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.
By James J. Zogby for Lobe Log – One thousand five hundred Palestinian prisoners have been on a hunger strike for almost a week now. They are refusing sustenance in an effort to improve the deplorable conditions faced by the nearly 6,500 Palestinians who are currently imprisoned in Israel. On the day before the strike began, the action’s leader, Marwan Barghouti, published an op-ed in the International New York Times. It was an elegantly written piece in which Barghouti laid out the conditions in Israel’s prisons and the demands of the strikers. These demands include: more regular family visits, better health care, an end to solitary confinement, and end to administrative detention (a practice in which Israel jails Palestinians for prolonged periods without charges or trial—there are currently 500 such detainees), and installing public telephones enabling prisoners to have monitored calls with their families. Barghouti began his article noting that he has been in prison for 15 years during which time “I have been both a witness to and a victim of Israel’s illegal system of mass arrests and the ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners.”
By Budour Youssef Hassan for The Electronic Intifada – We will hear several accounts of what happened in the Ramallah area on 6 March 2017, when Bassel al-Araj was killed in an Israeli military raid. How long did the confrontation between Bassel and the Israeli soldiers last? Was the video published by Israel purporting to show the incident authentic? Did Bassel manage to injure any of the soldiers? We may never know. But one thing we can be sure of is that Bassel never surrendered. “The biggest insult against a martyr would be to say that he was obedient, submissive and polite in the face of his killer,” Bassel once said.
By Staff of Tele Sur – The U.K.’s often-criticized counter-terrorism strategy, Prevent, has advised universities and colleges to counter extremism by stifling anti-war and Palestine solidarity activism. British university staff have been advised to watch out for students that may harbor “extremist views” such as vocal support for Palestine, opposition to Israeli settlements in Gaza, criticism of wars in the Middle East and opposition to Prevent, according to the training materials provided. One campus has already felt the policy’s censoring effect. The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) on Tuesday canceled an event organized by a Friends of Palestine society group, citing that it would be anti-Semitic and “unbalanced.” “We believe the proposed talk contravenes the new definition (of anti-Semitism) and furthermore breaches university protocols for such events…
By Ali Abunimah for Electronic Antifada – US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a joint press conference at the White House on Wednesday morning, before going into their much-anticipated bilateral meeting. Asked about whether the US was still wedded to a two-state solution, Trump broke with longstanding orthodoxy. “I am looking at two states or one state, and I like the one that both parties like,” the president said. On settlements, Trump reaffirmed to Netanyahu, “I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit.” Advocates of a two-state solution, including the previous US administration and European governments, see it as the only way to rescue Israel as a racist state that ensures its Jewish demographic majority through a battery of racist laws – a situation they refer to as “peace.”
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.