Ahead of Biden visit, Israel launches biggest eviction of Palestinians in decades

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Safa Muhammed Aba al-Najjar, left, and Yusara al-Najjar sit on a bed frame in front of what used to be their house in the West Bank, before it was demolished by the Israeli army on May 11. (credit: Steve Hendrix / The Washington Post)
A continuing Catch-22 situation for Palestinians.

By Steve Hendrix and Shira Rubin | Washington Post | May 22, 2022

“There is the law that works for the Jews, but for us it is nonexistent,”
— Nidal Younes, head of the Masafer Yatta village council,

AL-MARKAZ VILLAGE, West Bank — The Najjar family knew what to expect on the morning of May 11 when a neighbor called: “The bulldozer is coming.” For the second time in five months, the Israeli military had come to knock down their house.

But this time there was reason to fear that the house would be gone for good. After decades of demolition, rebuilding and a more than 20-year legal battle, Israel’s highest court this month gave the military permission to permanently evict more than 1,000 Palestinians here and repurpose the land for an army firing range.

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Google and Amazon face shareholder revolt over Israeli Defense Work

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An Israeli border police stands guard as Palestinians make their way through Qalandia checkpoint to attend the last Friday prayer of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Al Aqsa Mosque, Palestinian Territories, Ramallah, on April 29, 2022. (credit:  Ilia Yefimovich/Picture Alliance via Getty Images)
“Project Nimbus” would insulate the Israeli government’s cloud computing from political pressures stemming from the military occupation of Palestine.

By Sam Biddle | The Intercept | May 18, 2022

“This technology allows for further surveillance of and unlawful data collection on Palestinians, and facilitates expansion of Israel’s illegal settlements on Palestinian land,”
— letter from anonymous Google and Amazon employees

GOOGLE AND AMAZON are both set to help build “Project Nimbus,” a mammoth new cloud computing project for the Israeli government and military that is spurring intense dissent among employees and the public alike. Shareholders of both firms will soon vote on resolutions that would mandate reconsideration of a project they fear has grave human rights consequences.

Little is known of the plan, reportedly worth over $1 billion, beyond the fact that it would consolidate the Israeli government’s public sector cloud computing needs onto servers housed within the country’s borders and subject solely to Israeli law, rather than remote data centers distributed around the world. Part of the plan’s promise is that it would insulate Israel’s computing needs from threats of international boycotts, sanctions, or other political pressures stemming from the ongoing military occupation of Palestine; according to a Times of Israel report, the terms of the Project Nimbus contract prohibit both companies from shutting off service to the government, or from selectively excluding certain government offices from using the new domestic cloud.
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Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) Condemns the Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh

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CMEP calls on the United States to ensure a fair and independent investigation into Abu Akleh’s murder and to hold the responsible parties accountable.

By Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) | May 16, 2022

Freedom of the press must be protected, and the killing of journalists, especially when they are plainly distinguishable by their press vests, represents a clear violation of international law.

On Wednesday, May 11, Shireen Abu Akleh, a high-profile Palestinian-American journalist, was shot and killed while covering a raid conducted by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in the West Bank city of Jenin. Abu Akleh was wearing protective gear prominently marked with the English word “PRESS” when she was shot. Ali Samoudi, another journalist with Abu Akleh, was shot in the back during the same attack. Samoudi said the group of journalists Abu Akleh worked with that day had made Israeli forces aware they were present to cover the incursion. He also stated that in the attack, one bullet missed, the next one struck him in the back, and the next shot hit Abu Akleh. She was taken to the hospital soon thereafter and pronounced dead.
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Ukraine & Palestine: Double Standards, Hypocrisy, Racism

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Please join our brothers and sisters at United Methodist Kairos Response (UMKR) for this webinar which will examine what can be learned to inform and strengthen the movement for Palestinian liberation.
Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Time: 10am PT / 12pm CT / 1pm Et
Location: On-line
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free
Event Details

The panel includes two prominent voices for justice, both of whom have recently published insightful commentary on this subject of Ukraine and Palestine.

NADA ELIA is a prominent Palestinian activist and speaker, a widely published author and political analyst, and an award-winning academic on subjects concerning global affairs and ethnic studies.

EDO KONRAD is Editor-in-Chief of +972 Magazine, one of Israel’s leading publications for groundbreaking activist reporting that challenges the current realities of apartheid, occupation and colonialism.

UMKR’s Communications Director, M. Theresa Basile, will be the moderator for this discussion.

More information here →

Israeli police beat pallbearers at journalist’s funeral

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Israeli police confront with mourners as they carry the casket of slain Al Jazeera veteran journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during her funeral in east Jerusalem, Friday, May 13, 2022.  (credit: AP Photo / Maya Levin)
Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American reporter who covered the Mideast conflict for more than 25 years, was shot dead Wednesday during an Israeli military raid in the West Bank town of Jenin.

By Josef Federman | Associated Press | May 13, 2022

“It seems her voice isn’t silent,”
—  Givara Budeiri, Al Jazeera correspondent

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli riot police on Friday pushed and beat pallbearers at the funeral for slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, causing them to briefly drop the casket in a shocking start to a procession that turned into perhaps the largest display of Palestinian nationalism in Jerusalem in a generation.

