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Academic Newsletter N° 61 (August 2020)


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

Spotlight :
Israel's Unrelenting Attack on Palestinian 
Academy and Culture

A violation of the right to science anywhere is an attack to scientists everywhere.

Freedom for Prof. Imad Barghouthi!
Scientist4Palestine (July 21, 2020):

On Thursday, July 16th 2020, renowned Palestinian scientist Imad Barghouthi, astrophysicist at the University of Al-Quds in East Jerusalem, was detained by Israeli military forces during a routine stop at a military checkpoint outside of Anata. This is not the first time that the Israeli military forces have arrested professor Barghouthi, one of Palestine's most prominent scientists (see: Samidoun).
For the S4P petition's list of signatories (already more than 1.400 of whom 598 explicitly academic with among them also Israeli scholars),
click here.

To sign the petition (TheActionNetwork): click here!

"The Military Court at Ofer Sentences Palestinian Author and Academic Ahmad Qatamesh and Keeps him Detained under Administrative Detention" (ADDAMEER, July 20):

Today 20 July 2020, the Military Court at Ofer sentenced the Palestinian author and academic, Ahmad Qatamesh, according to a listed of charges presented against him. Ahmad Qatamesh was charged with the presence at an illegal gathering for an illegal organization, more specifically, he was charged for giving a lecture in one of the student activities organized by the Democratic, Progressive Student Pole at Birzeit University. He was sentenced for only a suspended sentence for four months in prison in the coming three years if he gives a lecture again in the mentioned period. However, Qatamesh was not released because he is detained under administrative detention in addition to the list of charges presented against him. Qatamesh was in fact, arrested on 24 December 2019. Qatamesh spent about 13 years in prison, most of them under administrative detention.

"Le géographe palestinien Khalil Tafakji arrêté puis relâché par la police israélienne" (Mathieu Dejean, Inrockuptibles, 10 juillet):

Le 8 juillet, le géographe palestinien Khalil Tafakji, qui cartographie depuis trente ans la colonisation des Territoires occupés, a été arrêté par la police israélienne. Les éditions La Découverte, qui éditent Khalil Tafakji en France, ont lancé l'alerte ce 8 juillet. Le géographe palestinien, qui cartographie depuis trente ans la colonisation des Territoires occupés - c'est le sujet de son livre paru en janvier 2020, 
"31° Nord, 35° Est - Chroniques géographiques de la colonisation israélienne," écrit avec la journaliste Stéphanie Maupas - a été arrêté à Jérusalem par la police israélienne. Celle-ci a "confisqué ses ordinateurs et abîmé ses documents de travail en pénétrant dans ses bureaux au département de cartographie de la Société d'études arabes qu'il dirige", font savoir les éditions La Découverte dans un communiqué. Khalil Tafakji aurait été interrogé pendant 5 heures avant d'être libéré. La police a cependant gardé ses documents et ses ordinateurs.

Amira Hass, "La police israélienne fait une rafle dans des institutions culturelles palestiniennes majeures à Jérusalem-Est, un coup d'essai du ministère de la Justice" (Haaretz via AURDIP, 24 juillet)

Rania Elias, qui dirige le Centre culturel Yabous, et son époux, le compositeur Suhail Khoury, de la 'Société de Jérusalem pour l'enseignement de la musique et la recherche', ont été libérés 12 heures plus tard, après avoir été interrogés au poste de police d'Har Homa. La détention de l'employé, Daoud al-Ghoul, a été prolongée jusqu'à dimanche. Le Centre Yabous et la Société pour l'enseignement de la musique et la recherche font partie du Réseau des arts de Jérusalem 'Shafaq', un groupe de coordination des principales institutions culturelles palestiniennes de Jérusalem-Est. Le Théâtre national palestinien El-Hakawati et les Galeries Al Housh et Al Ma'mal sont également membres du groupe. Jusqu'à récemment, Al Ghoul était le directeur des activités de Shafaq. Suhail Khoury dirige aussi le Conservatoire national de musique Edward Saïd à l'Université de Bir Zeit. Des responsables des deux institutions et de l'Autorité palestinienne ont déclaré qu'ils interprétaient l'enquête et les arrestations de mercredi comme entrant dans la politique israélienne qui vise à refréner les expressions de la culture et de l'identité palestiniennes à Jérusalem.

"Israeli military court sentences Palestinian American researcher Ubai Aboudi in new injustice" (Samidoun, June 2):

On Tuesday, 2 June, the Israeli occupation military court in Ofer sentenced Palestinian American researcher Ubai Aboudi, the Executive Director of the Bisan Center for Research and Development, to 12 months in Israeli prison and a fine of 2,500 NIS (approximately $720 USD). Aboudi was initially abducted on 13 November 2019; he was held without charge or trial under "administrative detention" for two months, sparking an international outcry, especially among scientists and academics familiar with his work. Israeli occupation forces then transferred his case to the military courts, extending his detention. His sentence will run 12 months from the date of his arrest, meaning that his release is scheduled for November 2020. Prior to Aboudi's arrest, he had been working with Scientists for Palestine to organize the 'Third International Meeting on Science in Palestine', which took place on 10-12 January 2020 at the MIT. He was also conducting research into the mechanisms used by the Israeli occupation to hinder Palestinian scientific development and suppress Palestinian academic research.

