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The Emperor’s New Palestine

Jonathan Ofir on

The deal of the century in the 1900s was the Balfour Declaration, which recognized Zionist colonization of Palestine, and Trump’s deal of the 21st century only continues that process, by giving Israel the right to annex portions of the West Bank and confine Palestinians to Bantustans.

The poisoned calculus (the army education of Yossi Gurvitz)

Yossi Gurvitz on

Yossi Gurvitz reflects on his service in the Israeli army 30 years ago. “A poisonous calculus was working. You’re here. You’re a leftist. You’re here to prevent abuse. But if you expose yourself as a leftist too soon, they’ll hide the abuse from you and you won’t be able to prevent it. So you’d better keep your protest for the really tough cases, you know, like preventing a murder. There’s no point in reporting the routine beating up of cuffed and blindfolded prisoners.”

An answer to the question, ‘Why do you care so much about Israel/Palestine?’

Joel Doerfler on
An Israeli settlement sits to the right of Israel's separation wall in East Jerusalem, dividing the Palestinian neighborhood to the left, from other Palestinian neighborhoods in the area. (Photo: Eoghan Rice)

Joel Doerfler says several years ago a student in his Israel-Palestine course approached him after class with a question.  Why, he wanted to know, did he care so much about this subject? Doerfler says he never got back to him with a clear answer, but never stopped thinking about his question. Here is his answer.

Palestinians reject Madonna’s ‘fig-leaf gestures of solidarity’

Jonathan Ofir on
Madonna and Quavo stand under the words "Wake Up" at the end of the Eurovision performance of their song “Future.” (Photo via Twitter/@madonnatribe)

Madonna tried to offset criticism of her participation in the Eurovision song contest by incorporating a Palestinian flag into her final performance. “The most meaningful expression of solidarity is to cancel performances in apartheid Israel,” the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel responded in a statement.

Republicans push BDS bill to paint Dems as anti-Semites, and party leadership falls for the trap

Josh Ruebner on
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) (Photo: Center for American Progress/Flickr)

On Wednesday, Republicans in the House of Representatives initiated a rarely-used legislative procedure to try to force a vote on a controversial bill that encourages states and localities to penalize individuals, nonprofit organizations, and companies that boycott for Palestinian rights. This is the latest GOP move in an ongoing, concerted effort to to portray themselves as the saviors of Israel and the Jewish people and paint the Democrats as an anti-Semitic, BDS-loving, radical left horde. And Democrats seem to be falling into the trap.

Silencing the Nakba with Eurovision

Jonathan Ofir on
Im Tirtzu protesting a Nakba commemoration at Tel Aviv University, May 2013. (Photo: Lazar Simeonov)

The Jewish fascist group Im Tirtzu has a history of disrupting Nakba commemoration ceremonies at the Tel Aviv campus. This year they blasted the Eurovision-winning song ‘Toy’ over loudspeakers during a minute of silence for Nakba victims.

How to Lobby Washington to Death: A business model from hell and the war in Yemen 

Mashal Hashem and James Allen on
Boys inspect graves prepared for victims of an air strike in Saada province, Yemen, which killed 40 children on their way to school on August 9, 2018. (Photo: Reuters)

President Trump’s veto of the resolution to end American support for the Saudi-UAE coalition in Yemen, and Congress’s failure to override it, has given U.S. defense contractors a green light to proceed with a business model that counts innocent Yemenis’ deaths as the cost of doing business.

Palestine’s legitimate citizenry

Blake Alcott on
General overview of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, with the Jerusalem's Old City and the Dome of the Rock in the background, March 2, 2010. (Photo: Mohamar Awad/APA Images)

Do all Palestinians have the right to citizenship in whatever state rules historic Palestine? The right of return of Palestinians to their places of origin now in Israel is both well-researched and uncontested in ethics and international law, for instance in many conventions and UN Resolutions.

Bolton pushes United States to over-reach in Iran

Helena Cobban on
John Bolton

In ’56 the British overreached tragically in Suez, the U.S. punished the pound, a Prime Minister fell, and an Empire ended. John Bolton is exhibiting the same hubris about regime change in Iran, and using economic leverage to do so, but the gambit may not work out well for the American empire, Helena Cobban writes.

The continuing farce of Israeli justice

Yotam Ben-Hillel on
A Palestinian man sits next to belongings removed from his house as Israeli police officers stand guard during a demolition of the house in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, October 29, 2013. A statement from the Jerusalem Municipality said there was a court order for the demolition of the house, which was built without a permit. (Photo: Saeed Qaq/APA Images)

Whether in the occupied West Bank, or illegally annexed East Jerusalem, the message coming from the Israel’s so-called liberal judiciary is the same: do not expect it to stand in the way of the Israeli expansion objectives.

On Nakba Day 2019 the question before us is — justice or apartheid?

Nada Elia on
A masked Palestinian protestor climbs Israel's separation wall during a weekly demonstration against Israeli occupation in the West Bank village of Nilin(Photo: Issam Rimawi/ APA Images)

Nada Elia writes on Nakba Day 2019: “This year, to honor all that has been lost, and ensure we can move forward, we must pressure our politicians to address the Nakba from the river to the sea.  Let us then seize the moment to demand that our progressive politicians abandon their mindless platitudes about the two-state delusion, and ask them to choose instead:  justice, or apartheid.”

