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May 2019

‘NYT’ coverage of Trump peace plan news quotes 5 pro-Israel voices, 0 Palestinians

Philip Weiss on

Somehow the New York Times could find no Palestinians to quote on an article about the economic largesse to Palestine the Trump administration intends to unveil in Bahrain as part of its peace plan. The article includes quotes from five strong supporters of Israel: Aaron David Miller, Jared Kushner, Robert Satloff, Treasury’s Steve Mnuchin, and Brookings pundit Tamara Cofman Wittes. That’s racism in journalism, before your eyes.

Palestinians reject Madonna’s ‘fig-leaf gestures of solidarity’

Jonathan Ofir on
Madonna and Quavo stand under the words "Wake Up" at the end of the Eurovision performance of their song “Future.” (Photo via Twitter/@madonnatribe)

Madonna tried to offset criticism of her participation in the Eurovision song contest by incorporating a Palestinian flag into her final performance. “The most meaningful expression of solidarity is to cancel performances in apartheid Israel,” the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel responded in a statement.

Young Jews who don’t like Israel are not ‘healthy’ — leading Hillel director

Philip Weiss on

80 percent of Jewish college students think Netanyahu is a ‘terrible human being,’ says Andrew Getraer, Hillel director at Rutgers. While Leonard Saxe of Brandeis says that Peter Beinart and Dov Waxman are critical of Israel because they come from South African families and see Israel thru an “apartheid” filter.

Republicans push BDS bill to paint Dems as anti-Semites, and party leadership falls for the trap

Josh Ruebner on
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) (Photo: Center for American Progress/Flickr)

On Wednesday, Republicans in the House of Representatives initiated a rarely-used legislative procedure to try to force a vote on a controversial bill that encourages states and localities to penalize individuals, nonprofit organizations, and companies that boycott for Palestinian rights. This is the latest GOP move in an ongoing, concerted effort to to portray themselves as the saviors of Israel and the Jewish people and paint the Democrats as an anti-Semitic, BDS-loving, radical left horde. And Democrats seem to be falling into the trap.

Silencing the Nakba with Eurovision

Jonathan Ofir on
Im Tirtzu protesting a Nakba commemoration at Tel Aviv University, May 2013. (Photo: Lazar Simeonov)

The Jewish fascist group Im Tirtzu has a history of disrupting Nakba commemoration ceremonies at the Tel Aviv campus. This year they blasted the Eurovision-winning song ‘Toy’ over loudspeakers during a minute of silence for Nakba victims.

Actor Faisal Abu Alhayjaa appears in NY this Sunday

Philip Weiss on

The Palestinian actor Faisal Abu Alhayjaa is known to the New York theater audience for his charismatic performance as a wounded resistance fighter in Bethlehem in “The Siege”, a production from the Jenin Freedom Theatre. He will be speaking about “laughter and liberation” at the People’s Forum in NY on Sunday.

Crisis at the Whitney: ‘no safe space for profiteers of state violence’

Kim Jensen on
Protest at the Whitney Museum of American Art. (Photo: Kim Jensen)

New York City’s Whitney Museum of American Art’s legendary Biennial exhibit is taking place, but the Whitney has a problem. Warren B. Kanders, the vice chairmen of the board of trustees, has amassed a $700 million fortune selling law enforcement gear and tear gas that has been used against unarmed civilians in Ferguson, Baltimore, Standing Rock, Puerto Rico, the U.S.-Mexico border, and in Israel/Palestine. Calls for the war profiteer’s resignation are growing louder by the day.

How to Lobby Washington to Death: A business model from hell and the war in Yemen 

Mashal Hashem and James Allen on
Boys inspect graves prepared for victims of an air strike in Saada province, Yemen, which killed 40 children on their way to school on August 9, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)

President Trump’s veto of the resolution to end American support for the Saudi-UAE coalition in Yemen, and Congress’s failure to override it, has given U.S. defense contractors a green light to proceed with a business model that counts innocent Yemenis’ deaths as the cost of doing business.

‘Refugees are a tool of war’ — the view from the Syrian border

Alice Rothchild on

Rev. Nour Sahawneh aids thousands of refugees at his church in Mafraq, Jordan, near sprawling city-like camps. “Their lives are a disaster,” he tells Alice Rothchild. “They are a tool of war. They became a subject in a war, not a people to help… War is business.”

US-Israel relationship is ‘altar’ of ‘holiness,’ and Jerusalem embassy is ‘shrine’ — US ambassador

Philip Weiss on

Ambassador David Friedman’s religious remarks in Jerusalem Tuesday went well beyond his comment that Israel is “on the side of God.” Friedman likened the US-Israel relationship to the “altar” in the original Jewish temple in Jerusalem and called the embassy a “shrine” that people pray to and thank God for, and said the U.S. and Israel need to advance the relationship toward greater “holiness.”

