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BACBI
Academic Newsletter N°71 (June 2021)


Muna al-Kurd and her brother Mohammed have become the public faces of the Palestinian campaign against the ethnic cleansing of Sheikh Jarrah. Photo by Oren Ziv / Activestills.

Contents:

Spotlight (5) -- Actions & Calls (13) -- Academy (8) -- Analyses (13) -- BDS (1) -- COVID-19 (2) -- Current Affairs (2) -- International (5) -- Israel (8) -- Palestine (14) -- Prisoners (2) -- Refugees (1) -- Resources (3) -- Videos (3)

Spotlight:

Nakba & Naksa in Israel's Archives


Arab refugees during the War of Independence. Credit: Bettmann Archive / GETTY IMAGES.

« Was Israeli Looting in '48 Part of a Broader Policy to Expel Arabs? »

The dark sides of the War of Independence are illuminated in a book on the massive Jewish looting of Arab property then, showing the link between the plunder and Ben-Gurion's policy to rid the country of its Arab residents.

Benny Morris (Haaretz, 3 May 2021) :

In his new book, historian Adam Raz deals with the Jewish looting that occurred in 1948 - but not with the collective plunder of real estate, homes and lands of Arabs, confiscated by the Israeli government during the War of Independence and afterward (also long afterward, it must be said). Raz focuses on the looting of Arab movable assets by civilians, individual soldiers, army units and institutions of the state-in-the-making and of the state itself. Various historians have previously touched on this aspect of the war, but not with this level of focus or detail. Continue...


Haganah soldiers with property looted from Arabs after the takeover of Haifa, April 1948.
Credit: Fred Chesnik / IDF and Defense Establishment Archive.

« Jewish Soldiers and Civilians Looted Arab Neighbors' Property en Masse in '48. The Authorities Turned a Blind Eye »

Refrigerators and caviar, champagne and carpets - a first-ever comprehensive study by historian Adam Raz reveals the extent to which Jews looted Arab property in 1948, and explains why Ben-Gurion stated: "Most of the Jews are thieves"

Ofer Aderet (Haaretz, October 2, 2020, in pdf): Continue...

"The Looting of Arab Property in the War of Independence" by Adam Raz. Carmel Publishing House, in association with the Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research (Hebrew), 332 p.

« New website allows users to learn about looting of
Palestinian property in 1948 »

Akevot Institute is launching a special website with readily accessible information about the looting, which the Custodian of Abandoned Property described at the time as "one of the largest, most complicated affairs in the Liberation War." The website allows users to trace the mass theft city by city, access the archival documents we discovered and read hundreds of testimonies about what turned out to be mass pillage carried by multitudes of Israelis, soldiers and civilians, individuals and groups. Continue...


Military policemen inspect a suspicious sack of onions found in possession of Arab citizens, in 1952. Credit: Beno Rothenberg/National Library.

« How Israel Tormented Arabs in Its First Decades – and Tried to Cover It Up »

A person who violates a curfew shouldn't be killed, but they can be slapped and hit with a rifle: Newly declassified documents reveal the ways military rule embittered the lives of Israeli Arabs.

Adam Raz* (Haaretz, Jan 9, 2021)

The origins of the brutality documented in all its ugliness last week - an Israeli soldier shooting an unarmed Palestinian who was trying to protect the electric generator he needs to function, amid the abject poverty of the South Hebron Hills - date back quite a few decades, to the period of military rule in Israel proper. Testimony from recently declassified documents, together with historical records in archives, shed light on the acute violence that prevailed in the "state within a state" that Israel foisted upon extensive areas of the country where Arab citizens lived, from 1948 until 1966. Continue...

* Adam Raz is a researcher at the Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research. This article is based upon the book « Military Rule, 1948-1966: A Collection of Documents, » published this month by Akevot.


Gen. Uzi Narkiss (left), Defense Minister Moshe Dayan and Chief of staff Yitzhak Rabin in the Old City of Jerusalem during the Six-Day War (photo credit: Ilan Bruner/Wikipedia).

« Israelis Actively Plotted 'indefinite' Occupation of Gaza, West Bank, back in 1960s - the 6 Day War was just a Pretext: Haaretz »

Contrary to the claim that Israel suddenly found itself holding territories after the June '67 war, declassified documents reveal detailed directives drawn up by the IDF ahead of the prolonged policing mission it would be tasked with.

Juan Cole (Informed Comment, June 5, 2021):

I can't tell you how many times I have heard Israeli officials talk as though the 1967 Israeli military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza were a kind of accident that left them with a dilemma. One told me it was like having a used car that you couldn't sell... Adam Raz, an Israeli researcher at the Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research, has published in Haaretz about historical documents he found in Israeli archives that blow a hole through the used car narrative so big you could drive a truck through it. Continue...

Actions & Calls : 

« Carte blanche sur le conflit israélo-palestinien: être neutre dans une situation d'injustice, c'est être du côté de l'oppresseur »

Des universitaires belges francophones lancent un appel de soutien et de solidarité avec la population palestinienne, signé par des centaines de personnes.

Le Soir +, 13 juin, 2021:

"Universitaires, nous sommes fortement préoccupés par le nouveau cycle de violences que les populations palestinienne et israélienne ont subies. 278 Palestiniens dont 70 enfants ont trouvé la mort à Gaza et en Cisjordanie, et 12 Israéliens sont morts des tirs de roquettes. L'émergence des violences ne peut cependant être comprise hors contexte, et un cessez-le-feu n'empêche pas la perpétuation des injustices, discriminations et expropriations illégales. 
Depuis 1948, le peuple palestinien s'oppose à un régime de colonisation coupable de nettoyage ethnique, d'occupations et d'annexions de territoires, de transferts de populations et, comme l'a reconnu récemment Human Right Watch, d'
apartheid. C'est cette situation d'injustice, de violences et de violation constante du droit international et des droits humains que nous devons percevoir et dénoncer derrière la couverture trompeuse qui domine dans les médias belges, soit l'image de l'affrontement entre deux « camps » aux égales responsabilités."
 
Continue...

UN Rights Council Votes for Probe Into 'Crimes'
Committed in Israel-Gaza Fighting

Israel says it will not cooperate with the probe, as 24 of the forum's 47 member states voted in favor of the resolution.

Jonathan Lis (Haaretz, May 27, 2021):

By a vote of 24 states in favor, nine against, with 14 abstentions, the 47-member forum adopted a resolution brought by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Palestinian delegation to the United Nations. Addressing the council's special session, Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights said that Israel's deadly strikes on Gaza might constitute war crimes and that Hamas had violated international humanitarian law by firing rockets into Israel.  Continue...


Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

« Israel/OPT: Scrap plans to forcibly evict Palestinian families in Silwan »

Amnesty International (May 25, 2021):

Ahead of an appeal hearing at the Jerusalem District Court on 26 May over the forced eviction of two Palestinian families in the Batn al-Hawa area of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Saleh Higazi said: "This is yet another illustration of Israel's criminal policy of forced displacement of Palestinians in motion. By continuing to pursue this court case - after the outcry over the planned forced evictions in Sheikh Jarrah in occupied East Jerusalem - Israel is fanning the flames of the latest upsurge in violence and perpetuating the same systematic human rights violations against Palestinians that are at the root of the latest violence.  Continue...


Beit Hanun, dans le nord de la Bande de Gaza, 1er juin 2021. @ Mahmud Hams, AFP/Belga.

« Avec la société civile palestinienne, sous les bombes »
Opération 11.11.11, 2 juin 2021: 

En Palestine, l'Opération 11.11.11 soutient le travail du réseau palestinien des ONG (PNGO). Alors que le cessez-le-feu conclu fin mai entre Israël et le Hamas ne règle aucun des problèmes de fond, ce soutien est plus que jamais nécessaire. 
Au Proche Orient, une fois encore, les tensions entre Israéliens et Palestiniens dégénèrent en une spirale de violence dont sont victimes les populations civiles. Les mesures illégales d'expropriation de familles palestiniennes à Sheikh Jarrah, quartier de Jérusalem-Est annexée par Israël, ont servi d'étincelle. Les manifestations palestiniennes ont été brutalement réprimées par Israël, qui a lancé des frappes aériennes sur la bande de Gaza en représailles aux roquettes lancées depuis le territoire par le Hamas depuis Gaza. Les populations de Gaza, déjà victimes du blocus, sont prises en otage et ont subi des bombardements qui ont provoqué de nombreuses victimes civiles, dont des enfants. Ces bombardements ont détruit des infrastructures vitales, comme le seul centre de test Covid-19 qui existait pour les deux millions d'habitants de la bande de Gaza. Continue...