"Samidoun urges international support for Palestinian student movement under attack" (Samidoun, July 17):

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network calls on all Arab and international organizations and movements to support and defend the Palestinian student movement, which is being subjected to an ongoing Zionist campaign of daily mass arrests that has affected hundreds of Palestinian students, particularly university students and high school students in Jerusalem, the West Bank and throughout occupied Palestine '48.
Palestinian students face systematic oppression and a state of siege, including torture and brutality inside interrogation centers as well as massive restrictions on Palestinian academic and educational institutions by the Israeli occupation forces. These attacks aim to undermine the development and effectiveness of the Palestinian student movement, deny Palestinians' access to education and hinder the operation of Palestinian research institutes, universities and schools, by preventing the development of independent Palestinian research, science and education.

Actions & Calls :

"JNF, Do Not Evict the Sumarin Family!"
(ICAHD, July 2020 Newsletter)

ICAHD - Israeli Committee Against House Demolition is part of the very diverse political group that make up the 'Sumarin Coalition' that is pressurizing the Jewish National Fund (JNF) to stop its determination to evict the Sumarin family from their home in Silwan, East Jerusalem, located directly below the Old City. The eviction lawsuit against the Sumarin family is based on the abuse of the Absentees' Property Law, enacted in 1950 to allow the young State of Israel to confiscate the hundreds of thousands of properties abandoned by its Palestinian owners who became refugees during the war in 1948. On June 30th, 2020, the Israeli courts heard the final appeal of this case in which the Keren Kayemeth Le'Israel-Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF), through its subsidiary organization, Himanuta, seek the eviction of the 18-member Palestinian Sumarin family from their home. The family lost their appeal and have been ordered to leave their home on 16th August so that the JNF can take it over. The family said it was considering to appeal to the Supreme Court.

In the past few weeks, more than 10,000 people of conscience around the world have called on the Jewish National Fund to remove their hands from the Sumarin family home and immediately stop attempts to throw the family into the street. Among them are 34 recipients of the Israel Prize120 world-renowned intellectuals, 150 graduates and the JNF youth group.

# Petition Jewish Voice for Peace

The arrest of Palestinian activist Mahmoud Nawajaa by Israeli soldiers was a blatant attempt to repress Palestinian activism and persecute him as a leader in the BDS Movement. The non-violent BDS Movement is more powerful than ever - and that's why Israeli officials are cracking down on BDS leaders like Mahmoud. We demand that Mahmoud Nawajaa be released NOW - and we demand answers about why he was detained in the first place.
Finally, we demand that NOT ONE MORE activist is arrested for speaking up or organizing for Palestinian rights. 

Demand an end to the harassment of Palestinian scientists and academics and an immediate release of prof. Imad Barghouthi!

As concerned members of the international academic community, Scientists for Palestine calls for all scholars to join our plea and demand the immediate release of Prof. Barghouthi and a stop to the imprisonment of Palestinian scientists! [Already 1.479 signatories]

Sign the Petition!

Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel undertook two major interventions at the UN this month, as part of our international advocacy activities. Adalah submitted a report on our COVID-19 and human rights work to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, for consideration by UN experts. Adalah also participated in the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council, with interventions on collective punishment and the lack of accountability.


Academia :

Birzeit 2021 CIMPA Summer School (PROJECT) " Analytic, Algorithmic and Probabilistic Tools for Discrete Random Structures " (16/08/2021 - 25/08/2021):

The school will focus on some stochastic aspects of mathematics and on algorithms used in this context. More precisely, classical random structures such as Markov chains, random walks, discrete combinatorial structures, random texts, chaotic dynamical systems will be considered and some tools to study them, mainly analytic combinatorics, will be given.


"Palestinian Academic and Scientific Organizations Call to Cut Ties With AnyVision-Sponsored Workshop" (BDS Movement, July 24):

We, the undersigned Palestinian academic, scientific and research organizations, call on international academics and academic institutions to refrain from participating in or supporting in any way the 'Fair Face Recognition and Analysis' workshop at the ''2020 European Conference on Computer Vision'' and the associated '"Looking at People Fair Face Recognition'" challenge.
The workshop, which will be held online on 28 August, and the challenge are being organized together with AnyVision, an Israeli facial recognition technology company directly involved in Israel's crimes against Palestinians. AnyVision works hand in hand with the Israeli military, providing technology to spy on and surveil Palestinians living under Israel's decades-long military occupation and oppressive apartheid regime. AnyVision provides its facial recognition technology for Israeli military checkpoints in the occupied Palestinian territory. Israel's network of military checkpoints deny Palestinians our right to freedom of movement, separate Palestinian cities and towns from one another and serve to monitor, surveil and collect data on Palestinians. AnyVision also maintains surveillance cameras for the Israeli military deep inside the occupied West Bank. AnyVision's technology is used to spy on Palestinians and enables the Israeli military's illegal targeting of Palestinian civilians. AnyVision, which is led by veteran Israeli military and intelligence personnel, is able to market its technology as "field-tested" on Palestinians.

