Eight climate activists arrested in protest against new West Bank industrial zone

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Israeli climate and human rights activists chain themselves to the entrance of HeidelbergCement quarry in the occupied West Bank to protest a government plan to expand the quarry and build an industrial zone nearby, November 22, 2020. (photo: Oren Ziv)
Climate justice and human rights activists chain themselves to entrance of Israeli quarry to protest the theft of Palestinian land and destruction of local ecology.

By Oren Ziv  | +972 Magazine |  Nov 22, 2020

‘We are here to demand climate justice for all who live in this land, humans and animals, Palestinians and Israelis, women and men, from every group, from every identity,’
— Ya’ara Peretz, one of the leaders of the action

Dozens of climate justice and human rights activists blocked the entrance to an Israeli quarry in the occupied West Bank Sunday morning to protest a plan to build a new industrial zone in the area. According to the protesters, the expansion plan of the HeidelbergCement Quarry, which will also include the building of a new Israeli cemetery, will destroy the ecological corridor of the center of the country and deepen the annexation of the West Bank.

The activists, which belong to the “One Climate” group, chained themselves to the entry of the quarry and unfurled a giant sign that read “Stop the Destruction,” while preventing the entry and exit of trucks transporting cement across the country. The action caused a large traffic jam of trucks outside the quarry, with one driver estimating that the protest led to over NIS 100,000 in losses for the company.

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In pandemic, of all times: Number of Palestinians Israel has left homeless hits four-year record

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The destruction in Khirbet Humsah.  (photo: Sarit Michaeli,  B’Tselem, 4 Nov. 2020)
Israel continues to treat the West Bank as its own leaving Palestinians with no almost no way to build legally.

By B’Tselem staff |  Nov 4, 2020

While the world deals with the coronavirus crisis, Israel has devoted time and effort to harassing Palestinians instead of helping protected residents living under its control.

In the midst of an unprecedented health and economic crisis, more Palestinians in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) lost their homes in the first 10 months of 2020 alone than in any full year since 2016 – the highest year on record since B’Tselem started collecting this data. As a result of Israel’s policy, 798 Palestinians have already lost their homes in 2020, including 404 minors who lived in 218 homes – compared to 677 Palestinians in all of 2019, 397 in 2018 and 521 in 2017.

Israeli authorities also demolished 301 Palestinian non-residential structures and infrastructure facilities in the first ten months of 2020. This includes humanitarian infrastructure such as water cisterns and pipes and electricity grids, which are crucial to sanitation and health at this time.

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Pompeo: US to recognize BDS movement as antisemitic

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyah in Jerusalem, Nov. 19, 2020.  photo: Amos Ben-Gershom / GPO)
This announcement that the USA will brand BDS-supporting organizations as ‘antisemitic’ is alarming.

By Lahav Harkov  | The Jerusalem Post  |  Nov 19, 2020

‘The time is right… We want to join all the other nations that recognize BDS for the cancer that it is.’
— Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State

The US will withdraw funding from groups boycotting Israel, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Thursday.

“We will recognize the global BDS campaign as antisemitic,” Pompeo said. “The time is right… We want to join all the other nations that recognize BDS for the cancer that it is.”

Netanyahu interjected that the policy is “simply wonderful.”

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Obama follows in Jimmy Carter’s footsteps and speaks out against Israel and AIPAC

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Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat (L) US President Jimmy Carter and Israeli Premier Menachem Begin (R) laugh before sign of the Israel-Egypt Peace Agreement on 26 March, 1979 on the north lawn of the White House, Washington DC. (photo:AFP/Getty Images)
Past presidents have a unique position to see abuses of power and use their platform to call out these abuses.

By Nasim Ahmed |  Middle East Monitor |  Nov 16, 2020

It would be almost politically suicidal for members of Congress to espouse a balanced position between Israel and Palestine.
— Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the USA

Upon leaving office, US Presidents have, on occasion, mustered the courage to speak their mind about America’s relationship with Israel and the influence of the Zionist lobby in Washington. Jimmy Carter is perhaps best known for this. The 39th President of the USA, despite his role in mediating the 1979 Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel, was denounced as an anti-Semite following the publication of his 2006 book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, which went on to become a New York Times bestseller.

