Israeli politician Benny Gantz raised the specter of dual loyalty of Jews in other nations when he said yesterday, “If there is one Jew in danger, anywhere in the world, then our mission is unfinished.”
Monthly Archives: March 2019
On March 25, Donald Trump signed an order proclaiming U.S. support for Israel’s annexation of the Golan. This act ended Washington’s opposition to any acquisition of territory by force– a principle that has been a key pillar of the global order since the United Nations was founded in 1945. Washington’s new policy on Golan may well now allow the US company Genie Energy to go ahead and plunder the oil and gas reserves that its Israeli subsidiary discovered in Golan in 2015, and Trump’s step changes the political dynamic within Syria, too.
Ahmad Kabariti reports from Gaza that long spontaneous queues of people spent the night waiting outside of Gaza’s biggest bakery to buy bread, a scene that usually occurs during war. Muzaffar Batniji, 27, shoemaker, said that his family urged him to buy 200 loaves of pita bread, “just in case of this escalation might continue for a week or more.”
On countless occasions House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called Israel’s creation the “greatest political achievement” of the 20th century. Today at AIPAC she said that it is just “one of the greatest political achievements” of that century! She must be feeling pressure from the Democratic base.
Under the Trump administration, AIPAC has maintained a strong relationship with Republican members of congress, far right-wing Israeli politicians, and Christian Zionist groups. But the organization is facing a serious challenge: It increasingly has no cred with young Jews.
Last week presidential candidate California Senator Kamala Harris said she was skipping the AIPAC policy conference. But yesterday she met with AIPAC executives and proudly tweeted the photo, and AIPAC exulted that shed attended the conference after all! The flipflop follows years of Harris kissing up to the Israel lobby and to Benjamin Netanyahu.
US recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights will prove a boon for the Israeli right, which has been clamoring to annex vast areas of the West Bank and thereby drive a final nail into the coffin of the two-state solution. Israel’s right can now plausibly argue: “If Trump has consented to our illegal seizure of the Golan, why not also our theft of the West Bank?”
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Even as pro-justice activists were celebrating the fact that many Democratic politicians– including the main 2020 presidential hopefuls–have skipped this year’s AIPAC conference in DC, a national campaign was hastily being launched to urge Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) and Amy Everitt (California head of NARAL) not to speak there.
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Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh was banned from speaking at an event marking International Women’s Day in Berlin and faces the imminent threat of deportation. Gilad Erdan, Israeli Minister for Strategic Affairs, claimed credit for the decision taken by German authorities to revoke Odeh’s visa. The Rasmea Spricht campaign says, “Once again, Israeli officials have exerted their influence on Germany in order to prevent public criticism of its human rights abuses.”
Pitzer College’s governing council voted March 14 to suspend a program in Israel for the same reason US institutions ended collaborations with Apartheid South Africa in the 1980s. Pitzer President Melvin Oliver’s veto of the resolution not only harms Pitzer but harms Palestinians and Jewish Israelis, as it blocks a material contribution to expanding the possibility of justice and peace for all, Pitzer Professor Daniel Segal writes.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio gave the “simple, clear, progressive case for the state of Israel” at AIPAC this morning. He touched again and again on the Jewish history of persecution and “exclusion” and “expulsion” and never acknowledged that 750,000 Palestinians had been expelled from their lands at the birth of Israel in 1947-49. As such, his speech was a monument of Democratic denial of the Palestinian Nakba, or catastrophe.
President Donald Trump recognized the Golan Heights as Israeli territory on Monday, stating Israel depends on the lands seized from Syria in the 1967 war for “defense, and perhaps offense” from an array of enemies in the Middle East naming Hizbollah in Syria, Iran, and the Gaza Strip.
The AIPAC policy conference in Washington began Sunday on a defensive note, with the Israel lobby organization’s chief executive saying that Israel’s friends face a terrible new challenge: taking on “the scurrilous charge of dual loyalty” and declaring “The intense hatred of Israel is now creeping from the margins to the center of our politics.”
Israel topped the Gaza fence with 10 added feet of barbed wire in anticipation of the million demonstrators called to mark the one year anniversary of the Great March of Return next week. Despite the added fence, soldiers killed two Palestinian men at demonstrations yesterday, bringing the number of dead to 257.
Beto O’Rourke says at a campaign stop in New Hampshire that Israeli human rights violations hurt the U.S. “These truths that we hold so dear — that we are all created equal– ‘all of us’ needs to mean, ‘All of us,’ not relationships of convenience for short term security gains but relationships that allow us to continue to be the example for so much of the rest of the world.”
In May 2017, Donald Trump became the first sitting US president to visit the Western Wall. Now other international officials are following suit– despite the fact that it is illegally-annexed territory. A report from Raphael Ahren of the Times of Israel.
A few months after telling AIPAC that “it’s such a great feeling” for an Israeli to know that AIPAC has his back, New York Times reporter Ronen Bergman is about to have that great feeling again. He’s speaking at AIPAC on Sunday in Washington, though the organization doesn’t mention his affiliation with the Times.
As Israeli elections draw even closer, one politician is making headway, and headlines, for his unique –and surprisingly popular — blend of libertarian extreme free-market ideas and far-right Jewish supremacist ideologies. “I think Moshe Feiglin is more radical than the Kahanists,” Yossi Gurvitz tells Mondoweiss, citing Feiglin’s open calls for ethnic cleansing and genocide. “He is a much better marketer of these ideas.”
Faculty at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, NY have been threatened with a lawsuit, smeared in the right-wing press, and received threatening letters and emails. City University of New York faculty have issued a statement to clarify the recent events at Kingsborough Community College, and sound the alarm to others who may be in the crosshairs of these right-wing groups.
Many Democratic candidates for president are skipping the AIPAC conference because it’s offering a red carpet to a racist, Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israel prime minister’s explicit slurs of Arabs have alarmed American progressives. But Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Bill de Blasio and the New York Times haven’t noticed.
It all started because of a bird. Ahmed Abu Artema, the unlikely leader of the largest popular Palestinian movement in decades, strode beside the separation fence that divides his home in the Gaza Strip from Israel on a January evening last year. At twilight he saw birds fly overhead, soaring past the fence “and no one stopped them.” Abu Artema talks with Allison Deger about life in Gaza and the enduring power of the Great March of Return: “Our demands were simple and honorable, we want to return, we want a dignified life”
Nada Elia writes, “a sober voice wants me to bridge the gap between claiming ‘we’re winning’ because US politicians are skipping the AIPAC conference, and the reality on the ground, which Trump is now calling ‘Israeli-controlled,’ rather than Israeli occupied.”
Since 1967 Israel has issued military orders asserting its control over all water sources in the occupied territories, depriving Palestinians access to their own water. What does this water deficit look like on the ground? Nancy Murray explains how Palestinian farms cope without access to irrigated or piped water.