By Eli Safran and Ibrahim Bushnak. Ramallah, West Bank, Palestine – Robi Damelin, an Israeli bereaved mother whose son – an IDF officer – was killed by a Palestinian sniper during the Second Intifada, gave to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) a watch bearing the flags of Israel and Palestine, and the word “Peace” in Hebrew, Arabic and English. That was at the climax of a meeting which President Abbas held with more than a hundred Israeli activists who came to the Presidential Compound in Ramallah. Robi Damelin and the other Israeli activists expressed appreciation for what Abbas said to them: “I do not believe in violence and terror. Despite all the difficulties that we face under occupation, we will not turn to other, improper means. We oppose such means and struggle against them. We are against violence and terror, anywhere in the world.”
By Uri Savir for Al Monitor – Sensing the despair in Palestinian public opinion, pragmatic officials in the PLO are contemplating a new interim policy move for 2017 to prevent an armed intifada and to keep alive the national Palestinian positions on permanent status. The idea is to launch a Palestinian initiative for a three-year interim agreement that would lead to permanent status. Summaryâ Print Pragmatic Fatah members are developing a proposal for a new interim agreement, which would establish a transitional state until negotiations on a permanent status solution are launched.
By Jerry Haber for The Magnes Zionist – The following post was written in May 2012. The one-state/two-state debate was “weary, stale, and unprofitable” then, and it is even more so now, with the incoming Republican administration. We are, and have been, for some time in a one-state reality. Israel has ruled for three generations over people without their consent and against their will, with a different system of law. Israel today is a democracy in the sense that America was a democracy before African Americans and Native Americans were made citizens and given the vote — in short, it is at best a nineteenth-century democracy.
By Staff for Ma’an News Agency. Israeli forces Friday suppressed Bethlehem’s “Santa Claus March,” shooting tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at participants, with many suffering from tear gas inhalation. The march, which includes participants dressing up as Santa Claus close to the Christian holiday of Christmas, was launched under the banner “Terrorism and occupation are two sides of the same coin,” and demanded the opening of Israeli checkpoints for Christian tourists to celebrate the holiday in the birthplace of Jesus Christ. A Ma’an reporter witnessed Israeli forces fire rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas into the crowd, which caused a number of participants to suffer tear gas inhalation. Five journalists were also injured, including the cameraman for the Jordanian al-Roya TV Muhammad Shoudha. Israeli forces reportedly fired tear gas canisters directly at his foot.
By Ralph Nader for The Nader Page – Dear President Obama: On November 28, 2016, Jimmy Carter, the President who negotiated the peace agreement between Israel and Egypt in 1978, wrote an op ed for the New York Times titled, “America Must Recognize Palestine.” His urgent plea was directed to you to take “the vital step…to grant American diplomatic recognition to the state of Palestine, as 137 countries have already done, and help it achieve full United Nations membership,” before you leave office on January 20, 2017. Mr. Carter referenced your reaffirmation in 2009 of the Camp David agreement between Israel and Egypt and United Nations Resolution 242 when you called “for a complete freeze on settlement expansion on Palestinian territory that is illegal under international law.”
By Ali Abunimah for EI – An Israeli soldier facing trial for the killing of an unarmed Palestinian teenager that was shown on TV screens around the world may now get away with a slap on the wrist. Israeli Border Police combatant Ben Dery is charged with manslaughter in the slaying of 17-year-old Nadim Nuwara on 15 May 2014 – Nakba Day, when Palestinians commemorate their 1948 ethnic cleansing from much of their homeland. But Israeli media are reporting that the manslaughter charge may now be dropped. Dery’s lawyer told the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz this week that prosecutors are discussing a plea bargain in which his client would admit only to “negligence”
By Vijay Prashad for AlterNet – In 2006, Hillary Clinton sat down with the editorial board of the Jewish Press. Asked about the elections in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Clinton said that she was unhappy with the result because Hamas came out as the winner. “I do not think we should have pushed for an election in the Palestinian territories,” she says in a tape recording released a few days ago. “I think that was a big mistake.” Clinton wanted Fatah, the more reliable partner, to win, not Hamas, whom the US considered a terrorist organization.
