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Academic Newsletter N° 56 (March 2020)

Ahmed Abbes, "Coronavirus - How can I not think of Gaza?" (Mondoweiss, March 18):

Who could have imagined just a few days ago that Europeans would be confined to their homes and become persona non grata all over the world? It is as if the blockade of Gaza has come to us, even if the situation there is incomparably more dramatic...



Actions -- Agenda -- Academia -- Analyses -- Antisemitism -- BDS -- Current Affairs -- Gaza -- International -- Israel -- Jerusalem/Al-Quds -- Palestine -- Prisoners -- Refugees -- Resources -- Videos

Actions & Calls : 

"Stop Israeli killer drones from intensifying the EU's border militarisation"

Since the end of February 2020 at Europe's borders with Turkey, the EU is facing refugees and migrants with increased militarised violence carried out by Greek forces using tear gas on land and live ammunition on sea. European agencies FRONTEX and EMSA are declaring a further escalation of intervention. From the sky, Israel's killer drones developed during the massacres in Gaza are delivering the necessary information for these attacks on migrants and refugees. Israel's military industry has been lobbying for years to get a share of the EU multi-million spending on border militarization. Israel's Ministry of Defense announced in 2018 that Europe is a "significant target for defense transactions, mainly in terms of 'border defenses'". The results are coming in: Frontex and EMSA (European Maritime Safety Agency) have started using Israeli killer drones.

ECCP and Stop the Wall release their new briefing « Stop Israeli Killer Drones from Intensifying the EU's Border Militarization » to denounce the role of Israeli military companies and technologies in these human rights violations. To download the briefing (pdf, 6p.), click here!

Settler violence: An unofficial state tool for taking over Palestinian land - Blocking roads, throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at cars and homes, raiding villages by night, torching houses and fields, uprooting trees, damaging property, physically assaulting and shooting: settler violence against Palestinians has long since become routine. This daily, severe violence is meant to drive Palestinians out of their land and make it clear who is in charge - fully backed by Israel's official policy in the West Bank. I've worked in B'Tselem's data coordination department since 2003 and run it since 2016. Over the years, we've documented and investigated thousands of attacks by settlers. Unfortunately, there are too many attacks to publish every single one and some of the cases we documented remain archived. To more fully convey the frequency and severity of these incidents, we decided to start a new blog on B'Tselem's website, giving voice to the people exposed to these acts of violence.

Suhair `Abdi - Data Department Director, B'Tselem

"Palestine: Over 75 Organizations Commend the UN High Commissioner for Publishing the Database of Businesses Involved in Illegal Israeli Settlements" (Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, March 19):

In a letter sent on 17 March 2020, 78 organizations commended UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and her Office for the publication of the UN database of businesses engaged in activities related to Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, ahead of the 43rd session of the HRC. The organizations noted that the release of the database, although not comprehensive in scope, demonstrates the commitment of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to upholding human rights standards and the rule of law in pursuit of justice and accountability for the oppressed around the world, while reaffirming the OHCHR's independence and impartiality in the face of undue political pressure. "The database will serve as an important tool in the face of unlawful confiscation and exploitation of Palestinian land and natural resources in the context of prolonged Israeli military occupation, compounded by corporate involvement in Israel's systemic human rights violations and impunity for serious breaches of international law," said Elizabeth Rghebi, Levant Researcher at the CIHRS.


Agenda :  

# 16th - 21th March: Join Israeli Apartheid Week 2020: "United Against Racism" (BDS Movement):

Advocating for Palestinian rights in the context of global struggles against racial oppression, IAW 2020 will take place between 16 March and the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 21 March. It is more urgent than ever to join together our struggles for freedom, justice, equality and dignity and to recognize that Israel's far-right regime is a key partner of authoritarian and even genocidal regimes worldwide, supplying them with deadly military and security technologies. 


