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In major BDS win, Barnard students vote overwhelmingly to divest from the Israeli occupationJesse Rubin - Mondoweiss "The companies that organizers have targeted for divestment are Hyundai Heavy Industries, Caterpillar, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Elbit Systems, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Bank Hapoalim and Mekorot. As its name suggests, Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD), a coalition of Columbia and Barnard Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), has steadily advocated for divestment since its founding in 2016." ca 20/4/2018
In major BDS win, Barnard students vote overwhelmingly to divest from the Israeli occupationJesse Rubin - Mondoweiss "The companies that organizers have targeted for divestment are Hyundai Heavy Industries, Caterpillar, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Elbit Systems, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Bank Hapoalim and Mekorot. As its name suggests, Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD), a coalition of Columbia and Barnard Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), has steadily advocated for divestment since its founding in 2016." ca 20/4/2018
Are Iran and Israel Headed for Their First Direct War?Thomas L. Friedman - NYTimes - "I’m sure neither side really wants a war. It could be devastating for Israel’s flourishing high-tech economy and for Iran’s already collapsing currency. But Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force seems determined to try to turn Syria into a base from which to pressure Israel, and Israel seems determined to prevent that." - id 18/4/2018
Al Jazeera denies claims of pro-Israel group on The Lobby filmsAl Jazeera - "The Zionist Organisation of America claims Al Jazeera was compelled to cancel an investigation into pro-Israel lobbies." - id 18/4/2018
Independence Day signs vandalized in Arab towns in northern IsraelYishai Porat, Hasn Shalan - Ynet - signs commemorating Israel`s 70th Independence Day were vandalized in several locations—mainly in Arab towns in northern Israel. Many Arab residents expressed opposition to publicizing the celebrations, saying: "We recognize Nakba Day (Catastrophe Day—commemoration of the displacement that preceded Israel`s establishment), not Independence Day." One resident, Jafar Farah, said: "In the past few days, Arab media sources have been harshly criticized for publishing ads for the 70th anniversary of Israel`s independence. Hundreds of posts have been published on social networks calling for the removal of such signs from message boards in Arab towns, the same goes for the print and electronic media and newspapers that publicized the notices were harshly criticized." [ak] 17/4/2018
Israel advocacy groups demand questionable changes to Virginia textbooks, reports IRmepInstitute for Research Middle Eastern Policy - Cision - Requested changes include: # Deletion of references to Israel "occupying" territories captured during the 1967 Six-Day War and substituting "controlled." (...)# Changes to maps to recognize Israel`s declared "annexation" of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. (...) # Substitution of references to "occupied territories" to "captured areas." # Substitution of references to "Jewish settlers" and "settlements" with "building of homes and communities." # Deletion of a lesson reviewing a video documentary by Iranian-American religious studies scholar, author, producer and television host Reza Aslan. # Deletion of an activity based on reading the biography and work of Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi. [bz]17/4/2018
Israel calls for punishing those who document army violations against PalestiniansMEMO - “It is time to put an end to leftist organisations’ activities which in recent days filmed an army soldier to help delegitimize the state of Israel” [ry]16/4/2018
In another blow to deportation plan, Israel frees jailed asylum seekersJoshua Leifer - +972 - Israel frees 200 asylum seekers imprisoned for refusing deportation after the government admits there is no secret agreement with Uganda that allows for the mass deportation of refugees [ry]16/4/2018
What is the West`s end game in Syria?Farah Najjar - Al Jazeera - Were US-led strikes on Syria aimed at destroying chemical weapons, or an attempt to maintain geopolitical status quo? [ry]16/4/2018
Jeremy Corbyn Calls for Reconsideration of Arms Sales to IsraelIMEMC - "Head of British Labour Jeremy Corbyn has said that Britain should consider halting the sale of arms to Israel, after nine more Palestinians lost their lives on the Gaza border.In a message read at a demonstration outside Downing Street yesterday, Corbyn condemned the violence as an “outrage”, and attacked Western silence over the deaths." ca 13/4/2018