By Ilan Pappe for Information Clearing House – November 03, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – “Al Jazeera” – November is a painful month in the Palestinian calendar. It is dotted with commemorative days that have one theme in common: the partitioning of Palestine. Today is the 99th anniversary of the Balfour declaration. Although it did not offer partition, it sowed the seeds for it, which eventually allowed the Zionist movement to take over Palestine.
By Staff of Tele Sur – The new editor of one of the most storied magazines in the US is so far on the fringe that even other staunch Zionists criticize his overzealousness. “In five years, however, I believe that the coming invasion of Iraq will be remembered as an act of profound morality.” These are the not-so-prescient words of Jeffrey Goldberg, named this week the new chief editor of the 159-year-old Atlantic Magazine, one of the most famous journalistic institutions in U.S. history.
By Sheren Khalel for Mondoweiss – In March, 12-year-old Ramzi Abu Ajamia got word that Israeli forces were looking for him. Terrified of getting arrested, Ramzi stopped sleeping at home and going to school. He succeeded in dodging Israeli forces for five months before he was spotted at clashes during an Israeli night raid on Dheisha refugee camp, where the now 13-year-old was born and raised. It all happened within seconds, Ramzi recalled to Mondoweiss. Israeli forces spotted the boy on the streets around 1 a.m., and fired.
By Maureen Clare Murphy for The Electronic Antifada – The Obama administration just handed Israel the largest military aid deal in US history. Now it is feigning outrage that Israel keeps colonizing the occupied West Bank, as it has done for decades, in defiance of the White House’s wishes. “We strongly condemn the Israeli government’s recent decision to advance a plan that would create a significant new settlement deep in the West Bank,” State Department spokesperson Mark Toner saidon Wednesday.
By Budour Youssef Hassan for Electronic Intifada. Gaza – Mariam al-Hih received a distressing phone call from her son Omar last month. Omar was going on hunger strike to protest how Israel had locked him up without charge or trial. As many other parents have done in similar situations, Mariam pleaded with Omar not to proceed with his hunger strike. “I told him that it would kill me to see him suffer without being able to help him,” Mariam said. “But he had already made up his mind and I respected his choice. What else could I do?” Omar has been placed under administrative detention — imprisonment without charge or trial — twice this year. After spending six months in Israeli custody, he was released in August. He barely spent a month with his family before being arrested again on 15 September — under another six-month administrative detention order issued by a military court.
By Staff for CODE PINK. Ann Wright arrived safely back into the US this morning. She flew into JFK airport after being released from Israeli custody and was greeted by friends and taken to breakfast. Ann had set sail with the Women’s Boat to Gaza in an effort to break the Israeli naval blockade that holds the people of Gaza in an open air prison. The boat, Zaytouna-Oliva, was intercepted by the Israeli navy a few miles of the coast of Gaza where people were waiting on Gaza’s shores to greet Ann and the other women on board. The Israeli navy took the boat by force and rerouted it to the Israeli port of Ashdod where the crew, including Ann, were taken into Israeli custody. Ann Wright is a decorated former US diplomat and long-time CODEPINK activist. On board with her were three parliamentarians, an Olympic athlete, and Nobel Peace Laureate, Mairead Maguire. They were committed to nonviolence as much as they were committed to breaking the blockade.
By Sophia Hyatt for Aljazeera – Editors from two Palestinian news publications based in the occupied West Bank say their Facebook accounts were suspended last week and that no reason was provided, alleging their pages may have been censored because of a recent agreement between the US social media giant and the Israeli government aimed at tackling “incitement”. Last week, four editors from the Shehab News Agency, which has more than 6.3 million likes on Facebook, and three executives from the Quds News Network
By John K. Wilson for Academe Blog – Suspending a course in the middle of a semester is one of the most serious actions a university can take. On Sept. 13, Dean Carla Hesse of the University of California at Berkeley did exactly that to a student-taught DeCal class about Palestine. DeCal stands for Democratic Education at Cal, an old-fashioned tradition where undergraduate students teach 1 or 2 unit courses, pass/fail, to their peers. The instructors, called facilitators, plan their own courses, which must be approved by a faculty committee and the chair of a department.