A decision by Israeli authorities to auction off prefabricated classrooms that were confiscated from a Palestinian village last year is causing controversy among local and international leaders. “What the Israelis have done, to confiscate these classrooms, is illegal,” Palestinian human rights lawyer and activist Farid al-Atrash told Mondoweiss. “But to then go on and sell it, is reprehensible.”
After an emergency summit in Saudi Arabia, the 57 countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation called for a boycott of nations that move their embassies to Jerusalem. Saudi King Salman said, “The Palestinian cause is the cornerstone” of the organization, in a statement that appeared to be a setback to Jared Kushner’s peace plan that is said to skip over the question of Palestinian sovereignty.
On Friday a group of Palestinians climbed a fence outside Bethlehem so as to enter Jerusalem for prayers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque when Israeli soldiers fired on them. One both Abdullah Gheith, 16, was killed, while a second youth was seriously injured.
Twenty-five years ago James Zogby led the Clinton White House effort to build economic growth for the Palestinians as part of Oslo accords. He says the project failed –as the Bahrain economic conference organized by the Trump administration will — because Palestinians never gained the political freedom, including an end to occupation, that is a prerequisite to business growth.
Standing up for Ilhan Omar’s controversial point about allegiance to a foreign country, Peter Beinart says his children in a Jewish day school believe they should be loyal to both the US and Israel, and that AIPAC has sided with the Israeli government over the US one and maybe ought to have to register as a foreign agent.
In April a delegation of Palestinian youth headed to Johannesburg: “Witnessing South Africa’s persistent social, racial, and economic inequities, that are remnants of colonialism and Apartheid, we problematized the way we, as Palestinians, understand the apartheid analysis.”
If there’s any consensus from the political chaos in Israel, it’s that the Trump peace plan will get kicked down the road again for months, right into the U.S. election season, so it may disappear entirely. Several Israel observers say the plan is over. They warn that Trump will be even more of a presence in Netanyahu’s next campaign, but the prime minister is badly wounded by his failure to make a government.
Benjamin Netanyahu became the object of ridicule today as he fought for his political life. Ayman Odeh mocked the prime minister on the Knesset floor claiming that Netanyahu offered him an end to the occupation and to acknowledge the Nakba in exchange for Odeh supporting his immunity from prosecution over on-going criminal probes.
U.S. intelligence on alleged Iranian attacks is reminiscent of the faulty intelligence leading up to the Iraq war, and three mainstream sources have said that Israel is behind some of that questionable intelligence– the New York Times, Israel’s Channel 13, and Newsweek. But Netanyahu and Sheldon Adelson’s influence on the president ought to be a scandal.
“I drive through more than 15 checkpoints,” per day, Mahmoud Ali tells Mondoweiss. “That means they take away my freedom 15 times and give it back to me 15 times. My freedom is in their hands, not my hands.”
Time is running out for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he struggles to form a governing coalition by midnight on Wednesday, or risk plunging Israel into another election.
Steven Salaita reviews James Baldwin’s statements on Palestine and Israel which he says reveal a thinker of significant prescience and a skilled rhetorician who doesn’t allow audiences the luxury of comfort. “For Baldwin, Zionism isn’t an atavistic cultural or religious attribute, but the modern articulation of an age-old colonial logic,” Salaita writes.
UNRWA officials are hitting back after a US proposal to remove the agency’s mandate by calling on countries hosting Palestinian refugees to take over food aid services. The US blames the humanitarian effort for prolonging the refugee issue. While UNRWA says political failures have sustained the issue.
NYU president Andrew Hamilton roundly condemned graduation speaker Steven William Thrasher for endorsing BDS against “apartheid” Israel in a speech at commencement Wednesday. Hamilton issued a statement saying remarks were one-sided and made some feel “unwelcome.” Astounding obeisance to Israel supporters! And not a word about Thrasher calling Trump a “fascist.”
The deal of the century in the 1900s was the Balfour Declaration, which recognized Zionist colonization of Palestine, and Trump’s deal of the 21st century only continues that process, by giving Israel the right to annex portions of the West Bank and confine Palestinians to Bantustans.
Building a movement and building a business are one and the same for Murad Nofal and Mustafa Mabruk, 23 year-old Palestinian-American owners of an online clothing and accessory company called Wear the Peace.
The Palestinian Authority is in crisis, and high rates of poverty and unemployment, few prospects of free and democratic presidential elections, and the unveiling of the widely unpopular American “deal of the century” around the corner, will only exacerbate the already dire situation. “The collapse of the PA is definitely something we could see happening, especially if this financial and political situation worsens,” Palestine Policy Fellow at Al-Shabaka, Dr. Yara Hawari, told Mondoweiss.
Yossi Gurvitz reflects on his service in the Israeli army 30 years ago. “A poisonous calculus was working. You’re here. You’re a leftist. You’re here to prevent abuse. But if you expose yourself as a leftist too soon, they’ll hide the abuse from you and you won’t be able to prevent it. So you’d better keep your protest for the really tough cases, you know, like preventing a murder. There’s no point in reporting the routine beating up of cuffed and blindfolded prisoners.”
Did Cristiano Ronaldo really donate €1.5 million to Palestinians for Ramadan? The short answer: no. The long answer, however, is more interesting. From Albanian-language outlets to Russian government owned media, how the hoax was developed, how it spread, and how it eventually became uncritically accepted as “fact.”
The Trump administration’s long-awaited Middle East peace plan drew criticism at the United Nations Wednesday, with European and UN officials saying Palestinians should not be coerced into selling off rights to run their own country.
Two Israelis and one Palestinian are on trial for counts of trespassing and assault for disrupting an event with Knesset member Aliza Lavie who spoke at Humboldt University in Berlin in June 2017.
Joel Doerfler says several years ago a student in his Israel-Palestine course approached him after class with a question. Why, he wanted to know, did he care so much about this subject? Doerfler says he never got back to him with a clear answer, but never stopped thinking about his question. Here is his answer.
Bruce Robbins reviews Amy Kaplan’s book Our American Israel: “Kaplan argues that Israel made it possible for Americans to believe things they wanted to believe about themselves but were afraid they couldn’t, like the righteousness of their own use of military violence.”
On Wednesday, Republicans in the House of Representatives initiated a rarely-used legislative procedure to try to force a vote on a controversial bill that encourages states and localities to penalize individuals, nonprofit organizations, and companies that boycott for Palestinian rights. This is the latest GOP move in an ongoing, concerted effort to to portray themselves as the saviors of Israel and the Jewish people and paint the Democrats as an anti-Semitic, BDS-loving, radical left horde. And Democrats seem to be falling into the trap.
At the “Jerusalem Prayer Breakfast Texas” in San Antonio one Christian charismatic speaker referred to Bill Maher as “the stupidest Jew in Hollywood,” to general laughter. Another speaker bemoaned the inability of Jews to vote in Israeli elections, without any apparent worries about falling into the “dual loyalty” trope.