This campaign is a project of
The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP)

While the EU ostensibly opposes Israel's annexation of Palestinian land, with Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell saying that such a step "cannot pass unchallenged", in fact it continues to contribute to Israel's illegal settlements by trading with them.
Did you know that by trading with the illegal Israeli settlements the EU and European states are violating their own laws and failing to fulfill its obligations under international law? 
 Continue...

« EU Court Sides With European Citizens In Settlement Trade Case »

European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine
(ECCP May 13, 2021):

Yesterday, the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg annulled a decision of the European Commission to refuse registration of a European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) asking the Commission to initiate legislation to prevent trade between the EU and illegal settlements in occupied territories.
Maître Gilles Devers, representing the claimants, said: "My clients welcome the ruling of the General Court. EU citizens have a fundamental right to take part in the democratic life of the European Union. By refusing to register their European citizens' initiative, the European Commission deprived my clients of their fundamental right to provoke a debate amongst EU institutions on trade with occupied territories. They are now expecting the European Commission to uphold its responsibilities and register their initiative." Continue...

Human rights organizations to Israel's Defense Minister
COGAT, and Military Advocate General:

Remove draconian restrictions on Palestinian access to Gaza's sea space and stop Israeli navy's use of force against fishermen and their property.

Press Release, June 3, 2021:

Thursday, June 3, 2021: After banning all Palestinian access to Gaza's sea space during its recent attack on the Strip, Israel continues to restrict access to the "fishing zone" it enforces in Gaza's territorial waters up to a maximal distance of six nautical miles off shore. The fishing unions in Gaza have reported multiple incidents of fire by the Israeli navy toward fishermen and their boats even within the permitted zone. The navy's harassment of Palestinian fishermen puts their lives at risk and damages the boats and fishing equipment they use to make a living. Continue...

« Inter-Parliamentary Task Force Meets To Discuss a Coordinated Response To Promote Palestinian Human Rights »

(ECCP, May 21, 2021):

Amid an escalation of violence in Palestine-Israel, legislators from Europe and North America came together yesterday to talk about how to elevate the issue of Palestinian human rights in the global public discussion. 
The "Task Force to Promote Palestinian Human Rights" is composed of 23 legislators from 10 countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Italy, Finland, Belgium (Steven De Vuyst, PVDA) and several other European countries. Following the meeting, several members of the Task Force released a joint statement urging their governments to put pressure on Israel to respect human rights. The letter is open for more signatures, for download
 here and reproduced below (press release continues after the statement):


"Statement from the Inter-Parliamentary Task Force to Promote Palestinian Human Rights" (May 20, 2021), continue...

Newsletter 4th June 2021:

>> Report an incident

A variety of tactics is being used to silence those who support Palestinian rights: from smear campaigns falsely accusing of antisemitism or ties to terrorism, to the implementation of restrictive policies. The ELSC is determined to expose these tactics and challenge them through legal actions. The reported incidents are compiled in a database that enable drawing the broader picture of the attacks faced by Palestinian rights defenders. The database will be included in our website next year. If you believe you, your group, NGO, association, foundation or otherwise has been intimidated, slandered, censored or banned from speaking out or carrying out solidarity actions, or if you have questions about your rights please complete the incident form below.
Where an incident falls within our scope of support, one of our legal researchers will contact you within a few business days of receipt. We reserve the right to refuse support where incidents do not fall within our scope, mandate or values. No legal obligations can be derived from this form or future contact from the ELSC. Continue...


Aerial photograph of destroyed AlJalaa building in Gaza. Source: AFP.

« European countries' opposition to investigate violations in oPt obstructs justice »

Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, June 1, 2021:

Geneva - Three European countries have voted against the Human Rights Council's decision to establish an international independent investigation commission to probe Israel's human rights violations, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said today in a statement. Such an attitude would undermine efforts aiming to bring accountability and achieve justice.
Euro-Med Monitor has sent written letters to foreign ministers in Germany, Britain, and Austria, expressing deep concern over their votes against forming an investigation committee. Chairman of Euro-Med Monitor Ramy Abdu said in the letter that "we find it disappointing that multiple European council members either abstained or voted against an impartial effort towards transparency and accountability". 
Continue...

« A Statement Addressing the Escalation and Resistance of Colonial Violence »

Palestine-Global Mental Health Network (May 15, 2021):

We are Palestinian mental health professionals targeted individually and collectively, in our own country, by a Zionist settler-colonial rule that spreads its violence throughout historic Palestine. As we salute the noble and courageous steadfastness of our people who persevere in their fight to exist on their land in freedom, justice, and dignity, we also express our profound concern in the face of a relentless colonial violence aimed at destroying the physical and psychological wellbeing of our communities. Continue...


Roger Waters [William Parry/Middle East Monitor].

« 600 musicians call to boycott performing in Israel in solidarity with Palestine »
(Middle East Monitor, May 29, 2021):

More than 600 international musicians have signed an appeal calling upon their peers to boycott performances in Israel in solidarity with Palestine, Consequence Sound has reported.
The signatories include Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, Serj Tankian of System of a Down, Black Thought and Questlove of The Roots, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, Julian Casablancas of The Strokes, Chromeo, Nicolas Jaar, Noname and Owen Pallett.
In their letter, the group denounce the recent Israeli attacks against Palestine while demanding: "Justice, dignity and the right to self-determination for the Palestinian people and all who are fighting colonial dispossession and violence across the planet." 
 Continue...


Guevara al-Budairi was covering the demonstrations of solidarity with the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood when she was detained (Photo: Aljazeera).

« Euro-Med Monitor condemns Israel's arrest of journalist Guevara Al-Budairi, calls for an end to violations against Palestinian journalists » 

 (Euro-Med, May 5, 2021).

Geneva - The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor condemned the Israeli police’s arrest of Palestinian journalist Guevara Al-Budairi, an Al-Jazeera correspondent in the Palestinian territory and call for her immediate release. In a press release, Euro-Med Monitor deplored the violent behaviour of the Israeli police towards the journalist during her coverage of confrontations in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem and the destruction of camera used by the Al-Jazeera crew. Al-Budairi was covering the demonstrations of solidarity with the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood on the 54th anniversary of the Naksa day when Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, Golan, and Sinai. Continue...

Academia & Academic Calls:

« Birzeit University calls for concrete action to end
Israeli colonialism and apartheid »

Birzeit University (May 26, 2021):

Birzeit University strongly protests Israel's brutal attacks on all segments of Palestinian society, including its latest ruthless assault on the two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, killing over 250, and injuring over 2000 men, women and children... It is widely recognized that this is only one chapter in the long history of ethnic cleansing in Palestine that started with the 1948 Nakba. Indeed, it is an ongoing Nakba of systematic denial of our inalienable rights under international law...
We strongly condemn Israeli academic institutions that are indispensable partners in this regime of settler colonial oppression and apartheid. They have actively participated in the machinery of oppression. They are complicit in numerous grave violations of human rights including, developing weaponry, military doctrines, and the "ethical" codes that justify the indiscriminate targeting of Palestinian civilians. Thus these academic institutions must be shunned by the international academic community.   
We call upon all people of conscience worldwide, including academics, to join the growing demands on governments to immediately institute a two-way arms embargo on Israel.
We call upon academic institutions and academics worldwide to boycott Israel and its complicit academic institutions, until it complies with its obligations under international law and by ending its regime of settler colonialism, occupation, and apartheid and respecting the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
 
Continue...

« Belgian Academics' Statements for Palestine »

    Universiteit Gent (18/5): « Statement in solidarity with the Palestinian people », (EN-AR-NL-FR), 1300 (staff & students).

    KU Leuven (18/5): « Statement for Palestine by KU Leuven Staff and Students »,  (EN-NL-AR-FR), 851 (staff & students).

    Universiteit Antwerpen (19/5): « De Nakba gebeurt nu! Studenten en personeel van de Universiteit Antwerpen solidair met de Palestijnen tegen apartheidsstaat Israël », (NL-EN-AR), 1823 (staff & students).

    VUB-RHEA (19/5): « Verklaring van solidariteit met het Palestijnse volk », (NL-FR-EN), 95 (staff & students).

    Déclaration pour la Palestine : « Position des universitaires belges francophones - déclaration de solidarité avec la population palestinienne » (FR), 230 (scholars). Voir: Carte blanche, Le Soir+.