Signed by: the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees (PFUUPE), representing more than 6,000 Palestinian university staff at 13 institutions of higher education in the occupied Palestinian territory, Palestine Academy for Science and Technology (PalAST) & Bisan Center for Research & Development.

"US universities erase Israel's occupation" (by: Sarah Sakha, Nourhan Ibrahim, Majida Halaweh and Somi Jun, The Electronic Intifada, 29 July):

Israel has long been praised by the Western media and governments as the "startup nation," despite growing evidence of civil and human rights abuses by makers of weapons and surveillance technology against Palestinians. Despite evidence of Israel's abuses of technology, universities such as Princeton - our alma mater - continue to celebrate the Israeli startup scene and Israel's pandemic response. Princeton is not alone or unique. It is part of a wider landscape of educational institutions extolling Israeli tech and entrepreneurship - without any acknowledgment of the wider political or historical context - and thus sanitizing the reality of occupation...

Analyses and Comments :

Lawrence Davidson, "An Attack on Edward Said's Legacy" (Counterpunch, July 30):

Recently, Caroline Glick - now a senior columnist at 'Israel Hayom' ('Israel Today', a pro-Netanyahu newspaper owned by the family of Sheldon Adelson) - launched an attack on the legacy of the late American-Palestinian scholar and teacher Edward Said. Entitled "Edward Said, Prophet of Political Violence in America," it was recently (7 July 2020) published in the U.S. by Newsweek - a news magazine with an increasingly pro-Zionist editorial stand. As it turns out, one cannot find a better example of how ideology can distort one's outlook to the point of absurdity. Below is an analysis of Glick's piece in a point-by-point fashion...

"Israel's collective punishment of Palestinians illegal and an affront to justice: UN expert Michael Lynk"

GENEVA (17 July 2020) - UN human rights expert Michael Lynk has called on Israel to immediately stop all actions amounting to collective punishment of the Palestinian people, with millions of innocent harmed daily and nothing achieved but deeper tensions and an atmosphere conducive to further violence. "It is an affront to justice and the rule of law to see that such methods continue to be used in the 21st century and that Palestinians collectively continue to be punished for the actions of a few," said Michael Lynk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967. "These practices entail serious violations against Palestinians including the right to life, freedom of movement, health, adequate shelter and adequate standard of living."

In his report to the 44th session of the Human Rights Council, Lynk said Israel's strategy to control the Palestinian population violates a foundational rule of virtually every modern legal system: Only the guilty can be punished for their acts, and only after a fair process. The innocent can never be made to be punished for the deeds of others...

Yara Hawari, "Beyond Failed Frameworks: A Re-Imagined Collective Future" (Al Shabaka, July 23, 2020):

Palestinian futures have long been discussed without Palestinian input or within an imposed and limited framework. Indeed, most ideas of the future in mainstream political spaces rather consistently establish the containment of the Indigenous Palestinians and security for the Israeli settler state as their primary concern. The most recent manifestation of this was the "Vision for Peace" published by US President Donald Trump's Administration. This 'vision' is a far cry from the revolutionary political mandate of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) that was established in the 1960s and which sought to liberate Palestine and its people from the Zionist settler colonial project that established Israel. It is also a far cry from the two-state solution, which was imposed as the most appropriate and feasible future for Israelis and Palestinians and was embedded in the narrative of Israel and Palestine as two warring national groups rather than the outcome of the Zionist project.

[Le sanctuaire d'Abu Ubayda, seul vestige d'Amwas encore debout, après que le village palestinien a été rasé par Israël en 1967. Il est visible à l'entrée du parc Ayalon, près de Jérusalem ; des arbres plantés par le Fonds national juif recouvrent les ruines]

Clothilde Mraffko, "Gérer l'occupation et cacher les crimes de guerre : comment Israël a transformé le paysage en Palestine" (MEE, 1 août):

Pour le voyageur européen qui débarque depuis l'aéroport de Tel Aviv, l'entrée à Jérusalem offre un panorama étrangement familier. Peu avant que la ville sainte ne découvre ses premières collines, l'autoroute ondule au milieu de monts verdoyants. Ici, les arbres rappellent davantage les forêts d'Europe que les paysages du Liban voisin. Avant même la création d'Israël en 1948, "les immigrants sionistes qui sont arrivés ici depuis l'Europe, notamment l'Europe de l'Est, voulaient que le paysage soit plus vert, avec des arbres, qu'il ressemble à ce qu'ils connaissaient", rappelle à Middle East Eye Noga Kadman, chercheuse indépendante, auteure du livre Erased from Space and Consciousness: Israel and the Depopulated Palestinian Villages of 1948...