Lieberman LiesRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Israel’s military said it is still investigating and was not able to confirm Lieberman’s claims. Note that last sentence. Lieberman didn’t offer evidence for two reasons: 1. Israel almost never offers evidence; 2. He doesn’t have any." - id 11/4/2018
Jeremy Corbyn calls for UK to review arms sales to IsraelJeremy Corbyn - "The UK government must support the UN Secretary-General`s call for an independent international inquiry into the killing of protesters in Gaza and review the sale of arms that could be used in violation of international law." - "[Gazans] have a right to protest against their appalling conditions and the continuing blockade and occupation of Palestinian land, and in support of their right to return to their homes and their right to self-determination." [bz]10/4/2018
Israeli DM: No Innocent People in Gaza StripJason Ditz - AntiWar - Says aid workers, journalists involved in `terror activities` [ry]9/4/2018
ICC prosecutor calls for end to Israeli violence in GazaAl Jazeera - The International Criminal Court is monitoring events as part of its preliminary investigation into alleged crimes [ry]9/4/2018
Rwanda is out, but Israel says it can still deport refugees to — Uganda?Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 - "Now Israel says it has a nearly identical agreement with a second country, widely known to be Uganda. Kampala denies any such agreement exists." - id5/4/2018
Foreign Ministry says it handled Gaza well. Michael Oren [of all people!] begs to differRaphael Ahren - Times Of Israel - FM Spokesman says ministry took a calculated decision not to fan the flames of an event that wasn`t greatly resonating. But according to Deputy Minister Michael Oren the Israeli narrative is losing “big time” to the Palestinian narrative. [bz]4/4/2018
A week of unbearable heartbreak in Israel-Palestine+972 Magazine - This past week has been one of the more heartbreaking recent periods in Israel-Palestine. First, and this seems surreal to write for the umpteenth time, the Israeli army dispatched 100 snipers to open fire into a crowd of unarmed protesters last weekend, shooting over 700 people, killing at least 16. Some were shot in the back while running away. Then there is the way that Benjamin Netanyahu toyed with and ultimately broke the hearts of tens of thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers — people who fled horrors most of us should be relieved we cannot imagine, and many of whom endured torture and other unimaginable horrors just to reach Israel. To find relative safety and security. Monday night Netanyahu announced a deal that would have found a decent and dignified resolution for almost all of the tens of thousands of African asylum seekers in Israel. The mass, forcible deportation of refugees to Rwanda is off the table. And then, just as quickly, just as much out of thin air as the solution had appeared, it was yanked away. Almost like a sick joke. While the world is facing its biggest migration and refugee crisis since the Second World War, Israel, a country of 8 million people, a country comprised almost entirely of refugees of some form or another, declared it is unwilling — not unable, but unwilling — to give refuge to a meager 16,000 people.[ak]3/4/2018
Israel Courts Catastrophe in Gaza ProtestsThe Editorial Board - New York Times - Palestinians in Gaza are among the world’s most desperate people, blockaded for more than a decade by Israel and Egypt, sharply restricting the flow of goods and people, with unemployment reaching more than 40% for the general population and nearly 60% among youths. Under such conditions it is no wonder that pent-up frustrations would erupt in protests, as they did last Friday. Responding to the demonstrations, Israeli forces killed 17 Palestinians at the border fence that separates Israel from Gaza and injured more than a thousand. (...) On May 14 and 15, Israel will celebrate the 70th anniversary of its independence, the US will formally open its Embassy in Jerusalem while Palestinians in Gaza will observe the 70th anniversary of what they call the “nakba,” or “catastrophe,” when 750,000 Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes in what is now Israel by trying to break through the border fence and march toward their former villages. Unless someone steps up to end Gaza’s humanitarian disaster, ensure Israel and the Palestinians act with restraint during the protests and set a credible peace process in motion, both sides could face a new catastrophe. [ak] 3/4/2018
