Balfour At 100: A Legacy Of Racism And Propaganda


By Dan Freeman-Maloy for Mondoweiss. The coming months mark the centennial of Palestine’s forcible incorporation into the British Empire. In November 1917, British foreign secretary Lord Arthur Balfour declared his government’s support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”; in December, Jerusalem fell to British troops. One hundred years later, the effects of these events continue to reverberate. This should be a time of sombre reflection about international responsibility for the unfolding tragedy in Palestine. This responsibility should weigh heavily on the West.

US Withdrawal From UNESCO: Abandonment Of Principles

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By Anuradha Mittal for IPS – OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA, Oct 18 2017 (IPS) – A woman shopkeeper is standing on a plastic chair to avoid knee high swirling rainwater mixed with sewage. “I work with a women’s cooperative selling products made by Palestinian women in my shop. The sewage water has gone into the electric wires, so I have no electricity. Everything in the shop is destroyed. The metal door [that was] installed to protect the settlers prevents the water from flowing out into the main drain. . . . This means we suffer every time it rains. They [the settlers] want us to move from here. This is why they make our life hard,” she cries. The silent rain accompanies wails of those impacted. This is the Old City of Hebron – the largest city in the West Bank and the only city in the Occupied Palestinian Territory apart from Jerusalem, with illegal settlements inside the city. As the sewage water in the market rises, Palestinian shopkeepers and residents point out the holes in the gate to allow for water to go through. However, cement blocks and sand placed by the settlers have closed the water drainage. I am reminded of my time in Hebron, with last week’s announcement of US withdrawal from UNESCO, the Paris-based cultural, scientific, and educational organization of the United Nations, accusing it of “anti-Israel bias.”

Israel Condones Violence When Israelis Call For It


By Whitney Webb for Mint Press News – Massive rallies and Facebook campaigns calling for Palestinian genocide are ignored by Western mainstream media and Facebook despite concerns and collaborations aimed at stopping “calls to violence”. Since last October, the Israeli government has accused Palestinians and their allies of “inciting violence” against Israelis, despite the fact that only 34 Israelis have died in that time frame compared to 230 Palestinians. The uptick in violence has been attributed to an internationally condemned Israeli encroachment of Palestinian lands in the contested West Bank. Israeli government concern over recent violence has led them to arrest Palestinians for social media content that could potentially lead to crimes. So far, 145 Palestinians have been arrested this year for “pre-crime” via social media “incitement.” This practice eventually led to a collaboration between Facebook and the Israeli government, whose joint effort to curb social media “incitement” has led to the banning of several Facebook accounts of Palestinian journalists and news agencies. However, social media, as well as mainstream Western media, have failed to condemn Israeli “incitement” against Palestinians, a practice that is surprisingly common considering the little to no attention it receives. Often these anti-Palestinian posts, pictures, and rallies are rife with calls for genocide, with cries of “Death to the whole Arab nation” and “Kill them all” surprisingly common.

Palestinian And Israeli Women Walking Hand In Hand For Peace


By Loubna Khalkhali for Mvslim – More than 5000 Israeli and Palestinian women, dressed in white, have arrived in Jerusalem after a two-week march through the West Bank and Israel on October 8th. The women are calling for politicians to find a solution to end the decades-old Middle East conflict. “We must reach a political agreement, we must change the paradigm that we have been taught for seven decades now, where we have been told that only war will bring peace,” said Women Wage Peace activist Vivian Silver. “We don’t believe that anymore. It’s been proven that it’s not true.” The group Women Wage Peace, an organisation established after the 50-day Gaza war of 2014, organized the march. During that war more than 2100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed. Israel put the number of its dead at 67 soldiers and six civilians. “Among us are women from right-wing parties, left-wing parties, Jews and Arabs, women from cities and rural areas. Together we have decided to prevent the next war,” said Marilyn Smadja, one of the founders of Women Wage Peace.

Teacher Wins Against Israel Lobby Effort To Fire Her


By Ali Abuminah for Electronic Intifada. Canada – Canadian elementary school teacher Nadia Shoufani has won a year-long struggle against efforts by Israel lobby groups to force her out of her job. Shoufani, who teaches in Mississauga, west of Toronto, was the subject of complaints because of a July 2016 speech she gave at a rally in support of Palestinian rights. “Earlier this year Ms. Shoufani’s case came before the Ontario College of Teachers and she was found not to be in breach of the professional conduct expected of a teacher,” Liz Stuart, president of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association, said in a statement to The Electronic Intifada on Monday.

