Israel – Palestine Issue

‘Horrific’ Israeli ‘war crimes’ in Gaza must end now, human rights watchdog says

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As the death toll among Palestinian protesters rises in Gaza, Amnesty International has called Israel’s crackdown “deplorable,” and the UN has called for an end to the Israeli military’s “disproportionate” use of… RT “This is another horrific example of the Israeli military using excessive force and live ammunition in a totally deplorable way,” Amnesty International’s Philip Luther said. “This is a violation of international standards, in some instances committing what appear to be wilful… Over 2,700 people have been injured, many with live ... Read More »

Q&A: Why is the Golan Heights so important?

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When Iran recently attacked the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights from its positions in south-west Syria, Israel responded with a volley of air strikes that it says all but destroyed “almost all the Iranian infrastructure in Syria”. Abdulaziz Alghashian The Conversation It was a dramatic flare-up in a long-running enmity – and it was no coincidence that it happened over one of the most contested areas in the Middle East. When did Israel take full control of the Golan Heights, and why? ... Read More »

Stop telling Palestinians to be ‘resilient’ – the rest of the world has failed them

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Viewed from Palestine, it’s hard to disagree that we’ve perhaps seen one of the most inflammatory weeks in recent memory. Brendan Ciarán Browne The Conversation In just a few days, several extremely sensitive events have coincided to devastating effect: the culmination of weekly protests in the Gaza Strip, the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the 70th anniversary of the 1948 Nakba (from the Arabic, “Immense Catastrophe”) and the start of the… Throw in for good ... Read More »

Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade Reveals the Limits of Israeli Counter-terrorism

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Israeli-Palestinian tensions are mounting, not just in Gaza and over the U.S. embassy’s move to Jerusalem, but also over Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade, known to Jews as Temple Mount and Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. Ofer Zalzberg ICG Israeli and Palestinian leaders could take simple administrative steps to reduce the risks of violence at the holy sites. A series of momentous events in Israel-Palestine, both national and religious in character, risk spiralling into a dangerous escalation. Since 30 March, tens of thousands of Palestinians in ... Read More »

Gaza violence: Israel defends actions as 55 Palestinians killed

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Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has said his military was acting in self defence during violence on the Gaza border that left dozens of Palestinians dead. Some 55 were killed and 2,700 wounded by Israeli troops, Palestinian officials said, on the deadliest day of violence since the 2014 Gaza war. BBC The Palestinian Authority’s leader condemned a “massacre”. The UN spoke of “outrageous human rights violations”. The violence came as the US opened a controversial embassy in Jerusalem. The move of ... Read More »

As Israel turns 70, many young American Jews turn away

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Natalie Portman, the Oscar-winning actress, recently kicked off a massive storm of controversy when she pulled out of a prestigious award ceremony in Israel because, she said, she “did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu.” Dov Waxman The Conversation The response to Portman’s refusal to appear alongside Israel’s prime minister was intense. She was denounced by right-wing Israeli politicians. One labeled Portman’s decision as borderline anti-Semitic. Another suggested that her Israeli citizenship should be stripped. Born in Israel, ... Read More »

Pompeo puts onus on Palestinians to rejoin peace talks

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U.S. Secretary of State  Pompeo‘>Mike Pompeo wound up a three-day Middle East trip April 30 without having met any Palestinian, but nevertheless urged their leadership to rejoin the peace process. Hurriyet Washington’s newly appointed top diplomat received a warm reception in Riyadh, Tel Aviv and Amman, focusing his talks on Iranian interference in the region – despite the tensions once against rising between Israel and the Palestinians. Forty-five Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire on the Gaza border since the… Pompeo puts onus… Read More »

Gaza now has a toxic ‘biosphere of war’ that no one can escape

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Gaza has often been invaded for its water. Every army leaving or entering the Sinai desert, whether Babylonians, Alexander the Great, the Ottomans, or the British, has sought relief there. Authors: The Conversation But today the water of Gaza highlights a toxic situation that is spiralling out of control. A combination of repeated Israeli attacks and the sealing of its borders by Israel and Egypt, have left the territory unable to process its water or waste. Every drop of water ... Read More »

