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.
Category Archives: Israel/Palestine
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 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
The Israeli public relations firm Kaizler Inbar claimed credit for dispatching 1350 volunteers with cameras in a post on Facebook today, stating they were “guilty” of suppressing Arab voter turnout and alluded to coordinating with the Likud party.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Israel’s election campaign, now in its last days, must be the first in which a sitting Israeli prime minister has sought to win over voters by boasting about how much he insulted a president of the United States.
Violence is routine in occupied Palestine, as this week’s toll shows: olive trees bulldozed, seven hikers tear-gassed, hundreds of grape vines cut by settlers, a Palestinian boy in critical condition after being run over by a settler, and two 23-year-old men killed.
Soldier’s lives are more precious than civilian lives in Israel, and soldiers’ bodies the most precious human form of all. Which explains what a boost Putin gave to Netanyahu in the last week of the election by providing to him the remains of an Israeli soldier killed in Lebanon in 1982.
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.
What is largely missing from the discussion on Gaza’s Great March of Return is why it is essential for hundreds of thousands of besieged people to rediscover their power and understand their true position, not as hapless victims, but as agents of change in their society.
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.
“Now I’m done, I’m coming home.” In an odd twist, the lyrics of the song that will represent Israel at the 2019 Eurovision competition provides the perfect summary of what protesters in Gaza have been communicating through the Great March of Return.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza participated in protests across the besieged coastal enclave on Saturday, March 30th, to mark the one year anniversary of the Great March of Return.
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.