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Academic Newsletter N° 60 (July 2020)


Spotlight -- Actions -- Academia -- Analyses -- BDS -- COVID-19 -- International -- Israel -- Palestine Occupied -- Prisoners -- Refugees -- Resources -- Videos

Spotlight : EU vs Palestine

"[Israel] Foreign Ministry rebukes EU ambassador over 'support for terrorism' (Rafael Ahren, The Times of Israel, May 7):

Harsh dressing down follows EU official in West Bank and Gaza saying even Palestinians affiliated with blacklisted groups remain eligible to participate in EU-funded projects. "Israel utterly condemns and categorically objects to the Union's policy on the funding of terrorist organisations. The policy essentially grants permission for incitement, support, and involvement with terrorism," the ministry said in a statement released shortly after Giaufret was dressed down by Anna Azari, Jerusalem's deputy director-general for Europe. "We demand that the EU immediately end all support, financial or otherwise, for any entities that support terrorism whether directly or indirectly," Foreign Minister Israel Katz said Thursday.

"Exclusion of BADIL from the list of beneficiaries of the European Union grants due to refusal to sign the condition criminalizing the Palestinian struggle" (BADIL, 16 June 2020):

On Friday, 12 June 2020, the EU in an official letter informed BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights canceling its joint project and funding entitled: "Mobilizing for Justice in Jerusalem." The project aimed at enhancing the resilience of Palestinians and highlighting Israeli human rights violations and international crimes in Jerusalem. The project was supposed to take place over a period of 3 years, with a budget of 1.7 million Euros. The final dismissal of the project came after a long series of correspondence between BADIL, the lead applicant in the project, and the EU when BADIL confirmed in early June 2020 that it objected to the so-called anti-terrorism clause (Article 1.5 bis) contained in Annex II of the General Conditions.

"Against Terrorism and Against Conditional Funding: Statement of the Palestinian National Campaign to Reject Conditional Funding" (BADIL30 Dec 2019):

We, the Palestinian organizations signed below, announce our categorical rejection of politically conditional funding, regardless of the amount and even if it leads to the collapse of our organizations and the inability to perform our vital work... (continue)

"The EU's imposition of the clause and restrictive measures constitutes the criminalisation of the Palestinian liberation struggle and its freedom fighters based on Western criteria and standards," said "It does not take into consideration the legal status of Palestine under international law - as a country and a people facing oppression and a foreign colonial domination," so Lubnah Shomali, spokeswoman for the 'Palestinian National Campaign to Reject Conditional Funding', quoted in Al Jazeera, 1 July. See also her article: "Why Palestinian rights groups reject EU funding conditions", in The Electronic Intifada, 7 July).

Amaya Al-Orzza, "EU agenda: Diminishing support for Palestinians one clause at a time. The message from the European Union is clear: acquiesce with our agenda or the money stops" (Mondoweiss, July 2):

After a lengthy correspondence on June 12 the EU informed the Palestinian human rights organization BADIL that it was canceling their 1.7 million euro joint project, "Mobilizing for Justice in Jerusalem." The reason the three-year program was canceled? BADIL refused to sign the so-called "anti-terrorism" clause added in the EU's project conditions.
BADIL is not alone in rejecting those conditions. Following the EU's decision to incorporate this clause to all its grants, 230 Palestinian groups founded a national campaign to reject all politically conditioned funding. They include arts organizations like the Palestine Circus School, the Freedom Theater, and media groups like the Alternative Information Center...
While it may enjoy a more unbiased reputation, the EU is now following the U.S. lead when it comes to the Palestinians. Though Europe has not vocally supported Benjamin Netanyahu's administration, the EU's failure to pose any meaningful challenge to annexation and its imposition of political conditions on Palestinian civil society result in clear complicity with crimes on the ground. Criminalizing Palestinian resistance while Israel commits daily war crimes in the occupied territory exposes Europe's utter failure to support international law and the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people.

"On eve of annexation, European Parliament consent to EU-Israel aviation agreement reeks of hypocrisy" (ECCP, June 18):

The EP turned empty the EU's words of condemnation against Israel's imminent annexation of parts of the occupied Palestinian West Bank by voting to give consent to the ratification of the EU-Israel Aviation AgreementIn total, 437 MEPs from EPP, REG, ECR and some from S&D, among others, voted in favour of the agreement. Ahead of the vote, MEP Clare Daly from Ireland made a plea to MEPs to reject the agreement saying that "to ratify this agreement now, would be perceived as an upgrade in bilateral relations with the state of Israel."...
While the EU ostensibly opposes Israel's annexation of Palestinian land, with Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell saying that such a step "cannot pass unchallenged", it has continued to lavish Israel with gifts. Last night's vote is only the latest in a series of enticements, which have fuelled decades of impunity and human rights abuses against Palestinians...

