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Settlers execute Palestinian, soldiers destroy video evidence, media parrot the lie (the Azaria legacy)

Yossi Gurvitz on

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 prisoners win a notable battle

Helena Cobban on
Palestinians take part in a Palestinian Prisoners' Day protest in the West Bank city of Ramallah

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.

Booker and Buttigieg launches are disrupted by Palestinian protest, while Harris spox says ‘supporting Israel is central to who she is’

Philip Weiss on

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.”

Annexation of West Bank may provide key to unlocking Netanyahu’s legal troubles

Jonathan Cook on
Launch party for Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party campaign, Ramat Gan, Israel, March 4, 2019. (Photo: Amir Cohen/Reuters)

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.

From early Zionism until today, Palestinian stonemasons built Israel

Nada Elia on
Palestinian laborers work at a quarry in the West Bank village of Taffouh near Hebron, 08 March 2017. (Photo: Wisam Hashlamoun/APA Images)

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.

One senseless death in Turkey: a reflection of the fate of Palestinian refugees

Issam Adwan on
Mohammed Shamla, 25, died in Turkey on April 12, 2019 after falling from a balcony while evading police who were raiding the hotel room of asylum seekers and migrants. Shamla fled Gaza earlier this year year and was living in Turkey on an expired tourist via. (Photo: Facebook)

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.

Dr. Ruchama Marton on being a dangerous woman, and a radical agenda for partnership with Palestinians

Ruchama Marton on
Dr. Ruchama Marton. (Physicians for Human Rights - Israel)

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.”

Supporting Israel is now ‘liability’ for Democrats, but ’60 Minutes’ doesn’t trouble Pelosi about it

Philip Weiss on
Nancy Pelosi meets with three former UK Labour MP's who left the party over Israel and alleged anti-Semitism. April 14, 2019. From Twitter.

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.

Algeria’s ‘Revolution of Smiles’: Where will it lead?

Helena Cobban on
Algerians gather for a demonstration in Algiers, Friday, March 8, 2019

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.

‘Things could move very quickly’ — Dems are now the anti-annexation party, taking on Netanyahu and Pompeo

Philip Weiss on
Trump signs at Likud/Netanyahu victory party, April 9-10, 2019. Tweeted by Donald Trump.

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?”

Why Israeli election results may have a positive aspect

Jonathan Ofir on

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.

For Palestinians, it doesn’t matter who wins the Israeli elections

Mohamed Mohamed on
Then-IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, left, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a Navy ceremony on September 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

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.

Trump brags he blew off calls from world leaders to give Adelsons the greatest gift: Jerusalem

Philip Weiss on
Sheldon Adelson at the RJC, from Amichai Stein's twitter feed. April 6, 2019.

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.

Gaza fishermen still struggle despite Israel’s loosening restrictions

Ahmad Kabariti on
Gaza Port in Gaza City. (Photo: Mohammed Assad)

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.

Dareen Tatour: I was booked to read poems alongside Rasmea Odeh in Berlin, then Israel intervened

Dareen Tatour on
Dareen Tatour in Berlin. (Photo: Abu Salameh/courtesy of the author)

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.”

Palestinian Jerusalem faces a ‘Fourth Wave’ of Israeli assaults

Helena Cobban on
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at the Western Wall, Jerusalem, Monday, April 1, 2019. (Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)

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.

After Gaza slaughter, Buttigieg praised Israeli security responses as ‘moving’ and faulted Democrats for easy judgment

Philip Weiss on

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 is a shitshow of toxic masculinity

Yossi Gurvitz on
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz

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 says there’s no ‘greater moral vandalism’ than abandoning Israel (and he’ll cut off his hand first)

Philip Weiss on

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.

‘We thirst for dignity’: Gaza marks Great March of Return anniversary

Ahmad Kabariti on

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.

‘We are one people. They are us and we are them’: Palestinians in the West Bank mark Land Day and the Great March of Return

Annelies Keuleers on
Palestinian protesters gather to throw stones at the northern entrance of Al Bireh, close to the settlement of Beit El. This location is close to a checkpoint, an army base and a refugee camp. It frequently witnesses clashes between the Israeli army and Palestinians. (Photo: Annelies Keuleers)

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.”