Academia :

"9 (10) leden Wetenschappelijke Raad Kazerne Dossin nemen ontslag"

Tien (update) leden van de Wetenschappelijke Raad van het Memoriaal, Museum en Documentatiecentrum over de Holocaust en Mensenrechten, Kazerne Dossin, hebben op 9 maart ontslag genomen uit de raad, na een onderhoud met de raad van bestuur. In een motie verwijzen zij onder meer naar de "grove en eerloze wijze" waarop Brigitte Herremans, wetenschappelijk medewerkster aan het Human Rights Centre van de UGent, samen met Pax Christi op 12 dec 2019 door het bestuur brutaal de deur werden gewezen. In de motie stellen de experten ook: "Het is voor ons evident dat Kazerne Dossin, als plaats van herinnering, niet het terrein kan zijn waarop de huidige politiek van de Staat Israël wordt geagendeerd. We mogen immers niet de indruk wekken dat we uitgerekend op deze plaats, de 25.000 Joodse slachtoffers die daar worden herdacht, zouden instrumentaliseren in een politiek conflict waar zij niets mee te maken hebben."

*** Motie betreffende Museum Kazerne Dossin (fb van H.Van Goethem);
*** Kazerne Dossin : neuf membres du Conseil scientifique démissionnent
(trad. de la motion par J-M Flémal).

Or Kashti, "Tel Aviv University shutting down Center for Peace Research" (Haaretz, Dec 27, 2019):

The TAU administration recently announced its intention to shut down the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research. The decision was told to various people at the center, and is slated to go into effect in the middle of the academic year... In the past several years the center has supported studies that dealt with topics such as the influence on young people and adults of online information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the integration of graduates of Arab schools into the labor market, relations between Jewish and Arab students at college, and examination of the government's policy towards the Arab minority.


Analyses & Comments :

"Accords d'Oslo: Palestine, ce pays promis mais déjà volé - " 31° Nord 35° Est ", de Khalil Tafakji" (Orient XXI, 24 janvier 2020):

Pendant trente ans, Khalil Tafakji a sillonné la Palestine. Il a dressé la carte détaillée de l'entreprise israélienne de conquête du territoire. C'est son expérience qu'il relate dans "31° Nord 35° Est. Chronique géographique de la colonisation israélienne". Dans le premier chapitre que nous reproduisons, il raconte la présentation de ses travaux à la direction palestinienne et à Yasser Arafat revenus d'exil.


Ellie Stern, "Anti-Palestinian incitement spikes online with Israeli election season" (+972, March 12):

A social media post inciting violence against Palestinians and Arabs was published every 64 seconds during the first two rounds of Israeli elections in 2019, a new report finds. According to the latest annual "Index of Racism and Incitement in Israeli Social Media," produced by the organization 7amleh - Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, 2019 saw a 14% increase from the previous year in violent or racist discourse against Palestinians and Arabs on Israeli social media. In 2017, such posts were made every 71 seconds; in 2018, every 66 seconds.


Lior Amihai: "West Bank lockdowns didn't start with the coronavirus pandemic" (+972, March 11):

Last Thursday, with both the coronavirus and Israeli political crises in full swing, temporary Defense Minister Naftali Bennett announced a full military closure on Bethlehem after a number of residents in the city were confirmed to have COVID-19. It seems that the same principles that have guided Israeli governments during 52 years of occupation - with its distancing, concealing, and dehumanization of Palestinians - continue to guide Benjamin Netanyahu's government during a game-changing pandemic. Yet in contrast to these guiding principles, it has become even clearer that the space in which we live is a human web that cannot be artificially separated. This epidemic can be our opportunity to prove that we have not forgotten how to be human. And perhaps, in the shadow of the coronavirus, the residents of Bethlehem and other cities under military enclosure will be free from nightly raids, surprise checkpoints, arbitrary arrest, military expeditions, and daily encounters with the occupying power. [Lior Amihai is Executive Director of Yesh Din]


'Antisemitism' Politics & Lawfare:

"Jewish Group Applauds Montreal City Council for Abandoning Controversial Definition of Antisemitism" 

Montreal, January 28, 2020 - Independent Jewish Voices Canada (IJV) applauds the Montreal City Council for abandoning a motion to adopt the controversial 'International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism' today. The motion to adopt the definition was withdrawn. "This is another major victory for all who oppose antisemitism and support Palestinian human rights," said Corey Balsam, IJV's National Coordinator. "We strongly believe that our safety as Jews is intimately tied with the safety and well-being of other communities targeted by hate and bigotry, and that includes the Palestinian people. We congratulate the City of Montreal for its decision to abandon the IHRA's problematic definition and strongly encourage other cities and provinces in Canada to follow suit."

