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Israel set to annex one-third of occupied West Bank
The baby in the photo is younger than my Abigail. His name is Rafael – a tiny baby, seen here in his mother’s arms. She wandered from Damascus to Beirut and onto the shores of the promised land, before being placed in a tent in the Beit Lyd transit camp. Rafael is my mother’s younger brother. She traveled this long route along with him in a sailboat when she was one-and-a-half years old. Grandfather Mordecai wrote in his diary about what had happened to them when they arrived at the immigrant camp:
“One of the nights a horrible wind was blowing, and rain came pouring from the sky. The small children who slept with us in the tents became sick with colds, diarrhea and fever. The smallest one, five-month-old Rafael, got stomach poisoning, and so we went to Tel Aviv and took him to the government hospital in Jaffa, where he returned his pure and innocent spirit to God in the morning light of Tuesday, 13/9/49.”
"Annexation is a vile and criminal idea that must be fought tooth and nail. But the solution will not come from granting citizenship to Palestinians annexed to Israel. Citizenship is yet another layer of deception in the façade of Israeli democracy, which Israel has successfully touted for over seven decades.
Annexation must be stopped. The occupation of 1967 must end. And colonialism and Jewish supremacy inside the 1948 territories must be dismantled in order to build a real democracy — one that has never actually existed here."
Israeli CA confiscates a livestock pen in a-Tuwani, South Hebron Hills, 18 June 2020
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As the new Israeli government was being sworn in last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proclaimed before the Knesset that it was time to “write another glorious chapter in the history of Zionism” by formally annexing more territory in the occupied West Bank.
With just over a week away from July 1 — the date the government has pledged to begin advancing legislation to apply “Jewish sovereignty” over its settlements — liberal Zionist figures and organizations, in Israel and abroad, have been hastily pulling out all the stops to prevent this annexation move.
As a child, Dr. Honaida Ghanim used to play a game with her friends: they would skip from one side of the Green Line to the other in her home village of al-Marja — one minute they were Israeli Arabs, the next Palestinians.
Ghanim, now a leading Palestinian sociologist, researches this liminal experience of Palestinian citizens of Israel, who in themselves represent borders, neither here nor there. Her book on the subject, “Reinventing the Nation: Palestinian Intellectuals and Persons of Pen in Israel, 1948-2000,” is based on her doctoral dissertation.
UN chief slams Israel's West Bank annexation plan
Ballots are still being counted in the Bronx primary fight between longtime incumbent Rep. Eliot Engel and political newcomer and public school educator Jamaal Bowman. But as of this writing, Bowman is not just ahead; he’s ahead by a comfortable margin of more than 20 points, which is unlikely to be overturned by absentee ballots.
Bowman’s victory, reminiscent of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s surprise victory over a longtime incumbent in 2018, represents another generational changing of the guard. A progressive upstart candidate vying to replace a moderate stalwart, Bowman inspired the passions of progressives not only in the Bronx-Westchester district but around the country. As a retired New York congressman observed last night, “the political landscape is fundamentally changing in the state as a new generation uproots the establishment. It’s a realignment based on demography, diversity and ideology.”
UN, Arab League call on Israel to drop annexation plans
Whitewashing and absurd punishment are not exceptions.They are policy
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Mizrahi Jews have received growing global attention over the last few years. More and more people are finally recognizing that not all Jews in Israel are of European descent, that many arrived from Middle Eastern and Muslim countries where they were religious minorities, and that successive generations have faced discrimination since arriving in the country.
There is no overstating the importance of this increased recognition, the result of decades of dedicated work by Mizrahi activists and scholars. Discrimination against Mizrahim in Israel is an often denied and understudied phenomenon, and raising awareness of their unique experiences and circumstances is a crucial step in fighting against Mizrahi marginalization.
Part I: What do they teach our children? Israel’s Intervention in U.S. K-12 Education w/ Miko Peled
To address the issue of the “independent left” in Israel, and specifically its relationship to the Mizrahi struggle and the Black Panther struggle, one needs to go back to a question that has plagued every attempt to establish a real left movement in this country: how can Ashkenazi  activists, many of whom benefited from the Zionist project and whom the Zionist regime considers as their own flesh and blood — how can these activists join together authentically with the victims of that project, the Mizrahim and the Palestinians? What gaps must be bridged? What patterns are preventing real connections from taking hold?