Ali Abunimah, "EU spreads more lies about BDS"
(The Electronic Intifada, 3 July, 2020):

A prominent European Union official, Katharina von Schnurbein, the bloc's anti-Semitism coordinator, is once again spreading lies about the BDS movement for Palestinian rights. "It is hardly shocking that Katharina von Schnurbein, an unelected EU bureaucrat who acts more like an advocate of Israel's apartheid regime and a defender of its war crimes, is trading in anti-Palestinian racist fabrications and propaganda," Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the BDS movement, told The Electronic Intifada. "It believes that there is nothing Jewish about Israel' ethnic cleansing, siege, military occupation and murderous apartheid policies against Palestinians, and that Israel does not speak for or represent all Jewish communities." By contrast, von Schnurbein appears to equate being Jewish with supporting Israel. She does not share or welcome the proposals and ideas of Jewish organizations and prominent Jewish and Israeli figures who support Palestinian rights or criticize official efforts to equate Palestinian rights advocacy with anti-Semitism...

Actions & Calls :

Joint Press Release: 83 Organisations Send Urgent Appeal to UN Special Procedures on the Wilful Killing of Ahmad Erekat, Urging International Justice and Accountability for Israel's Shoot-to-Kill Policy (pr Al-Mezan for Human Rights, July 13):

On Monday, 13 July 2020, 83 Palestinian, regional, and international civil society organisations from across 16 countries submitted a joint urgent appeal to the United Nations Special Procedures on the extrajudicial execution and wilful killing of Ahmad Mustafa Erekat, 26, by the Israeli occupying forces. In cooperation with the Erekat family, they urge international justice and accountability for Israel's shoot-to-kill policy targeting Palestinians.


"Joint letter by 1.080 European Parliamentarians from 25 countries to European governments and leaders against Israeli annexation of West Bank" (23 June, 22 p.):

We, parliamentarians from across Europe committed to a rules-based global order, share serious concerns about President Trump's plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the imminent prospect of Israeli annexation of West Bank territory. We are deeply worried about the precedent this would set for international relations at large. European representatives, including EU High Representative Josep Borrell, have stated that annexation "could not pass unchallenged". We fully support this: acquisition of territory by force has no place in 2020 and must have commensurate consequences. 
List of the 82 Belgian lawmakers having signed the letter (pdf)

"An Open Letter of 272 Public International Law Scholars to the Israeli Government Condemning Annexation" (Opinio Juris, 11 June 2020).

Dear Sirs,
We, the undersigned, scholars of public international law, are writing to express our grave concern regarding the intention of the State of Israel, as expressed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to move towards the unilateral annexation of areas in the West Bank on or after 1 July 2020. Such an action would constitute a flagrant violation of bedrock rules of international law, and would also pose a serious threat to international stability in a volatile region...


"74 Days in Israeli Prison - Refuser Solidarity Updates" (Mesarvot & Refusing to Serve the Occupation):

My name is Yasmin Ricci-Yahav, I am 18 years old. In August 2019 I publicly refused to join the Israeli army. I took this picture outside the Israeli military induction base, just before I was imprisoned. I received an enormous wave of international solidarity that lifted my spirit in prison, and eventually helped lead to my release from prison. I joined 'Mesarvot', an activist group that supports young Israeli teens who refuse to serve the occupation and helps them prepare for possible imprisonment. If you want to help future solidarity campaigns for jailed refusers click here!
I am happy to announce the launch of a new monthly English newsletter. It's a new joint project by Mesarvot and Refuser Solidarity Network. If you wish to support our movement and our future campaigns for Gaza and against the annexation, you can pitch in a few dollars a month here!

"Petition to Stop the Construction and Revoke the Licenses for the Asphalt Plant in Birzeit" (, already 5.097 have signed): 

"We the undersigned are calling on the Municipal Council of Birzeit, and the responsible Palestinian authorities, to revoke the licenses and halt the ongoing construction of the hot blend asphalt plant being constructed in Birzeit immediately. An academic team from Birzeit University has confirmed what we know from many scientific studies around the world, hot blend asphalt (bitumen) plants wreak havoc on people and local environments....
Our demands:
1. For Birzeit Municipality Council to meet immediately, revoke its license approval for the Hot Blend Asphalt (Bitumen) Factory Plant in Birzeit, close the location of the plant, and prevent/halt any further construction..."

Academia :

Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi, "'Enforcing Silence' in the Academy" (Mondoweiss, June 30):

The following is the complete foreword authored by Dr. Rabab Adulhadi from "Enforcing Silence. Academic Freedom, Palestine and the Criticism of Israel", ed. by David Landy, Ronit Lentin and Conor McCarthy (Zed Books, 2020, ISBN 9781786996503, 288p. Pb: £15.19), and reprinted with permission. Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi is an Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies and Race and Resistance Studies and the Senior Scholar at the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies at San Francisco State University.

"Important Victory for the Campaign to Boycott Israeli Universities" (USACBI, July 2020):

The USACBI Organizing Collective is pleased to announce that a spurious lawsuit against the American Studies Association (ASA) for its vote to boycott Israeli universities has been dismissed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. This lawsuit involved four years of dragging the ASA and eight former officers through the court because of the ASA membership's endorsement of the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. USACBI Advisory Board member Sunaina Maira notes, "This major victory in the courts against Zionist lawfare and legal harassment is an affirming milestone for the BDS movement in the US academy and everywhere where anti-Palestinian organizations try to shut down scholars, students, and activists for supporting the Palestinian struggle for human rights. Given the dire situation on the ground in Palestine with Israeli plans for cementing their colonization of Palestinian lands, this is a huge win for the movement to continue boycotting Israeli academic institutions until this injustice ends."

Haaretz Editorial, "Israel's Higher Education Minister is a threat to academia" (June 22):

A few weeks after he began serving as minister for higher education and water resources, Zeev Elkin marked his target: curbing the independence of Israeli academia. During a visit last week to Ariel University, in the eponymous West Bank settlement, he promised its leaders he would appoint, for the first time, a representative from the institution to the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education in Israel.


Analyses and Comments :

Peter Beinart, "Yavne: A Jewish Case for Equality in Israel-Palestine" (Jewish Currents, July 7):

"...The essence of Zionism is not a Jewish state in the land of Israel; it is a Jewish home in the land of Israel, a thriving Jewish society that both offers Jews refuge and enriches the entire Jewish world. It's time to explore other ways to achieve that goal - from confederation to a democratic binational state - that don't require subjugating another people. It's time to envision a Jewish home that is a Palestinian home, too... Our task in this moment is to imagine a new Jewish identity, one that no longer equates Palestinian equality with Jewish genocide. One that sees Palestinian liberation as integral to our own...". Continue...

Peter Beinart, "I No Longer Believe in a Jewish State" (NYT, July 8):
For decades I argued for separation between Israelis and Palestinians. Now, I can imagine a Jewish home in an equal state... 

# Anshel Pfeffer, "Peter Beinart's One State Solution Sounds So Perfect It's Practically Utopian" (Haaretz, July 9).
# Rima Najjar, "A Jewish Zionist Tent Is No Place For Palestinians" (, July 9).
# Richard Silverstein, "Beinart's Road to a New Jerusalem'" (Tikun Olam, July 10).
# Gideon Levy, "Peter Beinart's Great Change" (Haaretz, July 12).
# Jonathan Ofir,
"Peter Beinart’s defection is a desperate crisis for liberal Zionists" (Mondoweiss, July 12).

Jeff Halper, "Peter Beinart doesn't go far enough" (Haaretz, July 13):

Liberal Zionists are belatedly waking up to the only just alternative: a single state, shared by Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs. But if Israeli Jews won't endorse a one state solution, will they have to be dragged unwillingly into it?


Sylvain Cypel : " Malgré leur énorme supériorité, les Israéliens ne peuvent pas gagner " (interview, Middle East Eye, 11 juillet):

"Le fossé entre Palestiniens et Israéliens est aujourd'hui beaucoup plus profond qu'un simple rapport de force. En même temps, cette réalité cache une autre réalité qui rend les Israéliens fous. Malgré leur énorme supériorité, ils ne peuvent pas gagner. Car si les Palestiniens ne peuvent pas vaincre, ils ne peuvent pas non plus perdre. Tant qu'ils restent, cela suffit à empêcher la victoire des Israéliens."


Rima Najjar, "The Mountain Palestinians Must Climb And The Ocean We Must Cross!" (, June 28):

What happened to Palestine? How did a whole population vanish, for God's sake, along with most of the country's physical geography that continues to shrink before the world's eyes today? Why is such a thing happening? Why did it ever happen? It's when we arrive at that "why" that our confusion and fury reaches a boiling point. The problem is exacerbated because no one really understands what manner of beast is Zionism - the short answer to "why?". A friend expressed it to me this morning like this: "First we were told we had to distinguish between Jews and Zionists. We did and it didn"t get us anywhere. Are we now supposed to also distinguish between good and bad Zionists?"


Ramzy Baroud, "Annexation was Always the Israeli Goal in the Palestinian West Bank" (MEMo via Informed Comment, July 8):

Whether Israel's illegal appropriation of Palestinian land takes place with massive media fanfare and a declaration of sovereignty, or whether it happens incrementally over the course of the coming days, weeks, and months, Israel has, in reality, already annexed the West Bank - not just 30% of it but, in fact, the whole area. It is critical that we understand such terms as 'annexation', 'illegal, 'military occupation', and so on, in their proper contexts...
Moshe Dayan, who served as Israel's Defense Minister during the 1967 war, explained the Israeli logic best in a historical address at Israel's Technion University in March 1969. "We came to this country which was already populated by Arabs, and we are establishing a Hebrew, that is a Jewish state here," he said. "Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you, because these geography books no longer exist; not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there, either ... There is no one place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population," he added.



Andreina De Leo, "Baldassi and Others v. France: Criminal Convictions of BDS Activists Violate Freedom of Expression under the European Convention on Human Rights" (OpinioJuris, June 16):

On June 11, 2020, the European Court of Human Rights (ECt.HR) delivered the much-awaited judgement Baldassi and Others v. France (application no. 15271/16). The Court found by a majority that there was no violation of Article 7 (no punishment without law) and unanimously that there was a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The present analysis will focus on its findings regarding Article 10. [Andreina De Leo is a Legal Researcher at the European Legal Support Center (ELSC).] For the original document of the judgement: click here!

"Victoire pour la liberté d'expression : l'appel au boycott est reconnu comme un droit citoyen"!  (Communiqué de l'AFPS, 11 juin):

L'Association France Palestine Solidarité se réjouit de l'arrêt rendu ce jeudi 11 juin par la Cour européenne des droits de l'Homme (CEDH) : dans l'affaire qui l'opposait à 11 militants condamnés par la justice française pour des actions d'appel au boycott, la France est condamnée. Il est ainsi reconnu que l'appel au boycott est un droit citoyen, dès lors qu'il est motivé par la critique d'un État et de sa politique. Et l'État d'Israël, qui viole quotidiennement le droit international et les droits de l'Homme, ne fait pas exception. L'arrêt de la CEDH apporte un démenti cinglant aux organisations qui se font les relais en France de la politique israélienne en attaquant la liberté d'expression et le droit à l'action citoyenne, et à tous ceux qui jusqu'au plus haut niveau de l'État prétendaient que l'appel au boycott était interdit en France.


Éric Pichet, "Boycott des produits israéliens : la CEDH rebat les cartes des échanges commerciaux avec l'Europe" (The Conversation, June 15):

Dans un arrêt historique rendu à l'unanimité de ses juges le 11 juin 2020, la Cour européenne des droits de l'homme (CEDH) administre un cinglant désaveu aux autorités françaises. La Cour déclare que les condamnations précédentes des militants de la campagne BDS ayant appelé au boycott de produits israéliens dans des supermarchés alsaciens en 2010, constituent une violation de leur liberté d'expression.


"BDS campaigning is a right in Europe (and the UK)" (Free Speech on Israel, June 15):

John Spencer highlights the implications of the overturning of a French anti-BDS judgement by the European Court of Human Rights in Baldassi v France. Despite Brexit the UK is still party to the European Charter of Human Rights which is adjudicated by the ECtHR which is entirely separate from the EU. So, this judgement limits the ability of Johnson to press forward on his threats to legally limit BDS activity in Britain in support of Palestinian rights.


COVID-19 in the oPt:

OCHA oPt: COVID-19 Emergency Situation Report 13 (1-14 July 2020):

Situation Overview:

The total number of Palestinians in the oPt who have contracted COVID-19 more than doubled over the course of the reporting period, from 2,765 on 30 June to 7,734 (as of 16:00 hrs 14 July). Thirty-six (36) more people have died, bringing to 47 the cumulative number of fatalities to date. Over eighty per cent of the confirmed cases are active, (6,429) people. These include 16 patients in intensive care units (ICUs), with six patients requiring mechanical ventilation (as of 13 July). A total of 81 health workers are among the people confirmed with COVID-19. 
All the nearly 5,000 additional cases detected during the reporting period were in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), which now accounts for over 99 per cent of all confirmed cases in the oPt: no new cases have been detected in the Gaza Strip since 11 June. The epicenter of the outbreak in the oPt continues to be the Hebron Governorate, which accounts for almost 5,000 of the total cases, followed by East Jerusalem (862) and Bethlehem (433). Global shortages of medical equipment and the disruption of coordination between the PA and Israel, in response to Israel's plan to annex parts of the West Bank, have significantly disrupted the procurement of key medical equipment.


International :

Nora Barrows-Friedman, "Israel lobby's Kenneth Marcus resigns as Trump's civil rights enforcer" (The Electronic Intifada, July 10):

Kenneth Marcus, a career Israel lobbyist and the Trump administration's top civil rights enforcer at the US Department of Education, has announced his resignation. Over the two years since his appointment, Marcus inspired Israel lobby groups to file complaints to the Office for Civil Rights under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights ActThe complaints typically claim that universities have failed to protect Jewish students by not cracking down on Palestine solidarity activism. This strategy was pioneered by Marcus himself before he was picked to lead the US government office and allowed to adjudicate them himself.


Raphael Ahren, "EU's elder statesman: Annexation flouts biblical tenet 'Thou shalt not steal'" (The Times of Israel, June 19):

Jean Asselborn is the closest thing Europe has to an elder statesman. He is the continent's longest-serving top diplomat, having been Luxembourg's foreign minister for the last 16 years; and he is widely respected in the European Union's foreign affairs milieu, with an influence over its international relations in inverse proportion to his tiny country's size. He warns move would 'make it very difficult' for the EU to sign future agreements with Israel, explains why his country would recognize Palestinian state.


Euro-Med Monitor: "Brückepreis Must not Be Awarded to People Accused of War Crimes" (June 16), Letter to: Prof. Dr. Willi Xylander, President of the Bridge Prize Society for 2020:

"Dear Prof. Xylander, The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor is seriously concerned with the decision of the Bridge Prize Society to award the 2020 prize to Ms. Tzipi Livni of Israel, who's accused of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the blockaded Gaza Strip during Operation Case Lead 2008/9 when she was Israel's Foreign Minister..."

["Internationaler Brückepreis der Europastadt Görlitz/Zgorzelec" (Wikipedia)]

Jonathan Cook, "Keir Starmer's 'antisemitism' sacking is a signal that Israel is safe in his hands" (Middle East Eye, June 29):

Crackdown by UK Labour leader on left-wing rival will subdue critics of Israel in his party ahead of Israel's annexation move. -  The offending article shared by Long-Bailey referred to Israel's documented and controversial role in training and helping to militarise US police forces. It did not mention Jews. By straining the meaning of antisemitism well past its breaking point, Starmer showed that his promised "zero tolerance" for antisemitism actually means zero tolerance of anyone in Labour who might antagonise the Israel lobby - and by extension, of course, the Israeli government. 


Israel :

"The struggle against house demolitions continues!"
Negev Coexistence Forum for Equality (NCF), June 2020

The relentless presence of law enforcement forces in the Bedouin villages during the last weeks has resulted in a wave of public protests - from specific protests at the village junctions, to a mass demonstration in Beer Sheva. On June 24, inspectors escorted by dozens of armed police officers, arrived in Bîr al-Hamâm, demolished two houses, entered other dwellings and detained youngsters. Immediately afterwards, they continued on to the unrecognized village of Tal Arâd and demolished one other house. This was just a few days after demolishing 2 houses in the nearby village of az-Zarnûg, distributing demolition orders and bringing much fear to youngsters and adults. The demolitions continue all the more forcefully while we are in the middle of a pandemic during which we are ordered by the government to be in confinement and maintain social distancing. The government's thuggish and violent policy is planned - and is accompanied by prolonged incitement against the Arab-Bedouin citizens in the Negev. Deliberate use of law enforcement agencies, heavy fines and intimidation are officially intended to "open a dialogue" with the Arab-Bedouin citizens, but in fact, act to dispossess them and forcibly transfer them to townships. We stand, and will continue to stand, side by side with the residents in their just struggle for recognition of their villages - in public spaces, in the media, and through use of all the legal instruments at our disposal! Continue...

Amjad Iraqi, " 'An illegitimate regime': How a top rights group shed Israeli myths to recognize apartheid" (+972, July 9):

In an exclusive interview, human rights lawyer Michael Sfard explains what led Yesh Din to charge Israel with the crime of apartheid in the West Bank. - When he was a rising human rights lawyer two decades ago, Michael Sfard vehemently rejected the word "apartheid" to describe Israel's military rule over the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Despite being a fierce critic of the occupation and dedicating his career to defending Palestinian rights, he told himself that "words matter," and that the occupation, while gravely unjust, was still a temporary structure that could be overturned with the help of international law. [see "Resources"]


"Report on The state of torture in Israel"
PCATI - Public Committee against Torture in Israel:

Dr. Rachel Stroumsa, Executive Director, PCATI: In honour of June 26, the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, we have published the current situation report on the state of torture in Israel. The findings were all extremely troubling, but most disturbing is the fact that more men and women were tortured in Israel in the passing year than in any other year in the past decade. The reasons for this deterioration are no doubt rooted in the unwavering and continuous support received by the ISA (Israel Security Agency - Shin Bet) from state institutions, allowing the use of "special measures". One of the weakest links in the long chain of neglect and omission is the Ministry of Justice's IIC unit (Investigator of Interrogatee Complaints). This is the authority charged with monitoring the work of ISA interrogators, which in effect, ends up retroactively justifying the use of illegal and immoral violent measures.