Jonathan Cook, "An Israeli charity group is uprooting Palestinians - not planting trees" (J.C., 21 July):

The Jewish National Fund ['Keren Kayemet LeYisrael'] has won plaudits for its environmental work, but its agenda has been to evict on behalf of the state. - The JNF, established more than 100 years ago, is perhaps the most venerable of the international Zionist organisations. Its recent honorary patrons have included prime ministers, and it advises UN forums on forestry and conservation issues. It is also recognised as a charity in dozens of western states. And yet its work over many decades has been driven by one main goal: to evict Palestinians from their homeland [vide supra, the Sumarin Family]. The JNF is a thriving relic of Europe's colonial past, even if today it wears the garb of an environmental charity. As recent events show, ethnic cleansing is still what it excels at...

Cf. "Challenging the Jewish National Fund" (BDS Movement, July 9, 2010):

The history of the JNF is well documented, the seminal text still being the late Walter Lehn's 1988 book "The Jewish National Fund" written in association with Uri Davis. After heated discussions at the first four Zionist congresses, the JNF was established at the Fifth Zionist Congress held in Basel in 1901, and incorporated in England in 1907. Its Memorandum of Association defines the primary objective of the JNF as "to purchase, take on lease or in exchange or otherwise acquire any lands, forests, rights of possession and other rights in the prescribed region [Palestine and surrounding areas] ... for the purpose of settling Jews on such lands" (Lehn)...

Kathryn Shihadah, "Palestine Home", (July 26):

The world is out of control, and Israel is definitely not part of the solution. What does it say about humanity when the "safe haven" state demolishes a COVID-19 clinic in the epicenter of the outbreak for Palestinians? (And this is not the first time.) And even though Israel had promised to stop demolishing Palestinian homes during the pandemic, it has been - guess what? - demolishing Palestinian homes during the pandemic at an alarming rateWe can't just sit back and let this happen

Yakov Hirsch, "The cultural importance of Peter Beinart" (Mondoweiss, July 26):

In his recent essay arguing for equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians, Peter Beinart says the Jewish dehumanization of the Palestinians is the biggest threat to a peaceful future for Israelis and Palestinians, and he points to the misinterpretation of the Holocaust as a reason for that dehumanization. This "Holocaust lens," Beinart claims, is what makes it so difficult for Jews to see Palestinians as created "b'tselem Elohim," in the image of God. That dehumanization includes the idea that Palestinians are motivated by antisemitism in their opposition to Israel.


Sylvain Cypel: "La bombe Peter Beinart: « Je ne crois plus en un État juif » " (orient XXI, 24 juillet):

C'est une bombe dans son propre milieu intellectuel et affectif qu'a lancé, au début juillet, l'universitaire américain juif Peter Beinart en publiant coup sur coup deux articles dans lesquels il remet en question l'existence même de l'État d'Israël.



"Israeli occupation forces arrest BDS coordinator Mahmoud Nawajaa during night raid" (BDS Movement, 30 July):

Occupied Ramallah - At around 3:30 am, tens of Israeli occupation soldiers, accompanied by at least one dog, stormed the home of Mahmoud Nawajaa, the General Coordinator of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), near Ramallah, handcuffing, blindfolding and taking him away from his wife and three young children. BDS movement co-founder, Omar Barghouti, called for effective international pressure to secure Mahmoud Nawajaa's immediate release


Noa Landau, "Israel set up a front company to fight BDS. This is how it failed" (The Forward, July 29):

The minutes of the steering committee for a front company established by the Israeli Strategic Affairs Ministry in the fight for "mass awareness" against the "delegitimization" of Israel show which projects were funded and the initiative's failure to raise the amount of donations it promised. The Strategic Affairs Ministry set up this external body, ['Concert'], in the form of a public benefit company, in 2017 to cooperate with people and groups around the world who were interested in using a third party to conceal the funding they received from Israel to promote projects aimed at improving the country's image.


COVID-19 in the oPt:

"Palestinians mark Eid amid new closures and rising contagion"
(Mondoweiss, Special Coverage: Coronavirus in Palestine, 31 July):

The Latest:

# 15,232 Palestinians have tested positive for COVID-19; 11,762 in the West Bank; 75 in Gaza; 3,395 in East Jerusalem;
# Of Palestinians who tested positive for COVID-19, at least 7,638 reside in Hebron;
# 85 Palestinians have died of COVID-19 related causes;
# 70,970 Israelis have tested positive for COVID-19; 512 have died from COVID-19 related causes.

