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Roman Levin: from Israeli military truck driver to army refusenik

Stephen Shenfield on
Israeli conscientious objector Roman Levin. (Photo: Mesarvot)

Roman Levin, 19, is the latest Israeli soldier to be imprisoned for refusing to continue serving in the military after on moral objections to the occupation: “I heard soldiers talk about how they raid villages at night to detain suspects. It grieves me to see how the Jews, in the past one of the most oppressed peoples, now occupy another people.”

Palestinians intervene to sue Israeli settlers in Airbnb lawsuit

Center for Constitutional Rights on
The West Bank town of Wadi Fukin is dwarfed by the nearby settlement of Beitar Illit. (Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/ Image: Mondoweiss)

Today, a Palestinian-American and two Palestinian villages, whose properties are the very properties that Israeli settlers have listed on Airbnb, filed counterclaims against the settlers in their suit against Airbnb, arguing that their actions constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and discrimination on the basis of religion and national origin.

Palestinians must avoid pressure to prioritize cultural expression over political advocacy

Hammam Farah on
Students Against Israeli Apartheid at York University information booth

Hammam Farah says Palestinians in Canada are witnessing an attempt to redefine their identity away from a collective political emancipation to one where national symbols like the kuffiyeh or the olive tree are denuded of their meaning. “We are left with a culture that is being depoliticized and being ‘made safe’ for our elites’ integration into Canada’s ruling classes at an alarming rate,” Farah writes, “while exploitation and oppression suffered by the majority among us only deepen.”

Video: Palestinian human rights observers in Hebron under attack following TIPH expulsion

Yumna Patel and Akram Al-Wa'ra on
Palestinian human rights observers in Hebron under attack following TIPH expulsion

Following Israel’s expulsion of the TIPH observer group from Hebron last month, a group of Palestinian activists from the city formed their own team of observers to fill in the gaps. Mondoweiss followed the team around one morning, and in the span of half an hour, the group, including our cameraman, were attacked and harassed by Israeli settlers, while one international activist who was filming the altercation was arrested by police.

Defying attacks on free speech, Palestine Advocacy Project revives campaign honoring Gaza heroes

Palestine Advocacy Project on

The Palestine Advocacy Project is relaunching a billboard ad campaign honoring Palestinian medics who put their lives on the line to rescue and treat injured protesters in Gaza’s ongoing Great March of Return demonstrations. The campaign comes nearly three months after its previous run was cut short after the billboard company received pressure calling the billboards antisemitic.

Palestine solidarity work is most effective when done within an anti-racist framework

Alice Rothchild on
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). (Photo: Ilhan Omar for Congress/Facebook)

The recent fury and attacks on Ilhan Omar and her forthright statements exposing and criticizing the role of the Israel lobby come at time when issues of political framing are roiling Jewish and progressive communities. Alice Rothchild says the controversy further clarified her understanding that Palestine solidarity work is most effectively accomplished within an anti-racist, anti-white supremacist framework.

Rosa Luxemburg conference in Vienna bars BDS activists

Peter Unterweger on

BDS Austria registered on time as a participant and co-sponsor of the Rosa Luxenberg conference. But the registration for an information table was refused and the fee refunded. BDS activists intervened at the start of the final panel discussion March 2 to object. “What are you afraid of?”

Ronnie Barkan’s speech against Israeli Apartheid in a Berlin court: ‘I stand here today as the accuser, not the accused’

Jonathan Ofir on
The Humboldt 3, Stavit Sinai, Ronnie Barkan, and Majed Abusalama, receive an award from Copenhagen’s Mayor for Technical and Environmental Affairs

Three activists are on trial in Berlin for disrupting a talk by Israeli lawmaker Aliza Lavie at Humboldt University. In his opening statement the court, Ronnie Barkan made it clear the activists would use the case to take Israel to court. “If there is any wrongdoing on my part then it is of not doing enough to end the grave crimes that the State of Israel is responsible for,” Barkan said. “The accused today, your honor, are the criminal State of Israel and its accomplices who will be mentioned in this courtroom for aiding and abetting in Israeli crimes against humanity.”

Finding our shared future

Danielle Alma Ravitzki on
A file photo taken on April 27, 2018 shows Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli security forces during tents protest demanding the right to return to their homeland, at the Israel-Gaza border, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. Israel rejected the findings of a UN probe released on February 28 into its soldiers' response to Gaza unrest that began in March last year, calling it "hostile, deceitful and biased." (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

Danielle Alma Ravitski: As a political and human rights activist, I came to realize that the debate on a one-state solution in Israel/Palestine reveals a more profound issue of boundaries – not geographical ones, but psychological ones. This is especially true for Israeli liberal leftists, who talk about “one-state” with two contradictory voices.

