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March 2020

Over 30,000 people tuned into a virtual rally calling for an end to the Gaza blockade

Michael Arria on

In addition to the rally, JVP also released a petition that has already been signed by over 15,000 people. It calls on Israel to lift its embargo on Gaza in response to the COVID-19 crisis. “This crisis has been building since Israel’s life-threatening blockade began 13 years ago, and the U.S. is complicit,” it reads.

The politics of coronavirus: A timeline of public health actions in Israel/Palestine

Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council on
Shops are shuttered in an outdoor market after Palestinians are ordered to stay at home as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus, in the West Bank city of Nablus, on March 25, 2020. (Photo: Shadi Jarar'ah/APA Images)

Coronavirus entered the West Bank in early February, but political decisions have interfered with response, from apartheid water restrictions on Palestinians to the Netanyahu government’s refusal to quarantine Israelis returning from AIPAC conference in Washington. –A report from JVP’s Health Advisory Council.

Bring maximum pressure on Israel to end siege or Gaza could become a graveyard

Aaron Lakoff on

“The international community is watching what is happening in Gaza, and never does anything concrete to stop it. People have compared Gaza to a zoo. There have been reports saying that Gaza would be unliveable in 2020, and this was without the Coronavirus. Well, now we are in 2020.” –Khalil Abu Yahia, an English teacher in Gaza, speaking to Independent Jewish Voices of Canada.

Progressives are calling for U.S. sanctions on Iran to be lifted amid COVID-19 crisis, but Biden says he doesn’t have enough information yet

Michael Arria on
Screenshot of Joe Biden's brief address to the American Jewish Committee, June 2, 2019.

“Would you lift sanctions on Iran temporarily, during this pandemic,” NBC’s Chuck Todd asked Joe Biden on Meet the Press. “I don’t have enough information about the situation in Iran right now,” replied Biden, “There’s a lot of speculation from my foreign policy team that they’re in real trouble and they’re lying. But I would need more information to make that judgement. I don’t have the national security information available.”

An Epidemic in a Settler Colony: Coronavirus in Palestine/Israel 

Ahmad Al-Bazz on
Israeli forces at Al Walaja checkpoint, West Bank, March 2020. (Oren Ziv / Activestills).

The entire experience of the coronavirus in the West Bank serves as a perfect example of how Israel rules over Palestinians. While the coronavirus doesn’t differentiate between Israelis and Palestinians, Israel sure does. Everything in this country is politicized and affected by the colonial structure. The epidemic is just another perspective to understand it from. 

‘A huge and timely BDS victory’: Microsoft divests from Israeli tech firm AnyVision

Michael Arria on

Microsoft has announced that its divesting its shareholding in the Israeli facial recognition company AnyVision. The move follows an audit which was forced by a BDS campaign targeting the company. “Microsoft’s decision to heed the calls of the campaign to drop the Israeli surveillance company AnyVision is a huge and timely BDS victory,” announced the the Palestinian BDS National Committee.

Coronavirus exposes Israel’s political secret (apartheid)

Philip Weiss on

The imperative of fighting coronavirus with aggressive public health measures presents Israel with a choice — let Palestine go to hell, or take full control over the health system — and thereby exposes the political truth of Israeli governance. There is one apartheid state, with a legally privileged racial group and a second- and third-class subject population.

Israeli military confiscates Palestinian field clinic for virus victims — B’Tselem’s ‘shocking’ report

Kate on

“As the whole world battles an unprecedented and paralyzing healthcare crisis, Israel’s military is devoting time and resources to harassing the most vulnerable Palestinian communities in the West Bank that Israel has attempted to drive out for decades. Shutting down a first-aid community initiative during a health crisis is an especially cruel example of the regular abuse inflicted on these communities.” –B’Tselem reports on the destruction of a field clinic in Khirbet Ibziq in the occupied Jordan Valley.

