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June 2019

Palestinians should take the money and run

James Zogby on

What if the Palestinians were to exploit the opportunity provided by Kushner’s plan to build Palestinian society as an important step on the way to developing the strength to secure political rights and freedom in one secular state? James Zogby writes. History shows that when people live in economic despair, they are less inclined to demand political rights.

Israel’s Transportation Minister works for God

Jonathan Ofir on

Benjamin Netanyahu has given the job of Transport Minister to Bezalel Smotrich, who says that he is working for God. Smotrich tried to become Justice Minister, and though his suggestion that Israel should follow biblical law ended that bid, there’s no reason his portfolio won’t grow in years to come.

The Bahrain conference: what did, and didn’t, happen

Yumna Patel on
Jared Kushner speaks at the "Peace to Prosperity" workshop in Manama, Bahrain (Photo: AP)

Even Christine Lagarde of the IMF questioned the effectiveness of Jared Kushner’s proposal for $50 billion investment in Palestinian prosperity, saying without a political solution to the Palestinian issue, investments will not succeed. Her skepticism was widely shared.

Iran is not a threat to the United States, say the Democrats

Philip Weiss on

Democratic candidates assail Trump’s Iran policy, while Miriam Adelson hails it in biblical terms at an Israeli conference alongside Netanyahu. But journalists never ask Trump whether his biggest donors, the Adelsons, are pushing war because they fear it will stoke anti-Semitism.

The Israeli who had to prove he’s guilty of beating a Palestinian, and the Palestinian who had to prove he’s innocent of raping a Jewish girl

Jonathan Ofir on
Mahmoud Qatusa (l) and Dean Issacharoff (r)

This week an indictment against a Palestinian for alleged rape was retracted, and the State Prosecutor admitted that a Breaking the Silence member might have been telling the truth about assaulting a Palestinian. Jonathan Ofir says that both struggles – that to prove innocence, and to prove guilt – reflect the opposite sides of the Apartheid mirror.

In Gaza, from afar: How survivors struggle with the trauma of war and occupation after leaving

Walaa Ghussein on
A Palestinian family inspects the damage to their home after an Israeli air strike on October 11, 2015 in the Zeitoun area south of Gaza City. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

Walaa Ghussein speaks with other young Palestinians who have left Gaza in recent years about how they deal with the ongoing trauma of war in occupation. “I later realized that I’m never ‘post’ my traumas,” Heba Al Hayek tells her. “As a Palestinian, I’m never given a real chance to process because I’m still there even if my body isn’t.”

Bernie Sanders joins Democratic Party debate over US aid to Israel

Michael Arria on

During a appearance on CBS, Bernie Sanders implied that military aid to Israel might only come with conditions if he’s elected president. Combined with recent comments by Pete Buttigieg, and legislation introduced by Betty McCollum, Sanders’ comments are the latest indication that there may be a shift in how Democrats are viewing Israel heading into the 2020 election.

Barghouti: Trump peace effort ‘is about liquidating Palestinian rights’

Miriam Deprez on
Mustafa Barghouti (center) protests the Trump administration's economic summit in Bahrain, outside of Ramallah, Wednesday June 26, 2019. (Photo: Miriam Deprez)

Mustafa Barghouti talks with Mondoweiss about the Trump administration’s Bahrain economic summit and “deal of the century.” “Everything they’ve done, and everything they’ve declared, shows they are trying to kill the two-state solution and the rights of Palestinians to have a state of their own,” Barghouti says. “They advocate sustaining occupation and apartheid.”

In latest round of Iran provocations, Israel is missing a top gun — Jeffrey Goldberg

Philip Weiss on
Jeffrey Goldberg

Neither the US political establishment nor the people want a war with Iran, and Donald Trump knows it’s a political disaster. But 9 years ago Obama was seen as untrustworthy on Iran, and the lead reporter on the Middle East Jeffrey Goldberg goaded him to attack Iran with a report that Israel was going to attack Iran, a report that proved false.

Chuck Schumer says he supports Senate resolution that denounces the BDS movement

Michael Arria on

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is scheduled to announce his support for a new resolution that targets the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement today. “I have long believed that the BDS effort is a profoundly biased campaign to delegitimize the state of Israel, and I look forward to Congress passing the resolution with overwhelming bipartisan support,” Schumer told the online publication Jewish Insider.

