Occupation is temporary. The right word is colonialism or apartheid says Professor Oren Yiftachel in the first ever Israeli debate on Israeli apartheid, as the better name for the occupation. Here, in a report for JfJfP, he gives a concise account of the debate (he deeply regrets the absence of Palestinians). Who do you agree with? Apart from Ha’aretz (now hidden behind the pay veil), the only other account of this important debate comes from Times of Israel, 2nd.
An American teacher, whose parents had emigrated to the US, was refused entry to Palestine via Ben Gurion airport for failing to co-operate enough in answering security questions – especially on knowing any Palestinian prisoners. She was returning, on a multiple-entry visa, to her full-time job at a Quaker school in Ramallah.
Netanyahu has kept domestic conflict in check by telling Israelis the only alternative to Jewish ethnocracy is annihilation. President Abbas has no such stick, or trick. He appears paralysed by the irreconcileabe pressures on him. What possible ‘peace plan’ can Obama produce when he visits Israel next month asks Jonathan Cook?
The death of Arafat Jadarat in prison, death of Ashraf Abu Thare shortly after release from prison, the hunger strikes of Samer Issawi and hundreds of others have returned the treatment of political prisoners in Israel (and the oPt), especially the use of torture, to the leading edge of political activity. Comments and reports on the use of torture in Israel, 2008-13.
Tensions over political prisoners were already high because of the hunger strike of Samer Issawi and others. When the death of Arafat Jadarat in prison was announced on Saturday, anger and frustration swept across the oPt, expressed in mass rallies and attendance at Jaradat’s funeral. An autopsy found signs of torture on Jadarat’s body. The PA and Addameer demand an international inquiry; people demand Israel be taken to the ICC. .
Israel and its institutions are heavily militarised. Israel and its institutions discriminate in favour of Jews. The result is that Israeli Palestinians receive a poorer education from the start and, if they get to university, face further obstacles in the entwinement of universities with the state priorities of militarisation and Zionist hasbara. Young Palestinians are challenging this with the first of a series of reports by Academic Watch.
Last November’s Operation Pillar of Defence was ended by a ceasefire between Hamas and the Israeli government, brokered by Egypt. Since the ceasefire two mortar shells and no rockets have been fired from Gaza. Over 100 attacks by Israeli forces on Gaza, killing several people and decimating economic life have been recorded. No body has tried to hold Israel to account for its breaking of the agreement.Ben White reports.
The Israeli government has awarded oil-drilling rights to Genie Israel Oil and Gas, Ltd, a subsidiary of the US company Genie Energy. Dick Cheney, George Bush’s VP, is the adviser to Genie and a former CEO of Halliburton, a dominant provider of services to the oil industry. The current chaos in Syria – in which many Palestinian refugees have been killed – has provided Israel and Genie with the opportunity to hunt for Syria’s natural resources.
Rachel Shabi takes George Galloway to task for his refusal to debate with an Israeli student although he was not a representative of the Israeli state. Nor should he dress up his refusal as being in accord with the principles of the Palestinian BDS movement whose national committee has issued a statement saying its approach is based on universal human rights and not boycotting individual Israelis. Joan Smith is not impressed either.
Israeli state and prison authorities have, so far, ridden out successive hunger strikes, in part by judicious releases and negotiations. Now two Palestinians have died within a month of each other. Arafat Jaradat died on Saturday after 6 days in prison. Ashraf Abu Thare died last month. He had been released after six and a half years in prison because his health was deteriorating and the IPS did not want him to die under their ‘care’.
Two documentaries recording the actuality of the Israeli occupation – Gatekeepers, interviews with former Shin Bet chiefs, and 5 Broken Cameras, one family’s protest against the Wall through Bil’in, are nominated for Oscars this year. For the first time the VIPs of the world’s capital of make-believe will have to judge the effectiveness of records of the occupation. The one Palestinian director is held at LA airport.
Doctors are usually involved in state-sanctioned torture as the person harmed by torture needs medical treatment. In that role they can act for the patient, protecting him or her from further harm, or they can allow the torture without check or comment. Dr. Ruchama Marton says the Israeli medical establishment is complicit with the view of the Palestinian as ‘agent of danger’ when it takes the political stance of silence.
Israel could not rely on American, Jews included, popular support in its early days. That came after the ’67 six-day war when the American national interest and support for Israel seemed to coincide. But that support seems to be in sharp decline amongst the US’s largely liberal Jewish population,as facts about the occupation become incontrovertible. Stephen Shalom reviews Norman Finkelstein’s new book.
Using soldiers’ own Tweets and Instagram photographic pages, Ali Abuminah collects disturbing evidence of IDF soldiers exalting in violence, in killing Arabs, in taking aim at children, in getting out of their heads on marijuana. These are the men who enforce the occupation. The soldiers have deleted these pages. So far there has been no report that they have been reprimanded let alone excluded as unsuitable for Israel’s army.
An unnamed source in the Israeli government has told the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth that Angela Merkel, or the German Chancellor’s office, is to withhold payments to Holocaust survivors until Israel stops building settlements in the West Bank. It is not said whether this would apply to all survivors or just those living in Israel. The reputed action is attributed to a German official who wishes to damage Israeli-German relations. Story unconfirmed.
Much of the Sinai is now ruled by criminal gangs who capture Eritrean refugees, hold them for ransom – and rape and torture them, either to exert pressure on families, or because they can. Those who escape and cross the Israeli border are then automatically imprisoned for 3 years as ‘infiltrators’. Lucy Newman calls for a change of mind in Israel; reports from Human Rights Watch and Jadaliyya. Sign the petition!
On Tuesday 19, on the 211th day of his hunger strike, a court refused to release Samer Issawi. Protests have spread across the West Bank and Gaza. He is being held on administrative detention – a state order which allows people to be imprisoned without charge or trial. JfJfP opposes the use of administrative detention orders as lacking all due process, and supports the right of prisoners to protest against their use.
Susan Abulhawa, a Palestinian-American writer, is impressed by Benny Brunner’s film on the 1948 Israeli theft of Palestinian books, but not impressed by the film-maker’s criticism of Palestinians for not making an effort to reclaim their books. She says leftist Israelis are too ready to tell Palestinians what form their struggle and story should take. She raises disquieting questions about ‘normalisation’.
Jayyous is a Palestinian village near the Green Line. A few weeks ago,Israel settlers moved in and erected an outpost. The land was cleared and the outpost connected to water and electricity. The funding came from multi-millionaire Lev Leviev who has funded several settlements, some without building permits. Unlike buildings put up without permits by Palestinians, his constructions are not demolished by the Israeli state.
In practice, the primary role of Israel’s vaunted IDF has become the inglorious business of policing the Occupation, more often than not at the bidding of the illegal settlers. Report from Yesh Din and Yossi Gurvitz.