Joe Biden has bragged of raising money from the Israel lobby group AIPAC, declared “Israel…the single greatest strength America has in the Middle East,” professed, “I’m a Zionist,” and in 2014 said he had told Netanyahu, “I love you. Read an overview of Biden’s remarks on Jews and Israel, including his belief that efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state, or even to protest the 2014 Gaza onslaught, are anti-Semitic.
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Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon is now claiming the bible as proof to Israel’s fundamental right to all of Palestine. During his speech at a UN Security Council meeting on Monday, Danon held up a bible at for all the ambassadors present to see and said, “This is our deed to our land.” Jonathan Ofir says this is just an indication of Israel’s desperation for legitimacy.
Ahmad Kabariti talks to workers across Gaza on May Day to find out what they think of the labor holiday. Most are just happy to be working. Maged al-Dali, 27, an auto painter working in an industrial zone in Shejaiya tells him, “If you work, you are lucky, if not, then you starve.”
Asked, “will you actually hold Israel accountable for its continued human rights violations?” Senator Elizabeth Warren affirmed the two-state solution and criticized Netanyahu. A leftwinger on economic justice issues, Warren is echoing a safe Democratic Party consensus, clearly fearful that the issue could divide the party’s base.
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) reintroduced yesterday her historic bill to promote the human rights of Palestinian children who face detention, interrogation, abuse and violence, including torture, and imprisonment by Israel through its separate-and-unequal military court system in the occupied West Bank. “Israel’s system of military juvenile detention is state-sponsored child abuse designed to intimidate and terrorize Palestinian children and their families,” McCollum said in a strongly-worded statement.
Jonathan Ofir continues his journey in Israel-Palestine. He visits the western wall in Jerusalem and reflects on the erasure of the Magharibah quarter, sees a sign commemorating the theft of Yemenite babies, and reflects on the utter invisibility of the Palestinian presence in Israeli life.
A biosphere refers to the interaction of all living things with the natural resources that sustain them. Mark Zeitoun and Ghassan Abu Sitta write that Gaza has become a “biosphere of war”, where “sanctions, blockades and a permanent state of war affects everything that humans might require in order to thrive, as water becomes contaminated, air is polluted, soil loses its fertility and livestock succumb to diseases. People in Gaza who may have evaded bombs or sniper fire have no escape from the biosphere.”
Israeli Channel 13 has aired recordings of state-sponsored rabbis advocating for the return of slavery, saying that Hitler was 100% right, but that his ideology just needs to be applied by Jews to non-Jews.
Every month, Israel collects some $190 million in customs duties on goods being imported into the Palestinian territory and transfers it to the PA. But recently it has been withholding $10 million per month, meant to represent the amount paid by the PA to the families of political prisoners and “martyrs” killed by Israel. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is refusing to accept the reduced tax revenues, which has plunged the government into its worst financial crisis in years. This is leading Israel to start discussing a plan of action should the Palestinian Authority collapse completely.
A surprising musical ensemble called Siraj in a Palestinian village in the Galilee has overcome discriminatory and cultural hurdles to put on professional performances and innovatively adapted some of the iconic pieces of Arab composers and singers from the 20th century, from Um-Kalthoom to Fairuz. Hatim Kanaaneh reports.
Should US peace processors be proud of failed efforts? Aaron David Miller writes to Martin Indyk: “Do you remember what Clinton said to us at end of the second briefing before Camp David. 2000? Trying and failing is better than not having tried at all. So inspiring and so quintessentially American.”
While the alleged shooter in Saturday’s deadly attack on the Poway Chabad synagogue said he was inspired by the shooter of the Christchurch terrorist attack in New Zealand and claimed to have fire-bombed a mosque. Regardless, Ted Cruz and Meghan McCain attempted to link the attack to Ilhan Omar.
In her recent paper “Climate Change, the Occupation, and a Vulnerable Palestine,” Zena Agha outlines the threat that climate change presents to Palestine, how it is exacerbated by the Israeli occupation, and the steps being taken, or not being taken, to prepare for it. Adam Horowitz talks with Agha about what climate change means for the future of Palestine and the Middle East, and how it should fit into the Palestine solidarity movement agenda.
Low birth weight and birth defects increased significantly since 2011 in Gaza. The evident cause is two military attacks in 2012 and 2014 that introduced novel risk factors, contamination by heavy metals weapon-remnants, ongoing impoverishment, and impaired waste management, says Reproductive Toxicology journal.
“Israeli forces have escalated their attacks against the medical personnel in the field, wounding 4 members of them” Friday, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza. On the 56th Friday of the Great March of Return, Israeli forces injured 110 civilians.
After a months long battle, a Texas school teacher was told she could return back to work after a federal court blocked an anti-BDS law in the state on the grounds that it was “likely unconstitutional.”
“Their plan is to put us in a desert and offer us some drops of water so we are forced to accept it,” Palestinian leader Mohammed al-Masri says of the rumored content of Trump’s peace deal. “No power, no borders, and just give us some economic freedom.” Such a proposal will be dead on arrival, Palestinians say.
Pandering to two pro-Israel groups, Nikki Haley calls Sheldon and Miriam Adelson “national treasures.” She says the Obama administration “led” the UN Security Council resolution against settlements in 2016, pressuring other countries that did not want to vote for it, and making other ambassadors “uncomfortable.”
As Notre Dame burned, Ramzy Baroud thought of Gaza’s Great Mosque. While the fire at the French cathedral was likely accidental, destroyed Palestinian houses of worship were intentionally targeted.
Jared Kushner explicitly ruled out a two-state solution for his peace plan. “If that would have worked, we would have made peace a long time ago on that basis.” His comments signal potential support for Israeli annexation of portions of the West Bank and Palestinian economic support but no sovereignty.
Jen Marlowe ran the 2019 Palestine Marathon, and did much of her training throughout the West Bank and Gaza. She writes, “while I realized that there would be challenges during my training runs, what I hadn’t anticipated was the window they would provide into the lives of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.”
At a recent CNN town hall, Bernie Sanders courageously asserted that “Israel is run by a racist government” and called for “a level playing field” between Israel and the Palestinians. Hamzah Reza writes that while such rhetoric is a breath of fresh air, the reality is that Sanders has refused to take the tangible actions that a plurality of rank-and-file Democratic voters want him to take.
The Trump administration yesterday said it will end sanction exemptions on oil purchases from Iran for eight countries beginning in May, prompting backlash from the Islamic Republic, which voted Tuesday to declare U.S. forces “terrorists.”
Presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told a room full of students last night during CNN’s marathon town hall in New Hampshire that Israel is headed by a “racist government,” and vowed to “level the playing field” between disparate American support for Israel and the Palestinians.
The Israeli military is coming under criticism after its forces opened live fire on a bound and blindfolded Palestinian teenager as he ran away from a group of soldiers attempting to detain him.