This week: Protests shadow Obama's itinerary, a protest village in E1 is built and demolished, animal rights activists are scarred for life, and Palestinians march for water rights, prisoner solidarity, and to protest Israel's permit regime.Read More... | 1 Comment
As I reported a few days ago, students from the recently-accredited Ariel University in the occupied West Bank are angry they were not invited to attend U.S. President Obama's speech in Jerusalem this coming Thursday. The U.S. Embassy denies claims Obama is boycotting the students, and stated that it simply invited students from those institutions it has partnerships or programs with. Ariel University students are nonetheless livid, and plan to hold protest what they are calling Obama's blatant political discrimination. Ariel University's Student Union posted a banner on its Facebook page Sunday and requested people make it their Facebook cover page. Here…Read More... | 24 Comments
If it had happened anywhere other than Hebron, one would have been justified in assuming that the scene unfolding was coordinated for a not-too-sophisticated film about "the conflict". Surely somewhere out of sight there is an entire movie crew ready for the director to yell "cut!", so that all actors on this bizarre and horrific set can trade the severity on their faces for laughter and ease during their coffee break. But this is Hebron, and the dramatic horror is very much real. In front of us is a small landing at the top of a hill overlooking the old…Read More... | 49 Comments
From up close, a wall can seem smooth, unbreakable and infinite – it is the only thing in sight. The wall, a wall of despair or a wall of separation, is real. But by taking a few steps back, either physically or spiritually, cracks in the wall can come into sight. By Moriel Rothman I’ve been in the U.S. for almost two weeks now, and I’ve begun to see cracks in the "Despair-Wall" that I wasn’t seeing – or wasn’t able to see – 14 days ago. When I boarded the plane departing from Ben Gurion International Airport, it was with feelings of darkness, of…Read More... | 4 Comments
Ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama's trip to Israel on Wednesday, the embassy here is reportedly sending out around 2,000 invitations to Israeli student representatives from universities across the country to attend his speech in Jerusalem on March 21. All except one: Ariel University in the West Bank settlement of the same name (upgraded from a college to an accredited university last year). According to several reports in Israeli media, the Ariel Student Union is shocked and upset that the embassy contacted all seven accredited universities within Israel's pre-1967 borders, but left out Ariel's students. Student Union head Shai Shachaf called the move "discrimination" and the Jewish…Read More... | 9 Comments
In the controversy over Obama's candidate for the next U.S. Secretary of Defense, the right-wing American Jewish elite has once again asserted that the term 'pro-Israel' is a code word in Washington for, among other things, a belligerent foreign policy on Iran and enabling Israeli occupation. The sheer volume of articles that have appeared in American media over the last few weeks surrounding Obama’s potential appointment of former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel as next U.S. Secretary of Defense is astonishing. Everywhere you turn, there are reports, op-eds, features and blogs about Hagel. It almost feels like the issue is making more noise…Read More... | 13 Comments
With initial exit polls showing 70 percent of American Jews voted for Obama, all the efforts to swing the Jewish vote in favor of Mitt Romney by wealthy Republicans, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the iVoteIsrael campaign appear to have failed. Even in key swing state Florida, where Romney reportedly received 34 percent of the Jewish vote, Obama still came out on top. According to the National Jewish Democratic Council President David A. Harris: The powerful support given to the President today by American Jews shows that the more than $15 million campaign undertaken by Republicans to woo Jewish voters with negative advertising, scare…Read More... | 3 Comments
On Election Day in the United States, Americans are choosing between two different visions for the future of their country. And some are being asked to sacrifice their rights for the sake of one of those visions. Boca Raton, FL and Los Angeles, CA - Every four years, around this time, people begin criticizing the Electoral College in the U.S., and its role in determining the next American president. The system, which sees a certain number of delegates giving their collective vote to the candidate who secures the highest percentage of votes in their respective state, results in certain states…Read More... | 4 Comments
Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's persistent claims that he is not meddling in the upcoming U.S. elections, a TV commercial that will air on select Florida networks on Thursday stars the Israeli leader. Released by Politico one day ahead of its scheduled broadcast, the ad features a bit from the prime minister's recent speech, in which he criticizes the U.S. government for failing to establish sufficient "red lines" on Iran's nuclear program. The ad is sponsored by an American nonprofit 501 c (4) called Secure America Now, an organization founded after the 9/11 attacks committed to impacting U.S. national security. A quick look at…Read More... | 8 Comments
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu seems to have miscalculated with his latest attempt to bait President Obama and manipulate the results of the U.S. elections results. On Monday, Netanyahu leveled what the New York Times described as "unusually harsh public comments about Israel's most important ally," regarding the Obama administration's policy on Iran. Speaking in English one day after Secretary of State Clinton said the United States was "not setting deadlines" regarding military action against Iran, Netanyahu said: The world tells Israel 'wait, there's still time'. And I say, 'Wait for what? Wait until when?' Those in the international community who…Read More... | 18 Comments
In some of the articles covering the visit to Israel by the presumptive Republican U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Israeli and international media suggested that Romney suggested (yes, lots of suggestions happening here) Israeli culture was somehow superior to Palestinian culture. I read and read and re-read the articles, including the one to which I linked above by Barak Ravid of Israel's publication Haaretz, waiting for a quote proving that these were Romney's comments. However all I found was a stretch of the imagination in an apparent jab against Romney (who I imagine won't be getting Haaretz's endorsement any time soon).…Read More... | 6 Comments
Last week I posted an article about a new campaign launched to get American citizens in Israel to vote in the upcoming 2012 presidential election. While the "iVoteIsrael" campaign claims to be non-partisan, its rhetoric and indication by its campaign manager that its donors are Sheldon Adelson types made me suspicious of a certain slant. Then I noticed this ad featured quite prominently on my Facebook page: Hmm...asking whether I "want" a Palestinian state and then informing me that the next U.S. president will affect my future in Israel. I clicked on the ad, and lo and behold: …Read More... | 10 Comments
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'Wars on Gaza have become part of Israel's system of governance': An interview with filmmaker Yotam Feldman http://t.co/7dMiksBo9t
Israel officially drank the Kool Aid on the al-Dura affair http://t.co/MF3x14NKe4
On visiting the victims of occupation in the south Hebron Hills http://t.co/YO37AXd75k by @MairavZ (via @haaretzcom)
Court questions law enabling confiscation of Palestinian land in Jerusalem http://t.co/4oGUPJYILt
Israel's A-G laments: Nobody criminally investigates settlers for illegal building http://t.co/O6zmeYz8M1
On the al-Dura affair: Israel officially drank the Kool Aid http://t.co/MF3x14NKe4 (By Larry Derfner)
#Israel Extends Zone for Fishing Off #Gaza http://t.co/aQkRdGvs60 via @nytimes