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Academic Newsletter N°67 (February 2021)


Spotlight (10) -- Actions (9) -- Academics (7) & Students (3) -- Analyses (6) -- BDS (4) -- COVID-19 (6) -- International (4) -- Israel (6) -- Palestine (14) -- Prisoners (2) -- Refugees (1) -- Resources (5) -- Videos (7)


« This is apartheid »

« A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid »

B'TSELEM - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories 
(Position paper, Jan 12, 2021):

More than 14 million people, roughly half of them Jews and the other half Palestinians, live between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea under a single rule. The common perception in public, political, legal and media discourse is that two separate regimes operate side by side in this area, separated by the Green Line.  Continue...

[Pdf version (8p.): click here! - FR (via AURDIP): cliquez-ici! - NL (BDS NL): klik hier!]

"The future must be radically different." Israel's controversial separation barrier at the Qalandia crossing between the Palestinian city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem, Dec 2020. Photograph: Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images.>

"We are Israel's largest human rights group
- and we are calling this apartheid"

The systematic promotion of the supremacy of one group of people over another is deeply immoral and must end. Hagai El-Ad is executive director of B'Tselem.

Hagai El-Ad (The Guardian, Jan 12, 2021):

One cannot live a single day in Israel-Palestine without the sense that this place is constantly being engineered to privilege one people, and one people only: the Jewish people. Yet half of those living between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea are Palestinian. The chasm between these lived realities fills the air, bleeds, is everywhere on this land.  Continue...

An Israeli soldier keeps guard near a Palestinian woman standing by a Star of David graffiti sprayed by Israeli settlers near an army checkpoint in the centre of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on May 18, 2009 (Photo credit MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images) .

"B'Tselem casts Israel as a racist endeavor, correcting the ethical grammar of Israel/Palestine."

Robert A.H.Cohen
(Mondoweiss, Jan 26, 2021):

B'Tselem's new report describing all of Israel and the Palestinian Occupied Territories as a single 'apartheid' regime will have widespread and long-term implicationsNot only does it change the acceptable vocabulary on Israel/Palestine, it also alters the ethical grammar which has created and sustained an injustice now in its eighth decade. How we speak and what we can say will shape the future politics of this conflict and change the ethical framework through which solutions are found and implemented. In short, language matters. Continue...

"The B'Tselem Report on Israeli Apartheid"

Richard Falk
(Global Justice in the 21st Century, Feb 3, 2021):

...There is one mysterious weakness in my reading of the B'Tselem Report: the erasure of seven million or so Palestinian refugees and involuntary exiles. The Report deals with apartheid only in the context of the control of territory rather than its deliberate and intended design of exerting control of people, and yet from 1948 to the present, Palestinians have suffered as a people, whether subject to Israeli territorial control or not, with hundreds of thousand  being displaced and dispossessed from 1948 onwards as integral to the Israeli overall plan to be a Jewish majority state that could lay a legitimating claim to being a democracy. In effect, 'ethnic cleansing' was a necessity, given Israel claims to legitimacy as a democracy.  Continue...

Independent Journalism from Israel-Palestine.

« Why B'Tselem is calling Israel an apartheid regime, from the river to the sea »

Orly Noy (+972, Jan 12, 2021):

There is a constantly lurking danger for individuals and groups struggling for social or political change. We tend to concentrate so intently on our goal that we no longer realize that the circumstances in which we are acting have fundamentally changed. Not only are we on a different playing field, we're playing a different game entirely. When the forces we face use their enormous power to distort and disguise this reality, our mission of recognizing it - of calling it by its name - becomes ever more necessary. This is precisely what B'Tselem, one of Israel's oldest human rights organizations, is doing today. 

Nathan Thrall, at the Jerusalem Hotel, May 24, 2017. Photo by Phil Weiss.

"The Separate Regimes Delusion. Nathan Thrall on Israel's apartheid"

Nathan Thrall
(The London Review of Books, Vol. 43 No. 2, 21 Jan 2021):

Last April, Haaretz ran a statement warning the Israeli government against formally annexing its settlements in the occupied West Bank. Opinion polls showed that the public didn't care much about the issue, but political elites were debating it fiercely. Both proponents and opponents of annexation claimed that the future of Israel and Zionism was at stake. The statement argued that "annexation would mean a fatal blow to the possibility of peace and would be the establishment of an apartheid state." It was signed by 56 former members of the Knesset.  Continue...

Flags at Peace Now rally, May 27, 2017, Rabin Square, Tel Aviv. Photo by Phil Weiss.

"Liberal Zionists ignore 'apartheid regime' report because it points to BDS"

Philip Weiss & Joshua Gold
(Mondoweiss, Jan 27, 2021):

It has been two weeks since the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem released a bombshell report stating that Israel is an apartheid regime, from the river to the sea. These statements were a bombshell because an Israeli group led by Jews said this at last, one held in high regard by American liberals. We are used to Palestinians being ignored when they say as much, and Jimmy Carter too... At the Nation, Mitchell Plitnick says the report has political impact: the Biden administration will have to face the facts, Israel is an apartheid regime... Therein lies the problem: it appears that B'Tselem is being ignored by the liberal gatekeepers of official discussion. Liberal Zionists could be giving oxygen to the charge. They are obviously hoping it goes away. The silence of Liberal Zionists in the face of Apartheid is deafening... Continue...

Israel's separation wall is pictured on 11 February 2020. (AFP)

"Israel is losing the fight to obscure its apartheid character"

New report by rights group B'Tselem will make it harder to smear Israel's critics as antisemites for arguing that Israel is a racist state.

Jonathan Cook
(Middle East Eye, Jan 14, 2021)

For more than a decade, a handful of former Israeli politicians and US diplomats identified with what might be termed the "peace process industry" have intermittently warned that, without a two-state solution, Israel is in danger of becoming an "apartheid state"...  Their chief concern, it seems, was that without the alibi of some kind of Palestinian state - however circumscribed and feeble - the legitimacy of Israel as a "Jewish and democratic state" will increasingly come under scrutiny... This entirely cynical approach to Palestinian statehood was very belatedly blown apart this week with the publication of a report by B'Tselem, Israel's most prominent and respected human rights group. Continue...

"Sur la notion d'apartheid de B'Tselem"

Majd Kayyal* :

Collectif Palestine Vaincra (6 février 2021):

L'organisation israélienne des droits de l'homme, B'Tselem, a récemment publié une déclaration dans laquelle elle affirme que « les territoires sous contrôle israélien sont organisés selon un seul principe : faire progresser et cimenter la suprématie des Juifs sur les Palestiniens », et qualifie ce principe « d'apartheid ». Elle revient cependant sur sa déclaration en disant que le régime « n'est pas né d'un seul jour ou d'un seul discours ». C'est « un processus qui s'est progressivement institutionnalisé et rendu plus explicite au fil du temps ». Qu'est-ce que cela signifie, qu'est-ce que cela révèle et quelles sont ses implications ?..
À notre connaissance limitée, le colonialisme sioniste en Palestine a été fondé sur un principe raciste - la « création d'un État juif ». Son entité a été fondée sur des massacres, des déplacements et la destruction de centaines de villages et de villes en 1948. Pour réfuter l'affirmation de B'Tselem, il suffirait donc de quelques lignes, ou peut-être d'un mot de cinq lettres : la Nakba... un mot que l'on ne trouve nulle part dans les dictionnaires des organisations israéliennes de défense des droits de l'homme. Ces dernières appartiennent à une base sociale qui a créé la Nakba et en a profité. Continue...

Article de Majd Kayyal, écrivain de Haïfa en Palestine, publié le 30 janvier 2021.

« On a raison d'être antisioniste »

Gideon Levy :
(EuroPalestine, 31 janvier 2021):

Répondant à l'historien et commentateur Gadi Taub qui déclare que toute critique est illégitime, Gideon Levy explique : « Quiconque exprime des réserves est soumis à un seul sort, celui d'être condamné comme antisémite. Taub ne connaît pas d'autre moyen de lutter contre les arguments moraux soulevés contre le sionisme. Le sionisme devient ainsi, entre les mains d'intellectuels comme Taub, une idéologie tyrannique qui ne peut être rejetée. Il serait difficile de penser à une meilleure preuve de la nécessité de réévaluer la justice du sionisme, ses victimes et sa pertinence que ce Zhdanovisme agressif. Vous n'êtes pas sioniste, ergo, vous êtes un antisémite." Continue...

