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With a crumbling economy, Gaza’s poorest are pushed into homelessness

Yousef M. Aljamal on
(Photo: Abdallah Aljamal)

Amid growing financial strain, Palestinians in Gaza who are unable to pay rent are now living in tents. Most were tradesmen who lost their jobs in recent years. Some were once part of Gaza’s slim middle-class. After a decade of siege on Gaza’s crumbling economy, even once reliable work is scarce.

Israeli Defense Ministry dep’t is dedicated to covering up evidence of the Nakba — ‘Haaretz’

Jonathan Ofir on

Haaretz reveals the existence of a secret department under the Israeli Defense Ministry which is tasked with making previously-open archives disappear in vaults. It was ostensibly tasked with protecting nuclear program secrets – but statements by its founder make it clear that it’s about undermining critical Nakba scholarship, such as the document stating that the principal reason Palestinians were fleeing in 1948 was hostilities by Zionist forces.

Senate Republicans are paving the way for a military escalation against Iran

Michael Arria on

Senate Republicans were able to stop an amendment that would have required President Trump to seek congressional approval for an attack on Iran, despite the fact that the majority of votes were cast in support of the measure. Then Republicans passed a measure assuring that Trump’s hands would not be tied, as Sen. Mitt Romney put it, in taking on Iran.

American tourist harassed and detained by Israeli border agents while trying to attend wedding in Ramallah

Laura Comstock on
Laura Comstock sitting at the border checkpoint between Jordan and the West Bank.

Laura Comstock shares her experience trying to enter the West Bank from Jordan to attend a wedding in Ramallah: “[The Israeli border agents’] attitudes changed completely when I informed them I would be staying with my university professor in Ramallah that night and became extremely hostile. I was then interrogated and screamed at by three border agents with a large line of other American tourists who were behind me. I was immediately detained without explanation and my passport was taken from me.”

US officials participate in unveiling of settlers’ tunnel in occupied Jerusalem

Yumna Patel on

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and White House Middle East Envoy Jason Greenblatt helped inaugurate a tunnel in an Israeli settlers’ archaeological dig under a Palestinian neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem. Friedman said the tunnel confirms the Jewish presence in ancient times in Jerusalem, and Palestinians responded with outrage to the American officials’ participation.

Israel’s Transportation Minister works for God

Jonathan Ofir on

Benjamin Netanyahu has given the job of Transport Minister to Bezalel Smotrich, who says that he is working for God. Smotrich tried to become Justice Minister, and though his suggestion that Israel should follow biblical law ended that bid, there’s no reason his portfolio won’t grow in years to come.

The Bahrain conference: what did, and didn’t, happen

Yumna Patel on
Jared Kushner speaks at the "Peace to Prosperity" workshop in Manama, Bahrain (Photo: AP)

Even Christine Lagarde of the IMF questioned the effectiveness of Jared Kushner’s proposal for $50 billion investment in Palestinian prosperity, saying without a political solution to the Palestinian issue, investments will not succeed. Her skepticism was widely shared.

Bernie Sanders joins Democratic Party debate over US aid to Israel

Michael Arria on

During a appearance on CBS, Bernie Sanders implied that military aid to Israel might only come with conditions if he’s elected president. Combined with recent comments by Pete Buttigieg, and legislation introduced by Betty McCollum, Sanders’ comments are the latest indication that there may be a shift in how Democrats are viewing Israel heading into the 2020 election.

Barghouti: Trump peace effort ‘is about liquidating Palestinian rights’

Miriam Deprez on
Mustafa Barghouti (center) protests the Trump administration's economic summit in Bahrain, outside of Ramallah, Wednesday June 26, 2019. (Photo: Miriam Deprez)

Mustafa Barghouti talks with Mondoweiss about the Trump administration’s Bahrain economic summit and “deal of the century.” “Everything they’ve done, and everything they’ve declared, shows they are trying to kill the two-state solution and the rights of Palestinians to have a state of their own,” Barghouti says. “They advocate sustaining occupation and apartheid.”

Chuck Schumer says he supports Senate resolution that denounces the BDS movement

Michael Arria on

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is scheduled to announce his support for a new resolution that targets the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement today. “I have long believed that the BDS effort is a profoundly biased campaign to delegitimize the state of Israel, and I look forward to Congress passing the resolution with overwhelming bipartisan support,” Schumer told the online publication Jewish Insider.

‘Palestine is not for sale’ — Palestinians in Gaza say Bahrain summit is the ‘New Oslo’

Ahmad Kabariti on
Palestinians protest against the Bahrain economic workshop, in Khan Younis in the southern of Gaza strip, on June 26, 2019. (Photo: Ashraf Amra)

On Tuesday Palestinians in the Gaza Strip cursed at Arab officials and burned placards of President Donald Trump in protest of the administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” summit in Bahrain to discuss economic aspects of the long-awaited “deal of the century.” Yasmin Abu Arafa, a civil rights activist, told Mondoweiss: “After long years of struggle and fighting, a new Oslo seems to be imposed upon us by the U.S. But this will not happen again as in 1993.” 

As Kushner pushes Palestinian prosperity in Bahrain, UNRWA struggles to cover shortfall following US funding cuts

James Reinl on
Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Pierre Krahenbuhl speaks during a press conference, in Gaza city on May 23, 2019. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour/APA Images)

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees raised $110 million at a pledging meet in New York on Tuesday, but warned that it still needs more cash and may have to cut food handouts to some 1 million Gaza residents over the summer, and might not be able to open schools. The UNRWA event was held on the same day as the administration of US President Donald Trump launched its long-awaited and controversial plan for peace between Israelis and Palestinians in Bahrain.

Palestinian human rights orgs slam Israeli gov’t minister for ‘libelous’ smears

Yumna Patel on

Last week, the news broke in Israeli media that Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs had launched a “stealthy campaign” that resulted in the shuttering of some 30 bank accounts affiliated with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. Ramallah-based human rights NGO, Al-Haq, slammed Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan’s smear campaign against Palestinian rights groups as “spurious, unsubstantiated and libelous,” constituting what it called an “illegal interference” with Palestinian civil society under the Hague Regulations.

Robert Kraft pledges $20 million to set up foundation that will fight BDS

Michael Arria on

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has pledged $20 million to establish a foundation that will fight anti-Semitism and BDS (the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement). Kraft made the announcement while in Israel accepting The Genesis Prize, a $1 million award that Time Magazine has called “the Jewish Nobel.”

Jerusalem cable car plan becomes international controversy

James Reinl on
Still from a screen shot of a video visualizing the proposed cable car system planned for Jerusalem. (Video: Jerusalem Development Authority)

A plan to build a cable car for tourists in Jerusalem’s occupied Old City has largely been a local issue so far. That changed on on Thursday, when Palestinian concerns about the new transit route were raised to the international level at a United Nations debate on the fragile peace process.

Congressional candidate Andom Ghebreghiorgis wants to end the occupation of Palestine. He’s running against one of Israel’s biggest defenders

Michael Arria on
Andom Ghebreghiorgis

Andom Ghebreghiorgis is challenging Israel lobby-stalwart Eliot Engel in the his upcoming Democratic primary. “Whether it’s in the U.S. or abroad, I believe in equal rights and freedom for all. We therefore must commit to a political solution that centers those values for Israelis and for Palestinians. Sadly, Eliot Engel has been one of the staunchest supporters of Israel’s right wing policies,” Ghebreghiorgis tells Mondoweiss.