Declassified cables from Israeli diplomats in Brazil in the 1980s show that the Israeli government supported the continuation of military rule over democracy because it feared the Workers Party would give support to Palestinians, Eitay Mack reports.
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Israel is expected to ramp up its efforts to test for the coronavirus inside its Palestinian communities, after widespread outcry from rights groups condemning the government for ignoring the country’s Arab population amid the global pandemic.
Palestinians have entered the third week of lockdown across the West Bank and Gaza as measures to slow the transmission of the coronavirus continue. With schools and businesses closed across the region, many families are choosing to self-isolate at home.
Axios reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shared a video with members of his cabinet, which he believed to be proof of an Iranian coronavirus cover-up. It turns out that it was actually a clip from the 2007 Hallmark Channel mini-series Pandemic.
Due to the Israeli occupation, the inability for Palestinians to deploy medical resources as needed; to properly organize the population per the requirements of social distancing and rational quarantine; and to properly track and test people, will predictably result in excess serious illness and death, above and beyond what might occur in a less obstructed scenario.
The American Jewish Committee decided that it must support Israel over President Bush in 1991 over settlements, even though many of its officials privately supported Bush, because the AJC had a “primary responsibility” to back the “collective will” of the Jewish people, which Israel represents, Steve Bayme, an AJC official says in a Zoom webinar.
In the midst of a global pandemic, when much of the world is sheltering in homes, Israeli forces have continued to raid Palestinian cities and towns, arrest and imprison Palestinians, demolish homes and tear down structures, and facilitate attacks carried out by settlers.
When sharing fears about the pandemic with Palestinian friends, the following sentiment always comes up in one form or another: “we’ve survived a lot worse than this before.”
“Would you lift sanctions on Iran temporarily, during this pandemic,” NBC’s Chuck Todd asked Joe Biden on Meet the Press. “I don’t have enough information about the situation in Iran right now,” replied Biden, “There’s a lot of speculation from my foreign policy team that they’re in real trouble and they’re lying. But I would need more information to make that judgement. I don’t have the national security information available.”
“As the whole world battles an unprecedented and paralyzing healthcare crisis, Israel’s military is devoting time and resources to harassing the most vulnerable Palestinian communities in the West Bank that Israel has attempted to drive out for decades. Shutting down a first-aid community initiative during a health crisis is an especially cruel example of the regular abuse inflicted on these communities.” –B’Tselem reports on the destruction of a field clinic in Khirbet Ibziq in the occupied Jordan Valley.
“This virus proves that we are all one, equally threatened by coronavirus. Israel needs to change. There is no security in Israel unless there is also security in Palestine,” Zoughbi AlZoughbi, Director of Wi’am: The Palestinian Conflict Transformation Center.
“Given the spread of the coronavirus in the West Bank and Gaza, the extreme vulnerability of the health system in Gaza, and the continued withholding of U.S. aid to the Palestinian people, we are concerned that the Administration is failing to take every reasonable step to help combat this public health emergency in the Palestinian Territories,” reads the letter. It was lead by Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), but was also signed by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
The number of coronavirus cases in Palestine jumped from 62 to 91 in just two days. The main cause is that thousands of Palestinian laborers have been ordered to return to the West Bank from Israel. Thousands of workers are now expected to flood back into the West Bank, raising concerns over how well the PA will be able to deal with the influx of potential virus carriers.
Mondoweiss Palestine correspondent Yumna Patel joined Phil Weiss and Dave Reed to give an update on the coronavirus outbreak in Palestine. Yumna is based in Bethlehem, the epicenter of the outbreak in the occupied West Bank.
Israel’s year-long political stalemate appears to be over. Netanyahu was saved by coronavirus and racism. The virus made him popular. Racism stymied Benny Gantz’s efforts to form a government with Palestinian support.
Many Palestinians in Gaza with post-graduate degrees struggle to find even some form of underemployment. And the most highly specialized workforce is leaving, if they can.
The first Palestinian has died from the novel coronavirus in the occupied West Bank, officials announced on Wednesday. The victim was identified as a woman in her 60’s from the Biddu village, north of Jerusalem in the central West Bank.
Nine members of Congress have signed on to a letter asking the Trump administration to suspend U.S. sanctions on Iran amid the COVID-19 crisis. The letter comes amidst a wider effort by activists to raise awareness of the issue and pressure the Treasury Department to take immediate action.
The tail end of March and beginning of April is often regarded as the most beautiful season in Palestine. But this year, residents of Bethlehem mourn the passing of spring in quarantine, as the city-wide lockdown enters into its fourth week.
Trump cut U.S. funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in 2018. That move’s impact could become even more devastating for Palestinian refugees amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Gaza reported it’s first two cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. While the spread of the respiratory disease is relatively contained in Gaza, there is widespread fear the health infrastructure is woefully underprepared to handle an outbreak
Last week, over 25 groups called on the Trump administration to end its sanctions on Iran amid the COVID-19 crisis. The virus has been particularly calamitous for Iran: at the time this piece was written the country had 21,638 confirmed cases and 1,685 people had been killed by it. U.S. sanctions have no doubt worsened the situation, as they’ve weakened Iran’s economy and thus made it more difficult to secure goods.
As Netanyahu likens himself to the captain of the Titanic amid the coronavirus pandemic, Israeli political protests of his powergrab have gone forward despite lockdown, with people in cars with black flags.
Even as Palestinians battle the coronavirus, the occupation takes its toll. Israeli soldiers killed a 29-year-old man allegedly for throwing rocks, and injured more than 200 other Palestinians in the last two weeks. While settlers assaulted a farmer and vandalized cars in West Bank villages, and raided the plaza of the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
On Sunday, the first two cases of the novel coronavirus were confirmed in the besieged Gaza Strip, home to over 2 million Palestinians. According to the health officials in Gaza, the two patients had recently traveled back to Gaza from Pakistan through the Rafah crossing, and were immediately put into quarantine upon their arrival.