Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

BDS news: ‘Major victory’ as global firms exit Israel

14 May

Stampede for the exit: France’s Alstom is the latest major global firm, after Germany’s Siemens, Canada’s Bombardier and Australia’s Macquarie to quit the tender to expand Israel’s settler railway on occupied Palestinian land. [OZinOH]

Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 14 May 2019

France’s Alstom quits settler railway, Israeli partners say

Israel having trouble finding global firms willing to expand Jerusalem light rail, which links its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank to Jerusalem.

Two Israeli companies sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday asking for an urgent extension of the deadline for bids to build the next phase of the Jerusalem light rail.

The Israeli firms, Dan and Electra, asked for the delay after it emerged that French train maker Alstom intends to pull out of their consortium bidding to expand the settler tramway – citing human rights concerns.

This is the latest sign of trouble for Israel’s effort to expand the tramway which links Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank to each other and to occupied East Jerusalem.

Israel’s construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank is a war crime.

Continue reading

Jeremy Corbyn: ‘We can not stay silent’

14 May

IMEMC News & Agencies, 13 May 2019

Jeremy Corbyn: We Cannot Stay Silent At Continued Denial Of Justice To Palestinians

The leader of the UK opposition Labour Party, MP Jeremy Corbyn, reiterated, this weekend, his party’s support for the Palestinian cause, condemning human rights violations by Israel.

In a Facebook post, Corbyn wrote, “We cannot stand by or stay silent at the continuing denial of rights and justice to the Palestinian people… The Labour Party is united in condemning the ongoing human rights abuses by Israeli forces, including the shooting of hundreds of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza – most of them refugees or families of refugees – demanding their rights.”

Corbyn also condemned the Israeli aggression on Gaza, last week, in which 25 Palestinians and four Israelis were killed in retaliatory strikes, describing it as “distressing and dangerous – and a reminder of the risk that full-scale conflict can return at any time.”

“The silence of many governments, including our own, has been deafening,” he remarked, adding: “The UK government should instead unequivocally condemn the killing of demonstrators – including children, paramedics and journalists – and other civilians, and freeze arms sales to Israel.”

Corbyn called for a sustainable peace that delivers peace, justice and security to both Palestinians and Israelis, saying that it “cannot be achieved while the illegal occupation and settlement of Palestinian land continues, along with the multiple human rights abuses faced by Palestinians on a daily basis and actions of the Israeli government in flagrant disregard of international law.”

Meanwhile, the UK opposition leader said, according to Days of Palestine, that “If President Trump’s Middle East plan is, as expected, an attempt to bury the Palestinians’ right to a viable state alongside Israel, we will call on our government and the international community to reject it decisively.

“No peace plan can succeed at the expense of the rights of the Palestinian people. That’s why a Labour government will recognise a Palestinian state and press for an immediate return to meaningful negotiations, aimed at achieving a lasting settlement based on UN resolutions, international law and justice that has been too long denied.”

A bloody weekend in Gaza

14 May

A body of Palestinian child arrives at a hospital following an Israeli airstrike in Sheikh Zayed district, in the northern Gaza Strip on May 5, 2019. Israel continued to bomb today high-rise buildings in the Gaza Strip, apartments and cars causing the high number of dead and wounded among the civilian population.. Photo by Ramez Habboub

By Hamza Abu Eltarabesh, The Electronic Intifada, 13 May 2019

In the early evening of 4 May, Mazouza Abu Arar was kept busy trying to make her grandchildren less afraid. They had heard the sound of explosions at various times that day.

Mazouza went into the courtyard of her home in Gaza City’s Zeitoun neighborhood. She organized a small celebration for Ramadan, which would begin the following day. Joined by members of her extended family, she distributed lanterns and sweets among her grandchildren.

Suddenly, the family’s home was hit by a projectile.

A toddler Saba Abu Arar and her aunt Filastin Abu Shihma were killed. Filastin was pregnant with a boy. She had planned to call her son Abdallah.