The scenes of violence were likely to add to the sense of grief and outrage across the Arab world that has followed the death of Abu Akleh, who witnesses say was killed by Israeli troops Wednesday during a raid in the occupied West Bank. They also illustrated the deep sensitivities over east Jerusalem — which is claimed by both Israel and the Palestinians and has sparked repeated rounds of violence.

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Palestinian American reporter Shireen Abu Akleh killed in Israeli raid in Jenin, “Brave” Truth Teller

Amy Goodman interviews Dalia Hatuqa who is a Palestinian American multimedia journalist who has extensively covered Palestine and Israel.

By Amy Goodman | Democracy Now | May 11, 2022

“Her killing is not an isolated incident. This has been happening for a long time: Israeli attacks against media workers, especially Palestinians, and the relative impunity under which they operate.”
— Dalia Hatuqa, journalist

Israeli forces have shot and killed Shireen Abu Akleh, a veteran Palestinian American journalist working for Al Jazeera, as she covered an Israeli army raid on the Jenin refugee camp early Wednesday morning. Video released by Al Jazeera shows Abu Akleh was wearing a press uniform when she was shot in the head by what the network says was a single round fired by an Israeli sniper. “She gave voice to the struggles of Palestinians over a career spanning nearly three decades,” says journalist Dalia Hatuqa, remembering her friend and colleague. “Her killing is not an isolated incident. This has been happening for a long time: Israeli attacks against media workers, especially Palestinians, and the relative impunity under which they operate.”

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Israel’s High Court rules in favor of forced population transfer

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Palestinian children play in the West Bank community of Jinba, Masafer Yatta, May 6th, 2022. Israel’s Supreme Court has upheld a long-standing expulsion order against eight Palestinian hamlets in the occupied West Bank, potentially leaving at least 1,000 people homeless. (credit: Nasser Nasser /AP)
Over 1,000 Palestinians could now be expelled from their homes in Masafer Yatta.

By Elisheva Goldberg | Jewish Currents | May 10, 2022

“the idea that the residents are trying to take advantage of the legal system when they’ve sat through dozens of hours of hearings and can’t understand a single word [because the hearings are all conducted in Hebrew] sounds like the opposite of reality to me,”
— Maya Rosen, an activist with the #SaveMasaferYatta campaign

LAST WEEK, Israel’s High Court of Justice issued a ruling that clears the way for the Israel Defense Forces to expel over 1,000 Palestinians from a cluster of eight villages in Masafer Yatta, a region at the southernmost edge of the West Bank. The court rejected the residents’ petitions, after 22 years in which the residents lived in legal limbo. The ruling was published on the court’s website at 11 pm on the eve of Israeli Independence Day, a national holiday.

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Does Israel permit freedom of worship?

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The scene of the arson attempt at the Church of All Nations, in the Garden of Gethsemane, in Jerusalem, December 2020. (credit: Mahmoud Ilean / AP)
if Israel’s endgame is getting rid of Palestinians, Palestinian Christians will soon be extinct.

By Philip Giraldi | The Unz Review | May 3, 2022

The United States has been the enabler of much of the change in spite of the prevalence of self-described devout Christians in Congress, many of whom ironically are vocal and even enthusiastic supporters of Israeli “security” policies.

A week ago I wrote a piece describing how Israel’s power over the US government is such that no American official will confirm that the Israelis have, and have had for years, a secret nuclear arsenal consisting of as many as 200 nukes. The situation is particularly odd in that the United States is on record as being strongly opposed to nuclear proliferation, except for Israel, and the enriched uranium that was used to create Israel’s bombs as well as the nuclear triggers were stolen and exported illegally from the US. Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself was reportedly involved in the thefts.

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Israel: An Apartheid State?

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In this edition of Cornerstone, the ecumenical grassroots liberation theology movement among Palestinian Christians, Sabeel,  reflects on the reality of apartheid in Palestine and its effects on the lives of people.

By Sabeel Staff | Sabeel | Spring 2022

Do we weaponize the Bible to harm others for our own gain? Or do the words of scripture move us to sacrificial love for our neighbor?

This month’s issue of Cornerstone reflects on the issue of apartheid. It is notable that in both South Africa and Israel leaders utilized the scriptures to justify their racist regime, arguing that they were set apart—chosen exclusively by God—to rule over those who were already living in the land. Both the white Afrikaners in South Africa and Israeli settlers have used the exodus narrative to claim that they alone have sovereignty over the land. This reality humbles us to be careful how we read the scriptures. Do we weaponize the Bible to harm others for our own gain? Or do the words of scripture move us to sacrificial love for our neighbor?
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Russia, Israel and the media

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Free newspaper boxes covered in snow beneath the Chinatown Arch in downtown Washington, DC. (credit: Matt Popovich / Unsplash)
Readers should demand the media report what is happening around the world, without picking and choosing what they will report based on race and/or ethnicity.

By Robert Fantina | Counter Punch | Apr 29, 2022

Apparently, bombs are dropped on white, Christian Europeans, but ‘airstrikes’ are launched on Middle-Eastern Muslims.

The world is, very reasonably, horrified at what is happening in Ukraine. Russia is apparently committing war crimes and crimes against humanity as it bombs residences, hospitals and any other sites its warplanes encounter.

The headlines are jarring:

“Russia bombs five railway stations” (The Guardian).
“Russia bombs Ukraine Steel Plant” (Daily Sabah).
“Russia using cluster bombs” (The Guardian).
“Russia restarts bombing” (iNews).

These are just a few examples.

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