Moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem could ignite a spark that would set the entire region aflame. It's just not worth it. By James J. Zogby In just a matter of days, President-elect Donald Trump will have to decide on whether or not to make good on his promise to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. As we approach Inauguration Day, liberal and conservative commentators alike have offered a number of ideas as to how he can proceed. Ranging from “too cute by half” to just plain dumb, they should all be rejected.…Read More... | 28 Comments
The neighborhood of Batan al-Hawa is today the site of major friction and tensions between Palestinian residents, Jewish settlers and the massive security presence that accompanies them. But things weren’t always like this, and they don’t have to be. By Hussam Abed Try and imagine this: Jews move into a Palestinian village and are welcomed with open arms. They become part of the local economy, share in joyous occasions and sad ones, and together with their neighbors form a unique, rich human tapestry. The tensions are the same you’d find in any society: they are not shaped along the rigid…Read More... | 3 Comments
The decision to strip the al-Qunbar family of their right to live in their native city is not only collective punishment, but also raises questions about the Israeli government's policy towards Palestinian residents of Jerusalem. The family of the Jerusalem man who rammed his truck into a crowd of people on a popular promenade on Monday will be stripped of their residency rights in East Jerusalem, says Interior Minster Aryeh Deri. The driver, Fadi al-Qunbar, plowed his truck into a group of soldiers standing on the East Jerusalem promenade, killing four of them before he was shot dead. According to reports in Israeli…Read More...
Israeli politicians use problematic archeological findings to drum up support for exclusionary nationalist narratives under East Jerusalem. By Yonathan Mizrahi "I didn't think I would be so excited," said Culture Minister Miri Regev. "Mr. President Obama, I am standing here on the path that my forefathers walked 2,000 years ago. There is not another nation on earth that has such an attachment to its country. Not the Ukrainians, not the New Zealanders, not the English. There is not a nation on earth that has a connection to its land like the Jewish people do to the Land of Israel." [tmwinpost]…Read More... | 36 Comments
Many fear that a Trump presidency will, by default, favor Netanyahu and his policies. But if Trump’s past statements on Israel are precedent, what will matter more is whether the 'dealmaker' gets to broker the ultimate deal. We’re not even a week in, and the panic is palpable. “Trump Election Already Bad News for Palestinians,” reads one headline. Settlement construction will surely spike. “The era of the Palestinian state is over.” But for even the most casual observer of the Middle East, these pronouncements are nothing new. And despite the official statements from Jerusalem and Ramallah, the leaders of Israel…Read More... | 5 Comments
The police claim Rahik Shagiya Muhammad Yousef approached them at a checkpoint with a knife. A new video reveals that the officers fired 12 bullets, killing her when she no longer posed a threat. By John Brown* On Wednesday morning Israeli Border Police officers shot Rahik Shagiya Muhammad Yousef at a checkpoint in the northern West Bank. Yousef, 19, from the village Asira A-Shamaliya near Nablus, was shot after she allegedly approached the officers at Tapuach checkpoint and pulled out a knife. According to the Police Spokesperson, the officers reportedly called on Yousef to stop and fired warning shots in the air before…Read More... | 4 Comments
On Yom Kippur in 1967, the Year of Forgetting, I put on my dark holiday clothes and walked to the Old City of Jerusalem. For a long time I stood in front of an Arab’s hole-in-the-wall shop, not far from the Damascus Gate, a shop with buttons and zippers and spools of thread in every color and snaps and buckles. A rare light and many colors, like an open Ark. I told him in my heart that my father too had a shop like this, with thread and buttons. I explained to him in my heart about all the decades…Read More... | 4 Comments
Settler organization Ateret Cohanim has been gradually kicking out every single member of the Kirsh family from their homes since 2010. By Yael Marom Israeli police evicted a Palestinian family from their home in Jerusalem's Old City earlier this week, at the height of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. The nine-member Kirsh family, which includes children and a pregnant woman, has been living in the same home since the 1930s. [tmwinpost] Their home was transferred over to Ateret Cohanim — a settler organization known for taking over Palestinian assets in the Old City and turning them over to Jewish families…Read More...
Police arrested Muhammad Abu Hummus to prevent him from peacefully demonstrating against the Jerusalem Marathon — then lied about it. By John Brown* In March of this year, Israeli police arrested Muhammad Abu Hummus, a resident of the village Issawiya in East Jerusalem, where he serves as a member of a community organizing committee. He was arrested along with two other residents for alleged disorderly conduct. At 4 a.m. on March 18, approximately 20 police officers arrived at Abu Hummus' home and took him to the local police station for interrogation, even though a simple summons would have sufficed. The police, however, did…Read More...
How does one go about fostering neighborly relations in Jerusalem? It's very simple, according to the city's mayor: curfews, closures, concrete blocks and lots of police. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat regularly holds forth about how his city’s various demographics can rub along in peace and quiet. Back in July, in deference to the city's ultra-Orthodox population, he announced he wouldn’t attend Jerusalem’s Pride parade. Barkat's decision, taken so as not to "harm" Jerusalem's Haredi community, came one year after an ultra-Orthodox man was so outraged at the presence of LGBTQs in the city that he stabbed six people at the same event, murdering…Read More... | 2 Comments
When the occupation seems to becomes a bit too 'quiet,' the Israeli military is always there to fully contain and eliminate the threat. By Talal Jabari Israeli intelligence has intercepting would-be suicide bombers down to a fine art. The military is quite adept at quashing demonstrations in the West Bank (they did a very thorough job at leveling entire sections of the Gaza Strip during the 2014 military campaign). And along with every Israeli military action come the right-wing politicians who make their television appearances, patting themselves on the back and talking about eliminating the enemy — all the while reinforcing their fear-mongering…Read More... | 8 Comments
Israeli military authorities have demolished at least 180 Palestinian homes since the start of 2016 alone, and over 1,100 in the past decade, according to B'Tselem and the UN. Israeli authorities have demolished more Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank thus far in 2016 than in any other calendar year in the last decade, according to data provided by Israeli human rights NGO B'Tselem Wednesday and statistics from the UN humanitarian agency, OCHA. [tmwinpost] B'Tselem's statistics show that the Civil Administration, the Israeli military's governing arm in the West Bank, destroyed 168 Palestinian homes between January 1 and June 30, 2016, displacing 740…Read More... | 2 Comments
For Israelis, Jerusalem is an archaeological treasure. For Palestinians, it is a city whose heritage and identity are constantly under threat. By Yonathan Mizrachi It turns out that issues of identity, religion and recognition are far more critical to East Jerusalem Palestinians than what the Israeli Right and center would have us believe. A new survey shows that East Jerusalemites are more concerned with Jewish pilgrimage to the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif and archaeological excavations than issues such as lack of infrastructure and the denial of construction permits. The survey, commissioned by Israeli NGO Emek Shaveh, an organization of archaeologists and community activists focusing…Read More... | 4 Comments
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