On April 3rd, settlers executed a wounded Palestinian, Muhammad ‘Abd Al Fatah. Then the Israeli army destroyed video evidence of the killing; and Israeli media are indifferent. Though B’Tselem has exposed the killing and the successful effort to cover it up. This is the true legacy of the Ezor Alaria case, in which an IDF militant killed a wounded Palestinian.
Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails won a small but significant victory April 15 when the Israeli Prison Service agreed to several key demands voiced by 400 prisoners who had been on an open-ended hunger strike. The hunger strikers’ apparent victory came just two days before Palestinian Prisoners’ Day, an observation held annually on April 17 to draw attention to the plight of the thousands of political prisoners held—many for very long terms and many without any fixed term at all—in Israel’s broad network of military prisons.
The Palestine issue is going to be hot on the Democratic campaign trail. Solidarity activists disrupted Booker and Buttigieg launch rallies, while Beto O Rourke congratulated Netanyahu but said his alignment with “hateful” parties threatens two-state solution. And Kamala Harris is doubling down on her AIPAC support, her spox saying support for Israel is “central to who she is.”
Following the recent Israeli elections, Benjamin Netanyahu faces no serious domestic or international obstacles as he implements the agenda of the right. His biggest trouble will but legal given the news he will soon be indicted on a series of corruption charges. But he might find a way out through an “annexation for immunity” deal where he gives the far-right and the settlers what they want – annexation of parts or all of the West Bank – and in return, they back immunity legislation for him.
Andrew Ross’ “Stone Men” is a sobering book in many ways. The subtitle tells the real story: just as Israel could not exist without the land of Palestine, so the country could not be built without the steady toil, skills, and dependability of Palestinian stonemasons.
Mohammed Shamla, 25, used to call Gaza the “grave of dreams.” Luck was his only hope. Earlier this year he paid a bribe to exit Gaza through Egypt an traveled on to Turkey where he died on April 12 after falling from a balcony while police chased him for allegedly not possessing paperwork to legally be in the country.
Founder and head of Israeli Physicians for Human Rights Ruchama Marton delivers a speech calling for Israelis to endorse BDS in the plight for Palestinian human rights as she wins the prestigious Leibowitz award. “Palestinians were here and will continue to be here. They can and some indeed want to live in peace if only the occupier’s boot were lifted from their necks. They love this land and are connected to it and we, Israeli Jews, must find a way which is not despotic occupation and apartheid to share it with them.”
On “60 Minutes,” Nancy Pelosi called herself a progressive and dismissed leftwing congresswomen as a mere “five people,” and Lesley Stahl never challenged her about the fissure in the party over Israel. Though more and more commentators are saying that Israel support has become the battleground among Democrats, and Pelosi is busy catering to AIPAC and Netanyahu.
Prevented by the State Department from coming to the U.S., BDS activist Omar Barghouti was given a generous hearing in Washington at the behest of James Zogby and Peter Beinart. Barghouti was given a Skype soapbox for 90 minutes, to say that Israel’s identification of all Jews with Zionism is itself anti-Semitic.
Every Friday since February 22, the cities and towns of Algeria have seen massive demonstrations that have brought women, men, children, and old people pouring into the streets, often in high spirits but always voicing pointed political demands. Helena Cobban talks to William B. Quandt about what has been going on in this large North African country of 42 million people—and what resonance might the events there have for the rest of the Middle East.
Since Netanyahu’s reelection, mainstream Democrats have taken up ardent opposition to his plan to annex parts of West Bank. Sec’y of State Mike Pompeo won’t say what Trump will do, but MD’s Chris Van Hollen dares to imagine one state with equal rights: “Would you agree that in a one state solution Palestinians should have full and equal political and legal rights with other citizens of that state?”
Despite possessing a valid visa through 2021, founder of the BDS movement Omar Barghouti was prevented from entering the U.S. Wednesday, sparking questions if legislation circling on Capital Hill to curtail boycotts against Israel has come with a shadow policy to prevent its most vocal advocates from entering the country.