"Israeli citizens welcome European court's ruling in favor of right to advocate for BDS!" Statement from Boycott from Within (Israeli citizens for BDS, June 2020):

We are a group of more than 1,000 Israeli citizens, active against illegal policies of racism, occupation and apartheid by successive Israeli governments. We know very well how hard it is to campaign for Palestinian human rights in a climate of intimidation and persecution. We would like to welcome the ECHR's (European Court of Human Rights) ruling in the Baldassi case. The ECHR ruled unanimously that French highest court's criminal conviction of Israel boycott advocates violates the European Convention on Human Rights' freedom of expression article 10.


Zehava Galon, "Annexation will officially turn Israel into an apartheid state" (Haaretz, June 18):

In Israel they don't like to talk about apartheid. That's a harsh word. It recalls shameful memories of contemptible cooperation with an unjust regime, and other memories from the times when we were the ones who were not allowed to be part of institutions because of inferior status.


Or Kashti, "In Israeli textbooks, the Palestinians are all but invisible" (Haaretz, June 19):

A study by Avner Ben-Amos of Tel Aviv University shows that the occupation is rarely mentioned in history, civics or geography textbooks... A book intended for religious state schools presents the argument over the territories in a few sentences, but describes the '67 war as an act of "liberation" that enabled "a return to Judea and Samaria, areas where our patriarchs and matriarchs lived, where the kingdom of David and Solomon was established, the heart of the Jewish people."


Palestine Occupied :

OCHA oPt: "Longstanding access restrictions continue to undermine the living conditions of West Bank Palestinians" (June 8):

# OCHA updated "West Bank Access Restriction Map"June 2020" (9 July 2020): see "Resources".

To contain the spread of COVID-19, governments around the world have imposed sweeping restrictions on the freedom of movement of people, severely disrupting their lives. While the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) is no exception, with measures being imposed by both Israeli and Palestinian authorities, these have served to exacerbate longstanding access restrictions that are imposed by the Israeli authorities. 
Within the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Palestinian movement is restricted by a multi-layered system of physical and administrative measures. These comprise physical obstacles, including checkpoints; bureaucratic and administrative requirements, such as permits; and the designation of areas as restricted or closed, including "firing zones." To varying degrees, these movement restrictions impede access to services and resources; disrupt family and social life; undermine livelihoods; and hinder the ability of humanitarian organizations to deliver assistance.


Mya Guarnieri Jaradat, 'That's the point of the checkpoint, to remind you they're always there' (+972, July 6):

The scariest thing about the so-called 'Container' checkpoint (Abu Dis), which divides Palestinian areas from each other, is not knowing when - or if - you will make it to the other side. As the Bethlehem-bound service taxi left the West Bank village of Abu Dis and the checkpoint came into sight, the other passengers, all Palestinian men, stopped talking and put their seatbelts on.


"The Israeli authorities arrest Palestinian traveling to donate bone marrow" (Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, July 8):

Al Mezan condemns the arbitrary arrest and warns against the continued use of the crossing to entrap Palestinians. - On Monday morning, 6 July 2020, the Israeli authorities at Erez crossing arrested Abdullah Shaker al-Daghma, a 37-year-old resident of Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, despite having granted him a travel permit. Al-Daghma's exit permit from the Gaza Strip allowed him to travel to Tel HaShomer Hospital where his brother, Hani, 45, has been awaiting a bone marrow transplant since May. Medical tests show that Abdullah is the only donor in the family who is a 100 % match for the bone marrow transplant.


Yesh Din: "The Occupation of the West Bank and the Crime of Apartheid: Legal Opinion by Adv. Michael Sfard" (Yesh Din - Volunteers for Human Rights, Position paper June 2020, pdf, 58p., see below: Resources):

The conclusion of this legal opinion is that the crime against humanity of apartheid is being committed in the West Bank. The perpetrators are Israelis, and the victims are Palestinians. The crime is committed because the Israeli occupation is no "ordinary" occupation regime (or a regime of domination and oppression), but one that comes with a gargantuan colonization project that has created a community of citizens of the occupying power in the occupied territory. The crime is committed because, in addition to colonizing the occupied territory, the occupying power has also gone to great lengths to cement its domination over the occupied residents and ensure their inferior status... 