In Canada, over 300 academics have so far signed an open letter denouncing the IHRA definition, and cautioning against the effect it could have on academic freedom. IJV's objections to the IHRA re-definition are detailed in its recent report, in which it deconstructs the definition line by line and warns of the dangerous consequences of its adoption both for the fight against antisemitism and the movement for Palestinian human rights. "The IHRA definition sadly betrays the post-Holocaust ethos of "never again", instrumentalizing the important fight against antisemitism to silence those who advocate for Palestinian human rights, including Jews themselves," affirms Balsam. "IJV will continue to challenge the definition at every level of government and at any other institutional body to which it is proposed."


"Open Letter from Canadian Academics re: the IHRA Definition of Antisemitism."

A major international effort is underway by Israel and lobby groups to brand criticism of Israel and Palestine solidarity activism as "the new antisemitism". They are seeking to do this by advocating for the passage of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism by all levels of government, as well as by institutions like universities and police departments. The 'IHRA definition of antisemitism' is a flawed document which equates anti-zionism and antisemitism and, if implemented, poses a real threat to academic freedom, freedom of expression and the right to protest.
To be clear, antisemitism is a real problem and must be fought in all its forms.
Independent Jewish Voices is active in the struggle against antisemitism. We reject all forms of racism and oppression. We believe that antisemitism is intimately tied to other forms of hate, and that it increases when racism, xenophobia and intolerance of all sorts are on the rise. For these reasons, we believe that the important battle against antisemitism is actually undermined when opposition to Israel's oppression of the Palestinians is branded antisemitic.

For more information, including Independent Jewish Voices' full report on the IHRA definition, please visit: or look below. Feel free to contact us with any questions at

David Cronin, "Cops and lobbyists dominate EU working group on anti-Semitism" (EI, 26 Feb):

Next month the EU will hold a meeting of its relatively new working group on anti-Semitism. That meeting will not be guided by the clear description of anti-Semitism offered by the Oxford English Dictionary. Rather, it will focus on a more complicated 'working-definition' approved by a club of 33 countries known as the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance...The working group's membership list - published below - also includes B'nai B'rith, the European Jewish Congress and the European Union of Jewish Students. All three of those organizations have tried to defend Israel's violence against Palestinians. The EU's working group does not reflect the diversity of opinions among Europe's Jews. No Jewish organization or individuals who are outspoken against Israel and Zionism have been invited to take part in its activities.


Asa Winstanley, "Israel lobby scores own goal as football charity stands by Ken Loach" (The Electronic Intifada, 6 March):

A leading UK anti-racist charity has rejected Israel lobby demands to distance itself from socialist filmmaker Ken Loach and children's author and poet Michael Rosen. 'Show Racism the Red Card' on Thursday stated that it stands by the "decision to work with Ken and Michael, who are both long-standing supporters." Continue...

"Threats to anti-racism charity lead to Ken Loach stepping down as competition judge" (Artists for Palestine UK, March 18):

"'Show Racism the Red Card' and Ken Loach" - a statement from Ken Loach's supporters, first published at Sixteen Films.

David Letwin, "Linking BDS to antisemitism is a hoax perpetrated by those seeking to stifle growing Palestinian solidarity" (Mondoweiss, Feb 13):

BDS rejects Zionism - a settler-colonial ideology that demands a Jewish-supremacist state in Palestine - not Judaism or Jews. Unable to refute this distinction, Israel supporters are determined to erase it altogether through a sweeping set of laws, resolutions, and related measures, including several in New Jersey (see senate "antisemitism" bills 4001 and 4169).