Source: Gideon Levy: "It's Alright to Be an Anti-Zionist" (Haaretz, Jan 31, 2021).

Actions & Calls : 

Members of the ICC panel which ruled the body has jurisdiction in the war crimes case against Israel and Palestine.

"ICC Approves Pursuing War Crimes Case Against Israeli, Palestinian leaders"

Richard Silverstein
Tikun Olam (Feb 6, 2021):

 Read the full decision by the ICC.

In a groundbreaking ruling, a three-judge ICC court has found that the chief prosecutor may commence a war crimes investigation against both Israeli and Palestinian leaders for major violations of international law. They include: building settlements, the murder of Palestinian civilians during Operation Protective Edge and the Great March of Return, and Palestinian rocket attacks against Israeli civilians populations.  Continue...

Gideon Levy: "The Hague Ruling on Israel Is Cause for Hope"
(Haaretz, Feb 7, 2021).

Every decent Israeli should be happy to hear the good news from The Hague Friday: The International Criminal Court has jurisdiction to investigate alleged war crimes committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Finally, after 53 years. It is true that the path to prosecuting the perpetrators is still long, and perhaps impossible, but a new idiom - one that will be impossible to ignore - is coming to Israel's boastful, bullying conversation, which thumbs its nose at international law. Quite a few Israelis in the military and the political establishments will begin to sweat in the months to come. Seasoned lawyers will be hired to defend them. Some of them will be afraid to travel abroad for fear of arrest. That is good news. Perhaps that way they'll begin to think differently about their actions... Continue...

Ariel University is nestled in an illegal Israeli settlement on occupied Palestinian territory.

« No Ariel Ties Campaign »

Open letter


We, the undersigned academics and researchers in countries participating in European research programmes, note with grave concern the ongoing failure of the European Union to ensure that its taxpayer-funded research programmes are not used to legitimize or otherwise sustain the establishment and the activities of Israeli academic institutions in illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT).
As the EU Commission recently reiterated, "Article 19 of the Horizon 2020 Framework Regulation provides that all the research and innovation activities carried out under Horizon 2020 must comply with ethical principles and relevant national, Union and international legislation..."  The necessary provisions have been made in EU legislation and its implementing rules to "ensure the respect of positions and commitments in conformity with international law on the non-recognition by the EU of Israel's sovereignty over the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967."
Ariel University is based in an illegal Israeli settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). Yet a lack of proper monitoring is allowing Ariel University backdoor access to EU research programmes. Ariel University has participated in past and ongoing Horizon 2020 projects.

Please consider adding your signature to the letter (full text) by completing this form by Friday 12 February.

The letter is the initiative of "No Ariel Ties Campaign', a campaign by international scholars supporting the call from authoritative Palestinian higher education bodies for non-recognition of and non-collaboration with Ariel University.

"Facebook, we need to talk"

Dear Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg,

In a world full of walls, social media is a powerful tool to help us share our stories and support one another and our common humanity - no matter our religion, race or nationality. We know Facebook is considering its responsibility to implement guardrails to keep the platform safe and accessible for us to connect across space and difference.
But we are deeply concerned about Facebook's proposed revision of its hate speech policy to consider "Zionist" as a proxy for "Jew" or "Jewish." The proposed policy would too easily mischaracterize conversations about Zionists - and by extension, Zionism - as inherently antisemitic, harming Facebook users and undermining efforts to dismantle real antisemitism and all forms of racism, extremism, and oppression.

Sign the Petition!

Goal: 50000 - Supporters (Feb 8, 2021, 18:30): 41467.

Conscientious objectors Shahar Peretz (left) and Daniel Peldi at an anti-annexation protest in the city of Rosh Ha'ayin June 2020. (Oren Ziv)

2021 Shministiyot Letter:

"We are calling for high school seniors (shministiyot) our age to ask themselves: What and who are we serving when we enlist in the military? Why do we enlist? What reality do we create by serving in the military of the occupation? We want peace, and real peace requires justice. Justice requires acknowledgment of the historical and present injustices, and of the continuing Nakba. Justice requires reform in the form of the end of the occupation, the end of the siege on Gaza, and recognition of the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Justice demands solidarity, joint struggle, and refusal..."

Please, sign the International Solidarity Declaration:

"I stand together with the Shministiyot (Israeli high schoolers) who are refusing to serve in the Israeli military. As people of consience around the world, we share their commitment to solidarity, deep care for all people, and recognition that systems of oppression were created by people and can be dismantled by people. In refusing to take part in the Israeli government's occupation and by rejecting militarism and settler colonialism, the Shministiyot are demonstrating solidarity with the Palestinian people who live under occupation, as well as with Palestinian refugees and their descendants in the exile. It's our responsibility as a global community to support those who see injustice in their own societies and choose solidarity instead." 

Cf. Oren Ziv, +972, Jan 6, 2021: "We're taking responsibility": "60 teens announce refusal to serve in Israeli army. Dozens of Israeli teens sign public letter objecting to military service over Israel's policies of apartheid, neoliberalism, and denial of the Nakba."

Academics: "Israel must allow Gaza students to travel abroad!"

Petition of Gisha - Legal Center for Freedom of Movement
(EN-AR; powered by Drove).

"To the Government of Israel: According to information received from the human rights organization Gisha, it has come to our attention that since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, Israel has blocked Palestinian students from Gaza from exiting the Strip via Erez Crossing to reach academic studies abroad. As faculty members at academic institutions around the world, we strongly oppose this infringement on students' fundamental rights. We call on the Government of Israel to take immediate action to allow students to exit Gaza via Erez Crossing...".
Please sign! (already 490, Jan 31)

European trade unions call on companies listed in the UN database to disengage from economic activities in illegal Israeli settlements.

European Trade Union Initiative for Justice in Palestine (3 Feb 2021)

[34 syndicats s'adressent aux entreprises collaborant avec l'occupation israélienne
Charleroi pour la Palestine, 6 fév 2021.]

At the end of January, a coalition of 34 European trade unions sent letters to 112 companies listed in the UN database for their complicity and/or involvement with illegal Israeli settlements. 
In their letter, trade union organisations called on all those companies to immediately withdraw from all activities in illegal Israeli settlements, including supplying them with equipment and services.
"We will also continue to encourage governments, public bodies and pension funds to take steps to ensure that purchasing, procurement and investment decisions do not contribute to breaches of human and labour rights and international law, using engagement and divestment where appropriate." - the unions say. You can read an example of full letter HERE.

Vragen uit het Europese parlement


Palestina Solidariteit (28 januari 2021)

In een gezamenlijk initiatief interpelleerden 18 leden van het Europese parlement van 4 verschillende fracties, waarbij ook de Vlaamse Hilde Vautmans (Open VLD), de Europese Commissie naar de nog steeds voortgaande vernielingen, door Israël, van met Europees geld gefinancierde projecten in Palestijns gebied. In 2020 vernietigde Israël per maand, ondanks de Coronapandemie, méér van zulke projecten dan tijdens de vorige golf van vernielingen in 2016. In hun interpellatie vroegen de Europarlementsleden welke stappen de Europese Commissie reeds nam om te zorgen dat Israël de kosten voor de reeds vernietigde Europese projecten vergoedt. Zij stelden ook dat deze schadevergoeding gewoon zou kunnen gebeuren door het inhouden van dit bedrag in het kader van de bilaterale steun tussen de EU en Israël. Verder stelden zij ook de vraag in hoeverre de politiek van Israël in bezet gebied de tweestatenoplossing in gevaar kan brengen. 

Parlementaire vraag 21/10/2020:

"Israel's arrest of UN worker in Jerusalem requires decisive intervention"

Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Feb 1, 2021):

Geneva - The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor expressed its grave concern over the Israeli authorities' arrest of a UN employee in Jerusalem, calling for her immediate and unconditional release.

