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Trump's balfour moment

Only grassroots activism and global solidarity can bring justice to Palestine

Nada Elia on

Nada Elia: It is likely President Trump had no clue what his “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel” declaration heralded. He may have been aspiring for “the deal of the century,” when all he has done is unwittingly announce the end of a farce.  With the cumbersome “peace process” out of the way, we can focus on the real solution:  grassroots activism and global solidarity.  

‘Blind Spot’ on Palestine is consistent feature of US policy for past century

Josh Ruebner on

Josh Ruebner reviews Khaled Elgindy’s new book ‘Blind Spot: America and the Palestinians from Balfour to Trump’: “Reading Blind Spot, one is struck by the coherence of US policy toward the Palestinian people over the past century even as political realities have continued to dramatically change. Indeed, there is nothing new under the sun.”

This is not a peace deal: thoughts on Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’

Tareq Baconi on
Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu meet at the White House, January 27, 2020 (Photo: Twitter/@IsraeliPM)

Tareq Baconi writes that Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ is not a peace deal, but an Israeli domestic political ploy that represents a battle within Israel’s right over how sovereignty should be asserted in the West Bank. Meanwhile, Palestinians are again witnessing nothing short of the reconfiguration of international plans to sustain their dispossession.

‘Balfour’s Legacy: Confronting the Consequences’ to be held in Harvard Square

Nancy Murray on

The 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration has set the stage for some long overdue historical truth-telling. On November 11 in Cambridge, MA, two dozen speakers will examine how the Zionist project was implemented in historic Palestine, and consider its long-term consequences for Palestinians, world Jewry, the United States, the United Nations and international law during the all-day conference: ‘Balfour’s Legacy: Confronting the Consequences.’   

Trump wasn’t anti-Semitic

Philip Weiss on

Donald Trump’s quips about the Republican Jewish Coalition’s deal-making prowess yesterday was an accurate description of the Israel lobby’s use of money to commit politicians to pro-Israel positions.

Love in the age of Trump

Robert Cohen on

Donald Trump is terrifying but there’s one big upside. Thanks to his extremism, a long-delayed reckoning is coming on Israel/Palestine. Boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) will take off as never before.

Trump and Balfour compared

James Zogby on
Arthur Balfour and Jared Kushner

James Zogby writes, “Welcome to the world ushered in by the “Deal of the Century.” It is a world not unlike the one that confronted Arabs in Balfour’s World War I era -– the injustices it will bring forth and the struggle for justice it will give birth to will continue.”

As Israel becomes a political liability it is time to challenge its enablers

Nada Elia on

The Great Return March has already made a difference. This time around, not a single Democrat has actually come out to shield Israel. Nada Elia says this is the turning point we have been looking for, when Israel is finally viewed as a liability, not an asset. And now, then, she writes, is the time to break the Zionist hold on our political representatives, and make it very clear to them that they do not have our support while they profess “joint values” with Israel.


Pamela Olson on

Less than two months ago, I was at a hastily-organized report-back from survivors of Israel’s attack on the Mavi Marmara when someone, almost as an afterthought, suggested that an American boat should go to Gaza with the next Flotilla, proudly flying the red, white, and blue to show the world that not all Americans supported […]

An unconventional marriage: the Marwan and Fadwa Barghouti story

Kate on

Jaclynn Ashley reports for Al Jazeera on the Barghouti marriage: “Fadwa and Marwan grew up together in the village of Kobar, outside of Ramallah city. Fadwa’s family was one of few in the village where their daughter continued her education in the city past the sixth grade, and she was the first woman in her village to obtain a driver’s license. At the age of 18, she became the youngest founding member of the Women’s Union for Social Work, which she now heads. The group works to increase the participation of women in the Palestinian resistance movement. Marwan, meanwhile, began a five-year sentence in Israeli prison when he was 18. Fadwa was just 14 at the time. A few years into his jail term, he sent a message to Fadwa through a recently released prisoner: ‘He told me that Marwan loves me and that he wants me to wait for him.’ When Marwan was finally released, his marriage proposal was anything but typical.

Pittsburgh statements by progressive Jewish groups stress Trump’s fomenting of white nationalism

Mondoweiss Editors on

“President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you fully denounce white nationalism,” Bend the Arc, a progressive Jewish group, informs the president ahead of his Tuesday visit. J Street and Jewish Voice for Peace also hold the president responsible for inciting anti-Semitic violence in statements on Saturday’s massacre of 11 Jewish worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

In ‘breathtaking’ UN vote, Obama changed his policy on Israeli settlements, making them a war crime — Finkelstein

Philip Weiss on

Norman Finkelstein says the UN resolution against settlements was very strong, making them a war crime, and Obama allowed it to pass, in a major shift from his previous stance, because he wanted a legacy on Israel/Palestine and wanted to turn the tables on Netanyahu. Now the question is what Palestinians will do to enforce the latest in a long line of historical documents damming the settlements.