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The US administration is highly unlikely to approve an Israeli move to unilaterally annex parts of the West Bank by the July 1 date envisioned by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a well-placed source told The Times of Israel on Wednesday.
In fact, it could take long weeks and possibly even several months before the joint US-Israel mapping committee concludes its work, which the White House has declared a precondition that must be met before it would give a green light for annexation, the source said.
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Why Does Israel Want To Annex The West Bank?
Part II: What do they teach our children? Israel’s Intervention in U.S. K-12 Education w/ Miko Peled
Will West Bank annexation trigger turmoil? | Inside Story
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his new coalition government may not roll the dice this week. The international community has counted the days to July 1 with a degree of dread, wary of Netanyahu following through on his vows to annex parts of Palestinian territory where Jewish settlements sit. But, at the time of this writing, it was not clear what — if anything — Netanyahu would set in motion Wednesday.
Tareq Baconi, a Palestinian political analyst, sees few reasons for optimism about the outcome of the annexation debacle — whether it comes to pass or not. Like many other experts, Baconi doubts the Palestinian Authority’s ability to stop annexation, and worries that even if de jure annexation does not take place, the European Union will heave a sigh of relief and go back to ignoring Israel’s “creeping annexation” of the West Bank.
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Progressive lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that takes aim at the Israeli government’s proposed annexation plans. Unlike previous Democratic letters on the subject, which have resisted any suggestion that Israel face consequences for such a move, this one actually threatens to condition military aid.
The letter was first led by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), but in just one day it gathered a number of additional signatures: Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Rep. André Carson (D-IN), Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL), Rep. Chuy Garcia (D-IL), and Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL). Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has also signed it.
An Israeli court last month denied a petition by the Greek Orthodox Church to overturn the sale of leases on Jerusalem properties to an extremist Israeli settler organization.
The ruling again gives Ateret Cohanim, a right-wing group involved in colonizing Palestinian land in the city, the green light to take over the three properties.
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It’s been two days since Israel was supposed to annex large swaths of the West Bank.
But as the world geared up for massive protests against the policy, the official annexation announcement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu never materialized, leaving many wondering, what happens now?
Analysts have cited a number of reasons for the delay on annexation: international pressure, internal Israeli political feuds, and the coronavirus pandemic, to name a few.
Benjamin Weinthal in his own words
WHAT MAKES SOMEONE A JEW—not just a Jew in name, but a Jew in good standing—today? In Haredi circles, being a real Jew means adhering to religious law. In leftist Jewish spaces, it means championing progressive causes. But these environments are the exceptions. In the broad center of Jewish life—where power and respectability lie—being a Jew means, above all, supporting the existence of a Jewish state. In most Jewish communities on earth, rejecting Israel is a greater heresy than rejecting God.
The reason is rarely spelled out, mostly because it’s considered obvious: Opposing a Jewish state means risking a second Holocaust. It puts the Jewish people in existential danger. In previous eras, excommunicated Jews were called apikorsim, unbelievers. Today, they are called kapos, Nazi collaborators. Through a historical sleight of hand that turns Palestinians into Nazis, fear of annihilation has come to define what it means to be an authentic Jew.
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The gathering was addressed via video by US Senator Bernie Sanders, who said,
It has never been more important to stand up for justice and to fight for the future we all deserve. I am extremely heartened to see that so many of you, Arabs and Jews alike, are standing together tonight for peace, justice and democracy.” “It is up to all of us to stand up to authoritarian leaders and work together to build a peaceful future for every Palestinian and every Israeli. Like you, I believe that the futures of the Israeli and Palestinian people are entwined and that all of your children deserve to live in safety, freedom and equality. For that to be possible, the plan to illegally annex any part of the West Bank must be stopped; the Occupation must be ended, and we must work together toward a future or equality and dignity for all people in Israel and Palestine. I know that on the day when we finally celebrate the establishment of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel it will be because people like you stood up for justice, stood up for democracy, and stood up for human rights. In the words of my friend Ayman Odeh, "The only future is a shared future. We will build it together."