Continue reading

Open letter to Winston Peters

13 May

This video posted on Youtube by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s office on 27 January 2019 shows Netanyahu’s “warm welcome” for NZ Defence Minister Ron Marks. The NZ delegation included National MP and Associate Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Tim Macindoe.

By John Minto, The Daily Blog, 10 May, 2019 

Open letter to Winston Peters, Minister of Foreign Affairs

On 30 April pro-Zionist lobbyist Mark Jennings wrote an opinion piece on the Newsroom website in which he says:

“The new relationship comes as New Zealand and Israeli governments look close to signing an innovation agreement which will formalise the developing relationship”

We are appalled the government appears to be considering an even closer relationship with Israel despite the ongoing theft of Palestinian land, the ongoing brutal Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and the siege of Gaza while Israel continues to thumb its nose at international law and United Nations resolutions.

On top of this the recent, and ongoing, murders of young unarmed Palestinians by Israeli army snipers should surely rule out any such agreement as signalled by Mark Jennings.

We would welcome your assurance the New Zealand government will not sign up to any “innovation agreement” with the Israeli government. The Palestinian people deserve to have our support for the boycott of Israel rather than our implied support for racism and brutality as embodied in the policies and practices of Israel’s Netanyahu regime.

We look forward to hearing from you shortly.


John Minto,

Christchurch human rights activist and writer.

Auckland rally for Free Palestine

3 May

We seek to bring pressure on the New Zealand Government to join the majority of the international community in requiring Israel to recognise and support the following principles:

A just peace in Palestine/Israel depends upon the return of Palestinian refugees to their homeland and the dismantling of the Zionist structure of the state of Israel, recognising that the further partitioning of Palestine in order to create the so-called two-state solution would lead only to further injustice and suffering.

Acceptance of the primacy of international law as the basis for the ending of military occupation and all forms of ethnic discrimination.
The international community’s responsibility for upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the urgent need for the state of Israel to be called to account for its gross abuses of Palestinian human rights. Justice requires the establishment of a single state in Palestine/Israel, bi-national, secular and democratic, with full and equal citizenship rights for all.

The Palestine Solidarity Network invites supporters to join the monthly rally for Free Palestine on this Saturday 2 March from 2pm at Aotea Square, Auckland CBD

Mandela’s Grandson: Use every opportunity to make Palestinian struggle visible

3 May

Chief ZMD Mandela, is a member of the South African Parliament and of the Pan African Parliament (PAP).[File photo. afropalforum]

Palestine Chronicle, 1 May 2019

‘We must use every opportunity to make the Palestinian struggle visible’ (full speech)

The grandson of late iconic South African leader Nelson Mandela has called on the Palestinians to follow the footsteps of South Africans while struggling against the “apartheid” state of Israel at the Pro-Palestine Conference held on April 27-29 in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

At the conference, organized by the Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University’s Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), over 25 speakers from nearly 10 countries, discussed around the theme: ‘The Question of Palestine: Examining History, Geopolitics, and Future Prospects’. Speakers included Salman Abu Sitta, Rabab Abdulhadi, Ilan Pappe, Rawan Al-Damen, Na’eem Jeenah and Ramzy Baroud.

Chief ZMD Mandela, MP and Member of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) remembered how Palestinian and South African fates lie together and highlighted the importance of making Palestinian struggle visible and intensifying every protest campaign against the Apartheid State of Israel.

This is the full text of the speech delivered by Chief Mandela on April 27 , which he contributed to The Palestine Chronicle:

The Great Struggle for Freedom: Parallels between South Africa and Palestine

Continue reading

ICC public hearing on Israeli attack on Mavi Marmara

1 May



Middle East Monitor, 30 April 2019

International Criminal Court (ICC) is to hold a public hearing tomorrow to look into the Israeli attack on the humanitarian flotilla the Mavi Marmara in 2010, the International Committee for Breaking the Siege announced yesterday.

Five of the Appeals Chamber judges are to attend the hearing, a statement by the organisation said, adding that they would look into the Public Prosecutor’s decision based on which no investigation was opened on the case.