There should be a decisive intervention by the UN to prevent Israel from continuing to violate the rights guaranteed to UN employees  (Muhammad Imad, legal advisor at Euro-Med Monitor).

The Israeli authorities arrested UN employee and human rights activist, Shireen Al-Araj, on January 25, in front of the Magistrate's Court in Jerusalem. She was summoned to an interrogation on charges of "contacting with foreign clients and persons" 

Palestinian political activist Issa Amro was convicted of 6 charges by an Israeli military court. Credit: Emil Salman.

Israel's Conviction of Human Rights Defender Shows Disdain for International Obligations, Say UN Special Rapporteurs

'UN - The Question of Palestine'
(Press Release, Jan 26, 2021)

UN experts* said today Israel must immediately stop using its array of military security tools to obstruct the legitimate and indispensable work of human rights defenders. Their comments come after an Israeli military court convicted Issa Amro, a Palestinian human rights defender and founder of Youth Against Settlements, a Hebron-based group which opposes settlement expansion through non-violent civil resistance. Amro was convicted of six charges on 6 January 2021 related to his human rights activities between 2010 and 2016. The experts said they fear he will be imprisoned when he is sentenced on 8 February, 2021. Continue... 

[For the PA's persecution of Issa, see below]

* The UN experts: Mr. Michael Lynk (Canada), Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967; Ms. Mary Lawlor, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

Academia :

Department of Education, London, UK.

"158 Israeli Academics in the UK and Beyond Urge UK Academic Senates To Reject Flawed Antisemitism Definition "

'Israeli Academics - UK' (Jan 11, 2021; update Jan 27): 

Call to reject the IHRA's 'working definition of antisemitism'

Letter to: Vice Chancellors, Members of Academic Senates, all other UK Academics and Students, Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP Secretary of State for Education.

We, British Academics who are also Israeli citizens, strongly oppose the governmental imposition of the IHRA 'working definition of antisemitism' on Universities in England. We call on all academic senates to reject the IHRA document or, where adopted already, to act to revoke it.
We represent a diverse cross-disciplinary, cross-ethnic, and cross-generational group. We all share an extended history of struggles against racism. Accordingly, we have been critical of Israel's prolonged policies of occupation, dispossession, segregation, and discrimination directed at the Palestinian population. Our historical and political perspective is deeply informed by the multiple genocides of modern times, and in particular, the Holocaust, in which quite a few of us lost members of our extended families. The lesson we are determined to draw from history is that of a committed struggle against all forms of racism. 

"COVID-19 vaccines for Palestinians." Published Jan 28, 2021 ("Correspondence"). For the Lancet Series on the occupied Palestinian territory see

Dear Colleagues, we need your urgent help as soon as possible.

Can you please write a letter to The Lancet, and send it to Dr. Richard Horton, the chief editor directly (email:, and indicate in the subject heading that this is a letter in support of the "COVID-19 vaccine for Palestinians" letter published in the Lancet Jan 28, 2021.
Please write the letter in support of the following arguments as truthful and consistent with reality: That the Palestinian health system in the occupied Palestinian territory is vulnerable under occupation and blockade for years and too weak to deal with the surge of COVID-19 cases. That Israel is responsible for the health of the occupied population, as the Geneva Convention and the United Nations and various human rights organizations emphasize. And that Israel has the moral responsibility of providing the vaccine to Palestinians under occupation. Can you also distribute to your network so that they can also write letters of support as above please?


"Progress of The Lancet Palestinian Health Alliance"

Graham Watt - Rita Giacaman - Huda Zurayk

Published: August, 2017.

The Lancet Palestinian Health Alliance (LPHA) is a loose network of Palestinian, regional, and international researchers who are committed to the highest scientific standards in describing, analysing, and evaluating the health and health care of Palestinians, to contributing to the international scientific literature, and to developing local evidence-based policy and practice.
The LPHA has five stated activities: to present and publish research findings; advocacy, based on science; developing scientific methods that are culture-specific; building capacity for research; and increasing academic collaboration within the occupied Palestinian territory, Lebanon, and across the region. Continue...

"Institute of Community and Public Health"

Prof. Rita Giacaman (BZU)
Founder and Professor, PharmD, MPhil

Rita Giacaman is a professor of public health at the Institute of Community and Public Health, Birzeit University. Founder of the Institute, Rita has chronicled the effects of Israeli military occupation on the life and health of Palestinians under occupation. Since 2000, she has been focusing on the impact of chronic war-like conditions and exposure to violence on the health and well-being of Palestinians, with an emphasis on psychosocial health and the development of measures to assess health and well-being in conditions of protracted political violence. Continue...

Birzeit University, Department of Social and Behavioral Science.

Interview : "Lena Meari et le Sumud face à l'interrogatoire."

Collectif Palestine Vaincra (Fév 2, 2021, voir aussi le vidéo, en bas):

Le Collectif Palestine Vaincra a interviewé Lena Meari, professeure assistante à l' Université de Birzeit, à propos de ses recherches sur le sumud et de son texte "Sumud : Une philosophie palestinienne de la confrontation dans les prisons coloniales."  Continue...

« Sumud: A Palestinian Philosophy of Confrontation in
Colonial Prisons

Lena Meari (BZU)

(The South Atlantic Quarterly 113:3, Summer 2014, pp. 547-578)

This article examines the Palestinian praxis of sumud in the interrogation and how sumud conceptualizes the interrogation encounter and broader colonial relations. Each interrogation is considered as a singular encounter but also as encoding the history of past, present, and future colonial encounters. The interrogation encounter can be analyzed from different perspectives; here I approach it from the perspective of sumud as discursively constructed and narrated by Palestinians who underwent interrogation between the late seventies and early nineties. Continue...

In a February 2nd webinar hosted by the Save Arab American Studies Coalition, the original authors of California's Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum announced they would remove their names from the current draft.

"Authors of California Ethnic Studies Curriculum Decry Cuts to Arab Studies"

Gabi Kirk (Jewish Currents, Feb 3, 2021)

IN A PUBLIC LETTER addressed to the California Department of Education (CDE) on Wednesday, all 20 original authors and members of the advisory committee for the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC), a guide to help the state's K-12 schools design their own ethnic studies courses, announced they were removing their names from the current draft...
The campaign against the ESMC that produced this impasse has been led by Israel-advocacy groups, whose opposition originally focused on the inclusion of material related to Palestine - including mention of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement - but has since broadened to encompass larger complaints about the project. In December, these forces
declared multiple victories: The CDE had excised all Palestine-related content from the draft, along with much of the content about Arab American studies in general, while agreeing to add two lesson plans on Jewish American experience and antisemitism.

"Freedom of Speech and the IHRA in Universities" (Free Speech on Israel, Feb 3, 2021):

Submission by Free Speech on Israel (UK) to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights' Inquiry into Freedom of Expression. 'Free Speech on Israel' is a Jewish-led group formed in April 2016 out of concerns that the surge in accusations of antisemitism in British public life in no way reflected the reality in which we live. Free Speech on Israel (FSOI) gave oral and written evidence to the Joint Committee's 2018 inquiry into Freedom of Speech in Universities. In the current submission we will concentrate only on the question: How has the situation changed in universities in the two years since the Committee's report on the issue?  Continue...

Academia Students :

Photos of Palestinian students in Israeli custody. From top left (clockwise): Tawfiq Abu 'Arqub, Mais Abu Ghosh, Hamza Abu Qar', Fadi Hamad, Yahya Rabi', Oday Nakhla, Omar al-Kiswani, Samah Jaradat, Amir Hazboun, and Shatha Hassan.

"In its war on Palestinian students, Israel deems book fairs and falafel sales a crime"

From campus raids to dubious indictments, Israel's persecution of Palestinian students aims to suppress political activism in West Bank universities.

