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Rising Democratic star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex, soon to go to Congress from NY, all but apologized for using words “massacre” and “occupation” about Israel, saying she spoke as an “activist,” and she is no expert on the Middle East and is willing to “learn and evolve.”
Once again, the ‘NY Times’ uses old tricks to distort its coverage of Israel’s latest attacks on Gaza. The Times did report that Muhammad Abdelaal, a 30-year-old, “was interviewed at Shifa Hospital while soaked with blood and being treated for his wounds” — but, unlike the three Israelis the paper quotes, he apparently didn’t say anything quotable.
More than 100 days have passed since the Great March of Return began in Gaza. Despite the bloody events in those 15 weeks, where 138 unarmed Palestinians have been killed and more than 16,000 wounded by Israeli fire, the protests continue. Ahmad Kabariti talks to Palestinians in Gaza to find out what they believe the Great March of Return protests have accomplished so far.
The Episcopal Church voted today at its general convention in Austin, Texas, to divest from companies involved in Israel’s human violations against Palestine. The Church had defeated such measures before but now joins nearly a dozen other Christian denominations in taking economic action.
“Killing Gaza,” the new documentary by Max Blumenthal and Dan Cohen, offers a series of intimate portraits of Palestinians who witnessed hellish events during the seven-week Israeli attack of 2014 and demonstrates that the political issues at the heart of the conflict can never be resolved by more violence.
Last month, the Israeli Knesset voted to disqualify a bill proposed by the Balad party that called for Israel “to be defined as a state of all its citizens” before it even reached the Knesset floor for deliberation. Yumna Patel interviews Balad MK Jamal Zahalka about the party’s motivation behind proposing the bill, its significance in the current Israeli political climate, and the consequences of the outright rejection of the bill and what it represents: “Israel has to decide, if they want a Jewish or a democratic state. They cannot have both.”
Younger people are better at separating Judaism from support of Israel, wrrites Marilyn Garson, “Their co-activism imagines co-existence. British youth say kaddish for the Gazans who have died, and IfNotNow is protesting Birthright. Their parents need a positive, pro-Jewish walkout – a NotTooLate.”
Just outside the walls of the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem, a years long demographic battle between the Israeli state and Palestinian residents of the city has found new life in recent weeks. Last week Israel advanced a bill allowing residential settlements to be built inside areas zoned for national parks in East Jerusalem. Jawad Siyam of the Wadi Hilweh Information Center tells Mondoweiss: “This is all done with the intention of emptying Jerusalem of Palestinians and part of the plans to make Jerusalem a Jewish-majority city.”
First they came for me in Martha’s Vineyard,
But I was in Nantucket.
Then they came for me in Nantucket,
But I was in Cape Cod. . . .
Norman Finkelstein offers his support for Alan Dershowitz as he has become a social refugee in elite resorts across the Northeast due to his support for the Trump Administration.
Hasbara has died. The era of Israel being able to “explain” its actions to the world is over. The fair-minded have all made up their minds; Trump’s embrace of the country and its massacres have seen to that. So Israeli explanations are reserved for hard-core supporters. The hasbara is pure propaganda, aimed at rallying the base.
The New Yorker says Obama saw the light about the Israeli settlement process because of a “map that was never seen before” 2015 depicting disconnected islands of Palestinian population surrounded by Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank. And that’s why Obama let a settlement resolution go through at the UN. But any activist and anyone familiar with Oslo has seen this map or one similar before.
Israel’s resort to any force against Gaza demonstrators cannot be legally justified, despite efforts by Sari Bashi of Human Rights Watch. If Israel wants to protect its border, it must lift its siege of Gaza, Norman Finkelstein explains. Its refusal to take this preliminary peaceful step puts it in double breach of international law: imposition of an illegal blockade and unlawful resort to armed force when peaceful means have not been exhausted.
