The AP reports: Some half million Gaza children made a delayed return to school on Sunday after a devastating 50-day war with Israel that killed more than 2,100 Palestinians and damaged hundreds of school buildings.
Palestine News Network reports: Numbers of Palestinians from Gaza illegally emigrating to Egypt and Europe have tripled since the Israeli assault on the enclave, sources told PNN. It is claimed as many as 10,000 people have fled in the last 8 months as life in Gaza has become unbearable.
Marc Ellis writes: “Reading Rabbi Rosen’s letter of resignation and the Tribune article I can’t help but think of the Biblical saga. Out of the blue the prophets arise, are shot down, then reappear. It hasn’t changed much in thousands of years. The prophetic is too deeply ingrained in Jewish life to pass quietly into our newly embraced colonial night. Apparently, synagogues are not for prophets. Those who practice the prophetic and attend synagogue, should take note. Your expulsion is inevitable.”
The Jewish Reconstruction Synagogue in Evanston, Illinois is looking for a new rabbi. Rabbi Brant Rosen is moving on. In a letter to the congregation Rosen wrote: “it has become clear that my [Israel/Palestine] activism has become a lightning rod for division at JRC. This crisis has taken an increasingly emotional toll on our community – and it has taken a considerable toll on my own well being as well. Given the current environment in our congregation, I believe my decision to resign is the healthiest one for all concerned.”
J Street had trouble finding its voice during Israel’s bombardment and invasion of Gaza. Now after some internal infighting and desertions, J Street is back, ostensibly seizing the moment with Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian land on the West Bank. Yes, back it is, but to where is the important question.
Israeli government ministers Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni argue that the Israeli government’s decision to appropriate nearly 1,000 acres of Palestinian land to build settlements in the West Bank will hurt Israel internationally, but Economy Minister Naftali Bennett says “It’s 120 years that the world has opposed our construction, and we’ll continue to do it.”
Israel isn’t resting content with its gains in Gaza. Hence the new settlement expansion and the confiscation of land in the West Bank. So having withdrawn troops from Gaza, though still keeping its (somewhat adjusted) blockade in place, Israel is pushing the international Israel-gets-to-keep-all-it-has-taken envelope.
The US has called Israel’s seizure of 1000 acres on the West Bank for yet another settlement “unproductive.” Another feckless complaint
Phil Weiss considers himself outdoorsy but it upset him that lots of his friends had seen bears in the wild and he’d only seen one on the streets of Mumbai with a rope through its nose. All that changed yesterday, in the Poconos, when he saw five bears in the woods.
The Gaza war appears over – for now – but while Gazans are picking up body parts amid the rubble, the settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank are expanding. There’s even a yeshiva set to open in East Jerusalem. Just what the (un)Holy Land needs, more – occupied – religion. After all that’s where this invasion of Gaza ostensibly started.