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June 2019

Concentration camps – at the US border and in Gaza

Jonathan Ofir on
A Palestinian protester scaling the Gaza wall at the Karni crossing, July 20, 2018.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been under fire for using the term “concentration camps” to describe US border detention camps. Speaking in 2015, Israeli journalist Amira Hass made a similar statement about Israeli policies toward Gaza. Jonathan Ofir says the two statements help clarify a reality that “is often far beyond the imagination.”

Trump’s climbdown on Iran is a defeat to the Israel lobby

Philip Weiss on

Israel and its rightwing supporters wanted an attack on Iran and they did not get it, this week anyway. Though of course the media did not identify the Israel lobby and Netanyahu as cheerleaders for war American people don’t want.

I’m marching for Palestine in the first Queer Liberation March in NYC June 30

Pauline Park on

Pride Parade organizers have not accepted the Reclaim Pride coalition’s demands to use the parade for grassroots transformational change, so the coalition will hold the first Queer Liberation March in New York City history on June 30. The liberation of Palestine and all Palestinians — queer and non-LGBT as well — is a core commitment of the march, Pauline Park writes.

Robert Kraft pledges $20 million to set up foundation that will fight BDS

Michael Arria on

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has pledged $20 million to establish a foundation that will fight anti-Semitism and BDS (the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement). Kraft made the announcement while in Israel accepting The Genesis Prize, a $1 million award that Time Magazine has called “the Jewish Nobel.”

Imagine a US president taking Iran’s side in conflict with Israel, and you get Maguire’s thriller ‘Exodus Betrayal’

Philip Weiss on

Gil Maguire’s new novel, “The Exodus Betrayal,” imagines a US president siding with Iran after Israel attacks Iran, and it is intended to get Americans out of love with Israel, much as “Exodus” got us in love back in 1958. “I am trying to show how harmful our relationship with Israel has become and how the so-called special relationship is based on a myth of Israel’s importance,” Maguire says.

Jerusalem cable car plan becomes international controversy

James Reinl on
Still from a screen shot of a video visualizing the proposed cable car system planned for Jerusalem. (Video: Jerusalem Development Authority)

A plan to build a cable car for tourists in Jerusalem’s occupied Old City has largely been a local issue so far. That changed on on Thursday, when Palestinian concerns about the new transit route were raised to the international level at a United Nations debate on the fragile peace process.

Congressional candidate Andom Ghebreghiorgis wants to end the occupation of Palestine. He’s running against one of Israel’s biggest defenders

Michael Arria on
Andom Ghebreghiorgis

Andom Ghebreghiorgis is challenging Israel lobby-stalwart Eliot Engel in the his upcoming Democratic primary. “Whether it’s in the U.S. or abroad, I believe in equal rights and freedom for all. We therefore must commit to a political solution that centers those values for Israelis and for Palestinians. Sadly, Eliot Engel has been one of the staunchest supporters of Israel’s right wing policies,” Ghebreghiorgis tells Mondoweiss.

UK Liberal Dems call on party leaders to reinstate group suspended for criticism of Israel

Lib Dems for Free Speech on

Members of the Liberal Democrat party in the UK publish an open letter to party leaders, opposing their definition of antisemitism to include criticism of Israel, which led to suspension of a party organization for social media posts. “Israel deserves same treatment as China, Russia or other violators of human rights,” the letter-writers say.

Getting in, and getting out, of Palestine

Alice Rothchild on

“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.

‘NYT’ readers call out the newspaper for abetting war against Iraq and now Iran

James North and Philip Weiss on
New York Times headquarters

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.

U.S. mainstream media fails to challenge Trump administration’s push toward war with Iran

James North on

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.

Liberal Zionists worry: Annexation will make Israel a political issue in presidential campaign

Philip Weiss on
Pete Buttigieg, on keyboards. From his Facebook page, June 11.

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.

Florida’s sweeping definition of anti-Semitism limits teachers’ freedom to discuss Palestine

Katie Miranda on

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has called Florida the most Israel-friendly state in the country and he demonstrated the friendship lately by going to the US embassy in Jerusalem to ceremonially sign a new law that prohibits expressions of anti-Semitism in Florida schools. (On that trip DeSantis also endorsed Benjamin Netanyahu for reelection, said Netanyahu could […]

Israel-Palestine conflict ‘drives turmoil in the Middle East’ — Seth Moulton

Philip Weiss on

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.