Contact-email

_______________________

Open Letter to EU From Research Funding Recipients Urging Funding Restrictions on Complicit Israeli Academic Institutions.

*Not yet for publication

EU research funding recipients, please add your signature by completing this form by Friday, 18 June.


Dear European Commission Directorate General for Education and Culture, We, a group of current and past beneficiaries of EU research funding, concerned Marie Sklodowska-Curie and European Research Council fellows and alumni, write to urge you to use your leverage to address the human rights violations that have occurred in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Israel in recent weeks, and to actively dissuade such violence from resuming. Continue... 

« Law for Palestine: Our Philosophy  »

The idea of Law for Palestine was conceived to parallel with the United Nations philosophy addressing the "Question of Palestine". In 1975, the United Nations General Assembly created what is known as the "Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People" (Resolution 3376), and since then, the mandate for this Committee has been renewed annually until now. The Committee aims to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination, the right to independence and sovereignty, and the right to return refugees to their homes and properties from which they were abandoned. Moreover, the Committee's work includes organizing international conferences and training, working with civil society, and establishing the United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL).
By the same token, Law for Palestine works in parallel to be a common place for people interested in international law and Palestine from all over the world, to provide training and raise awareness in this field.  Also, it seeks to establish an information system that collects all materials related to Palestine and international law. 
Subscribe to our mailing list to receive a comprehensive weekly briefing on Palestine's legal scene, read it weekly in less than two minutes!

« Political censorship in academic journals sets a dangerous new precedent »

The academic community must develop a strong position to shield journals, their editors, and staff, against pressure to enforce censorship.

Rania Muhareb, Bram Wispelwey & Mads Gilbert  
(The BMJ Opinion, June 2, 2021):

In March 2020, The Lancet published a letter we wrote alerting the medical community to the dangers of a covid-19 outbreak in the Gaza Strip. We warned that the pandemic had "the potential to devastate one of the world's most vulnerable populations." Since then, this fear has become reality and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have now endured a fifth largescale Israeli military assault that has killed 256 Palestinians, including 66 children, injured nearly 2,000, and internally displaced some 107,000 people. As we highlighted in our letter, decades of structural violence targeting Palestinian people have brought Gaza's healthcare system to the brink of collapse. Continue...

« L'une des plus grandes universités américaines en solidarité avec le peuple palestinien »

L'université Rutgers de l'État du New Jersey, l'une des plus importantes universités d'État américaines, avec plus de 52.000 étudiants, vient de condamner l'offensive israélienne contre le peuple palestinien, et appelle à lutter contre le racisme et le colonialisme.

(EuroPalestine, 30 mai, 2021):

Les signataires ci-dessous rappellent qu' "un cessez le feu ne met pas un terme à la violence et à l'inégalité structurelles que subissent les Palestiniens sous occupation". Ils dénoncent "quinze ans de blocus, une guerre permanente contre Gaza pour pour l'isoler, et déshumaniser ses habitants dont le seul tort est de résister à des décennies d'occupation, et à ce que les Nations Unies, Human Rights Watch et B'Tselem ont qualifié d'Etat d'apartheid."
Ils s'élèvent "contre l'expansion sioniste et le déplacement forcé des familles palestiniennes notamment à Sheikh Jarrah et tout Jérusalem Est pour les remplacer par des colons".
 Continue...

« Questions you must ask about the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and its flawed definition of "anti-Semitism" »

Stephen Sedley,
Former Lord Justice of Appeal, Judge ad hoc of the European Court of Human Rights and past visiting Professor of law, Oxford University

(Redress Information & Analysis, 10th June, 2021):

It is now five years since the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) published what it called "a non-legally binding working definition of anti-Semitism". It is a clumsy piece of drafting distinguished by two particular features: it fails the first test of any definition by being open-ended and indefinite; and it is accompanied by examples some of which are visibly designed to protect Israel from legitimate criticism. 
In spite of its self-description as "non-legally binding", the supposed definition is rapidly acquiring the force of law by being used as a basis for witch-hunts within institutions and organisations against bona fide critics of Israel. Ignoring the Home Affairs Select Committee's warning that the document, if unqualified, risked stifling free speech, the [UK] government has set about enforcing its adoption by threatening to defund institutions which fail to adopt it.
 
Continue...

« Israel's Losing Battle: Palestine Advocacy in the University »

Hatem Bazian* (Al-Shabaka, April 21, 2020):

This commentary first provides an historical examination of the Palestine advocacy movement in the US and how Palestinian advocacy on college campuses emerged from it, using Students for Justice in Palestine as a particular example. It then analyzes Israel's and its supporters' response to this shift. The piece ultimately offers recommendations for how the university setting, despite attacks against it, can continue to provide and even amplify an environment that fosters critical research and thinking on Palestine, which in turn furthers the struggle for Palestinian rights and self-determination. Continue...

* Hatem Bazian is a senior lecturer in the Departments of Near Eastern and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. 

Analyses and Commentaries : 


Hollywood A-lister Mark Ruffalo. (Photo: via Facebook)

« Say This, Don't Say That: Time to Confront the Misleading Language on Palestine, Israel »

Ramzy Baroud (The Palestine Chronicle, June 14, 2021):

On May 25, famous American actor, Mark Ruffalo, tweeted an apology for suggesting that Israel is committing 'genocide' in Gaza. "I have reflected & wanted to apologize for posts during the recent Israel/Hamas fighting that suggested Israel is committing 'genocide'," Ruffalo wrote, adding, "It's not accurate, it's inflammatory, disrespectful & is being used to justify antisemitism here & abroad. Now is the time to avoid hyperbole." 
But were Ruffalo's earlier assessments, indeed, "not accurate, inflammatory and disrespectful"? And does equating Israel's war on besieged, impoverished Gaza with genocide fit into the classification of 'hyperbole'?
To avoid pointless social media spats, one only needs to reference the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. According to Article 2 of the 1948 Convention, the legal
definition of genocide is: Continue...


Residents in Sheikh Jarrah have a heightened fear of what is to come | Nir Alon / Alamy Stock Photo. All rights reserved.

« Israel's new coalition government will be more dysfunctional and right-wing »

Palestinians expect more violence and expulsions as fragile eight-party coalition moves right to attract supporters of ousted leader Netanyahu.

Jalal Abukhater (Open Democracy, 9 June, 2021):

The leader of the right-wing Yamina party, Naftali Bennett, a hardline religious nationalist who previously led a prominent settler group, will assume the premiership for the first two years of the new government's four-year term, before handing over to Lapid. Key positions are reserved for centrist and right-wing parties such as Yamina, New Hope, Yesh Atid, Kahol Lavan and Yisrael Beiteinu, while minor roles will go to representatives from left-wing parties Labor and Meretz. For Israeli society, a right-wing government is acceptable and even preferred, and many are celebrating the imminent ousting of Benjamin Netanyahu. Continue...


Members of the Palestinian Youth Movement paint a mural in San Francisco asserting their right of return ahead of Nakba Day. It reads "We Will Return" in English and Arabic. California, USA. May 17, 2021. (Source: Chris Gazaleh)

« "Never Give Up": On the Inevitability of a Free Palestine »

Yazan Al-Saadi* (Public Source, June 11, 2021):

At the age of 10, Salman Abu Sitta and his family were forced out of their ancestral home in Bi'r as-Saba' at the start of the Nakba in 1948. That year was the culmination of a Zionist colonial ethnic cleansing project that began decades prior with the support of imperial states. From Gaza, where most of his family remained, Abu Sitta journeyed to Cairo where he studied at the prestigious al-Saidiya secondary school. 
At 22, while in London to pursue his graduate studies in civil engineering, a scientific training he would later mobilize in the service of imaging Palestine, he began his life's work of collecting a growing archive of maps, aerial and ground photographs, records, and memos from Palestine before, during and after 1948. 
Continue...

* Yazan al-Saadi is a Canadian-Syrian writer, researcher, and commentator based between Lebanon and Kuwait. He focuses on the West Asian region, covering topics from pop-culture to politics.


Beit Hanoun, Gaza, 26 May 2021: 'What else but anti-Palestinian racism explains western inaction in the face of the human rights abuses meted out daily to Palestinians?' Photograph: Mahmoud Issa/Sopa/Rex/Shutterstock.

« The conflict in the Middle East is sustained by the silencing of Palestinians »

Throughout history, our story has been narrated by others who treat our rights as less deserving of recognition.

