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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Please join our brothers and sisters with the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network and other local groups for a global call to action on July 1. The Day of Rage is a call to confront Israeli annexation and struggle for a free Palestine and to expose and oppose the deadly exchange of trainings, technologies and weapons between the Seattle Police Department and the Israeli police and military forces.
In solidarity with the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network’s global call to action to confront Israeli annexation and struggle for a free Palestine, we are organizing a local Day of Rage rally at the West SPD Precinct. Along with actions organized by Palestinian communities in exile and diaspora and solidarity movements around the world, Seattle Palestinian, Black and Indigenous communities are organizing a Day of Rage rally against Israel’s annexation of the West Bank of Palestine and against police terrorism in the US. We demand the defunding and dismantling of US police alongside the defunding and dismantling of Zionist colonialism and racist Israeli apartheid. Join us on Wednesday, July 1st from 5:30-7:00 at the SPD West Precinct [810 Virginia Street, Seattle WA 98101]. Bring your masks, uphold social distancing, bring signs and bring your rage.
We are organizing to expose and oppose the deadly exchange of trainings, technologies and weapons between the Seattle Police Department and the Israeli police and military forces. These trainings make US police forces and the Israeli military more dangerous and reinforce these fascist institutions controlled by the state which both take the lives and terrorize oppressed Black and Indigenous people in our communities. We are outraged by the occupation of Palestine. We are outraged by the police murders of Black people. We are outraged by this oppression and call everyone to join us in saying enough is enough!
A letter backed by four prominent progressives in Congress was immediately rejected by pro-Israel groups in Washington.
By Ali Harb | Middle East Eye | June 30, 2020
‘We cannot support an undemocratic system in which Israel would permanently rule over a Palestinian people denied self-determination or equal rights,’ — US House Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Pramila Jayapal and Betty McCollum
Four Democratic congresswomen have put forward a strong-worded letter against Israel’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank, calling for using a “combination of pressure and incentives” to prevent it, including imposing conditions on American military aid to Israel.
The letter, led by House member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and co-signed by Rashida Tlaib, Pramila Jayapal and Betty McCollum, was met with immediate rejection by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Monday, setting the stage for a confrontation between progressive Democrats and pro-Israel groups in Washington.
“Unilateral annexation in the West Bank would alienate US lawmakers and citizens. We cannot support an undemocratic system in which Israel would permanently rule over a Palestinian people denied self-determination or equal rights,” the letter, addressed to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, reads.
The world’s frantic attempts to stop annexation remain stuck in the liberal Zionist fantasies that kept the occupation running smoothly for decades.
By Yousef Munayyer | +972 Magazine | June 23, 2020
The reality on the ground is that de facto annexation — as the International Court of Justice’s advisory opinion on Israel’s separation wall noted 16 years ago — is already in place, thanks in great part to the liberal Zionist governments that built and maintained the occupation since 1967.
As the new Israeli government was being sworn in last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proclaimed before the Knesset that it was time to “write another glorious chapter in the history of Zionism” by formally annexing more territory in the occupied West Bank.
With just over a week away from July 1 — the date the government has pledged to begin advancing legislation to apply “Jewish sovereignty” over its settlements — liberal Zionist figures and organizations, in Israel and abroad, have been hastily pulling out all the stops to prevent this annexation move.
However, hardly any of these liberal Zionists are acknowledging that it was their own advocacy that helped to produce this “glorious chapter” in the first place.