Hebrew University Recruits Future Shin Bet Torturers and Assassins Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "I told myself, I’ve recorded these methods from the victims themselves, and here they were presented to me in the guise of a perfect PR pitch under the sponsorship of the Hebrew University. And no one complained, or protested, or blew up this loathsome conference. Regarding this collaboration with the Shabak it’s appropriate to call for an academic boycott of the University" [ry]2/4/2018
Pope Francis: The `defenceless` are killedAl Jazeera - He called for peace in the Holy Land but failed to condemn the killing of Gaza`s unarmed protesters by Israeli snipers [ry]2/4/2018
Statement on the sentencing of Ahed Tamimi Press release - GOV.UK - Minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt MP said: **“The conviction and sentencing of Ahed Tamimi is emblematic of how the unresolved conflict is blighting the lives of a new generation, who should be growing up together in peace, but continue to be divided. **“The treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli military detention remains a human rights priority for the UK. We will continue to call upon Israel to improve its practices in line with international law and obligations. **“We have offered to help the Israeli authorities through expert-to-expert talks with UK officials. The offer still stands and we hope Israel will take us up on it. While we recognise that Israel has made some improvements, it needs to do much more to safeguard vulnerable people in its care.” [bz]27/3/2018
Figures Presented by Army Show More Arabs Than Jews Live in Israel, West Bank and GazaYotam Berger - Haaretz - [bz]27/3/2018
Israeli Ministry Sets Sights on Millions of `Potential Jews` to Improve Country’s Image and Fight BDSNoa Landau and Chaim Levinson - Haaretz - As part of the attempts to estimate the number of people who could possibly be involved, the committee sketched out five “circles of affinity." The first group is the Jewish “core” with over 14 million people who are commonly recognized as Jews. The fifth and last group is the largest, about 60 million people, described as having “future potential" as "descendants of Jews, descendants of forced converts, and additional communities with an affinity to the Jewish people but are not currently declaring so or are unaware of it." [-bz]27/3/2018
The quiet feminist revolution in Arab society in IsraelSamah Salaime - +972 "Despite the hardships, Arab women are making gains in the Israeli legal establishment, local politics, academia, and even in the Islamic Movement...The number of Arab women in academia leaped by nearly 50 percent over the past few years, and there is hardly a singly academic institution that has not invested a great deal of money in its Arab students. The number of young Arab women in academia has risen every year, and today constitutes 58 percent of undergraduates...What is certain is that social norms in the Arab community are constantly changing, mainly thanks to the tens of thousands of Arab women who do not give up on themselves." ca24/3/2018
Palestinian film festival seeks to challenge Israel`s cultural erasureRami Younis - +972 "For the next six days, film lovers will flock to the north for the third annual Haifa Independent Film Festival, which will include both Palestinian films, as well as movies from across the Arab world...“We are facing a colonial occupation regime that tries to strip us of our culture,” adds organizer Rana Asli. “It is important that we have the choice of what culture we consume. And it is even more important that it comes from us — the people whose culture is being erased — with no governmental, political, or party-based constraints.” ca24/3/2018
International Stakeholders Pledge 80% of Gaza Desalination Project CostsIMEMC - "The European Commission and the Government of Palestine, in partnership with the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), hosted in Brussels the international donor Pledging Conference to consolidate high-level political and financial support for the construction of a large-scale desalination plant and its associated water supply infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, a UfM flagship project." - id21/3/2018
Apartheid IsraelJonathan Cook - AMEU - More than a decade ago, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter incurred the wrath of Israel’s partisans in America by suggesting that Israeli rule over Palestinians in the occupied territories was comparable to apartheid. While his bestseller book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” broke a taboo, in many ways it added to the confusion surrounding discussions of Israel. Since then, others, including John Kerry, when U.S. secretary of state, and former Israeli prime ministers Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak, have warned that Israeli rule in the occupied territories is in danger of metamorphosing into “apartheid” – though the moment of transformation, in their eyes, never quite seems to arrive.-rh 21/3/2018