Ghada Karmi* (The Guardian, June 10, 2021):

The silencing of the Palestinian story is nothing new. In 1950s Britain, a few years after Israel was established, even the name Palestine went out of use. When asked as a child where I came from, people would think I'd said Pakistan. I remember how frustrating it was that no one wanted to hear our story, as if we had invented it. "It's the land of the Jews," I was repeatedly told. "The Arabs are only squatters on it." Israel's stunning victory in the 1967 war compounded these attitudes, and the Zionist narrative of Israel's moral right to exist in the Jewish people's "ancestral land" became supreme. Constantly made to understand we were second-class human beings with no valid right to "someone else's country" was demoralising and intimidating.  Continue...

* Ghada Karmi is a Palestinian writer. She has published two memoirs of Palestine.

Source: Getty.
Source: Getty.

« Can There Be Freedom, Prosperity, and Democracy for Gaza? »

U.S. President Joe Biden says he wants "equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and democracy" for Gaza. What steps can he take to achieve that in practice?

Zaha Hassan

(Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, May 4, 2021)

Bomb, rebuild, repeat - this has been the pattern for Gaza for more than a decade. What will it take to break it? After the May 21 Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Hamas and Israel ended eleven days of high-intensity violence, the U.S. administration promised to provide humanitarian relief to Gaza and support for reconstruction. As a first step, the U.S. Agency for International Development has dispatched a humanitarian adviser to Jerusalem to work with the Palestinian Authority (PA). But the PA's administration stops at the fringes of the West Bank enclaves where Israel has permitted it some limited autonomy, and Hamas remains a U.S.-designated terrorist organization. That means the UN and others will have to lend a strong hand in delivering the aid. Continue...


Palestinian children and family members attend a candlelight vigil among the rubble of homes destroyed by Israeli military strikes in Gaza City on May 25, 2021. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times via Getty)

« We Can't Expect Joe Biden to Stop Supporting Apartheid »

The Western media discourse gets it all wrong. Israel is not at risk of becoming an apartheid state - it already is one.

An interview with NATHAN THRALL (Jacobin, May 26, 2021):

0ver the past few weeks, the world watched as Israel's attempted expulsion of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem spiraled into an eleven-day pummeling of the Gaza Strip by Israel's military, leaving 254 people dead, including sixty-six children. The onslaught saw Israel level high-rise buildings, wipe out whole Palestinian families, and even target Western news agencies.
To put this latest assault into proper context, Jacobin spoke with Nathan Thrall, an analyst of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and author of
The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine. Thrall explains how making progress toward a just settlement of the conflict means letting go of the many myths that govern Western discussions of the subject. Continue...

« Ghosts in the Land »
Adam Shatz on the war in Israel-Palestine.

(London Review of Books, Vol. 43, No 11, June 3, 2021)

On 21 May Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire after eleven days of fighting, but the days of 'quiet' - as the New York Times tellingly describes the last seven years, in which Israel intensified its domination over the Palestinians with impunity - are over. Dead, too, is Trump's plan to bypass the Palestinian question through 'normalisation' between Israel and Arab autocrats keen to do business with the Jewish state (and to buy its surveillance technology to monitor their own dissidents). If Netanyahu imagined that by attacking Gaza he could inflict defeat on Hamas, and rescue his own precarious political career, he has miscalculated. Continue...


Right-wing Jewish protesters demonstrate during a nighttime curfew in Lod, Israel, May 12th, 2021. Photo: Oren Ziv/dpa/Alamy Live News.

« The Rise of the New Settler State »

Joshua Leifer (Jewish Currents, May 27, 2021).

"The religious Zionis right wants to reshape Israeli political and cultural life in their own image," explained Liat Schlesigner, executive director of the progressive Israeli think tank Molad. Although religious Zionists represent only a small segment of Israel's population - roughly 10% they have gained outsize influence not only in government, but also in the army and the media. Exact numbers are hard to come by, but a significant proportion of Israeli army officers today come from religious Zionist backgrounds. Religious Zionist journalists from West Bank settlements, such as Channel 12's Amit Segal and Israel Public Broadcasting's Akiva Novick, are among the most prominent figures on Israeli TV news. It is not surprising, then, that once-fringe political positions of right-wing religious Zionism are becoming increasingly mainstream. A 2016 Pew Survey found that more Israeli Jews agree that "Arabs should be expelled or transferred from Israel" than disagree Continue...


Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Yahya Sinwar in Gaza City, June 26, 2019. (Hassan Jedi/Flash90)

« It's time to change liberal discourse about Hamas »

Ali Abunimah (The Electronic Intifada, 10 June 2021):

Representative Ilhan Omar may have thought she was doing Palestinians a favor when she challenged Secretary of State Anthony Blinken in a congressional hearing on Monday. But her comments about Hamas only reinforce Israeli propaganda delegitmizing Palestinian resistance. Sadly Omar's both-sidesism is a common feature of discourse even among ostensibly pro-Palestinian liberals.
Omar posted this video clip of her exchange with Blinken. In her tweet she wrote that "We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity." Continue...


Mourners raise a Palestinian flag during the funeral of Mohammad Kiwan, a 17-year-old Palestinian boy who succumbed to his wounds after Israeli forces shot him, in the mostly Palestinian city of Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel, on May 20, 2021 [Ahmad Gharabli/AFP]

« In this confrontation with apartheid Israel, the Palestinians won »

The unity which Palestinians demonstrated in the past few weeks marks the rise of a new national consciousness.

Haidar Eid* (Al Jazeera, May 31, 2021)

After the latest genocidal onslaught by apartheid Israel, some serious questions have been raised, once again, about the usefulness of resistance and whether the outcome of the war can, or cannot, be considered a victory for the Palestinian people. Those same questions were raised in 2009, 2012, and 2014, when Israel launched massive attacks against Gaza, and even during the non-violent 2018 Great March of Return, when Palestinians marched towards the fence around the Strip and were shot and killed by Israeli snipers.
Some "liberals" resorted to the usual proclamations, blaming the "two sides of the conflict" - i.e. the coloniser and the colonised, and concluding that Palestinians must stop launching rockets from Gaza. Once again, we were being challenged by those same "neutral" voices about the very definition of resistance. They fail to see, for ideological reasons, that resistance, broadly speaking, is not only the ability to fight back against a militarily more powerful oppressor, but also the ability to creatively resist the colonisation of one's land. They fail to understand peoples' power, in our case, "sumud" (steadfastness), or even to see that it exists. 
Continue...

Haidar Eid is an associate Professor at Al-Aqsa University in Gaza.


'In Jerusalem, settlers are attempting to forcibly displace Palestinians from their homes.' Israeli security forces detain a Palestinian during a protest over evictions in the Silwan district of Jerusalem. Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images.

« Why Israeli progressives have started to talk about 'apartheid' »

When I first heard this argument from Palestinians 20 years ago, I rejected it. But the evidence is mounting before our eyes.

Michael Sfard* (The Guardian, June 3, 2021):

The latest chapter in the Israel-Palestine conflict unfolded in many locations, all at once. In the Gaza Strip, civilian population centres were heavily bombarded by Israeli fighter planes and artillery, bringing death, injuries and massive damage to property. Towns in Israel were targeted by Palestinian rockets launched from Gaza; those that get past Israel's Iron Dome missile-defence system also kill and destroy. In Jerusalem, settlers are attempting to forcibly displace Palestinians from their homes and worshippers have clashed with Israeli forces in one of the holiest sites for Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  Continue...

* Michael Sfard is an Israeli human rights lawyer.

« Samidoun Palestinian Prisoners, Leading with Steadfastness »

This Week in Palestine: This is Sumud (#278, June 2021):
Charlotte Kates

Every day in Palestine, the morning dawns with dozens of news reports of night raids, arrests, and invasions by Israeli occupation forces. This is not only the case amid the recent uprising in which over 2,400 Palestinians have been detained and 500 Palestinians from 1948 occupied Palestine - Palestinian citizens of Israel - were targeted for arrest under the so-called Operation Law and Order. Indeed, imprisonment has formed a fundamental part of Israel's colonial arsenal since 1948. Despite the intention to use political imprisonment to suppress Palestinian resistance and frustrate the Palestinian liberation movement, however, Palestinian prisoners have remained political leaders and symbols of steadfastness for the struggle as a whole. Continue...


Naïm Khader, homme de dialogue et de paix. Un hommage lui sera rendu ce 1er juin [2021] à 12 h 30 à Ixelles, devant le n°5 rue des Scarabées. Photo © ABP.

