Mondoweiss

  • Two Palestinian teenagers killed in most intense Israeli daytime assault on Gaza since 2014
    After two Palestinian teenagers has been killed, and hundreds more wounded by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, an Egyptian-led ceasefire was called on Saturday night between Israel and the Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements, who had fired several rockets into Israeli territory, injuring at least three people. According to international media, and the Israeli army, Saturday’s Israeli onslaught on the besieged Gaza strip marked the most intense daytime assault on the coastal enclave since Israel’s 2014 offensive which left nearly 2,000 Palestinians dead. The two slain Palestinian teens were identified by the Gaza Health Ministry as Amir al-Nimri, 15, and Luay Kaheel, 16. They were killed when Israeli airstrike targeted a semi-abandoned building in western Gaza. Witnesses reportedly said the two were playing on the roof of the building when they were killed, Al-Jazeera reported. The Israeli army claimed the purpose of its strikes were twofold: first, as a response to rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, and secondly, in response to “incendiary kites” being flown from Gaza that have been starting fires on Israeli farmland in recent weeks. “The Israeli armed forces delivered the strongest blow against Hamas since [the 2014 Gaza war] and we will increase the intensity of ... read more
    Source: Mondoweiss Israel PalestinePublished on 2018-07-15
  • Ocasio-Cortez hedges criticisms of Israel– ‘I may not use the right words’
    Rising Democratic star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the congressperson-to-be for a district in the Bronx and Queens, famously tweeted “This is a massacre,” after Israel’s slaughter of 60 Gazans on May 14, and said Democrats must not be silent anymore about Israeli human rights violations, and opposed the embassy move. Since her surprise victory over a Democratic leader in the primary last month, she’s gotten a lot of pushback from the establishment. More came on Friday night on PBS Firing Line, and Ocasio-Cortez seemed to walk back her comments. She wrote that tweet as an “activist,” she said — she’s not an activist anymore, now she’s about to be a congressperson representing a broad district (with many Zionist Jews in it), and she promised to “learn and evolve.” Ocasio-Cortez vowed that she supports the two-state solution, she seemed flustered when asked why she used the term “occupation,” and she apologized for herself, saying that she’s not an expert on Middle East issues. “I may not use the right words.” Here’s the three-minute exchange. Margaret Hoover (a veteran of the Bush White House) says that Ocasio-Cortez’s “massacre” tweet became controversial, then asks: What is your position on Israel? AOC: Well, I believe absolutely in Israel’s right to ... read more
    Source: Mondoweiss Israel PalestinePublished on 2018-07-15
  • ‘NY Times’ uses old tricks to distort Israel’s latest attacks on Gaza
    Once again, Israel has launched attacks on the open-air prison called Gaza. Once again, the New York Times has distorted its coverage to try and reduce Israel’s guilt. The Times used the following standard techniques in today’s online story by David Halbfinger: Distort the timeline to try and blame the Palestinians. The Times recounts yesterday’s latest news: Israeli airstrikes that killed 2 Gazans and mortar fire from Gaza that wounded 4 Israelis. But the paper nowhere mentions that 5 days earlier, on July 9, Israel had further choked off cargo shipments into Gaza, a territory which was already under a punishing blockade — a drastic act that any neutral observer might have concluded contributed greatly to the latest escalation. Spend more time on Israeli victims than on Palestinian ones. Today’s online article has 6 full paragraphs on Israelis in the town of Sderot who were hurt by rockets or mortars. Three different Israelis were quoted, including one, Refael Yifrah, who said, “It’s better to be in Gaza where they get warning that they’re going to be fired upon in one neighborhood or another and they evacuate.  .  .  Here, there’s an alert, no one knows where it going to land.” ... read more
    Source: Mondoweiss Israel PalestinePublished on 2018-07-15
  • Irish senate passes bill banning products from Israeli settlements
    The Irish senate has voted in favor of a bill banning the importation of products from illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, paving the way for the country to become the first EU nation to enforce a boycott of Israeli settlement goods. The bill, which passed on Wednesday in the upper house of the Irish parliament, the Seanad, will need to make its way through more Seanad votes and then the lower house before becoming law. The bill passed with 25 lawmakers voting in its favor, 20 against it and 14 abstaining. Palestinian officials and activists supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement hailed the move as courageous. Hanan Ashrawi of the PLO Executive Committee released a statement after the vote saying she was “truly honored to extend our sincere appreciation of and deep gratitude to the Seanad Éireann who took a courageous and principled stand in support of peace, justice, and morality.” Ashrawi praised the “historical friendship and solidarity between both the Palestinian and Irish peoples,” adding that the legislation bears great significance for Palestine, particularly in the context of Ireland’s firm commitment to defending social justice, equality and freedom and the rights of the oppressed, ... read more
