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Lara Alqasem’s lawyer: her detention is part of a larger, more worrying trend

Yumna Patel on

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.”

Video: As the olive harvest begins, so do the settler attacks

Yumna Patel on

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.”

‘Who said that I have to be a refugee forever?’–Palestinians in Gaza reflect on living in ‘world’s largest open-air prison’

Ahmad Kabariti on

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.

Israeli reporter for ‘New York Times’ praises AIPAC at closed event: ‘You’ve got our backs’

Philip Weiss on

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.”

Ocasio-Cortez and other new Dems ‘need to be educated’ on Israel, says Rep. Eliot Engel

Philip Weiss on

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.”

Israel practices ‘apartheid’ — Rep. Betty McCollum

Phil Weiss and Annie Robbins on

“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.

In photos: Khan al-Ahmar prepares for demolition after decade-long battle to remain

Thomas Dallal on

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. 

A guide to principled anti-Zionism

Steven Salaita on

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.

Palestinian withdraws from Jerusalem mayoral race after Israel moves to review his residency status

Jaclynn Ashly on

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.

Gaza’s economy is not ‘falling.’ It was pushed.

Marilyn Garson on

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.

‘Trump will only accelerate the creation of a new political movement in Palestine’: Nidal al-Azza on the impact of US policy towards Palestine

Yumna Patel on

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.

Palestinians were right to reject partition

Fathi Nemer on
Palestinians were right to reject partition.

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.

Beto O’Rourke is anti-Trump and pro-Israel — should progressives support him?

Nada Elia on

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?

‘What I gave America and what America gave me’ — an interview with the incredibly charming Reja-e Busailah

Phil Weiss and Annie Robbins on

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.

Palestinians in Jerusalem likely to boycott municipal elections despite Arab list on ballot

Yumna Patel and Saleh Zghari on

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 Holocaust, vengeance and the Palestinians

Philip Weiss on

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.