Earlier, the Appeals Chamber turned down an appeal made by the Public Prosecutor against the Pre-Trial Chamber which requested that the Public Prosecutor review her decision on closing the case without investigation.

“Holding a hearing on this issue is considered very important as it came as a result of the efforts exerted by the legal team of the Freedom Flotilla, which is being recruited by the Turkish IHH, the owner of the Mavi Marmara and member of the Freedom Flotilla,” the statement said.

READ: Mavi Marmara victims condemn Israel threats against ICC

It added: “This hearing could be decisive regarding the position of the Public Prosecutor, who was given an ultimatum until the middle of May to give a final decision on the case filed against the occupation state in 2013.”

Meanwhile, a lawyer of the Mavi Marmara said in a statement that “victims from 37 states have been calling for justice in the wake of the Israeli attack against the Mavi Marmara and Freedom Flotilla in May 2010.”

He added: “We are sending an open call for the Public Prosecutor and the ICC to start an investigation and achieve justice.”

For his part, Zaher Birawi, the head of the International Committee for Breaking the Siege, said: “The Public Prosecutor of the ICC has been refusing to investigate the [Israeli] crime.”

Birawi expressed hopes that this hearing would be the start of change at the ICC, and an investigation in to Israeli crimes would be launched.

READ: ICC ‘significantly progressed’ in preliminary examination of alleged war crimes in Palestine

The Mavi Marmara given a huge farewell before departing Turkey to lead the ill-fated six-ship international flotilla determined to challenge Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza in 2010. [Photo: MEMO]

We remember the ten humanitarians on board the Gaza aid vessel Mavi Marmara killed by Israeli commandos on 31 May 2010:

Ibrahim Bilgen
Ali Haydar Bengi
Cevdet Kiliçlar
Çetin Topçuoglu
Necdet Yildirim
Fahri Yaldiz
Cengiz Songür
Cengiz Akyüz
Furkan Dogan
Ugur Suleyman Soylemez

Israel’s fear of democracy

1 May

VIDEO: Prof Joseph Massad addresses London conference. [Middle East Monitor, 30 April 2019]

By Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada, 30 April 2019

In the wake of its recent elections, some of Israel’s liberal backers have been fretting that the self-described Jewish state is becoming ever less democratic.

“The general celebratory line in Israel and among its Western supporters since its establishment in 1948 – that the country has been able to balance its two important ideals and core principles, namely that it is a Jewish and presumably a universally democratic state – has shifted recently among some to lamenting that it is this balance that was offset by the recent rightwing tilt in the country,” Columbia University professor Joseph Massad told an audience in London last week.

This rightward shift is what has supposedly enabled Israel’s passage of its apartheid-like Nation-State law and the abandonment of its universal democractic identity in favor of an exclusivist Jewish one.

But is this conclusion justified? That’s the question Massad sought to answer in his keynote speech to Middle East Monitor’s 27 April conference focusing on Palestinian citizens of Israel.

In the half-hour talk, which you can watch in the video above, Massad argues that the Zionist movement and the Israeli state have always been implacably hostile to democracy and universal rights.

“Israel and Zionism have not changed nor has their opposition and antipathy to democracy changed at all,” Massad says after examining the record of Zionist racism, ethnic cleansing, military rule and discriminatory legislation over the last century to the present day.

Continue reading

Israel reduces Gaza fishing zone again

1 May

Gaza fishermen come under regular fire by Israeli soldiers. (Photo: via Social Media)

Palestine Chronicle. 30 April 2019

Israel today more than halved the fishing zone off the coast of the Gaza Strip “until further notice”.

According to a statement by Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) – which administers Area C of the occupied West Bank, as well as the besieged Gaza Strip – Israel today scaled back the Strip’s permitted fishing zone from 15 nautical miles to six “until further notice”.

The move comes less than a month after Israel expanded the fishing zone from six nautical miles to 15 nautical miles as part of an unofficial ceasefire agreement with Hamas, which governs the Strip.

The Egyptian-brokered ceasefire would see the Great March of Return protests scaled back, in return for a loosening of Israel’s stranglehold on Gaza’s economy and access to humanitarian resources.

