As the Israeli State intensifies its violence against and displacement of Palestinians from their homes, international Palestinian solidarity organizations are making new plans to challenge the illegal Israeli occupation. Clearing the FOG speaks with retired Colonel Ann Wright who recently represented the US Boats to Gaza campaign at a meeting of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla Coalition in the United Kingdom. Ann Wright has participated in five trips to confront the blockade of Gaza and deliver desperately-needed supplies, including when Israeli Occupying Forces attacked the ships and killed ten civilians. Wright talks about the new plans for 2023, the dire conditions that Palestinians experience in Gaza and what people in the United States can do considering that the US provides financial support and political cover for Israel's atrocities.
The recent elections by the Israeli State will likely bring to power what author and activist Miko Peled calls "the most openly fascist government" in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Peled wrote about Netanyahu, a known war criminal who was re-elected as Prime Minister, in Mintpress News. In this interview on Clearing the FOG, Peled explains why the danger to Palestinians has never been greater and why international action to end the occupation is critical. He discusses the rise of the far right, the escalation of violent attacks on Palestinians, retaliation against Palestinian journalists and activists, including the dire case of Issa Amro, and how Palestinian resistance is changing.
London, England - In an unprecedented move, Palestine Action struck at the very heart of government to deface the “commemorative” statue of former Prime Minister Lord Arthur Balfour — the colonial administrator and signatory of the Balfour Declaration. Activists evaded security to gain access to the House of Commons Private Members Lobby in the Palace of Westminster in London. Once inside, the group doused the statue in fake blood & unveiled the Palestinian flag, before gluing themselves to the plinth to state their intentions: “Palestine Action won’t stop until British complicity does” said one activist. Security quickly evacuated the lower lobby to prevent onlookers watching, hearing or filming the event.
In episode 45 of The Watchdog podcast, Lowkey explores the issue of life inside Israeli prisons. Currently, 30 Palestinians are on hunger strike, protesting the Israeli government’s policy of indefinitely detaining their political enemies without trial or evidence. Last week, 900 further prisoners refused their meals as a sign of solidarity. “We will continue with our struggle, knowing what awaits us of repression, abuse, isolation, confiscation of our clothes and pictures of our children, thrown into concrete cells devoid of everything, except for our bodies and our pain,” the prisoners said in a statement. The most high profile of the hunger strikers is Salah Al-Hamouri, a French-Palestinian human rights defender. Detained without charge or trial for six months, Al-Hamouri has refused all food since September 25.
Located near the Mediterranean shore, the historic Ajami neighborhood in Jaffa has become a battleground between the Israel Lands Authority (ILA) and the area’s veteran Palestinian residents. About 1,400 families have been served eviction orders from Amidar, a public housing company which in the past has said it’s simply doing ILA’s bidding. Amidar did not respond to Mondoweiss’ requests for comment for this article. About 120,000 Palestinians lived in Jaffa before the establishment of the Israeli state in 1948. Yet prior to and during the state’s founding, Palestinians fled or were expelled by Zionist paramilitary forces from the port town in what is now known as the Nakba (or catastrophe in Arabic). Roughly 3,200 Palestinians remain in Jaffa today as a result.
Commanders of the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) have been authorized to use armed drones to kill Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, with the approval of Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi. Hamas called the order “a dangerous step” and urged Palestinians “to continue resisting the Israeli occupation with all means possible until they regain their legitimate rights.” The authorization to expand the use of killer drones coincides with “a significant rise in shooting attacks and massive gunfire during arrest raids, specifically in the northern West Bank cities of Jenin and Nablus,” according to The Jerusalem Post. On September 28, the IOF killed four Palestinians and injured dozens more during protests in Jenin. Since as early as 2008, the Israeli Air Force has been killing Palestinians in Gaza with drones.
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.
On Sunday, September 25, 30 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails started an indefinite hunger strike to protest the Israeli policy of administrative detention without charge or trial. The strike demanding an end to this policy has been organized under the slogan: “Our decision is freedom..our strike is freedom.” The prisoners issued a joint statement before the formal commencement of their strike which was read outside the Israeli Ofer prison by their family members along with members of Addameer and other prisoner solidarity groups. Some of the leading figures participating in the hunger strike are Nidal Abu Aker, Ghassan Zawahreh, and the French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hammouri.
