More big investors dump Israeli settlement profiteers

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Investing in firms involved in Israel’s illegal West Bank settlements presents an “unacceptable risk” of contributing to violations of Palestinian rights, says Norway’s KLP. (photo: Ahmad Al-Bazz / ActiveStills)
Norways largest pension company KLP takes action that highlights the negative impact of the settlements on Palestinians.

By Adri Nieuwhof | The Electronic Intifada | July 8, 2021

“Investors should not be profiting from human rights violations like the illegal confiscation and settlement of Palestinian land,”
— Christy Hoffman, general secretary of UNI Global Union

Norway’s largest pension fund KLP excluded 16 companies from its holdings over their links to Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The pension fund dumped the settlement profiteers because there is “an unacceptable risk” that they will contribute to human rights violations.

The divestment is particularly significant not just because of its scale but also because KLP drew on the UN’s database of companies involved with Israel’s settlements.

KLP said it sold assets worth more than $31 million in the excluded companies.

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Palestinian American Christians appeal to Biden: Reconsider US policy on Hamas

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in the West Bank city of Ramallah on May 25, 2021. (photo: Thaer Ganaim / APA Images)
Assigning the label “terrorist organization,” they say, hides a more complicated truth.

By Jeff Wright | Mondoweiss | July 9, 2021

“We believe that assigning the label of ‘terrorist organization’ to Hamas hides the more complicated truth that Hamas is a reflection and result of the untenable and unjust status quo in the land,”
— Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace (PCAP) letter

In a recent letter addressed to President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken, the Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace (PCAP) builds on remarks made by Blinken in Ramallah on May 25. During his press conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Blinken acknowledged Palestinians’ aspirations “to live in freedom; to have their basic rights respected, including the right to choose their own leaders; to live in security; to have equal access to opportunity for themselves, for their children; to be treated with dignity.”

The letter, written by the board of PCAP, acknowledges “that more positive cooperation has been taking place between the United States and the Palestinians.” While citing the reopening of the American consulate in East Jerusalem, the resumption of financial assistance to UNRWA, and the U.S. commitment to provide aid to the Gaza Strip, the letter states, “…we believe that much more than these limited actions and words must transpire for democracy, justice and peace to prevail.”

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The draconian law used by Israel to steal Palestinian land

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Israeli soldiers stand guard as Palestinian demonstrators gather during a protest against Israeli settlements in Beita town near Nablus. (photo; Mohamad Torokman / Reuters)
Analysts say all outposts are a backdoor to keep claiming Palestinian land after Israel committed to freezing settlements in the Oslo Accords in 1993.

By Anchal Vohra  | Al Jazeera | July 8, 2021

“Israel’s settler-colonial project that started a century ago has a clear goal: maximum land with minimum Palestinian people,”
— Ines Abdel Razak, a member of the Palestinian think-tank Al-Shabaka

In early May, more than 50 Jewish families packed their bags and moved to a hilltop in the West Bank in the occupied Palestinian territory.

They quickly erected modular homes, a synagogue, a nursery, and even dug a playground to claim a piece of land they neither purchased nor inherited.

These settlers called it the Evyatar outpost, after Evyatar Borosky – a Jewish man killed in 2013 allegedly by a Palestinian.

Continue reading “The draconian law used by Israel to steal Palestinian land”

We cannot use victimhood to justify victimizing others

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Jewish American author, physician, and human rights activist, Alice Rothchild. (credit: photo provided by the author)
An interview that tackles how Jewish victims of the Holocaust have turned into victimizers of the Palestinians and the way out of this dilemma.

By Nihan Duran | Politics Today | July 5, 2021

The idea that as a victim, I can do anything to survive, even if that means victimizing others, is morally and politically problematic. Until the Jewish community overcomes this particular way of dealing with the traumas of the Holocaust, we will never get out of this cultural psychopathology.
— Alice Rothchild

As the echoes of the global reaction to the recent human rights violations in Sheikh Jarrah and Gaza continue worldwide, Nihan Duran of Politics Today interviewed the renowned Jewish American author, physician, and human rights activist, Alice Rothchild, on how to interpret the transition from the oppressed to the oppressor and the challenges of defining, discussing and reporting the settler-colonialism in Palestine as well as the ways forward for meaningful peace advocacy and solidarity.

Q. As a Jewish American author, a human rights activist, and a physician, you have numerous works in which you critically reflect on physical realities in Israel and Palestine. Can we hear the story of who you are and how your engagement in the Israeli-Palestinian predicament has started in your own words?

My grandparents were Orthodox Jews and immigrants to the U.S. I grew up in a very traditional Jewish family, which was fairly secular. I went to a Hebrew school, I had a bat mitzvah,¹ and went to Israel when I was 14. I still have my 14-year-old diary, so I know how I felt about my trip to this magical place.

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Reconciliation Ministry and Update from Jerusalem

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Dr. Salim Munayer
Please join our brothers and sisters at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle in this zoom class with Dr. Salim Munayer.  Dr. Munayer will give a quick presentation of Musalaha, and answer questions about working in the Holy Land in these challenging times.
Date: Sunday, July 11, 2021
Time: 10:00 am (PST)
Location: Zoom On-line
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free
Event Details

Dr. Salim Munayer is the founder and Executive Director of Musalaha, an organization with a Christ-centered vision of reconciliation, based in Jerusalem. Musalaha is a long-term mission partner of UPC and many other churches across the world.

Musalaha, which means “Reconciliation” in Arabic, was founded in 1990, with the mission to teach, train, and facilitate reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds, based on biblical principles of reconciliation. Over the past 30 years, the mission has grown to include international groups.

