Opinion: Jared Kushner’s plan for Palestine is even crazier than you thought

 

Palestinian Bedouins next to their belongings after 12 of their tents were destroyed by Israeli army bulldozers near Jericho in the West Bank's Area C, where Israel exercises full control. August 18, 2015
Palestinian Bedouins next to their belongings after 12 of their tents were destroyed by IDF bulldozers near Jericho in the West Bank Area C, where Israel exercises full control. August 18, 2015.  (photo: AFP)
Kushner’s ‘economic peace’ plan repeatedly claims that occupied Palestine can model itself after Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. That’s certainly ambitious – but also ignorant, absurd and even dangerous.

By Teresita Cruz-Del Rosario and Victor Kattan  |  Haaretz |  Jul 4, 2019

Kushner’s plan is opaque on the key question of Palestinian territorial integrity, a foundational issue for economic policy and development.

Jared Kushner’s glossy “economic peace” plan has been widely, although not universally, panned.

Critics have attacked the plan from innumerable angles: from the photographs used to promote it, culled from USAID programs whose funding had been ended by the Trump administration, to the recycling of old, largely discredited ideas, associated with previous Israeli and U.S. plans that promoted economic development before a political plan.

None of these peace plans, including those that prioritized economic development ahead of a political program, have worked.

One key claim of the plan, largely overlooked by critics, are Kushner’s case studies, which are repeatedly referenced throughout the document: Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.

Continue reading “Opinion: Jared Kushner’s plan for Palestine is even crazier than you thought”

Palestinian Authority thought compliance would lead to independence, but it only strengthened Israel’s domination

Mahmoud Abbas listening to Barack Obama at the UN General Assembly in 2011. (Photo: Seth Wenig/AP)
Mahmoud Abbas listening to Barack Obama at the UN General Assembly in 2011. (photo: Seth Wenig / AP)
The following is an excerpt from Noura Erakat’s new book Justice For Some: Law and the Question of Palestine.

By Noura Erakat | Mondoweiss | Jul 3, 2019

Having torpedoed the possibility of a Palestinian state, Israel is now the sole source of authority from the Mediterranean Sea to the River Jordan.

In 2018, the prospect of a sovereign and independent Palestinian state is obsolete. As of late 2015, the Israeli settler population in the West Bank numbered more than 600,000, a 200 percent increase since the advent of the Oslo peace process in 1993. Israel’s settlement enterprise carves the West Bank into more than twenty noncontiguous landmasses separating approximately three million Palestinians into as many groups that stand apart from one another, thus undermining any sense of territorial contiguity or national cohesion. In 2000, Israel began constructing a separation barrier, or wall, allegedly to halt the flow of Palestinian suicide bombers within Israel’s undeclared borders. By the time of the wall’s completion in 2020, 85 percent of its length will run through the West Bank and effectively confiscate 13 percent of that territory, conveniently where most of Israel’s largest settlement blocs are located. Israeli military law prohibits the presence and travel of Palestinians between the West Bank and Gaza, thereby entrenching their political and geographic fragmentation. In Gaza, Israel has securitized nearly two million Palestinians and held them captive under a land siege and naval blockade for more than a decade. Palestinians cannot freely travel to East Jerusalem, and that area’s 300,000 Palestinians are subject to an aggressive removal campaign. In the years since 1948, nearly two thirds of the Palestinian population has been driven into a global diaspora, including fifty-eight refugee camps in the Arab world, and is being denied the right to return. Having torpedoed the possibility of a Palestinian state, Israel is now the sole source of authority from the Mediterranean Sea to the River Jordan.
Continue reading “Palestinian Authority thought compliance would lead to independence, but it only strengthened Israel’s domination”

Burying the Nakba: How Israel systematically hides evidence of 1948 expulsion of Arabs

Hrant Nakashian /  1949 UN Archive)
Since early last decade, Defense Ministry teams have scoured local archives and removed troves of historic documents to conceal proof of the Nakba.

By Hagar Shezaf  | Haaretz| Jul 5, 2019

He (Yehiel Horev) maintains that it makes sense to conceal the events of 1948, because uncovering them could generate unrest among the country’s Arab population.

