By Jonathan Cook for Counter Punch – It was presumably intended as an Israeli history lesson to the world. A video posted to social media by Israel’s foreign ministry shows an everyday Jewish couple, Jacob and Rachel, in a home named the “Land of Israel”. A series of knocks on the door brings 3,000 years of interruptions to their happiness. First it’s the Assyrians, followed by the Babylonians, Hellenists, Arabs, Romans, Crusaders, Mamluks, and Ottomans – all straight out of Monty Python central casting.
By Glenn Greenwald for The Intercept – IN 2010, ISRAEL’S then-defense minister, Ehud Barak, explicitly warned that Israel would become a permanent “apartheid” state if it failed to reach a peace agreement with Palestinians that creates their own sovereign nation and vests them with full political rights. “As long as in this territory west of the Jordan River there is only one political entity called Israel, it is going to be either non-Jewish, or non-democratic,” Barak said. “If this bloc of millions of Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state.”
By Budour Youssef Hassan for Electronic Intifada. Gaza – Mariam al-Hih received a distressing phone call from her son Omar last month. Omar was going on hunger strike to protest how Israel had locked him up without charge or trial. As many other parents have done in similar situations, Mariam pleaded with Omar not to proceed with his hunger strike. “I told him that it would kill me to see him suffer without being able to help him,” Mariam said. “But he had already made up his mind and I respected his choice. What else could I do?” Omar has been placed under administrative detention — imprisonment without charge or trial — twice this year. After spending six months in Israeli custody, he was released in August. He barely spent a month with his family before being arrested again on 15 September — under another six-month administrative detention order issued by a military court.
By Staff for CODE PINK. Ann Wright arrived safely back into the US this morning. She flew into JFK airport after being released from Israeli custody and was greeted by friends and taken to breakfast. Ann had set sail with the Women’s Boat to Gaza in an effort to break the Israeli naval blockade that holds the people of Gaza in an open air prison. The boat, Zaytouna-Oliva, was intercepted by the Israeli navy a few miles of the coast of Gaza where people were waiting on Gaza’s shores to greet Ann and the other women on board. The Israeli navy took the boat by force and rerouted it to the Israeli port of Ashdod where the crew, including Ann, were taken into Israeli custody. Ann Wright is a decorated former US diplomat and long-time CODEPINK activist. On board with her were three parliamentarians, an Olympic athlete, and Nobel Peace Laureate, Mairead Maguire. They were committed to nonviolence as much as they were committed to breaking the blockade.
By Ami Friedman for YNet News – Thursday night, the disbanded musical group Pink Floyd “united” to express their support for the Zaytouna-Oliva flotilla that sought to break the blockade on Gaza and that was stopped by the Israeli Navy on Wednesday. In a message posted to their Facebook page on Thursday, the three living members of the band, David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Roger Waters, wrote that they “stand united in support of the Women of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, and deplore their illegal arrest and detention in international waters by the Israeli Defense Force.”
By Alex Kane for Mondoweiss and Transcend Media Service – 29 Sep 2016 – Edward Snowden remains exiled in Russia. But the former intelligence contractor and National Security Agency-whistleblower has captured headlines in recent weeks, thanks to a confluence of events. Snowden is the focus of Oliver Stone’s new biopic, aptly called “Snowden,” which focuses on how Snowden went from a right-leaning CIA employee and NSA contractor to an internationally renowned leaker and whistleblower who blew the lid off mass surveillance in the digital age.
By Veterans For Peace. At 9:58 (EST) organizers lost total contact with the Zaytouna-Oliva. The US embassy confirmed that the boat was intercepted. We do not know where our friends are. It is important to know that this happened in international waters and it is not only illegal but sets a bad precedent in giving a greenlight for other nations to attack civilian ships in international waters. The Zaytouna-Oliva was carrying no material aid. This was by design because Israel, as a premise for their attacks, would claim that weapons and contraband were on board. The owner of Zaytouna-Oliva is Israeli. Ann Wright is a decorated former US diplomat, a member of Veterans For Peace and on our Advisory Board. On board with her were three parliamentarians, an Olympic athlete and Nobel Peace Laureate, Mairead Maguire.
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.