Unfounded allegations of anti-Semitism cover up Israeli apartheid

Jeff Handmaker on

The charges of anti-Semitism in the UK Labour Party reflect a program by Israel supporters to smear those who bear witness to apartheid in Palestine who are slowly changing the country’s global reputation. Today a growing number of Jews support Palestinian rights, while Israel is forging a strange alliance with Islamophobes and nationalists.

Jews stand with Ilhan: There is nothing anti-semitic about calling out AIPAC’s noxious role

Mondoweiss Editors on

Prominent Jews, including Molly Crabapple, Dave Zirin, Tzvia Thier, Naomi Klein, Ilan Pappe, Rebecca Vilkomerson, Shir Hever, and Moshe Machover sign a statement standing by Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar for her criticism of AIPAC. As long as the US gov’t stands behind Israeli crimes, the 229 signatories and counting will point to the outsize role of the Israel lobby.

Can we imagine a just peace for Palestine?

Richard Falk on
A Palestinian youth flashes the victory sign during clashes with Israeli security forces near the border with Israel, east of Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza Strip, May 21, 2014. (Photo: Khaled al-Sabbah/APA Images)

Many Israelis would like us to believe that the Palestinian struggle to achieve self-determination has been defeated, and that it is time to admit that Israel is the victor and Palestine the loser. But Richard Falk says recent events paint a different picture than this premature Israel triumphalism.

Except for Palestine

Steven Salaita on

Steven Salaita on why ‘Progressive Except for Palestine’ is a lie: “a progressive or feminist (or socialist or anti-racist or whatever) with shit politics on Palestine isn’t somebody with an inconsistency; it’s somebody with shit politics in general.  Supporting Israel isn’t a respite from otherwise admirable ethics; it portends ethical flaws across a range of issues.”

Photo Essay: Palestinians hold annual Open Shuhada Street demonstration in Hebron

Anne Paq on

Palestinians took to the streets in Hebron to commemorate when a US-born Israeli settler named Baruch Goldstein opened fire on Palestinian worshippers in the Ibrahimi Mosque in 1994, killing 29 and wounding more than 100. The protests this year were held at a time of heightened tensions in the city following the Israeli government’s expulsion of international human rights observers from the city.

The last eyewitnesses: a new film on the Nakba

Stephen Shenfield on

“Even a thousand films on the Nakba would not suffice,” says Ahlam Muhtaseb, co-director with Andy Trimlett of a new film, “1948: Creation & Catastrophe,” which is based in part on interviews with survivors, many of them of advanced years. The film has been subject to protests by Israel supporters, and a screening in West Hollywood was scratched under pressure in December, now rescheduled for March. Stephen Shenfield interviews the co-directors.

Photo Essay: Caves bring depopulated villages in the south Hebron Hills back to life

Ahmad Al-Bazz and Anne Paq on

For weeks under the cloak of night Palestinians secretly renovated four caves and built a tin-roofed house in secret in the West Bank hamlet of Ar-Rakeez where only a handful of residents live. Because of rigid Israeli planning restrictions and frequent settler harassment, most of the Ar-Rakeez’s villagers moved to the nearby city of Yatta over the last 20 years. Yet in recent years locals have developed a strategy to repopulate the abandoned village by renovating caves, a legal loophole that circumvents Israeli policies of demolishing homes constructed or upgraded without a permit. Last week they opened the homes in a “bringing life back” ceremony.

Copenhagen mayor awards BDS activists for their courage

Jonathan Ofir on
The Humboldt 3, Stavit Sinai, Ronnie Barkan, and Majed Abusalama, receive an award from Copenhagen’s Mayor for Technical and Environmental Affairs

The “Humboldt 3” are three BDS activists who face a criminal trial in Berlin next month for disrupting a pro-Israel event by an Israeli lawmaker at a university in 2017. Israel has silenced Germany on Palestinian rights using Holocaust guilt, but in Copenhagen the three activists received an award for their courage in exposing apartheid.

‘Daily Californian’ solicits, then kills, op-ed on academic boycott of Israel

Andrew Ross and John King on

After the University of California chancellors posted an anti-BDS statement in December, Daily Californian editors solicited an op-ed response from the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. Editors were initially receptive to a submitted article and planned to publish it quickly, but later killed it after saying the “upper management team” found it potentially libelous. Read the op-ed article the Daily Californian would not run.

Why I’m not a ‘Champagne boycotter’

Robert Cohen on

Robert Cohen, British anti-Zionist, is accused of being a “champagne boycotter,” because he urges boycott of Israel while using computer products from companies heavily invested in Israel. But BDS doesn’t target Intel, because it has a virtual global monopoly and thus a boycott would not succeed. The real hypocrisy is talking up human rights and opposition to nukes while enforcing an apartheid system and secretly holding nukes.