Paradigm shift is needed address crises of civilization

Nafeez Ahmed on
Drone footage of displaced family tents in one settlement in Badghis, Afghanistan, due to ongoing drought and climate change. There are thousands of makeshift homes spread between mountain hills on the outskirt of Qala-i-naw city. (Photo: Norwegian Refugee Council/Enayatullah Azad)

A recent UN global assessment confirms that the planet is currently experiencing 2,500 conflicts over fossil fuels, water, food and land — conflicts which are therefore directly related to the ongoing collapse of the earth’s biodiversity. Yet, political leaders are preoccupied with the surface symptoms of this fundamental crisis of civilization, rather than the crisis itself.

Britain says releasing a 1941 document about Palestine might ‘undermine security’

Tom Suarez on

The British government archives has refused to declassify a file about the activities of the Nazi-sympathizing Mufti of Jerusalem in 1941 in Iraq, in the time preceding British takeover of the country. Government censors told author Tom Suarez the contents of the 78-year-old file could aid “those determined to undermine the security of the country.”

The neoconservative push for war with Iran is not in the American people’s interest

Philip Weiss on

Neoconservatives are pushing for war with Iran inside the Trump administration, and we can only thwart their plans by calling them out, as the rightwing Israel lobby, whose aims are not in the American people’s interests, however you define them, from human rights in the Middle East to avoiding another disastrous war.

A note on Martin Buber’s failure and our own

Marc H. Ellis on
Martin Buber

Marc Ellis reviews Paul Mendes-Flohr’s new biography, Martin Buber: A life of Faith and Dissent: “My biggest complaint, a serious one, is that Buber’s understanding of the prophetic is mentioned but is hardly given the due needed. Buber’s analysis of the prophetic and its consistent failure, exemplified in his life both in Germany, Palestine and Israel, will, in my view, be, perhaps already is, Buber’s greatest contribution to the Jewish present and future.”

Sun, Gays, Misogyny, and Shawarma: Eurovision promo yet another failed Israeli bid for legitimacy

Denijal Jegić on
Screenshot of the KAN Eurovision video

This year’s Eurovision Song Contest is taking place in Tel Aviv. The popular music event could be a great propaganda opportunity for Europe’s last colony. But government-funded Hasbara continues to recycle the same colonial myths, trying to conceal settler-colonial inscription and indigenous erasure behind colorful pictures of sun, sea, rainbow flags, and shawarma.

The ‘strong Jew’ is weak

Jonathan Ofir on

The ethos of Zionism from its inception was to create a new kind of Jew, disconnected from the Jew’s former alleged diasporic weakness. Jonathan Ofir contends that this basic notion represents the weakness of Zionism, which Zionists need to relinquish in order to move Israeli society toward any kind of peaceful coexistence with Arabs.

Jonathan Sacks dumbs down Jewish history in order to defend Zionism

Robert Cohen on

Leading British Rabbi Jonathan Sacks is a great moral educator who can draw on Jewish scripture to make universal observations about justice and tolerance. But when it comes to the greatest moral issue facing Jews today, Israel and the Palestinians, he offers nothing but dumbed-down history and a version of Judaism that sells it short and denies another people their heritage and story.

‘Revolutionary change’ needed to stop unprecedented global extinction crisis

Michelle Lim on
White stork birds flying in the West Bank city of Jenin, on March 13, 2019. According to the recent IPBES Global Assessment, close to 20 percent of all bird species on Earth are at threat of extinction. (Photo: Shadi Jarar'ah/APA Images)

We are witnessing the loss of biodiversity at rates never before seen in human history. According to the world’s largest assessment of biodiversity nearly a million species face extinction if humans do not fundamentally change our relationship with the natural world. Dr. Michelle Lim says the world’s legal, institutional, and economic systems must be reformed entirely in order to halt the continued loss of nature, and that listening to Indigenous communities is an essential first step.

Our Nakba and their Independence

Dareen Tatour on

Dareen Tatour writes, “The anniversary of the Nakba comes every May. But we, the Palestinians of 1948, live in memory of the Nakba in different circumstances than all other Palestinians. Here from within Israel, we can hear the sirens declare the beginning of the celebration observed by those who occupied us while we are still deeply rooted inside of our homeland We suffer because we feel alienated in our own country, we shout and scream and no one hears us.”

Jared Kushner’s ignorant incitement against Palestinians

Jonathan Ofir on

Jared Kushner recently claimed Palestinians have “gotten more aid than any group of people in history, and what we have to show for it is really not much”. But he missed Israel. Israel beats Palestine on this count, and it’s much worse.

Plenty of Benjamins here in Boston!

Jeff Klein on
Promotion of recent New England leadership dinner at AIPAC. Partial full screen image from screenshot.

AIPAC’s promotion of a recent New England leadership dinner in Boston at $300 a head shows that the leading Israel lobby group raised nearly $5 million from just one region of the country. So when pro-Israel voices say that Ilhan Omar is wrong, AIPAC doesn’t work by raising money, they’re trying to deceive you.