« Il y a 40 ans était assassiné Naïm Khader »

Gabrielle Lefèvre (Entre les lignes, 28 mai 2021):

Le 1er juin est aussi un anniversaire tragique. Celui de l'assassinat en pleine rue à Ixelles du représentant de l'Organisation de Libération de la Palestine Naïm Khader. Un acte sanglant qui s'inscrit dans une longue série d'assassinats visant à éliminer les représentants en Europe de Yasser Arafat, chef de l'OLP, qui avait accepté une solution réaliste et proposée par les Nations Unies, de deux Etats vivant en paix dans des frontières sûres et reconnues. Une solution qui ne convenait pas aux ultras des deux bords : ni aux sionistes radicaux et violents qui voulaient chasser toute la population palestinienne des terres occupées par Israël depuis 1948, ni aux puissances arabes comme la Syrie et l'Irak qui refusaient l'installation d'un Etat dangereux pour les pays arabes environnants et qui soutenaient des mouvements terroristes dont celui d'Abou Nidal responsable de quantité d'assassinats et d'actes terroristes. Continue...

BDS - Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions :


Le Zim San Diego est bloqué depuis le 2 juin du fait qu'un piquet communautaire toujours en place l'empêche d'accoster au port de Seattle. (Photo : Alex Garland)

« BDS gagne en intensité avec les actions de #BlockTheBoat à Oakland et à Seattle »

Les mobilisations à Seattle et à Oakland font partie d'une campagne internationale coordonnée de #BlockTheBoat, qui a eu lieu à la fois sur les côtes américaines, au Canada, en Afrique du Sud, au Liban et dans certains ports européens.

Yoav Litvin (Charleroi pour la Palestine, 2021):

En guise de soutien aux droits des Palestiniens et à leur libération, un piquet de grève est parvenu à retarder depuis plus d'une semaine déjà un navire affrété par la plus grande compagnie israélienne de transport maritime et à empêcher de le décharger dans le port de SeattleIl était prévu que le navire, qui appartient à la compagnie maritime israélienne Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. (ZIM) et qui porte le nom de Zim San Diego, décharge sa marchandise à Seattle le 2 juin, mais il a dû reporter son accostage suite au piquet de grève toujours en place de #BlockThe Boat (Bloquez le navire) et organisé par Falastiniyatun collectif de femmes palestiniennes installé à SeattleContinue....

COVID-19 in the oPt:


© HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images.

« Israeli army shutdown of health organization will have catastrophic consequences for Palestinian healthcare »

Amnesty International (June, 2021)

"The Health Work Committees is one of the main providers of health services in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, running hospitals and health clinics providing medical care to marginalized communities. Israel's shut down of its headquarters will have major consequences for the provision of essential health services to thousands of Palestinians, a program for women's health that was at the headquarters has now stopped," said Saleh Higazi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty InternationalContinue...

« Israeli Security Forces won't Vaccinate Occupied Palestinians, Ban Palestinian Health Worker Committees that Do »

Juan Cole (Informed Comment, June 11, 2021):

Despite being the Occupying power with responsibilities for the health of the occupied population, Israel has refused to vaccinate the Palestinian population, and its attacks on the Palestinian economy have left the Palestine Authority, which only has influence in 40% of the West Bank, unable to afford expensive Western vaccines. Only about 6.5 % Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have had at least one shot, whereas over 80% of Israelis are vaccinated. Of the 5 million or so stateless Palestinians under Israeli military occupation, 339,859 Palestinians have fallen ill with COVID-19 and it has left 3,792 of them dead.  Continue...

Current Affairs :


La journaliste d'Al-Jazeera a été hospitalisée à l'hôpital Hadassah.

« La police israélienne relâche la journaliste d'Al-Jazeera après lui avoir cassé le bras, et arrête une militante de Sheikh Jarrah »

(EuroPalestine, 6 juin, 2021):

Givara Budeiri, en détention à Jérusalem, a été relâchée samedi avec un bras cassé et l'équipement de son caméraman détruit. Elle avait été arrêtée alors qu'elle couvrait pour Al-Jazeera dont elle est la correspondante depuis longtemps, une manifestation dans le quartier de Sheikh Jarrah, avec un gilet marqué « Press ». Continue...

A pick of recent Haaretz articles: (contact) 

Jack Khoury: "Palestinian Teen, Shot Dead During Clashes With Israeli Army, Laid to Rest - 'We know they won't investigate, for Israel it's just another dead Palestinian,' Saeed Oudeh's aunt says" (Haaretz, May 7).

Josh Breiner: "Israel Closes Case Against Prison Officers Who Were Filmed Beating Inmates. At least 10 officers were filmed beating prisoners and dozens more were present, in one of the most violent events to ever take place in an Israeli jail. Only four officers were questioned, none were arrested" (Haaretz, May 11).

@ Ben Samuels: "Over 50 Progressive Groups, Leaders Back Ilhan Omar Against 'Bad Faith Attacks'. Letter decries 'smear campaign' against congresswoman after 12 Jewish House Democrats said she compared Israel and the U.S. to Hamas and the Taliban" (Haaretz, June 11).

@ Or Kashti, "Education Minister Announces Final Decision to Withhold Israel Prize From Left-wing Professor" (Haaretz, June 12).

 @ Nirit Anderman, "A Young Woman Refused to Serve in the Israeli Army. This Is What Happened to Her" (Haaretz, June 10).

 @ Amira Hass, "Three Heroic Missions by Anonymous Soldiers. On entrenching the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip and other recent achievements of the Israeli army that should not be dismissed" (Haaretz, June 14).

International :


Then foreign minister Sir Alan Duncan (left) and then foreign secretary Boris Johnson on 29 March 2017 in London, England. (Photo: Jack Taylor / Getty Images)

« Former British minister: 'The Israelis think they control the Foreign Office. And they do!' »

Matt Kennard (Declassified UK, 4 June, 2021):

The recently published diaries of former foreign minister Sir Alan Duncan provide an unprecedented window into the influence the Israeli government and affiliated pro-Israel lobby groups have over the UK Foreign Office... Declassified recently outlined the deepening military relations between the UK and Israel and revealed that a third of cabinet ministers in Boris Johnson's government have been funded by Israel or the CFI (Conservative Friends of Israel). Last week, foreign secretary Dominic Raab travelled to Israel for a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu thanked Johnson for his "staunch, unwavering support" in the recent bombing of Gaza, to which Raab replied: "You can always count on us."  Raab described himself as a "friend" and "great supporter" of Israel. Continue...

« Ireland becomes first EU country to condemn Israel's 'de facto annexation' of Palestinian land »

Niall Ó Brolcháin (IMEMC News, 26 May 2021):

In a historic move Wednesday, Ireland's parliament, the Dáil, is thought to have become the first European country to condemn Israel's 'de facto annexation' of Palestinian land with regard to Jewish settlements. All government, opposition parties, and independents united in fully backing the amended motion.  An original motion from the left-wing party People Before Profit (PBP) calling to expel the Israeli ambassador was rejected. Ireland's foreign minister, Simon Coveney, said the landmark vote was a 'clear signal of the depth of feeling across Ireland.'
Israel hit back with a strong statement, calling the motion 'outrageous', 'baseless', and a 'victory for extremist Palestinian factions.'  A spokesperson for Israel's foreign ministry, Lior Haiat, said it would distance Ireland from its ambition of playing a constructive role in the conflict.  Continue...


The City Hall of Belfast (Giorgio Galeotti/Wikimedia Commons via JTA).

« Belfast City Council calls for expelling Israeli ambassadors from UK and Ireland »

In Dublin, pro-Palestinian students and activists stage sit-in protest in front of Foreign Ministry, blocking entrance for hours, in wake of Gaza war.

Cnaan Liphshiz (The Times of Israel, June 5, 2021).

JTA - The City Council of Belfast in Northern Ireland passed a motion calling on the governments of the United Kingdom and Ireland to expel Israel's ambassadors to those countries. 
In addition to the vote in Belfast, the capital of the British region of Northern Ireland, pro-Palestinian students and activists staged a sit-in protest on Thursday in front of the Foreign Ministry of Ireland in Dublin. They blocked the entrance for hours, waving signs urging Ireland to expel the Israeli ambassador. Continue...


