The executive committee of JfJfP has issued this statement in which it condemns the killings of five men in a Jerusalem synagogue. It also points to its cause in the brutality and violence of of the occupation. It calls for the due process of law to be honoured.
In its latest briefing, the Web Arab News Digest examines Russian policy under Putin to the Middle East. In Russian hostility to the US ‘which treats Israel as part of its domestic, not foreign, policy’. it seems little different from the USSR’s cold war position. This is deceptive. Russia can’t control the politics of its old allies, Syria and Egypt. It can claim an interest in Israel on behalf of the many Russian immigrants now living there. Palestine is claiming statehood, which Russia supports.
Political pressure in Europe to recognise Palestine as a state is coming from elected representatives, not governments. MPs in the UK and Spain have voted to urge their governments to turn their symbolic votes into government reality. Israel has welcomed the postponement of a vote by the EU parliament as it will give it more time to try to get more support in a vote it expects to lose. Get lobbying!
Again, a former head of a state security service – Mossad – feels compelled to speak out against the direction in which Israel is being driven – towards isolation, contempt and the horrors of religious war. This subverts the zionism he grew up with.
The imprisoned, unofficial leader of Palestinian resistance, Marwan Barghouti, has crossed a line in his rhetoric of struggle. In an apparent response to the spontaneous violence in Jerusalem, he has put his name to the use of the gun.
There are a few cases when a state may lawfully kill. The shooting dead of Israeli citizen Kheir Hamdan by Israeli police is not one of them says Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights in a forensic examination of this notorious execution of a young Palestinian.
PLEASE NOTE: Adah’s funeral will take place at The Golders Green Crematorium West Wing at 1pm on Monday 24th November followed directly by a celebration at The Irish Centre on Camden Square, London NW1. Adah requested no flowers. Any donations to Cancer Research.
It is with great sadness that we report the death of Adah Kay on 12th November. A lifelong activist, Adah took the commitment to social justice that she learnt in the socialist Zionist youth movement Habonim seriously enough to abandon her residual Zionism and spend many years working with her husband Tom in Ramallah from 2002. She was an early signatory of JfJfP. Richard Kuper pays tribute to a warm and generous person.
The Israeli foreign ministry has insisted that it has banned the renowned Norwegian doctor, Mads Gilbert, from entering Gaza, for ‘security reasons’. They have not specified what threat to security Gilbert, known for his volunteer work in Al Shifa hospital, poses. Why block him? He’s a fearless critic and because they can. Plus petition to sign for Dr. Gilbert to be allowed into Gaza.
Teenage girls with pepper-sprays, boys shouting that all Arabs must go, men with knives: all actions of Israeli citizens, not just in response to the synagogue killings but going back to last summer when the Jewish push to control all Jerusalem, and Palestinian resistance, began in earnest.
Spanish MPs, who voted on November 18th to recognise a Palestinian state made the same point as British MPs: recognising Palestine is no threat to Israel, and making any change in the current deadlock can only be of benefit to all. El Pais and Jerusalem Post.
Many saw the the birth of Israel as a joyous creation. For Chemi Shalev the joy ebbed – the occupation, the murder of Rabin, Operation Protective Edge, the synagogue killings. Now ‘both sides – no moral equivalence’- are going to hell through a bottomless pit.
Under Netanyahu, Israel launched another lethal onslaught on the people of Gaza, rejected strenuous American efforts to broker a peace deal with the PA, expanded settlements and responded to unrest with increasing violence. Kerry’s prediction that this will lead to apartheid and isolation is coming true writes Tony Karon.
Palestinians are dependent on international aid. Donors pay for the PA and many essential amenities in the oPt – desalination plants, solar panels, schools, child trauma services… In a sharp essay, Nora Lester Murad lists the questions donors and NGOs must ask if they are not to be guilty of complicity – or making things worse.
In this statement ICAHD says that Israel has given up all pretence of seeking a just solution and answered Palestinian despair with pure repression. Netanyahu is wrong: the “core of the violence” is Israel’s refusal to acknowledge Palestinian national rights and claims.
There’s one thing that all might agree on: Israeli policy towards Palestinians is not evidence-based. No colonial power would see mass imprisonment, shooting dead, denial of freedom of movement, and demolishing homes as a form of pacification. The fact that these are Israel’s only tactics is a mark of bigotry and cruelty.
Youssef al-Roumani, 32, a bus driver in Jerusalem was found hanging in his bus last Sunday night. Israeli sources all claimed suicide. But suicide is very rare among Palestinians, a fellow bus driver says the position he was found in meant it was impossible for him to hang himself on his own, and the pooling of blood in his corpse meant he was lying on the ground for some time before he was hung up. Richard Silverstein examines the evidence. His death has sparked a new round of rioting.
Although the secular Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, military wing of the PFLP, has claimed responsibility for the killings of five ‘rabbis’ – an honorific title – anger about the incursion of right-wing religious Jews onto Temple Mount has been the greatest incitement – while Netanyahu blames ‘a blood libel’ by Palestinians. Commentary on the causes and consequences of the attack from Amira Hass, Ynet, the BBC and Time.
The synagogue killings were horrifying. But after months of extreme tension in East Jerusalem – to which the Israeli government’s response has only been more police, more security and more settlements and Abbas has had nobody to negotiate with, such violent acts are hardly surprising – and have been part of every anti-colonial revolt.
MK Ze’ev Elkin is pushing a new bill which will supersede all other laws on what sort of state Israel is and who its citizens are. Not only does it define Israel as ‘the Jewish state for Jewish people’ it also promotes discrimination against non-Jews and the development of separate land and communities for Jews – i.e. apartheid.
PM Netanyahu’s hardline stance on protesters in Jerusalem has so alarmed those who want peace in the region – Kerry, the king of Jordan, President Abbas and, by phone, President al-Sisi – that he got Netanyahu to confer with them and agree to allowing men under 50 to visit Al Aqsa mosque. Daoud Kuttab doubts if this outside intervention isn’t too little too late for a PM who cannot see the dangers.