new Apartheid Road in the West Bank.

See what it is like to take a trip down the new four-lane highway West Bank locals and activists have dubbed the ‘Apartheid Road’. It features two separate roads divided by a concrete wall – one for Israeli settlers and the other for Palestinians. Despite Israeli claims that the road “eases traffic congestion” for both Palestinians and Israelis, locals maintain that it is just another step by authorities to further divide the occupied Palestinian territory.

Ilhan Omar says AIPAC influences Congress using money and Israel supporters erupt in fury

Philip Weiss on
Ilhan Omar

Does AIPAC use money to influence Congress, as Rep. Ilhan Omar said. Of course it does! Stephanie Schriock of Emily’s List said that before congressional candidates even have a campaign manager or a policy director, they go to AIPAC to get a position paper on Israel “because this is how we raise money” from the “Jewish community.”

Thank you Bret Stephens, for making anti-Zionism a subject for every dinner table, and BDS a household word

James North and Philip Weiss on

Bret Stephens’s long opinion piece in the New York Times equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism is a boon to the anti-Zionist movement. His claims that it is anti-Semitic to see “wickedness” in unending occupation and that all American Jews are Zionists are debating points he will only lose. The piece makes anti-Zionism a topic for every dinner table and turns BDS into a household word.

Copenhagen mayor awards BDS activists for their courage

Jonathan Ofir on

The “Humboldt 3” are three BDS activists who face a criminal trial in Berlin next month for disrupting a pro-Israel event by an Israeli lawmaker at a university in 2017. Israel has silenced Germany on Palestinian rights using Holocaust guilt, but in Copenhagen the three activists received an award for their courage in exposing apartheid.