COVID-19 reaches Gaza as cases spike in the West Bank

Mondoweiss Editors on
A Palestinian man wearing a protective face mask rides a donkey cart in Gaza City early on March 22, 2020. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour/APA Images)

The Latest: First coronavirus-related Palestinian death reported this week in the West Bank 82 Palestinians in the West Bank tested positive for COVID-19 9 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip tested positive for COVID-19 2,693 Israelis have tested positive for COVID-19 8 Israelis have died from coronavirus-related causes The ministry of health in Gaza said they […]

Warren, Van Hollen lead Senators in demanding Trump admin send aid to Palestine amid COVID-19 crisis

Michael Arria on
Elizabeth Warren (Photo: Flickr)

“Given the spread of the coronavirus in the West Bank and Gaza, the extreme vulnerability of the health system in Gaza, and the continued withholding of U.S. aid to the Palestinian people, we are concerned that the Administration is failing to take every reasonable step to help combat this public health emergency in the Palestinian Territories,” reads the letter. It was lead by Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), but was also signed by  Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

Coronavirus cases spike in West Bank as laborers return from Israel

Yumna Patel on

The number of coronavirus cases in Palestine jumped from 62 to 91 in just two days. The main cause is that thousands of Palestinian laborers have been ordered to return to the West Bank from Israel. Thousands of workers are now expected to flood back into the West Bank, raising concerns over how well the PA will be able to deal with the influx of potential virus carriers.

Mondoweiss is Hiring – Director of Development

Adam Horowitz and Philip Weiss on

Mondoweiss community, we have some bittersweet organizational news to share — Tova Perlmutter, our wonderful Executive Director, will be moving on later this spring. Tova has been central in our development over the past five years, helping to move Mondoweiss from a fledgling news operation of four staff people into a mature, stable organization with a core staff of ten. As we prepare for her exit at the end of June we are launching a search for a Director of Development to continue our impressive growth.

Coronavirus is an urgent reminder that Gaza’s siege is a death sentence

Mary Turfah on
A Palestinian talks with his mother who is under quarantine at a government facility located in the Mahfouz al-Nahnah Algerian School in Gaza City March 26, 2020. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour/APA Images)

Although coronavirus seems to be relatively contained inside the Gaza Strip, the new cases raise the specter for what many of us have known for a long time: trapping millions in close quarters is a death sentence. In this crisis, as many officials reocgnize, incarcerated people should be released.

A Rematch in Michigan

Michael Arria on
Rashida Tlaib

Jones Challenges Tlaib This week, Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones officially announced that she will run against Rep. Rashida Tlaib in Michigan’s 13th congressional district. Jones won a special election in 2018 to fill John Conyers’s old seat and, just five weeks later, Tlaib defeated Jones by a slim margin in a crowded Democratic […]

Forward global thinking on COVID-19

Alice Rothchild on
Palestinian members of the civil defense disinfect the streets as a preventive measure amid fears of the spread of the coronavirus, in Khan Younis in the southern of Gaza Strip, on March 23, 2020. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

Dr. Alice Rothchild writes, “The announcement that nine cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Gaza filled me with a new level of anxiety and despair. Gaza is at the beginning of the pandemic curve.”

Watch: Yumna Patel on the coronavirus outbreak in Palestine

Mondoweiss Editors on

Mondoweiss Palestine correspondent Yumna Patel joined Phil Weiss and Dave Reed to give an update on the coronavirus outbreak in Palestine. Yumna is based in Bethlehem, the epicenter of the outbreak in the occupied West Bank.

Netanyahu, forever! Gantz abandons his opposition

Philip Weiss on
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz

Israel’s year-long political stalemate appears to be over. Netanyahu was saved by coronavirus and racism. The virus made him popular. Racism stymied Benny Gantz’s efforts to form a government with Palestinian support.

Palestinians report first coronavirus death in the West Bank

Yumna Patel on
Closed shops in the West Bank city of Nablus, which is under a home confinement order as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), March 25, 2020. (Photo: Shadi Jarar'ah/APA Images)

The first Palestinian has died from the novel coronavirus in the occupied West Bank, officials announced on Wednesday. The victim was identified as a woman in her 60’s from the Biddu village, north of Jerusalem in the central West Bank.