In 1999, then-Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern made a two-day visit to Gaza where he held talks with PA President Arafat and visited the Jabaliya refugee camp. He departed for Dublin from the Gaza airport, becoming the first foreign leader to leave the Palestinian territory direct for his home country. [File: Mohammad Saber/AFP]

« What's behind Ireland's support for Palestine? »

A shared sense of struggle underpins a bond, and after the recent conflict, Dublin has made landmark diplomatic moves against Israel.

Ruairi Casey (Al Jazeera, 7 June, 2021):

After Abraham Aljamal Phelan moved to Dublin in the late 1980s, many customers at his grocery store, where the shelves were adorned with fresh figs and olives, were up to date with the latest news from his native Palestine. During their exchanges about food, culture and history, his stories of home found sympathetic ears... For Amir Abualrob, a theatre artist, actor and LGBTQ activist, who came to Ireland from the West Bank town of Jenin three years ago, identification with the Palestinian cause has deep roots in Irish society.
"Organised, mobilised activism on behalf of the Palestinians is absolutely - relative in per capita terms - higher in Ireland than it is in Britain or Germany, or many, many EU countries," said Rory Miller, professor of government at Georgetown University in Qatar. 
Continue...

« Elite schuldig aan Belgisch koloniaal verleden, ook vandaag medeplichtig in de Israëlisch/Palestijnse tragedie. »

Palestina Solidariteit, 2 juni 2021.

De afgelopen weken kwamen wereldwijd honderden duizenden mensen op straat in solidariteit met het Palestijnse volk. In de 'alternatieve' media werd meermaals de vinger gelegd op de grondoorzaken (kolonisatie, apartheid, etnische zuivering en de bezetting door Israël), nieuwszenders voor het grote publiek zoals de VRT  benoemden het leed aan 'beide kanten' maar de grondoorzaken benoemen lukte nauwelijks... Ook politiek zit het debat om tot een oplossing te komen voor de Israëlisch/Palestijnse kwestie al decennia muurvast.  Continue...

Israel Apartheid State:

« Infographic: What you need to know about Israel's military »

A longstanding recipient of US military aid, Israel has developed a domestic arms industry and become a key global supplier.

By Usaid Siddiqui, Mohammed Hussein, Owais Zaheer and Mohammed Haddad

(Al Jazeera, 4 June 2021):

Israel operates a vast military apparatus where military service is mandatory for citizens over the age of 18. In 2020, the country spent $22bn on its military, according to a database compiled by SIPRI, a research institute focused on conflict and armaments. Israel spent some $2,508 per capita and allocated 12% of its total government spending to defence. 
Visualised, the combination of these metrics shows how much of an outlier Israel's weapons spending is relative to some of the largest militaries in the world, including the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.  Continue...


Palestinian activists Muna and Mohammed al-Kurd were arrested and later released by Israeli authorities in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. [File: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP]

« Israel's arrests are 're-energizing the Palestinian movement' »

Israel's detention of Palestinian activists and journalists is reinvigorating peaceful resistance, launching a new generation of Palestinian activists.

Anchal Vohra (Al Jazeera, June 9, 2021):

The detentions of Palestinian activists and journalists this time around are re-energizing a long-simmering peaceful resistance and launching a new generation of Palestinian icons fighting to protect their homes, as well as advocating self-determination. In a statement, Israeli police said it launched "operation law and orderto bring rioters to justice and to "maintain public peace". It added so far, "2,142 detainees have been registered". Palestinians, however, said Israeli police arrested those who had been peacefully protesting with the unstated but obvious aim to crush the momentum of their movement, which has picked up pace over the last month.
The Israeli police might have proved the Palestinians right as they arrested Muna al-Kurd. The 23-year-old activist had been highlighting an Israeli court's order that her family, and several others, be forcibly evicted from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah - a neighbourhood in the heart of East Jerusalem. Her twin brother, Mohammed al-Kurd, was also summoned and questioned by police. Continue...


Israeli Arabs participate in a protest in March 2021. (Photo/JTA-Jamal Awad-Flash90)

« Palestinians in Israel now face far-right mob violence backed by the state »

Protests by Palestinian citizens are being greeted with a mix of police violence and vigilante-style attacks from Jewish fascists.

Jonathan Cook (May 14, 2021)

With Jerusalem ablaze and Gaza on the brink of another major Israeli onslaught, it has been easy to overlook the rapidly escalating ethnic violence inside Israel, where one in five of the population is Palestinian. These 1.8 million Palestinians - Israeli citizens in little more than name - have spent the past week venting their frustration and anger at decades of Israeli oppression directed at their own communities inside Israel, as well as at Palestinians under more visible occupation.  Continue...


A general view shows shuttered stores in the Israeli city of Acre during a general strike observed on May 18, 2021, in Arab neighborhoods in Israel as well as in Palestinian towns in Gaza and the occupied West Bank to protest Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories. JALAA MAREY/AFP via Getty Images.

« Palestinian citizens of Israel deal with aftermath of violence
in mixed cities »

The latest round of fighting between the Gaza Strip and Israel might be over, but the differences and inequalities between Israelis and Palestinian citizens of Israel remain a powerful source of conflict.

Daoud Kuttab (Al-Monitor, May 26, 2021)

The Palestinian citizens of Israel have long lived in a tinderbox. The large non-Jewish national minority of 21% of the population of Israel proper has been constantly fighting for and failing to win equality in the self-proclaimed Jewish state. Various factors make peaceful coexistence within Israel so fragile.  Continue...


Ronen Hazut at Sheikh Jarrah, last week. Credit: Emil Salman.

« 16-year-old Palestinian Is the Latest Target of Brutality by One of Jerusalem's Top Cops »

Dozens of cases of excessive police force against Palestinians were reported in the last month, under the command of Chief Supt. Ronen Hazut: 'Everywhere you go, you see him. Anyone with a bit of sense knows where this is going'.

Nir Hasson (Haaretz, May 26, 2021):

When police officers shot Jana Kiswani, 16, and her father Mohammed Kiswani in Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood last week, it was just one of dozens of reported incidents within a month involving excessive force against Palestinians who were not being violent. Several of the incidents involving excessive police force took place under the command of Chief Superintendent Ronen Hazut, the commander of the Shalem police station in Jerusalem.
Hazut was a key figure in dictating police behavior in during the recent round of violence. From testimonies and footage collected by Haaretz, it emerges that he often ordered his officers to employ force even when there was no obvious justification for it.
 Continue...


Israeli officers blindfold a Palestinian citizen of Israel during violent confrontations in Lydd, central Israel. (Oren Ziv)

« 'A campaign of intimidation and terror against the Arab public' »

In an attempt to restore pride in the police, Israeli forces are arresting hundreds of Palestinian citizens in the most widespread crackdown in decades.

Oren Ziv (+972, May 26 2021):

In a surprise campaign on Monday, Israeli authorities launched "Operation Law and Order," in which thousands of national police officers, Border Police members, and army reservists arrested hundreds of Palestinian citizens of Israel accused of participating in this month's mass wave of protests. In their announcement to the press, the Israeli police claimed that they were looking for "the rioters, the criminals, and everyone who was involved in the events, in order to prosecute them" and to "settle the score" with those who took part. In the two weeks prior, the police had already arrested more than 1,550 people and filed about 150 indictments, some against more than one defendant.  Continue...


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Cybertech Israel Conference and Exhibition, in Tel Aviv, attended by thousands of leading multi-national corporates, SMB's, start-ups, private and corporate investors, venture capital firms, experts and clients. Jan 31, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

« Israeli colonialism goes digital »

Israel's collaboration with tech companies has turned social media from a tool of free political speech to a means of censoring and repressing Palestinians.

Anwar Mhajne (+972, May 25, 2021):

Surveillance has always been an integral part of Israel's strategy to maintain its oppression over Palestinians, whether they are citizens of Israel, occupied subjects, or in exile. Social media, however, has undoubtedly made it much easier for the state to suppress and monitor Palestinian voices and narratives on a global scale. We saw this play out, almost in real time, during the events in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah this past month: scores of Instagram users, for example, criticized the social media app for suspending accounts and deleting posts and stories regarding the imminent forcible expulsion of families from the neighborhood.  Continue...