Ola Mousa, "No exit for paperless Palestinians" (The Electronic Intifada, 25 June):

Khadija al-Najjar flipped through pictures of her children and grandchildren, growing more and more agitated. Some of her children now live in Europe or North America. But Khadija, 72, cannot visit them. She does not hold and cannot obtain a Palestinian ID even to attempt to go and visit... Israel has final say on ID cards under agreements struck between Israel and the PLO in the 1990s. While it is the PA that issues ID cards, Israel issues ID numbers, without which the ID cards are not valid. The information contained on the cards is written in both Arabic and Hebrew. "Unfortunately, people without ID cards are denied their most basic social and political rights".


"Annexation and the deterioration of the right to health of Palestinians" (MAP, June 22):

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) decries the Israeli government's intended annexation of significant parts of the occupied West Bank, to start as soon as 1 July, for the intensified widespread and severe violations of Palestinians' right to health and well-being which it will cause... Five negative trends can be anticipated with regards to the worsening impact of ongoing occupation and annexation on the health of Palestinians: 1) Restrictions on freedom of movement...


Adrian Guerin, "Vallée du Jourdain. Nettoyage ethnique et harcèlement des paysans palestiniens" (Orient xxi, 25 juin):

À quelques jours de la présentation du projet d'annexion de la vallée stratégique du Jourdain par le premier ministre Benyamin Nétanyahou, Israël mène une campagne déterminée et discrète visant à déplacer les communautés palestiniennes des terres qu'il prévoit d'acquérir dans le nord de la Cisjordanie. - Il est six heures du matin quand Omar Besharat entend les vrombissements des jeeps militaires israéliennes... En moins d'une heure, la maison de la famille d'Omar est détruite, et cinq autres bâtiments du village d'Al-Hadidiya rasés. "C'est la cinquième fois depuis 1982 que ma maison est démolie par l'armée."


B'Tselem: "In chilling procedure, soldiers ambush Palestinian laborers, shoot them and break arm of 15-year-old" (18 June):

Since the beginning of May 2020, B'Tselem has documented five incidents in which soldiers lay in wait for Palestinians trying to enter Israel for work through gaps in the Security Barrier near Far'on, a village south of Tulkarm. In four cases, the soldiers shot the workers and injured five of them. In the other case, the soldiers beat a 15-year-old until his arm broke and he suffered abdominal hemorrhaging... Thousands of Palestinian laborers enter Israel every day without permits, as they have no other choice...

Izzy Mustafa, "The dangers of driving under Israeli apartheid" (+972, June 26):

There is no such thing as a leisurely drive when a human error could get us killed by our colonizers. - In the eyes of our colonizers and their supporters, Palestinians are never allowed to make a human error. We aren't afforded the luxury of mistakes. To them, we only seek out death and destruction; we are not human beings who have the same range of emotions, stresses, anxieties, worries, and flaws that could cause such accidents. In this apartheid system, the colonizers must always justify their military occupation and land theft by demonizing the colonized.


Philip Weiss, "Anyone who says Jerusalem embassy move was painless doesn't think Gazans are human beings" (Mondoweiss, June 24):

An argument we hear all the time these days, about annexation, is that "Nothing happened" when the U.S. moved the embassy to Jerusalem in 2018, so why be concerned about annexing the West Bank? Palestinians may complain a lot, but they won't rise up, so what is anyone worried about. This argument erases Palestinian humanity, because in fact Palestinians did rise up over the move of the embassy.


Rina Bassist, "Battle rages over Israel's plan for industrial zone in unique West Bank landscape" (Al-Monitor, June 24):

Environmental and anti-occupation activists are campaigning against plans to establish an industrial zone near the settlement town Beitar illit, a project they say threatens traditional agriculture and a world heritage site. The project endangers water sources used by local Palestinians for traditional terraced agriculture. The project was conceived some 5 years ago. The area is under direct IDF military control and considered diplomatically sensitive. Ultra-Orthodox settlers live there in the vicinity of several Palestinian villages.


"Civil Society Calls for Effective Measures to Lift Closure of Gaza and Counter Israel's Annexation Plans" (Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, June 25):

On 4 June 2020, CIHRS, Al-Haq, Al-Mezan & PCHR submitted two joint written statements to the UN Human Rights Council, ahead of the 44th session, to highlight pressing issues, including annexation, and the international community's failure to take effective measures towards lifting the closure and blockade of Gaza imposed by Israel.


