Mondoweiss Online Newsletter


UPDATE: Mustafa Barghouti stable after being struck in head at Qalandiya; Palestinian protester reports Barghouti attacked by fellow protesters

Mar 30, 2012

Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz

Update, 6:30 pm

Earlier today we reported:

Mustafa Barghouti was among 150 Palestinians injured at a Land Day demonstration at Qalandiya checkpoint in occupied Palestine this morning. A leader of the nonviolent movement and former candidate for president, Barghouti said that he was struck in the head by a teargas canister fired by Israeli forces. He spoke from a bed in Ramallah Hospital. He said he was not seriously injured but he is under observation for contusions to his head and back.

“Today is a great day because no one thought we would be able to mobilize thousand of people for nonviolent protest,” said Barghouti, a physician. “This is the peak of the Palestinian nonviolent movement, and it reflects Palestinian unity too.”

An Israeli government claim that Palestinians attacked Barghouti is the “most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Why would any Palestinian attack me? I’m a leader of the Palestinians.”

Since we first published this eyewitnesses at Qalandiya have reported that Barghouti was in fact attacked by fellow Palestinian protesters. Jalal Abukhater described what he saw to theNew York Times‘s Robert Mackey over twitter, and sent us the following account:

As I arrived to Qalandia, first thing I saw was a large crowd of protesters with most carrying Red PFLP flags and orange PNI [Palestinian National Initiative] flags. As I walked down, I saw Mustafa Barghouti being evacuated into an ambulance at the Qalandia field hospital and Fateh guys were attacking PNI people. As Mustafa entered the ambulance, angry crowds continued to attack Mustafa and his group, a fight broke out between both sides. Mustafa was also beaten inside the ambulance. Weapon used in fighting was sticks which held flags. The ambulance which carried Mustafa had its rear glass broken and it rushed away. A while later I saw PNI organizers calling on all PNI people to leave the demo, clashes continued and hundreds remained present at the demo.

Reason behind all this, according to eye witnesses who were there before I was, is that PNI group acted separately and didn’t follow the general plan agreed upon by all groups, and they marched towards the checkpoint rushing during the prayer to beat all other groups and be first there. Also, non of them carried Palestinian flags..all carried PNI flags.

Only flags present were PFLP and PNI in large masses, Palestinian flags were held by individuals and Fateh flags weren’t present in mass.
Tear gas, Metal bullet projectiles, something called “exact impact”, Skunk truck, and the LARD screamer were used intensively by the army to crush the protesters, many were injured. Mustafa, from the hospital, told journalists that the reason of his injury was “two tear gas canisters which hit his head”, a lie. Trying to make a hero of himself after a shameful act he pulled trying to grab all media attention. It was full with disgrace, and his credibility has hit a new low.

The New York Times story includes both Barghouti’s version and the counter claims:

At the Qalandiya checkpoint between the West Bank and Jerusalem, masked youths threw stones at Israeli troops and set tires alight. The troops responded with rubber bullets and tear gas. Mustafa Barghouti, a doctor and Palestinian politician, said one of the teargas canisters hit him, sending him to the hospital.

“I was hit with a teargas bomb on the side of my head and my back,” Dr. Barghouti said in a telephone interview from his hospital bed. “My scalp is injured, my right ear has problems, and they are checking to see if I have any spinal injury.”

The Israeli military spokesman’s office, in a set of Twitter messages and later over the telephone, said Dr. Barghouti had not been hit by an Israeli canister but had been attacked by other Palestinians. A few Palestinian witnesses offered a similar account.

A source with access to Barghouti says Barghouti stands by his version of events. We will continue to follow up on the story.

Original Post

Mustafa Barghouti was among 150 Palestinians injured at a Land Day demonstration at Qalandiya checkpoint in occupied Palestine this morning. A leader of the nonviolent movement and former candidate for president, Barghouti said that he was struck in the head by a teargas canister fired by Israeli forces. He spoke from a bed in Ramallah Hospital. He said he was not seriously injured but he is under observation for contusions to his head and back.

“Today is a great day because no one thought we would be able to mobilize thousand of people for nonviolent protest,” said Barghouti, a physician. “This is the peak of the Palestinian nonviolent movement, and it reflects Palestinian unity too.”