‘Palestine is not for sale’ — Palestinians in Gaza say Bahrain summit is the ‘New Oslo’

Ahmad Kabariti on
Palestinians protest against the Bahrain economic workshop, in Khan Younis in the southern of Gaza strip, on June 26, 2019. (Photo: Ashraf Amra)

On Tuesday Palestinians in the Gaza Strip cursed at Arab officials and burned placards of President Donald Trump in protest of the administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” summit in Bahrain to discuss economic aspects of the long-awaited “deal of the century.” Yasmin Abu Arafa, a civil rights activist, told Mondoweiss: “After long years of struggle and fighting, a new Oslo seems to be imposed upon us by the U.S. But this will not happen again as in 1993.” 

Bahrain conference is a stab in the back to every Palestinian

Aya Al Ghazzawi on
Palestinian protesters hold posters during a protest against the Bahrain economic workshop, in Khan Younis in the southern of Gaza strip, on June 26, 2019. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

Aya Al Ghazzawi says that the Trump administration Bahrain conference is another step in the continual dehumanization of the Palestinian people. “It says that the blood of the Palestinian martyrs and the people’s long suffering can be bargained upon,” Al Ghazzawi writes, “That money can make up to Palestinians for the ongoing ethnic cleansing which began in 1948. That the incremental genocide inflicted by Israel on Palestinians can be forgotten for crumbs of bread and a trivial sum of money.”

As Kushner pushes Palestinian prosperity in Bahrain, UNRWA struggles to cover shortfall following US funding cuts

James Reinl on
Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Pierre Krahenbuhl speaks during a press conference, in Gaza city on May 23, 2019. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour/APA Images)

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees raised $110 million at a pledging meet in New York on Tuesday, but warned that it still needs more cash and may have to cut food handouts to some 1 million Gaza residents over the summer, and might not be able to open schools. The UNRWA event was held on the same day as the administration of US President Donald Trump launched its long-awaited and controversial plan for peace between Israelis and Palestinians in Bahrain.

Middle East scholars: An American attack on Iran would be an unmitigated disaster for the US, Iran, and the world

Open Letter on
The Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group transits the Suez Canal, May 9, 2019. (Photo: Petty Officer 3rd Class Darion Chanelle Triplett/US Navy)

Leading Middle East and Islamic studies scholars call on President Trump immediately to pull back from the brink of a war with the Islamic Republic of Iran: “It is clear to us that the human, diplomatic, legal, political, and economic costs to both countries, the Persian Gulf and larger Middle East, the global economy and the global system of international humanitarian law of a US attack would be even more devastating than was the US invasion of Iraq sixteen years ago.”

The trope of an ‘Arab-Israeli conflict’ is an anti-Palestinian fallacy

Denijal Jegić on
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets with US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on June 22, 2017. (Photo: Ma'an News)

The framing of the Palestinian struggle within diplomatic language as a “conflict” serves to convert settler-colonial violence and genocidal erasure of the indigenous people into a diplomatic dispute. Denijal Jegic writes, “as long as settler-colonial erasure remains the underlying structure, no economic relief or political measure could effectively benefit Palestinians.”

When activism becomes ‘anti-Semitism’: the silencing of pro-Palestine voices on campus

Yumna Patel on
UNC-Chapel Hill Students for Justice in Palestine, December 24, 2012. (Photo: Facebook)

This spring, the latest salvo in the battle surrounding Palestinian advocacy came to a head on two university campuses: the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Emory University. Following condemnations and investigations from their respective universities and communities, Mondoweiss spoke to students and faculty involved in both incidents at Emory and UNC to understand, from their point of view, the events that took place, and the wider implications for pro-Palestine activism on their campuses, and on university campuses across America.

‘World Refugee Day’: Palestinians keep their right of return alive through hope, resistance

Ramzy Baroud on
Palestinians fill their bottles and jerry cans with drinking water from a public tap during a heatwave in al-Shati refugee camp, west Gaza city on May 23, 2019. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour/APA Images)

The United Nations’ World Refugee Day, observed annually on June 20, should not merely represent a reminder of “the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.” It should also be an opportunity for the international community to truly understand and actively work towards finding a sustainable remedy to forced displacement.

Palestinian human rights orgs slam Israeli gov’t minister for ‘libelous’ smears

Yumna Patel on

Last week, the news broke in Israeli media that Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs had launched a “stealthy campaign” that resulted in the shuttering of some 30 bank accounts affiliated with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. Ramallah-based human rights NGO, Al-Haq, slammed Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan’s smear campaign against Palestinian rights groups as “spurious, unsubstantiated and libelous,” constituting what it called an “illegal interference” with Palestinian civil society under the Hague Regulations.