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‘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.

After 15 years, Palestinians finally visit prized spring

Miriam Deprez on
Women from a-Tuwani village fill containers with water from the Ein al-Beida spring for the first time in 15 years. (Photo: Miriam Deprez)

At daybreak Kefah Adra set out to fill a plastic container of water from a nearby spring, a morning errand she has not done in 15 years. Like many Palestinian towns in this southern region of the West Bank, a-Tuwani is hemmed in by Israeli settlements, which a decade and a half ago cut off access to her water source. 

Court lifts ban on Arizona’s controversial anti-BDS law

Michael Arria on

In 2016, the Arizona Legislature passed HB 2617. The legislation (which was signed into law by Governor Doug Ducey) prohibited the state from investing or contracting with groups that boycott Israel. The law also established a blacklist of businesses that support the BDS movement. The legislation prompted a challenge from Mikkel Jordahl, the owner of a law firm that contracts with Coconino County Jail District to provide legal services for prisoners. He’s a supporter of BDS and the law required him to certify that his firm would not engage in the boycott. 

Why we march for justice and not just us

Jay Saper on
Activists with Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice at the “No Hate, No Fear” march in New York City, January 5, 2020. (Photo: Twitter)

Amidst fear and mourning, the Jewish community is turning towards antiracist solidarity to create real safety. “One thing is clear,” JVP member Jay Saper writes, “our shared enemy is white supremacy and our shared solution is one another.”

To tell you the truth, I didn’t know where I was born

Jonathan Ofir on

Jonathan Ofir reflects upon his youth and Zionist indoctrination in Israel. He first thought he was born in Israel, but then realised he was born in Palestine. It is painful to make that declaration but it is a necessary liberation.

How (not) to tackle antisemitism in the Age of Boris

Robert Cohen on

Under Boris Johnson in Britain, Jewish institutions, rabbis, and Jewish student leaders are claiming to fight antisemitism while simultaneously defending, excusing, or denying the discrimination and oppression of another people. It’s a narrative framework that’s not sustainable, Robert Cohen writes.

BDS as a way of resistance

Majed Abusalama on
Palestinian children play in front of a gate painted with a mural by the German artist Akot on the walls of houses destroyed during the 2014 war in the Gaza Strip, Gaza City on June 11, 2015. (Photo: Mohammed Asad/APA Images)

Majed Abusalama writes that Palestinians are tired of demanding their obvious human rights, but there is now an opportunity to compel the international community to humanize Palestine and to treat Palestinians with full rights — the BDS movement.

How activists got a Congress member to introduce a bill on behalf of Palestinian children

Michael Arria on
Jennifer Bing and Yazan Meqbil visit Rep. Bobby Rush's office as part of the No Way To Treat A Child campaign.

Jennifer Bing has been involved in Palestine solidarity activism since the early 1980s and has been one of the driving forces behind the No Way to Treat a Child campaign that led to Rep. Betty McCollum’s historic bill to the stop the detention of Palestinian children. Bing spoke with Mondoweiss’ Michael Arria about how her feelings on pushing lawmakers has changed, how McCollum became an unlikely advocate for the cause, and what comes next.

Time to end the Georgia Law Enforcement Exchange program

Zainab Khan on
A delegation of Israeli law enforcement officials taking part in a 2012 GILEE training. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

It is necessary to take a particular look at the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE) program in light of ongoing police brutality and understand the role of militarization both at home and abroad. 

Dutch NGO appeals to ‘passive’ ICC: open investigation into Israeli war crimes

Yumna Patel on

The Rights Forum, an organization “committed to a fair and sustainable Dutch and European policy on the Palestine/Israel issue,” announced earlier this week that it was delivering its appeal with the support of 185 organizations from 25 countries. “Without further delay, investigate possible war crimes committed in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory,” the group said in their appeal, which they delivered to Chief ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda at The Hague on Tuesday.