I was 22 in 1993 when Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat shook hands on the White House lawn to officially begin the peace process that many hoped would create a Palestinian state alongside Israel. I’ve been arguing for a two-state solution — first in late-night bull sessions, then in articles and speeches — ever since.
I believed in Israel as a Jewish state because I grew up in a family that had hopscotched from continent to continent as diaspora Jewish communities crumbled. I saw Israel’s impact on my grandfather and father, who were never as happy or secure as when enveloped in a society of Jews. And I knew that Israel was a source of comfort and pride to millions of other Jews, some of whose families had experienced traumas greater than my own.
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It’s fair to say that Peter Beinart’s recent article for Jewish Currents, in which he publicly announced his abandonment of the two-state solution, represents something of a milestone in American discourse on Israel-Palestine. As a well-known political thinker and commentator, Beinart’s ideas carry a great deal of weight in the liberal Jewish establishment. His 2010 article in The New York Review of Books, “The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment” and his subsequent book, “The Crisis of Zionism” were widely read and touted as critical cautionary manifestos for the American Jewish community. For years he has positioned himself on the left edge of the Liberal Zionist camp, and has regularly sounded warnings about the increasingly illiberal nature of Israel’s actions. It is thus hugely significant that he has now officially crossed a red line (his term) by so publicly and openly declaring the two-state solution to be dead.
Michael Brooks Analysis of Israel Annexation (TMBS 147)
This morning I woke up to two pieces of news that were circulating on social media. One was an article, a proclamation of sorts, by Peter Beinart, a Jewish-American columnist, journalist, and liberal political commentator. It was causing a buzz and being touted as “groundbreaking”. The other was a much more common incident, only notable because it had happened to an international supermodel, Bella Hadid. To me the two stories merged into one, as I explain below.
Pink Tides’ Solidarity With Palestine (TMBS 147)
Why does Israel want to annex the West Bank? | Start Here
I think it would be fair to say that a major earthquake has been happening in the Zionist camp this past week.
Peter Beinart, Prince of ‘Liberal-Zionism’, published a nearly 7K-word essay in Jewish Currents titled “Yavne: A Jewish Case for Equality in Israel-Palestine”, explaining why he is abandoning the two-state solution. It was followed up by his much shorter piece in the New York Times titled “I No Longer Believe in a Jewish State”.
As a Palestinian, it is both heartening and frustrating to read Peter Beinart’s piece. On the one hand, I am glad to see Beinart reaching these conclusions. It truly is a testament to the hard conversations being had, and the Jewish activists who have pushed this debate in the right direction within their community. I understand the audience to whom Beinart speaks, and applaud him for his moral clarity in spite of the pushback he has faced and will undoubtedly continue to face. On the other hand, Palestinians have long been saying many of these same things. So much work and research has been produced, so much energy has been expended, making the same arguments: that a two-state solution can no longer be achieved, that Palestinians are living in worse conditions than ever before, that the status quo will breed an uncoordinated violence of despair. I myself have written on patterns of Palestinian mobilization, with a specific focus on Jerusalem as a model for where we can look for alternatives to the current impasse. While Beinart mentions a few Palestinian names, it is quite typical that Palestinian expertise is only validated when repeated by an Israeli or Jewish author.
it is quite typical that Palestinian expertise is only validated when repeated by an Israeli or Jewish author.
Sparks from Black Lives Matter protest have jumped U.S. borders and caught fire elsewhere in the world, from Paris to Zurich to Sydney — and Palestine, where Floyd’s murder has struck a special chord.
Consider one pointed parallel. Iyad Halak was killed only five days after George Floyd. And his story is all too familiar.
Halak was autistic, and on his way to school. Just 100 yards from the institution he walked to every day, Israeli Border Police yelled at him to stop. He didn’t understand. He kept walking, and the police chased him. They began firing.
Terrified, he hid in a garbage room at the school. The police shot him dead.
Close Together, Worlds Apart
Writing in Palestine