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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.

‘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.

An unlikely nemesis: maverick lawyer sues Israel supporters over human rights

Steve France on

A Palestinian family victimized by illegal Israeli settlers is suing Benjamin Netanyahu and his American abettors, including Jared Kushner and Sheldon Adelson, in a D.C. federal court. The suit is the branchild of Martin McMahon and relies on legal precedent regarding South African apartheid’s dehumanization of a civilian population and the universality of war crime law stemming from the Eichmann case.

JVP Leadership Transition: Palestinians honor Rebecca Vilkomerson

Open Letter on
Rebecca Vilkomerson (Photo: Skip Schiel)

On the occasion of the Jewish Voice for Peace transition to a new leadership, leaders in the Palestinian activist community take the opportunity to honor and thank past Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson for her dedicated and strategic leadership of an organization that has done so much to advance Palestinian rights to self-determination, freedom, justice, and equality in the U.S. and beyond.

Liberal Zionist’s teen son is– an anti-Zionist

Philip Weiss on

Writer Eric Flamm says after four trips to Israel, his 15-year-old son has become an anti-Zionist and supports BDS. “Because he couldn’t support the notion that in Israel the Jews received preferential treatment over Palestinians in all aspects of life, such as education, housing, employment, and access to justice.”

‘There’s been a huge shift’: breaking down Betty McCollum’s historic bill on Palestinian children

Michael Arria on

Brad Parker explains, “Everybody can understand the physical violence against a child. I think that’s a universal red line that exists for most people. And in that, I think was the overarching sort of consideration in shaping the campaign. We wanted to have something that was really basic, straightforward, accessible, relatable so that it expanded the movement and also complemented the other things that were happening.”

Photo Essay: Palestinians converge on Jordan Valley checkpoints to protest Trump plan

Keren Manor on
Israeli soldiers fire sound grenades at Palestinian protesters by the Tayseer checkpoint, the Jordan Valley, the West Bank, January 30, 2020. (Photo: Ahmad Al-Bazz / Activestills)

The morning after President Donald Trump committed to recognizing Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank during the release of his much-awaited Middle East peace plan, Palestinians protested the deal that would annex the Jordan Valley, the breadbasket of the West Bank, by motoring trackers through an Israeli checkpoint.  

Retired professor sues for reinstatement on Quora after ‘Palestine’ banning

Benay Blend on
Rima Najjar (Photo: Facebook)

On December 31, 2019, attorneys for Rima Najjar, a retired professor of English literature at Al-Quds University, filed a suit against the question-answer website Quora in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, arguing the site had unlawfully banned her from posting and moderating a forum. The case centers around the use of the word “Palestine” and “Zionist,” the latter of which Quora said constituted “hate speech.” 

Science against all the odds: ‘Scientists for Palestine’ holds its third international conference

Hubert Murray on
Dr. Tarek Loubani demonstrating his stethoscope made by a 3 D printer on a conference participant. (Photo: Hubert Murray)

Hubert Murray reports from Cambridge, Massachusetts where Scientists for Palestine held their third international conference, this year at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Another conclusion from witnessing this sophisticated and productive exchange of ideas is that despite the politically-imposed privations endured by Palestinian scientists (and of course the population as a whole) there is a corresponding ingenuity at prevailing against the odds,” Murray writes.

South Dakota Governor signs anti-BDS executive order

Michael Arria on

On January 14, South Dakota’s Republican Governor Kristi Noem signed an executive order that prohibits state offices from doing business with companies that boycott Israel. South Dakota becomes the 28th state to pass legislation that targets the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.