U.S. legislative efforts continue to discourage annexation while still showing support for Israel.
By Michael Arria | Mondoweiss | July 6, 2020
‘I do not think American dollars should be aiding and abetting the unilateral annexation of territory.’ —Senator Chris Van Hollen (MD)
12 Senate Democrats have introduced legislation that would prohibit Israel from using U.S. military aid to annex portions of the West Bank.
S. 4049 was filed an amendment to 2021’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). “None of the funds authorized to be appropriated by the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2020, this Act, or any other Act enacted before the date of the enactment of this Act, or otherwise made available for the Department of Defense, may be obligated or expended to deploy, or support the deployment of, United States defense articles, services, or training to territories in the West Bank unilaterally annexed by Israel after July 1, 2020, or to facilitate the unilateral annexation of such territories,” it reads.
A liberal Zionist questions if the price of a state that favors Jews over Palestinians is too high and what would it really mean to build a Jewish home that is equally a Palestinian home.
By Peter Beinart | Jewish Currents | July 7, 2020
It is time for liberal Zionists to abandon the goal of Jewish–Palestinian separation and embrace the goal of Jewish–Palestinian equality.
WHAT MAKES SOMEONE A JEW—not just a Jew in name, but a Jew in good standing—today? In Haredi circles, being a real Jew means adhering to religious law. In leftist Jewish spaces, it means championing progressive causes. But these environments are the exceptions. In the broad center of Jewish life—where power and respectability lie—being a Jew means, above all, supporting the existence of a Jewish state. In most Jewish communities on earth, rejecting Israel is a greater heresy than rejecting God.
The reason is rarely spelled out, mostly because it’s considered obvious: Opposing a Jewish state means risking a second Holocaust. It puts the Jewish people in existential danger. In previous eras, excommunicated Jews were called apikorsim, unbelievers. Today, they are called kapos, Nazi collaborators. Through a historical sleight of hand that turns Palestinians into Nazis, fear of annihilation has come to define what it means to be an authentic Jew.
Kairos Palestine and Global Kairos for Justice, a broad network of allies including Palestinian Christians and international friends of Kairos Palestine, issue Cry for Hope, an urgent call to end the oppression of the Palestinian people.
By Kairos Palestine and Global Kairos for Justice | Cry for Hope | July 1, 2020
We declare that support for the oppression of the Palestinian people, whether passive or active, through silence, word or deed, is a sin.
We, Kairos Palestine and Global Kairos for Justice, a worldwide coalition born in response to the Kairos Palestine “Moment of Truth: a word of faith, hope, and love from the heart of Palestinian suffering,” issue this urgent call to Christians, churches and ecumenical institutions. We do this together with committed Christians in Palestine and around the world. This is a call for decisive action on a matter that we believe relates to the integrity of our Christian faith.
We have arrived at a critical point in the struggle to end the oppression of the Palestinian people. The State of Israel’s adoption of the Nation State Law in 2018 legalized institutional discrimination in Israel and the Palestinian territories, officially depriving Palestinians of their rights to life, livelihood, and a future in their homeland. Recent acts of the U.S. administration have supported Israel’s ongoing project of land taking and attaining control over the entire territory of Palestine. These include the 2018 move of its embassy to Jerusalem, its announcement in 2019 that the U.S. government no longer deems West Bank settlements to be “inconsistent with international law,” and the 2020 “Peace to Prosperity” plan. Fueled by U.S. support and emboldened by the ineffectual response of the international community, Israel’s newly-formed coalition government has cleared the way for outright annexation of around one third of the occupied West Bank, including the Jordan Valley. These developments make it all the more clear that we have come to the end of the illusion that Israel and the world powers intend to honor and defend the rights of the Palestinian people to dignity, self-determination, and the fundamental human rights guaranteed under international law, including the right of return for Palestinian refugees. It is time for the international community, in light of these events, to recognize Israel as an apartheid state in terms of international law.
I ran away from institutional racism; I cannot watch while my adopted country moves toward it now.
By Hirsh Goodman | The Atlantic | July 3, 2020
But what has broken my heart is watching what’s happening to my country under the decade-long leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu: The erosion of democracy; the institutionalized greed…
If Israel annexes part of the West Bank in early July and denies the Palestinians who come with it equal rights, I will confront one of the deepest dilemmas I have had to face since 1965, when I migrated to Israel from apartheid South Africa.
I fought as an Israeli paratrooper in the Six Day War; was stationed in Sinai during the War of Attrition; spent nine months on the Golan Heights after fighting in the 1973 Yom Kippur War; and performed an average of 60 days of active reserve duty annually for about 15 years.
I have lived with my family through Intifadas and suicide bombers, a succession of unnecessary wars, missile attacks from Iraq, and sporadic but persistent rocket and mortar barrages from over the border with Gaza. My wife walked our four-year old to a birthday party shortly after a suicide bomber detonated himself. His head had landed on a balcony near the kindergarten and a grenade was found in the playground not far from the birthday cake.
Weekly newsletter with update on the pandemic crisis in the midst of the overarching anxiety of annexation.
