- Israel targets landmark Palestinian estate on West Bank with ‘papers from God’
- With sea confrontation looming, New Yorkers say ‘break the blockade’
- Beinart rues absence of Palestinian voices– and redlining of Chas Freeman and Rob Malley
- ‘Washington Post’ readers aren’t ready yet to learn about Nakba
- Democrats afraid of Jewish donor ‘revenge’ in midterms
- ‘WSJ’ runs Israeli flotsam and jetsam about flotilla
|Israel targets landmark Palestinian estate on West Bank with ‘papers from God’
28 May 2010
This is Daoud Nassar. His family own a beautiful piece of land to the west of Bethlehem, in the Occupied West Bank. I have had the privilege of visiting their land numerous times since I first went to Palestine/Israel in 2003, and the Nassars have become dear friends.
The Nassars’ land and Nahalin are located in the ‘Gush Etzion’ settlement ‘bloc’, with the nearby colonies including Betar Illit, Geva’ot, Rosh Tzurim, and Neve Daniel – not to mention the Separation Wall and Route 60.
The Nassars’ land has often been ‘visited’ over the years by soldiers and settlers, including in the following incident:
Last night, Daoud sent out an urgent message to the ‘Tent of Nations’ email list:
The demolition orders are for tents, animal shelters, metal roofing, toilets, a water cistern, a metal container, and renovated underground caves.
The demolition orders were in Hebrew, and Daoud refused to sign receiving them. The papers claim that the family have three days (i.e. until Sunday) to respond – the timing, Daoud notes, makes it difficult to mount a court challenge because of the Sabbath/weekend. Nevertheless, the family’s lawyer will oppose the order to the military court on Sunday morning.
While the Nassars face demolition orders for animal shelters and toilets built on their own land, around and above them, Jewish Israeli citizens live normal lives in thriving colonies. This is ‘Area C’, where Israeli colonisation policies are designed to make a continued Palestinian presence impossible through almost entirely preventing construction:
This is the reality in Occupied Palestine in 2010. This is the story of Daoud and his family, along with hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. This is Israeli apartheid.
|With sea confrontation looming, New Yorkers say ‘break the blockade’
Posted: 27 May 2010
The following excerpt is of a report in the Indypendent, where you can read the full article and view photos of the New York action in support of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.
Days before a probable showdown at sea between Palestine solidarity activists traveling with a nine-ship fleet and the Israeli Navy, demonstrations took place across the United States and the world today to demand that Israel allow the activists safe passage to Gaza to deliver 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid.
In New York, more than 100 people gathered outside the building of the New York Daily News to call attention to the lack of news coverage of the flotilla, walked past the Israeli Consulate and marched to Times Square chanting “Break the blockade, Gaza needs aid.” They passed out hundreds of fliers to pedestrians explaining how the “Freedom Flotilla” was attempting to break the blockade of Gaza and what the potential Israeli response could be. In Times Square, demonstrators gathered in the center and chanted “Free, free Palestine” while tourists looked on and snapped pictures.
The action was organized by a coalition of local groups, including Adalah-NY, Al-Awda NY, the Activist Response Team, Gaza Freedom March and Jews Say No.
The “Freedom Flotilla” is made up of nine ships now in the Mediterranean Sea sailing to Gaza. The ships are stocked with badly needed aid, like construction materials, medical equipment and school supplies, for Gazans; such aid has been blocked by a crippling Israeli naval, air and land blockade. Palestine solidarity activists from more than two dozen countries, including the United States, are also part of the flotilla.
The Israeli Navy has vowed to stop the ships from reaching Gaza, and has set up a makeshift detention camp at Ashdod, a port in southern Israel, for processing, detaining and deporting the activists who are part of the mission.
“Through their system of apartheid and occupation, they’re denying the Palestinians the right to live,” said Randa Wahbe, a Palestinian-American active with Students for Justice in Palestine at Columbia University and Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel.
|Beinart rues absence of Palestinian voices– and redlining of Chas Freeman and Rob Malley
Posted: 27 May 2010
The Forward publishes some pithy comments by Peter Beinart that suggest that he has fully occupied the ground he surveyed in his groundbreaking piece, and the devil take Leon Wieseltier. (The interview, with Larry Cohler-Esses, is available in a podcast here). Notice in the second excerpt that Beinart’s embrace of a Jewish state is not full-throated, no it feels almost rote. Because the flag has a Star of David… With this sort of declaration, his kids are sure to be one-staters. Excerpts:
On the extent and limits of debate on the Middle East in America: I think we suffer from a distinct absence of Palestinian voices, particularly after the death of Edward Said. Whatever you thought about him, he was the one really high-profile Palestinian, or at least Arab thinker. I think the other weakness in our public debate is the timidity in Congress. I think there’s no question that the perceived power of AIPAC and of other pro-Israel organizations makes members of Congress more inhibited than they would otherwise be in being critical of Israel. Or if you look at the case of Chas Freeman, for instance, in his appointment to head the National Intelligence Council, or the case of Rob Malley, for instance, of not getting a position.
Beinart seeks to reconcile several contradictory remarks he has made regarding his position on equality for Arab citizens of Israel, and on reviving “liberal Zionism”. Warning, excerpt begins with some If’s: If you have a Jewish right of return in Israel, if you have the national anthem be Hatikvah, if you have the flag as it is today, it is a Jewish state and therefore, inevitably and tragically, any non-Jew in Israel will not have the same equal citizenship as he or she would have in a state that has no religious or ethnic identity.
I am not a supporter of a secular, binational state; I just don’t think it’s realistic. But that is a far cry from accepting the policies of the Israeli government that make it very difficult for Israeli Arab citizens to buy land, that lead to chronic underdevelopment, under-education in Arab areas and that, in the case of the Lieberman agenda, lead to a whole series of efforts, basically accusing Israeli Arabs of treason, of limiting their rights, and I think potentially even creating the kind of climate that leads to a more serious discussion of their expulsions.
I accept the tragic necessity of a Jewish state that can never be as fully liberal as I would like.
|‘Washington Post’ readers aren’t ready yet to learn about Nakba
Posted: 27 May 2010
Janine Zacharia covers the Ameer Makhoul case in the Washington Post. Pretty good piece, except:
|Democrats afraid of Jewish donor ‘revenge’ in midterms
Posted: 27 May 2010
The niceties of America’s often straightlaced political discourse generally preclude the use of a phrase as provocative as this: Jewish revenge. One of the virtues of the Israeli press, however, is that it can be refreshingly blunt.
“Officials in the Democratic Party are afraid that the Jews will take revenge in the midterm elections, which is the reason for the vigorous courting of Israel,” reports Yedioth Ahronoth today. Some of the courting the paper refers to just came from White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, whose recent trip to Israel was ostensibly a family affair — he was there to attend his son’s Bar Mitzvah — but it turned out that he also had important and very public business to take care of: a kiss-and-make-up session with Benjamin Netanyahu.
Didi Remez provides an English translation of the Hebrew report:
The report concludes by saying that the Obama administration is afraid of another clash with Netanyahu when the settlement “freeze” expires in September. “The hope is that Obama will be able to persuade Netanyahu to extend the construction freeze by means of a friendly request and thereby avoid a damaging confrontation.” Right!
|‘WSJ’ runs Israeli flotsam and jetsam about flotilla
Posted: 27 May 2010
Charles Levinson in the Wall Street Journal:
A quote from a participant would have been nice.