Four years ago, historian Tamar Novick was jolted by a document she found in the file of Yosef Vashitz, from the Arab Department of the left-wing Mapam Party, in the Yad Yaari archive at Givat Haviva. The document, which seemed to describe events that took place during the 1948 war, began:

“Safsaf [former Palestinian village near Safed] – 52 men were caught, tied them to one another, dug a pit and shot them. 10 were still twitching. Women came, begged for mercy. Found bodies of 6 elderly men. There were 61 bodies. 3 cases of rape, one east of from Safed, girl of 14, 4 men shot and killed. From one they cut off his fingers with a knife to take the ring.”

Continue reading “Burying the Nakba: How Israel systematically hides evidence of 1948 expulsion of Arabs”

This article could be illegal in Arkansas

The Arkansas state capitol building. (photo: Wikimedia Commons)
It should go without saying that no editorial, op-ed or news article should be “illegal,” particularly one talking about core constitutional protections for free speech and our free press.

By Gabe Rottman | Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press | Jul 2, 2019

Not only does [the Arkansas law] put a thumb on the scale of public debate — a newspaper that signs the certification is free to publish editorials or any other content opposing an Israel boycott — but it also forces newspapers that might otherwise remain silent on a public controversy to take a side.

In August 2017, the Arkansas legislature passed a law requiring any state contractor to sign a form pledging it will not participate in a boycott of Israel. The only options for a contractor that does not want to sign are to give up contracting with the state or to discount prices by 20 percent. The law is so broad it could outlaw the publication of this article in the state. Here’s why.

The Arkansas Times, an alternative newsweekly in Little Rock, has for years contracted to run advertisements for Pulaski Technical College, a state school. The Times has never commented on an Israeli boycott, but it refused to sign the certification for fear it would interfere with its perceived editorial independence. Pulaski Technical College withdrew its advertising.

The Arkansas Times sued, arguing the law violates the First Amendment, particularly because the Arkansas legislature passed the law not because of any rash of Israeli boycotts in the state, but to target one particular global boycott movement, the “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” campaign, or “BDS.”

Continue reading “This article could be illegal in Arkansas”

Kairos Puget Sound Coalition’s Summer Potluck and Play

IMG_7944.JPG
KPSC Summer Potluck 2018.  (photo:  Ann Marchand)
Please join our brothers and sisters with the Kairos Puget Sound Coalition for their summer event.
Date: Saturday, July 13, 2019
Time: 5:00 – 8:00 pm
Location: Huda Giddens home, 4338 N.E. 44th St., Seattle
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free
Event Details

The annual potluck event takes place at the lovely home of Huda Giddens.  A play reading “Where I Grew Up” with Yusef Mahmoud and Ed Mast, followed by an active discussion, will occur in the park adjacent to Huda’s home.

Everyone welcome and bring a potluck dish to share to Huda Giddens.

Evening Schedule:

5:00 – Welcome, remarks, and social
5:30-6:30 – Potluck
6:30-8:00 – Play – with Yusef Mahmoud and Ed Mast, followed by a guided discussion
with Ed Mast.

More information here →

 

J Street launches birthright alternative, featuring ‘Occupation 101’

jstreet.org
An alternative ‘birthright’ tour that will include the Palestinian narrative.

By Judy Maltz (Haaretz) |   Forward  | Jul 1, 2019

By omitting Palestinian perspectives, Birthright trips create ‘a political environment that allows home demolitions, settlement expansion, and other destructive policies of occupation to continue unchallenged.’
— J Street

A first-of-its-kind “alternative Birthright” tour aimed at progressive-minded young American Jews kicks off in Israel on Tuesday.

Forty participants are set to take part in the 10-day inaugural trip, titled “Let Our People Know,” which is sponsored and financed by J Street.

The tour includes visits to the West Bank cities of Hebron and Ramallah, as well as meetings with Jewish settlers from the Binyamin Regional Council.

Continue reading “J Street launches birthright alternative, featuring ‘Occupation 101’”

Jared Kushner’s plan for Palestine is even crazier than you thought

Kevin Lamarque /Reuters)
Kushner’s “economic peace” plan repeatedly claims that occupied Palestine can model itself after Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. That’s certainly ambitious — but also ignorant, absurd and even dangerous.

By Teresita Cruz-del Rosario and Victor Kattan | Haaretz | Jul 4, 2019

The lessons of these Asian economic success stories is fairly straightforward: sovereignty was key to transforming these states into Asian economic power houses embedded in strong states that could drive development policies.