Despite the official expansion, reports emerged from Gaza that this was only applied to isolated areas of the Strip’s coastline and that Israeli navy ships prevented Gazan fishermen from entering the newly-expanded zones.

Locals reported that the Israeli ships fired water cannons at the fishing boats, trying to sink them and forcing them to flee.

Israel repeatedly attacks Gaza’s fishermen.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

Palestinian killed while running away from soldiers

30 Apr

VIDEO of the killing of Muhammad Ali Dar Adwan, compiled by Israeli human rights organisation, B’Tselem

By Maureen Clare Murphy, The Electronic Intifada, 30 April 2019

“You killed him! You killed him!”

So shouts a Palestinian man after Israeli soldiers gun down Muhammad Ali Dar Adwan, 23, in Kufr Aqab, a neighborhood of East Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank.

“Help him, you killed him!” the man shouts in Hebrew seconds later.

Soldiers carry away Dar Adwan’s body. He is declared dead.

The young man’s killing early on the morning of 2 April is shown in video footage compiled by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem:

The video shows that Dar Adwan was shot while running away from soldiers. [B’tselem notes that the clock on the security cameras was about 40 minutes late.]

Israeli soldiers had launched a late-night raid on the neighborhood and a group of youths responded by throwing stones at them. About half an hour into the raid, according to B’Tselem, youths threw two improvised explosive devices. Soldiers fired on the youths, who ran away.

Dar Adwan ran in the opposite direction of the others, and continued running under heavy Israeli military gunfire, until he was hit as he fled.

Night raids

Night raids are a horrifying routine for many Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

Pre-dawn raids, undertaken while residents are typically asleep, are used to ensure Israel’s “subjugation of the Palestinian population and as a method of social control,” according to the human rights group Al-Haq.

Dar Adwan’s death is just one recent example of Israel’s “completely unjustified” use of lethal fire against Palestinians in the West Bank, B’Tselem states.

Continue reading

Israeli soldiers shoot bound & blindfolded Palestinian teen..

25 Apr

because live fire is their only language

Haaretz video 23 April 2019

If he were a settler teen, he would be chasing the soldiers away, throwing stones and cursing at them. The story would be over. But the 15-year-old Hajajeh is a Palestinian teen.

Two photographs [below] tell the whole story, of about 2,000 words. In the first you see the Israeli commando soldier, armed and protected from head to toe, his face hidden, standing above a hooded mass. The obscure sight is Palestinian teen Osama Hajajeh from Tuqu village, 15 and a half years old, who was arrested a short while beforehand by Israeli soldiers in an ambush. The teen’s hands are tied behind his back, his eyes are covered with a piece of flannel, he is kneeling under orders on the ground, his face down, his back bent over as a soldier from an elite unit of the Israeli Defense Forces points a sophisticated sniper’s rifle at him.

The suspicion: the youth from Tuqu threw stones at passing vehicles. If he were a settler teen, he would be chasing the soldiers away, throwing stones and cursing at them. The story would be over. But Hajajeh is a Palestinian teen. The main street leading to his village has been blocked lately, and not long ago a woman from his village was killed in a hit and run by an Israeli vehicle. His village decided to protest. The stone is his protest. The occupier is his enemy.

The second photograph is much more grotesque than the first. The youth whose hands are tied behind his back, his eyes covered, somehow succeeds in getting up and fleeing from the Israeli commando forces. At least four armed soldiers surround him. They stand at point blank range, stretch out their arms to grab him, or catch him, if that was their intention. But IDF soldiers know to speak only one language. There is none other. The language of gunfire. Live gunfire, to be precise. Whether it’s a suicide bomber or a high school student throwing stones, only their gun can speak. Without it, there’s no other language. That’s how they were taught. That’s how they were trained. They no longer have the ability to discern right from wrong, war from antics. To grab a tied up teen with their hands and arrest him? That’s for the weak. And why should they even break a sweat? So they shoot the tied-up youth, whose eyes are covered, from point blank range, with live fire, straight at his crotch. The teen falls down, bleeding. The IDF has won.