Killing of Israelis met with calls for war crimesMaureen Clare Murphy - EI - "Israel has already carried out collective punishment measures following Coleman’s slaying. Occupation forces raided Aqraba village before dawn on Monday and took measurements of Bani Fadel’s family home in preparation for its demolition." - id 21/3/2018
Israeli town halts tender after Arabs buy up landTimes of Israel - Kfar Vradim, a Galilee town founded in 1984, presently has 1,700 houses and 5,800 inhabitants - all but a handful of them Jews. It is in the midst of an expansion plan which would more than double its size - an additional 2,200 homes would increase the population to some 14,000 people. However, after 58 of the first 125 plots were purchased by Arab families, mostly from the neighboring Arab town of Tarshiha, the Kfar Vradim Mayor Sivan Yechieli, announced that no new tenders would be issued until "he had discussed with government authorities a way to retain the town’s Jewish character". The mayor was strongly condemned as a racist by political parties and movements and by human rights organizations. A protest demonstration will be held outside Yechieli`s home tomorrow (Wednesday). It had been noted that much of the land on which Arabs from Tarshiha want to build their homes had originally belonged to Tarshiha and was confiscated after 1948. [ak] 20/3/2018
Mass Rally Against the Expulsion of Asylum SeekersA.S.F. - Refugees` Rights Association - On Saturday night, March 24 at 20:00, a mass rally will be held at the Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, to oppose government plans for the large-scale expulsion of African refuges and asylum seekers. It has been shown that expelled refugees, sent to such countries as Rwanda and Uganda, are highly unwelcome there and would face further expulsion, a highly dangerous and unpredictable fate and the tangible threat of death or slavery . We call for a responsible asylum policy, the rehabilitation of the slum neighborhoods of South Tel Aviv where the mass of Africans are presently located and the integration of refugees and asylum seekers throughout the country.Israelis from all over the political spectrum and from a variety of population groups have made it clear in recent months that they oppose the expulsion of the refugees. [ak]20/3/2018
Israel’s Leaders Argued for Expelling Gazans to Jordan after 1967 WarRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "An Israeli far-right journalist and an academic teaching at Ariel University have exposed plans proposed by Labor governments after the 1967 War to expel the residents of Gaza to Jordan" [ry]19/3/2018
Even inside Israel, colonialism is far from overEdo Konrad - +972 - The attempt to bar Arabs from buying land in one of the wealthiest, more liberal towns in Israel is a disturbing reminder of Israel’s colonial past — and present [ry]19/3/2018
Abbas aide threatens to punish Hamas amid fallout from Gaza attackKhaled Abu Toameh - Times of Israel "The PA will not allow the “assassination attempt” that targeted Hamdallah to go unpunished, another senior Palestinian official warned. “What happened will not pass without a response,” said Mahmoud Habbash, religious affairs adviser to President Mahmoud Abbas.Hamdallah and PA General Intelligence Chief Majed Faraj were on their way to inaugurate a wastewater treatment plant during a visit to Gaza Tuesday when a roadside bomb was detonated near their convoy. The two senior officials were not hurt." ca 17/3/2018
In lead-up to mass deportation, Israel closes Holot detention facilityJoshua Leifer - +972 "The Israeli government announced in January that African asylum seekers had three months to leave the country. Those who remained by April 1st would face an impossible choice: indefinite imprisonment in Israel or deportation to Rwanda or Uganda.On Thursday, however, Israel’s High Court of Justice issued an interim injunction against the deportation plan, following a petition filed on behalf of 119 Israeli human rights activists. The court’s decision suggests that it has real concerns about the details of the secret agreement between Israel and Rwanda, which the Israeli government claims allows Israel to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda, but which the Rwandan government has repeatedly denied exists." ca16/3/2018
