All hail the Peacemakers 21

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https://electronicintifada.net/content/panic-over-bds-reaches-fever-pitc...

The Czech parliament’s decision to pass a resolution condemning the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement as anti-Semitic last week is only the most recent example of how the panic over BDS has reached a fever pitch.

This latest round of attempts to stop public criticism of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians began in Britain in May. Jeremy Hunt, at the time foreign secretary and running for the leadership of the Conservative Party, attacked supporters of BDS by declaring that “boycotting Israel – the world’s only Jewish state – is anti-Semitic.”

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JERUSALEM — What two Democratic congresswomen couldn’t see of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip when they were denied entry to Israel in the summer, they can now see on their phones. And if they have a pair of specialty goggles handy, they can see it in swooping, pivoting virtual reality.

So can anyone else who downloads a copy of Palestine VR, an iPhone- and Samsung-ready app released Wednesday that delivers a 360-degree digital walkabout of the Palestinian territories based on the aborted itinerary of Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/omar-and-tlaib-were-bar...

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Earlier this month, Mais Abu Ghosh, a student at Birzeit University in the West Bank, sent a letter to her family from Damon Prison in northern Israel.

“I love you so much,” Abu Ghosh wrote. “I am fine as long as you and those whom I love are fine […] You are in my mind and my spirit.” She asked her family to send greetings to her university friends and to her professors, “with no exceptions.” She added: “I am with another family now. All difficulties will pass.”

https://972mag.com/birzeit-student-arrests-israel/144199/?fbclid=IwAR0De...

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5 Inspiring Jewish Voices for Peace Who Support Ilhan Omar

https://youtu.be/-LJVL-u9h9M

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Fifteen years since mysterious death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat

https://youtu.be/dML4BrlPPUI

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Israeli farmers in limbo as Jordan-Israel land lease deal expires

https://youtu.be/Nu-9EtLTPu8

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A Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces on Monday morning in al-Arroub refugee camp in the southern occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Authority (PA) confirmed.

Official PA news agency Wafa reported that a Palestinian identified as Omar Haitham al-Badawi, 22, was shot in the abdomen at the entrance of al-Arroub during a march commemorating the 15th anniversary of the death of Palestinian president Yasser Arafat.

“There were protests in commemoration of Yasser Arafat’s death, like every year,” Mohammad Badawi, a 28-year-old cousin of Omar Badawi, told Middle East Eye. “Then the Israeli army entered the camp.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israeli-forces-kill-palestinian-south...

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Israel claims killing of Palestinian armed group's commander

https://youtu.be/bdwSEPQw1Zk

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Two days of Israeli airstrikes against Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants have killed 24 people in Gaza, in some of the heaviest fighting for months that resulted in widespread bombardment and more than 350 rockets launched from the strip into Israel.

The dead included a 7-year old boy and two other minors, according the Palestinian ministry of health. More than 70 others were wounded, including 30 children and 13 women. In Israel, advanced air defence equipment took out most of the rockets heading for built up areas. However, three people were hit by shrapnel or debris.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/13/gaza-death-toll-rises-isra...

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Who is Israeli Jewish Communist Dov Khenin?

https://youtu.be/zROSwQQPeDo

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Palestinian death toll from Israeli air raids rises

https://youtu.be/cW4a7cx4nek

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Israel-Gaza clashes escalate after Islamic Jihad commander killed

https://youtu.be/Ji9uGaABUNM

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Hundreds of Palestinians protest against Israel's blockade of Gaza

https://youtu.be/VpNIaw8FieY

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https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/children-die-playing-f...

Eight children and a grandmother were among 23 persons killed in a tenth day of heavy Israeli bombardment targeting civilians, civilian homes and other infrastructure across the occupied Gaza Strip.

Wednesday’s carnage brought the toll since Israel began its assault to 220 Palestinians killed and 1,570 injured, the Gaza-based newspaper Filistin reported, citing the health ministry.

The latest deaths bring the number of children killed to at least forty-six.