An Israeli government claim that Palestinians attacked Barghouti is the “most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Why would any Palestinian attack me? I’m a leader of the Palestinians.”

From IDF spokesperson Avital Leibovich— a stupendous effort to misrepresent the truth:

The info I have regarding Mousteffa Bargoutti injured,is that he was hurt by a Pales,as he was trying to convince youth in #Kalandya to riot

I remind you: Barghouti was at the center of the J Street conference last weekend, soberly, eloquently urging American Jews to do all they can to publicize the nonviolent Palestinian movement.

Hugh Naylor responded to IDF:

I was there. He was attacked by plainclothes pple. His colleagues had no idea who they were. He was not calling for riot

Israelis smashed three ambulances and injured eight Palestinian aid workers, Barghouti said.

Land Day protest at Times Square, today at 4:30 PM

Mar 30, 2012

Philip Weiss

Below is the latest product from the messengers of We Will Not Be Silent: The Palestine hoody. Sarah Wellington wears one to her workshift at Park Slope Food Coop a day after the vote.

The group will be helping to lead a Land Day protest today in Times Square at 4:30 PM.

Palestine hoody
Palestine hoody
Palestine hoody rear view
Palestine hoody rear view

From We Will Not Be Silent:

STILL HERE at the PSFC…BEGIN AGAIN. Wear the human rights for Palestine hoody/shirt. Wearing the Palestine hoody is our call for justice. Starting today we are donating $1 to support BDS for every Palestine hoody sold. Embody the message…

All members that were denied their right to vote their choice on BDS can start to wear Palestine every time they go to shop or do a work shift. WE WILL NOT BE SILENT. STILL HERE…

Almost 40% voted YES to allow a coop wide referendum on BDS. Democracy was shut down for almost 15,000 members. We will continue the struggle. Solidarity with Palestine. Our voices will be heard.

Video: the Gaza onslaught

Mar 30, 2012

Annie Robbins

حركشة GAZA From Dimension Studio in Ramallah, Palestine.


BDS is endorsed by large Latino/a youth organization at Arizona conference

Mar 30, 2012

Philip Weiss

We received the following press release today from student solidarity groups in Arizona:

March 30, 2012 — At the 19th annual national conference of M.E.Ch.A. (Movímíento Estudíantíl Chícan@ de Aztlán), the largest association of Latin@ youth in the US, chapter leaders voted by a landslide decision to endorse the global call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) on Israel, due to its military occupation and settlement of Palestine.

The announcement that M.E.Ch.A. chapter leaders endorsed BDS comes on the coinciding international observances of “César Chávez Day” and “Land Day,” commemorating ongoing civil rights and anti-colonial struggles for Latin@s and Palestinians. The chapter delegations (including some 600 delegates) met in Phoenix, AZ, last weekend, the site of the very first M.E.Ch.A. conference in 1993.

The local Arizona State University M.E.Ch.A. chapter, who hosted the conference this year, was the first to endorse the BDS call prior to the conference. Before M.E.Ch.A. could endorse BDS at a national level, ASU Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) President, Lina Bearat, attended an ASU M.E.Ch.A meeting to discuss BDS and ask for their endorsement. Without that crucial vote of endorsement and support from ASU M.E.Ch.A. prior to the conference, ASU SJP could not have been able to ask for the endorsement of BDS by the national M.E.Ch.A. ASU SJP was also required to hold a workshop on BDS to educate the national members on the issue. Erin McGough, ASU SJP member, had the opportunity to discuss and hold a workshop on BDS at the national M.E.Ch.A. conference. The University of Arizona SJP collaborated with ASU, in all, on three educational workshops on Palestine given at the conference.

“Palestina 101,” a workshop run by ASU SJP Vice President, Aman Aberra, discussed the history and current situation in Palestine, as well as US involvement and complicity in Israel’s crimes and how the attendees could get involved in supporting justice in Palestine. “Conexiones Concretas/Concrete Connections,” run by Gabriel M Schivone of UofA SJP, discussed cross-border analyses — ranging from both walls to cultural attacks on Palestinian/Latin@ ethnic studies by the US and Israel — and provided prospects for cross-movement building between both struggles. Member representatives also distributed “A Plea from a Mexican-Palestinian and Chicano-Jew to National M.E.Ch.A.,” by Yasmine A. Moreno Yatim and Schivone, UofA SJP coordinators, urging the conference to adopt BDS.