Asa Winstanley, "'UK Lawyers for Israel' libeled charity" (The Electronic Intifada, 11 March):

An Israel lobby group has made an out-of-court settlement in the UK after libeling a Palestinian charity in blog posts and letters to donors. Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP) announced on Tuesday that UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) had withdrawn allegations that they provide "financial or material support to any terrorist organization." In an email to The Electronic Intifada on Wednesday, UKLFI also admitted to "support" for an Israeli ministry's work.



BDS SA expands into Africa, rebrands to become "Africa for Palestine" (BDS, March 12):

12 March 2020. Following our recent office opening by the Mayor of Johannesburg and an incredible decade of BDS victories in South Africa, the South African human rights and Palestine solidarity organisation, BDS South Africa, after a consultation with several of our partners in South Africa and on the African continent, will be rebranding and broadening our mandate. We will henceforth function under the name Africa for Palestine (AFP). In the last decade we - with the support of our partners and community - held hundreds of successful campaigns, events, activities and engagements across South Africa. Israel's Haaretz has said that: "BDS has arguably been more effective in South Africa than anywhere else in the world".


"UN List of Companies Exploiting Occupation of Palestine Hides Key Profiteers" (The Real News, March 12):

The US and Israel not only delayed the UN's list of companies exploiting Palestinian occupation for 3 years, but omitted the most egregious profiteers, concealing activity that could be a war crime under the Geneva Conventions. Marc Steiner: "Welcome to The Real News. Good to have you with us. We're joined by Shir Hever, who is based in Heidelberg, Germany. His latest book is "The Privatization of Israeli Security" (Pluto Press, Nov 2017). In February, the UN Human Rights Committee published a list of 112 companies that profit from the Israeli occupation on Palestinian and Syrian land..." Shir Hever: "Well, I was a little bit involved in compiling that list among many, many other activists in Israel and Palestine and elsewhere...".


Current Affairs:

Yumna Patel, "Palestinian teen killed during village's attempt to defend mountain from Israeli settlers" (Mondoweiss, March 12):

For the Palestinians of the northern occupied West Bank, putting your life on the line to defend your land is just a part of life. Countless Palestinians have paid the highest price for attempting to fend off Israeli settlers and soldiers from their cities, towns and villages. 15-year-old Mohammed Abdel Karim Hamayel succumbed to his wounds on Wednesday, hours after he was shot by Israeli forces, along with dozens of other young men from his hometown of Beita, south of Nablus. Hamayel was shot when dozens of armed Israeli troops stormed Jabal al-Arma, or al-Arma Mountain, on the outskirts of Beita, and began violently confronting crowds of Palestinians who were staging a sit-in on the mountain. [video]


Maureen Clare Murphy, "Coronavirus cases in West Bank hit 30 amid pandemic" (EI, 11 March):

There are now 30 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, in the occupied West Bank, the WHO reported on Wednesday. All of those cases are in the Bethlehem area, except for one in Tulkarm... Palestinian human rights groups have pointed to the discriminatory response to the coronavirus by Israel. "Israel has failed to provide real-time coronavirus updates in Arabic for Palestinian citizens who make up around one-fifth of its population," Adalah, a group that advocates for the rights of that community, stated on Tuesday.
[PS Update 19/3: As of Tuesday night, the West Bank had 44 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with over 90% of them concentrated in the Bethlehem area (The Medialine).]


Gaza Strip:

Shannon Maree Torrens, "Coronavirus is a death sentence for Palestinians caged in Gaza" (Haaretz, March 12):

Even a small outbreak among Gaza's densely-packed, blockaded population would put an impossible strain on a healthcare system already teetering on the verge of collapse. Imagine two million human beings living in the space of just 365 km². One of the most densely populated places on Planet Earth, confined in a cage from which they cannot escape. These two million people cannot leave, even if they wanted to, without great difficulty. Gaza's people never chose to live in a cage. They shouldn't be sentenced to die in one, either.


