Senate Dems introduce amendment that would block Israel from using U.S. funds for annexation

US Senator Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, with Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Wisconsin Democrat, right, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill, June 16, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
US Senator Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, with Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Wisconsin Democrat, right, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill, June 16, 2020, in Washington. (photo / AP/ Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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.

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Annexation, apartheid, and me

 

An Israeli settlement in the West Bank on 19 November 2019 [Mosab Shawer/Apaimages]
An Israeli settlement in the West Bank on 19 November 2019. (photo: Mosab Shawer / Apaimages)
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.

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The West Bank shuts down again to curb COVID-19’s second wave

 

Palestinians walk in the streets during of a mandatory quarantine that was announced by the Palestinian Authority as part of measures against the resurgence of COVID-19 in the West Bank city of Nablus on June 21, 2020. (Photo: Shadi Jarar’ah/APA Images)
Palestinians walk in the streets during of a mandatory quarantine that was announced by the Palestinian Authority as part of measures against the resurgence of COVID-19 in the West Bank city of Nablus on June 21, 2020. (photo: Shadi Jarar’ah/APA Images)
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

The Latest:

  • 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.

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Israel’s annexation is just the tip of the iceberg

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(photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty Images)
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.

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Annexation (even when delayed) is the great truth teller on Israel/Palestine

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had promised to annex close to a third of the West Bank, including settlements like Maale Adumim, above. (photo: Ahmad Gharabli / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images)
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.

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Israel’s latest plans for annexation of Palestinian land

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Noura Erakat is a human rights attorney and assistant professor at Rutgers University. She is the author of  Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine. (photo: Noura Erakat)
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.

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Delay appears likely in Israel’s plans to annex parts of West Bank

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seen earlier this month in Jerusalem, has yet to decide publicly about the annexation of parts of the West Bank, despite a target date arriving Wednesday. (photo: Florian Gaertner / Photothek via Getty Image)
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.

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The mainstreaming of Christian Zionism could warp foreign policy

The mainstreaming of Christian Zionism could warp foreign policy ...
Vice President Pence speaks at Christians United for Israel’s annual summit on July 8, 2019, in Washington. (photo: Patrick Semansky / AP)
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.

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US Jews will ‘pay a special price’ for annexation as ‘we are held responsible for Israeli policies’ — Greenblatt

Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League, during Israel Policy Forum discussion of annexation, on June 23, 2020. (photo: screenshot)
Comments about annexation indicate concern for public opinion and less about the lives of Palestinians.

By Philip Weiss | Mondoweiss | June 25, 2020

…annexation ‘will absolutely create challenges and tensions as it relates to the different segments of the Jewish population here in the United States and I think across the diaspora.’
—Jonathan Greenblatt, Anti-Defamation League

American Jews will “pay a special price” for Israeli annexation of occupied lands because we “are held responsible” for Israel’s actions, Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League, warned on Tuesday.

Greenblatt spoke in a forum opposing annexation because it forecloses negotiations for a Palestinian state. He said that annexation “will absolutely create challenges and tensions as it relates to the different segments of the Jewish population here in the United States and I think across the diaspora.” He went on:

Jewish communities around the world in diaspora, in Europe, in South America in South Africa, and here in the United States– I think we will pay a special price as we are often held responsible for Israeli actions and policies.

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Israel may start annexing Palestine in just a week — but the ‘NY Times’ is barely reporting the story

Tom Friedman at Temple Emanu-El in New York in September 2019. (photo: screenshot from Jewish Broadcasting Service)
Lack of reporting by the New York Times on upcoming annexation is a glaring lack of coverage for a major news media source.

By James North | Mondoweiss | June 23, 2020

Annexation is prompting division and anxiety among the U.S. pro-Israel lobby, and in the U.S. Congress, but so far the Times’s army of correspondents in the nation’s capital have not reported on any of it.

Annexation in West Bank Palestine, which Israel may decree only a week from now, could trigger the biggest upheaval in the area in more than a decade — but the New York Times is mostly missing in action. Editorial page columnists Thomas Friedman and Bret Stephens, both of whom have extensive experience in the region, have not said a word so far. Annexation is prompting division and anxiety among the U.S. pro-Israel lobby, and in the U.S. Congress, but so far the Times’s army of correspondents in the nation’s capital have not reported on any of it.

Continue reading “Israel may start annexing Palestine in just a week — but the ‘NY Times’ is barely reporting the story”