The topsy-turvy world of Jewish-Arab relationsAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - Although the index points to a serious deterioration in relations between Jews and Arabs over the past two years, Smooha does not believe Israeli Arabs have burned their bridges to the Jewish state. He notes that the findings essentially continue to show a strong link on their part to a Jewish and democratic Israel.-rh 14/3/2018
The Great Conspiracy Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Deri himself is the best evidence of how in two or three generations those poor Moroccans who were thrown into the desert are forming a new elite." - id14/3/2018
An explosion has struck the convoy of PM Rami Hamdallah upon his entrance into the Gaza StripAl Jazeera - There are "several sides who are benefitting from this explosion", according to Mustafa Ibrahim, a Gaza-based political analyst. "We will hear Fatah saying that some members of Hamas do not want reconciliation, and likewise, we will hear Hamas saying this could have been a fabricated attack by Fatah`s security services," Ibrahim told Al Jazeera. "The ones who will pay the price are the people of Gaza." [bz] 13/3/2018
Christians emerge as key patrons for Jews moving to IsraelAP - Ynet - Israel’s founding fathers, who etched a commitment to encouraging Jewish immigration into the declaration of independence, might be surprised to find that, seven decades later, the state is relying on Christians to fulfill that promise. What was once a strictly Jewish-funded mission is increasingly being bankrolled by evangelical Christians. [bz]13/3/2018
Ethiopian-Israelis decry family separation as discriminatoryAssociated Press - Ynet - As some 8,000 Ethiopian Jews wait in Gondar and Addis Ababa to reunite with family members who already made Aliyah to Israel, government expected to vote on issue next week, but no funds have been allocated for it in 2019 state budget [ry]12/3/2018
EU lawmaker demands investigation of Israel lobby smearsAli Abunimah - EI - "A prominent member of the European Parliament is demanding an official investigation into the role of a high-level European Union civil servant in an Israel lobby smear campaign targeting her" [ry]12/3/2018
Meet Donald Trump’s twin: Benjamin NetanyahuJonathan Freedland - The Guardian - The embattled Israeli prime minister clings on to power despite being mired in scandal. Just like the man in the White House [ry]12/3/2018
For Adelson-funded organization, anti-Semitism is not a problemJim Lobe and Eli Clifton - +972 - Right-wing Jews like Sheldon Adelson have no problem shelling out money for the European ‘New Right,’ even if it means flirting with anti-Semites [ry]12/3/2018
What’s in Al Jazeera’s undercover film on the US Israel lobby?Asa Winstanley - Al-Jazeera "Al Jazeera’s film reportedly identifies a number of lobby groups as working with Israel to spy on American citizens using sophisticated data gathering techniques. The documentary is also said to cast light on covert efforts to smear and intimidate Americans seen as too critical of Israel.Israel lobby groups have placed intense pressure on Qatar, which funds Al Jazeera, to shelve the film, fueling speculation it may never be aired." ca 9/3/2018
Slew of anti-Palestinian bills points to impending Israeli electionsAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor "On March 5, the Knesset gave overwhelming initial approval to proposed legislation allowing Israel to deduct money from various taxes it collects for the PA to punish it for “supporting terrorism.” Fifty-two lawmakers voted for the bill, which openly violates a 1994 interim agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Only 10 refused to greenlight this distortion of the Paris Protocol, the interim agreement regulating economic ties between Israel and the PA under which Israel commits to collect taxes for the Palestinians, such as customs import duties and income tax deducted from the pay of Palestinians working in Israel, and transfer these revenues to the PA." ca 9/3/2018
The LobbyFILM - You Tube Al-Jazeera "Al Jazeera Investigations exposes how the Israel lobby influences British politics. A six-month undercover investigation reveals how Israel penetrates different levels of British democracy." ca9/3/2018
What’s in Al Jazeera’s undercover film on the US Israel lobby?Asa Winstanley - The Electronic Intifada - "According to a source who has seen the undercover documentary, it contains footage of a powerful Israeli official claiming that “We have FDD. We have others working on this.”" - id7/3/2018
Israeli Parliament Votes on Bill to Cut Funding for Palestinian DetaineesIMEMC - "According to the Israeli Defense Ministry, the 2017 payments to these families exceeded $347 million." - id7/3/2018