    Source: Mondoweiss Israel PalestinePublished on 2018-07-14
  • As Gazans protest demolition of Khan al-Ahmar, two minors are killed
    Gaza Israeli forces kill 2 Palestinian minors, injure dozens during Gaza protests GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 14 July — Two Palestinian minors were killed and over 200 wounded by Israeli forces during the 16th “Great March of Return” in the besieged Gaza Strip, in support of residents of Khan al-Ahmar, on Friday.  The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza confirmed that two Palestinian minors were killed during Friday protests; one was killed after being injured by Israeli live bullets in eastern Gaza City and was identified as 15-year-old Othman Rami Halas, while the other was identified as Muhammad Nasser Sharab, 18, and had succumbed early Saturday to wounds he sustained on Friday in eastern Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. The Ministry confirmed that among the wounded were a girl, an elderly woman and a journalist, who were injured in eastern al-Breij refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip. Locals said that Palestinian youths attempted to cut through parts of Israel’s security fence along the eastern borders of Gaza, in response, Israeli forces fired dozens of tear-gas bombs at them. Sources added that thousands of Palestinians arrived to return camps to demand their right of return.http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=780407 UN: Over 1,400 Palestinian ... read more
    Source: Mondoweiss Israel PalestinePublished on 2018-07-14
  • 100 days since protests began, Gazans reflect on what the Great March of Return has accomplished so far
    More than 100 days have passed since the Great March of Return began in Gaza. Despite the bloody events of those 15 weeks, where 138 unarmed Palestinians have been killed and more than 16,000 wounded by Israeli fire, the protests continue. A few hours after the latest demonstrations along the border, I asked Palestinians in Gaza what the Great March of Return protests have accomplished so far. Ali Budair, 33, building painter (Photo: Mohammed Asad) Ali Budair, 33, building painter “Daily protest along the border is an act of disturbance for those Israeli soldiers. They should not sit quietly, as long as they are occupying forces protecting their towns built over the bones and blood of my fathers and grandparents. They have to taste the daily fires of balloons and burning kites. As long as they fight us, this means that they have stolen a right since the Balfour Declaration 100 years ago, so we are ready to endure 100 more years of successive marches to restore our land again.” Omar Abu Elouf, 27, graduate student (Photo: Mohammed Asad) Omar Abu Elouf, 27, graduate student “As long as the rallies are addressed in the international newspapers’ headlines, the more sympathizers of ... read more
    Source: Mondoweiss Israel PalestinePublished on 2018-07-14
  • After long opposing divestment, Episcopal Church acts to end complicity ‘in injustice in Holy Land’
    The Episcopal Church voted today at its general convention in Austin, Texas, to divest from companies involved in Israel’s human violations against Palestine. The Church had defeated such measures before but now joins “nearly a dozen” other Christian denominations in taking economic action. The news was announced by the Episcopal Peace Fellowship/Palestine-Israel Network: The Episcopal Peace Fellowship/Palestine-Israel Network (EPF PIN) is pleased to announce that today at its General Convention in Austin, Texas, the Episcopal Church adopted a human rights investment screen to avoid profiting from human rights abuses committed in Israel/Palestine. Following a week of passionate discussion and debate, Resolution B016 was passed by the House of Deputies earlier this week before being approved today by the House of Bishops easily by a hand vote. It calls for the Executive Council’s Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility “to develop criteria for Israel and Palestine based on a human rights’ investment screen” similar to the one passed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 2016. The adoption of B016 marks a new direction for the Episcopal Church, which now joins nearly a dozen other Christian denominations, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the ... read more
    Source: Mondoweiss Israel PalestinePublished on 2018-07-13
  • Netanyahu’s war on transcendence 
    Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has closed the Kerem Shalom crossing to Gaza, the only point for commercial goods to enter and leave the Strip.  He is unhappy that Palestinian protesters have deployed incendiary kites. Rather than address the illegal blockade which gave rise to the protests, Netanyahu has decreed that Gazan Palestinians will be permitted no trade, no shops and no goods to buy, as if he bestows those things as favors.  Gazans will henceforth line up to receive only those humanitarian relief goods that Netanyahu approves on a case by case basis. Two million Gazan Palestinians are living in his War of the Worlds fever dream. I lived and worked in Gaza 2011 – 2015.  I do not speak for anyone there, but I do speak with a wrenching fear for the community that Netanyahu is trying to break. I have always refused to refer to Gaza as an open-air prison.  Prisons are permanent institutions in our societies. Individuals are convicted and sentenced to prison for a time, and we debate the policies of their treatment. Gaza is a ghetto, an ethnic enclosure where babies are born into open-ended confinement.  Whole communities are condemned to carve out their family and collective ... read more
    Source: Mondoweiss Israel PalestinePublished on 2018-07-13
  • ‘Killing Gaza’ bestows dignity on numbing statistics of 2014 massacre
    After he visited Gaza in 2009 investigating the recent Israeli onslaught, Judge Richard Goldstone had nightmares, and he tried to communicate some of that trauma to readers of his famous U.N. human rights report. He did that by appending many personal stories from Palestinians who had survived violence. I remember the youth who calmly described a missile “truncating” his legs as he and others huddled in a shelter across from a UN school. I remember the young boys who told of being forced terrified into a bombed out house as human shields. The 2014 assault on Gaza – Operation Protective Edge – was far more devastating than Cast Lead of ’08-’09, but till now, no reports of individuals’ experiences have approached Goldstone’s  standard. That is the power of “Killing Gaza,” the new documentary by Max Blumenthal and Dan Cohen. It offers a series of intimate portraits of Palestinians who witnessed hellish events during the seven-week attack. These people tell their stories with clinical detail, surprising restraint, and the poetics of the sufferering; and the effect on the viewer is scarring. No dispassionate person can watch “Killing Gaza” without being crumpled by the echoes of persecution. And if the documentary is ... read more
    Source: Mondoweiss Israel PalestinePublished on 2018-07-13
  • ‘You cannot be a democracy and not a state of all its citizens’: Jamal Zahalka on what the rejection of the ‘State of all its Citizens’ bill means for Israel
    Last month, the Presidium of the Israeli Knesset voted to disqualify a proposed bill that called for Israel “to be defined as a state of all its citizens” before it even reached the Knesset floor for deliberation. The bill, entitled “Basic Law: A Country of All Its Citizens,” was submitted by MKs Jamal Zahalka, Haneen Zoabi and Joumah Azbarg of the Balad party of the Joint List political bloc. It called for the state of Israel to treat its Jewish and Palestinian citizens equally, and to recognize the rights of its Arab minority as equal to the Jewish majority. Israeli media outlets, and the Knesset itself, noted that the move was “highly unusual,” in that it marked the first time proposed legislation had been disqualified before being discussed in the plenum during the past two Knesset terms. Despite the loss, the Balad MKs have stepped up their campaign for the bill and are increasing efforts to raise awareness on what they say is a dangerous decision with severe implications for Israeli society and the future of the state. MK Zahalka spoke to Mondoweiss about the party’s motivation behind proposing the bill, its significance in the current Israeli political climate, and ... read more
    Source: Mondoweiss Israel PalestinePublished on 2018-07-13
  • Zionism ate my religion, and I am taking it back
    I remember being asked in grade school, “If Canada went to war with Israel, who would you fight for?”  The question made no sense to me. Canada didn’t go to war with Christianity, so why would it go to war with Judaism? Theology being too difficult, Israel was my religion.  The 1967 war gave it a miraculous sheen.  When the First Intifadah threw my religion against my principles, I had no way to resolve the contradiction.  I was an absentee Jew for a quarter century.  While living four years behind the walls of Gaza, I began to study my religion through its principles, as I encountered Israel through its exercise of power.  Then Israel decisively left me during the assault of 2014. I left Gaza a year later, wondering how to be a Jew without Zionism.  I left my work with communities affected by conflict, and returned to New Zealand.  While I settled into Wellington, the family and social consequences of having chosen to live in Gaza unfolded painfully.  I joined a liberal, Progressive temple, and stumbled into one more strenuously contested ground of this conflict:  how to unshroud Jewishness from the Jewish nationalism of our institutions. Marilyn Garson Through ... read more
