The Nakba continues

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Palestinians leaving Haifa as Jewish forces enter the city – Public Domain
Unmasking the narrative that surrounds the Israel/Palestine conflict.

By Alice Rothstein | CounterPunch | May 14, 2021

The thing to remember is that this is not a battle between two equal parties; this is a struggle between one of the strongest military powers in the world, backed by the US, bent on disinheriting and humiliating a dispossessed people.

As my grief and outrage mount at the predictable escalations of violence in Israel/Palestine, I once again marvel at the chasms of misunderstanding and miscalculations in describing events as they unfold and the script that frames most mainstream media reporting. (Recently, The New York Times is a notable exception.)
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Palestinian refugees deserve to return home. Jews should understand.

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Palestinians from Gaza leaving the occupied West Bank to go to Jordan in 1968. (photo: Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)
A Jewish voice makes the case that the wars will not end until Palestinians can return home.

By Peter Beinart | The New York Times | May 12, 2021

The East Jerusalem evictions are so combustible because they continue a pattern of expulsion that is as old as Israel itself.

Why has the impending eviction of six Palestinian families in East Jerusalem drawn Israelis and Palestinians into a conflict that appears to be spiraling toward yet another war? Because of a word that in the American Jewish community remains largely taboo: the Nakba.

Continue reading “Palestinian refugees deserve to return home. Jews should understand.”

Why so much rests on the fate of a tiny neighborhood in East Jerusalem

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Palestinians protesting at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday. (photo: Amir Levy / Getty Images)
The attempts by settlers to forcibly displace Palestinian families have set off a catastrophe

By Rula Salameh | The New York Times | May 11, 2021

The protests at Al Aqsa against denying us access to our holy sites are related to the same oppressive process of disenfranchisement and occupation.

JERUSALEM — I watched the wailing ambulances bring the injured, the medical staff carry them on stretchers and the nurses guide them into the emergency ward. I saw blood-soaked clothes and gauze-wrapped necks and faces.

On Monday more than 330 Palestinians were wounded by the Israeli police at Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Many of those needing medical attention were taken to Al Makassed hospital, about a mile and a half from the mosque, in East Jerusalem.

Continue reading “Why so much rests on the fate of a tiny neighborhood in East Jerusalem”

After raid on Aqsa Mosque, rockets from Gaza and Israeli airstrikes

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The police fired rubber-tipped bullets and stun grenades at stone-throwing Palestinians. (photo: Ahmad Gharabli / Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)
Gaza officials say 20 people were killed in the airstrikes. The escalation followed clashes between the Israeli police and Palestinian protesters at Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem

By Patrick Kingsley & Isabel Kershner | The New York Times | May 10, 2021

The dispute, focused on a single Jerusalem neighborhood, has exploded into a major flare-up in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, gaining world attention after a period in which the Palestinian cause had been largely marginalized…

JERUSALEM — Weeks of simmering tensions in Jerusalem between Palestinian protesters, the police and right-wing Israelis suddenly veered into military conflict on Monday, as a local skirmish in the decades-long battle for control of the city escalated into rocket fire and airstrikes in Gaza.

After a raid by the Israeli police on the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem left hundreds of Palestinians and a score of police officers wounded, militants in Gaza responded by firing a barrage of rockets at Jerusalem, drawing Israeli airstrikes in return.

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Sheikh Jarrah: A Third Palestinian Intifada Is Now a Stone’s Throw Away

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Israeli police officers take a Palestinian into custody during a demonstration at Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood after Israeli government’s plan to force some Palestinian families out of their homes in East Jerusalem on May 04, 2021. (photo by Mostafa Alkharouf)
Fears for a 3rd Palestinian Intifada are growing.

By Yousef Aljamal | Politics Today | May 10, 2021

From relocating these Palestinians to ghettos such as those in Jaffa, to placing them under military orders in what became Israel, to mass expulsion such as the case of the village of Abu Ghosh in 1950 and Al-Majdal in 1949-1950, Israel has proven repeatedly that its settler-colonialism project necessarily means uprooting the Palestinians.

The ongoing Israeli policies of mass expulsion of Palestinians from the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem is a continuation of a more than seven-decade-long policy of ethnic cleansing against native Palestinians following the creation of Israel on May 15, 1948.

Israel’s nature has been augmented in ethnic cleansing and settler-colonialism from day one, when its creation meant the mass expulsion of some 750,000 Palestinians from 532 villages in 1948. Israel’s creation on the ruins of Palestine was based on a complete negation of their existence, forcing them out of their lands and houses, and replacing them with colonial-settlers from all over the world.