Resistance Of Al-Araqeeb Village: How Palestinian Bedouins Refused To Surrender 116 Times

The aftermath of a previous demolition of the Bedouin village of Al-Araqeeb (Getty Images)

By Ramzy Baroud for Toward Freedom – On August 1, the Palestinian Bedouin village of Al-Araqeeb was destroyed for the 116th time. As soon as Israeli bulldozers finished their ugly deed and soldiers began evacuating the premises, the village resident immediately began rebuilding their homes. 22 families, or about 101 residents, are estimated to live here. By now, they are all familiar with the painful routine, considering the first round of destruction took place in July 2010. It means that the village has been destroyed nearly 17 times per year, since then. And every single time, it was rebuilt, only to be destroyed again. If the repeated destruction of the village is an indication of Israel’s stubborn insistence to uproot Palestine’s Bedouins, the rebuilding is indicative of the tenacity of the Bedouin community in Palestine. But Al-Araqeeb is only symbolic of that historic fight. It would be no exaggeration to state that there is a war waged by Israel against Palestinian Bedouins. The aim is to destroy their culture and to force them into townships similar to those of Apartheid South Africa. The geographic space of that war extends from the Negev desert to the Southern Hebron Hills to Jerusalem. The epicenter of the ongoing fight is the village of Al-Araqeeb.

Charlottesville To Palestine: Still N****, Still Arab

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By Miko Peled for American Herold Tribune – I’ll never forget the first time I heard JayZ’s “The Story of OJ.” I got into a Lyft and the driver, a young black man was playing music when this song came on. “That is powerful!” I blurted uncontrollably. “It’s the most powerful Rap song I’ve ever heard” the young man replied. He then played it over and over again and we were both swept into a conversation about racism in America and how little most people know and how little people care. I’m just back from Jerusalem and as I write these words I can’t help notice the similarities between the US and Israel – what some like to call the “shared values” of these two countries. Both are brutal, unapologetically racist, settler colonialist regimes, thriving under the guise of liberal democracies. All oppressed people have one thing in common: a desire to live normal lives, to be part of society to and enjoy the benefits that society offers the privileged. But in racist societies that is not possible. Racist societies want to rid themselves of the other, and no matter how hard that “other” might try, the other will never belong, he and she will always remain a nigger, a dirty Arab, or whoever else that other may be. That is why there is resistance. That is also why the systems of oppression are so afraid of anything that might legitimize the call for justice by the other.

Report On Rasmea Odeh Sentencing Hearing


By Staff of Committee to Stop FBI Repression – On Thursday, August 17th, Judge Gershwin Drain again violated the rights of Palestinian-American icon Rasmea Odeh, this time by not allowing her to read her entire statement to the court. Close to 150 supporters joined Rasmea in Detroit for what was supposed to be a routine sentencing hearing. The defense, prosecution, and judge had already agreed to a plea agreement finalized in April, and Rasmea was looking forward to finally being able to tell her entire story, but Drain interrupted her three separate times, the last with a threat to jail her for contempt of court. Prior to Rasmea’s statement, her lead attorney, Michael Deutsch, chastised the prosecution for bringing the indictment in the first place. Although the Rasmea Defense Committee has insisted for almost four years that the immigration case brought against her in October of 2013 was nothing but a pretext to attack the Palestine support movement in the U.S., Drain tried to protect Israel and the U.S. government from Rasmea’s brutal description of their crimes against her, her family, and the Palestinian people as a whole.

A Popular Mass Movement Is Again Taking The Lead In Palestinian Resistance

Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images. A Palestinian Muslim woman heading to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City walks past Israeli security forces on July 28, 2017.

By Jesse Rosenfeld for The Intercept – IT WAS SUPPOSED to be a moment of celebration and reflection for one of those too-rare occurrences in the Mideast — popular protests by Palestinians had stymied the imposition of a new facet of Israel’s 50-year-long occupation. Instead, even after Israel backed down on the changes it had imposed at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, the situation in Jerusalem continued to spiral into familiar scenes of security forces chasing scrambling demonstrators. Throngs of Palestinian worshippers flooded through the gates to Al Aqsa Mosque in Occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City last Thursday. They reveled in victory after almost two weeks of boycotting Islam’s third holiest site to oppose new Israeli security measures on the compound. After a brazen assault on July 14, using weapons smuggled into the holy site by three Palestinian citizens of Israel and leaving two Israeli border police dead, Israel had installed CCTV cameras, turnstiles, and metal detectors. The mosque compound is under Jordanian control and administered by the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a Jordanian-Palestinian Islamic trust. The Waqf had called for the boycott and protests sprang up opposing Israel’s changes to the delicate — and perpetually tense — status quo.

BDS Movement Turns 12, Marks Anniversary With List Of 12 Wins In 2017


By Staff of Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee – July 9, 2017 marks 12 years since the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement was born. It’s been 12 years since an impressively large and diverse coalition across Palestinian civil society surmounted incredible odds to unify around three basic Palestinian rights and a nonviolent, inclusive, anti-racist path of struggle to achieve them. Despite the fragmentation, military occupation, segregation and dispossession, we came together to assert our people’s right to freedom, justice, equality and dignity. The 2005 BDS Call embodies overwhelming Palestinian support for demanding an end to Israel’s military occupation and the dismantling of its illegal wall, an end to its institutionalized and legalized system of racial discrimination which meets the UN definition of apartheid, and the right of refugees to return to their homeland as stipulated in international law. Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement and the American Civil Rights Movement, entities representing Palestinians everywhere called on people of conscience worldwide to adopt pressure tactics in support of our struggle for rights. BDS calls for boycott and divestment initiatives in the academic, cultural, economic and sports fields and for pressuring states to implement meaningful sanctions against Israel until it fully complies with its obligations under international law.

