By Ryan Rodrick Beiler for The Electronic Antifada – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has become the latest US denomination to take economic action against the Israeli occupation. At its triennial assembly last week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the four million-member church, one of the largest in the US, voted on two separate resolutions targeting Israel’s occupation and human rights abuses, passing each by a landslide.
By Joe Catron for Truthout – When two dozen women sail from Barcelona on September 14, mounting the latest international challenge to Israel’s naval blockade of the Palestinian Gaza Strip, their boats — the Amal, or “hope,” and Zaytouna, or “olive” — will confront a seemingly intractable impasse. “There is no freedom of transport or travel owing to the closure of cross points and borders, which led to the death of a score of patients [from Gaza] who were unable to receive their treatment abroad,”
By Richard Hardigan for Counter Punch. Waleed was freezing. He was wearing only a thin t-shirt, and it was a cold March night earlier this year in his village of Awerta, which lies just outside Nablus in the northern half of the West Bank. The soldiers had come for him at two o’clock in the morning. Abdullah, his younger brother, had been awake, and when he felt the soldiers’ heavy steps and heard their loud voices speaking Hebrew outside their home, he rushed upstairs to warn the rest of the family. The element of surprise is an important tool in the home invasions the Israeli army conducts in the Occupied Territories. That is why the soldiers come at night. Most likely the residents will be sleeping, and they will not have time to hide whatever is they want to keep from the soldiers.
By Dream Defenders. On Monday, the Dream Defenders along with 50 other organizations, representing hundreds of Black people across the country launched A Vision for Black Lives, an agenda that clearly defines policies, organizing tactics and resources to advance Black liberation. The platform included a call for the US government to divest from military expenditures and US aid to the State of Israel and instead, invest this war-making money towards building infrastructure to support Black and Brown communities in the US. Since our launch, some Zionist organizations have condemned the platform and have announced that they will cut all ties with the Movement for Black Live, going so far as to label some in the BLM movement anti-semitic.
By Editor of Corporate Crime Report – A lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C. claims that United States aid to Israel is illegal under a law passed in the 1970s that prohibits aid to nuclear powers that don’t sign the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The lawsuit was filed by Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy (IRMEP). The lawsuit comes as the Obama administration is pushing to finalize a ten-year memorandum of understanding which will reportedly boost aid to Israel to $4 billion per year.
By Wilson Dizard for Mondoweiss. Rabbi Brant Rosen takes on the T’ruah statement, which he says he finds, “much more disturbing than the one released by the Boston JCRC. While the latter group has always sought to counter the growth of the BLM movement, T’ruah purports to stand in solidarity with them.” Rosen continues, “T’ruah does not give the BLM ‘the benefit of the doubt’ when it issues an immediate counter-statement such as this; tantamount to a group in a position of power saying to an oppressed group, ‘we will stand in solidarity with you but only on our terms.’” One striking contrast between the words of JCRC and of the activists is that they recognize that some Jews in the United States are people of color too, while JCRC treats the two groups as separate. Jewish Voice for Peace, another activist organization that marched with Black Lives Matter in Philadelphia last week during the Democratic National Convention, said it both endorsed the platform “without reservation,” and was starting to work with Jews of Color in Solidarity with Palestine, another group. The JVP statement says, “These Jewish organizations are rejecting a thorough and inspiring transformational set of policy ideas developed by a broad coalition of Black leaders simply because these Black leaders have explicitly linked the experiences and struggles of Palestinians with their own.”
By Glenn Greenwald for The Intercept – FOR ALL THE chatter about animosity between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Washington Post reports that “a senior Israeli official will arrive in Washington next week for a final round of negotiations involving the largest military aid package the United States has ever given any country and that will last more than a decade after President Obama leaves office.” The U.S. already transfers $3.1 billion in taxpayer money every year to Israel — more than any other country by far — but the new agreement Obama is set to sign “significantly raises” that amount, and guarantees it for 10 years.
By Robert Fantina for Mint Press News – KITCHENER, Ontario — (Analysis) From severely limited water supplies to a blockade on even the most basic supplies, Israel’s continued illegal occupation of Palestine has destroyed even the most basic infrastructure Palestinians need to survive, forcing residents of Gaza and the West Bank to struggle through a humanitarian disaster. This was intensified in 2014 during Israel’s most recent genocidal attack on the Gaza Strip, which left over 2,000 Palestinians dead and over 100,000 homeless.
By Gili Cohen for Haaretz – Conscientious objector Tair Kaminer, 19, was sentenced to another 45 days in military prison on Sunday for refusing to serve in the Israel Defense Forces. The sentence, imposed by the IDF’s Tel Hashomer induction base commander Col. Eran Shani, will be the sixth term served by Kaminer. She has already served some 125 days in lock-up. By the time Kaminer completes her latest sentence, she will have spent almost 170 days in military detention.
By Staff of Palestinian Information Center/PNN – Israeli land confiscation policy has notably escalated in occupied Jerusalem and West Bank by 439% since the beginning of 2016, in comparison to last year, a Palestinian report revealed on Tuesday. Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ) revealed that Israeli authorities confiscated, since the beginning of the year, 7,773 acres of Palestinian-owned lands, recording an increase by 439% in comparison with last year, where 1,442 acres were seized.
By Ali Abunimah for Electronic Antifada – “Why are we using the word Palestinian? There’s no such thing as a Palestinian person,” Brooke Goldstein declared to enthusiastic applause at a meeting of key Israel lobby operatives in New York earlier this month. Goldstein is the director of the Lawfare Project, a legal group that aims, in her words, to “make the enemy pay” – that “enemy” being mainly comprised of Palestine solidarity activists and students. The Lawfare Project was founded with the support of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, an important forum for anti-Palestinian organizing in the US.
By Grassroots Jerusalem. Since the Oslo agreement, the world through international aid has supported the imported “peace process.” This international aid primarily designs, coordinates and implements actions as if Palestine was a humanitarian crisis, a 67 year old emergency humanitarian crisis! Most of the civil services are provided by these unrepresentative entities to help the Palestinians merely survive under this occupation. While Palestinians expect the international community to focus on ending the occupation, this approach stifles the genuine grassroots movement organising to resist it.
By Vijay Prashad for AlterNet – On a Facebook page, a colleague accuses me of hate speech. He accuses me of “questioning Israel’s right to exist,” which he says “crosses a line and, is I believe, tantamount to anti-Semitism.” This is a serious charge. Have I denied Israel’s right to exist? Certainly not. Israel exists. It is a member state of the United Nations. Its factual basis is undeniable. Even Hamas does not “deny” Israel’s right to exist. Its Charter, written during the First Intifada in 1987, bears the marks of the moment.
By the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine. More than 300 human rights and aid organisations, church groups, trade unions and political parties from across Europe have called on the EU to uphold its legal responsibilities and hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law and to defend the right of individuals and institutions to take part in the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for justice and equality. Signatories to the letter called on the EU commission to “introduce the human rights guidelines guaranteeing freedom of speech and right to boycott and to use all other means you have in your disposal to support European citizens in their struggle to uphold basic human rights.”
By Peter Beaumont for The Guardian – One of Israel’s most outspokenly hawkish and divisive political figures, the ultranationalist politician Avigdor Lieberman, has been offered the post of defence minister. Lieberman, a former nightclub bouncer from Moldova with little military experience, has advocated for policies including the bombing of Egypt’s Aswan dam, the toppling of the Palestinian Authority, the introduction of the death penalty for terrorism as well as the transfer of Israeli Arabs into the Palestinian territories.