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Israel/Palestine

In first, official US government map depicts Golan Heights as Israeli territory

Yumna Patel on
A portion of a map released by the Trump administration that shows the Golan Heights as part of the state of Israel.

One month after recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, the Trump administration released on Tuesday the first official US government map depicting the occupied Syrian territory as part of Israel. With talks of partial of even full Israeli annexation of the West Bank seemingly on the table, the map could signal an impending US decision regarding the status of the settlements in the territory, and as a result, what a future Palestinian state might look like under Trump’s vision.

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.

After Notre Dame fire, leading Israeli rabbi says ‘There is no mitzvah to [burn down] churches abroad. In our holy land, however, the issue is more complicated’

Yossi Gurvitz on
The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on fire, April 15, 2019. (Photo: LeLaisserPasserA38/Wikimedia)

Following the fire that nearly destroyed the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, prominent settler rabbi Shlomo Aviner was asked whether the burning of the church was a reason for sorrow or to rejoice. The rabbi replied, “There is no mitzvah to seek out churches abroad and burn them down. In our holy land, however, the issue is more complicated.”

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.

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.”

Israeli forces shoot 66 Palestinians at Gaza protest, killing 15-year-old boy

Kate on

On Friday, Israeli soldiers attacked the weekly Great March Processions in the besieged Gaza Strip, killing one child, and injuring at least 55 others, including two medics. The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the slain child as Maisara Mousa Ali Abu Shallouf, 15, shot in the abdomen, east of Jabalia camp.

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.

Planting in Palestine – the seeds of a new society?

Hubert Murray on
The Lajee Center in Aida refugee camp outside of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, March 27, 2019. (Photo: Mohammad al-Azza)

It is planting season in Palestine. For the last few weeks Shatha al-Azzeh and her colleagues in the Environmental Unit at the Lajee Center in Aida refugee camp outside of Bethlehem have been working with young people from the camp to set up new rooftop planters.

The end of liberal Zionism

Yossi Gurvitz on
Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara wave as Netanyahu speaks following the announcement of exit polls in Israel's parliamentary election at the party headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Liberal Zionism is dead. The main story of the 2019 elections is the wiping out of the democratic camp, at best it has 10 seats in the Knesset between the Labor and Meretz parties. Anyone who still thinks Israel “shares values” with the West ought to wake up and smell the coffee. Liberal Israeli Jewish activists must understand that they won’t be able to ever win elections without working with Israeli Palestinians.

He’s back! Netanyahu wins fifth term as prime minister of Israel, Gantz concedes

Allison Deger and Philip Weiss on
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz

Benny Gantz said he is the next prime minister of Israel, but incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu said the right wing has won again after polls closed in the Israeli elections. Gantz’s party is polling ahead of Netanyahu’s, but early analysis suggests it will be harder for Gantz’s Blue and White to form a governing coalition.

Forty animals are evacuated from Gaza zoo to Jordan

Ahmad Kabariti on
Rafah Zoo, April 7, 2019. Photo by Mohammed Asad

Gaza is also unlivable for animals. Four Paws, an animal rescue organization, transported 40 animals to Jordan from a zoo in Rafah after years of poor keeping conditions. The animals include peacocks, ostriches, wolves, monkeys, squirrels, lions, dogs, cats, foxes, porcupines and a hyena. The lions will go on to South Africa.

Absolute racism: a prerequisite for becoming prime minister of Israel

Siddiq Bazarwala on
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu campaigning in Tel Aviv, April 2, 2019. (Photo: Tomer Appelbaum/Reuters)

Regardless of who wins the upcoming Israeli elections on 9 April 2019, Palestinians will most certainly lose.While past elections focus on Iran or the economy, this campaign season the Israeli electorate is being fed a steady diet of anti-Palestinian toxicity.

Critiquing the critique of the Great March of Return

Haidar Eid on

Haidar Eid responds to Palestinian criticism of Gaza’s Great March of Return which says the protests have not been worth it: “these intellectuals’ assimilation of the (neo)liberal mentality, makes them look down upon the culture of resistance as useless, futile and hopeless. This defeatist ideology fails to appreciate people power or even to see that it exists. They are defeated because they want to fight the battle on Israel’s terms-through the adoption of an Israel-Hamas dichotomy, rather than apartheid Israel vs. the Palestinian people.”

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.

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.

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.