After a fierce backlash, Carter explained why it was so difficult for US politicians to discuss America’s relationship with Israel and the policies of the Zionist state in an honest fashion. “It would be almost politically suicidal for members of Congress to espouse a balanced position between Israel and Palestine,” he wrote in the Guardian at the time. “Very few would deign to visit the Palestinian cities of Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron, Gaza City or Bethlehem and talk to the beleaguered residents.” He urged his fellow Americans to know the facts about the “abominable oppression of the Palestinians.”

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Pompeo expected to announce process for U.S. to label groups anti-Semitic

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at media briefing on Tuesday at the State Department. (photo: AP / Jacquelyn Martin)
The secretary of State’s decision would address certain organizations’ such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam as anti-Semitic toward the Israeli government.

By Nahal Toosi |  Politico  |  Nov 11, 2020

…supporters of the organizations said that by targeting them, Pompeo would send a major signal to dictators and other leaders overseas that it’s acceptable to crack down on these and similar organizations

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has decided to establish a new process by which the United States can declare groups, including NGOs, to be anti-Semitic.

For now, however, Pompeo won’t be naming any names.

The decision is a compromise. Three people familiar with the issue confirmed it, but noted that Pompeo could still change his mind and hold off on an announcement.

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The Israel lobby’s ‘QME’ scam

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Cumulative US Foreign Assistance to Israel 1949-2020: $295 billion. This doesn’t include additional aid to Israel for intelligence support and other covert funding. Data from Congressional Research Service adjusted for inflation. 
Concern over keeping Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge has led to proposal giving Israel veto power over US arms sales.

By Grant Smith  | Antiwar.com |  Nov 10, 2020

Today, as the US offers additional advanced weapons to regimes successfully coerced to establish ties with Israel, someday those countries could stop obeying US marching orders and respond to popular demands for change, like Egypt during the Arab Spring. That is a problem, according to pro-Israel thinkers.

The United Arab Emirates bid to purchase F-35 multirole stealth aircraft caused a firestorm among Israel lobby operatives, pundits, and congressional fellow travelers. They say the US has an obligation to maintain Israel’s “Qualitative Military Edge” (QME) if not Israel’s “Qualitative AND Quantitative Military Edge.”  QME is a doctrine that US war planners originally conceived to assess and counter the Warsaw Pact’s numerical troop advantage over US and allied forces stationed in Europe. The US was thought to need a qualitative advantage in military systems in order to counter the imbalance.

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Hope Still Rises

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Please join Kairos Puget Sound Coalition’s holiday event to hear from Palestinian Christian Daoud Nassar who is the Owner and Director of the Tent of Nations educational and environmentally family farm located outside of Bethlehem.
Saturday, December 5, 2020
10:00 am – 12:00 pm Pacific Time
Live Zoom Event
Event Flyer
Free with required registration
Event Details

Daoud Nassar, a Palestinian Christian farmer, is Owner and Director of the Tent of Nations Project, an educational and environmentally conscious farm, that seeks to build bridges among people, and between people and the land. Daoud’s family has legally owned the farm since 1916, when Palestine was under Ottoman rule. The one-hundred-acre farm, located 6 kilometers from Bethlehem, is surrounded on three sides by Israeli settlements, and below by the Palestinian village of Nahalin. The family has been in Israeli courts since 1991, seeking formal recognition of their legal claim to this land. Daoud has traveled to the United States twice each year, since 2007, and spoken at nearly 350 venues in the U.S., under the sponsorship of Friends of Tent of Nations North America (FOTONNA.org). Daoud shares the story of his family’s commitment to living a life of non-violent resistance. At the entrance to Daoud’s farm, one is met with a large sign painted on a huge rock, stating “We Refuse to be Enemies”. The continuous – and numerous – obstacles they face in their daily life, mirror the experience of most Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.