According to the World Health Organization, since July 1 the average daily number of new cases of COVID-19 in the Palestinian territory has been 402. Since mid-July, the overall number of cases has doubled, and within this period there have been at least 37 new deaths.

This week the Gaza Strip recorded four new COVID-19 cases. They were ther first new cases in Gaza since June 11, and overall the number of active cases in the area remains low. However, testing has remained limited and only at entry ports, checkpoints, and inside of the quarantine center. Until now there has been no system of mass testing for the community.

OCHA oPt: "COVID-19 Emergency Situation Report 14
(15 - 28 July 2020)"

Situation Overview

The cumulative number of Palestinians in the oPt who have contracted COVID-19 has nearly doubled over the course of the reporting period (from 7,734 on 14 July to 13,938, as of 16:00 hrs, 28 July), while the number of people who recovered saw a nearly fourfold increase (from 1,258 to 6, 033). Thirty-four (34) more people have died, bringing to 81 the cumulative number of fatalities to date. Over fifty per cent of confirmed cases are active (7,824), including 16 patients in intensive care units (ICU), with four patients requiring mechanical ventilation. A total of 81 health workers are among the people confirmed with COVID-19 (as of 23 July). 
Almost all the 6,204 additional cases detected during the reporting period were in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), with Hebron accounting for over 50 per cent of active cases. Four new cases were detected in the Gaza Strip, the first since 11 June...

Adalah to UN experts: Israel's COVID-19 response denies basic human rights to Palestinians in Israel and OPT (July 21):

Israel left Palestinian communities exposed to pandemic through substandard protection and limited access to testing, emergency medical services, and social welfare benefits - particularly in unrecognized Bedouin villages. Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel submitted a 30-page report to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for Special Rapporteurs and Independent Experts on 16 July 2020 detailing Israel's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its negative impact on human rights.

Adalah presented 11 major findings in its report to the UN experts.

CLICK HERE to read Adalah's full UN report (pdf, 29p.)!

Gideon Levy & Alex Levac, "COVID-19 and the absence of Israeli-Palestinian coordination spell grim fate for Gaza cancer patients" (Haaretz, July 24):

It's not easy to be sick with cancer, and it's even more difficult in the Gaza Strip, which has been under siege for the past 14 years. More than two million people live in a place without a single radiation therapy unit or one PET-CT system; plus, other diagnostic means and cancer-fighting medications are in meager supply, too, and don't always meet the needs of those whose lives are at risk. The result is that people die.


Yumna Patel, "Israel destroys COVID-19 testing clinic in Hebron as cases soar" (Mondoweiss, July 23):

As the number of coronavirus cases in Palestine continue to soar, Israeli forces demolished this week a COVID-19 testing clinic in the city of Hebron, the epicenter of the outbreak in the occupied West Bank. According to locals, Israeli forces demolished the clinic in the middle of the night, just before sunrise on Tuesday morning. "When we woke up in the morning to find the building destroyed, we were shocked," landowner Raed Maswadeh tells Mondoweiss.


International :

Gideon Levy, "How Israel's propaganda war has silenced Europe" (Middle East Eye, July 3):

An onslaught of exaggerated, sometimes wholly baseless, accusations of antisemitism has proved brutally effective. - Lately, under the direction of a relatively new minister for strategic affairs in the Israeli government - along with the close cooperation of the Zionist establishment in the rest of the world - Zionist propaganda has adopted a new strategy, which has proven itself unprecedentedly effective. Israel and the Zionist establishment in various countries have begun branding all criticism of Israel as antisemitic. This has silenced Europeans... The struggle against Israeli apartheid - and there is no more clearly moral struggle today - is deemed criminal. 


Michael Arria, "Meet the UK students fighting for their universities to cut ties with Israeli apartheid" (Mondoweiss, July 28):

'Apartheid Off Campus' is a newly-formed student network fighting to sever the ties between UK universities and the Israeli occupation. "University students are in a powerful position to campaign in support of Palestinians and against the structures of racism by both challenging/exposing these links and forcing their universities to divest from complicit companies, as well as making their institutions commit to be APARTHEID FREE," reads the group's website.


Philip Weiss, "Israel is ridiculous, antiquated and based on lies about other people's land, Seth Rogen says, but he's afraid to tell other Jews" (Mondoweiss, 28 July):

Writer/comedian Seth Rogen was on the Marc Maron podcast yesterday, promoting his new movie "An American Pickle," which involves Jewish life in the U.S. Maron raised the idea of Jews moving to many places in the world after the Holocaust, and not to Israel. Rogen agreed: "I think that's a better strategy. You don't keep all your Jews in one basket. I don't understand why they did that. It makes no sense whatsoever... It would be nice to live somewhere that was a not part of the Christian apocalyptic prophesy...".