Read Netanyahu’s UN speech, which praises Trump to the skies and matches his North Korea hyperbole on Iran

Mondoweiss Editors on

Israeli PM Netanyahu was seen nodding during Donald Trump’s speech to the UN, and he later praised it to the skies. “I’ve listened to countless speeches in this hall, but I can say this: none were bolder, none more courageous and forthright than the one delivered by President Trump.” Netanyahu went on to offer red meat rhetoric of his own on Iran. He referred to the country by name 37 times and likened it to North Korea, saying it was conducting a campaign of conquest across the Middle East and threatens the world with ballistic weapons.

Wawro traces history of ‘domestic considerations’ back to Balfour and Eddie Jacobson

Philip Weiss on

Here’s Jeff Blankfort’s interview today with Geoff Wawro, whose book Quicksand was promoted on this site the other day. The idea of a Jewish state, Wawro says, was endorsed by American presidents for domestic political reasons from the Wilson administration on– "Wilson the proponent of national self-determination was never comfortable with the idea of a […]

Balfour and Britain’s broken promise

Tim Llewellyn on

Former BBC Middle East Correspondent Tim Llewellyn says Great Britain is a nation split between government and governed when it comes to Israel and Palestine: “If the British Conservative Government of Teresa May represented the views of the people of Britain rather than the preferences of the state of Israel on the disastrous outcome for the Palestinian Arabs of the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917, she would not be planning to celebrate this 100th anniversary with Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister. This will happen at a cosy London dinner party at the home of Lord Rothschild, heir to the recipient of that infamous letter from Arthur J. Balfour, Britain’s then Foreign Secretary.”

On Balfour anniversary, Jerusalem boils

Kate on

Jerusalem at a boiling point: The “Zionist endeavor” is “the strengthening of the Jewish presence.” And clashes with Palestinian demonstrators have injured 28 over the weekend

Moments in Palestine

Lena Ibrahim on

The Interrogation I felt trapped in my own body. I had been waiting for 3 dreadful hours, I had taken 2 hot and suffocating bus rides from Jordan, and had been given 2 rounds of repetitive questioning by Israeli security. I waited and waited, I watched the others in the waiting room, seeing my own […]

Balfour anniversary drives a wedge into British consensus on Israel

Robert Cohen on

At a British Labour Party gathering, Jeremy Corbyn’s biggest applause came when he said the oppression of Palestinians must end. No wonder he snubbed an invitation from the Jewish Leadership Council to commemorate the Balfour Declaration at 100. And no wonder a UK diplomat says Balfour’s promise to non-Jewish communities has gone unfulfilled. Balfour anniversary is dividing British opinion on Israel.

PA astroturf effort to build campus momentum for statehood falls flat

Allison Deger on

Visit the Students for Statehood (SFS) website powered by WordPress, to view pixilated flyers for some twelve calendared rallies in support of the PA statehood bid to the UN.  They look as though designed by students.  They use basic logos, and there is an embedded hip-hop video.  The organization gained attention last August for their […]

‘Le Monde’ is revisionist on Balfour Declaration

Philip Weiss on

Most histories I’ve read portray the Balfour Declaration of 11/2/1917 as a great act of charity or philosemitic vision. This piece in Le Monde Diplomatique, translated at the behest of Antony Loewenstein, portrays it as a gambit of power politics. I think the author, Alain Gresh, is leaving out the financial angle, the war bonds […]

Pro-Israel group bullies Church of Scotland over its ‘sensitive’ commemoration of Balfour centenary

Robert Cohen on

Once again, the Board of Deputies of British Jews has shown itself to be a bully when it comes to interfaith dialogue on Israel/Palestine. This time its victim is the Church of Scotland. It’s all depressingly predictable and immensely tiresome for anyone who cares about justice in the Holy Land and indeed the future of Jewish-Christian relations in the U.K. Later this month (20-26 May) the Church of Scotland’s General Assembly will consider a new report advising the Church on how to mark this year’s Balfour Declaration centenary. Balfour was a member of the Church of Scotland and the Church has a long association with the Holy Land through schools, projects supporting Christian Palestinians and partnerships with organizations promoting justice and reconciliation.

Boycott of Tel Aviv LGBT Film Festival gains momentum with new cancellations

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel on

Four more filmmakers have joined a growing number of artists boycotting the Tel Aviv LGBT International Film Festival in response to a Palestinian call. French director Océane Michel explained on Facebook: “I stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people and express my total disagreement with Israel’s policy towards Palestine. For this reason, I refuse to take part in the pinkwashing strategy of the Israeli government. I want my movie withdrawn from the festival.”