Cynthia Cockburn follows the work of Bat Shalom in northern Israel/Palestine, impressed in 1997 by its commitment to equality. And returns in 2012 to find Bat Shalom has gone, along with the peace movement. Judaisation has sped ahead but the status of women in Israel and of Palestinians remains the same – low.
Uri Avnery asks how the belief “there is no partner for peace” has come to be the widely shared “common sense” of Israeli society. It is, he says, a convenient attitude: “If there is no chance for peace, there is no need to rack our brains about it, much less to do anything about it… And while we are at it, if there is no chance for peace, why not build settlements? Why not Judaize East Jerusalem? Why not forget about the Palestinians altogether?”
On 29 June Gush Shalom announced that the Supreme Court was hearing an appeal from them the following day to dismantle the Turkel Committee of Inquiry into the Gaza flotilla disaster. At the last minute Netanyahu backed down and agreed to enlarge the powers of the commission, so that it will be able to summon witnesses. Not enough, but Uri Avnery argues that “a small victory is better than a defeat”…
This Friday, the Coalition of Organizations against the Occupation and the Palestinian Popular Committees will hold a joint action to mark 43 years to the June 1967 occupation of Palestinian lands. 43 years of domination, oppression, segregation, settlement enterprise, theft of water and lands, military regime, restrictions on movement, house demolitions, political arrests, torture, war crimes and colonial expansion. In this action, we will call for Israel to remove the siege of Gaza, to end the occupation and to stop the separation between Palestinians and Israelis and between Palestinians and their lands…
We’ve just had our attention drawn to this personal story, published in the States a few weeks ago: “Deciding to endorse BDS was not something I have come to out of hatred for Israel, despite what the talkbacks will say. I live here, after all; I’d like to see this country get a life. Everything else has already been tried, and my friend Sam and his family are still locked up in Al Bireh and my friend Maha and her family are still locked up in Gaza City [...] “
Ben Caspit ups the ante in Maariv: “It is OK to attack the policy of the government of Israel in every place and in every way. It is possible and even commendable to hold vigils next to checkpoints in the territories and to make sure that the Palestinian population is treated properly. It is OK to think that Netanyahu’s rejectionist policy is leading us to disaster (I think words to that effect are written here weekly). It is allowed, in fact, to do everything. Except for undermining the foundations of the existence of the only Jewish state. It has a right to exist, it has a right to defend itself. A large number of the extremist organizations funded by the NIF do exactly that. In a very poisonous way, very skillfully and with generous funding by donors, most of whom are unaware of who and what they are funding [...]
Amira Hass reports on Israeli Army methods of preventing Israeli protestors who show solidarity with Palestinian villagers of Bil’in and Na’alin fighting the iniquitous separation barrier erected – illegally – on their land. Anarchists Against the Wall (AATW) were – and are – in the forefront of the solidarity campaign on the Israeli side from the start, organising convoys of Israelis to protest together with the Palestinian villagers. Without their work, it is unlikely we in the West would know nearly as much about the situation as we do. It’s not surprising the IDF wants to prevent them from continuing to research and communicate just how bad the situation is.
Jeremiah Haber writes: “If you have a chance, you may want to look at the comments to my [previous] post on the Sheikh Jarrah protests and the Zionist left … Some felt that it was too early to talk about the resurrection of the Zionist left. Some activists present at the demonstration provided corrections [...]
Jeremiah Haber writes: “Who would have thought that the resurrection of the Zionist left – well, if not its actual redemption , then the beginning of its redemption – would have been caused by the displacement of a handful of Arabs in a neighborhood of Jerusalem, itself an old Israeli tradition?…”
Some 3000 demonstrators gathered in Tel-Aviv’s Rabin Square and marched to Museum Square, where a protest rally was held to commemorate the first anniversary of the war on Gaza. Report and speeches by Uri Avnery and Nurit Peled Elhanan [...]
Eruption of violence comes as Israelis who opposed the war a year ago say they are being silenced and vilified * Rachel Shabi, Tel Aviv, Sunday 27 December 2009 Israeli troops yesterday shot dead six Palestinians in two separate incidents, as evidence emerged that an increasingly fragile ceasefire between armed groups loyal to President Mahmoud [...]
New Profile response to the Minister of Education’s directive banning New Profile speakers from high school debates on civil rights [...]
Insufficient Evidence: Case against ‘New Profile’ closed (Aviad Glickman, YNetnews, 1st November 2009)
The Prosecution is closing its case against the New Profile movement, suspected of encouraging youths to shirk military service. Deputy State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan closed the case due to lack of culpability in the case of some of the suspects, and due to lack of evidence in the case of the others…
Zionists stop medical talk after campaign by Robyn Rosen, October 29, 2009 Two lectures by Israeli-based charity Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) were cancelled after a Zionist organisation told hospitals holding the talks that they were “anti-Israel”. Miri Weingarten from PHR-I was due to give a lecture, entitled The Right to Health in a Conflict [...]
Frequently asked questions about boycotting settlement goods, presented by the Israeli National Boycott Headquarters, affiliated with Gush Shalom, the Israeli peace bloc.
Tia Goldernberg, Associated Press, 9 October 2009 SUSYA, West Bank — Residents of a West Bank village with no electricity have been helped out of the darkness by unlikely benefactors — a group of Israelis who installed solar panels and wind turbines to illuminate the Palestinians’ makeshift homes. The villagers of Susya live in tents [...]
We recently published Uri Avnery’s article “Tutu’s Prayer” on why he opposes the ‘boycott Israel’ call, itself a response to Neve Gordon’s call for such a boycott in the LA Times. Avnery has come in for stiff criticism and replies here to his critics. [...]
This newsletter, from the American solidarity network, provides a wide-ranging update on the activities of all refusenik groups in Israel – Yesh Gvul, Courage to Refuse, the Shministim, New Profile, Combatants for Peace, Breaking the Silence – and related stories. [...]
This online publication from Gush Shalom, a few years old now, deserves to be more widely known. In 101 paragraphs it gives a basic introduction to and alternative view of the history of the conflict and outlines the basic principles it believes will need to underlie any peace settlement.
Below is its opening statement and its closing two paras 100 and 101. [,,,]
“Here under out feet is an enormous reservoir of water, but we are not allowed to dig wells. For the Israeli government, that would be worse than throwing bombs. Our spring, from which this village drank for many generations, is under Israeli control, and we get less than half what the village needs… [...]