Mustafa al-Badan]

[Mohammad Hmeid]

This picture can only raise much deeper questions: Who’s the blind one here? The teen whose eyes are covered by a rag or the soldiers whose eyes are open? And more than that, who’s the brave one and who’s a coward? The blindfolded and bound teen who tried to flee facing the ready rifles of commando troops, or the soldiers who shot him? It’s not hard to guess who the cowards are in this picture.

Continue reading

Notre-Dame fire a reminder of destruction of Middle Eastern mosques

23 Apr

The remains of a mosque after an Israeli air strike in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip. (Reuters)

By Ramzy Baroud, Arab News, 23 April 2019

As the 300-foot spire of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris tragically came tumbling down on live television last week, my thoughts ventured to the Nuseirat refugee camp, my childhood home in the Gaza Strip.

Five years ago, also on television, I watched as a small bulldozer clawed through the rubble of my neighborhood mosque. I grew up around that mosque. I spent many hours there with my grandfather, Mohammed, a refugee from historic Palestine. Before grandpa became a refugee, he was a young imam in a small mosque in the now long-since-destroyed village of Beit Daras.

Mohammed and many of his generation took solace in building their own mosque in the refugee camp as soon as they arrived in the Gaza Strip in late 1948. The new mosque was first made of hardened mud, but was eventually remade with bricks, and later concrete. He spent much of his time there and, when he died, his old, frail body was taken to the same mosque for a final prayer, before being buried in the adjacent Martyrs Graveyard. When I was a child, he used to hold my hand as we walked to the mosque at prayer times. When he aged and could barely walk, it was I who held his hand.

But Al-Masjid Al-Kabir (the Great Mosque), later renamed Al-Qassam Mosque, was pulverized by Israeli missiles during the summer war on Gaza in 2014.

During Israel’s 2014 war on Gaza, 63 mosques were destroyed and 150 damaged, often with people seeking shelter inside.

Continue reading

Marking Palestinian Prisoners Day

18 Apr

Palestinian activists take part in a protest in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners. (Photo: via MEMO)

By Yousef Aljamal, Palestine Chronicle, 17 April 2019

On Palestinian Prisoners Day: A Whole Captive Population Longing For Freedom

Palestinians and their supporters around the globe mark April 17 every year as a day of solidarity with the Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails. The PLO’s Palestinian National Council (PNC) chose this date to recall the release on April 17, 1974, of Mahmoud Bakir Hijazi, the first Palestinian prisoner to be held in Israeli jails.

The PNC hoped that the commemoration would send a message of hope, solidarity, and freedom to all Palestinians behind bars in Israel: just as Hijazi was released in 1974, there will come a day when all Palestinian political prisoners will be released.

Continue reading

Palestinian prisoners win demands & end hunger strike

16 Apr

Palestinian prisoners sit during visiting at Gilboa prison in 2006 (AFP)

Israel Prison Service agrees to install landline phones and release those in solitary confinement

By MEE staff, Middle East Eye, 16 April 2019

Palestinian political prisoners ended their hunger strike on Monday after the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) agreed to install landline phones inside prisons and release inmates held in solitary confinement. [ See earlier report: ]

In a statement on Monday, the Palestinian Authority-run detainees and ex-detainees affairs commission confirmed that the IPS had agreed to the prisoner’s demands.

Continue reading

How the left also dehumanises Palestinians in Gaza

15 Apr

By imbuing Gazans with mythical bravery, the left is failing to recognise Palestinian humanity.

Palestinian demonstrators take cover while Israeli soldiers are seen on their military vehicle during a protest in the southern Gaza Strip on December 21, 2018 [File: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters]

By Susan Abulhawa, Opinion: AlJazeera, 14 Apr 2019

Along the political spectrum, from the far left to extreme right, and spanning racial and ethnic lines, nearly everyone who has something to say about protesters in Gaza seems to fail the task of recognising Palestinian humanity. If it’s coming from the right, the narrative is of terrorists, rockets and Hamas, a legitimate Palestinian resistance fully cemented as the Boogieman in the western imagination.