Paradoxes of UNRWAEsmat Elhalaby - Some opponents see it as a quintessential example of “humanitarian management”: a peddler of aid and promises of development that stultifies dissent. Others see it as exactly the opposite. But UNRWA has never been simply what its detractors contend. John H. Davis, its head from 1959 to 1963, described the agency as “one of the prices—and perhaps the cheapest—that the international community was paying for not having to solve with equity the political problems of the refugees.” Davis’s realization that the fortunes of Palestinian refugees were intimately tied to U.S. support for Israel is as true now as ever. [bz]6/3/2018
New exhibit shows slumping Israeli flag, draws culture minister`s ireItay Blumenthal, Moran Azulay - Ynet -A new controversial art installation of an Israeli flag atop a tilted mast, which appears about to fall, was erected at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. Sculptor Itai Zlait, who created the exhibit, explained that it signifies the country`s "interim state," between order and disorder, prosperity and austerity, democracy and tyranny. "What I`m trying to do is show the depth of the rift we`re in. We are exposed to a lot of hatred and lack of information, and I`ve tried to show it neutrally." Culture Minister Miri Regev angrily denounced Zlait`s exhibit as "cheap and outrageous political provocation by fringe leftist circles". [ak]6/3/2018
The problem with leftist myths about Syria Loubna Mrie - Al-Jazeera "For me, it is unfathomable how people who have stood up for social justice and human rights across the world remain in support of a regime that has exploited its population economically and tortured and killed innocent civilians in the most horrendous ways possible. Or how people who had seen through US imperial war propaganda cannot see through the Russian equivalent of it. Since I fled Syria in 2014, I have heard two common leftist myths about what is going on in my country. I want to address both of them below." ca 5/3/2018
Israel Plans a New War in Syria – but Not for the Reasons It ClaimsGareth Porter - AntiWar - "The war that Israel is planning in Syria is at least in part a response to its inability to use force against Hezbollah in Lebanon. And it is not going to alter the fundamental power equation either in Syria or between Israel and Hezbollah" [ry]5/3/2018
Anti-BDS bills expected to feature prominently at AIPACDalia Hatuqa - Al-Jazeera " Israel supporters in the US are gearing up for AIPAC`s much- vaunted annual policy conference, with measures to counter the widening campaign to boycott Israel and its West Bank settlements expected to feature prominently in the powerful lobbying group`s agenda." ca3/3/2018
Pushed out by Israel, asylum seekers find only limbo in UgandaOren Ziv - +972 "After visiting Rwanda and Uganda, Weitzen continues, “I understood that Israel is simply committing crimes. According to all of the testimonies from people who were deported, as well as from international aid organizations and local groups, people arrive in Rwanda and are basically smuggled into the country from the airport. They don’t even pass border control in an orderly way. They have no means of appealing to a court. They cannot request status or anything like it. Then they are smuggled again. They are stuck in these two countries without any status.” ca3/3/2018
Tale of Two Anti-Semites: One American, One IsraeliRichard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "Last year, an Israeli teenager was exposed as the author of a series of anti-Semitic threats targeting Jewish institutions including schools, community centers, synagogues and cemeteries. Michael Kadar was a troubled youth whose parents were American, but who was born and raised in Israel. He got involved in the dark web including services which offered customers hacks and other fraudulent acts for a fee...The problem is that there is no extradition treaty between Israel and the U.S. This has proven convenient for Orthodox rabbis charged with child or sexual abuse who are able to flee to Israel and escape justice" ca2/3/2018
Images taken week apart show destruction in Syrian enclaveOsama Bin Javaid - Al-Jazeera "Gaziantep, Turkey - Al Jazeera has obtained satellite imagery from areas inside Eastern Ghouta, showing the destruction continuous government bombardment has caused.The Damascus suburb has been targeted by relentless attacks since the Syrian government, aided by Russia, launched an air offensive on the largely rural area outside the capital on February 18." ca 2/3/2018
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