In June 2013, Daoud was invited to preach at the well-known Riverside Baptist Church in New York City, which is where other more famous human rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and Bishop Tutu, have also preached. In July 2018, Daoud was invited to the Carter Center in Atlanta to be a participant in the Human Rights Defenders Forum. In October 2018, Tent of Nations and the Nassar Family received a Peace Award from the World Methodist Council. That same year Daoud was among 15 individuals to receive the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law.

Daoud has a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from the Bethlehem Bible College, a bachelor’s degree in Business from Bethlehem University, and a degree in Tourism Management from Bielefeld University in Germany. He is married to Jihan Nassar, and they have three children. Daoud speaks and understands Arabic, Hebrew, German and English.

More information here →

From Palestine to Turtle Island: When all else fails oppressors blame the victim

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Israeli soldiers handcuff Palestinian protester Khairy Hannoun from Tulkarem, West Bank, during a peaceful protest.(Photo: via Twitter)
The core components of racism remain intact when the communities most impacted are marginalized.

By Benay Blend |  The Palestine Chronicle  |  Nov 9, 2020

‘The people who get the most blame have the least to do with how this whole process goes.’
— Onyesonwu Chatoyer, organizer for the All African People’s Revolutionary Party—New Mexico

Reflecting on the 2020 election, Onyesonwu Chatoyer wrote: “One thing I’ve been reflecting on today is how much election discourse is just poor and working-class people” blaming each other “for not participating in the right way.” An organizer for the All African People’s Revolutionary Party—New Mexico, Chatoyer understands that “the people who get the most blame have the least to do with how this whole process goes.”

While on the other hand, it is “the people who control it all—and who create the ideological, material, and political conditions that drive how poor people participate—” who get virtually no reproach at all.

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Church of Norway: Christian Zionism is ‘theologically unacceptable’

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Press conference. President Olav Fykse Tveit, Bishop Atle Sommerfeldt, Bishop Herborg Finnset, Bishop Stein Reinertsen. (photo: Secretariat of the Episcopal Conference)
The Bishops Conference of Norway makes a strong statement against Christian Zionism’s use of the Bible to legitimize oppression or human rights violations.

By Church of Norway Bishops Conference  | Church of Norway | Nov 2, 2020

‘The promises of the Old Testament concerning the Jewish people and the land, cannot be used to legitimize the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes or their rights,’
— The Church of Norway Bishops Conference

In a statement on Christian Zionism released on 30 October, the Church of Norway Bishops Conference said Christian Zionism is “theologically unacceptable and incompatible with human rights.”

A just and sustainable peace in Israel and Palestine must respect international law and safeguard the security and rights of both peoples, the statement notes.

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Israel’s Repressive Diplomacy

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A man holds a poster in Arabic that reads, “we will not give up, we will not sell out, we will not agree on normalization,” at a protest in Khartoum, Sudan, over the Sudanese President of the Sovereignty Council Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan’s decision to meet Israel’s prime minister in a move toward normalizing relations, February 7th, 2020. (photo: Marwan Ali / AP)
Israel’s diplomatic normalization efforts with Arab countries has accompanied growing authoritarianism and there might be more to come.

By Peter Beinart | Jewish Currents | Oct 26, 2020

To implement normalization agreements, therefore, Netanyahu and Trump need their Arab partners to quash domestic dissent.

On October 23rd, Donald Trump announced that Sudan would begin the process of normalizing relations with Israel. The declaration, which was part of a deal to remove Sudan from the US list of state sponsors of terror, follows last month’s pledges by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to recognize the Jewish state. Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu have claimed that those peace deals—dubbed “The Abraham Accords”—will promote “human dignity and freedom” in the Middle East.

Twelve days after the Abraham Accords were signed, a poet named Dhabiya Khamis tried to exercise her freedom to leave the UAE. Her government barred her from boarding the plane. “The ban is probably because of my announced opinion against Zionism and normalization,” Khamis declared. “I fear for my freedom and life from being threatened and arrested.” Those fears were well-founded. According to a report in Middle East Monitor, “scores of Emiratis, Palestinians and Jordanians living in the UAE” had already been jailed “for opposing Abu-Dhabi’s peace deal with Israel.”

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