Anat Matar*
(+972, February 3, 2021):

Over the last few years, Israeli security forces have ramped up their arrests of Palestinian students involved in political activism in universities across the occupied territories. The shameful practice of arresting students is often entirely absent from the Israeli public discourse, particularly among academics. The increase in student arrests in recent years is related to the Shin Bet's intensive efforts to prevent any political organizing aimed at resisting the occupation, even in theory. However, one cannot ignore the fact that these arrests serve the interests of the Palestinian Authority as well.
The systematic harassment of hundreds of students in the West Bank over the past two years has been exacerbated by administrative detention, detention pending sentencing, or imprisonment. Israel is currently imprisoning or holding in custody dozens of students from universities across the occupied territories, including An-Najah National University in Nablus, Birzeit University, Bethlehem University, Palestine Technical University - Kadoorie (from its two respective branches in Tulkarm and Hebron), and Al-Quds University in East Jerusalem.

...The Israeli and international academic community must step in. It must stand up against the trampling of academic freedom, harassment of student life and activity, administrative arrests, and arbitrary and baseless indictments. Furthermore, it must protest the harassment of political prisoners who are not allowed to study and read books as they wish. This is a call to action. Now, where are members of the academic community who will take up the gauntlet? 

* Anat Matar is a senior lecturer at the Dpt of Philosophy in Tel Aviv University. She is a member of the "Solidarity with Palestinian Academia and the Struggle Against the Occupation" team at Academia for Equality. She is co-editor (with Adv. Abeer Baker), of "Threat: Palestinian Political Prisoners in Israel," London 2011.

Birzeit University, Libraries.

"Israel's Designation of the Democratic Progressive Student Pole an 'Unlawful Association' Is Another Manifestation of its Apartheid Regime"

Addameer, Prisoner Support & Human Rights Association
(08 Dec 2020):

On 21 October 2020, the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) officially declared the Democratic Progressive Student Pole (DPSP), the leftist bloc at Birzeit University, an "unlawful association". The designation of the Pole as an unlawful organisation was issued under the Defence (Emergency) Regulations 1945, which were inherited by Israel following the end of British Mandatory rule in 1948. The Regulations, employed by Israel to control the Palestinian population, were initially used to target Palestinian citizens of Israel until martial law was lifted in 1996. Continue...

Mays Abu Ghosh was repeatedly tortured in the detention center known as the Russian Compound. (Photo courtesy of Mays Abu Ghosh)

"The persecution of a Palestinian student"

Amjad Ayman Yaghi
(The Electronic Intifada, 5 Feb 2021):

As well as abusing her physically, Mays' interrogators subjected her to psychological pressure by threatening that other members of her family would be arrested and that their home would be destroyed. Mays, a journalism student at Birzeit University in the West Bank, has been persecuted because she refused to accept Israel's occupation of her homeland. She was charged with being part of Qutub, a left-wing student group deemed "unlawful" by Israel. Among the other charges against her were "contact with an enemy." That related to her participation in a conference held in Lebanon on the right to return of Palestine's refugees.
Mays is fully aware that there is nothing unique about the way she has been treated. In prison, she met many others who have been locked up for far longer than she was. Approximately 10,000 Palestinian women have been
arrested or detained under Israeli military orders over the past five decades. Thirty-seven Palestinian women were being held in Israel's prisons or detention centers at the end of January. Continue...

Analyses & Comments :

Separation Wall between Israel and the West Bank. Photo: Saeschie Wagner via Shutterstock

"There Is No Right to a State"

Peter Beinart

(Jewish Currents, Jan 27, 2021):

"LET'S BE CLEAR," tweeted the Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI) last month, "Arguing that the Jewish people is the only people in the world not entitled to self-determination is a form of antisemitism."...
When Israel's defenders define national self-determination as the right to a state of one's own- and then accuse Israel's critics of bigotry for denying that right to Jews alone - they are inventing a right that does not exist. National self-determination can only constitute a universal right if it means something less than independent statehood...
The Biden administration must soon choose whether to accept the Jewish establishment's claim that opposing Jewish statehood constitutes antisemitism. If it does, it will legitimize the perverse argument that treating Jews and Palestinians equally constitutes bigotry but privileging Jews over Palestinians does not. And, in so doing, it will delay Americans' much-needed reckoning with the current one-state reality in Israel/Palestine, where one people's right to self-determination comes at the cost of another's.

Ezra Nawi arrives to the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court, July 16, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Farewell to Ezra Nawi (1952-2021), a Mizrahi Jew who refused
to live by Zionism's rules.

Nawi gave his body, mind, and possessions to the most vulnerable Palestinians. This made him a threat to the Israeli regime - and its easiest prey.

Orly Noy
(+972, Jan 18, 2021):

Ezra, who was a plumber, Mizrahi, and gay, dedicated his life to the struggle against the Israeli occupation, Jewish supremacy, and to defending Palestinians. He was one of the founders of Ta'ayush (Arabic for "coexistence"), an anti-occupation direct action group. For years he put his body - and the little property he owned - on the line in the struggle alongside the most vulnerable people living under Israeli control, especially the Palestinians living in the South Hebron Hills in the occupied West Bank. He did so with both grace and brusqueness, with humor and rage. He did it with utter totality, bravery, and heart. Continue...

« Hulp is altijd een politieke interventie »

De politiek van ontwikkelingshulp in Palestina: schuilen als strategie?

Jan ORBIE & Viktor OPSOMER (MO* 15 januari, 2021):

Het utopische idee dat we derde landen kunnen "fixen" mits een goed ontwikkelingsbeleid, creëert een rookgordijn waardoor we mondiale onrechtvaardigheid moeilijker zien, schrijven academici Jan Orbie en Viktor Opsomer in een kritisch opiniestuk. "Om effectief te zijn, moeten we het politieke karakter van hulp erkennen, in plaats van te schuilen achter een technisch ontwikkelingsdiscours." Passionele debatten over ontwikkelingssamenwerking zijn zeldzaam in België. Het ontwikkelingsdenken varieert dan ook al zeventig jaar op dezelfde, technocratische partituur: "wij moeten anderen ontwikkelen en wij weten hoe dat moet. We moeten zorgen voor voldoende budgetten, de juiste partners en adequate monitoring. Als "ontwikkeling" toch niet werkt, dan moeten we onze sjablonen verder verfijnen, de toepassing verbeteren en zogenaamde stakeholders meer betrekken." Deze technische framing is niet onschuldig: het legitimeert de status quo en vermijdt kritische vragen... Continue...

A general view of the Jenin refugee camp, September 12, 2011. (Photo: Wagdi Eshtayah/APA Images)

Fearing the Palestinian narrative: why Israel banned
« Jenin, Jenin »

A Palestinian people with a coherent, collective narrative will always exist.
This is what Israel fears most.

Ramzy Baroud
(Mondoweiss, Jan 22, 2021):

Last week an Israeli district court ruled against a Palestinian filmmaker and actor, Mohammad Bakri in a defamation and libel case, ordering him to pay hefty compensation to an officer in the Israeli military who was accused of carrying out war crimes in the 2002 documentary "Jenin, Jenin." On January 11 Bakri was ordered to pay Lt. Col. (res.) Nissim Magnagi $70,000 and the court seized 23 copies of the film and banned all future screenings. The film captures Palestinians in the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank during an Israeli military invasion at the peak of the second Intifada.  Continue...

"Gaza Between Occupation, Division, and COVID-19: Confronting Total Collapse"

Ali Abdel-Wahad
(Al-Shabaka, Jan 14, 2021):

Introduction. Gaza has always been unique among the different parts of Palestine. Its current particularity stems from being caught between three major variables exacerbating its collapse: the Israeli occupation, division in Palestinian leadership, and the COVID-19 pandemic. This reality raises socio-political questions about the role of these factors in advancing social collapse in Gaza, and about changes in the values of resilience and steadfastness among Palestinians in Gaza. Despite the attempts of Gaza's inhabitants to survive and achieve stability in their daily lives, the consequences of occupation, political division, and the pandemic have eroded the foundations of perseverance amongst them. Indeed, Palestinians in Gaza have suffered from societal fragility, uncertainty, and turbulence that have forced them to live in imaginary communities that cling to fantasy in order to survive. Continue...

