Israel Violating International Law With Arrests Of Children

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By Staff of Addameer – Currently, an estimated 75 Palestinian children from East Jerusalem are being held in Israeli prisons and detention centers. Based on Addameer’s monitoring of 9 recent and current cases of Palestinian children from Jerusalem from the onset of 2017 who were arrested and, as well as exhaustive Addameer statistics and data from several years of monitoring and legal representation in Jerusalem, this factsheet will explore the effects of arrest and house arrest on a child’s education and development. The factsheet relies on information obtained through visit questionnaires, field visits, and court protocols. The trends and data are based on 2015-2016 affidavits taken from Palestinian children from Jerusalem who experienced arrest by Israeli forces and were taken to Beit Alyaho Police Center, Oz police center, Salah Al-Din police station, and Qishleh police center, as well as Al-Moscobiyeh. Interrogation within these centers focused on confessions obtained through coercive methods, including physical violence, in the absence of their parents and attorneys.

Israel Makes Request To U.S. To Dismantle Life Support System For 5 Million Palestinians

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By Jonathan Cook for AlterNet – Israeli and US officials are in the process of jointly pre-empting Donald Trump’s supposed “ultimate deal” to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They hope to demote the Palestinian issue to a footnote in international diplomacy. The conspiracy – a real one – was much in evidence last week during a visit to the region by Nikki Haley, Washington’s envoy to the United Nations. Her escort was Danny Danon, her Israeli counterpart and a fervent opponent of Palestinian statehood. Danon makes Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu look moderate. He has backed Israel annexing the West Bank and ruling over Palestinians apatheid-style. Haley appears unperturbed. During a meeting with Netanyahu, she told him that the UN was “a bully to Israel”. She has warned the powerful Security Council to focus on Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hizbollah, instead of Israel. To protect its tiny ally, Washington is threatening to cut billions in US funding to the world body, plunging it into crisis and jeopardising peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.

Students Urge End To US-Israel Police Exchanges

Students gather on campus at California State University, Long Beach in support of a divestment resolution. (Facebook)

By Nora Barrows-Friedman for EI – The student government of California State University, Long Beach passed a resolution earlier this month calling on the administration to pull its investments in companies profiting from Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights. The vote comes in spite of strong pressure on student senators by the university’s president to reject the resolution. Meanwhile, students in Wisconsin also passed a resolution standing up to the US-based weapons and policing industries that profit from Israel’s human rights violations. In the weeks leading up to the successful vote at Cal State Long Beach, Jane Conoley, the university’s president, echoed Israel lobby claims that the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement is to blame for an increase in anti-Semitism. In a letter addressed to the student senators in late April, Conoley claimed that the passage of divestment resolutions “has often been accompanied by increases in anti-Jewish graffiti.” Her letter repeats a common false and anti-Semitic trope used by Israel lobby organizations to stifle debate: that Jews – conflated as a monolith with the state of Israel – are being singled out by Palestinian rights campaigners for special scrutiny.

Israel: Conscientious Objector Imprisoned Again

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Anti-fascist protestors and others storm the streets north of City Hall.

By Atalya Ben-Abba for War Resisters League. Hello, I am Atalya Ben-Abba, 19 years old, Jerusalemite. On Feb. 6, 2017 I will declare conscientious objection to serve in the Israeli army, and will be sent to military prison for an unknown amount of time. I’m going with full knowledge and intention to take upon myself the consequences of this act, because I believe that in order to bring safety to all of the people living here we need to change entirely government policy and end the occupation. I grew up in Musrara neighborhood in Jerusalem. When I was little my mom and I would often walk around the Old City, which is close to our home. I enjoyed these tours, everything was so different and exciting, different sweets, dishes and a different language. And then, when I was about six years old the janitor of my school was killed in a terrorist attack. Then I understood we live in war, and that all of us – Jews and Arabs – live in fear.

Israel Treats Prisoners Worse Than Apartheid, Says Robben Island Veteran

Palestinians dress up in Israeli prison uniforms, during a 19 May protest in the occupied West Bank town of Tubas, in support of some 1,300 Palestinians who have been on hunger strike in Israeli jails since 17 April.    Ayman Ameen APA images

By Adri Nieuwh of for Electronic Antifada – On 15 May, many South Africans fasted in solidarity with more than 1,300 Palestinian prisoners who have been on hunger strike in Israeli prisons to demand their basic rights. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, more than a dozen members of the government, trade union leaders, icons of the liberation struggle, celebrities and others joined the one-day fast, sending a powerful message of support to imprisoned Palestinians. During apartheid, South African political prisoners also used hunger strikes to protest their inhumane conditions. The prisoners on Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada and other leaders were held, were forced to work in a lime quarry in all weather with unsuitable clothing, insufficient food and violent prison guards. Mandela and his fellow prisoners launched a protest hunger strike in 1966. Their prison commander felt compelled to address the grievances after only a week, former Robben Island prisoner Sunny Singh recalls. But now, even as the Palestinian mass hunger strike approaches 40 days, many prisoners have been hospitalized, and yet Israeli prison authorities are refusing to negotiate. Instead, Israel has reacted with punitive brutality, including placing leaders in solitary confinement.