The Ghost of Herut: Einstein on Israel, 70 Years Ago

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Albert Einstein, along with other Jewish luminaries, including Hannah Arendt, published a letter in the New York Times on December 4, 1948. Ramzy Baroud CounterPunch That was only a few months after Israel had declared its independence and as hundreds of Palestinian villages were being actively demolished after their inhabitants were expelled. The letter denounced Israel’s newly-founded Herut party and its young leader, Menachem Begin. Herut was carved out of the Irgun terrorist gang, famous for its many massacres against ... Read More »

Saudi prince says Israel has ‘right’ to its land

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The crown prince and de facto leader of Saudi Arabia said Israel has a “right” to a homeland, a notable shift in the kingdom’s position published on April 2. Washington / Riyadh Hurriyet But the king reassured Palestine over Saudi Arabia’s stance on the issue on April 3. Saudi Arabia and Israel still have no formal diplomatic relations, but behind the scenes, improvements in their ties have accelerated in recent years. Both countries see Iran as their biggest outside threat ... Read More »

Israel Kills Palestinians and Western Liberals Shrug. Their Humanitarianism Is a Sham.

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“IF THE CONCEPT of intervention is driven by universal human rights, why is it — from the people who identify themselves as liberal interventionists — why do we never hear a peep, a word, about intervening to protect the Palestinians?” Mehdi Hasan The Intercept That was the question I put to the French philosopher, author, and champion of liberal (or humanitarian) interventionism, Bernard-Henri Lévy, on my Al Jazeera English interview show “Head to Head” in 2013. The usually silver-tongued Levy struggled to answer the ... Read More »

Gaza Protests Mark Shift in Palestinian National Consciousness

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Protests in Gaza on Friday 30 March, at which Israeli forces killed more than a dozen Palestinians, were the largest of their kind in several years and are likely to grow over the coming weeks. Nathan Thrall ICG In this Q&A, Nathan Thrall, Director of Crisis Group’s Arab-Israeli Project, says the series of planned marches reflect the Palestinians’ determination to take matters into their own hands after losing faith in outside mediation. What happened last Friday? Friday was 30 March, Land Day, the… Gaza Protests Mark… Read More »

No gun, no Molotov: why did a 19-year-old Palestinian protester die?

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Gaza:  The morning after burying 19-year-old Abdul Fattah Abdul Nabi, his family gathered in a tent set up to receive mourners, watching and rewatching a video of the moment they say Israeli soldiers shot him in the back of the head. Brisbane Times Washington Post The video appears to show Abdul Fattah, dressed in black, running away from the border fence carrying a tyre. Just before reaching the crowd, he crumples under gunfire. “He had no gun, no Molotov, a ... Read More »

US Smooths Israel’s Path to Annexing West Bank

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Seemingly unrelated events all point to a tectonic shift in which Israel has begun preparing the ground to annex the occupied Palestinian territories. Jonathan Cook CounterPunch Last week, during an address to students in New York, Israel’s education minister Naftali Bennett publicly disavowed even the notion of a Palestinian state. “We are done with that,” he said. “They have a Palestinian state in Gaza.” Later in Washington, Bennett, who heads Israel’s settler movement, said Israel would manage the fallout from ... Read More »

UN report says Israel a ‘racist state’ and ‘apartheid regime’

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Report ‘first of its type’ to conclude ‘apartheid system persecutes Palestinian people’ A UN agency published a report on Wednesday accusing Israel of imposing an “apartheid regime” of racial discrimination on the Palestinian people, and said it was the first time a UN body had clearly made the… The Irish Times Reuters Israel’s foreign ministry spokesman likened the report, published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), to Der Stürmer– a Nazi propaganda publication that was strongly ... Read More »

Nikki Haley says Palestine’s Abbas lacks ‘Courage,’ ‘Insulted’ Trump in a fiery U.N. Speech

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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Thursday issued a scathing attack on Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, charging that he lacks “courage and the will to seek peace” in the Middle East. Tracy Lee Newsweek “We will not chase after a Palestinian leadership that lacks what is needed to achieve peace,” Haley said in a fiery speech at a U.N. Security Council meeting. This comes as U.S. President Donald Trump, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, ... Read More »