Palestinian supporters of the DFLP, PFLP, the National Initiative, the People's Party, and the Palestinian Democratic Union take part in a march to support the Palestinian reconciliation efforts between Fatah and Hamas and against the deal of the century, in Gaza City on October 27, 2018. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour/APA Images)

"The urgent need to revitalize the Palestinian Left"

A new movement is needed in Palestine that is grounded in grassroots politics and ready to move beyond the two-state solution.

Haidar Eid*
(Mondoweiss, Jan 25, 2021):

It is worrying how the colonized, oppressed Palestinian, using left-wing jargon, has legitimized a racist solution disguised by liberation slogans. This has led to the disappearance of checks and balances from Palestinian politics and ultimately to the onslaught of right-wing politics on Palestinian basic rights as materialized in the Oslo Accords and the transformation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip as two mega prisons, as the courageous Israeli activist and historian Ilan Pappe describes them in his book, 'The Biggest Prison on Earth.' Continue...

* Haidar Eid is Associate Professor of Postcolonial and Postmodern Literature at Gaza's al-Aqsa University.

BDS - Freedom, Justice, Equality :


Kate Braydan (HotPress, January 25, 2021):

The 1,034 signatories of The Pledge include actors, writers, poets, painters, sculptors, film-makers, dancers, architects, composers, designers, musicians and others, including many members of Ireland's state-sponsored academy of artists 'Aosdána' and range from some of Ireland's most internationally known figures to artists starting out on their careers.
"We are very proud to have so many artists sign up to our pledge," IPSC Cultural Liaison Zoë Lawlor said. "Reaching 1,000 signatories is a huge landmark in Irish solidarity with Palestine and a serious statement in support of the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality..." Lawlor adds.
Pledge was launched by the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) in August 2010. It reads as follows: "In response to the call from Palestinian civil society for a cultural boycott of Israel, we pledge not to avail of any invitation to perform or exhibit in Israel, nor to accept any funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights." Continue...

EU anti-Semitism coordinator Katharina von Schnurbein (Chambre des Députés).

"EU anti-Semitism chief stands by blatant lie"

Ali Abunimah
(The Electronic Intifada, Jan 22, 2021):

This is a story about how EU officials evade accountability when they are caught in a blatant lie for the benefit of Israel. Earlier this week I wrote about a major legal victory for supporters of Palestinian rights in Spain. In 2015, activists from the group BDS País Valencià called on a music festival to cancel a performance by Matthew Paul Miller, the singer who uses the stage name Matisyahu, because he had made anti-Palestinian statements and had helped raise money for the Israeli occupation army... 
The citizens of EU states deserve better than to be bullied, smeared and lied about by bureaucrats in Brussels who appear to answer
only to Israel and its lobby. Continue...

Protesters stage a demonstration outside Germany's Representative Office in Ramallah in the Palestinian West Bank on 22 May 2019, following the Bundestag's (German parliament) condemnation of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement as anti-Semitic. [AFP via Getty Images]

"The Palestinian boycott of Israel is not racist, it is anti-racist"

Dr Ramzy Baroud
(Middle East Monitor, Feb 2, 2021)

The claims made by Democratic New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang in a recent op-ed in the Jewish weekly The Forward, point to the prevailing ignorance that continues to dominate the US discourse on Palestine and Israel. Yang is a former Democratic Presidential candidate and is vying for the Jewish vote in New York City. 
According to the reductionist assumption that all Jews must naturally support Israel and Zionism, Yang constructed an argument that is based entirely on a tired and false mantra equating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. His pro-Israel logic is not only unfounded, but also confused.  Continue...

President Joe Biden, left, with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in the Oval Office, 31 January. Yellen has pledged to work against the Palestinian-led BDS movement. CNP/AdMedia/SIPA.

"Biden officials pledge to fight BDS"

Josh Ruebner
(The Electronic Intifada, 4 Feb 2021):

The Biden administration "embraces and champions" the so-called IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, a State Department official said on Monday. Kara McDonald, deputy assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, praised the definition "with its real-world examples" as "an invaluable tool" to "call hate by its proper name and take effective action," according to the JTA news agency. 

COVID-19 in the oPt:

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

"Equal access to COVID-19 vaccines: Who is responsible in the occupied Palestinian territory?"

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP, Feb 2, 2021):

While Israel is rolling out one of the fastest vaccination programmes in the world, almost five million Palestinians living under its 53-year military occupation are being left behind. The impact of perpetual military occupation and blockade mean that the local Palestinian health system does not have the financial or material resources required to sustain COVID-19 response long-term, nor to implement a rapid and comprehensive vaccination programme for the population. 
MAP's position paper (16p., see below "Resources"), "Equal access to COVID-19 vaccines: who is responsible in the occupied Palestinian territory?", provides an overview of the dire COVID-19 context in Palestine and recommendations for action from governments like the UK to address the situation. Continue...

Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu receives a coronavirus vaccine at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020. Copyright AMIR COHEN/AP.

"Protests mount over Israeli medical apartheid during pandemic"

Israel's rapid vaccine rollout leaves out Palestinian population.

We Are Not Numbers*(Jan 24, 2021):

Protests are growing as Israel becomes the country with the highest per-capita COVID-19 vaccination rate, while refusing to facilitate a supply of the lifesaving treatment for the Palestinian territories it controls... Through January 11, 1,604 Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories have died of COVID-19, with 441 in the Gaza Strip. According to Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, a member of the Palestinian parliament and head of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, which is an NGO, the rate of infection is much higher in the occupied territories (35%) than in Israel (4.5 %). Continue...

* Editors note: This post was written by Pam Bailey, founder and executive director of We Are Not Numbers, a platform that carries the voices of Palestinians under Israeli occupation, through empowering and mentoring young, local journalists.

Palestinian employees wear face masks as they provide Polio vaccine and Rota virus vaccines for children at a health center in Dair Al Balah in the central of Gaza Strip, on Sept. 9, 2020. Photo by Ashraf Amra.

"COVID-19 virus runs amok in Gaza - 25 infections
in one family, 3 deaths"

Pam Bailey
(Mondoweiss, Jan 14, 2021):

Through Jan. 13, 1,814 Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory have died of COVID-19 - 441 of them in the Gaza Strip. According to the World Health Organization, the positivity rate is much higher in the occupied territory (30%) than in Israel (7.9%). Yet while not even one dose of any of the approved vaccines has made it to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, Israel has vaccinated its own population faster than any country in the world, with around 20% of Israelis receiving the vaccines so far.  Continue...

Palestina moet de pandemie bestrijden onder een militaire bezetting. Foto:

"'Pijlsnelle vaccinatie' Israël vergeet de Palestijnse apartheidsvariant"

Lode Vanoost
(De Wereld Morgen, 28 jan 2021):

In De Standaard van 28 januari staat een paginagroot artikel waarin enerzijds de lof wordt gezwaaid van de pijlsnelle vaccinatie in Israël en verwondering wordt geuit dat desondanks een derde golf komt aanrollen... Een volledige pagina wijden aan Israël zonder één letter te spenderen aan de bezetting en kolonisatie van de Palestijnse gebieden, vraagt een hoge dosis van cognitieve dissonantie. Het zou echter al te gemakkelijk zijn dit te wijten aan één redactielid, die toevallig deze opdracht toegewezen kreeg. Het echte probleem is systemisch. De Standaard is niet de enige van de Vlaamse media die systematisch elke berichtgeving over Israël filtert in een voor de regering van dat land gunstige zin.  Continue...

A student walks past a mural encouraging the wearing of face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic, on the main road of Nusseirat refugee camp, central Gaza Strip, Nov 24, 2020.

"The absurdity of demanding Gaza get its own COVID-19 vaccines"

Israel can't cherry-pick its obligations to Gaza while undermining every facet of Palestinian self-rule - especially during a pandemic.