New Netanyahu “Peace” Plan Is Straight Out Of Apartheid South Africa

Palestinian citizens of Israel march against home demolitions in Arara, a town in the Wadi Ara region that Netanyahu wants transferred to a Palestinian entity, January 2017. Keren Manor ActiveStills

By Ali Abunimah for The Electronic Antifada – Benjamin Netanyahu is proposing that Palestinian citizens of Israel be stripped of their citizenship under a “peace” deal that would place them in a future Palestinian entity. The Israeli prime minister recently told American officials, according to a report in Haaretz, that “Israeli-Arab communities could move under Palestinian control” as part of a final status agreement. “In exchange,” the Tel Aviv newspaper wrote, “Israel would annex some West Bank settlements.” Commonly referred to as “transfer,” this proposal amounts to ethnic cleansing. It is not a new idea, but Netanyahu’s broaching it represents a further step in the Israeli government formally adopting policies once considered taboo even by many Israelis. The area Netanyahu has in mind – at least initially – is Wadi Ara, a region in the north, including the major town of Umm al-Fahm. Some 1.5 million Palestinians have citizenship in Israel. They are the survivors and their descendants of the Nakba, the Zionist ethnic cleansing of the vast majority of the Palestinian population from what became Israel before and after it was established in 1948. The idea that this would be an “exchange” is clearly absurd since none of what Netanyahu proposes to swap is Israel’s to begin with: West Bank settlers live on land stolen from Palestinians in violation of international law.

The BDS Movement Is Justified And Cannot Be Stopped

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By MIko Peled for his website Tear Down The Wall. Miko grew up in Israel in a family that could be called Israeli royalty: his ancestors were fighting for a Jewish State decades before Israel was created. His grandfather signed the Declaration of Independence, a founding document of Israel. His father became a soldier in the war for independence, the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, and he was a general in the Arab-Israeli war of 1967. He began a military career as a Red Beret in the Israeli Defense Forces but today he is an advocate for Palestinian rights and a critic of Israel. In our interview he explodes myths we commonly hear about Israel explaining it is an apartheid state and not really a true democracy.

HSBC A ‘Crucial Link In Chain’ Of Palestinian Oppression Says War On Want

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By Staff of War On Want – Some of the UK’s best known banks and financial institutions are complicit in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people according to a new report by War on Want. The report, Deadly Investments: UK bank complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people, exposes the business relationship between UK banks and financial institutions, and 19 companies known to supply Israel with weapons and technology used in the abuse of Palestinian human rights, including war crimes. UK banks and financial institutions examined in the report hold shares worth over £10.8 billion in companies that sell weapons, military equipment and technology to Israel, which is used to oppress Palestinians. Additionally, some of them facilitate loans to these companies.

Palestine Is Still The Issue

Pro-Palestinian Activists Protest NY Senators' Support Of Israel

By John Pilger for JP – John Pilger first made the film ‘Palestine Is Still The Issue’ in 1977. It told how almost a million Palestinians had been forced off their land in 1948, and again in 1967. Twenty five years later, John Pilger returned to the West Bank of Jordan and Gaza, and to Israel, to ask why the Palestinians, whose right of return was affirmed by the United Nations more than half a century ago, are still caught in a terrible limbo – refugees in their own land, controlled by Israel in the longest military occupation in modern times. “If we are to speak of the great injustice here, nothing has changed,” says Pilger at the start of the film, “What has changed is that the Palestinians have fought back. Stateless and humiliated for so long, they have risen up against Israel’s huge military regime, although they themselves have no army, no tanks, no American planes and gunships or missiles. Some have committed desperate acts of terror, like suicide bombing. But, for Palestinians, the overriding, routine terror, day after day, has been the ruthless control of almost every aspect of their lives, as if they live in an open prison. This film is about the Palestinians and a group of courageous Israelis united in the oldest human struggle, to be free.”

Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: Reasons To Support BDS

Demonstrators hold up signs during a BDS protest in Melbourne, Australia, in 2010. Wikimedia Commons/Takver (CC-BY-SA)

By Ariella Azoulay for Alternet – The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement is a way to achieve three things: (1) to expose the mechanisms of dispossession, segregation, and legalized discrimination against Palestinians that are part of the Israeli democratic regime; (2) to publicly and internationally express solidarity with the Palestinians as a people, confronting the Israeli regime’s continuous efforts to fragment them into groups that are governed differentially within and beyond the green line; and (3) to mount pressure capable of impacting daily life for the privileged group of the governed population, i.e., Jewish Israelis, in order to radically alter the conduct of the Israeli regime or transform it altogether. A call for boycott is based on the assumption that sovereign states are actors in an international arena, and hence individuals, groups, institutions, and states can suspend their interactions with particular regimes until the justice of certain demands are recognized and adequately addressed. The Palestinian-led BDS movement thus aims to mobilize the international community to respond to a triple call from within that advocates: full equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel…