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Israeli Settlements

House vote on two-state solution shows Congress more divided than ever over Israel

Josh Ruebner on
Rep. Rashida Tlaib addressing the House of Representatives on H.Res.326.

The vote last week on H.Res.326 reveals Congress to be more divided than ever in its approach to the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Almost all Republicans now back Israel’s one-state apartheid rule over the Palestinian people, whereas most Democrats still give lip-service to Palestinian statehood without being willing to pressure Israel toward this end. However, Josh Ruebner writes that things are changing for the better within the Democratic caucus as a few Representatives bravely challenge the two-state paradigm and test the waters for conditioning aid to Israel.

Trump’s reversal of US policy on settlements is widely condemned, including by Sanders and Warren

Philip Weiss on

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement this afternoon that the Trump administration no longer regards West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements as illegal under international law, thereby repudiating global opinion and 50 years of U.S. policy, was widely condemned, including by presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. The AP laid the decision at the feet of Sheldon Adelson, Trump’s biggest donor.

Israel’s new moves to ‘legalize’ the occupation

Jonathan Cook on
A Palestinian stands on his property overlooking the Israeli settlement Har Homa, West Bank, February 18, 2011. (Photo: UPI/Debbie Hill)

Israeli defense ministry officials want to upend the definition in international law of the settlements as a war crime by allowing settlers buy as private property the plots of occupied land their illegal homes currently stand on.

We Are Not Them: on my trips to Katilia

Hareth Yousef on
The Valley that Leads to Katilia

Since returning to Palestine last year after studying in the U.S., Hareth Yousef has been exploring the mountains and lands around Kobar, his family’s ancestral village in the West Bank. On one of those hikes he visited an abandoned farm known as Katilia, which his grandparents used to plant before an Israeli settlement known as Nahliel was built near there in 1984. Yousef writes about these trips, and what they have meant to him and his family.

Israel approves 2,300 new settlement units deep in the occupied West Bank

Yumna Patel on
Jewish settlement in West Bank

Israel has advanced plans for more than 2,300 illegal settlement units deep in the occupied West Bank, Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now has reported. These new units come just one week after the Israeli security cabinet announced it would be approving 715 permits for Palestinian construction in Area C of the West Bank, a move that was largely seen as a policy shift towards extending Israel’s sovereignty in the territory. 

How the Goliath of the Jerusalem settler movement persuaded the world it’s really David

Jonathan Cook on
An Israeli settlement in Silwan, September 2015. (Photo: silwanic.net)

Israeli police forced out the Siyam family from their home in the heart of occupied East Jerusalem last week, the final chapter in their 25-year legal battle against a powerful settler organisation. The family’s defeat represented much more than just another eviction. It was intended to land a crushing blow against the hopes of some 20,000 Palestinians living in the shadow of the Old City walls and Al Aqsa mosque.

Shimon Peres helped kill the two-state solution in the 1980s, Amos Oz reported

Philip Weiss on

Back in 1983, a settler leader explained to the writer Amos Oz that Defense Minister Shimon Peres had allowed the settler movement to thrive in the West Bank and they only needed to get to 100,000 settlers in five years to end the possibility of a Palestinian state “for good.” So why has the US establishment ignored this truth — there will not be a two-state solution — for 30 years?

Israeli response to Airbnb’s settlements decision strengthens case for complete boycott of Israel

Jonathan Ofir on

Airbnb’s pulling of listings in Israeli illegal settlements in the West Bank is highly selective. But Israeli leaders are viewing it as a total attack on Israel, and have plans to punish Airbnb. They are making the case for a comprehensive boycott of Israel as a whole, per the BDS campaign; for the government is utterly dedicated to the settlement enterprise.

Netanyahu hat-tips settler who called for extermination camps

Yossi Gurvitz on

Speaking of Palestinian genocide is acceptable in Israeli discourse. Israeli PM Netanyahu lately published support for Avihai Boaron, an extreme settler who has blamed moderate rabbis for shirking their duty to create death camps for “Amalekites” — enemies of the Jewish people.

Top Israeli official admits that boycotting just the settlements is meaningless

Jonathan Ofir on

Ron Brummer from Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Hasbara, recently confirmed that there is no separate economic system for Israel inside the occupation and outside it. “If you want to divest from the West Bank… you have to divest from Israel.” This is clarifying. Liberal Zionists who have supported settlement boycotts only need to choose sides. Are they for freedom or apartheid?

A burning Zionist and non-Zionist debate the settlements

Jonathan Ofir on

In an interview with the “burning Zionist” Jonathan Møller Sousa on Danish media, non-Zionist Jonathan Ofir shows that the two-state solution has been made impossible by Israeli colonization of occupied territories, and that occupation is actually manageable. All because the international community does nothing to enforce its demands.

If Israel is unwilling to differentiate itself from the settlements, then boycotters shouldn’t either

Jonathan Ofir on
The Israeli flag flying over Israeli settlements in the West Bank (Photo: Reuters)

A new Israeli law bars entry to those involved in boycotting Israel and criminalizes even those who have supported a ‘partial’ boycott targeting settlements. Activists and organizations, even the liberal Zionist ones who have supported boycott of settlements, now have to ask themselves: If Israel does not differentiate between itself and its occupied territories, if Israel bars entry to any foreigner who boycotts (even if they are Zionist), why should the boycotters make the differentiation between Israel and its settlements?