Palestinian health care workers in Israel are healing everyone while Netanyahu continues to label Palestinian legislators as terrorists.
By Philip Weiss | Mondoweiss | Mar 25, 2020
‘If the thousands of Arab health workers — doctors, nurses, pharmacists —were to stay at home, the entire system would collapse…’ —Ephraim Halevy, former Mossad spy chief
The political news from Israel really could make you lose your mind right now.
A great number of the professionals who are helping Israelis fight the coronavirus pandemic are Palestinian: “18 percent of doctors and 24 percent of nurses and 47 percent of pharmacists,” according to Eli Kowaz of the Israel Policy Forum.
The Israeli health system would collapse without Palestinians. “If the thousands of Arab health workers–doctors, nurses, pharmacists–were to stay at home, the entire system would collapse,” former spy chief Ephraim Halevy wrote in Haaretz.
A petition for US leadership to provide humanitarian aid during this critical time.
By Michael Arria | Mondoweiss | Mar 27, 2020
‘If there was ever a moment to realize that we are in this fight together, it is now.’ — IfNotNow press release
A group of Senators has sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, urging the administration to supply Gaza and the West Bank with much-needed humanitarian aid. There are already are at least 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the West Bank and multiple individuals have tested positive for the virus in Gaza. Gaza has been under siege for years and the densely populated area is bracing for a potentially catastrophic situation. Trump has frozen nearly all aid to Palestine since January 2018.
“Given the spread of the coronavirus in the West Bank and Gaza, the extreme vulnerability of the health system in Gaza, and the continued withholding of U.S. aid to the Palestinian people, we are concerned that the Administration is failing to take every reasonable step to help combat this public health emergency in the Palestinian Territories,” reads the letter. It was lead by Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), but was also signed by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
Cutting off funds to Palestine during a global pandemic would have devastating consequences.
By Michael Arria | Mondoweiss | Mar 24, 2020
‘If we do not receive additional pledges or those who have pledged do not make good on existing pledges, then we will run out of money at the end of next month,’ — UNRWA’s acting- Commissioner General Christian Saunders
In 2018, the Trump administration cut all funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Over five million people in the region rely on the organization for social services, but now their work has become even more crucial in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
Mondoweiss’s Yumna Patel produced this video in September 2018 outlining the potentially devestating impacts of the cuts:
The risks continue to grow for detained Palestinian children.
By Michael Arria | Mondoweiss | Mar 20, 2020
‘There is no way Israeli prison authorities can ensure the health and well-being of Palestinian child detainees as long as they continue to be in a custodial detention setting.’ — Ayed Abu Eqtaish, DCIP Accountability Program director
Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCIP) is calling on the Israeli government to release all Palestinian child detainees amid the COVID-19 crisis. According to Ha’aretz, Israel has confirmed over 700 cases of COVID-19 and four Palestinian prisoners, being held at Megiddo prison, have been in contact with an Israeli officer who tested positive for the virus.
“Israeli authorities must take immediate action to release all Palestinian child detainees in Israeli prisons and detention centers due to the increasing vulnerability created due to the rapid global spread of the COVID-19 virus and to safeguard their right to life, survival, development, and health in accordance with international law,” reads the group’s press release.
Ongoing effort by faith groups for humanitarian efforts.
By Palestine Israel Network | Global Ministries | Mar 18, 2020
In mid-February, Rep. Pocan (D-Wisc.) and Rep. Dingell (D-Mich.) sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, urging the Trump administration to alleviate the ongoing crisis by restoring all humanitarian assistance and working to end the Gaza blockade.
The Gaza Strip faces a chronic humanitarian crisis, impacting the livelihoods and access to essential services by its two million residents. The United Nations predicted in 2012 that conditions in Gaza would be unlivable by the year 2020 as a result of the Israeli blockade for more than 12 years. This crisis has been driven also by an unsolved internal Palestinian divide. Since March 2018, the crisis has been exacerbated by the massive increase in Palestinian casualties in the context of demonstrations taking place near Israel’s perimeter fence, as well as limited escalations in hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups.
An open letter of support and acknowledgement from Palestinian and Arab signatories for leadership that has sought to advance Palestinian rights.
Open Letter | Mondoweiss | Mar 10, 2020
…the organization undertook a two-year process launched at their national member meeting in 2017 that resulted in the adoption of a position unequivocally opposing Zionism.
On the occasion of the Jewish Voice for Peace transition to a new leadership, we the undersigned take this opportunity to honor and thank past Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson for her dedicated and strategic leadership of an organization that has done so much to advance Palestinian rights to self-determination, freedom, justice, and equality in the U.S. and beyond.
Permanently disabled Palestinians are a casualty of a purposeful war.
By Gideon Levy | Information Clearing House | Mar 9, 2020
If they are feeling at all apologetic it’s because they didn’t spill more blood.
They’re the best of our boys. One is a “musician from a good high school,” another a “boy scout” who majored in theater.” They’re the snipers who have shot thousands of unarmed protesters along the Gaza border fence.
In the Gaza Strip there are 8,000 permanently disabled young men as a result of the snipers’ actions. Some are leg amputees, and the shooters are very proud of that. None of the snipers interviewed for Hilo Glazer’s frightening story in Haaretz (March 6) has any regrets. If they are feeling at all apologetic it’s because they didn’t spill more blood. One was mocked in his battalion with “here comes the killer.” They all act like murderers. If their actions don’t show it – more than 200 dead as a result of them – then their statements prove that these young men have lost their moral compass. They are lost. They will go on to study, to have careers and to raise families – and will never recover from their blindness. They disabled their victims physically, but their own disabilities are more severe. Their souls were completely twisted. They will never again be moral individuals. They are a danger to society. They lost their humanity, if they ever had it, on the shooting berms facing the Gaza Strip. They are the sons of our friends and the friends of our sons, the young people from the apartment across the hall. Look how they talk.
Large numbers of Palestinians are staging a sit-in atop Mount Al-Urma in the West Bank amid settlers’ attempts to seize it.
By Shatha Hammad | Middle East Eye | Mar 5, 2020
‘I am here 24 hours a day, I don’t get tired nor do I feel bored… I will stay here to protect our lands, whatever it costs.’ —19-year-old Adham Zuhair
Around the stove, about 30 Palestinians gather inside a big tent on top of Mount Al-Urma, east of the town of Beita in the occupied West Bank, taking a rest and preparing for the latest confrontation with Israeli soldiers and settlers.
Hours earlier on Monday, settlers had tried for a second time to reach the top of the mountain, but the residents of Beita, which lies south of Nablus, had quickly gathered to defend their lands.
Clashes erupted, during which the Israeli army opened fire, wounding two Palestinians with live ammunition and 10 others with rubber bullets.
Joint List alliance capitalizes on backlash against Netanyahu by taking 15 seats in Knesset.
By Oliver Holmes | The Guardian | Mar 4, 2020
In Monday’s vote, Arab turnout surged to 64.7%, according to estimates from the Israel Democracy Institute think tank.
Arab politicians are set to make historic gains in the Israeli election, taking more seats than ever before and solidifying their position as the third-largest force in the Knesset, the country’s parliament.
After 99% of the votes were counted, the Joint List alliance, a merger of politicians predominantly representing Palestinian citizens of Israel, had 15 out of 120 Knesset seats.
Boosted by a backlash to racist campaigning by Benjamin Netanyahu, Arab candidates also capitalised on anger towards the prime minister’s ally, Donald Trump. The US president’s recently-released “peace plan” included a highly-controversial clause that could strip some Arab-Israelis of their citizenship.