Michael F.Brown, "Democratic Party has anti-Palestinian racism problem" (EI, July 31):

"In a move that bodes well for Israel, the Democratic National Committee's platform committee voted on Monday to reject additional language that would make the party's stance on the Jewish state more critical." So writes Jackson Richman with JNS, a publication focusing on Israel and the Jewish community... By voting to ignore Palestinian rights, the DNC platform committee "has chosen the path of complicity and cowardice," according to Jewish Voice for Peace Action. The party has adopted a platform that is "wildly out of touch with the Democratic base," the group said.


Israel :

Ravit Hecht, "Hagai El-Ad: 'It's like George Floyd. We have our knee on the Palestinians' necks'" (Interview, Haaretz, July 28):

B'Tselem director-general Hagai El-Ad tells Haaretz why organizations like his have become the last form of Israeli resistance to the occupation, and how he copes with being branded a traitor. Like other human rights activists - such as Breaking the Silence Executive Director Avner Gvaryahu - El-Ad has also become a moving target for the right. This process reflects the deteriorating reality, but also the weakening of the political platform waging the fight against the occupation, with the torch being passed to nonpolitical organizations or to prominent figures within them.


Naim Mousa & Wasim Nasser, "Escorted by heavily armed police, Israel demolishes livelihood of local fisherman in Jisr al-Zarqa" (Mondoweiss, July 22):

A demolition in the Palestinian village of Jisr al-Zarqa highlights the discrimination Palestinian citizens of Israel face on a daily basis. - Early in the morning on July 20th the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, escorted by heavily armed police equipped with assault rifles and bullet proof vests, demolished a fishing shack belonging to a local fisherman in the Palestinian village of Jisr al-Zarqa...

Suha Arraf, ''Total poverty': Bedouins in Israel struggle to get by under pandemic" (+972, July 21):

The coronavirus crisis has worsened years of government neglect of Bedouins in the Naqab, forcing a once self-sufficient society into deeper destitution. "There were days when I didn't have food for my six children," says A., a resident of the Bedouin township of Rahat in southern Israel.


Ibrahim Khatib, "Palestinians in Israel face social challenges to preserve their identity" (Middle East Monitor, July 29):

Palestinians in Israel face a number of social challenges to preserve their identity. The first of these is probably the fact that they have Israeli citizenship. Ordinary people and activists alike are torn between the national and religious aspects of their multiple Palestinian-Arab-Muslim-Christian identities and the political reality and citizenship that has been imposed on them. This uncertain relationship is not new, but over the past five years we have been heading towards a new crossroads. In my opinion, the politicians on the Arab Joint List bear the responsibility for pushing Palestinians in Israel towards this.


Ramona Wadi, "More Afraid of Int'l Criminal Court than it Lets On, Israel makes Secret List of its Officials who may be Charged with War Crimes" (MEMo via Informed Comment, July 23):

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has adjourned without issuing its ruling on whether Israeli officials will be tried for war crimes against the Palestinian people since 2014, when Gaza was destroyed during "Operation Protective Edge". With an extended timeframe until the ruling is due, Israel now has additional time to prepare for any eventual action taken by The Hague. It has apparently already drawn up a list of officials who might be liable to be prosecuted for war crimes. The list has been drawn up in utmost secrecy, not least because, as Haaretz points out, "The court is likely to view a list of names as an official Israeli admission of these officials' involvement in the incidents under investigation." The existence of the list alone is likely to be viewed as such.


Ramzy Baroud, "List of Israeli Targets Leaked: Tel Aviv Fears the Worst in ICC Investigation of War Crimes" (Politics For The People, July 29):

Israel remained publicly composed, even after Bensouda, last April, elaborated on her December decision with a 60-page legal report, titled: "Situation in the State of Palestine: Prosecution Response to the Observations of Amici Curiae, Legal Representatives of Victims, and States..." (But) The fact that a "secret list" exists is an indication that Tel Aviv understands that this era is different and that international law, which has failed Palestinians for over 70 years, may, for once, deliver, however a small measure of justice.


Naama Riba & Lior Soroka, "Bibi's 'Last Supper' is the most talked about artwork in Israel. Meet its creator" (Haaretz, July 31):

Itay Zalait's 'The Last Supper,' showing a lifesize effigy of Netanyahu alone at a table laden with delicacies, cutting into a cake bearing Israel's flag, in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square. Itay Zalait has a long history of afflicting the prime minister and his cohorts. He says he doesn't want to have to explain to his children how Israel became a dictatorship.

Oren Ziv, '''No longer outcasts': Anti-occupation activists find their place in Israeli protests" (+972 Magazine, July 30):

Left-wingers tried to insert their messages into mainstream Israeli protests for years, only to be rejected. Today's anti-Netanyahu protests are very different. The growing presence of Israeli anti-occupation protesters has been one of the most notable aspects of the wave of demonstrations that started on July 14 outside the PM's Residence on Balfour Street, Jerusalem. Among other things, this bloc of protesters have demanded justice for Iyad al-Hallaq, a Palestinian with autism whom Israeli police shot dead in the Old City in May.


Kathryn Shihadah, "Anti-Diplomacy: Danny Danon Ends Five Year Legacy of Israeli Hasbara at the UN" (Mint Press, July 23):

The US is Israel's best friend and ally in the world. It contributes over $10 million a day in no-strings-attached military aid. The US has dropped out of or defunded a number of UN organizations, including the Human Rights Council, UNESCO, UNRWA, all for the sake of Israel... [Picture: Mimicking Ben Gurion, Ambassador Danon holds a Bible aloft during a 2019 UNSC meeting as 'evidence' that Palestine is the Jewish People's property]

Palestine Occupied :

"Reaping with sorrow: A summary of the 2019 Olive Harvest - Yesh Din" (20 March 2020):

The connection to the land is an inseparable part of both the personal and collective identity of Palestinian farmers in the West Bank. Among the various types of agricultural cultivation, olive growing is particularly meaningful, so much so that the olive tree, the fruit it bears, its foliage, and its branches have become a true national symbol. Over the years of Israeli occupation and settlement in the Gaza Strip, this tradition has come under increasing attack, whether as a result of direct violence perpetrated by soldiers or settlers, or as an outcome of the Israeli imposed coordination mechanism in the West Bank. The current reality in Palestinian olive groves is one of theft and destruction. This report provides information about offenses committed against Palestinian farmers and their property during the 2019 olive harvest.

Dima Abumaria, "Pandemic to Put Damper on Eid al-Adha for Palestinians" (The Media Line, July 29):

Sadness and disappointment are sure to hang over Eid al-Adha - the normally joyous Muslim festival of the sacrifice - in the West Bank this year due to a suffocating financial crisis and full lockdown of all Palestinian cities in light of a resurgent coronavirus pandemic.


Nir Hasson, "Israel evicts Palestinian family from East Jerusalem home, handing it to settlers" (Haaretz, July 10):

The police evicted a Palestinian family from their home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Wednesday, after the Jerusalem District Court had dismissed their appeal and ruled in favor of the right-wing Elad Association, a settler organization that owns the majority of the building. Israeli left-wing NGO Peace Now released a statement saying that "the story of Silwan properties is a David and Goliath story... An NGO rich in resources and assets uses the best lawyers to file lengthy, exhausting lawsuits against hard-up Palestinian families, families who have to spend a lot of money to try to protect their home and at the end of which they are also required to pay court costs. The Custodian of Absentee Property is helping the settlers take control of the homes."


Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, "Israel's assault on everything Palestinian in Jerusalem has targeted Cultural & Heritage sites" (PLO, Palestine's Department of Culture and Information, July 22):

"The raid by Israeli forces of various Palestinian cultural centers in occupied Jerusalem is the latest of a long history of targeting everything Palestinian in our occupied capital. Today, Israeli occupation forces raided the Yabous Cultural Centre and The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music and confiscated documents and equipment, after detaining the centers' directors Rania Elias and Suheil Khoury from their home. Additionally, Israeli forces wreaked havoc in the home of the director of SHAFAQ Jerusalem Arts Network, Daoud Al-Ghoul. Israel's violent and systematic campaign against Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem aims to erase the Palestinian presence and alter the demographic and cultural make-up of the city through numerous home demolitions, forced evictions and targeting the daily livelihoods of Palestinian Jerusalemites. It has recently and repeatedly detained Palestinian officials such as the Governor of Jerusalem Adnan Ghaith and Jerusalem Minister Fadi Al-Hidmi as well as civilians and activists on a daily basis. Accountability for Israel is certainly long overdue..."

Taghreed Ali, "Settlement sprawl forces Hebron's Palestinian families to live in caves" (Al-Monitor, July 29):

HEBRON, West Bank - In the foothills of the rocky mountains of Hebron, Munther Abu Aram, 48, lives a primitive life inside a natural cave with his wife and four children. When the Israeli authorities demolished Abu Aram's home, they were left with no choice but to live in a cave with no infrastructure, electricity, water or sanitation. According to a report by the Turkish Anadolu Agency in December 2019, about 19 Palestinian families - some 100 people - are living in the caves of southern Hebron, without access to electricity or water, schools or roads.


Prisoners : 

"Addameer's Lawyer Manages to Visit Two Female Prisoners in Isolation" (Addameer Prisoner Support & Human Rights Association, July 20):

Addameer's lawyer Muna Nadaf, today on 20 July 2020, visited the two female prisoners, Fadwa Hamadeh and Jihan Hashimeh, who are placed in isolation since early June and have been there since around 42 days without any legal justification. The two female prisoners informed the lawyer of their difficult detention conditions, the cell they are kept at does not have the minimum needs for a human being, it also has no TV, radio, cooking area and even the shower is broken. Furthermore, the female prisoners were not informed of the reasons behind their isolation until now. In fact, four days ago an officer came to them and informed them that they will remain in isolation for another 14 days without informing them the reasons behind their isolation. The two women were initially sent to isolation for 21 days; however, they are still in isolation despite the lack of any legal justification. They are also banned any visits and communications with their families since several months now, this ban started due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and now because of their isolation.
Addameer pursued a legal justification behind their isolation and demanded to end their illegal isolation, however, no responses have been given.

