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.
By Mariam Elba for Waging Nonviolence – Conscientious objectors from the Israeli military, or “refusers,” are a small but growing group within an increasingly right-wing and militarized society. Last month, several young refusers visited 12 U.S. cities as part of a speaking tour sponsored by theAmerican Friends Service Committee and the Refuser Solidarity Network. On April 27, following an event in New York City hosted by Columbia/Barnard Jewish Voice for Peace, I spoke with refusers Yasmin Yablonko and Khaled Farrag, who each run their own support groups for conscientious objectors.
By Nada Elia for Mondoweiss. May 15 is observed annually as “Al Nakba Day,” and groups all around the globe hold actions and events to commemorate the fateful months of 1947-48. We name the villages that were destroyed, erased of the map, to allow for Israel to become a “Jewish homeland” in historic Palestine. We speak of the refugees, still in exile. But Al Nakba is not a memory, it is an ongoing daily reality. Sixty-eight years into our catastrophe, Palestinians in the West Bank are still losing towns, homes, land, olive groves, to the Zionist settlers. And still we persist, maintaining our right to freedom, dignity, self-determination. Our strategy, BDS, is so effective that Israel is trying desperately to stem it by threatening prominent activists with civilian assassination and/or exile. Ww get empowering reports of campaign successes, a growing number of allies joining our struggle, more voices speaking out. We know ours is a just cause, a moral cause, and that knowledge, that certainly, sustains us.
By Ryan Rodrick Beiler for The Electronic Antifada – The heads of Palestine’s major Christian traditions recently met with leaders from 24 church denominations for a two-day summit in Atlanta featuring an address by former president Jimmy Carter. Leaders of Palestine’s Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Armenian and Lutheran churches participated. The historic gathering, hosted by The Carter Center, culminated in a statement committing those assembled “to act for justice and peace in the Holy Land.”
By Jack Khoury for Haaretz – Thousands of Arab Israelis marked Nakba Day on Wednesday with a march near the Negev Bedouin town of Rahat, the main event of which was a mass vow to preserve Bedouin lands and not to concede the “right of return.” Nabka Day, which commemorates the flight or expulsion of more than 700,000 Arabs during Israel’s War of Independence in 1947-49, is usually observed on Israeli Independence Day as well as its official date of May 15. The right of return refers to the Palestinian demand that both the original Palestinian refugees and all their descendants be allowed to resettle in Israel.
By Carlos Latuff for Mondoweiss – Israel has officially refused to renew the travel document of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement co-founder Omar Barghouti in a move that amounts to a travel ban and is an escalation of its attacks on Palestinian human rights defenders who nonviolently advocate for Palestinian rights under international law. Barghouti, who lives with his family in Acre, has Israeli permanent residency and requires an Israeli travel document to be able to travel in and out of Palestine/Israel.
By William Booth for Washington Post – HEBRON, West Bank — Arriving aboard a tour bus, accompanied by a former Israeli machine-gunner turned human rights activist, an international delegation of pretty famous writers came to the heart of this old city to see for themselves how 850 hardcore Jewish settlers, protected by 650 young Israeli soldiers, live among 200,000 angry Palestinians. The writers didn’t like what they saw. The settlers didn’t like the writers much either, especially their hosts.
By Eli Massey for In These Times – In the 1990s, a movement was growing in Israel that questioned the country’s foundational myths. Among those leading the charge of what was later dubbed the “post-Zionist” movement were the Israeli “New Historians” who acknowledged the existence of Palestinians and readily admitted mass atrocities were committed in establishing a Jewish state. Like the post-Zionist movement itself, the Israeli New Historians reflected a broad spectrum of ideological thought ranging from so-called liberal Zionists like Benny Morris to anti-Zionists like Ilan Pappe.