Between the two historic Palestinian port towns of Haifa and Akka – both occupied since 1948 – there exists a lovely bay called the Bay of Haifa. The cities were subjected to a heavy ethnic cleansing campaign, and now they consist of a majority Jewish Israeli population. Several Zionist colonies were established across the Bay of Haifa over the years, and even though this is prime beachfront real estate, housing was constructed largely for new, poor immigrants. One of the colonies built on Haifa Bay is the city of Kiryat Yam. It sits right on the Mediterranean coast, but the area is considered less favorable because it is still largely an immigrant community and suffers from a high rate of crime. Every morning, retired Russian immigrants who live in Kiryat Yam go walking, swimming in the sea, or just sit around and look at the beautiful scenery.
There have been several versions of the Two State idea. The one that came closest to being implemented is known as UN Resolution 194, or the Partition of Palestine. It almost became a reality in that the United Nations voted on it, and accepted it on November 29, 1947. But then, even before the ink was dry on the paper, the Zionist forces embarked on a sweeping campaign of ethnic cleansing to rid the country of its people and to take over as much land as possible. During this campaign, close to one million Palestinians were forced out of Palestine, countless civilians were massacred and hundreds of towns and villages were destroyed. The Zionists took the cities and made them theirs. They took the crops in the fields and the fruit in the orchards, they stole the money from the banks, untold millions worth of vehicles and agriculture equipment, and made it all theirs.
On May 13, two days after the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli Occupation Forces, as her loss still dominated international news cycles, thousands of Palestinian mourners gathered to pay tribute to the woman who had given them voice for so long. They came to lay her body to rest. Immediately, as the funeral procession was just starting, images emerged of Israeli forces attacking the pallbearers as they attempted to carry her coffin across the courtyard from the French hospital in East Jerusalem.
Conversations with Palestinians both young and old almost always end with them saying to me, “you [a Jewish Israeli] can say these things, but if we were to say them we would be excluded from all spaces and we would be called anti-semitic.” A young Palestinian interning in Washington, D.C. told me she felt that she needed an Israeli beside her to give her legitimacy. Not in her own eyes, but in the eyes of the D.C. establishment. Sadly, she is probably correct; in the anti-Arab, and particularly anti-Palestinian atmosphere in Washington, this is very likely true.
Much of the world was horrified in early May when Shireen Abu Akleh, a renowned Al Jazeera reporter, was shot in the head by Israeli troops while on assignment in Jenin in the Occupied West Bank. Not long before, the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) President Liz Shuler had been photographed with Labor Party Chair Merav Michaeli, a strong supporter of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, along with Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). None of the three raised any outcry subsequently after Akleh was killed. Shuler moreover sent a letter to the San Francisco Labor Council stating that its delegates could not discuss a boycott of Israel. The AFL-CIO’s current support for Israel fits a long historical pattern.
Lyd, Occupied Palestine – It is becoming increasingly difficult for Israel and the agencies that promote Zionism around the world to portray Zionism in rosy colors. This is primarily because there is a history of close to 100 years of Zionism; and the actions of the Zionist State, Israel, have a history of seven and a half decades of violence and racism. To add to that, in February, Amnesty International came out with a damning report demonstrating in no uncertain terms that Israel is engaged in the crime of apartheid and has been since the day it was established. The Amnesty report is fewer than 300 pages long and can, and indeed must, be read by everyone. It is detailed, well-written and can provide the tools and information needed when confronting Israel and its allies in the various spheres in which they operate...
Jerusalem – It is sometimes easier to see things from a distance, especially when talking about Palestine, where tragedies follow each other with unbelievable speed. There is no time to recover from one tragedy before two or three more occur, all initiated by Israel with its all-powerful military and then justified or buried by various branches of Zionist groups around the world. The Dance of Flags, sometimes called the Flags March, takes place in Jerusalem each year around the beginning of June. In 2022 it was preceded by the targeted killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and the assault on her funeral procession, followed by the killing of several more young Palestinians. The decision to carry out the ethnic cleansing of Masafer Yatta in the South Hebron Hills took place around the same time, yet not a moment of thought is given to the fact that there is a war going on.