Palestine’s legitimate citizenry

Blake Alcott on
General overview of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, with the Jerusalem's Old City and the Dome of the Rock in the background, March 2, 2010. (Photo: Mohamar Awad/APA Images)

Do all Palestinians have the right to citizenship in whatever state rules historic Palestine? The right of return of Palestinians to their places of origin now in Israel is both well-researched and uncontested in ethics and international law, for instance in many conventions and UN Resolutions.

Bolton pushes United States to over-reach in Iran

Helena Cobban on
John Bolton

In ’56 the British overreached tragically in Suez, the U.S. punished the pound, a Prime Minister fell, and an Empire ended. John Bolton is exhibiting the same hubris about regime change in Iran, and using economic leverage to do so, but the gambit may not work out well for the American empire, Helena Cobban writes.

The continuing farce of Israeli justice

Yotam Ben-Hillel on
A Palestinian man sits next to belongings removed from his house as Israeli police officers stand guard during a demolition of the house in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, October 29, 2013. A statement from the Jerusalem Municipality said there was a court order for the demolition of the house, which was built without a permit. (Photo: Saeed Qaq/APA Images)

Whether in the occupied West Bank, or illegally annexed East Jerusalem, the message coming from the Israel’s so-called liberal judiciary is the same: do not expect it to stand in the way of the Israeli expansion objectives.

On Nakba Day 2019 the question before us is — justice or apartheid?

Nada Elia on
A masked Palestinian protestor climbs Israel's separation wall during a weekly demonstration against Israeli occupation in the West Bank village of Nilin(Photo: Issam Rimawi/ APA Images)

Nada Elia writes on Nakba Day 2019: “This year, to honor all that has been lost, and ensure we can move forward, we must pressure our politicians to address the Nakba from the river to the sea.  Let us then seize the moment to demand that our progressive politicians abandon their mindless platitudes about the two-state delusion, and ask them to choose instead:  justice, or apartheid.”

Can Palestinians play off Europe against the US as peace plan looms?

James Reinl on
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Ishtayeh meets with Consuls and representatives of the European Union in the West Bank city of Ramallah, April 16, 2019. (Photo by the Prime Minister's Office)

In preparation for the U.S. peace plan that is widely expected to favor Israel, Palestinian officials are urging the EU to host a major conference that would undercut the preeminent US role in the peace process. Could it be enough to counter the Trump administration’s plan?

Building the infrastructures of steadfastness through joint struggle against occupation

Jodi Melamed on
Israeli forces surround international Jewish activist who refused to evacuate the area, May 03, 2019.

Last week, 11 North American Jews, two Palestinian journalists, and two local Palestinians were arrested for the crime of trying to repair a road connecting five rural Palestinian communities in the Southern West Bank. Jodi Melamed says this action is a crucial example of the “infrastructures of steadfastness” that need to be built to “disrupt the logistics of occupation and strengthen circulations of imagination, resources, and relationships for liberatory world-making together across North America and Israel/Palestine.”

‘Music of dead, bombed-out buildings must be heard’ — Gaza artists hold anti-Eurovision concert in building destroyed by Israeli attack

Ahmad Kabariti on
Children watch the concert in the ruins of the al-Qamar building (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Palestinian artists held a concert in a building destroyed by Israel just a week ago to call on the world to boycott the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Tel Aviv. “Why doesn’t Eurovision arrange an event to let the music of dead, bombed-out buildings, and for the voices of mothers of the slain to be heard?” asked Sabreen Juma’a al-Najjar, the mother of slain paramedic Razan Al-Najjar, who attended the concert.

Paradigm shift is needed address crises of civilization

Nafeez Ahmed on
Drone footage of displaced family tents in one settlement in Badghis, Afghanistan, due to ongoing drought and climate change. There are thousands of makeshift homes spread between mountain hills on the outskirt of Qala-i-naw city. (Photo: Norwegian Refugee Council/Enayatullah Azad)

A recent UN global assessment confirms that the planet is currently experiencing 2,500 conflicts over fossil fuels, water, food and land — conflicts which are therefore directly related to the ongoing collapse of the earth’s biodiversity. Yet, political leaders are preoccupied with the surface symptoms of this fundamental crisis of civilization, rather than the crisis itself.

Who knew? ‘NYT’ bias on Israel stems from editor’s Jewish mother’s wedding in church

Philip Weiss on

Longtime pro-Israel journalist Ira Stoll follows up a lot of “whispered speculation” to unearth NYT editorial page editor James Bennet’s religious background, as “crucial context” for understanding the paper’s bias on Israel. It turns out that Bennet’s Jewish mother who survived the Holocaust was married in a church, and he was too. And BTW, she likens Israelis to Nazis.