Ramzy Baroud, "A Terrifying Scenario: Coronavirus in 'Quarantined' Gaza" (CounterPunch, March 5):

According to official Palestinian reports, the Coronavirus has already reached Palestine following a visit by a South Korean delegation in the period between February 8 and 15, which included a tour in the major Palestinian cities of Jerusalem, Nablus, Jericho, Hebron, and Bethlehem. No amount of 'preparedness' in Gaza - or, frankly, anywhere in occupied Palestine - can stop the spread of the Coronavirus. What is needed is a fundamental and structural change that would emancipate the Palestinian healthcare system from the horrific impact of the Israeli occupation and the Israeli government's policies of perpetual siege and politically-imposed 'quarantines' - also known as apartheid.


Jonathan Ofir, "Israeli snipers talk about their hits at the Gaza fence" (Mondoweiss, March 8):

Two days ago (Friday) a piece came out in Haaretz by Hilo Glazer, featuring stories from five anonymous snipers who told how they gunned down unarmed protesters at the March of Return near the Gaza perimeter fence. These accounts are a jaw-dropper, constituting some of the most enraging as well as depressing readings I can recall. The language of the perpetrators of these massacres is testimony to the moral depravity of these young soldiers, who still seem to believe they are fulfilling a sacred duty to defend their country, as well as a damning account of the state and society that supports them and their crimes. These are not shamed confessions: the snipers appear to be boasting about their "hits", in competition over the number of knees they can claim to have shot to pieces.


Abdallah Aljamal," 'We Threw Ourselves into the Fire': Tales from the Gaza Inferno" (exclusive photos) (The Palestine Chronicle, March 8):

The clock had just struck one in the afternoon in the Nuseirat refugee camp, Gaza's most central and populated camp when a massive fire erupted. The pain and hurt that followed will be etched in the memory of the Nuseirat residents for many years to come.


International :

"L'Allemagne intensifie son attaque contre Khaled Barakat et les droits des Palestiniens avec une interdiction de quatre ans" (Collectif Palestine Vaincra, 11 mars):

L'État allemand a encore une fois intensifié son harcèlement et sa répression dirigés contre le discours et le plaidoyer palestiniens. Dans le dernier ordre émis par le bureau de l'immigration de Berlin, reçu hier 9 mars, les autorités allemandes ont intensifié leurs attaques contre l'écrivain et militant palestinien Khaled Barakat, lui ordonnant l'expulsion officielle d'Allemagne (même s'il ne vit pas en Allemagne depuis août 2019) et lui interdisant d'entrer dans le pays pendant quatre ans.


Jeff Haas, "Santa Fe Denies Permit for Mural Art Depicting Plight of Palestinian Children" (Truthout, Jan 27, 2020):

The stucco wall on Santa Fe's Old Pecos Trail is now embedded with papier-mâché images of Israeli soldiers terrorizing Palestinian women and children. This art was created by Navajo artist Remy. For the past six years, Santa Feans for Justice in Palestine (SFJP), of which I am a member, have been creating art depicting the conditions of Palestinians under the Israeli occupation.


Muhammad Shehada, "Israel calls all Palestinian resistance 'terrorism'. That's not just racist - it's dangerous" (The Forward, March 13):

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights released a list of companies with ties to the settlements. We knew we didn't have to wait long to hear the list besmirched with that go-to word when it comes to any form of Palestinian resistance, however nonviolent: 'terrorism'. We Palestinians are used to being called terrorists. It's bad enough on its own. But perhaps even worse is the tendency in the right wing pro-Israel camp to designate as terrorism any form of Palestinian resistance, from a poster to a refusal to purchase goods to a list.



Raphael Ahren, "Israel freezes ties with UN rights chief after release of settlement blacklist" (The Times of Israel, Feb 12):

Several hours after the UN body published a list of 112 companies that do business in West Bank settlement, FM Israel Katz says he ordered "exceptional and harsh measure" in retaliation for Commissioner Michelle Bachelet's office promoting the anti-Israel boycott movement. Katz intends to protect the companies operating in Israel, his office stated.