« How the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood Saved Israeli Democracy from Netanyahu »

Juan Cole (Informed Comment, June 8, 2021):

Israelis of Palestinian heritage comprise a little over 20% of the Israeli population, and most of them are Muslims. Their politics, however, has skewed toward leftist parties. In contrast, a minority supported Muslim fundamentalism, inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood. Sheikh Abdallah Nimr Darwish founded the Islamic Movement in 1971. In 1996 the leadership decided to run for seats in the Israeli parliament, which caused the movement to split. The northern branch headed by Sheikh Raed Salah rejected entering Israeli politics and adopted a radical stance, sometimes openly expressing sympathy with the Hamas Party over the Green Line, though there is no evidence it engaged in violence. It was ultimately banned. The southern branch, guided by Darwish and headed by Sheikh Hamad Abu Daabs, was determined to enter the Israeli civic sphere, and condemned Holocaust denialism. So you had rejectionist fundamentalists and accommodationist fundamentalists... Mansour Abbas, born 1974, was trained as a dentist at Hebrew University and practiced before entering politics. Continue...

Palestine Colonized and Terrorized:


Palestinians inspect the rubble of destroyed homes on al-Wihda street in Gaza City on 16 May. Mohammed Zaanoun ActiveStills.

« Al-Wihda Street massacre »

Tamara Nassar (The Electronic Intifada, 12 June 2021):

On 16 May, Israel's offensive on Gaza had entered its seventh day.

Just after midnight, Israeli warplanes began bombing two residential buildings and the surrounding area on two parallel roads - al-Wihda street and the Egyptian Embassy street - in central Gaza City.

For about an hour, bombs rained down on the area. The homes eventually collapsed on the families living there.

With surrounding streets severely damaged, it was difficult for ambulances from the nearby al-Shifa hospital to reach the site of the bombing.

Palestinian rescue teams spent days pulling bodies from under the rubble, dead and alive.

It was "one of the most horrific crimes" of Israel's 11-day massacre in Gaza during May, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said at the time.

At least 44 Palestinians, including 18 children, were killed in the 16 May massacre on al-Wihda street.

Multiple generations of multiple families were obliterated.

Continue...


Israeli forces shot and killed Mohammad Said Mohammad Hamayel, 16, in Beita, southeast of Nablus, on June 11. (Photo courtesy of the Hamayel family).

« Israeli forces shoot dead 16-year-old Palestinian boy »

Defense for Children International-Palestine (June 11, 2021).

Israeli forces shot Mohammad Said Mohammad Hamayel, 16, with live ammunition around 4:30 p.m. today during a protest in the village of Beita, located southeast of Nablus in the occupied West Bank. The bullet entered the right side of Mohammad's chest and exited the left side, striking him in the left arm, according to documentation collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Mohammad was taken to the Beita field hospital where he was pronounced dead. 
"Israeli forces frequently use live ammunition for crowd control to disperse protesters, ignoring their obligation under international law to only resort to intentional lethal force when a direct, mortal threat to life or of serious injury exists," said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. "Systemic impunity has fostered an environment where Israeli forces know no bounds." 
Continue...


Ahmed Fahd's sister Roseanne cries at his funeral while holding a poster at the al-Amari refugee camp near Ramallah. [Al Jazeera]

« Killing with impunity: Israel's undercover units in Palestine »

Assassinating Palestinians.

Al Jazeera (30 May, 2021):

Ramallah, Occupied West Bank - The grief and anger was palpable as women wept, young men chanted with raised fists, and masked gunmen fired into the air during the funeral of Ahmed Fahd, 24, at the al-Amari refugee camp. Fahd's family told Al Jazeera that Israeli undercover agents first arrested him and then shot him in the back several times at close range about 5:30am, before leaving him to bleed to death on a street in the Um al-Shayaret neighbourhood of Ramallah on Tuesday... 
While the Israelis acknowledged their "mistake" in this particular incident, Shawan Jabareen, from the Al-Haq human rights organisation in Ramallah, said the ongoing killing of Palestinians by Israeli security forces, particularly the undercover units, was no accident. "We are currently investigating his death but the killing is part of a deliberate Israeli policy of assassinating Palestinians at close range by undercover units known as 'Musta'ribeen' as well as regular troops," Jabareen told Al Jazeera. 
 Continue...


Clockwise from top left: Abdel Fattah Skafi, Saleh Diab, Mohammad Sabbagh and Muna El-Kurd. Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg, Ahmad Gharabli /AFP.

« 'We Will Never Leave Our Land': The Palestinian Families Facing Eviction in Sheikh Jarrah »

Palestinian residents of Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, whose plight has captured the world's attention, await a decision by the Israeli Supreme Court on whether they will be evicted from their homes.

Judy Maltz & Nir Hasson (Haaretz, June 8, 2021)

For nearly 15 years, Palestinian residents of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah have been fighting attempts by right-wing Jewish settler organizations to take over their homes. For most of this time, their struggle has been out of the limelight. But in recent months, with the Israeli Supreme Court due to announce a final ruling on the long-running battle, the plight of a handful of local families has captured international attention, becoming a rallying cry for advocates of the Palestinian cause worldwide.  Continue...


Palestinians shout slogans outside a court in Jerusalem on May 26, 2021, during a protest over Israel's planned eviction of Palestinian families from homes in the Silwan district. - AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images.

« Jerusalem's Batn al-Hawa could be next Sheikh Jarrah »

Ahmad Melhem (Al-Monitor, May 5, 2021):

RAMALLAH, West Bank - Displacement threatens 86 Jerusalemite families, some 750 to 800 people living in 15 buildings in the Batn al-Hawa neighborhood of the east Jerusalem area of Silwan. Their houses are claimed by the Ateret Cohanim settler organization. The situation in Batn al-Hawa is reminiscent of the events in Sheikh Jarrah, which fanned the flames of the recent armed confrontation between the resistance factions in the Gaza Strip and Israel from May 10 to May 20. Ateret Cohanim aspires to evict Batn al-Hawa's residents and make the neighborhood into a settlement linked to the outposts established in other Jerusalem neighborhoods. Continue...



Police set up concrete road blocks at the entrance to the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. While settlers and right-wing Jews are allowed to walk in freely, non-resident Palestinians are barred from entry. (Oren Ziv)

« How Israel is turning Sheikh Jarrah into another Hebron »

Israeli police have transformed Sheikh Jarrah into a hyper-militarized area designed to quash Palestinian resistance and embolden Jewish settlers.

Oren Ziv (+972, June 10, 2021):

In recent weeks, 'Othman Ibn Affan', the main thoroughfare in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, has begun to resemble Hebron's infamous segregated Shuhada Street. Israeli police forces have established militarized checkpoints, are patrolling the area 24/7, forbidding the entry of Palestinians who do not live in the neighborhood, and allowing complete freedom of movement for settlers and right-wing activists. Continue...


Israeli policemen arrest a Palestinian man following protests at the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. (Ilia Yefimovich / picture-alliance / dpa / AP Images)

« The War on Palestinians Continues - Now in the Form of Mass Arrests »

Israel says the campaign of mass arrests is about "law and order," but Palestinians know it is about quashing dissent inside the state.

Abir Kopty (The Nation, May 25, 2021):

The Israeli police have declared yet another war against Palestinians - this time, against Palestinian citizens of Israel and those living in Jerusalem. And it requires global action. On Sunday night, the Israeli police announced the launch of a massive arrest campaign against Palestinians who took part in the latest uprising to resist Israel's colonial project (the police charged them with participating in "riots" and online "incitement"). Within hours, police had begun raiding houses, arresting 165 protesters as of earlier today - a sweep they are expected to continue over the next few days as thousands of Israeli police officers, border police, and secret service members move to arrest some 500 protesters. Continue...


Gaza City, 21 mai 2021. Devant l'immeuble Al-Shuruq détruit par une frappe aérienne israélienne après l'annonce du cessez-le-feu. Mahmud Hams/AFP.

« Gaza. Une offensive israélienne pas comme les autres »

Sept ans après l'opération « Bordure protectrice » de 2014, Israël a mené une nouvelle guerre contre Gaza. Si l'histoire semble se répéter à travers cette tragédie, cette offensive est, par certains aspects, différente des autres.

Asma Alghoul (OrientXXI, 1er juin, 2021):

Une nouvelle guerre a eu lieu contre la bande de Gaza. Elle survient six ans après la dernière opération, contrairement aux attaques précédentes qui avaient lieu tous les deux ou trois ans. Une guerre commencée par l'armée israélienne là où elle l'avait arrêtée en 2014 quand elle avait menacé, sans passer à l'exécution, de bombarder la tour Hanadi, après avoir réduit en ruines les treize étages de la tour résidentielle Dhafer. Auparavant, Israël avait ciblé l'immeuble baptisé le « complexe Italien ». Le bâtiment est penché depuis, comme une pâle copie de la tour de Pise. Continue...