Tania Hary* (+972, Jan 27, 2021)

...In the more than 15 years since the disengagement, rather than facilitating the conditions that may have been conducive to making Gaza more like Singapore, Israel has done the opposite. It has repeatedly denied, blocked, and even destroyed the foundations of Gaza's struggling economy and civilian infrastructure. It has done this through closure, repeated military campaigns, and continued control over Gaza's airspace, territorial waters, border crossings, population registry, and the majority of its electricity and fuel supply. None of these facets of self-rule were handed over to Gaza in 2005. On the contrary - each and every one of them has been leveraged by Israel as a tool of pressure, cajolement, and punishment.  Continue...

* Tania Hary is the executive director of Gisha, an Israeli NGO founded in 2005, whose goal is to protect the freedom of movement of Palestinians, especially Gaza residents.

Israeli soldiers attempt to forcibly pull out and arrest an injured Palestinian from an ambulance in Jordan Valley. (Photo: Video Grab)

WHO: "Health attacks by Israelis against Palestinians persist in the occupied territories during COVID-19 pandemic"

(WAFA News Agency, January 31, 2021):

In its 'Monthly Report on Health Access in the Occupied Territories', December 2020', p. 5, "Health attacks persist in the oPt during COVID-19 pandemic", the World Health Organization (WHO) records 59 Israeli attacks against Palestinian health care in the occupied Palestinian territory. Of these, 42% (25) involved obstruction to the delivery of health care services, including 12 incidents of obstructing access for ambulances to reach persons who had been fatally wounded. Meanwhile, 61% of incidents (36) involved physical violence against health workers, ambulances, and health facilities, and six incidents involved the detention of health care workers, ambulances, patients, and patient companions. 
During the last three months of 2020, WHO recorded 15 health attacks in the oPt. Of these, seven involved physical attacks against health workers, ambulances, and health facilities, and nine involved obstructions to health care delivery, including five incidents of obstruction of access for health teams to persons fatally injured. 

International :

The 34th ordinary session of the African Union Summit. (Photo: via Social Media)

"Palestinians Praise African Union 'Historical' Statement
on Palestine, Israeli Occupation"

The Palestine Chronicle (Feb 8, 2021):

Israeli efforts at co-opting Africa countries received a major setback on Saturday, February, 6 when the African Union issued a strong statement of solidarity with Palestine, condemning Israel's illegal settlement activities and the US's so-called 'Deal of the Century'. 
In the final statement of the two-day Summit held virtually in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, African leaders stressed that Israel's settlements constitute serious violations of international humanitarian law and relevant United Nations resolutions, and defies the calls of the international community to stop all settlement activities.

Biden before departing from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Friday. Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP.

"Nothing has changed in US policy, so why is the PA building links with Biden?"

Motassem Daloul
(Middle East Monitor, Feb 8, 2021):

According to a spokesperson of the US State Department, Ned Price: "The United States objects to today's International Criminal Court decision regarding the Palestinian situation. We will continue to uphold President Biden's strong commitment to Israel and its security, including opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly." It is worth noting that the US has praised the justice of the ICC several times when it was prosecuting non-Israeli officials. A formal statement from the US State Department confirmed that "We have serious concerns about the ICC's attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel."  Continue...

Israël, juin 2019. L'imam Hassen Chalghoumi pose au côté du président Reuven Rivlin avec la délégation de jeunes musulmans français et belges dont le voyage a été organisé par Elnet France (

"France-Israël. Lobby or not lobby ? (4) Elnet. Découvrez Israël, ses colonies, ses technologies de surveillance..."

Jean Stern  
(orientxxi, 26 janvier 2021):

Réseau européen installé à Paris, Bruxelles, Londres, Berlin, Madrid et Varsovie, Elnet (European Leadership Network) oeuvre à renforcer les liens entre la France et Israël en ciblant les leaders, patrons et élus. Structure discrète et bien dotée, son activité consiste à vendre le produit Israël, ses start-up comme ses colonies, sur la scène française, en créant et en entretenant un maillage de décideurs pro-israéliens.  Continue...

Thousands of young Jewish fighters from Europe and its colonial extensions have volunteered themselves for Israel's colonial army. (Yotam Ronen ActiveStills)

"Jewish volunteers for racial supremacy in Palestine"

Joseph Massad
(The Electronic Intifada, 4 August 2014)

Israel has created a hegemonic racist Jewish culture that does not only dominate Israeli Jewish communities but also Jewish communities in Europe and its settler colonial extensions (in the Americas, in Australia and in South Africa). This, however, was never sufficiently successful to produce millions of Jewish volunteers for Israel's colonial cause (no matter how much European and American Jews support Zionism and Israel, few would want to fight or die for it). But it did create the conditions for thousands of young Jewish (mostly male) fighters for European racial supremacy to join the Israeli colonial army seeking to prove the superiority of European Jewishness (and a concomitant European Jewish manliness) by slaughtering Palestinians.
The Israeli colonial army advertises several programs to accommodate international Jewish volunteers for the oppression of the Palestinians. Continue...

Corporal "L." from the Home Front Command's Search and Rescue Unit following the stabbing attack on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

"British recruit involved in killing of Palestinian teen"

Tamara Nassar
(The Electronic Intifada, Jan 26, 2021):

[The Jerusalem Post, Jan 27: "A lone soldier from London helped thwart a stabbing attack against soldiers guarding Gitit Avishar junction near the settlement of Ariel in Samaria on Tuesday. The Palestinian terrorist was killed. Cpl. Lian Harush was at the junction along with her commander when a Palestinian, Attallah Mohammad Rayyan, 17, approached and tried to stab her."]  Rayan was 17 years old, Defense for Children International Palestine (Twitter) confirmed. He is the first Palestinian child Israel has killed this year. Local media circulated a picture of a computer science exam the 12th grader had taken earlier in the day. One of the soldiers involved in the incident is reportedly a British citizen. "L." - as she was identified by the Israeli army and media - said she "knocked him back with my weapon," and that "he went back and forth between me and my commander, trying to stab us." Israel systematically recruits Jews from around the world to join its army and participate directly in the occupation of Palestinian land. Continue...

Israel :

Avraham Burg, ancien président du Parlement israélien:
« Pourquoi je ne veux plus être juif »

EuroPalestine, 29 janvier, 2021:

Incarnation de l'aristocratie sioniste, l'ancien président du parlement israélien, de l'Agence juive et de l'Organisation sioniste mondiale vient de demander au gouvernement israélien de ne plus le considérer comme juif. Il explique pourquoi dans un entretien accordé à Mediapart.
«Longtemps j'ai été un parfait israélien », écrivait en 2007 Avraham Burg, qui aura même été président - par intérim - de l'État d'Israël pendant quelques semaines, en 2000, avant d'affirmer qu'Israël est un « ghetto sioniste », qui court à sa perte en se définissant comme État juif. Il va désormais plus loin en demandant au tribunal de Jérusalem d'effacer son inscription en tant que juif sur le registre de population du ministère de l'intérieur.  

Israeli Arabs protest against violence, organized crime and recent killings among their communities, in the Arab town of Majd al-Krum in northern Israel on Oct. 3, 2019. Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images.

"Criminal violence is escalating among Arab communities in Israel"

Violence is escalating among Arab communities in Israel, with no prospect for Israeli authorities stepping in to keep the peace.

Daoud Kuttab
(Al-Monitor, Jan 26, 2021):

Ahmad Abu Njem, an activist who was trying to set up a committee to bring about reconciliation between violent warring groups in his hometown of Jaffa, became the victim of a shooting by an unknown source. He was killed and a relative was injured on Jan. 24 when the assailant shot them at close range and then escaped. This crime brings the number of Palestinian citizens in Israel who were killed so far during 2021 - as a result of violent crimes within the Green Line - to six.  
From 2000-2020, the number of crime-related deaths reached 1,518. The year 2020 itself witnessed a record 106 such deaths - 12 more than 2019.  Continue...

Vigil in front of the Haifa court, Jan 26, 2021. (Photo: Yoav Haifawi)

"Herak Haifa: Free Muhannad Abu Ghosh!"

Palestinian activists in Haifa are demanding the release of Muhannad Abu Ghosh who was taken into custody on Monday and is being denied access to an attorney.

