Author Thea Halo, whose memoir follows her mother’s life as a survivor of the Greek Genocide, notes the House res. acknowledged genocide against Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians, yet most news organizations failed to report the full scope of who were the victims.
Monthly Archives: October 2019
American Jews feel “shame” and “despair” and disappointment with Israel, and are so tired of fighting over it that they are starting to lose interest, says Rabbi Ayelet Cohen of the New Israel Fund. Some rabbis are dropping it from Hebrew school curricula and no one notices, she says.
The New York Times did the bare minimum in reporting on an Israeli soldier who was sentenced to one month in prison for murdering a young Gazan demonstrator last year.
Yumna Patel interviews Canadian law professor and UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian territories Michael Lynk about his latest report on the human rights situation in Palestine, and his call for an international ban on Israeli settlement goods.
Long read: Physician Hatim Kanaaneh returns to Arab al-Naim, a rare case for Bedouin villages in the Galilee where the community gained recognized status after a decades-long battle for paved roads and running water.
The spirit of J Street conference was young Jews telling of shattering experiences in Palestine. The issue is not complicated, says Brett Rosenberg of an Obama foreign policy thinktank. Israel’s occupation is immoral and Americans must take action.
UMass Amherst Students for Justice in Palestine write an open letter to the university chancellor demanding a retraction on allegations against the BDS movement and demand that the university make a clear public statement explaining the difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.
Nada Elia says that Palestinian participants at the 2019 J Street national conference betrayed Palestinian interests by validating the organizations’s regressive agenda which has been long rendered moot by an on-the-ground reality that predates Trump and Netanyahu.
The push to acknowledge the genocide on a federal level has hit roadblocks for decades, but recent geopolitical events have forced the issue. On October 29 the House passed H.Res 296, a resolution that recognizes the mass-killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War 1 as a genocide. While the measure passed overwhelmingly by a vote of 405-11, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is facing criticism for simply voting “present.”
Students at Duke University in North Carolina repeatedly interrupted an event last Wednesday featuring Tzipi Livni, the former Israeli foreign minister who was subject to an arrest warrant issued by the UK and criminal complaints in two more European countries for her alleged role in war crimes committed during the 2008-09 Cast Lead invasion of Gaza.
“I look back [with] regret at Gaza,” Ben Rhodes confesses at J Street. While another Obama official Tommy Vietor says the Yemen war was “wrong” and a “disaster.” And NY City Councilman Brad Lander says he regrets keeping quiet about Palestinian human rights over 10 years of defending Israel. “I was pushed to find more courage,” he says.
The Israeli military has closed the case files of three Palestinians who were killed by its forces in 2018, prompting backlash from rights groups like B’Tselem who initially investigated the killings. “At the end of the day, these belated so-called investigations, ended in whitewashing,” B’Tselem said in a press release on Monday.
“All of them means all of them.” Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri steps down after two weeks of protests across the country where over a million Lebanese from all faiths joined together in leaderless and nationwide anti-government demonstrations, in which the agenda has expanded from avoiding taxes to regime change.
UMass Amherst faculty issue an open letter pushing back on a statement by Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy that was critical of the upcoming panel “Criminalizing Dissent: The Attack on BDS and American Democracy.”
Israeli defense ministry officials want to upend the definition in international law of the settlements as a war crime by allowing settlers buy as private property the plots of occupied land their illegal homes currently stand on.
A major theme has emerged at this year’s annual J Street conference: conditioning U.S. military aid to Israel. This lines up with a wider shift that seems to be happening throughout the country. An October 25 report from the centrist Center for American Progress shows 56% of voters say they’d condition aid if the Israeli government continues to expand settlements or ends up annexing the West Bank. That number goes up to 71% when applied only to Democratic voters.
Democrats are pushing to pass a watered-down and toothless version of a resolution supporting a negotiated two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue in the coming weeks, and yet Republicans say even this contradicts the Trump Administration’s peace plan. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the resolution is designed to “score points against the President” and “cut the Administration’s peace process off at the knees, ensuring that any political proposal released by the Administration already has the black mark of a rebuke by the House of Representatives.”
In Gaza on Friday, 95 Palestinian civilians, including 43 children, a woman, 2 paramedics and a journalist, were shot and injured by Israeli forces, who fired live rounds against peaceful Palestinian protesters at the 80th Great March of Return.
“We oppose Zionism. We oppose the role that Zionists play in the diaspora,” historian Jack Jacobs explains Bundism at the Yivo Institute in New York, on a breakthrough panel that included Molly Crabapple calling for one democratic state to whoops and applause and Jacob Plitman saying his Zionism was “shattered” after one encounter with Palestinians and learning their story.
Israel has demolished a record number of homes in occupied East Jerusalem in 2019, the most in the past 15 years, Israeli rights group B’Tselem reported on Thursday. More than 140 Palestinian homes were demolished, resulting in the displacement of 238 Palestinians.
The Young Democratic Socialists of America at Georgia Tech have been found guilty of discrimination and sanctioned by the school’s Office of Student Integrity for barring a pro-Israel individual from attending one of their meetings over concerns that they would potentially be disruptive. The decision comes after a 6-month long disciplinary process from the OSI, which YDSA referred to as “open-ended, opaque, politically-motivated, and ultimately unlawful.”
Benny Gantz’s best hope of becoming Israeli PM is to threaten to make a center-left minority government with outside help of Palestinians. The threat would cause Netanyahu’s defense line to crumble at last, and Likud members would join Gantz. So Palestinians are just a pawn in the game, never allowed near real power.
Executive Director of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association Rabbi Elyse Wechtermanm tells Mondoweiss, “Our members have been working hard against child detention and family separation on the border here in the United States. When the issue of child incarceration, torture and detention by the Israeli military was brought to our attention, we felt we could not ignore it – this is part of what it means to fight for justice locally and globally.”
Haidar Eid discusses teaching Ghassan Kanafani’s The Land of Sad Oranges to students in Gaza. He says it not only provides insights into the tragic loss of the Nakba, but raises questions of what justice means today.
The Executive Council of the Episcopal Church has adopted a human rights investment screen related to Israel and Palestine and will sell its holdings in Motorola Solutions, Caterpillar, Inc., and the Israel Discount Bank.