    Source: Mondoweiss Israel PalestinePublished on 2018-07-12
  • Palestinians on high alert as Israel prepares to hand over East Jerusalem nature reserve and Muslim cemetery to settlers
    Just outside the walls of the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem, a years long demographic battle between the Israeli state and Palestinian residents of the city has found new life in recent weeks. Right-wing settler NGO Elad, also known as the City of David Foundation, celebrated a win last week when the Interior and Environment Committee of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, advanced a bill that would allow for the construction of Jewish settlement housing to be built inside areas zoned for national parks within municipal boundaries. The bill, which was introduced last year, proposed that settlement construction be allowed inside the boundaries of archaeological national parks where a “neighborhood” had existed before the park was declared, referring to conglomerates of Jewish settlers living on Palestinian land. Israeli newspaper Haaretz noted that the Elad-managed City of David national park, built on lands of the Palestinian town of Silwan, “seems to be the only park in all of Israel that meets these criteria for residential construction.” Palestinian activists have condemned the bill’s hypocrisy, pointing to the fact that the nearly 4,000 Palestinian residents of the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood of Silwan, where the City of David site is located, have been ... read more
    Source: Mondoweiss Israel PalestinePublished on 2018-07-12
  • On Rabbi Andy Bachman’s public congratulations to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
    Dear Rabbi Bachman, While I share your admiration for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s recent victory in New York’s 14th Congressional District, I am dismayed by the heavy-handed way you chose to convey your congratulations. I’m referring to your open letter to her (Jewish Journal, 7/4/18) in which you expressed your concern that her public statements about Israel and Palestine indicated a “less than nuanced perspective” and invited her to join you on a tour of the region. While you did not identify which of her public statements you were referring to, I can only assume you meant this recent tweet, which she posted in response to Israel’s violent military response to Palestinian protesters in Gaza: This is a massacre. I hope my peers have the moral courage to call it such. No state or entity is absolved of mass shootings of protesters. There is no justification. Palestinian people deserve basic human dignity, as anyone else. Democrats can’t be silent about this anymore. In a subsequent interview with the Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald, Ocasio-Cortez clarified the motivation behind her statement: I think I was primarily compelled (to speak out) on moral grounds because I could only imagine if 60 people were shot and killed in ... read more
    Source: Mondoweiss Israel PalestinePublished on 2018-07-11
  • Khan al-Ahmar spared from demolition until July 16
    Khan al-Ahmar Israel’s High Court freezes West Bank Bedouin village demolition until July 16 i24NEWS 10 July — The controversial scheduled demolition of a Bedouin village in a strategic area in the West Bank was pushed back on Monday after Israel’s High Court of Justice issued a temporary injunction preventing the state from carrying on with its plan to evacuate residents from the village. Palestinian lawyers representing the residents of Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village located in the Jerusalem Governorate of the West Bank, filed a petition last week claiming that no eviction orders had been given to the residents as the law requires in matters of evacuation. The lawyers claim that only demolition orders had been issued, which causes the High Court to order a response from the State by July 16, meaning the demolition will be be postponed until then….https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/179119-180710-israel-s-high-court-freezes-demolition-of-west-bank-village-until-july-16 Inside the fearful Palestinian village that could decide fate of Palestinian state [with photos] The Guardian 7 July by Oliver Holmes in Khan al-Ahmar Only a court order stands between Khan al-Ahmar and the bulldozers. And if it goes, the West Bank will be split in two — Commuters speeding along the four-lane highway that connects Jerusalem to Jericho might not ... read more
    Source: Mondoweiss Israel PalestinePublished on 2018-07-11
  • First they came for Alan Dershowitz
    First they came for me in Martha’s Vineyard, But I was in Nantucket. Then they came for me in Nantucket, But I was in Cape Cod. Then they came for me in Cape Cod, But I was in Bar Harbor. Then they came for me in Bar Harbor, But I was in the Hamptons. Then they came for me in the Hamptons, But I was in … Coney Island. Coney Island! I no longer cared what befell me. [For reference.]  ... read more
    Source: Mondoweiss Israel PalestinePublished on 2018-07-11