Ramzy Baroud
(Middle East Monitor, Dec 22, 2020):

On Monday morning, January 25, Israeli police invaded the home of Muhannad Abu Ghosh, 44, in the center of Haifa and carried him away. As a long-time activist for Palestinian rights, he is almost used to this type of encounter, if you can ever get used to it... Muhannad Abu Ghosh is a writer and an artist. His poignant satirical writing earned him many followers on social media. His book of short stories about the first intifada was released by a  publisher in Beirut. He is also known as one of the founders of 'Herak Haifa', a movement that played a pioneering role in the struggle for both Palestinian national rights and progressive social agenda over the last 10 years... Haifa is supposed to be the most "progressive" place under Israel's apartheid. It is supposed to give an example of "coexistence" between Arab and Jews under Zionist rule. But it is only a thin disguise to the continuing rule of Jewish supremacy over the native Palestinian population. The secretive and lawless Shabak is the utmost authority in all that is connected to the Arab population.  Continue...

Joint List factions: Hadash, Balad, and Ta'al sign an agreement for the March elections on February 3, 2021. (Courtesy: Joint List)

"Joint List of Arab parties splinters, as Ra'am decamps in a perceived win for PM"

Hadash, Balad, and Ta'al ink accord ahead of elections, but Islamist faction is left out after making overtures to Netanyahu.

(TOI Staff, The Times of Israel, Feb 4, 2021):

After failing to reach an agreement in recent weeks, the predominantly Arab Joint List party announced Wednesday night that it will run in the March elections without the Ra'am faction. Analysts said the split in the Joint List, which won 15 seats in the last elections, marked a victory for Netanyahu. The Joint List has been polling at only 10 seats, and may fall further without Ra'am. A weaker Joint List could mean fewer MKs in the Knesset who are opposed to Netanyahu's continued prime ministership.  Continue...

Members of Hashomer, an armed group that guarded the first Zionist settlements in Palestine, dressed in traditional Palestinian garb, 1909.

"The Israeli right wants Arabs at the polls - with one big condition"

Israeli politicians are scrambling for the votes of Arab citizens. But this love affair is driven by a colonial goal: erasing the community's Palestinian identity.

Meron Rapoport and Ameer Fakhoury
(+972, Feb 4, 2021):

A veritable "love blitz." There is no better way to describe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent outreach to Palestinian citizens in Israel... Despite his centrality in Israeli politics today, focusing on Netanyahu alone misses the larger picture: many right-wing politicians have been falling over each other to sweet talk Arab citizens in recent weeks. What makes all of this particularly perplexing is the fact that this "love blitz" toward Palestinian citizens lacks any talk of peace with the Palestinians or a need to end the occupation of the Palestinian territories. Continue...

Palestine Occupied :

"Hass' critical voice is well-known. During her many years of reporting, she has covered the daily experiences and dynamics in and from Palestine" (Al-Jazeera). [Getty Images]

« The silence of the Israeli media's occupation lambs »

Both print and electronic outlets are supporting the project of crowding Palestinians into Bantustans so that most of the West Bank will be annexed and the Jews will benefit from cheap real estate.

Amira Hass

(Haaretz, Feb. 8, 2021)

Which New York newspapers reported the fact that on May 26, 1838, about 7,000 U.S. soldiers started to expel thousands of members of the Cherokee Nation from their homeland, as per the Native American Removal Act signed by President Andrew Jackson? What did the newspapers in Johannesburg report on February 10, 1955, a day after some 2,000 armed police officers expelled Black families from their homes in the Sophiatown neighborhood? How many were satisfied with a reminder that the act of expulsion was carried out as mandated in the Group Areas Act?  Continue (B)... 
This repeated writing is a call to countries that are still committed to international law: Don't wait for the International Criminal Court in the The Hague. Use your power to prevent the crowding of the Palestinians into Bantustans - even if Jewish judges may approve it.

UN OCHA Occupied Palestinian Territory: 
Humsa al Bqai'a | Flash Update #1

Posted on February 5, 2021.

Situation overview:

Humsa - Al Bqai'a is a Palestinian Bedouin community, located in Area C in the northern Jordan Valley (see map). Originally displaced as a result of the first Arab-Israeli War of 1948, the community members have gradually settled more permanently in their current location in the Al Bqai'a Valley, due to Israeli settlement expansion and restrictions imposed on their access to grazing land. The majority of the community is located in an area designated as a "firing zone" for Israeli military training, where Palestinian residency or access is prohibited. The community predominantly relies on livestock raising for their livelihoods.
Designated firing zones, which cover nearly 30% of Area C, are home to 38 Bedouin and herding communities with over 6,200 Palestinians. These comprise some of the most vulnerable communities in the West Bank, with limited access to education and health services, and to water, sanitation and electricity infrastructure. Continue...

A Palestinian boy stands in the ruins of the occupied West Bank community of Khirbet Humsa on 2 Feb, the day after Israel dismantled and confiscated most residential structures and livestock shacks. Shadi Jarar'ah APA images.

"Wide-Scale Demolition Operation, Israeli Occupation Demolishes 28 Homes and Facilities in Northern Jordan Valleys Displacing 85 Palestinians, including 45 Children"

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR, Feb 2, 2021):

On Monday morning, 01 February 2021, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) carried out a large-scale demolition operation against civilian properties in Homsa al-Foqa area in the northern Jordan valleys, eastern Tubas. Twenty-eight homes and facilities were demolished, displacing 85 Palestinians, including 45 children, in the operation. These demolitions are part of an accelerated campaign by IOF to demolish and destroy Palestinians' homes and properties in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, under the Israeli annexation and settlement-expansion schemes in what can only be considered an act of ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Palestinian population.  Continue...

Children in Jinbeh, a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank, watch as the Israeli army conducts a drill, February 3, 2020. (Keren Manor/

"The goal? Judaization. The means? A military exercise in the middle of a village"

As the residents of Jinbeh await the High Court to determine their fate, Israel's army decides to hold a large exercise right in the middle of their village.

Yuval Abraham*
(+972, Feb 5, 2021):

The first shell woke us up at 2 a.m. It was a formidable blast. The room's metal door shook and the smell of smoke filled the air. I got off the mattress. The explosion was so close, you could hear the soldiers downstairs yelling: "Yalla, keep going. Quick." Another shell exploded. The Israeli army was conducting a massive training exercise near Jinbeh, a small West Bank village in the Masafer Yatta area of the south Hebron Hills, home to around 150 Palestinians... There were also those who were very pleased with this exercise: the settlers. The South Hebron Hills Regional Council congratulated the IDF for the drill, writing in a message that increased military training "is one of the ways to increase governance, strengthen control, and enforce law and order in the area."  Continue...

* Yuval Abraham is a photography and linguistics student.

A Palestinian woman and her son stand by uprooted olive trees in Deir Ballut, West Bank, January 2021. Credit: Tomer Appelbaum.

Haaretz Editorial:
"State-sanctioned Pogroms Ravage Palestinians
After Settler Teen's Death"

(Jan 28, 2021):

Far below the public's radar, settlers have been carrying out a violent campaign of vengeance over the last five weeks in response to the death of one of their number, Ahuvia Sandak, who was killed in a car accident during a police chase. The victims of this revenge campaign, as usual, are Palestinian residents of the West Bank, who had nothing to do the settler's death. 
According to information released by the B'Tselem organization on Thursday, over the last five weeks its researchers have documented 49 violent incidents, including 28 physical attacks on Palestinians that wounded 15 of them, including four children. Palestinian cars were torched, thugs invaded their homes, dogs were sicced on them and people were deliberately run over. In at least one case, an elderly man was beaten with a baton until he bled.  Continue...

Home demolished in Beit Sira village (Ramallah) on 17 Sept 2020. Photo by OCHA.

"Peak in demolitions and confiscations amidst increasing denial of the right to justice"

The Humanitarian Bulletin
Oct - Dec 2020 
(OCHA OPT, 8 Dec 2020)

"On 17 November, I was driving to pick up my sister when I saw a big bulldozer, and I thought to myself that a demolition will probably take place in one of our neighboring communities", recalled Radad Dagharme, from Al Farisyia herding community, in the northern Jordan Valley. "It didn't occur to me that we would be targeted again. When I arrived home, the soldiers were already dismantling and confiscating our tent. They didn't even allow my wife, who was nine months' pregnant, to collect her things or even put on shoes..."  Continue...

