By Emma Green for The Atlantic – The United States and Israel have made it official: The two countries signed a new 10-year military-assistance deal on Wednesday, representing the single largest pledge of its kind in American history. The pact, laid out in a Memorandum of Understanding, will be worth $38 billion over the course of a decade, an increase of roughly 27 percent on the money pledged in the last agreement, which was signed in 2007.
By Carol Morello and William Booth for The Washington Post – The United States signed an unprecedented pact with Israel that will provide the Jewish state with the largest amount of military aid ever awarded, $38 billion over 10 years, with promises of the latest in fighter jets, missile defense systems and cutting-edge technology. The signing did not take place between President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — or their defense secretaries — but occurred in a quiet ceremony on a top floor of the State Department, and neither of the men who signed the pact was a household name.
By Staff of Mondoweiss – Cadiz, provincial capital in the autonomous community of Andalusia in the Spanish state, has become the latest municipality to pass a motion supporting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights and declaring itself an Israeli “Apartheid Free Zone”. With a population of 120,000, Cadiz joins more than 50 cities and towns across the Spanish state which have voted to declare themselves spaces free from Israeli apartheid. Other famous Apartheid Free municipalities include Gran Canaria, Santiago de Compostela, Xixón-Gijón, Sevilla, Córdoba and Santa Eulària in Ibiza.
By Ann Wright for Consortium News – Israel continues to cut off the 1.8 million people of Gaza from receiving relief supplies from sea, an illegal blockade that will be challenged again this year by the Women’s Boat to Gaza, writes retired Col. Ann Wright. For years, Israel has blocked international ships from reaching the isolated people of Gaza, thus denying the 1.8 million embattled Palestinians maritime contact with the rest of the world and the hope that comes from knowing that they have the support of many people across the globe.
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.