Enough already — not all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism

UCberkeley

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators march through Sather Gate on the University of California, Berkeley campus. (photo: Paul Sakuma / Associated Press)

The Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2018 should be shelved.

By The Times Editorial Board | Los Angeles Times | Jun 8, 2018


Is it necessarily anti-Semitic to harshly criticize the Jewish state or to do so without, in the same breath, criticizing Saudi repression?


Freedom of speech on college campuses is under enough pressure without the federal government adding to the problem by threatening to withdraw funding to punish people for expressing their political opinions. That would be a real possibility if Congress enacted and President Trump signed a bill called the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2018.

The legislation, which has recently been reintroduced in both chambers, purports to target harassment of Jewish students on college campuses, which has occurred in California and elsewhere.

But this proposal would blur the distinction between unacceptable, intimidating expressions of intolerance directed against Jews with criticism of the state of Israel. The latter, even when expressed in intemperate terms, is protected by the 1st Amendment. . . .

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Arab-Israeli couple strip-searched in Greek airport by Israeli security guards

Israeli journalist Sahar Issawi in Jerusalem, May 10, 2018. (photo: Emil Salman / Haaretz)

The couple, a lawyer and a journalist, both Israeli citizens of Arab descent, were asked to present their marriage license before being searched.

By Jack Khoury | Haaretz | Jun 11, 2018


“There were no security considerations here, it was all built on profiling. If you’re an Arab, you’re a suspect.”
— Arab-Israeli journalist, Sahar Issawi


An Arab Israeli couple was asked to present their marriage license before boarding a plane to Israel from Greece on Sunday. The couple also claimed they were subjected to a degrading security check.

Sahar Issawi and her husband, Firas Asali, who were asked for their marriage license by Israeli security personnel before they could board an Israir flight to Israel from Crete.

Issawi, a journalist, and Asali, a lawyer, both Israeli citizens, came to Heraklion Airport in Crete on May 10 for their flight back to Israel.

“When we got to the check-in counter we were greeted by an Israeli security guard, who then called a female security guard to take me so we could be questioned separately,” says Issawi.

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Palestine is not occupied — it is colonized

Israeli troops screened captured Egyptian troops and Palestinians at the start of the war on Jun 5, 1967, in Rafah in the Gaza Strip. (photo: David Rubinger / Israeli Governement / Getty Images)

Israel’s colonization began when the 19th-Century Zionist movement aspired to build an exclusive homeland for Jews in Palestine.

By Ramzy Baroud | Palestine Chronicle | Jun 6, 2018


The Palestinian Occupied Territories have, long ago, crossed the line from being occupied to being colonized. But there are reasons that we are trapped in old definitions, leading amongst them is American political hegemony over the legal and political discourses pertaining to Palestine.


June 5, 2018, marks the 51st anniversary of the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

But, unlike the massive popular mobilization that preceded the anniversary of the Nakba — the catastrophic destruction of Palestine in 1948 — on 15 May, the anniversary of the occupation is hardly generating equal mobilization.

The unsurprising death of the “peace process” and the inevitable demise of the “two-state solution” has shifted the focus from ending the occupation per se to the larger, and more encompassing, problem of Israel’s colonialism throughout Palestine.

Grassroots mobilization in Gaza and the West Bank, and among Palestinian Bedouin communities in the Naqab Desert, are, once more, widening the Palestinian people’s sense of national aspirations. Thanks to the limited vision of the Palestinian leadership those aspirations have, for decades, been confined to Gaza and the West Bank.

In some sense, the “Israeli occupation” is no longer an occupation as per international standards and definitions. It is merely a phase of the Zionist colonization of historic Palestine, a process that began over a 100 years ago, and carries on to this day. . . .

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Cal State East Bay student government unanimously passes BDS resolution

California State University East Bay. (photo: BDS Movement)

The Student Government of CSU East Bay endorsed a resolution calling for divestment from corporations complicit in the illegal military occupation of Palestine.

Press Release | SJP West | May 24, 2018


Under international law, Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territories, which include the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, is illegal and inhumane. The occupation restricts the movement and freedom of Palestinians in these territories, and monitors and controls Palestinian lives and livelihoods as well as removing them from the lands they live on through the use of the separation barrier, checkpoints, and Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank which are also considered illegal under international law, as well as a military blockade surrounding the Gaza Strip.