From the left, the stories are the stuff of legends, portraying unfathomable Palestinian heroism, courage and “sumud”, an Arabic word romanticised in English to convey epic Palestinian steadfastness.

At both ends of the spectrum, defenceless Palestinians are larger than life, unlike other humans, either superhumanly posing a threat to highly armed soldiers several football fields away, or displaying supernatural courage and fearlessness before near-certain death. The latter narrative, which manages to sentimentalise unspeakable misery is so enticing that even Palestinians have taken up this framing.

Continue reading

Trump administration denies entry to Omar Barghouti

12 Apr


Omar Barghouti. [Photo: Kevin Van Den. Flickr/Creative Commons.]

By Ali Abunimah, The Electronic Intifada, 11 April 2019

The Trump administration has prevented the entry of a prominent Palestinian human rights activist to the United States.

On Wednesday, Omar Barghouti “was denied entry into the United States at Ben Gurion Airport despite having valid travel documents,” the Arab American Institute (AAI), the organization that had invited him to Washington for a series of talks, stated Thursday.

Barghouti is a co-founder of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to advance justice, equality and freedom for Palestinians by putting pressure on Israel to comply with international law and human rights through nonviolent activism.

Jewish Voice for Peace (USA) has launched this petition – If you believe in freedom of speech and freedom of travel, then add your voice now: SIGN YOUR NAME

Barghouti explained the strategy in a talk at a conference in Dublin last May:

BDS is modeled on the tactics used to help end apartheid in South Africa and racial segregation in the United States, but Israel and its allies have declared war on the movement, falsely portraying it as discriminatory and anti-Semitic.

Despite the Trump administration’s ban, Barghouti’s first scheduled US speaking event did go forward, albeit by video conference.

Continue reading

Call for support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike

11 Apr

Palestine Chronicle, 10 April 2019

The Palestinian National Council (PNC) issued a statement, on Tuesday, stressing that “the prisoners’ issue is a national issue” and calling for supporting the prisoners in their open hunger strike.

The PNC called for the support of the Palestinian prisoners and detainees in Israeli prisons, who began an open hunger strike after the Israeli authorities failed to respond to their demands, such as removing the jamming devices, and to restore visiting of Gaza Strip residents to their imprisoned children, ending the isolation of prisoners in the Negev prison, and stop the incursions, abuses and medical negligence against the prisoners, in addition to other demands.

PNC said that the issue of prisoners and detainees is a national issue on the public and official level, where the leadership of Palestinian people is at more than one level handling the honorable battle to defend and take care of the prisoners’ legitimate struggle. The prisoners are on the top of our priorities and are the vanguard of our national struggle and freedom fighters.

PNC called for the implementation of all prisoners international conventions and treating them as prisoners of war.

PNC also stressed that, “The Israeli occupation authorities have escalated the procedures of solitary confinement, repression, harassment and restrictions on prisoners and detainees in Israeli prisons. The number of Palestinian prisoners is about 6,000, including 750 prisoners suffering from serious and chronic diseases, whereas the Israeli prison authorities deliberately do not provide them with the medical care.”

PNC said that the prisoners began their hunger strike two days ago, “The battle of dignity 2” demanding the implementation of the prisoners’ rights guaranteed by the related international laws and conventions, and asking to stop all punitive and inhuman measures taken against the prisoners.

PNC also called on all international bodies, human rights and humanitarian organizations, especially the International Committee of the Red Cross, to immediately intervene to rescue Palestinian prisoners and detainees and to pressure the Israeli authorities to provide conditions of detention that comply with the principles of humanity.

PNC concluded that the solution to the issue of prisoners and detainees in Israeli prisons is “to release them immediately and return them to their families to live in dignity in an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

(Sources: Ma’an, PC, Social Media. File photo)

What Netanyahu hopes to gain from attacking Palestinian Prisoners

Palestinian prisoners have, without question, demonstrated their tenacity and ability to devise ways to resist the Israeli occupier throughout the years. (Ramzy Baroud) (Photo: via AJE)

By Ramzy Baroud, Palestine Chronicle, 11 April 2019

The current violence targeting Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails dates back to January 2. It was then that Israel’s Public Security Minister, Gilad Erdan declared that the “party is over.”

