“The night is filled with the anxiety that any interaction with Israeli security triggers. We leave all of our suspicious material on Palestine, human rights, and any evidence of an interest in justice in an extra bag in Amman to retrieve on our return, and arrive at Allenby Bridge at 7:30 am.” — Alice Rothchild on entering Palestine from Jordan.
Monthly Archives: June 2019
Netanyahu named an illegal settlement in the Golan Heights after Donald Trump, saying he had “torn the mask off this hypocrisy which doesn’t recognize the obvious,” and Trump promptly thanked Netanyahu for the “great honor.”
By threatening Iran with war, Donald Trump is proving to be the “perfect little puppet,” as he once put it of his largest donor, Sheldon Adelson, who is close to Netanyahu and once called on Obama to nuke Iran. Too bad the media can’t talk about it.
South Bend Mayor and presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg said he’d keep the US embassy in Jerusalem if he was elected. The comments came just one week after Buttigieg publicly denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge to annex sections of the West Bank and said there were signs that Israel’s government was “turning away from peace.”
There were 473 readers’ comments on a NYT editorial about Iran, and they are universally against another war in the Middle East, and many oppose sanctions on Iran. Moreover, they see through the Times’s equivocations, and point out that the newspaper was the handmaiden of the Iraq disaster when it was credulous about government claims.
Israel is stepping up its efforts to win the “demographic war” in the city of Jerusalem in order to prevent the likely possibility of becoming a minority-Jewish city as early as 2045, according to a recent report from the International Crisis Group (ICG).
The risky U.S. moves to provoke a war with Iran continue, and the American mainstream media is still transmitting the Trump administration’s views almost without challenge. The New York Times, for instance, has run lengthy accounts about the alleged Iranian attack on oil tankers, but the paper buried the skepticism about the U.S. version lower in its articles.
Israel’s threat of annexation is a crisis for liberal Zionists because it makes them confront a reality: There is not going to be a two-state solution. Yesterday Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street warned supporters: “Members of the Trump administration are opening the door to a one-state scenario where Palestinians will live as second-class citizens.” But that scenario exists right now, and liberal Zionists have done precious little to oppose it.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights reports on the Gaza protests: “On Friday, 14 June 2019, in excessive use of force against peaceful protesters on the 61st Friday of the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege, Israeli forces wounded 92 Palestinian civilians.”
Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new law that would limit criticism of Israel in Florida schools. Anti-Semitism includes “Applying a double standard to Israel by requiring behavior of Israel that is not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation…”
MA Rep. Seth Moulton has taken progressive stances on Israel, supporting a bill against funding Israel’s detention of Palestinian children and standing up for BDS advocates’ right of free speech. But he appears to have flipflopped on both positions now that he is running for president and the blob hit him.
A number of lawmakers have come out in support of Congressional legislation that seeks to end Israel’s military detention practices against Palestinian children, including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar. Introduced by Betty McCollum, the bill died in the last Congress with 30 co-sponsors.
On May 17th, 2019 the German Parliament (Bundestag) has passed a resolution against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) condemning it as anti-Semitic. On June 28th, 2019, Palästina Spricht – Palestine Speaks, a coalition for Palestinian rights and against racism based in Berlin, will be protesting against the shameful resolution and against delegitimizing the BDS movement as a Palestinian non-violent, civil based struggle against Israel’s occupation and apartheid.
Palestinians activists are protesting this weekend at storefronts and offices for the German athletic wear manufacturer Puma. The reason? Puma sponsors the Israel Football Association (IFA), which includes six teams in settlements in the West Bank.
When J Street advocates for “Israel’s future as a democratic and Jewish homeland,” it is supporting a concept that has been a contradiction-in-terms since Israel’s establishment. Abba Solomon argues that J Street and Bernie Sanders too cannot face the fact that political Zionism means perpetual Jewish domination, or at best custody, of Palestinian lives.
At the end of June the Trump administration will unveil an economic package to bolster its peace plan for the Israelis and Palestinians at a conference in Bahrain. Despite Jared Kushner’s insistence, “Peace to Prosperity” is neither new, nor likely to succeed.
South Bend Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg says he would block U.S. taxpayer money from being used for Israel’s potential annexation of the West Bank.
On June 6, five Democratic Senators introduced a resolution denouncing Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign pledge to annex the West Bank. Two of those Senators, Vermont’s Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts’ Elizabeth Warren, are currently running for the Democratic nomination for president.
After US Ambassador David Friedman said Israel has a right to annex parts of the West Bank, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it may file a complaint with the International Criminal Court. “What reasoning could justify Friedman’s logic? International law prohibits the annexation of a land by force,” it said.
The New York Times published a splendid article today about young Jews walking off the free ten-day Birthright trips to Israel, rejecting them as propaganda, under the headline, “Birthright Trips, a Rite of Passage for Many Jews, Are Now a Target of Protests.” The article quotes young Jews saying they were fed lies about the occupation by the program, which has sent 700,000 young Jews to Israel.
A House amendment that would have required some individuals who boycott Israel to report as much to the IRS and potentially be penalized for it was narrowly defeated in the House, as 12 Democrats joined in support, including Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, who is running for president.
On May 21st, Amina Salah’s 14-year-old brother Mahmoud was shot by Israeli forces near Bethlehem in the West Bank and imprisoned, where he remains today. Salah writes, “Look at Mahmoud’s face in these pictures, and help to make sure that Mahmoud is soon back again with his family, in his home, where he belongs.”
In a Huffington Post interview published on June 5, U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker announced that he now supports a federal anti-BDS bill, which would allow states to punish contractors for boycotting Israel.
Waheed Fakhoury, 74, sits behind a pottery wheel, eyes glued to a television above as his hands instinctively shape a silky mass of brown earth dug up from the West Bank city of Hebron. Within a few minutes he has modeled a large bowl. Fakhoury means “potter in Arabic.” When asked how long his family has been doing this craft, Waheed chuckles, “As long as my name has been Fakhoury.”
Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer says that Israel will be the most important ally to the U.S. in the 21st century because of security threats from the Middle East and because Israel is in the “elite” of technology innovating countries, surpassing Britain.