Samir Mansour published books by authors based in Gaza. Abdel Kareem Hana.

« Why did Israel bomb bookstores? »

While the courts consider whether to let the state demolish more villages in Masafer Yatta to clear the way for firing zones, the villages continue to submit evidence that they were there before Israel itself.

Ruwaida Amer (The Electronic Intifada, June 22021):

Israel has a history of attacking Palestinian arts and culture. In 2018, for example, Israel bombed the Said al-Mishal Cultural Center. That five-story building hosted Gaza's main theater, as well as dance classes, poetry readings and exhibitions. During last month's attack, Israel also bombed the Ghazi al-Shawa building hosting the Gaza offices of Open Screenplay. A Canadian firm, Open Screenplay has developed technology to assist budding movie writers. While none of Open Screenplay's staff were harmed, the firm reported that at least four people were killed when the building was bombed. Another facility attacked by Israel was the recording studio Mashareq... Muhammad al-Sharif from Gaza's culture ministry noted that Samir Mansour's library was one of 44 cultural institutions destroyed or damaged by Israel last month. More than $3 million worth of damage was inflicted on Gaza's cultural sector, the ministry has calculated. Continue...


Civil defense workers pore through rubble on May 16, 2021, in the aftermath of an Israeli bombing. Credit: Fatima Shbair Getty Images.

« A New Mental Health Crisis Is Raging in Gaza »

Yasser Abu Jamei (Scientific American, June 4, 2021):

"Have you ever seen a six-month old baby with exaggerated startle response?" One of my colleagues who works on our telephone counseling service was calling me for advice on how to respond to several distraught mothers asking her how to help their babies who had started showing such distressing symptoms of trauma during the recent bombing. Our telephone service was back and responding to callers on the third day of the attacks on Gaza, though of course with certain difficulties.  Continue...


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (Photo: via Wikimedia Commons)

« Report: Palestinian Activists Call for Abbas to Be Removed from Office »

The Palestine Chronicle (May 31, 2021):

Palestinian academics, activists, and political factions have called for the removal from office of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, citing his canceling of the Palestinian elections and a perceived failure to support the people of Gaza during the recent Israeli attacks, The New Arab reported. "The recent intifada of Jerusalem has revealed the resounding incompetence of the president, his policies and his authority, and the Palestinian people have had enough," a group of academics and activists said in a statement over the weekend. "We declare that this president no longer has any political or national legitimacy; he must resign immediately, or be removed from the three leadership positions he controls," they said. Continue...


Ramallah : Les Palestiniens manifestent contre la visite de Blinken. Photo : CPI (le Centre Palestinien d'Information).

« Les Palestiniens mettent à mal la culture d'Oslo »

Les Palestiniens en Cisjordanie surmontent finalement de nombreux obstacles et craintes, l'étouffante division en factions, la brutalité des nervis sécuritaires d'Abbas et qu'ils défient ouvertement - et, en fait, sont prêts à démanteler - la totalité de la culture d'Oslo.

Ramzy Baroud 

(Charleroi pour la Palestine, 4 juin, 2021):

Le discours politique de Mahmoud Abbas, le chef de l'Autorité palestinienne en Cisjordanie, ressemble à celui d'un roi inefficace resté isolé bien trop longtemps dans son palais. Le roi parle de prospérité et de paix et, infatigablement, énumère ses innombrables réalisations, dans le même temps que son peuple meurt de faim à l'extérieur et mendie en vain son attention.  
Mais Abbas n'est pas un roi ordinaire. C'est un « président », uniquement de nom, un « chef » désigné simplement parce qu'Israël et le système politique international dirigé par les États-Unis insistent pour qu'on le reconnaisse en tant que tel. Non seulement, le mandat politique de l'homme avait expiré en 2009, il était en outre très limité déjà bien avant cette date. Jamais au cours de sa carrière Abbas n'a représenté la totalité du peuple palestinien. Aujourd'hui, à 85 ans, il y a de fortes chances qu'Abbas n'assumera jamais ce rôle. 
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Palestinians celebrate a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel in the early hours of May 21 in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. [Abbas Momani/AFP]

« Why is the Palestinian Authority arresting West Bank activists? »

Dozens of Palestinian activists have been detained by the PA in the aftermath of Israel’s offensive on Gaza Strip.

Linah Alsaafin (Al Jazeera, May 28, 2021):

Tarqi al-Khudeiri is back home with his family in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, but the 22-year-old activist, whose face and presence is well known in the city's demonstrations, is still bewildered by his arrest at the hands of Palestinian security forces last week. "The preventative security forces called my father's mobile phone last Saturday and informed him that he and I need to both be present for a 'friendly' 10-minute chat at their headquarters," al-Khudeiri told Al Jazeera. "They promised that my father and I would go home together."  Continue...


Soldiers assist in carrying prefabricated temporary homes in Evyatar. [Haaretz, 11 June, 2021]

« IDF troops helped build an illegal West Bank outpost now slated for demolition »

Military says soldiers guarding Evyatar 'strayed from their orders' and will be investigated; troops filmed helping set up prefabricated housing.

TOI Staff (The Times of Israel, June 12, 2021):

Israeli soldiers helped settlers construct buildings in an illegal West Bank outpost that the Defense Ministry has ordered raised, the Haaretz newspaper reported Friday, publishing pictures of the troops
The outpost has been the scene of frequent Palestinian protests and a 15-year old Palestinian was shot and killed during clashes with soldiers earlier Friday, the Palestinian health ministry said. The ministry identified the slain youth as Mohammad Hamayel, 15, adding that six protesters were wounded during the village just outside the village of Beita, near the Evyatar outpost. 
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Prisoners :


An Israeli military court judge approved a new four-month administrative detention order against 17-year-old Amal Nakhleh on May 20. (Photo courtesy of the Nakhleh family)

« Israeli military court renews Palestinian teen's administrative detention »

Defense for Children International - Palestine (June 3, 2021)

An Israeli military court judge at Israel's Ofer military court, located near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, approved a new four-month administrative detention order against 17-year-old Amal Nakhleh on May 20, 2021, according to information collected by Defense for Children International - Palestine. Previously, Amal was imprisoned without charge pursuant to a six-month administrative detention order issued by Israeli authorities on January 25. That order was later reduced by two months on appeal and expired on May 20.  Amal has been detained at Israel's Megiddo prison, located inside Israel, north of the occupied West Bank since the initial administrative detention order was issued. 
Amal suffers from myasthenia gravis, a rare chronic autoimmune, neuromuscular disease that causes muscle weakness, including in the muscles used for breathing and swallowing. His treatment requires ongoing medical treatment and that he takes medication regularly and without interruption.
 Continue...


Screenshot uit de door Haaretz naar buiten gebrachte video.

« Schokkende beelden van mishandeling Palestijnse gevangenen in Israëlische gevangenis »

Tientallen gevangenen worden geboeid over de grond gesleurd, op een hoop gegooid en afgeranseld. De zaak verdween in de doofpot, en dat is geen uitzondering.

The Rights Forum (11 juni, 2021):

De beelden dateren uit 2019 en zijn naar buiten gebracht door de Israëlische krant Haaretz in zijn Hebreeuwse editie. Ze tonen de mishandeling van een kleine zestig Palestijnse gevangenen door zo'n vijftien gevangenisbewaarders in de C-vleugel van de Ketziot-gevangenis in de Negev/Naqab in Israël. De gevangenen worden geboeid over de betonnen vloer gesleept, boven op elkaar gegooid, geschopt en met wapenstokken geslagen. Vijftien gevangenen raakten zodanig gewond dat ze in het ziekenhuis belandden. De beelden roepen herinneringen op aan de mishandeling van Iraakse gevangenen door Amerikaanse militairen en CIA-medewerkers in de Abu Ghraib-gevangenis bij Bagdad in 2004. Continue...

Refugees :


Crédit photo : Inès Gil.

« Au Liban, la cause palestinienne est ravivée, mais les réfugiés sont toujours marginalisés »

Inès Gil (Les clés du Moyen-Orient, 3 juin, 2021):

Alors que les violences ont embrasé le Proche-Orient tout au long du mois de mai, une vague de soutien à la cause palestinienne a traversé le Liban. Mais malgré cet élan de solidarité, les réfugiés palestiniens sont toujours marginalisés dans le pays. Depuis la fin de la guerre civile, leurs relations aux autorités libanaises se sont améliorées, mais leur situation socio-économique reste critique. Continue...