Liberal Zionists are bemoaning the radical defeat of the Israeli Zionist left. But that might not be only bad. The election has revealed to the world that Israel is on a course of destruction that only outside pressure and outside forces can avert.
It is time that Americans recognize the true nature of the Israeli Jewish polity, Mohamed Mohamed of the Jerusalem Fund writes. Regardless who wins Israeli elections, the daily lives and political situation of Palestinians are unlikely to improve. As for the two-state solution, a tiny minority of Israeli Jews actually support real Palestinian sovereignty.
Israel’s election campaign, now in its last days, must be the first in which a sitting Israeli prime minister has sought to win over voters by boasting about how much he insulted a president of the United States.
Before Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017, he says he got calls from “presidents, dictators, prime minister, kings, queens– everybody” and didn’t take the calls. Similar pressure kept previous presidents from making the move, he told the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas yesterday, but moving the embassy made his biggest donors, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, very happy.
On Monday, Israel doubled the area where Palestinians can fish in the Mediterranean Sea off of the Gaza Strip as part of Egyptian brokered talks with Hamas. The distance fisherman can operate in was extended from 6 nautical miles at the narrowest sea corridor, to 15 nautical miles at the widest. Yet Gaza fisherman say the relaxed restriction has no impact.
Rasmea Odeh dramatically had her visa revoked in Germany after pressure from the Israeli government grew to cancel her participation in a Berlin event on International Women’s Day. Her would be co-panelist, Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour explains how the events unfolded,”I was also supposed to read some of my poems. When I arrived at the event hall, I was surprised by something else. The venue was vandalized with graffiti.”
Sara Burback travels from Washington DC to the West Bank city of Bethlehem to participate in the 2019 Palestine Marathon. Burback says it is a “special opportunity to run through Bethlehem and join runners from all over the world in defense of the basic human right to movement.”
Last summer, Trump’s moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem opened the floodgates for a new era of Israeli provocations on the city’s Palestinians. Helena Cobban outlines the decades-long Zionist assault on the Palestinian presence and institutions in the holy city, and says that this new period will likely see greater government support for projects to extend the extremist settlers’ matrix of control over all parts of the Old City.
Rising Democratic star Pete Buttigieg went to Israel at the height of Gaza killings last May on an Israel-lobby-sponsored trip and came home praising the country for its “clear-eyed” decisions on security. He faulted fellow Democrats for making snap judgments of the country based on “90-second cable news versions of what’s going on over there.”
The Israeli election has dissolved into toxic masculinity as the Netanyahu campaign suggests that Benny Gantz lacks strength because he reportedly once saw a psychologist. Gantz promptly denied the report as if it were a stain on his honor. The worship of force and contempt for weakness by would-be Rambos threatens all society with destruction, Yossi Gurvitz writes.
Cory Booker’s secret speech to AIPAC is so fulsome it’s hard to believe. Booker would cut off his right hand before abandoning Israel. There is no “greater moral vandalism” than seeking to divide the US and Israel. Booker lobbied black congresspeople not to boycott Netanyahu’s 2015 speech because we need to show a “united front” with Israel. And Donald Trump is endangering Israel’s security in Syria.
Human waves flooded the Israel-Gaza fence beginning Saturday morning marking the first anniversary of the Great March of Return protests, facing off against Israeli forces behind the fortified barbed-wire fence. The demonstrators gathered despite rain, and even as Egypt is seeking to mediate a deal to end the blockade of Gaza.
On Saturday, March 30th, Palestinian protesters gathered near the illegal settlement and army base of Beit El in Ramallah to mark Land Day. Protesters told Mondoweiss they were there to defend their homeland, and show their support for the one-year anniversary of the Great March of Return. “We are one people,” one protester told Mondoweiss. “They are us and we are them.”