Issa Amro, a prominent Palestinian activist and founder of Youth Against Settlements, is lead by Palestinian security forces out of the court in the West Bank town of Hebron on Sept. 7, 2017, after the Palestinian Authority extended his detention for criticizing their arrest of a journalist on social media (Photo: Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images)

"Convicted in an Israeli Military Court, This Palestinian Activist Is Also Being Persecuted by the PA"

Issa Amro, founder of the Youth Against Settlements group, was convicted earlier this month of minor offenses from about a decade ago. At the same time, the Palestinian prosecution is accusing him of insulting senior officials and endangering public order.

Amira Hass
(Haaretz, 28 Jan 2021):

What could explain the seemingly joint interests of the PA and the Israel Defense Forces? A longtime member of Fatah said: "There are those among us who are jealous of Amro, because he and his colleagues have achieved things and have garnered international attention. Instead of working together, we're dismantling and crumbling and competing with one another. And another thing: the army doesn't want there to be unrest in Hebron's Old City, and the Palestinian security apparatus - which is made up of Fatah members - listens to the army."  Continue...

Palestinian man shows trees after they were destroyed by Israeli forces in Tubas, West Bank, Jan 27, 2021. [Nedal Eshtayah - Anadolu Agency]

"Israel destroys nature reserve, uproots 10,000 trees"

(Middle East Monitor, Jan 28, 2021):

The Israeli army yesterday destroyed a natural reserve and uprooted at least 10,000 trees in a military campaign in the northern West Bank in a move that Palestinians termed a "crime"Moataz Bisharat, who is responsible for monitoring Israeli settlement activity in the Jordan Valley, told Anadolu Agency that the occupation army pushed military vehicles and dozens of soldiers into the Ainun area in Tubas city in the morning and destroyed a nature reserve built on an area of about 400 dunums (98 acres). The occupation army "chopped down and destroyed about 10,000 forest trees and about 300 olive trees," he said.
Trees were planted in the nature reserve eight years ago as part of the Greening Palestine project supervised by the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture and funded by the Venezuelan consulat. 

Palestinians harvest strawberries in a field in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip, Dec. 30, 2015. (Emad Nassar/Flash90)

"How an Israeli smear campaign is ripping away funds from Palestinian farmers" 

Israel lobby groups are targeting the funding sources of a major Palestinian agricultural union - by dubiously claiming it has ties to 'terrorists.' Other Palestinian organizations are facing the same attacks.

Alex Kane and Mariam Barghouti

(+972, January 25, 2021):

On July 20, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), a major Palestinian agricultural development group, got word of a stunning blow to their work: the Dutch government, a major donor to the group for 13 years, was suspending their funding. For years, a global network of Israel advocacy groups had been lobbying European governments to cut off funding to UAWC, a group that assists Palestinian farmers to cultivate and remain on their land, market their produce, and develop water infrastructure.  Continue...

Settlers throwing rocks at Palestinians near the settlement of Yitzhar, in the West Bank. Credit:AP.

"How Do You Say Ku Klux Klan in Hebrew?"

Michael Sfard* 
(Haaretz, Feb 1, 2021):

Those subjected to Israel's occupation have been abandoned to the occupiers' cruelty, as a result of the weakness of the country's army, law enforcement and security establishment. - The Jewish militias generally attack at night. In the grand tradition of racist pogroms, when night falls, gangs of masked settlers descend on the roads and villages of the West Bank in search of the boys and girls of the despised race. Their members block roads to perform "selections" and identify cars with Palestinian license plates so they can attack the passengers. They storm homes, shatter windows and set fires. This has been going on every night for more than a month, because the friends of Ahuvia Sandak - a so-called hilltop youth who was regrettably killed while being pursued by the Israel Police - decided that the Palestinians must pay for his death... Continue...

* Michael Sfard is the legal adviser of the human rights organization Yesh Din.

Eitan Ze'ev, right, receives an award from the head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, on Sept 2, 2020, for his involvement in a clash with Palestinians over a piece of agricultural land that summer. (Roi Hadi)

"Man said to have shot infiltrator dead already on trial for shooting Palestinian"

Eitan Ze'ev had his gun taken away last year after allegedly shooting a Palestinian during a brawl, but authorities say he used one to open fire on a man who broke into his outpost.

Judah Ari Gross

(The Times of Israel, Feb 7, 2021):

One of the two Israeli settlers who the military said shot dead an unarmed Palestinian man who broke into their outpost in the northern West Bank on Friday morning is currently on trial, accused of unjustifiably shooting two Palestinian men during a clash this summer. The man, Eitan Ze'ev, had his gun taken away after the incident in July, but Israeli authorities said that he used a weapon to open fire at a Palestinian man [a "terrorist" according to the IDF] who allegedly tried to break into his house [the illegally constructed Sadeh Ephraim Farm outpost] on Friday.
Many questions about the incident in the predawn hours of Friday morning remain unclear, including how the Palestinian suspect - Khaled Maher Nofal, a 34-year-old resident of the village next door, Ras Karkar, according to Palestinian media - intended to carry out a terror attack without a weapon, as none was found at the scene. The military has not responded to requests for clarifications. Continue...

Israeli occupation forces beating up before detaining an elderly Palestinian who was defending his land from takeover by settlers. (File photo)

"Foreign Ministry calls on UN to provide protection to Palestinian civilians against Israeli attacks"

WAFA - Palestinian News & Info Agency (Feb 1, 2021)

RAMALLAH, Saturday, Jan 30 - A sharp rise in the Israeli army and settler attacks against Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank prompted the [Palestinian] Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates today to call on the UN Secretary-General and the Security Council to intervene and provide protection to the vulnerable Palestinian population under Israel's occupation. 
"The Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Security Council must assume their responsibilities designated by international law and provide international protection to our people and their just and legitimate national rights," said the Ministry in a statement, condemning the ongoing attacks by Israeli soldiers and settlers against the Palestinian people and their rights. It said the settlers have intensified their attacks and terror acts against the Palestinian civilians, their lands, and their properties in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.  Continue...

Still from 'Mayor.' Courtesy of Rosewater Pictures.

"A City Without a Country"

Alex Yablon
(Jewish Currents, Jan 28, 2021):

IN THE FIRST SCENE of the new documentary "Mayor," Ramallah Mayor Musa Hadid walks to a modern city hall for a meeting on city branding...The meeting sets the tone for Mayor, which - unlike many representations of Palestinian life destined for an international audience - focuses not on experiences of spectacular violence, but on everyday matters of civic life. And yet, of course, these matters are themselves thoroughly colored by the occupation. The film explores this dissonance through the figure of Hadid, who struggles to make life for Ramallah's citizens a little easier, and to connect Ramallah - the de facto capital of the West Bank, hemmed in by Israeli settlements - to the outside world. Continue...

The Gaza Parkour And Free Running team practice in a cemetery in Khan Younis, Gaza. (Tanya Habjouqa)

"Gaza : le parkour, synonyme de liberté "

Pour beaucoup de jeunes Palestiniens vivant à Gaza, le parkour est une discipline qui leur permet de s'extraire d'un quotidien difficile. Depuis novembre, un club leur permet de développer leur pratique.

Victor Buu
(franceinfo, 26 Janvier, 2021): 

À Gaza, Mohamed Aliwa est un amateur de parkour pas comme les autres. Avec une seule jambe et des béquilles, le jeune de 18 ans pratique cette discipline acrobatique consistant à franchir des obstacles urbains ou naturels. Mohamed a été amputé en 2018 suite à un tir israélien. Il essaie depuis de se reconstruire et n'a pas abandonné sa passion. "Mon rêve est d'avoir une prothèse adaptée au sport pour pouvoir pratiquer correctement la gymnastique et le parkour", explique-t-il.  Continue...

Prisoners :

Ofer Military Court Confirms Six Months Administrative Detention Order against Palestinian Child with Rare Disease