The U.S. essentially admitted that its unyielding defense of Israel in the diplomatic arena was a disastrous strategy. With Obama bowing out, Europe will need to act on this lesson. Shortly after the UN Security Council passed its resolution criticizing Israeli settlements on Friday, the U.S. State Department issued a press statement by John Kerry explaining Washington’s decision to abstain from the vote. Kerry said that their goal was to “preserve the possibility of the two state solution,” adding that “We cannot in good conscience stand in the way of a resolution at the United Nations that makes clear that…Read More... | 13 Comments
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. Israeli authorities destroyed 33 structures, 20 of them homes, across the West Bank since the beginning of August. The demolitions have left 53 people, including 25 minors, homeless, according to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. The demolitions began on August 4th in the Al-Mu’arrajat community in the Jordan Valley, where four homes were destroyed and 14 people were left homeless. On August 8 authorities bulldozed two homes in the village Fasayil in the Jordan Valley,…Read More... | 1 Comment
North American and European activists from the Center for Jewish Non-Violence accompany the Palestinian residents of Susya to the site of their former village, from which they were expelled three decades ago. A group of American and European Jews on Thursday accompanied Palestinian residents of Susya to the former site of their village, from which they were expelled 30 years ago and which today is an Israeli-administered archeological park. Many of the 80 Palestinian residents of Susya who took the trip on Thursday had never been back to the site of their former village, where much of the older generation was born…Read More... | 7 Comments
Despite international criticism, the Knesset passes legislation to single out left-wing NGOs in Israel. Here is everything you need to know about it. Israel’s parliament passed the so-called “NGO Law” Monday night, a piece of legislation meant to stigmatize left-wing and human rights organizations in Israel as agents of foreign powers. [tmwinpost] The law singles out NGOs that receive the majority of their funding from foreign state entities, forcing them to prominently declare their foreign funding in any publication or public engagement such as media appearances or events. Contrary to what right-wing politicians claim, the law is not intended to…Read More... | 6 Comments
Thousands of Eritrean asylum seekers demonstrate in front of the European Union Embassy in support of a UN Commission of Inquiry to examine human rights abuses by the Eritrean dictatorship. By Inbal Ben Yehuda Over 2,000 Eritrean asylum seekers demonstrated in front of the European Union Embassy in Ramat Gan on Tuesday in support a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Commission of Inquiry examining human rights violations in their home country. [tmwinpost] The protesters marched from Levinsky Park in south Tel Aviv toward the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in Ramat Gan, where the EU building is located. The organizers brought…Read More...
The newly appointed European Commission Coordinator on Combating Anti-Semitism spoke at a Jerusalem conference that was a thinly veiled platform for bashing pro-Palestinian activists. Above all, it sent an alarming message about how she perceives her own role. By Ben White A senior European official spoke last week at an Israeli government-hosted conference in Jerusalem where human rights defenders were denigrated and smeared as anti-Semitic. The International Conference on Online Anti-Semitism was organized by the pro-Israel group Israeli Students Combating Anti-Semitism (ISCA). The group’s director, Ido Daniel, is a veteran hasbara activist who believes in “exact[ing] an economic and personal…Read More... | 4 Comments
Stricter trade guidelines, harsher rhetoric and corporate responsibility campaigns all send a clear message: Israel's closest allies are no longer willing to passively accept the occupation, and the only consensus on settlements is that they are illegal. The United States appears to be following the European Union in taking symbolic steps to challenge the aura of normalcy with which Israel has cloaked its settlement enterprise for decades. United States Customs officials published a notice last week clarifying that U.S. law does not permit goods manufactured in the West Bank, including in Israeli settlements, to be labeled as “made in Israel.”…Read More... | 4 Comments
What's in a name? A lot, it turns out. Why the name 'Israel' alone just isn't doing the job. PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat touched off a sizable media storm when he asked to remove an Israeli flag hanging above his head as he addressed the Haaretz conference in New York this week. Veteran journalist Dan Margalit from the pro-Netanyahu newspaper Israel Hayom called the conference organizer’s decision to comply a “burning and outrageous mistake.” [tmwinpost] But I can’t get worked up about the flag. In fact, lately I have a hard time saying the name Israel at all. And…Read More... | 39 Comments
The prime minister had a busy week. We were taking notes. 1. We could destroy Al-Aqsa — if we wanted to Netanyahu dedicated a good part of the past few months to swearing up and down that Palestinians are inciting violence by suggesting that Israel, Israelis or Israeli rule threatens Islam’s third-holiest site, Haram al-Sharif and Al-Aqsa Mosque. (Ignoring, of course, that members of his own government regularly incite against Al-Aqsa.) And then there was this. “If the Jews wanted to destroy Al-Aqsa it wouldn’t take much effort, not at all,” the prime minister told party members in a closed…Read More...
On the same day the EU adopts guidelines for labeling settlement goods, the Knesset passes a preliminary reading of a bill to prevent entry to individuals who support a boycott of Israel. The European Union approved a plan Wednesday to begin labeling goods produced in West Bank settlements, raising the ire of the Israeli government, even prompting a response from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On the very same day, the Knesset approved a preliminary reading of a bill to ban individuals who call for a boycott of Israel. [tmwinpost] "The Israeli economy is strong and will withstand this, those who will suffer…Read More... | 8 Comments
Israeli government allegations of an EU double standard are largely grounded on misguided or incomplete information. By Lorenzo Kamel In 2005 the European Union clarified that products originating in areas beyond Israel’s pre-1967 lines do not benefit from preferential tariff treatment under the EU-Israel Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Ten years later, on September 10, 2015, the European Parliament passed an historical resolution calling on the EU to issue labels for products from those areas — settlement products. It passed 525 to 70 (with 31 abstentions), and will likely be effective from October 1 of this year. Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister…Read More... | 12 Comments
In attempting to hold off European plans to label West Bank settlement products, Israel could easily overplay its hand. The Netanyahu government's bunker mentality will only increase international isolation. It’s pretty difficult to find a minister in the Israeli government who will go on record supporting a two-state solution in any sincere terms these days. Of course we want a Palestinian state, they say, but god forbid we hand over control of the West Bank and withdraw our troops. [tmwinpost] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been saying as much for years. “I think the Israeli people understand now what I…Read More... | 12 Comments
When the Israeli government does everything in its power to erase the Green Line and subjugate the Palestinian economy, boycotting settlement goods does little to challenge the regime. In order to understand the decision by the European Parliament on Thursday to overwhelmingly support a motion in support of labeling of goods produced in West Bank settlements on, one must look at a different event that took place Europe a few weeks back. [tmwinpost] Two weeks ago, a Luxembourg supermarket chain "Cactus" decided to boycott fruits and vegetables made in Israel. The reason: Israeli vegetable suppliers do not mark produce that…Read More... | 3 Comments
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