Beyond ASU and UofA, some of the schools where M.E.Ch.A.s and Latin@ groups have ongoing cross-movement relationships with SJPs and Palestine solidarity groups include The Evergreen State College, University of New Mexico, Brown University, University of Illinois – Chicago, and UCLA.

The decades-old legacy of M.E.Ch.A. stretches back to the late 1960s US Civil Rights Movement. M.E.Ch.A. has traditionally supported intertwining struggles such as opposing police brutality and the US war on Vietnam.

This year, Land Day marks the 36th anniversary of the massacre by Israeli soldiers killing unarmed Palestinians citizens of Israel whom protested the illegal expropriation of Palestinian land. Like his Palestinian counterparts, Chicano civil rights leader, César Chávez, led boycotts and strikes for the rights of farmworkers — including the “Salad Bowl Strike,” the largest farmworker strike in US history — that inspired waves of social movements in the US.

In July 2005, more than 170 Palestinian civil society organizations created the BDS call, a year after the historic ruling by the United Nation’s International Court of Justice condemning Israel’s illegal apartheid wall and reminding the international community of its obligation to pressure Israel to end its prolonged occupation and illegal settlement of Palestinian lands. Together, these civil societies — from Arizona to Palestine — are working towards one goal of fighting oppression and resisting everyday injustice.

From Gaza to Sakhnin, we are united with Bil’in

Mar 30, 2012

Nathan Stuckey


Thirty six years ago on March 30th 1976 demonstrations against the confiscation of Palestinian land by the Israeli government spread throughout Palestine.  Six Palestinians were killed, over a hundred wounded, and hundreds more arrested.  Land day was one of the first large mobilizations of Palestinians with 1948 Palestine.  This year, on Land Day, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from all over the world will march towards Jerusalem.  In Beit Hanoun, Land Day came early.  The weekly Tuesday demonstration against the occupation and the no go zone was in honor of Land Day and the six martyrs who gave their lives defending their land thirty six years ago.

Photo courtesy Hussein Amody, 2012

We gathered on the road in front of the Beit Hanoun Agricultural College in preparation for the march into the no go zone.  There were about 50 of us, the Beit Hanoun Local Initiative, the International Solidarity Movement, other foreign activists, and Gazan activists from all over Gaza.  Palestinian flags flew high, music played over the megaphone, and we unfurled banners in memory of the martyrs of 1976.  Young men carried olive trees, hoes, shovels and water.  We would plant the trees in the no go zone today.  We marched slowly toward the no go zone.

The no go zone has been overgrown with thistles, for some reason the Israelis have stopped bulldozing the ground so often.  Perhaps they are satisfied that they grounded most signs that people used to live here, that the no go zone used to be a place of thriving orchards, completely to dust under the treads of their tanks of their bulldozers.  We made our way through the thistles using paths cut by our previous demonstrations in the no go zone.  We made our way to the trench the Israelis dug to bisect the no go zone.  The trench is lined with flags from our past demonstrations. Today it is also lined with pictures of Rachel Corrie and Hana Shalabi fromlast week’s demonstration.

Young men set to work with their hoes. They cleared two areas of thistles, dug holes, and planted young olive saplings.  While the trees were being planted the crowd chanted, “From Gaza to Sakhnin we are all united with Bil’in.” Usually, the chant is from “from Gaza to Jenin we are all united with Bil’in”, but this week Sakhnin was honored for its role in the first Land Day.

After the trees were planted we set about our second task for the day, erasing the trench which scars the no go zone.  Young men set to work with hoes and shovels filling it in with dirt.  Israeli soldiers appeared on top the concrete tower from which they usually shoot at us.  This time, they did not shoot, they merely watched.

The young men continued to work at filling in the ditch.  Perhaps the soldiers were afraid of shooting, afraid of inspiring even demonstrations on the 30th. Perhaps they realized that to these demonstrators, freedom is more important than life.  The young men worked steadily. Soon a good part of the trench was filled in.  They shouldered their shovels and hoes and we began to walk back towards Beit Hanoun.  We paused at the edge of the no go zone by some giant concrete blocks painted with Palestinian flags, we ate cookies and drank orange juice.  Today, we went to the no go zone and planted olive trees, God willing, on Land Day we will plant olive trees in Al Quds.

