A Jewish-Israeli actor and Muslim-Arab-Israeli TV host get married, and Israel is on fire about it. “The pain of assimilation worldwide is consuming the Jewish people,” Minister of Interior Arye Deri said. “It’s their own private affair. But, as a Jew, I have to tell you that I’m against such things because we must preserve the Jewish people.”
“Go ahead sons, run closer to the wire. Seventy years being refugees are enough.. Do not waste your youth life living in siege” — Suliman Abu Arar, 80, urged on protesters at the Gaza fence Friday on the 29th week of the march of return. Seven Palestinian youths were killed by live fire.
Lara Alqasem’s lawyer, Yotam Ben-Hillel, tells Mondoweiss that the 22-year-old student’s detention is part of a broader Israeli policy. “It really looks like they [Israel] are putting a lot of effort and money and resources in order to prevent entry,” he said. “This is all motivated by Jewish supremacy and wanting to keep the land — even if it’s the occupied territory — with as little amount of Palestinians as possible and to completely control who is entering, and the number of every Arab between the Jordan river and the sea.”
Israeli authorities only give the residents of Turmusayya, a lush Palestinian village nestled in a valley between Ramallah and Nablus, two days in the fall to harvest their olives. When time finally came this year they were devastated to find dozens of trees chopped down, uprooted, and rotting. “Some of these trees are 40, 50, 60, and 70 years old,” 78-year-old Palestinian Mahmoud al-Araj told Mondoweiss, “I have been cultivating these trees, this land, since I was a boy.” Pointing to the illegal Israeli outpost of Adei Ad, which was built on lands of Turmusayya, al-Araj’s voice intensified. “We give everything we have to our land and to these trees, and then the settlers come and destroy it all.”
Young Palestinians often describe their upbringing in the Gaza Strip as serving a sentence in “the world’s largest open-air prison,” and see themselves as trapped between Israel’s refusal to support Palestinian statehood, and an international community willing to look the other way. Ahmad Kabariti talks with young Palestinians in Gaza about what it means to grow up and be stuck living under siege.
Ronen Bergman, an Israeli staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, gave a talk to the Israel lobby group AIPAC in White Plains Monday night and lavished praise on AIPAC for its support of Israel. “You need to do a little more to explain to Israelis how much they owe AIPAC. Israelis are not aware. I am aware… I know that you’ve got our backs. It’s such a great feeling.”
Donald Trump recently reiterated his promise to introduce a Middle East peace plan in the next few months. Ted Snider says that promise makes sense of a number of unusual and extreme events that have taken place in the region recently.
NY Congressman Eliot Engel told an AIPAC audience last night that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and three other progressive Democrats who may enter Congress “need to be educated” to support Israel. The event came on the heels of a New York Times article on the new wave of progressive Democrats who have “dared to breach what has been an almost inviolable orthodoxy in both political parties, strong support for Israel.”
Many people are convinced that a ‘two state solution’ is a reasonable compromise that would bring peace to Israel-Palestine. But considering Zionist aims and history, partition really just means more colonization of Palestine.
Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi Crown Prince highly praised as a “reformer,” must now answer for the suspected murder of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. NYT columnist Tom Friedman slathered “MBS” with praise less than a year ago, surely in part because of the Crown Prince’s unspoken alliance with Israel against Iran.
“The world has a name for that form of government that’s codified in [Israel’s] nation state law, and it’s called apartheid.” In speech, US Rep Betty McCollum, who represents St Paul, MN, and its suburbs demonstrates incredible leadership. The Democrat is also sponsoring groundbreaking legislation to cut off US funds that go to Israel’s detention and torture of children.
A tiny Palestinian Bedouin town located in the West Bank hills outside of Jerusalem is bracing for an impending eviction to make way for plans to expand an Israeli settlement. This case has implications far beyond the 32 families who live there and the nearly 200 students who attend the school in the town. If the eviction moves forward, it will pave the way for a Jewish-only settlement bloc to divide the West Bank into two, rendering impossible the creation of a unified Palestinian state in the occupied territory.
An optimal anti-Zionism is a politics and a discourse, and is a commitment to unimaginable possibilities—that is, to realizing what arbiters of common sense like to call “impossible.” Steven Salaita offers some suggestions on what a principled anti-Zionism looks like.
Yad Vashem’s chief historian assists in the whitewashing of Poland’s role in the Holocaust and is willing to ignore the strengthening of Israel’s ties to anti-Semites, so long as Netanyahu stands to gain politically.
After announcing his daring campaign to become the first Palestinian to contend for the seat of mayor in Israel’s municipal elections in Jerusalem, Aziz Abu Sarah, 38, announced on Tuesday that he has been forced into withdrawing due to mounting pressures put on his campaign from Israel and Palestinian political factions. Jaclynn Ashly talks to Abu Sarah about his decision to end his campaign.
Marilyn Garson writes that a new World Bank report that describes Gaza’s economy as in “free fall”, is a bitter choice of words. Gaza did not fall, it was pushed. “In Gaza, one always fears that new losses will become the new normal. The report’s annex validates that fear,” Garson writes.
Nidal al-Azza, 50, is a Palestinian activist and leading advocate for Palestinian residency and refugee rights. Al-Azza sat down with Mondoweiss to discuss the current US foreign policy in Israel and Palestine, and the effects of Trump’s political decisions on the Palestinian people, Palestinian leadership, and the future of the Palestinian cause.
Had the Palestinians only accepted the UN partition plan in 1947, they could be celebrating their independence alongside Israel– is a common argument by those who fear the demise of the two-state solution. But partition was always an unjust and unworkable answer to the colonialist project of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine.
With midterm elections happening across the country, Americans are once again debating the value of voting for “lesser evil” candidates, or candidates who are not quite satisfactory on all issues. Texas’ Beto O’Rourke is a prime example. He has endeared himself to many because of his clear support for NFL athletes taking a knee during the national anthem but has showed the same directness in his unambiguous support for Israel. What is a progressive voter to do?
The Trump administration’s decision last month to cut $360 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is a purely political decision that has no relevance to the definition of Palestinians as “refugees”, nor to their legal rights.
Palestinian author Reja-e Busailah says he loves the United States although he has witnessed Islamophobia here for 60 years, going back to an ad on a NY radio station, “Give a dollar and kill an Arab.” At 89, retired in Indiana, he reflects on the Nakba that deprived him of his home, and on what terms he would return to the land of his birth. Spoiler alert: Equality.
Breaking with decades of policy among Palestinian political factions and religious leaders in Jerusalem, Ramadan Dabash, 53, a Palestinian man from the Sur Baher village of occupied East Jerusalem, is putting his name on the ballot for the Jerusalem Municipality elections this October. His run in the elections have reignited a long-held debate in the community over Palestinian participation in the elections.
The Jews who led the heroic Warsaw ghetto uprising in 1943 wanted one thing: vengeance for their families and friends who had been mercilessly slaughtered. They never got that satisfaction. That thirst for vengeance has been tragically displaced onto Palestinians.
In an effort to legalize thousands of settler homes in West Bank, the Israeli government audaciously claims that it can “legislate anywhere in the world”, that it is “entitled to violate the sovereignty of foreign countries”, and that “is allowed to ignore the directives of international law in any field it desires”.
On Yom Kippur, Marc Ellis reflects that the historical damage done to Palestinians and the occupation of Palestine itself is permanent, making it difficult to read Jewish theologians who were optimistic about Israel as at best simplistic. It is becoming more and more difficult to read hopeful interpretations of Jewish life and Israel.