Judy Maltz, "'An earthquake': How Israel's Arabs achieved their historic election win" (Haaretz, March 4):

Arab Israelis definitely "came out in droves" this election - and got an extra boost from Jewish voters. The result is a record number of Arab lawmakers, including five women. As it stands, the Joint List (an alliance of four Arab-led parties) will have 15 seats in the next Knesset, two more than it had in the last government.  According to preliminary estimates, the number of votes the Joint List received from Jewish voters - primarily in Tel Aviv and Haifa - doubled between September and March.


Aviad Houminer-Rosenblum, "Joint List - 4 Arab parties on 1 slate - is poles apart but strong together" (The Times of Israel, March 14):

Six years ago, the Arab representation in Israel's parliament was nearly decimated. The newly legislated Governance Law dramatically raised the electoral threshold from 2 percent to 3.25%, threatening to oust the three deeply divided Arab parties from Knesset... [Today] The Arab parliamentary factions, disparate though they are in ideology, demographics, and methodology, have achieved unprecedented electoral success as a group, and the alliance is likely to have immediate and longer-term consequences for the Israel political arena.


Juan Cole, "In Historic Breakthrough, Israel Considers admitting the Palestinian-Israelis to the Political Game (as Silent Partners)" (Informed Comment, March 16):

Josef Federman at AP reports that Israeli president Reuven Rivlin will offer Benny Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White Coalition, first crack at forming a government, sidelining indicted Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu. What is remarkable and historic about this move is that it likely would not have happened without the intervention of the Palestinian-Israelis and their "Joint List." Some 20% of Israel's population is of Palestinian heritage. They are variously called the "Palestinians of 1948" or "Israeli-Arabs." But calling them "Arabs" is to erase their specific Palestinian identity, to which they often object. I propose calling them Palestinian-Israelis, on the model of Italian-Americans.


Kamel Hawwash, "Israeli Apartheid" (Middle East Monitor, March 12):

If any country which claims to be a democracy, its potential prime minister declares that the votes of a significant minority are not part of the democratic 'equation', they would be rightly condemned as racists. That is exactly what Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu declared when claiming he had won the recent Israeli elections when he said that he won among the "Zionist" voters because "Arabs are not part of the equation." Let that sink in. The reason Palestinian citizens of Israel are a minority is only because during its creation, 750,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their homeland through Zionist terror.


Haggai Matar, "IDF censor redacted two thousand news items in 2019" (+972, March 9):

According to official figures, Israel's military censor barred full publication of over 200 articles and partially redacted another 2,000 stories. 2019 was a year of relative calm for the IDF Censor. All media outlets in Israel are required to submit articles relating to security and foreign relations to the IDF Censor for review prior to publication. The censor draws its authority from "emergency regulations" enacted following Israel's founding, and which remain in place to this today... No other country in the world that defines itself as a democracy imposes such an obligation on journalists to receive a government official's approval prior to publication. Since 2011, 2,863 stories have been scrapped by the censor and 21,683 stories have been redacted.


Jerusalem - Al-Quds :

"U.S. State Department now calling East Jerusalem Palestinians 'Arab residents' " (Reuters, March 12):

The U.S. State Department changed its standard description of East Jerusalem Palestinians from "Palestinian residents" of the city to "Arab residents" or "non-Israeli citizens" in an annual global human rights report released on Wednesday. The overwhelming majority of East Jerusalem's more than 340,000 Palestinians identify as such.



Alison Weir, "Israel kills 10,000th Palestinian since 2000, US media largely ignore it" (If Americans Knew, March 11):

Israeli forces invading Palestinian Territory have just killed a 15-year-old unarmed Palestinian boy. A sniper shot him in the head with an expanding bullet. This is the 10,000th Palestinian killed by an Israeli since the round of violence that began in fall 2000. The boy was reportedly shot in the face.


