On December 11, President Trump signed an executive order that effectively weaponizes antisemitism as a cudgel to beat back BDS activities on college campuses. The order threatens to withhold federal funding from universities if the government determines that they’ve failed to prohibit discrimination. Trump’s move was barely announced before a member of congress attempted to use the new playbook. Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA) has sent a letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos asking for Georgetown University to be investigated over its alleged anti-Israel bias.
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Israelis woke up on Thursday morning to what seemed like a bad case of deja vu. Plastered on their newspapers, TV and mobile screens, was news that many had hoped would never come: they would be heading into an unprecedented third election cycle.
Trump’s Executive Order empowering the federal government to crack down on campus organizing for Palestinian rights under the guise of combating antisemitism was not issued on a whim but as the culmination of a deliberate strategy to stifle pro-Palestinian solidarity. On the campaign trail, Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman menacingly pledged that “the Trump administration will ask the Justice Department to investigate coordinated attempts on college campuses to intimidate students who support Israel.”
On Wednesday, Palestinian political leaders and civil servants joined UN officials to launch an appeal for $348 million in aid “to provide basic food, protection, health care, shelter, water and sanitation to 1.5 million Palestinians” in Gaza, as well as the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Gordon Gregory, a Tory candidate for Parliament in the upcoming UK election, tells Shahd Abusalama, “If the violence from Palestine stopped then the Israel would have no reason to attack. But whilst attacks are continuing and the existence of Israel is not accepted, they have no reason to stop occupying.”
President Trump is on the verge of signing an executive order aimed at cracking down on the campus Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The order recognizes Judaism as a nationality and uses a civil rights loophole that will allow the government to withhold funding from schools that failed to effectively crack down on discrimination, which in this case might mean criticism of Israel. “This is a baldfaced attempt to silence the movement for Palestinian rights on college campuses – something that has been at the top of the Trump administration’s agenda,” said Palestine Legal director Dima Khalidi says.
“In terms of Bernie and others who talk about dealing with Zionism, I strongly support Israel as an independent Jewish state,” said Biden, “The idea that I’d withdraw military aid, as others have suggested, from Israel, is bizarre. I would not do that. It’s like saying to France, ’Because you don’t agree with us, we’re going to kick you out of NATO.”
Donald Trump says his chief negotiator for Israel/Palestine, Jared Kushner, “loves” Israel but some American Jews don’t love Israel enough and Democratic radicals want to “bully” Israel. He spoke before largest donors Sheldon and Miriam Adelson in Florida Saturday night at the Israeli American Council.
The vote last week on H.Res.326 reveals Congress to be more divided than ever in its approach to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Almost all Republicans now back Israel’s one-state apartheid rule over the Palestinian people, whereas most Democrats still give lip-service to Palestinian statehood without being willing to pressure Israel toward this end. However, Josh Ruebner writes that things are changing for the better within the Democratic caucus as a few Representatives bravely challenge the two-state paradigm and test the waters for conditioning aid to Israel.
At 11:15 p.m. on Nov. 13, Hamoud Abu Amra got a call from Israeli security warning him to evacuate his house in Gaza, the Israeli army was about to bomb it. He lives 500 meters from the Israel border, and this has now happened to him four times. He vows to rebuild. A refugee from Dimona, nothing will make him leave his land.
The Christmas tree is up at the entrance to the Imperial Hotel in Jerusalem, but for its Palestinian hosts there is little festive cheer amid fears they could be evicted in favour of Israeli settlers, the AFP reports.
In a Twitter thread, Rep. Omar detailed her opposition to the resolution. “The goal of these changes was clear: to pass a resolution that will not actually bring a resolution to this conflict,” she wrote, “That’s why the resolution doesn’t have support from Palestinians in Congress or Palestinian advocates. We are told to swallow these changes in the name of ‘pragmatism.’ But there is nothing “pragmatic” about a vote that makes peace unachievable.”
Over 100 House Democrats decry the Trump administration’s new settlement policy. However, the majority of House Democrats declined to sign.
The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights is the target of a $90 million lawsuit that accuses the group of engaging in environmental terrorism. “The lawsuit is a ludicrous abuse of U.S. courts to silence calls for Palestinian freedom,” says the Center for Constitutional Rights Deputy Legal Director Maria LaHood.
Raising a three-year-old can be challenging for any parent. But parenting in Palestine comes with its own set of obstacles that extend far beyond answering tough questions.
Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennet, of the ultra nationalist “New Right” party, said on Sunday that a new settlement would be built on top of Hebron’s once bustling fruit and vegetable market, now referred to by locals as a ghost town. “The American government gave the greenlight to the Israelis to build settlements without consequence,” Mufeed al-Sharabati tells Mondoweiss.
This week, the United Nations attempted to put a figure on exactly how much the occupation was costing the Palestinian economy. The number it arrived at — an estimated $48 billion between 2000 and 2017 — was larger than many expected.
Israeli soldiers opened fire on three Palestinian civilians near a settlement west of Hebron in the occupied West Bank on Saturday, the Palestinian News and Info Agency reported. Badawi Khaled al-Masalma, 18, was seriously wounded and Palestinian medics were not allowed to approach him for several minutes. He later died.
While electrical blackouts are common across the West Bank, scheduled outages are due to continue as the Palestinian power distributor has not paid overdue bills from the Israeli energy provider since 2014.
Karam Qawasmi, a Palestinian man who was recorded last year in a shocking encounter where he was shot in the back while walking away from the camera with his arms stretched above his head, has come forward with new allegations of abuse surrounding the incident.
In Hebron last weekend, religious settlers attacked the family of Imad Abu Shamsiyeh, who is famous for filming an Israeli soldier murdering a Palestinian man, and his 1-1/2-year-old grandson was struck in the head with a rock.
Robert Kraft, New England Patriots owner and winner of Israel’s version of the Nobel Prize has revealed how he will spend his million-dollar award: funding groups that portray Israel positively.
“It’s a crime that the Israeli military would pull a gentle soul like Ubai [Aboudi] out of his home in front of his family in the middle of the night,” Noam Chomsky said in a joint statement published by Scientists for Palestine. “They are clearly sending a signal to anyone who works with Palestinian civil society.” The group seeks the release of political economist Aboudi, arrested by Israel on November 13 and held in administrative detention.
Democratic politicians voted overwhelmingly to condemn BDS, but a new poll carried out by Data for Progress says 44% of Democratic voters support BDS, with just 15% opposing it. 53% agree that the movement is legitimate, and 48% of Dems are opposed to anti-BDS laws, with just 15% supporting them.
Israeli mistaken attack on Gaza November 14 killed Yusra Sawarka and her sons Moath and Waseem, and seriously injured daughters Reem, Nermin, Noor, and Salem, the father of the children, Mohammad Salama Sawarka, 40, has succumbed to injuries. In all 9 members of the extended family were killed in the attack.