Jared Kushner’s glossy “economic peace” plan has been widely, although not universally, panned.

Critics have attacked the plan from innumerable angles: from the photographs used to promote it, culled from USAID programs whose funding had been ended by the Trump administration, to the recycling of old, largely discredited ideas, associated with previous Israeli and US plans that promoted economic development before a political plan.

None of these peace plans, including those that prioritized economic development ahead of a political program, have worked.

One key claim of the plan, largely overlooked by critics, are Kushner’s case studies, which are repeatedly referenced throughout the document: Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.

Continue reading “Jared Kushner’s plan for Palestine is even crazier than you thought”

Germany threatens journalist with prison for speaking about Palestine

A man wearing a Palestinian scarf speaks at a podium
Khaled Barakat (photo: No One Is Illegal Vancouver)
Germany fearful of open discourse critical of Israel.

By  Riri Hylton  |  The Electronic Intifada  |  Jul 1, 2019

‘The same forces advocating for and issuing this political ban against me are involved in repressing Jewish voices that criticize Zionism, Israeli policy and German policy on Israel.’
—Khaled Barakat

German authorities barred Palestinian-Canadian journalist Khaled Barakat from speaking at a Palestine solidarity event in Berlin, claiming his “anti-Semitic” speeches posed a threat to public order and could undermine relations between the country and Israel.

The activist has been prohibited from attending future political events and threatened with up to one year in prison, marking another success in the Israel lobby’s bid to clamp down on criticism abroad.

Barakat had been invited to speak at an Arab community event in Berlin on 22 June to discuss Palestinian liberation and its implications for other Arab communities, as well as US President Donald Trump’s so-called Deal of the Century.

Continue reading “Germany threatens journalist with prison for speaking about Palestine”

The ‘deal of the century’ as a deliberate deception

White House adviser Jared Kushner presented his economic plan
White House adviser Jared Kushner presented his economic plan ‘Peace to Prosperity’ at a workshop in Manama, Bahrain on June 25. (photo: Bahrain News Agency via AP)
Kushner’s plan recycles failed past proposals and will clearly not succeed. But was it meant to in the first place?

By Ibrahim Fraihat  | Aljazeera |  June 29, 2019

Kushner’s ‘deal of the century’ has by far surpassed all others in this regard by completely decoupling politics from economic solutions.

Proposing an economic approach to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is nothing new and it was definitely not pioneered by President Donald Trump and his adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner. It was put forward many times in the past by both the Israeli side, most prominently represented by Israeli leader Shimon Peres and his New Middle East vision, and by various international mediators, including the Quartet on the Middle East, which was created by the UN, US, EU and Russia after the Second Intifada.

Needless to say, all past proposals have failed for one simple reason: They all suffered from an imbalance between economics and politics. Kushner’s “deal of the century” has by far surpassed all others in this regard by completely decoupling politics from economic solutions.

Continue reading “The ‘deal of the century’ as a deliberate deception”

What “Holy Land” tours miss

(photo: SJ Travel Photo and Video / Shutterstock)
Congratulations, I want to say. You have managed to visit the Holy Land without meeting an Arab.

By Jessica Moore | Sojourners | Jun 27, 2019

This tourist avoids seeing a checkpoint in action, with lines of Palestinian men, women, and children standing on the side, legs spread, waiting for a soldier to check them. Avoids facing the miles of thick concrete security wall, snaking in between crumbling Arab villages and gleaming Jewish settlements. Avoids seeing the barb-wired watch towers, with teenagers — who have lived their whole lives behind the wall — kick a soccer ball below.

As a Palestinian Christian who grew up in Jerusalem, I have a hard time knowing where, if anywhere, my narrative fits among the pictures evangelical Christians paint of Israel. I was reminded of this recently when an acquaintance of mine did a “holy land tour,” and posted travel updates that showed up on my social media stream.

Seeing others post pictures in the same spots where I walked home from school, went on a field trip, or stopped for bread on the way back from church, is like watching someone’s first-date encounter with your old friend. But as the pictures roll by, something else begins to gather in my chest. Rage.

One more person visiting my homeland and also not visiting my homeland.

Continue reading “What “Holy Land” tours miss”