Continue reading

Israel Is Voting Apartheid

8 Apr

A man walks past electoral campaign posters in Tel Aviv. [JACK GUEZ / AFP]

By Gideon Levy, Opinion, Haaretz, 7 April 2019

There will be one certain result from Tuesday’s election: Around 100 members of the next Knesset will be supporters of apartheid. This has no precedent in any democracy. A hundred out of 120 legislators, an absolute of absolute majorities, one that supports maintaining the current situation, which is apartheid.

With such a majority, it will be possible in the next Knesset to officially declare Israel an apartheid state. With such support for apartheid and considering the durability of the occupation, no propaganda will be able to refute the simple truth: Nearly all Israelis want the apartheid to continue. In the height of chutzpah, they call this democracy, even though more than 4 million people who live alongside them and under their control have no right to vote in the election.

Continue reading

Great March of Return is Palestinians’ cry for justice

4 Apr

A Palestinian woman taking part in the March of Return. (Photo:

By Ramzy Baroud, The Palestine Chronicle, 4 April 2019

The aims of the Great March of Return protests, which began in Gaza on March 30 last year, are to put an end to the suffocating Israeli siege and implement the right of return for Palestinian refugees who were expelled from their homes and towns in historic Palestine 70 years ago.

But there is much more to the protests than a few demands, especially bearing in mind the high human cost associated with them. According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, more than 250 people have been killed and 6,500 wounded, including children, medics and journalists.

Aside from the disproportionately covered “flaming kites” and youths symbolically cutting through the metal fences that have caged them for many years, the marches have been largely nonviolent. Despite this, Israel has killed and maimed protesters with impunity.

Continue reading

Israelis have some serious decisions to make

4 Apr

A protest in support for Palestine at Times Square in New York, 20 May 2018 [Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency]

By Rev. Dr Mae Elise Cannon, Middle East Monitor, 4 April 2019

Most Israelis see themselves as having a major decision to make on 9 April. Looking at Israel as an American Christian, I think the decision has two aspects: who will govern Israel following the General Election, and how will this determine Israel’s future direction vis-a-vis the Palestinians. Americans in general, and America’s Christians interested in Israel in particular, will be more influenced by the future direction of Israeli politics and policies than by the outcome of the election.

The Middle East is seeing many decisions for change: the Pope has made a historic visit to the Arabian Peninsula and said mass in the United Arab Emirates; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made an official visit to Oman, without the previously anticipated backlash; and the US President is pulling ground troops out of Syria. Some choose to continue down the same roads as in the past, but that too is a decision.

The organisation I lead, Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), has long been a friend to Israelis. We are also a friend to Palestinians, and others seeking peace in the Middle East. As such, we have been very critical of Israel’s occupation policies. We have also been critical of Hamas terrorism and the Palestinian Authority’s withholding of resources from its own people. And we have long criticised anti-Semitism here in the US. There is a significant power imbalance between Israelis and Palestinians. While there are legitimate grievances on both sides, the abuse of power in the ongoing occupation of the Palestinian people must be acknowledged and brought to an end.

READ: In open letter, Jewish Americans come out in support of Ilhan Omar

Americans, like Israelis, are coming to a crossroads. Most Americans have long supported Israel, while at the same time opposing some Israeli policies. Also like Israelis, for several decades Americans have thought their policy arguments with each other needed to stop at the water’s edge. The US had a consistent (if occasionally horrendous) foreign affairs outlook and policy. However, this standpoint is ending. Israel’s policies are becoming a bone of contention among Americans, as evidenced on Capitol Hill in response to the controversial statements made by Representative Ilhan Omar.

Minnesota Democratic Congressional-elect Ilhan Omar speaks at an election night results party on 6 November 2018 in Minnesota, US [Stephen Maturen/Getty Images]

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: