Since a ruling of the Israeli Supreme Court on May 4, the Israeli military has been actively training in Masafer Yatta, in the middle of eight villages and hamlets where more than 1,100 Palestinians are living. More than half of the residents are children. Masafer Yatta covers more than 210 square miles, an area about the size of the Gaza Strip. It is located 16 miles south of Hebron down to the 1949 Armistice Line and consists of a collection of 33 villages and hamlets that go back to 6,500 years, with around 3,000 Palestinians living there as shepherds and farmers. The region has been under the risk of forcible expulsion since 1948. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Israeli occupation authorities bombed Masafer Yatta villages and expelled some of the resident families.
This morning, two vans made a morning delivery from Palestine Action to the the gates of the UAV Engines drones factory in Shenstone. One van has crashed into the gate, while the second is blocking it and obstructing entry to the Israeli drone engine factory. Two activists were arrested in the process, while the remaining activists swiftly locked-on to the vans, preventing the vans’ removal and bringing the site to a standstill. The UAV Engines factory is operated by Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest arms company, as one of the firm’s eight remaining British locations. Police and Elbit Systems’ hired security have acted swiftly, erecting checkpoints around the town of Shenstone and temporarily closing the road leading to the factory.
Many children in the United States will never meet a Palestinian in person, and if they do, they may need to overcome the negative images and stereotypes that pervade popular culture: terrorist, religious extremist, misogynist, etc. For this reason, books are a critical if underused opportunity for kids to learn about the people of Palestine. Palestinians are important because they are human beings, and also because they play a central role in US foreign policy in the Middle East, and are a major focus of US financial and military resources. If US kids are to grow up to be responsible global citizens, they must understand Palestinian experiences and perspectives, among others. Are US kids getting good insight about Palestinians from books? My ongoing research project examining kids’ books involving Palestine has already yielded some interesting findings: Even the youngest children are subjected to narratives that erase Palestinians.
Israel wants the world to believe that it is a majority Jewish state with a 20% Arab minority and that the Arab population enjoys a good standard of living and full equal rights. And while this is easy to disprove, it is still part of the mainstream discourse on Israel. It is true that at around two million people, the Palestinian citizens of Israel represent about twenty-one percent of Israeli citizens. However, Israel counts its Jewish citizens regardless of where they reside throughout the country – including the West Bank and East Jerusalem – and all Jewish Israelis are citizens. In contrast, Palestinians are only counted as citizens in certain parts of the country so that the government can present the numbers in a way that looks good.
The Israel Files: Wikileaks Docs Show Top Hollywood Producers Working with Israel To Defend Its War Crimes
As Israel was launching a deadly assault on Gaza, killing thousands of civilians and displacing more than 100,000 people, many of America’s top TV, music and film producers were organizing to protect the apartheid state’s reputation from widespread international condemnation. Together, the Sony Archive – a cache of emails published by Wikileaks – prove that influential entertainment magnates attempted to whitewash Israeli crimes and present the situation as defending itself from an impending “genocide”, liaised with Israeli military and government officials in order to coordinate their message, attempted to cancel those who spoke out against the injustice, and put financial and social pressure on institutions who hosted artists criticizing the apartheid government’s actions.
Lee Camp highlights the brave Israelis who refuse to sign up for the Israeli Occupation Forces as a protest against their government’s genocidal policies. Military service is mandatory in Israel so the young people who refuse to take part in the military occupation of Palestinian land face months of jail time. The risk they take is a small but important part of a global movement standing for the rights of the Palestinian people.
Just forty days after Russia’s military campaign began inside Ukraine, Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelensky told reporters that in the future, his country would be like “a big Israel.” The following day, one of Israel’s top promoters in the Democratic Party published an op-ed in NATO’s official think tank exploring how that could be executed. Zelensky made his prediction while speaking to reporters on April 5, rejecting the idea that Kiev would remain neutral in future conflicts between NATO, the European Union, and Russia. According to Zelensky, his country would never be like Switzerland (which coincidentally abandoned its Napoleon-era tradition of nonalignment by sanctioning Russia in response to its February invasion). “We cannot talk about ‘Switzerland of the future,’” the president informed reporters. “But we will definitely become a ‘big Israel’ with its own face.”
Families of Palestinian students at Al Iman schools in occupied Jerusalem organised a protest on Sunday against Israel's imposition of its curriculum on Palestinian schools. The families said during the protest that the Israeli occupation distorts Palestinian textbooks. "It erases the Palestinian identity from the Palestinian curriculum," the families said. At the same time, they raised placards during the protest which was organised in front of Israeli municipality of Beit Hanina, reading: "We reject Israeli textbooks." On 28 July, Israeli Minister of Education Yifat Shasha-Biton revoked the permanent operating licenses of the six Al Iman schools in East Jerusalem under the pretext that their curricula contain "dangerous incitement" against the Israeli government and army.
Western support for the Ukrainian war effort will have long-lasting consequences for U.S. foreign policy in the world. The impact will most certainly be felt in the Middle East region and especially in Israel. But the U.S. and NATO’s generous economic and military aid for Ukraine’s war effort must be making Israel nervous. Unlike Gulf regimes, which merely buy Western protection, Israel is dependent on U.S. military largesse for its salvation. Ukraine is today the ultimate Western cause: never has any state received such military aid from the West and no state has so galvanized Western public opinion. (Notice Western media’s disregard for the opinion of the people and governments of Africa, Asia and Latin America, who do not support the sanctions against Russia. Only Westerners’ opinions seem to count).
Yesterday, 14 activists were unlawfully arrested after manning the Palestine Action Camp for the past two weeks. The activists were arrested under the pretext of “conspiracy to commit criminal damage”, despite no evidence given for these claims. It would appear the arrests were part of an attempt to remove activists, ahead of an event outside the factory that called for mass mobilisation. During the raid, devices were seized, equipment damaged deliberately and packed up by police, who then cordoned the whole camp off, marking it a “crime scene”. Those arrested were released in the early hours of today. Although no crime was committed, bail conditions were given that have left activists unable to attend Elbit sites, unable to be in Shenstone, and told they cannot “directly or indirectly encourage any individuals, groups or organisations to cause any damage to property owned, leased, rented and/or occupied by Elbit Systems, its subsidiaries and/or venture partners”.
Tech workers held actions in multiple cities Sept. 8, demanding Big Tech drop its Project Nimbus contract with the apartheid police state of Israel. Project Nimbus is a $1.2 billion-dollar contract Amazon and Google have with the Israeli government and military for “cloud computing” that aids in surveillance and persecution of the Palestinian people through artificial intelligence. Actions were held in Seattle, New York City, San Francisco and Durham, North Carolina. In Seattle, activists spoke about reasons why workers will not support the Zionist project and oppose the cooperation of Israeli forces with the Seattle Police Department. The Palestinian people face untold horrors of oppression by the Israeli government.
Google employees in Durham protested outside of their office Thursday afternoon, calling on Google and Amazon to stop working with the Israeli government and military. The protest, which included around 40 employees, was part of the national #NoTechforApartheid campaign, a movement based around a $1.22 billion project contract that Google and Amazon signed with the Israeli government in May 2021. Known as “Nimbus," the project intends to provide cloud support for Israel’s military and government. Google and Amazon signed the deal while Israel was conducting airstrikes in civilian areas of the Gaza Strip and forcibly evicting several Palestinian families from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
On October 10th, eight Palestine Action activists (including cofounders Huda Ammori and Richard Barnard) dubbed the ‘#ElbitEight’ will be facing trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court. The trial is expected to last five weeks and includes charges of burglary, criminal damage and blackmail, pertaining to actions spanning the first six months of Palestine Action. In this timeframe the accused activists helped to spark Palestine Action, the direct action network that has successfully shut down both a factory and headquarters belonging to Israel’s largest arms company, Elbit Systems. Palestine Action have dubbed it their “biggest legal battle to #ShutElbitDown to date, offering up the chance to expose Elbit in the courts and prove that #ElbitIsGuilty”.
Janine Jackson: The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights stated that Israel’s designation of a number of Palestinian rights organizations as “terrorist” raised concerns that the designations were being used to “halt, restrict or criminalize legitimate human rights and humanitarian work.” Ten European countries and, not for nothing, the CIA agreed that Israel has not presented sufficient evidence for that terrorist labeling—or the subsequent raids conducted, computers stolen, files taken, entryways taped up. The groups’ legal appeals were dismissed with no opportunity to defend against the “secret evidence” against them. The Biden administration says it’s “concerned,” and that “civil society organizations must be able to continue their important work.” And that’s where it ends, evidently: hearts and prayers.
On Wednesday, August 31, I interrupted a major funding announcement at McGill to ask the head of the university about her suppression of Palestine solidarity. As she spoke from the Faculty Club’s stage I asked Principal Suzanne Fortier, “Do McGill students have the right to oppose the killing of Palestinian children? Do they have the right to oppose Israeli colonialism and apartheid?” McGill’s principal failed to respond. I then stated that her administration’s threat to cancel the student union’s funding after students voted overwhelmingly for a “Palestine Solidarity Policy” was “anti-democratic and anti-Palestinian”. I added it was “shameful” and made her “complicit in Israeli colonialism and violence”.