Refugees :

Jonathan Ofir, "Peter Beinart and the Palestinian Right of Return" (Mondoweiss, July 30):

Peter Beinart has made lots of noise in the past three weeks in his turning away from the two-state solution for Palestine-Israel, towards advocating for a single 'bi-national' state. His advocacy has been a crisis for 'liberal-Zionists,' of whom he was a leading voice, and whose mantra in the past generation has been the two-state separation. But reaching beyond the noise, there is a single crucial point that has always divided Zionists and Palestinians, even within the talk of a two-state solution: refugees. The issue of the return of the Palestinian refugees is one single issue that like no other unites Palestinians, cutting to the heart of their continued dispossession. Its denial is also an essentially Zionist issue.

"Le Mouvement de la Jeunesse Palestinienne - PYM rejette les plans d'effacement du camp de réfugiés de Yarmouk" (Coll. Palestine vaincra, 31 juillet):

Fin juin 2020, le gouvernorat de Damas du régime syrien a annoncé son projet de transformer les restes du camp de réfugié-e-s palestinien-ne-s de Yarmouk en un quartier urbain de tours privatisées qui seront mises en vente au plus offrant. L'exécution de ce plan entraînerait l'effacement permanent du camp, qui est considéré comme la capitale du shataat palestinien (diaspora) en raison de son importance culturelle et politique dans la résistance palestinienne, de son identité en exil et de ses aspirations au retour et à la liberté.


Resources : Reports & Books :

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967
Human Rights Council 44th session 15 June - 3 July 2020 (pdf, 20p.)

Summary: The Secretariat has the honour to transmit to the Human Rights Council the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, submitted pursuant to Commission on Human Rights resolution 1993/2 A and Human Rights Council resolution 5/1. In it, the Special Rapporteur examines the current human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, with a particular emphasis on different forms of collective punishment.

OCHA oPt: "The Humanitarian Bulletin, June-July 2020":

In this document:

Overview | June - July 2020;
End of Palestinian Authority coordination with Israel in response to annexation threat: decision already impacting medical referrals;
Waste Away: Living next to a dumpsite;
Unprotected: settler attacks against Palestinians on the rise amidst the outbreak of COVID-19.


Dr. Cesar Chelala, "Destruction of Palestinian olive trees is a monstrous crime" (Ecologist, Nov 7, 2015):

The uprooting and cutting down of over a million olive and fruit trees in occupied Palestine since 1967 is an attack on a symbol of life, and on Palestinian culture and survival, writes Dr. Cesar Chelala. A grave crime under international humantarian law, the arboricide is also contrary to Jewish religious teachings. "It has reached a crescendo", stated a spokeswoman for Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights organization monitoring incidents in the West Bank. "What might look like ad hoc violence is actually a tool the settlers are using to push back Palestinian farmers from their own land."

Selma Dabbah, "What if Palestinians just disappeared?" (The Electronic Intifada, July 9):

"The Book of Disappearance" by Ibtisam Azem, transl. from Arabic by Sinan Antoon, Syracuse UP (2019), 256p. Paper $19.95, ISBN 9780815611110.

The Book of Disappearance, Ibtisam Azem's ingenious, multifaceted second novel, disturbs and remains long after it has been read. Azem's novel considers what would happen if the Palestinians were to disappear overnight. No bloodshed, they just simply vanish in one go - Israelis wake up to find the Palestinians in their midst are all gone.



  • Be entertained by Mark Thomas in his 'Walking the Wall' show and join in this fund-raising event for ICAHD UK.
  • Read Jeff Halper's article on Peter Beinart a liberal Zionist who has opened-up the one-state discussion in Zionist circles.
  • Get to know Dr Nadia Naser-Najjab who is featured in our monthly interview with Palestinians who call for one state.
  • Register for our webinar on 12th August on 'Demolitions within Israel and the Impact on Women and Children'.
  • Receive the latest news about the campaign to stop the Jewish National Fund from evicting the Sumarin family from their home in Silwan - time is now critical.
  • Order your postcards to send to the NSPCC so it stops taking tarnished money from JCB.
  • Celebrate the achievement of the summer camp for youth in the Jordan Valley held at the community centre whose construction began during ICAHD's building camp for internationals.
  • Dates for your diary.


BDS Activists on Trial - Support the Humboldt3

Vivre en permanence sous surveillance bruyante des drones israéliens: le quotidien à Gaza

Hannah Arendt "Zur Person" Full Interview (with English subtitles)

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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