At a Christian Zionist conference in Washington, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declares that Trump is an “immovable friend of Israel,” and “anti-Zionism is indeed anti-Semitism.” And National Security Adviser John Bolton referred to the “so-called state of Palestine.”
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At the Christians United for Israel Washington Summit on Monday, Vice President Mike Pence says the Democratic party has been co-opted by “people who promote rank anti-semitic rhetoric.” He singled out New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar for criticism.
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 security forces today arrested a Palestinian mother from the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-‘Issawiya, reportedly to pressure her son, Mahmoud Ebeid, to hand himself over to the police, according to the Jerusalem-based Wadi Hileh Information Center (WHIC).
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 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.
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 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.
Israeli opposition party co-leader Yair Lapid tweeted after a shower, “Israel has to be a state of all its citizens.” Under attack, he reversed himself a half hour later. And Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz has upbraided him, calling the tweet a “seriously outrageous anti-Semitic remark … the slogan of the enemy”.
Israeli soldiers and police invaded Issawiya in occupied East Jerusalem Thursday night, killing Mohammad Obeid, 21, and injuring many other Palestinians, in addition to imposing a strict siege on the town.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
From a cooking gas shop to a women’s collective making toys from recyclables, meet Gaza’s entrepreneurs who are adapting to a crumbling environment that the UN says will become “unliveable,” in less than a year.
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.
Jared Kushner unveiled over the weekend the first part of his widely criticized “deal of the century”, drawing ire from Palestinian leaders and sparking protests in cities across Gaza and the West Bank.
The Jerusalem Center of Socio and Economic Rights warned of the escalation of Israeli demolitions in occupied Jerusalem, noting it bears the nature of a collective form of punishment. The targeted neighborhoods are Qalandia, Sur Baher, Silwan and al-Bustan, and dozens of houses near Israel’s separation wall.
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.”
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.
Pete Buttigieg is the most critical of Israel in a NYT forum, saying, “Israel’s human rights record is problematic and moving in the wrong direction under the current right-wing government.” Most Dems bend over backwards not to criticize Israel. Elizabeth Warren is surprisingly supportive: “Israel is in a really tough neighborhood.”
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.