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‘Absolutely reprehensible’: Israel to auction off EU-funded classrooms it confiscated from Palestinians last year

Yumna Patel on
Israeli Civil Administration dismantles and confiscates two pre-fabs that were part of a school, Khirbet Ibziq. Photo by 'Aref Daraghmeh, B'Tselem, 23 October 2018

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.”

Arab, Muslim leaders reiterate support for ‘inalienable rights’ of Palestinians at Mecca summit

Yumna Patel on

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.

Why the US ‘workshop’ for Palestinians in Bahrain will fail

James Zogby on

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.

Peter Beinart suggests AIPAC should have to register as agent of Israeli government

Philip Weiss on

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.

Trump peace plan is now ‘dead and buried’

Philip Weiss on

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.

Israeli ‘intelligence’ is fostering US bellicosity toward Iran — but ‘quietly’

Philip Weiss on
Netanyahu and Trump meet at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel on Madison Avenue. (Photo: (AP/Evan Vucci)

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.

James Baldwin and the Jewish State

Steven Salaita on
James Baldwin in Hyde Park, London, 1969 (Photo: Allan Warren/Wikimedia)

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 rejects US calls to end agency’s mandate

Yumna Patel on
Jason Greenblatt addresses the UN in May 2019 about the US peace plan.

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 slams speaker for endorsing BDS against ‘apartheid’ Israel (and doesn’t mind his calling Trump a ‘fascist’)

Philip Weiss on

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 Emperor’s New Palestine

Jonathan Ofir on

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.

Palestinian Authority financial crisis deepens as Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ looms

Yumna Patel on
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets with the American delegation led by the advisor to U.S. President Jared Kouchner, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on August 24, 2017. (Photo: Osama Falah/APA Images)

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.

The poisoned calculus (the army education of Yossi Gurvitz)

Yossi Gurvitz on

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.”

US promise of Palestinian ‘prosperity’ falls flat at UN

James Reinl on
Jason Greenblatt addresses the UN in May 2019 about the US peace plan.

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.

An answer to the question, ‘Why do you care so much about Israel/Palestine?’

Joel Doerfler on
An Israeli settlement sits to the right of Israel's separation wall in East Jerusalem, dividing the Palestinian neighborhood to the left, from other Palestinian neighborhoods in the area. (Photo: Eoghan Rice)

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.

Gunfight at the O.K. Kibbutz: Israel in the American reflection

Bruce Robbins on
Paul Newman in Otto Preminger's 1960 film "Exodus"

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.”

Republicans push BDS bill to paint Dems as anti-Semites, and party leadership falls for the trap

Josh Ruebner on
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) (Photo: Center for American Progress/Flickr)

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.