Hawyard, May 23, 2018: Associated Students, Incorporated (ASI) Board of Directors of California State University, East Bay voted unanimously in favor of a resolution in support of divestment from corporations that profit from the occupation of Palestine.

The resolution, which was authored and introduced by a coalition of diverse student organizations and individuals at CSU East Bay, spearheaded by the Muslim Student Association, calls upon the university’s trustees to review their investments and divest from any companies found to be complicit in the violation of international law.

Some corporations were specifically mentioned, such as Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard, G4S, and Motorola Solutions, for being directly involved in allowing the Israeli government to maintain and enforce the occupation and construct Jewish-only settlements, walls and barriers, and checkpoints.

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Eurovision organizers reluctant to hold 2019 event in Jerusalem

Netta Barzilai reacts as she wins the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, May 12, 2018. (photo: Armando Franca / AP)

European officials fear that celebrations in the contested city could cause controversy.

By Chaim Levinson | Haaretz | Jun 7, 2018


Production of next year’s spectacle is in the hands of the Israeli public broadcaster, Kan, but the European Broadcasting Union has broad powers over details.


Officials at the European Broadcasting Union are uneasy about holding the Eurovision Song Contest in Jerusalem next year, say Israelis involved in the production.

Following a series of meetings last week, the European officials expressed concern that Mideast politics could harm the competition and erode the brand, the sources say.

The Eurovision will take place in Israel next year because an Israeli, Netta Barzilai, won the 2018 contest held in Portugal last month. No decision has been made on the location or date; preparations are at a very early stage, and controversy surrounding Jerusalem increased last month when the United States moved its embassy there.

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Jared Kushner “annoyed” with Kuwait’s Palestine resolution at UN

Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, at the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem. (photo: Abir / Sultan / EPA-EFE)

Report says Kushner told Kuwait envoy initiative embarrassed him in front of American officials and allies.

By Al Jazeera | Jun 7, 2018


Last week, the US was alone in voting down the Kuwait-drafted UN Security Council resolution on protecting Palestinians from Israeli live fire. Ten countries, including Russia and France, voted in favor of the resolution.


Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House senior adviser, met Kuwait’s ambassador to Washington and expressed his frustration with the Gulf nation’s position on Palestine at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), according to Kuwait-based daily Al Rai.

Citing an unnamed US diplomatic source, the newspaper said on Wednesday that Kushner conveyed the Trump administration’s “annoyance” over a recently drafted Kuwaiti resolution that called for the protection of Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

Kuwait drafted the resolution after dozens of Palestinian demonstrators were killed by Israeli forces last month in Gaza.

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They thought they were living in a Jerusalem suburb — but Actually, they’re settlers

The Jerusalem suburb of Mevasseret Zion. (photo: Emil Salman / Haaretz)

It turns out a street in an upscale Jerusalem suburb is actually outside the State of Israel.

By Nir Hasson | Haaretz | Jun 7, 2018


“I’d always known that the water tower is across the line, and suddenly the penny dropped — The street is, too.”
— Dror Etkes, spokesman for Kerem Navot, a non-profit organization that monitors Israeli land policy in the West Bank


Since the mid-1990’s, Mevasseret Zion, an upscale suburb of Jerusalem, with a population of some 25,000, has undergone significant expansion northward, in the form of the Rekhes Halilim neighborhood. It now turns out that in some parts of that neighborhood’s northern section, the homes are situated outside the town’s own municipal boundaries — and also outside the State of Israel. The major deviation is on Bareket Street, where more than 20 structures were built across the 1949 Green Line, in the West Bank. In four or five other cases, the Green Line, [which served as Israel’s border until the 1967 Six-Day War] runs right through the houses themselves.

A little to the west, a facility of Hagihon, the Jerusalem region water company, was also built across the Green Line. Not far from there, about two years ago, local residents placed two mobile homes which became a “pirate” synagogue that has functioned without interference ever since. On top of all this, the Israel Land Authority is promoting a new plan to build 300 residential units in the area. . . .

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