By Allison Deger | Mondoweiss | July 3, 2020
‘From not allowing us to build roads to our villages, giving us no access to water, restricting our farmlands, destroying our homes, arresting us, confiscating our animals, taking our tractors — all of these things are part of their so-called ‘annexation plan.’ ’ — Zayd Sawafta, a farmer and mayor of the bucolic village of Bardala
3,485 Palestinians have tested positive for COVID-19; 3,076 in the West Bank; 72 in the Gaza Strip; and 337 in East Jerusalem
At least 2,228 of the cases are in Hebron
13 Palestinians have died of COVID-19 related causes
27,611 people in Israel have tested positive for COVID-19
326 people in Israel have died from COVID-19 related causes
Over the last week cases of COVID-19 have surged in Israel and the West Bank, prompting both governments to resume lock down measures in efforts to curb the second wave. In the two week period from June 15 to July 2 the total number of coronavirus cases doubled in the West Bank with at least 1,747 testing positive and five new fatalities.
A personal reckoning that there is no way Israel can possibly be “Jewish and democratic.”
By Rabbi Brant Rosen | Shalom Rav | July 3, 2020
…for years I’ve harbored the assumption that one day the time would come when these liberal Zionists organizations would finally say enough is enough.
The day of Israel’s annexation of major West Bank settlement blocs has now come and gone. But while it didn’t actually happen, it’s not quite time to breathe a sigh of relief. The Israeli government has made it clear that annexation plans are continuing apace and has now moved the deadline to later this month.
There’s so much to say about Israel’s plans to extend its sovereignty over major portions of the West Bank. For my part, I anticipated the response of the American Jewish communal establishment with particularly morbid fascination. How would these organizations, hardwired to defend Israel’s actions at all costs, possibly respond to what most would consider to be a patently immoral and undemocratic political move? As it would turn out, their contortions were truly something to behold.
A look at three examples of ‘truth telling’ which annexation has revealed.
By Robert A. H. Cohen| Patheos | July 1, 2020
Like the Settlements project, annexation will creep forward month by month and year by year until the desired new status quo is achieved.
The July 1st deadline has come and gone, and annexation hasn’t arrived. But don’t celebrate yet. It’s delayed not cancelled. The Trump White House is divided on the details; the international protest is stronger than expected; and Israel has a renewed coronavirus crisis that ought to be getting its government’s full attention.
But with Donald Trump’s polling numbers in the US tumbling and rumors that he may even drop out of the November election if he thinks he can’t win, Prime Minister Netanyahu will be wanting to get the ball rolling on annexation as soon as possible.
And once it’s on the Knesset statute books will it ever come off? Like the Settlements project, annexation will creep forward month by month and year by year until the desired new status quo is achieved. That means enlarged Israeli sovereignty/apartheid (ultimately including the Jordan Valley), total control of security from ‘the river to the sea’ and disconnected, semi-autonomous Palestinian Bantustans. Trump will have been the enabler, but the political legacy will be Netanyahu’s to enjoy and the Palestinians to endure.
Human rights attorney Noura Erakat is sharing the 3 things you should know about Israel’s latest annexation plans.
By Noura Erakat | Nowthis News | June 30, 2020
‘Israel is using this moment to further entrench its unrelenting settler colonization of Palestine.’ —Noura Erakat, human rights attorney
This video (5:12) makes clear how Israel is continuing to use annexation to further its ongoing settler colonization of Palestine and doing it with the full support of the US government for this illegal action.
The pushback on annexation from many countries may be pressuring Netanyahu to consider a less-ambitious move.
By Scott Neuman / Colin Dwyer | NPR | July 1, 2020
‘It seems unlikely to me that this will happen today,’ —Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, a member of the Blue and White party
For weeks, observers of Israel and the Palestinian territories have had July 1 circled on the calendar. Yet, despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s previous suggestions, it appears that the date will pass without a formal announcement concerning Israel’s plans for annexing part of the occupied West Bank.
“It seems unlikely to me that this will happen today,” said Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, a member of the Blue and White party, which partnered with Netanyahu’s Likud in an uneasy coalition government earlier this year.
In comments to Israel’s Army Radio on Wednesday, Ashkenazi cautioned that only the prime minister could clarify the timing with certainty.
How the history of dispensationalism shapes U.S. foreign policy today.
By Jeffrey Rosario | The Washington Post | June 30, 2020
In a recent sermon, John Hagee, founder and chairman of CUFI, alleged that the coronavirus ‘was not an accident, it was planned.’
This week, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the nation’s largest pro-Israel organization, will host a virtual summit in lieu of what was originally expected to be a major conference in Washington. Featured speakers include a lineup of top U.S. and Israeli officials: Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton.
In a recent sermon, John Hagee, founder and chairman of CUFI, alleged that the coronavirus “was not an accident, it was planned.” He claimed that liberal American politicians, the media and China have conspired to extend the pandemic into November to further disrupt the U.S. economy and undermine President Trump’s reelection campaign. CUFI has complained that the conspiracy behind the pandemic has distracted the U.S. government from its role in the Middle East.