A new bill compelling Israelis to wear badges if they represent an NGO and Israeli NGOs to make public any funding from foreign public sources has passed most stages on the way to becoming law. It was devised by the Israeli cabinet as a means of demonstrating that concern about Palestinians and human rights are foreign infiltrations. The right-wing is richly funded by private foreign bodies and individuals. Fear that Israeli democracy will be severely wounded spreads across much of the political spectrum.
Palestinian security forces have cracked down sharply on group protests. Journalists have been violently manhandled for reporting on popular protests about Israeli restrictions and checkpoints. The PA’s primary role as Israel’s police officer is now widely rejected by Palestinians.
Saeb Erekat, former negotiator, now PLO secretary general denies that he proposed secret talks with Israel. But former Israeli negotiator Silvan Shalom, says the PLO proposal was rejected by Israel, in secret, so the US would blame Palestinians, not Israel, for no negotiations.
As the French historian Ernst Renan famously pointed out a nation is made as much by what it forgets as what it chooses to remember. By razing Palestinian villages, the Israeli state has hoped Palestinian memory will be erased. Noga Kadman, in a book reviewed here, proves how wrong they were.
Writing from Nazareth, which has the largest Christian population in Israel, Jonathan Cook describes how Netanyahu is manoeuvring to get Israel’s Palestinian Christians to renounce their Arab identity in favour of being a new Israeli minority, the Arameans.
In his Christmas message, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, denounced ISIL as brandishing a “false apocalypse” in which MidEast Christianity could be eliminated. Cardinal Vincent Nichols, RC, said violence in the name of religion was a “corruption of true faith”. The Pope and the head of the Church of England (Queen Elizabeth ll) also spoke of the darkness being wreaked by destructive forces. This piece by Al Jazeera doesn’t mention ISIL.
The Israeli NGO Peace Now applied to the Ministry of Housing to see its plans for building on Palestinian land. The MoH refused. Peace Now went to the High Court of Justice asking, under the Freedom of Information Act, to see the plans. It won. The results are here.
This week, December 21-27, 2015, the actions of the Jewish far-right in Israel is still a dominant issue. Slowly, very slowly, their rebarbative behaviour, is being covered by Israel’s mainstream news. An Orthodox Jewish wedding party chose to celebrate the conflagration of the Dawabsheh family – which apparently until now many had chosen to believe […]
An Orthodox Jewish wedding party in Israel turns into a celebration, not of love and marriage, but of murder. The guests rejoice at the burning of the Dawabasheh family and enjoy themselves stabbing a photo of incinerated baby Ali. What words? horrifying, disgusting, barbaric….An Orthodox Jew (Haaretz), brought up to believe himself ‘morally superior’ at last sees that Israeli religious education is as skewed as he thinks Palestine education is. Electronic Intifada also.
Our Signatories’ Blog this week is written by Michael Baron, early signatory of JfJfP and one of the founding parents of the National Autistic Society. He takes a critical but compassionate look at the BBC’s ‘Censored Voices’ in which old soldiers speak of their guilt and complicity in war crimes.
In Peter Beaumont’s end-of-year assessment he meets engulfing despair. Only the young with their knives, and inevitable martyrdom, keep the idea of Palestinian resistance alive. When Abbas finally retires, there will be a leadership vacuum – although many feel that’s there already.
This is the whole UNGA resolution on the sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the oPt over their natural resources. It’s not the first such it’s passed but it’s more urgent and emphatic about Israel’s seizing or destruction of Palestinian resources. The UK voted in favour of it.
This resolution by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) is absolutely clear about who the land, water and minerals beneath belong to in the oPt: the Palestinian people. It is Israel, often in collaboration with a big corporation, which takes and uses them, tangibly depriving their rightful owners.
JfJfP sets out its position on boycott, divestment and sanctions. It is not anti-Israel. It is a ‘smart’ policy that can be applied to any institution, organisation or part of institution or organisation, that is implicated in the Occupation or otherwise undermines Palestinian human rights.
For many years, writes Doron Peskin, the Israeli state treated BDS as, at worst an irritant. Now it has been declared ‘an existential threat’ – joining what has become quite a large group. A new office with a big budget is to start work on January 1st combatting the civil society movement.
The slogans used by the Israelis protesting outside the Shabak Chief’s house are exactly the same as the Left has used – they are about due process. But what has moved them is less the process than their sense of affront that Jewish right-wingers should be treated like Palestinians.
Gaza has always had to contend with great heat and drought. In recent years the people have also experienced extreme winter conditions. Their make-shift shelters offer little protection. 96,000 homes were destroyed by the IDF in 2014 and few have been rebuilt.
Bethlehem was traditionally the most peaceful of West Bank towns, attracting many tourists and pilgrims on whose spending the town depended. Not now. Frightened by the stabbings, rammings, shootings – though this year’s Santa Claus protest has stayed wholly peaceful – many are staying away.
The current bloodshed in Palestine-Israel is peculiarly personal, usually initiated by a single young Palestinian who is immediately shot dead by anonymous Israeli armed forces. Here are the latest lists from PCHR and the Jewish Virtual Library. By December 22nd, the names of 19 Israeli and 121 Palestinian people who had been stabbed/shot had been recorded.
No-one chooses to live in a refugee camp. Over 1.5 million Palestinians have no choice and such camps, many of them in Lebanon have been their home since 1948. Under UNRWA’s aegis, most are run – or not – by sectarian Palestinian factions. A Norwegian student finds that Burj Al-Barajne is one of the worst.