In the past few days, two incidents involving Jewish individuals’ experiences in Israel made the news in progressive Palestine rights circles. The first is that of the young women walking away from a Birthright tour to visit parts of Palestine that were not on the itinerary, and the second is the case of Code Pink national organizer Ariel Gold, who was denied entry into Israel, even though she had obtained a student visa for a summer course at the Hebrew University. While it can be argued that in both cases, the activists meant no harm to Palestinians, Nada Elia writes that the incidents nevertheless reflect the ongoing normalization of Zionism. “In light of Israel’s open embrace of Jewish supremacy,” Elia writes, “it is incumbent on progressive Jews who want to challenge Israel’s racism today that they stop taking advantage of their unearned privilege.”
Forward editor Jane Eisner provides new head of Jewish Agency Isaac Herzog an easy way out of his claim that inter-marriage between Jews and non-Jews is a “plague”. “I didn’t mean it in any negative terms,” Herzog tells her in an interview. But he declines to apologize for the statement, and pretends that Hebrew-speakers won’t know what magefa means. A plague!
Gaza’s Great March of Return has reinvigorated a specious argument against UNRWA: by upholding Palestinians’ rights as they are written into international human rights law and UN resolutions, UNRWA’s very existence is said to perpetuate the conflict. The real aim of this argument is to eliminate the refugee issue entirely.
Prominent Israeli scientist David Harel and writer and translator Ilana Hammerman penned a joint op-ed for the Guardian last week calling on the international community to intervene on behalf of Palestinians, before time runs out. The pair are not marginal public figures, they do not consider themselves BDS activists or anti-Zionists, but they are calling on the international community to pressure Israeli society because “the state of Israel is facing a catastrophic situation, which could, alarmingly soon, lead to extensive bloodshed.”
Jamal Juma’, coordinator of the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, on the popular resistance in Gaza, the Trump administration’s policy toward Palestine, and Palestinian options to chart a new course. “This is a watershed moment in Palestinian history,” Juma’ says, “Since Trump took office, US policy fully adopted the Zionist project and embarked on a process of liquidating the Palestinian cause, of eliminating it. It is clear program.”
Hop Wechsler took the Israel’s High Court of Justice decision approving the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar and the forcible transfer of its residents, members of the Bedouin Jahalin tribe, and turned it into a poem. The resulting verse illuminates the court’s thinking on Israel’s ongoing violation of Palestinian rights.
Tom Friedman once gave me permission to believe in Israel and believe it wanted peace with Palestinians. That liberal Zionist world is over, and Friedman needs to grapple with the fact that liberalism stands not just against Trump but for Palestinian human rights, Liz Rose writes.
Nickolay Mladenov, the UN coordinator for the Middle East peace process, was briefly a moral leader against Israeli violence. “Stop shooting children,” he tweeted. But in a recapitulation of the Goldstone farce, Norman Finkelstein relates, Mladenov has now collapsed under pressure, and turned on Palestinian incitement and provocation as matters for condemnation.
On June 8, when some 250,000 people attended the pride march in Tel Aviv, just some 44 miles away Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip faced Israeli snipers. For LGBTQ Palestinians, Tel Aviv’s pride week is a source of pain and anger each year. Pride is “used as a tool to normalize and justify occupation,” 20-year-old Omar told Mondoweiss. “Israelis oppress Palestinians, Palestinian women, Palestinian children, LGBT Palestinians. Anyone who is not Israeli Jewish, they oppress.”
The Gay Liberation Network’s “We Stand With Palestine” contingent in the Chicago Gay Pride Parade – with its huge 160 sq foot banner, “Israel: STOP killing Palestinians!” – was met with almost universal approval by the approximately 1 million people who lined the four-mile parade route.
Palestinian organisations in Gaza are calling upon all people of conscience around the world, to make posters of the fallen heroes of the recent Great March of Return and plaster these all over your cities and towns, especially opposite Israeli and American embassies.
Phil Weiss visits Warsaw and Treblinka in Poland and feels a deep connection to the Jewish homeland that was erased: “For a long time I have had the words echoing in my mind, ‘Where were the Jews supposed to go?’ said by a friend with Polish roots, and have wanted to go to Poland to face the question. On my latest trip to the Middle East I threw in two days in Poland on the return. And now I want to go back.”