Palestinians End Mass Hunger Strike In Israel jails

The leader of hundreds of Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli jails, Marwan Barghouti, who has received his first Red Cross visit since the strike began, flashes the victory sign after a court hearing in 2003
The leader of hundreds of Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli jails, Marwan Barghouti, who has received his first Red Cross visit since the strike began, flashes the victory sign after a court hearing in 2003 (AFP Photo/TAL COHEN)

By Hossam Ezzedine for AFP. Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails on hunger strike since April 17 have ended their mass protest after Israel agreed a deal following weeks of refusing to negotiate, sources on both sides said on Saturday. Some 30 of the more than 800 hunger strikers had been hospitalised in recent days, raising fears of an escalation of clashes with Israeli security forces in the occupied West Bank. Palestinians hailed the deal as a victory for the hunger strikers after Israeli authorities repeatedly vowed not to negotiate with convicted “terrorists”. Palestinian Authority prisoners’ affair chief Issa Qaraqe said it had come after some 20 hours of talks between Israeli officials and strike leader Marwan Barghouti, a figure revered among Palestinians but reviled by many Israelis. An Israel Prisons Service spokeswoman confirmed the hunger strike was over but said the deal had been reached not with prisoners’ representatives but with the Palestinian Authority and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The Government Smearing Of Israel’s Critics

Members of Congress rush to greet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he leaves the House chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, after lobbying Congress to kill a peace plan with Iran at all costs. (AP Photo)

By Lawrence Davidson for Mint Press News – “Back in the day,” which in this case was Feb. 8, 2007, the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism adopted a “working definition” of anti-Semitism which included the following point: It is anti-Semitic to “deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination (e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor).” This “working definition” has proved to have staying power. Thus, the U.S. Congress has used the State Department document in devising its Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016, and in December of 2016, the British government adopted an almost identical “working definition,” which listed the same alleged act of denial – the one that links the Jewish people’s “right of self-determination” with the “claim that the existence of Israel is a racist endeavor” as an example of “contemporary anti-Semitism.”The whole definition, including the quoted sentence, was not original with the State Department. It was originally “written collaboratively by a small group of non-governmental organizations” which remained unnamed.

All Of Palestine Is On Strike

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By Mazin Qumsiyeh. Today all of Palestine is on strike in solidarity with the fasting prisoners and tomorrow is a day of indignation, demonstrations, and confrontations with the occupiers. Bethlehem is a ghost town and all shops and public transportation are closed and Israeli helicopters are in the skies. Today, Palestinians and their friends around the world show solidarity with over 1800 Palestinian political prisoners who are on their 11th day of hunger strike. Salt and water is all they will take until their just and rightful demands are met (basic decent treatment in prison based on international law). It sounds simple but this is a profound even in Palestinian and human history. The price one pays for resistance is injury, death or imprisonment.

Why We Are On Hunger Strike In Israel’s Prisons

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By Marwan Barghouti for The New York Times – HADARIM PRISON, Israel — Having spent the last 15 years in an Israeli prison, I have been both a witness to and a victim of Israel’s illegal system of mass arbitrary arrests and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners. After exhausting all other options, I decided there was no choice but to resist these abuses by going on a hunger strike. Some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners have decided to take part in this hunger strike, which begins today, the day we observe here as Prisoners’ Day. Hunger striking is the most peaceful form of resistance available. It inflicts pain solely on those who participate and on their loved ones, in the hopes that their empty stomachs and their sacrifice will help the message resonate beyond the confines of their dark cells. Decades of experience have proved that Israel’s inhumane system of colonial and military occupation aims to break the spirit of prisoners and the nation to which they belong, by inflicting suffering on their bodies, separating them from their families and communities, using humiliating measures to compel subjugation. In spite of such treatment, we will not surrender to it.