Prisoners : 

Tamara Nassar, "Elderly Palestinian dies after 26 years in Israeli prison" (EI, 8 July):

A Palestinian prisoner died on Wednesday after 26 years in Israeli prison. Palestinian human rights groups and political parties accused Israel of years of medical neglect in the death of Saadi al-Gharabli. Israeli prison authorities transferred al-Gharabli from Eshel prison in the south to the Kaplan Medical Center in central Israel a few days before he died. He was reportedly unconscious. Al-Gharabli, 75, suffered from various medical conditions, including prostate cancer. Israeli prison authorities failed to provide him with adequate medical treatment. The Palestinian Prisoners Club said al-Gharabli faced the "slow killing" of medical negligence over years of imprisonment. It says al-Gharabli is one of 69 Palestinians who have died from medical negligence in Israeli custody since 1967.


"Israeli military detention disrupts Palestinian students' secondary school final exams" (No Way to Treat a Child, June 17):

Israeli forces arrested three Palestinian students - (photo) Saifuddin Najajreh (left), Khalaf Shakarneh, and Amin Al-Sulaibi - in early June disrupting completion of their high school Tawjihi exams. The series of exams, administered between May 30 and June 17, are required to successfully complete high school degrees in Palestine.


Refugees :

UNRWA Spotlight Series: West Bank Update

For over 850,000 Palestine refugees in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, life under occupation has meant limitations on freedom of movement, exposure to the use of live fire, forced displacement, home demolitions and many more life-threatening consequences.
The annexation of parts of the West Bank would cut access to land, resources, and properties. It would further disjoint cities, villages and families. It could provoke an increase in the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank - which are illegal under international law. It would result into even more displacement and dispossession. It would exacerbate tensions and divisions, perpetuating and aggravating the injustices that Palestine refugees have been suffering for more than 70 years.
During every crisis, UNRWA staff is always on the frontline. To ensure the safety and protection of Palestine refugees, UNRWA supports with psychological, cash and relocation assistance in the event of a house demolition, community mobilization to support resilience and self-protection, delivery of emergency assistance, protection of children and youth and documentation of alleged violations of international law. However, the shortage of funding is putting the services that we provide to Palestine refugees at risk. 

UNRWA COVID-19 Response Appeal:

UNRWA has released a Flash Appeal to support our efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in the communities we serve.
During this crisis, UNRWA is continuing to provide essential services including primary health care services, as well as where possible, rolling-out our 'Education in Emergencies' programme to support students at home.

Donate today | UNRWA

Resources : Reports & Books :

@ "The Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and the Crime of Apartheid: Legal Opinion by Adv. Michael Sfard". Yesh Din Position paper, June 2020 (pdf, 58p.). Writing assistance: Adv. Noa Amrami and Noa Resheff. Contributors: Adv. Shlomy Zachary, Ziv Stahl, Adv. Yehudit Karp, Adv. Michael Ben Yair & Prof. Naomi Chazan.

Apartheid is a name for a type of regime and an international crime. Once an ideology of a regime in a specific time and place in the history of the 20th Century, apartheid is now a term for an international crime that constitutes a crime against humanity. The crime of apartheid has a clear definition, and although its origin is historically linked to the racist regime in South Africa, it is now an independent legal concept with a life of its own, which can exist without being founded on racist ideology...

# OCHA: "West Bank Access Restriction Map, June 2020":

We are happy to release an updated version of our West Bank Access Restriction Map, based on a comprehensive survey carried out by our field teams. The updated map is now embedded into our online interactive map of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), available at, where you can zoom into specific areas, display layers of your choice, and export your customized, printable version.

# Tariq Dana, "Palestinian Civil Society: What Went Wrong?" (Al-Shabaka, 14 April 2013):

Over the past two decades, social, political, cultural and institutional changes have swept across the occupied Palestinian territories. Many of the changes can be traced back to the Oslo process, such as the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, the redefinition of official Palestinian-Israeli relations, the involvement of international donors, and the radical shift in the political economy of the occupied territories. Al-Shabaka policy member Tariq Dana argues that Palestinian civil society is fundamental to understanding the multilayered changes that have negatively affected Palestinian society. He identifies the four dimensions of "what went wrong" since Oslo - the shift in organizations' agendas, the role of the grassroots, the status of politics, and the production of knowledge - and concludes with recommendations to revive civil society as a fertile terrain for profound social transformation.



The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) - Lea Tsemel

#2019 ASA: Decolonizing Methodologies: 20 Years of Research for Indigenous Peoples and Social Justice

Israel’s Latest Plans for Annexation of Palestinian Land, Explained by Noura Erakat.

"In Search of Palestine" - Edward Said's Return Home (BBC) 1998

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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