Oren Ziv, "Hebron settlers hold Purim parade while Palestinians locked down for coronavirus" (+972 Magazine, March 10):

Dismissing virus fears, Israeli soldiers and police accompanied 250 settlers in Hebron's city center while preventing Palestinian onlookers from approaching. In the shadow of the spread of coronavirus across Israel-Palestine, over 250 Israeli settlers took part in the annual parade to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim in the center of occupied Hebron on Tuesday. The settlers, who marched from the neighborhood of Tel Rumeida to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, were accompanied by hundreds of Israeli soldiers and police officers who prevented Palestinian onlookers from approaching.


"Israeli house demolitions spiked in 2019 compared to previous years" (B'TSELEM, Jan 6, 2020):

Israel demolished a record number of homes in East Jerusalem in 2019, also setting a record for homes demolished by their own owners on Israel's orders. The number of homes Israel demolished in the rest of the West Bank, both over permit issues and as a punitive measure, also spiked in the past year.


Ramzy Baroud, "Abuse, Oppression and Murder: The PA Does Israel's Dirty Work in the West Bank" (The Palestine Chronicle, Feb 6):

Zakareneh is not the first and, sadly, will not be the last Palestinian to be killed by the PA security forces, which in recent years have dramatically increased their oppressive tactics against any form of political dissent in Palestine.


Prisoners : 

Akram Al-Waara, "Coronavirus: Palestinian inmates fear for their lives in filthy and crowded Israeli jails" (Middle East Eye, March 13):

Fear and panic have characterised much of the past 10 days in the occupied West Bank, as the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb. By Friday, the Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed that the number of official cases had risen to 35, 34 of them in the city of BethlehemBut just as the measures taken by the government to stop the spread of the virus began to restore some sense of calm, Palestinians woke up to more dreadful news: the coronavirus had reached Israeli prisons, where thousands of Palestinian political prisoners are held. 


SAMIDOUN: "Israeli apartheid, COVID-19 and Palestinian prisoners: Freedom now!" (March 17).

Jacclyn Ashley, "Prisoners denied timely treatment dying in Israeli custody" (EI, March 5):

Amna Abu Diyak still finds it almost impossible to talk about her son's death. "I felt like I was going to collapse when I heard the news," the 55-year-old told The Electronic Intifada in a phone interview. "I still can't believe everything that happened. I feel so sorry for my son. He went into prison when he was still a child. And then he was forced to die there." Aged 36, Sami Abu Diyak, died in Israeli custody late last year. He had been imprisoned since he was 17.


ADDAMEER: "International Women's Day ... 43 Palestinian Women in Detention" (5 March 2020):

On this International Women's Day, there are 43 Palestinian females held in Israeli prisons and detention centers, including 16 mothers, 8 injured prisoners, 12 sick prisoners and 4 administrative detainees held without charge or trial. Those female prisoners also suffer from long sentences with a maximum of 16 years. All of the Palestinian female prisoners are held in Damon Prison since November 2018. Since the beginning of the occupation, over than 50 years ago in 1967, over 10,000 Palestinian women have been arrested and detained by Israeli occupation forces. In the past year, and just like previous years Palestinian women and girls are routinely arrested from the streets, Israeli military checkpoints, and during violent night raids on their homes.  Women also continued to suffer torture and ill-treatment in interrogation centers, in addition to difficult and deteriorating detention conditions at Damon prison which once was a stable for horses and a storage for tobacco.


Refugees :

Patrick O'Neill, "Eyewitness Account: MECA Projects in Lebanon" (MECA - Middle East Children's Alliance, Jan 10):

Established in 1949, Shatila occupies an area of about 1km² and is home to an estimated 22,000 people. There, our humble delegation of three met Suha Yassir of the Palestinian Women's Humanitarian Organization (PWHO). Suha graciously guided my friend Dalal, my colleague Tracy, and myself through the dark narrow alleyways that wind through Shatila and neighboring camp Mar Elias. As we walked, she recounted what took place there in 1982. The Massacre of Sabra and Shatila lasted about 40 hours and some estimates put the dead in the thousands. Suha led us to an unassuming indoor memorial where the names of the fallen are preserved in stone; photographs of their faces line the walls. We paid our respects, said a prayer, and continued our walk.