Continue reading “Sheikh Jarrah: A Third Palestinian Intifada Is Now a Stone’s Throw Away”

Crisis in Jerusalem

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Please join Jewish Currents Editor at Large Peter Beinart in a discussion about the current moment in Jerusalem, its long and fraught history, and what may lie in its future.  He will be joined by Mahmoud Muna, Yudith Oppenheimer, and Diala Shamas.
Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Time: 9:00am PDT;  12:00pm EST
Location: On-line
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free, must register
Event Details

Israeli settlers are forcibly removing Palestinians from their homes in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. A far-right Israeli Knesset member has moved his office into the embattled community, while members of the Knesset’s Joint List party have joined Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah in longrunning efforts to protect their community. These tensions are escalating as Jerusalem Day, a historical flashpoint for violence, approaches this weekend.

More information here →

BDS activists are targeting Puma in Boston

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Demonstrators outside Puma’s Assembly Row storefront distribute literature about the firm’s involvement with Israeli football leagues. (photo: Skip Schiel, Teeksa)
Puma is moving its corporate headquarters to Boston and BDS activists there are planning on targeting the shoe maker over its sponsorship of Israel’s football league.

By Michael Arria | Mondoweiss | May 5, 2021

“Puma is really branding itself as a company that supports Black Lives Matter, black athletes have been chosen as spokespeople for them, and yet they’re sponsoring the IFA and engaging the oppression of Palestinians,
— Ragini Shah, a law professor and BDS Boston member

In recent months supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) have been showing up outside a Puma store in the Boston suburb of Somerville to picket and hand out literature.

Puma became a target of the BDS movement in 2018 after the company signed a four-year deal to sponsor the Israel Football Association (IFA), which has multiple teams based in illegal West Bank settlements.

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Washington elites embrace rights-based approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict

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Members of the US military carry the flags of Israel and the United States before the arrival of Israel’s Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman during an honor cordon at the Pentagon on April 26, 2018 in Washington, DC.  (photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images)
A prominent DC think tank has offered a way forward that most in the foreign policy establishment have refused to consider.

By Mitchell Plitnick | Responsible Statecraft | May 4, 2021

If anything has characterized the recent policy discourse around Israel and Palestine, it is despair.

It’s been seven years since the last round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations collapsed. Since then, Israel’s occupation of the West Bank has become entrenched, its siege on the Gaza Strip has deepened, and a growing number of observers are acknowledging that the two-state solution has failed.

Palestinians, who only recently had hope that they might be able to elect a new leadership, have seen national elections — not held since 2006 — postponed indefinitely, while Israel, facing the prospect of a fifth national election in little more than two years, is less incentivized than ever to find a resolution to its ongoing occupation.

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J Street goes on offense, carefully

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Bernie Sanders addresses the J Street conference in 2019, where he endorsed conditioning US military aid to Israel. (photo: Michael Brochstein / Sipa USA via AP Images)
J Street is placing advocacy for restricting aid front and center.

By Mari Cohen | Jewish Currents | May 5, 2021

“I think J Street supporting this initiative does show a type of sea change, not just in terms of what that group is willing to publicly advocate for on the hill, but also about where the Democratic caucus is,”
— former J Street policy staffer requesting anonymity

At the J Street annual conference on April 20th, Sen. Elizabeth Warren took the virtual stage and called for the United States to take “immediate steps” to push for peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine. “If we’re serious about arresting settlement expansion and helping move the parties toward a two-state solution, then it would be irresponsible not to consider all of the tools we have at our disposal,” she said. “One of those is restricting military aid from being used in the occupied territories.”

While there was no audience to applaud, the conference’s virtual chat lit up with approval. “We love aid restrictions!” wrote one attendee. “She’s got a plan for American pressure to end the occupation!” said another. In a session that evening, Reps. Pramila Jayapal, Alan Lowenthal, and Ro Khanna, as well as conference headliner Sen. Bernie Sanders, all echoed Warren’s appeal, calling for the US to ensure that its aid to Israel would not be used for occupation-entrenching projects like home demolitions and settlement expansion.

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Israel demolished 58 Palestinian facilities, built 5,000 settlement units in Jerusalem so far this year

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A Palestinian shed is demolished near Jerusalem’s Old City in an area deemed a national park.  (photo: AFP)
Demolitions and evictions of Palestinians by Israeli authorities continue and human rights organization say this may amount to ethnic cleansing.

By Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor | May 3, 2021

During the preparation of this statement, 28 Palestinian families comprising of about 500 people from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem have been threatened with forced displacement.

During the past four months, Israel has escalated its policy of demolishing Palestinian homes and facilities and removing Palestinians from their neighborhoods, while building thousands of settlement units in East Jerusalem. Such a conduct aims to perpetuate racial discrimination and eliminate the Palestinian Arab presence in the city.

Euro-Med Monitor recorded that during the first four months of this year, 86 violations related to the demolition of Palestinian homes and consolidation of their settlement presence, were carried out by the Israeli forces in East Jerusalem. The month of March alone witnessed 31 violations.

Continue reading “Israel demolished 58 Palestinian facilities, built 5,000 settlement units in Jerusalem so far this year”