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November 2019

‘NY Times’ report on killing of Gaza family is part damage control for Israel’s military

James North on

While the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that the killing of an entire family in Gaza was a “mistake,” the New York Times allows the Israeli military to explain that “civilian casualties are unavoidable in Gaza’s teeming neighborhoods.” And, hammering home the propaganda point, the paper says Israel “takes numerous precautions to prevent unnecessary civilian casualties.”

Even Bernie can’t square the circle of ‘progressive Zionism’

Joseph Levine on

Bernie Sanders’s call for reciprocity for Palestinians and Israelis in understanding the others’ narrative actually erases the Palestinian experience of Zionism and imposes a Zionist frame on the history of the conflict, Joseph Levine writes. Sanders’s concern for the “just claims” of Israeli Jews turns the moral and historical facts of the case upside down and show the incompatibility of his democratic Socialism and his Zionism.

Sawarka relatives relate hellish destruction of family of 8 in what Israelis call a ‘mistake’

Ahmad Kabariti on

“What investigation could raise the dead?” Abdullah al-Sawarka, 45, asks, while standing distraught at the edge of a 50-foot-wide crater where his cousin’s tin shack stood. Israelis bombed the house in Gaza on Thursday killing eight family members. They now say it was a mistake but Gazans scoff at the idea that there will be any accountability for the crime. The file will be thrown in the trash, says an aunt of the children killed.

Gaza militants and Israelis exchange fire despite tenuous truce

Kate on
Scenes at Al-Shifa’ Hospital (Photo: Mohammed Zaanoun /

Palestinian militants fired two rockets deep into southern Israel from Gaza on Saturday, and the Israeli military responded with a number of air strikes on militant targets, shaking an already tenuous truce, Reuters reports. Sirens sounded in the middle of the night in Beersheba, the largest city in southern Israel, some 35 km (18 miles) from the Gaza border, warning of incoming fire.

Activists occupy Rep. Schakowsky office demanding human rights for Palestinian children

Michael Arria on
Activists occupy Re. Jan Schakowsky's office. (Photo: US Palestinian Community Network Twitter)

Members of Jewish Voice for Peace, American Friends Service Committee, and other constituents occupied the office of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL 9th District) and called on her to support a congressional bill that promotes human rights for children in Palestine. The protesters read a list of 271 Palestinian children who have been arrested and detained by the Israeli military, as well as a list of the 8 children killed in Israel’s recent attack on Gaza.

Looking beyond ‘women and children’ in Gaza’s casualties

Nada Elia on
Relatives of Palestinian Mohammed Shurrab, who was killed by an Israeli airstrike, mourn during his funeral in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on November 14, 2019.

Nada Elia says that once again she is reading the statistics about casualties in Gaza and is deeply disturbed by the emphasis on the number of women and children. “This does not do the Palestinians any favor,” Elia writes, “as it inadvertently reinforces the racist Zionist narrative that treats every Palestinian man as a fighter, a militant, a terrorist.”

Any of us can be the next victim in Gaza

Aya Al Ghazzawi on
Palestinians inspect the damaged house destroyed in an Israeli air strike in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on November 14, 2019. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

“On Monday night I told myself I needed to sleep early in order to get up the next day to head to work as usual. I sat the alarm for 5:00 a.m. However, it was not the phone alarm that woke me. It was an Israeli airstrike targeting the home of Islamic Jihad senior commander Bahaa Abu al-Ata,” Aya Al Ghazzawi writes.

Nearly every Democratic candidate rushed to defend Israel’s attack on Gaza, Warren only one to acknowledge Palestinian deaths

Michael Arria on
Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg at the Democratic debate held in Westerville, OH in October 2019. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

A ceasefire has been reached between Israel and groups in Gaza, after two days of violence that left 34 Palestinians dead. Many of the Democratic candidates have tweeted about the events, defending Israel’s actions while condemning rocket fire from Palestine. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders have not mentioned the situation at all.

Rep. Pocan emphasizes progressive caucus’s commitment to Palestine

Helena Cobban on

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) revealed in late October that members of Congress are planning another delegation to Palestine and this time “the permission has to include Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.” Pocan’s remarks introducing Palestinian writer Yousef Aljamal show that support for the rights of all Palestinians is growing within the 98-member-strong Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Another Election, Another War

Naim Mousa on
(Cartoon: Carlos Latuff)

Israel has vigorously escalated its aggression in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza in the past several week and the timing could not be better for Netanyahu and his allies. Netanyahu is employing a tactic he has used time after time, with near consistent results, to stay in power: start a war in Gaza.

Why anyone who is Jewish and on the Left should have no problem voting for Jeremy Corbyn

Tony Greenstein on

Guardian editor Jonathan Freedland’s latest attack on Jeremy Corbyn robs the charge of antisemitism of its real and important meaning. His broadside is a hodgepodge of assertions based on guilt-by-association and statements taken out of context. If 87 percent of British Jews now believe Corbyn is antisemitic it is because of the media parroting pro-Israel propaganda.

Inside the mind of an Israeli settler

David Kattenburg on
Yakov Berg, the CEO of Psagot Winery in the occupied West Bank.

David Kattenburg reports on the testimony of Yakov Berg, the CEO of Psagot Winery in the occupied West Bank, in a case pending before Canada’s Federal Court regarding the labeling of products made in the occupied territories. Berg says labeling his wine as anything other than a ‘Product of Israel’ would be discriminatory and antisemitic.

How AXA insures life while investing in death

Raegan Davis on

The French insurance giant AXA is the second-largest provider in the world, with operations based in more than 60 countries that total over 100 million clients, including banks that finance Israeli settlement infrastructure projects.

Netanyahu’s Gaza attack targeted political foes Gantz and Joint List, says Israeli negotiator

Philip Weiss on
In the battle between Netanyahu and Gantz, Gaza pays the price. (Cartoon: Carlos Latuff)

In the wake of the Israeli assassination in Gaza and the counter-attack by Islamic Jihad, a “convoy” of Netanyahu’s political allies in the Likud party have issued statements that Benny Gantz is not trustworthy because he will depend on the Joint List of Palestinian parties in order to become prime minister, says Moty Cristal, a former Israeli negotiator.