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(Cartoon: Carlos Latuff)

Next week, Donald Trump will host a ceremonial signing of the Israel-United Arab Emirates deal to normalize relations between the two countries. The deal has been condemned by many for failing to secure even a single concession for Palestinians. But shortly after the deal was announced, another downside — and perhaps the U.S.’s primary motivation for pursuing the deal — came sharply into focus: tens of billions of dollars in UAE weapons sales.

The upcoming Israeli elections, usually a sign of democracy, will in fact demonstrate how the country is not a democratic state. The right to vote is only granted to 60% of the total population, and only one third of Palestinians who live under Israeli rule will have a say in the next government.

Ariel Gold on getting denied entry to Israel: “My denial of entry received an enormous amount of coverage in Israeli and American Jewish media. Though I am disappointed I was not able to get into the country, I am glad that what happened to me contributed in a strong and positive way to the conversations that are taking place right now in Israeli and diaspora Jewish communities around Palestinian rights and democracy. But, refusing to allow me into the country is only a small glimpse of Israel’s border policies.”

Ariel Gold writes, “Before we consider whether Ahed deserves a life behind bars, we must first take a closer look at what is a criminal action, and what is a life of enduring state violence. Is it the 16-year-old girl who dares to raise her hand to a fully armed Israeli soldier who is the criminal? Or is it the ongoing illegal occupation that places soldiers in the lives of unarmed teenage girls?”

As the #MeToo movement continues to build and uplift more marginalized voices CODEPINK’s Ariel Gold and Taylor Morley write that Ahed Tamimi should be regarded as a pillar in the movement: “Ahed is revoking her consent for Israel’s brutal occupation. She refuses to give her consent to Israeli forces that invade her family’s home in yet another vicious, meritless night raid. She continually confronts her aggressors and stands up to the violent system of power that keeps perpetuating this cycle of abuse against Palestinians, and for that, she is threatened with sexual violence. Now is the time for voices in the #MeToo movement to call for her release and help draw the parallels.”