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Assassination splits Israel supporters on party lines

Philip Weiss on

Trump’s decision to assassinate a leading Iranian official in Iraq yesterday has contributed to the split inside the Israel lobby in the United States. Republican Israel supporters celebrate the killing, and see it as destroying the last hope of saving the Iran deal. Many Democratic supporters of Israel are critical of the decision.

Trump risks a major war in an election year– why?

Philip Weiss on
Miriam and Sheldon Adelson present Trump with a menorah, Dec. 7, 2019. Israeli American Council national summit. Screenshot.

Donald Trump has campaigned against “never ending wars.” Tonight with an assassination in Iraq, he risks another one– putting his reelection in jeopardy, say some observers. Trump knows what he is doing, trying to please his biggest donor, Sheldon Adelson.

Montana lawmaker returns from Israel trip drawing comparisons between Palestinians and Native Americans, but reaches wrong conclusions

Michael Arria on

Shortly after returning from a trip to Israel, Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton shared a strange, meandering post on his website titled “We Were Here First.” In the post, Stapleton compares the Little Shell tribe of Chippewa in Montana to the Palestinians and draws a parallel between Israeli policies and those of Montana’s government.

A decade in review: Palestinians who stood out, and took a stand, over the last 10 years

Yumna Patel on
Palestinian protester hurls stones towards Israeli forces during clashes on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, in al-Bureij in the center of Gaza Strip on April 18, 2018. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

In most of the stories Mondoweiss has reported since 2010 – of popular resistance movements, boycott campaigns, and the strength of the human spirit — more often than not, there were brave Palestinians at the helm, risking everything for a brighter future for their people. Here are just a few of the Palestinian changemakers that stood out to us this past decade.

The captain returns: Gaza fisherman home after 18 months in an Israeli prison

Abdallah Abusamra and Pam Bailey on
Suhail al-Amoudi with his grandson Mohammed after returning home.

A largely forgotten casualty of the Great Return March protests in the Gaza Strip quietly returned home in November after serving 18 months in an Israeli prison. Suhail al-Amoudi, 58, was the captain in the Freedom Boats 2, commanding one of three vessels in a flotilla that sought to break the Israeli naval blockade around Gaza. 

50 Palestinian protesters have been blinded by shots to the eye at Gaza fence protests

Kate on

Israeli snipers targeting participants in Gaza’s weekly Great Return March protests have aimed for the legs – and eyes. To date, Gaza’s Ministry of Health reports that 50 protesters have been shot in the eye with teargas canisters or rubber bullets since the demonstrations began March 30, 2018 – leaving them permanently blind, according to an investigation by al-Araby.

Sanders speaks up for Palestinians, to applause, while Biden says Netanyahu is ‘outrageous’

Philip Weiss on

Takeaway from the latest Democratic debate: the Israel brand is not so popular in the Democratic Party. The embraces were lukewarm. Bernie Sanders said Benjamin Netanyahu is a racist and if elected, Sanders would have an even-handed policy, including being “pro-Palestinian.” Joe Biden was the only candidate to laud the “Jewish state” but he said Netanyahu’s actions in the West Bank are “outrageous.”

UK to investigate ‘far-left websites’ for ‘antisemitism’

Tom Suarez on

In the wake of Boris Johnson overwhelming victory in UK elections, Lord John Mann, the government’s independent antisemitism adviser, announced “I will be instigating an investigation this January into the role of the Canary and other websites in the growth of antisemitism in the United Kingdom.”

A Massachusetts lawmaker is pushing a bill that targets BDS and creates a blacklist of companies that support the movement

Michael Arria on
State Representatives Steve Howitt

Although a new bill in the Massachusetts State House didn’t mention the BDS movement, its sponsors left no doubts about its intentions. “This is a proud moment where the legislature can stand together in support of Israel” said State Representatives Steve Howitt after introducing it, “This bill clarifies to businesses that either support BDS or who boycott Israeli-owned businesses and products that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will not engage in commerce with them. I look forward to its quick passage.”

After Trump executive order, GOP lawmaker tries to get Georgetown funding pulled over ‘anti-Israel, pro-Islamist’ bias

Michael Arria on

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.