(Crossposted @ International Solidarity Movement)

Nathan Stuckey is a volunteer with International Solidarity Movement

Live updates from the Global March to Jerusalem and Land Day protests

Mar 30, 2012

Adam Horowitz


The Global March to Jerusalem is currently happening, and protests are taking place across Israel/Palestine to commemorate Land Day. Above is a live feed of the protests in Jerusalem fromRussia Today. Follow below for the latest news and updates from Twitter:

Land Day in posters: a retrospective of the 1980s

Mar 30, 2012

Allison Deger

Palestinian Land Day posters serve as a monument to the movement they represent. These vibrant graphics weave together images of nature and politics into a tapestry that is a testament to resilience. Like the bloodied kuffieyah print flower that breaks through barbed wire in the 1983 Land Day poster, these depictions promise life beyond barriers.

Below are the Palestinian Land Day posters  from 1980-1989.

land day 11
Land Day, ca. 1980. (Image: Palestinian Liberation Front)
land day 10
Land Day, 1981. (Image: FATAH-Palestinian National Liberation Movement)
land day 9
Land Day, 1982. (Photo: Abd Almouty Abozaid/ Al Saiqa)
land day 2
Land Day, 1983. (Image: Marc Rudin/PFLP-Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine)
land day 1 1
Land Day, ca. 1984 (Image: Muwaffaq Mattar/PLO Unified Information)
land day 3
Land Day, 1985. (Image: Abed Abed El Hameed/PLO Unified Information)
land day 4
Land Day, 1986. (Image: Sliman Mansour/Al Fajr)
Land Day, 1987. (Image: Naji al Ali)
land day 7
Land Day, ca. 1988. (Image: Ghazi Inaim/PPSF-Palestinian Popular Struggle Front)
land day 8
Land Day, 1989. (Image: DFLP-Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine)

Video: Students in Palestine and the US mark Land Day by calling on TIAA-CREF to divest

Mar 30, 2012

Adam Horowitz


A friend at AFSC sent along this video and wrote:

Marking Palestinian “Land Day”, students from Palestine and colleges and universities around the United States have joined the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) in sending a video message to one of the largest financial services companies in the United States: divest from corporations that profit from the Israeli occupation. A three minute video calls on TIAA-CREF to end its investments in corporations that profit from Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. Some of these corporations include Veolia, Hewlett-Packard, and Caterpillar that often provide services or products on US campuses, but also help to entrench the system of inequality and military occupation in Israel and Palestine.

Global March to Jerusalem website blocked in Israel; decoy site directs to hasbara video

Mar 30, 2012

Adam Horowitz

Yesterday, a Mondoweiss reader in Haifa sent us the following note:

I just wanted to inform you that all day today, I have not been able to access the official website to the Global March to Jerusalem: link to The link would not connect using either google Chrome or explorer. I was able to access the NA site and google also offered acashed site supposedly from earlier in the day (but very poor).

Also, in googling “Global March to Jerusalem” the first site listed is a news item from “Israel News Agency” with the headline “Iran Sponsored Global March to Jerusalem Launches Website

When you click on the link given on that page for the march’s website —  you are directed to a you tube hasbara video denying Israel as an apartheid state:


The fake website appears to be the work of Joel Leyden, who runs the “Israel News Agency” which “reported” on the website. Leyden has pulled similar stunts before, including these fake sites he set up during the second Freedom Flotilla.

(h/t Benjamin Doherty for background on Leyden)

What Park Slope BDS activists were up against: the full force of the Israel lobby

Mar 30, 2012

Alex Kane

Yuli Edelstein at the Park Slope Food
Co-op last December (Photo: Stop BDS at
the Park Slope Food Coop)

Advocates for Israel are crowing over their victory this week at the Park Slope Food Co-op, as a measure that would have put the question of boycotting Israeli products to a vote failed, 60-40.

But when you look closely at the forces aligned against the Park Slope Food Co-op Members for BDS, it becomes clear that the pro-BDS forces were outmatched in resources and political clout–which makes the 40% vote garnered that much more impressive. What would the vote have been without the distorting noise that preceded it?

