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The trope of an ‘Arab-Israeli conflict’ is an anti-Palestinian fallacy

Denijal Jegić on
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets with US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner in the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on June 22, 2017. (Photo: Ma'an News)

The framing of the Palestinian struggle within diplomatic language as a “conflict” serves to convert settler-colonial violence and genocidal erasure of the indigenous people into a diplomatic dispute. Denijal Jegic writes, “as long as settler-colonial erasure remains the underlying structure, no economic relief or political measure could effectively benefit Palestinians.”

When activism becomes ‘anti-Semitism’: the silencing of pro-Palestine voices on campus

Yumna Patel on
UNC-Chapel Hill Students for Justice in Palestine, December 24, 2012. (Photo: Facebook)

This spring, the latest salvo in the battle surrounding Palestinian advocacy came to a head on two university campuses: the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Emory University. Following condemnations and investigations from their respective universities and communities, Mondoweiss spoke to students and faculty involved in both incidents at Emory and UNC to understand, from their point of view, the events that took place, and the wider implications for pro-Palestine activism on their campuses, and on university campuses across America.

Concentration camps – at the US border and in Gaza

Jonathan Ofir on
A Palestinian protester scaling the Gaza wall at the Karni crossing, July 20, 2018.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been under fire for using the term “concentration camps” to describe US border detention camps. Speaking in 2015, Israeli journalist Amira Hass made a similar statement about Israeli policies toward Gaza. Jonathan Ofir says the two statements help clarify a reality that “is often far beyond the imagination.”

Trump’s climbdown on Iran is a defeat to the Israel lobby

Philip Weiss on

Israel and its rightwing supporters wanted an attack on Iran and they did not get it, this week anyway. Though of course the media did not identify the Israel lobby and Netanyahu as cheerleaders for war American people don’t want.

I’m marching for Palestine in the first Queer Liberation March in NYC June 30

Pauline Park on

Pride Parade organizers have not accepted the Reclaim Pride coalition’s demands to use the parade for grassroots transformational change, so the coalition will hold the first Queer Liberation March in New York City history on June 30. The liberation of Palestine and all Palestinians — queer and non-LGBT as well — is a core commitment of the march, Pauline Park writes.

Imagine a US president taking Iran’s side in conflict with Israel, and you get Maguire’s thriller ‘Exodus Betrayal’

Philip Weiss on

Gil Maguire’s new novel, “The Exodus Betrayal,” imagines a US president siding with Iran after Israel attacks Iran, and it is intended to get Americans out of love with Israel, much as “Exodus” got us in love back in 1958. “I am trying to show how harmful our relationship with Israel has become and how the so-called special relationship is based on a myth of Israel’s importance,” Maguire says.

Congressional candidate Andom Ghebreghiorgis wants to end the occupation of Palestine. He’s running against one of Israel’s biggest defenders

Michael Arria on
Andom Ghebreghiorgis

Andom Ghebreghiorgis is challenging Israel lobby-stalwart Eliot Engel in the his upcoming Democratic primary. “Whether it’s in the U.S. or abroad, I believe in equal rights and freedom for all. We therefore must commit to a political solution that centers those values for Israelis and for Palestinians. Sadly, Eliot Engel has been one of the staunchest supporters of Israel’s right wing policies,” Ghebreghiorgis tells Mondoweiss.

J Street — and Bernie Sanders — are loyal to the ‘democratic and Jewish homeland’ contradiction

Abba Solomon on
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman being gifted with an altered image of the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount with the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock replaced with a Jewish temple, May 2018. (Photo: Israel Cohen/Kikar HaShabbat)

When J Street advocates for “Israel’s future as a democratic and Jewish homeland,” it is supporting a concept that has been a contradiction-in-terms since Israel’s establishment. Abba Solomon argues that J Street and Bernie Sanders too cannot face the fact that political Zionism means perpetual Jewish domination, or at best custody, of Palestinian lives.

Fakhoury family keeps Ottoman-era pottery techniques alive in Hebron

Miriam Deprez on

Waheed Fakhoury, 74, sits behind a pottery wheel, eyes glued to a television above as his hands instinctively shape a silky mass of brown earth dug up from the West Bank city of Hebron. Within a few minutes he has modeled a large bowl. Fakhoury means “potter in Arabic.” When asked how long his family has been doing this craft, Waheed chuckles, “As long as my name has been Fakhoury.”

On equating BDS and anti-Semitism: a letter to the German government

Sara Roy on

Sara Roy challenges the German parliament over its resolution equating boycott of Israel and anti-Semitism: “I lost a large extended family to fascism and racism. By endorsing the motion that alleges that BDS is anti-Semitic, you are criminalizing the right to free speech and dissent and those who choose to exercise it, which is exactly how fascism takes root.”

The struggle for Palestinian rights among California Democrats

James Zogby on

After protests from a American Jewish organizations, the California Democratic Party leadership undertook to water down resolutions that were critical of Israel and supportive of Palestinian refugees, put forward by progressive activists. But as Jack O’Dell, the civil rights activist, advised James Zogby long ago: Never be devastated by setbacks and never become overly confident due to progress.

Long past time to reclaim Judaism from Zionism

Carolyn L. Karcher on
A shuttered Palestinian shop in Hebron closed down by the Israeli military that was vandalized with a Star of David, an ancient Jewish symbol adopted by the Israeli state as a national symbol. (Photo: Lauren Surface)

How can the ethical precepts of Judaism be reconciled with Zionism? Carolyn L. Karcher has wrestled with this question for years, and the result is her new book “Reclaiming Judaism from Zionism: Stories of Personal Transformation” a collection meant to initiate difficult conversations within Jewish families and communities.

Quora has shown a double standard between my Palestinian colleague’s anti-Zionist writing and my own

Benay Blend on
Screenshot taken June 6, 2019 on Quora.com of the leading users who have answered questions pertaining to Palestine in the past month. The top user lists his areas of expertise as Israel, American Football, Israel Defense Forces, and Hebrew.

Dr. Benay Blend, who is Jewish, was banned from the question/answer social media platform Quora at the same time as her Palestinian colleague Dr. Rima Najjar, but their cases have been treated very differently by the website. “So, I have to wonder – Why did Quora treat my writing differently than Dr. Najjar’s,” Blend asks, “Even after we were both permanently banned, my answers remain on my profile in Quora; while her hundreds of well-researched answers have been completely erased.”

A Palestinian response to Jared Kushner’s racist remarks

Haidar Eid on
White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner speaks during the dedication ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem on May 14.

In classical racist literature and discourse, black/brown natives are portrayed as lazy groups who cannot run their own affairs; they belong to backward entities that are in conflict/clash with other modern entities. Haider Eid says this is the best way to understand Jared Kushner’s recent remarks about Palestinians.

A profile in cowardice: Thomas Friedman and Iran

James North on
Tom Friedman, by Katie Miranda

An entire month has passed since the Trump administration started moving dangerously toward war with Iran — and Thomas Friedman, the leading foreign affairs columnist at the most influential newspaper in the world, has not published a single word about the crisis. Friedman, the star New York Times opinion writer, is demonstrating intellectual cowardice of the highest order.