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March 2019

Cory Booker says there’s no ‘greater moral vandalism’ than abandoning Israel (and he’ll cut off his hand first)

Philip Weiss on

Cory Booker’s secret speech to AIPAC is so fulsome it’s hard to believe. Booker would cut off his right hand before abandoning Israel. There is no “greater moral vandalism” than seeking to divide the US and Israel. Booker lobbied black congresspeople not to boycott Netanyahu’s 2015 speech because we need to show a “united front” with Israel. And Donald Trump is endangering Israel’s security in Syria.

‘We thirst for dignity’: Gaza marks Great March of Return anniversary

Ahmad Kabariti on

Human waves flooded the Israel-Gaza fence beginning Saturday morning marking the first anniversary of the Great March of Return protests, facing off against Israeli forces behind the fortified barbed-wire fence. The demonstrators gathered despite rain, and even as Egypt is seeking to mediate a deal to end the blockade of Gaza.

‘We are one people. They are us and we are them’: Palestinians in the West Bank mark Land Day and the Great March of Return

Annelies Keuleers on
Palestinian protesters gather to throw stones at the northern entrance of Al Bireh, close to the settlement of Beit El. This location is close to a checkpoint, an army base and a refugee camp. It frequently witnesses clashes between the Israeli army and Palestinians. (Photo: Annelies Keuleers)

On Saturday, March 30th, Palestinian protesters gathered near the illegal settlement and army base of Beit El in Ramallah to mark Land Day. Protesters told Mondoweiss they were there to defend their homeland, and show their support for the one-year anniversary of the Great March of Return. “We are one people,” one protester told Mondoweiss. “They are us and we are them.”

On the one-year anniversary of the Great March of Return

Haidar Eid on
A Palestinian youth protesting as part of the Great March of Return in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip on March 30, 2019.

Haidar Eid writes about the Great March of Return: “The reason as to why Israel is very concerned about the Great March of Return — which began on March 30, 2018 and has not yet ended – is that it has shuffled the cards and brought crucial questions to the fore regarding the essence of the Palestinian cause as well as the status of the Gaza Strip. Despite the bleak reality of life in Gaza a new consciousness is emerging.”

Israel’s Palestinian problem and the Diaspora’s Israel problem

Abba Solomon on

American Jewish organizations cultivated Zionism as a bulwark of Jewish identity and against assimilation, but the success of the indoctrination has created problems for American Jews. “Public antipathy toward Israel would all too likely spill over into hostility toward American Jews,” the American Jewish Committee warned in 1953.

Israeli forces kill a Palestinian paramedic volunteer, 18, in Bethlehem

Kate on

Sajed Mezher, a paramedic volunteer of 18, was killed by Israeli fire, Wednesday morning, during violent confrontations that broke out in Deheisheh refugee camp, in the south of Bethlehem. He was wearing his medical relief uniform when he was shot. The World Health Organization condemned the killing.

‘The New York Times’ runs Israeli propaganda on ’67 War: It was ‘defensive’

John V. Whitbeck on

The New York Times parrots claims by Benjamin Netanyahu and Mike Pompeo that Israel owns the Golan Heights because it was taken in a “defensive war” in 1967, ignoring the historical record. Israel launched the war, the Arab states did not want war. “We chose to attack them,” former premier Menachem Begin said.

A journalist’s memoir of covering the Great March of Return

Hamza Abu Al-Tarabeesh on
A Palestinian man waves a Palestine flag ahead of the beginning of the Great March of Return protests on March 29, 2018. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/ APA Images)

Hamza Abu Al-Tarabeesh reflects on covering the first year of the Great March of Return protests. He writes, “After covering nearly 50 Fridays over the past year, I can’t be more grateful that I’m still alive and did not suffer serious injury.”

Gaza’s Great March of Return: a year in review

Yumna Patel on
The Great March of Return in Gaza, August 10, 2018

When the world watched thousands of Gazans take to the Israeli border last year in massive demonstrations, very few, including the march’s organizers, could have imagined that people would still be protesting one year later. Now, one year and thousands of casualties later, Gazans are planning to return back to the borders in massive numbers tomorrow to mark the anniversary of the movement that has shaped their lives for the past year.

‘New York Times’ reports that Jewish donors shape Democrats’ regressive position on Israel

Philip Weiss on

This weekend the New York Times breaks one of the biggest taboos, describing the responsibility of Jewish donors for the Democratic Party’s slavish support for Israel. Nathan Thrall’s groundbreaking piece says in essence that it really is about the Benjamins, as Rep. Ilhan Omar said. The donor class of the party is overwhelmingly Jewish, and Jews are still largely wed to Zionism.

Rafi Eitan, spy at center of Israel’s great uranium heist from the U.S.

Jefferson Morley on
Rafi Eitan at an Israeli cabinet meeting in 2006 (Photo: Yoav Lemmer-Pool/Getty Images)

Israeli spymaster Rafi Eitan died last week and the New York Times obituary mentioned suspicion that he had played a role in diverting enriched uranium from a US facility owned by Zionists in the 1960s so that Israel could get the bomb. When a pro-Israel group complained the Times removed the assertion though the evidence is overwhelming in the eyes of experts, Jefferson Morley reports.

Democratic leaders’ use of AIPAC to bash Omar and ignore Netanyahu just gave progressive Dems a giant boost

Philip Weiss on

The big story coming out of AIPAC is every one in the Democratic leadership dumping all over the first term Muslim congresswoman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, while having nothing to say about Benjamin Netanyahu. In the process they have clearly damaged their own standing inside the progressive wing of the party, including among liberal Zionist advocates. When House Majority leader Steny Hoyer said Omar should accuse him of dual loyalty for his support for Israel, he seemed to confirm what she had said.

Trump’s support of Israel’s annexation of the Golan

Helena Cobban on
President Donald Trump holds up an executive proclamation recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory at the White House in Washington DC, Monday, March 25, 2019. (Photo: Susan Walsh/AP)

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.

Palestinians rush to stock up on food as Israeli airstrikes light up Gaza

Ahmad Kabariti on

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.”