How Black Lives Don’t Matter In Israel

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By Abby Martin for The Empire Files. While the Israeli state espouses multiculturalism and diversity, it oppresses not just the Palestinian population, but also any Black person within its borders. From warehousing African asylum seekers in giant prison camps, to criminalizing and carrying out eugenics programs against its Ethiopian Jewish citizens, Israel’s treatment of Black people reveals that the Zionist project is not just about Jewish supremacy, but also white supremacy. In this on-the-ground investigation, Abby Martin talks to Osman Ali, a refugee from Darfur, at Holot prison camp about the treatment of refugees by the government, and Tehune Maharat, an Ethiopian Jewish activist whose cousin was killed in an apparent hate crime by Israeli police, about the rampant and institutional racism in the country.

Hundreds Of Jews And Arabs March In Jerusalem Against Israeli Occupation

Over a thousand Jews and Arabs march in Jerusalem to protest Israeli occupation, April 1, 2017. Olivier Fitoussi

By Nir Hasson for Haaretz – Earlier Saturday, a Palestinian was shot dead after wounding two civilians and a border policeman with a knife in Jerusalem’s Old City. One of the organizers, Itamar Avneri, said the incident “was a painful reminder of the price of the occupation. We convey wishes of swift recovery to the wounded, and hope we don’t see any more such incidents or fear on the city’s streets. This has to end.” The march began at Gan Hasus in the city’s center and concluded in the Old City with a rally near Jaffa Gate. Knesset Member Zehava Galon, the chairwoman of the Meretz party, addressed the rally, saying: “We can’t keep the conflict with the Palestinians on the back burner, when the flame is on top of a barrel bomb. The stabbing attack in the Old City exposes the illusion that it’s possible to deprive an entire people of rights and sovereignty without the desperation turning into horrible hatred and violence.”

The Crimes Of Israeli Apartheid

Pro-Palestinian Activists Protest NY Senators' Support Of Israel

By Vijay Prashad for Black Agenda Report – In 2015, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) was charged by its member-states — the eighteen Arab states in West Asia and North Africa — to study whether Israel has established an apartheid regime. ESCWA asked two American academics — Richard Falk and Virginia Tilley — to undertake the study. Falk had been the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories from 2008 through 2014. Tilley had served as a Chief Research Specialist in South Africa’s Human Sciences Research Council, which had produced a study in 2009 showing apartheid-like conditions in Israel and the Palestinian Occupied Territory.

Head Of UN Agency Resigns After Refusing To Retract Report Calling Israel An ‘Apartheid Regime’

Rima Khalaf, former head of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. (Photo: ESCWA)

By Allison Deger of Mondoweiss – Rima Khalaf, the head of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). resigned today after she was asked to withdraw a report her agency published earlier this week that stated Israel is an “apartheid regime.” “The secretary-general demanded yesterday that I withdraw the report, and I refused,”Khalaf told reporters at a press conference in Beirut today, according to the Middle East Eye. “It was expected that Israel and its allies would put enormous pressure on the United Nations secretary general to renounce the report,” she also said, according to Reuters. Then Khalaf stated that the United Nations “had scrubbed the report from its website.”

Why I Got Arrested At David Friedman’s Confirmation Hearing

An Israeli Defense Forces soldier at Masada in February 2015. (Israel Defense Forces / Evan Lang & Adi James Brown / Flickr)

By Lila Weintraub for Truthout – On the morning of David Friedman’s Senate hearing for the US ambassadorship to Israel, I stood with five Muslim and Jewish partners, faced the ranking members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and demanded the attention of an audience packed with white male decision-makers and press, along with elite members of the American Jewish community. In the 20 seconds I had before being escorted out and arrested, it seemed that for the first time in my life, my young, female, proudly Jewish voice would be heard by so-called American Jewish leaders. In loud and unambiguous terms, I explained to the room that Friedman’s potential ambassadorship is devastating on two levels: for Palestinians and for the American Jewish community itself.

Israel Interferes In US Politics And It’s Never A Scandal

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By Philip Weiss for Mondoweiss – I completely believe that Donald Trump was in bed with the Russians before the election and the campaign may well have intrigued with Vladimir Putin with respect to Wikileaks and that helped defeat Hillary Clinton. I believe that because that’s how the world works; because a lot of very smart people in the liberal establishment believe it; and because the New York Times and Washington Post are documenting some of it, with the fervor of Watergate. Maybe it will bring the liar in chief down some day and end this short national nightmare. I certainly hope so. But there are two large exceptions to the Russian conspiracy. The first is that it is good policy for the United States to be talking to Russia. If Clinton were president today, there might be dogfights over Damascus.