Nancy Murray

A delegation from Eyewitness Palestine harvests olives at Asira ash-Shamaliya. (Photo: Nancy Murray)

Since 1967 Israel has issued military orders asserting its control over all water sources in the occupied territories, depriving Palestinians access to their own water. What does this water deficit look like on the ground? Nancy Murray explains how Palestinian farms cope without access to irrigated or piped water.  

“You wouldn’t last a day if you were in the Gaza Strip,” a young woman in a cap and gown snarled at me several weeks ago. I told her in Gaza I was shown the utmost hospitality despite the appalling conditions in which people were forced to live—and she turned the volume up. “You would be raped and tortured by Hamas. They are all animals!” What could we achieve if someone like this would read Mondoweiss? For eleven years, Gazans have been locked in an open-air prison, and Mondoweiss has enabled their stories to reach us. Because Mondoweiss strengthens my activism, I am pleased to add my voice to those urging you to contribute and help strengthen Mondoweiss, during this summer campaign to raise $60,000.

Just before Massachusetts state lawmakers are to vote on an anti-BDS bill, 13 of them were whisked away on an all-expenses paid trip to Israel by a group that is lobbying for the legislation. “The trip is disturbing on many levels,” states Elsa Auerbach of JVP Boston.  “First, of course, no public official who is considering a piece of legislation should accept an all-expense paid trip from the very lobbying group that has written the legislation.”

The 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration has set the stage for some long overdue historical truth-telling. On November 11 in Cambridge, MA, two dozen speakers will examine how the Zionist project was implemented in historic Palestine, and consider its long-term consequences for Palestinians, world Jewry, the United States, the United Nations and international law during the all-day conference: ‘Balfour’s Legacy: Confronting the Consequences.’   

The time of year when Massachusetts legislators enjoy an all-expenses-paid trip to Israel is again upon us. Once again a lobbying group, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), is planning the itinerary. Soon after they return, the 12 state legislators participating in the current JCRC junket may vote on anti-BDS legislation the JCRC has said it intends to introduce in the new legislative section, beginning in January.

“Planting hope is our main duty.” So declared Dr. Yasser Abu Jamei, the head of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program (GCMHP), during his April 19th keynote address to the 800 people who attended the organization’s 6th International ‘Mental Health and Human Rights’ Conference in Gaza City. This is a tall order in the Gaza Strip’s crushing conditions. But Dr. Abu Jamei – who lost 28 members of his extended family in a single missile strike during Israel’s 2014 military onslaught – is determined to build on the legacy of the late Dr. Eyad el Sarraj, who founded the GCMHP in 1990 to instill hope and heal the spirit of a people who were exposed to violence and the loss of freedom and human rights on a daily basis.

“Legislation that bars BDS activity by private groups, whether corporations or universities, strikes at the heart of First Amendment-protected free speech, will be challenged in the courts and is likely to be struck down.” Defenders of BDS do not often see eye to eye with Abraham Foxman, who wrote these lines shortly before stepping down last year as the national director of the Anti Defamation League. But this is the message that the Massachusetts Freedom to Boycott Coalition will be taking to the halls of the State House on March 15 when they hand deliver to each legislative office a copy of a statement opposing anti-BDS legislation that has been signed by 61 organizations from across the Commonwealth.

All-expenses-paid junkets to Israel organized for elected officials and community leaders by a lobbying group, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, have generally attracted little public comment. But that is changing. Boston Alliance for Water Justice is pressuring ten state senators who are due to travel to Israel early December and asking them to reconsider their participation in a delegation designed to present Israel in a positive light and mute international condemnation of its treatment of Palestinians.

“Massachusetts see the light. Water is a human right!” On Friday, March 20, more than 30 protesters gathered outside the headquarters of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to protest the Israel-Massachusetts Innovative Water Partnership. Demonstrators urged the Commonwealth not to be complicit with Israel’s theft of Palestinian water and policies that have been widely denounced as ‘Water Apartheid.’