Resources - Reports - Books :

@ Report: "The Israeli Attorney General's Memorandum: Everything the ICC is not meant to be" (B'Tselem, 12 March 2020, pdf, 20p.).

B'Tselem: "Israeli AG's objection International Criminal Court  jurisdiction in Palestine divorced from reality" (March 12):

This­­­ morning, B'Tselem published a position paper refuting the conclusion of Attorney General Dr. Avichai Mandelblit. B'Tselem's analysis finds AG's claims, that the ICC has no jurisdiction in Palestine, rely on intentional misquotation, disregard for international law and an absurd misrepresentation of reality. Contrary to the AG's position, the ICC has jurisdiction to carry out the necessary investigation of the situation in Palestine.

B'Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad commented:
Israel's attempt to clutch at formalistic straws to evade the ICC's jurisdiction is shameful. Since Palestine joined the Rome Statute, it has the right to demand an investigation into the situation there. Palestine is not a 'sovereign state' precisely because it is under Israeli occupation, whose crimes the ICC has the jurisdiction - and responsibility - to investigate. We hope the Court will make the right decision, sustain the Prosecutor's position, and decide: indeed it has jurisdiction - and there will be an investigation.

@ Petra Jones, "The BDS: a discourse, a strategy, a political representation. A three-dimensional analysis of the 'Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions' movement." Dissertation, BA International Relations, UExeter, Aug 2015, pdf, 52p. Supervisor: Prof. Ilan Pappé. Source:

This dissertation examines the BDS campaign in terms of 3 dimensions: as a discourse, as a strategy and as a political movement representing the interests of Palestinians.

@ Report: "How Not to Fight Antisemitism: A Critique of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism (IHRA-WDA)." Independent Jewish Voices Canada / Voix juives indépendentes Canada, May 2019, full report, pdf, 24p. 

We urge readers of this report to join us in opposing the adoption of the IHRA-WDA by Canadian governments, universities, police and other authorities.

© Patrick Cockburn, "War in the Age of Trump. The Fall of Isis, The Betrayal of the Kurds, The Conflict with Iran". OR Books, April 2020, 324 p., pb ISBN 978-1-68219-236-8. Pre-order and get 15% off: $23/£18 15% off.

In this successor to his bestselling 'The Rise of Islamic State' and the widely-acclaimed 'The Age of Jihad', prize-winning foreign correspondent Patrick Cockburn provides a clear-sighted and closely-observed account of the Middle East wars conducted by Donald Trump during the first term of his presidency.



# Mohammed Abdel Karim Hamayel (15 y. old) is a martyr after the Israeli soldiers killed him during their attempt to grab mount and take down the flag of Palestine (March 11, Quds News Network):

Israel election: Party representing Palestinians sees huge gains

Israel cop filmed firing at Palestinian children through school gate

"Israeli Settlers in the Occupied West Bank" (The Atlantic)

Belgian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel

Committee: Prof. Karel Arnaut (KU Leuven), Prof. ém. Marie-Christine Closon (UCL), Prof. Patrick Deboosere (VUB), Prof. Lieven De Cauter (KULeuven), Em. Prof. Herman De Ley (UGent), Em. Prof. Marc De Meyere (UGent), Prof. Serge Deruette (UMons), Lieve Franssen (dir. Brussels Brecht-Eislerkoor), Carl Gydé (director CAMPO), Prof. Perrine Humblet (ULB), Prof. Marc Jacquemain (ULiège), Em. Prof. Madeline Lutjeharms (VUB), Raven Ruëll (metteur en scène), Prof. ém. Christiane Schomblond (ULB), Dr. Nozomi Takahashi (UGent), Prof. Karin Verelst (VUB).


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