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

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

Screen Shot 2021-05-07 at 5.43.03 PM

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

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.

Continue reading “BDS activists are targeting Puma in Boston”

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

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.

Continue reading “Washington elites embrace rights-based approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict”

J Street goes on offense, carefully

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.

Continue reading “J Street goes on offense, carefully”

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

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”

Say Israel is committing apartheid? It’s not a decision we reached lightly

Israeli soldiers
Israeli security forces on a street during clashes with Palestinian youth in Hebron on April 25. (photo: Hazem Bader / AFP via Getty Images)
Fading hope for an end to Israeli military rule compelled HRW to raise the political price for Israel to maintain the status quo of oppression and discrimination.

By Eric Goldstein | Forward | Apr 27, 2021

But hopes for a breakthrough in the peace process obscured the repressive status quo, and the increasingly clear intention of Israeli authorities to perpetuate a system designed to enable the flourishing of Jewish Israelis at the expense of Palestinians — that is, one of domination.

When I arrived in Jerusalem in 1989 as Human Rights Watch’s first Israel-Palestine researcher, I did not imagine the word “apartheid” applying to the Israeli and Palestinian context. But this week, HRW published a report that I edited, as the organization’s acting Middle East director, finding that Israeli officials are committing the crimes of apartheid and persecution — crimes against humanity.

I knew 30 years ago that apartheid had legal meaning beyond its origins in South Africa. For more than a decade there had been an international convention that defined apartheid as a crime committed when officials systematically oppress one group in the territory under their control, and subject it to inhumane acts, with the intent to maintain the domination over that group for the benefit of another group.

Continue reading “Say Israel is committing apartheid? It’s not a decision we reached lightly”

Why Biden must watch this Palestinian movie

An image from “The Present,” the Oscar-nominated short film by the Palestinian filmmaker Farah Nabulsi. (photo credit…ShortsTV)
Israel has signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan but Palestinians have been left behind.  Can  the Biden administration make any progress?

By John Brennan  | The New York Times | Apr 27, 2021

Despite sharply reduced tensions between Israel and the Arab world, the Palestinian people themselves have seen no appreciable progress in their quest to live in their own sovereign state.

On a recent evening I watched “The Present,” a short film by Farah Nabulsi, a Palestinian filmmaker, which was nominated for an Academy Award for live-action short film. (The winner in the category was “Two Distant Strangers.”) Ms. Nabulsi’s 25-minute film is a powerful, heartbreaking account of the travails of Yusuf, a Palestinian man, and Yasmine, his young daughter, as they traverse an Israeli military checkpoint in the West Bank twice in a single day.

“The Present” establishes its context quickly, opening with images of Palestinian men making their way through a narrow passageway at one of the numerous checkpoints that dot the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Palestinians going to work, visiting family or shopping on the opposite side of a security barrier have to bear this humiliating procedure every day.

Continue reading “Why Biden must watch this Palestinian movie”