The Jewish Week’s Doug Chandler reports on how the “drive to defeat a proposed boycott of Israeli goods…resembled an election campaign”:

One reason for the size of the crowd was the concerted effort mounted by a number of groups to boost the attendance of pro-Israel members of the co-op, said Poupko, director of Israel and international affairs at the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.

JCRC worked with rabbis in Brownstone Brooklyn and More Hummus, Please, the co-op faction opposed to BDS, to draw attention to the vote and craft the right message, Poupko said. In essence, she added, the message conveyed the idea “that BDS does nothing to promote peace and that it’s bad for the co-op.”

Toward that end, the ad-hoc coalition of groups distributed flyers, posters, e-mail blasts and postcards with the same design and the same language. Aimed at appealing to a progressive audience, a large part of Brownstone Brooklyn, the material said, “Say yes to a Jewish state. Yes to a Palestinian state. No to BDS…”

In the past few days, JCRC also solicited statements from elected officials in the area denouncing the BDS movement, Poupko said. Among the nine leaders who provided statements are U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Yvette Clarke, both Democrats who represent parts of Brownstone Brooklyn.

So the loss for BDS advocates becomes a lot more clearer after reading that. They were up against the full force of the Israel lobby in New York, which successfully partnered with Park Slope-area “progressives” to defeat BDS activists.

The JCRC, as I’ve explained here, is an influential organization that has close ties to New York’s ruling establishment. The fact that they successfully solicited statements against BDS from elected officials, probably with little effort, is a demonstration of their influence. Their budget last year was over $3 million, and they are part of the Israel Action Network, the $6 million initiative created at the urging of the Israeli government that aims to combat BDS efforts.

The JCRC wasn’t the only organization that worked with anti-BDS Co-op members to defeat the measure for a referendum on boycotting Israeli products. The Anti-Defamation League and Stand With Us, the right-wing Israeli government-linked group, also played a role in organizing against BDS efforts, according to the Israel Action Network.

It was hardly a fair fight. Sure, pro-BDS members of the Co-op had some prominent backing from the likes of Alice Walker, but that’s hardly enough to combat the full force of the lobby, which successfully persuaded elected officials to come out strongly against the boycott. It’s likely the vote would have been a lot closer had Barbara Mazor, the leader of the Co-op’s anti-BDS “More Hummus, Please” group, not had the help of deep-pocketed and influential organizations.

All of this is to say that the defeat of the BDS measure at Park Slope does not bode well for the Israel lobby. The money and time spent, and connections to elected officials, did not mean an overwhelming victory for those against BDS.

Kiera Feldman makes this point in an excellent piece for The Nation:

Here’s the thing: It doesn’t actually matter if the Coop boycotts Israel or not. Just having the debate is a symbolic victory for the pro-boycott camp. It might once have been safe to assume that in Park Slope, Brooklyn, progressive Jews would side with their more conservative co-religionists on matters pertaining to Israel. No longer.

Back in December, Israeli Minister of Information and Diaspora Yuli Edelstein, a settler who calls the colony of Neve Daniel home, paid the coop a visit. A few rows away from the shelves of settlement-made Sodastream, Edelstein posed for a picture holding a tub of Sabra Humus and a bag of vegan marshmallows (part Israeli-owned and Israeli manufactured, respectively). Edelstein’s visit cemented an inescapable truth: the Park Slope Food Coop had officially become a key site for BDS organizing and opposition, a success in and of itself for the BDS movement. BDS had permeated even Park Slope–“the heart of the Jewish crunchy liberal establishment,” in the tongue-in-cheek words of Jewish Voice for Peace activist Jesse Bacon…

Feldman rightly concludes:

If BDS has no capacity to exert governmental pressure, then why are Israeli officials—those who are invested in protecting the status quo—so afraid that they had to outlaw BDS in Israel last summer? One Israeli diplomat termed BDS “a practical warhead on the tip of an ideological rocket.”

Over the last week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Council speaker (and 2013 mayoral hopeful) Christine Quinn, public advocate Bill de Blasio, Senator Charles Schumer, and a long list of other non-Coop members clamored to pass New York’s Israel loyalty test by denouncing the Coop boycott campaign. If the Coop boycott is now at the top of the test, then BDS has really gone mainstream. It didn’t matter which way the vote went Tuesday night, because, as soon as this debate erupted in Park Slope, the boycotters had already won.

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