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.
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.
In his anticipated speech at the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is expected to, once more, make a passionate plea for the recognition of Palestine as a full member. Abbas’ ‘landmark speech’ would not be the first time that the President of the Palestinian Authority has lobbied for such a status. In September 2011, the PA’s quest for full recognition was stymied by the Barack Obama Administration, forcing Palestinians to opt for the next best option, a ‘symbolic’ victory at the General Assembly the following year. In November 2012, UNGA Resolution 67/19 granted the State of Palestine a non-member observer status. In some ways, the Resolution proved to be, indeed, symbolic, as it altered nothing on the ground. To the contrary, the Israeli occupation has worsened since then, a convoluted system of apartheid deepened and, in the absence of any political horizon, Israel’s illegal Jewish settlements expanded like never before.
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.
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.
In this episode of The Watchdog, former Google employee Ariel Koren joins Lowkey and articulates her experience at the big tech giant, claiming it has gradually developed an institutionalised pro-Israeli bias. She also reveals ways in which employees attempting to hold the company accountable for unethical contracts, such as that of Project Nimbus, are being targeted and intentionally silenced. Google, alongside Amazon, has signed a contract worth $1.2 billion, titled “Project Nimbus”, which will provide a cloud system service for both the Israeli military and the Israeli government. Disturbingly, the project was announced May in 2021, the same month Israel killed at least 260 Palestinians in Gaza. Adding insult to injury, it was during this period that Amnesty International found Israel guilty of practising Apartheid against the Palestinian people.
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”.
Los Angeles, California - Google employees have protested their company’s $1.2 billion contract with the Israeli government and military called Project Nimbus, which aims to silence and profile pro-Palestine voices in the high-tech company and around the world. “Google’s Project Nimbus will be an ugly moment in Google’s history and shameful and embarrassing engagement,” said one employee who preferred to remain anonymous in fear of retaliation. “I have found Google’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program to be a whitewash, it’s more of a tool for censorship and control than for truly supporting employees,” said another.
Beit Hanina, Occupied Jerusalem – The United States House of Representatives submission to Israel and Zionism is both pathetic and enraging. This total submission to the will and interests of the Zionist movement and the State of Israel does not serve the interests of the American people, and only goes to support a state that has been recognized as a racist, violent apartheid regime. As one Palestinian said to me recently, U.S. foreign aid for Israel goes towards my oppression and the killing of my people. Nowhere is Congress’ blind support for Israel more heinous, more horrifying and more outrageous than the lack of support for the bill proposed by Representative Betty McCollum and known as, “Defending The Human Rights Of Palestinian Children And Families Living Under Israeli Military Occupation Act”, or HR 2590.