More information here →

Scientific American retracted pro-Palestine article without any factual errors

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A Palestinian child, wounded by Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip, receives treatment at Al-Shifa Hospital on May 19, 2021 in Gaza City, Gaza. (photo: Fatima Shbair / Getty Images)
After right-wing outrage, the esteemed journal removed an opinion piece expressing solidarity with Palestinians under Israeli bombardment.

By Murtaza Hussain | The Intercept | July 1, 2021

“I remembered that there had been an article published in The Lancet in 2014 about health care workers speaking up for Palestine. I thought it was really powerful at the time and remembered that a lot of people in the health care field had responded to it when it was published.”
— Sabreen Akhter, MD, Chicago

Sabreen Akhter felt an urge to help in whatever way she could. Like many people around the world this May, Akhter was following news of war in the Gaza Strip, where Israeli bombardment was exacerbating a humanitarian crisis in the territory. Scanning her social media feed, Akhter, a doctor from Chicago, made contact with a few other health care professionals across the United States who had also been posting news online about the crisis.

Akhter set up a call to discuss what they could do, on behalf of their profession, for Palestinians. They settled on the idea of writing an article together as a group of medical workers concerned about the medical situation in Gaza and pitching it to Scientific American, where Akhter had published in the opinion section in the past.

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Palestinian leadership looks to engage Israel, US as Hamas’ popularity climbs

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Yahya Sinwar (C), Hamas’ political chief in Gaza, attends a rally organized by the representatives of prominent families (mokhtar) in support of “the Palestinian resistance” in Gaza City, on June 20, 2021.  (photo: Mahmud Hams / AFP via Getty Images)
Amid an uptick in popular support for Hamas following recent confrontations in East Jerusalem and the Israel-Hamas war, Fatah and the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah are looking for ways to stay relevant.

By Daoud Kuttab | Al- Monitor | June 21, 2021

“The opportunity is there for the new Israeli government to show they are ready for peace and the end of occupation and not for the continuation of the settlement policies, land confiscations, death and destruction,”
— Mohammad Shtayyeh, Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority

While the new Israeli government headed by right-wing, pro-settler Naftali Bennett starts to settle in, the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah is hoping to engage with them and with the Biden administration.

Reports that the Palestinian government has established a negotiating team has been denied to Al-Monitor by senior officials in Ramallah, but the fact that a story to that effect was published tends to indicate that certain elements within the entourage of President Mahmoud Abbas are looking for ways to be relevant.

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Interview with Alice Rothchild: Examining the founding mythology of Israel

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Alice Rothchild (photo: Alice Rothchild)
Democratic Perspective welcomes Alice Rothchild back to the show to discuss the recent conflict between Israel and Palestinians.
Democratic Perspective | June 21, 2021

 “I believe language is really important and calling it a battle implies there were two armies involved. It was more assault than battle.”
— Alice Rothchild

Democratic Perspective welcomes Alice Rothchild back to the show to discuss the recent conflict between Israel and Palestinians. Rothchild is a physician, author, activist and filmmaker who has long served as a volunteer in Gaza and the West Bank. She provides an in-depth look at the plight of Palestinians and the lead-up to the most recent conflict.

Rothchild begins by stating, “I believe language is really important and calling it a battle implies there were two armies involved. It was more assault than battle.” She notes that Israel airstrikes targeted homes, schools, hospitals, critical infrastructure, a media center, even Gaza’s only Covid-19 testing center.

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Seattle teachers union endorses BDS, demands end to police partnership with Israel

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Members of the Seattle Education Association on strike in 2015. (photo: Seattle Education Association)
Seattle teachers union takes a strong stance supporting Palestinians under occupation.

By Michael Arria | Mondoweiss |  June 18, 2021

“Our Representative Assembly took a bold, vocal stand against injustice from Seattle to Palestine and called attention to the inexcusable relationship between Seattle Police and Israeli military and police.”
— Emma Klein, Seattle educator and union member

The Seattle Education Association (SEA) has passed a resolution expressing solidarity with Palestine and endorsing the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement (BDS). The resolution also demands an end to collaboration between the Seattle Police Department and Israeli military.

“The SEA leadership will use all the existing means of communication (email, Facebook, texts, and any other social media the union uses) to encourage all SEA members and community allies to learn about these issues and to encourage people in their communities to stand in solidarity with unions and oppressed people in Palestine,” declares the resolution.

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‘Stop taking anything from Israel’: Block the Boat movement aims to halt cargo ship at Seattle Port

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Jasmine Fernandez leads a chant alongside Palestinian activists and allies while blocking an intersection in protest of the Israeli Zim San Diego Vessel on Thursday, June 17, 2021, at the Port of Seattle.  (photo: KUOW /Megan Farmer)
Demonstrators gathered near the Port of Seattle Thursday afternoon to block the unloading of a cargo ship owned by the shipping company ZIM, which was founded in Israel. Demonstrators are using the ship’s arrival as a way to protest Israeli actions in Gaza last month.

By Joshua McNichols | KUOW | June 17, 2021

“This is how we liberated South Africa from apartheid and we’re just trying to tell our ports, stop taking anything from Israel.”
— Aisha Mansour, Falastiniyat collective

Aisha Mansour is with Falastiniyat, a feminist grassroots collective which organized the protest. “We’re hoping to have a non-violent protest today where we just basically have some civic disobedience and we tell people, ‘Hey, don’t benefit from Israeli apartheid,'” she said. “This is how we liberated South Africa from apartheid and we’re just trying to tell our ports, stop taking anything from Israel.”

The union representing dockworkers supports the demonstrators’ first amendment rights, it said in a statement.

Protesters said they hoped to create a barrier that union workers would refuse to cross.

Continue reading “‘Stop taking anything from Israel’: Block the Boat movement aims to halt cargo ship at Seattle Port”