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Why is the US saying illegal Israeli settlements are okay? I Inside Story

https://youtu.be/X_bqR1K4GcE

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Bernie Sanders Slams Trump’s Endorsement of Israel’s Lawlessness

https://youtu.be/vtv3H4hVxd8

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The Trump administration's bombshell announcement that it no longer considers Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank illegal under international law has sent shockwaves through the region.

But it's only the latest in a long line of unilateral gifts offered by Donald Trump to Israel since the president took up residence in the White House in January 2017.

Middle East Eye takes a look at how Trump has promoted Israeli interests at the expense of the Palestinians:

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/trumps-gifts-israels-netanyahu-jerusa...

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Bernie Sanders’ Plea to Respect Palestinian Dignity at Debate Was a Game Changer

https://youtu.be/ektfMEVt7Q4

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How hard is it to form a government in Israel? I Inside Story

https://youtu.be/-0YBkauOx9s

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Israeli PM Netanyahu indicted on corruption charges

https://youtu.be/6EkaLMMc614

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Earlier this month, Fathi Ismaiin, 63, got a call he had hoped he would never receive in his lifetime.

Israeli forces had arrived in his village of Beit Ummar with bulldozers, and were cordoning off farmland in the area. His land, he was told, was being taken.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/road-will-kill-our-land-new-settler-r...

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Israel's Netanyahu refuses to step down amid corruption charges

https://youtu.be/jYnRMWMX4MA

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Israeli PM Netanyahu defiant after being charged with corruption

https://youtu.be/lZUWrQxNLkw

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Once quiet was restored to Israel’s cities after the deadly, targeted attack in Gaza earlier this month and the missiles launched in response, Israel’s citizens quickly reverted to a normal routine.

Politicians and the media resumed their nauseatingly familiar normalcy: wallowing in the eternal political swamp, the impossibility of forming the next government and incitement against the country’s Palestinian citizens. Gaza, as usual, will now disappear from the public consciousness in Israel until the next missile is launched.

In the much-battered Gaza Strip, life also reverted to routine: having buried the victims of the latest massacre, among them women and children, Palestinians may now find the time to remove the new rubble, amid ever-deepening poverty, while awaiting the next massacre. And it will come - we know that it will. The mass killing of Palestinians in Gaza has increasingly become normalised.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/can-anything-be-done-prevent-next-...

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Yesterday the Trump administration said Israeli settlements in the West Bank don’t violate international law. That’s absurd. Among international lawyers, the consensus that settlements are illegal rivals the consensus among international scientists that humans contribute to climate change. As UCLA’s Dov Waxman has pointed out, the legal advisor to Israel’s own foreign ministry admitted that “civilian settlement in the administered territories contravenes explicit provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention” after Israel conquered the West Bank in 1967.

But critics who condemn the Trump administration for disregarding international law are missing the deeper point. So are critics who condemn it for undermining the two-state solution.

https://forward.com/opinion/435109/the-problem-with-settlements-is-not-t...

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(Jerusalem) – Human Rights Watch will keep documenting abuses despite the Israeli government’s expulsion of the Israel and Palestine director of Human Rights Watch on November 25, 2019. The deportation reflects the authorities’ intensifying assault on human rights. The director, Omar Shakir, will depart tonight after Israel’s Supreme Court upheld the government’s deportation order on November 5 and gave him until November 25 to leave.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/11/25/israel-expels-human-rights-watch-dir...

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Each Israeli attack on Gaza leaves more than dead and wounded, but numerous stories of human endurance and tragedy.

The most recent Israeli aggression on the besieged Gaza Strip began on November 12, when the Israeli government broke the ceasefire by assassinating senior Islamic Jihad commander Bahaa Abu al-Ata and his wife Asma Mohammed as they slept in their home.

Since then, I interviewed many Palestinians who had family members killed or injured in the Israeli attack. They spoke with deep pain and sorrow.

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/they-killed-my-parents-on-my-birthday-...

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Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets on Tuesday to denounce last week’s announcement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Washington no longer considered Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories to be “inconsistent” with international law.

On Sunday, Palestinian political factions announced the planning of a "day of rage" to reject the US decision, calling for demonstrators to gather in Palestinian cities and march towards so-called “friction points” like Israeli army checkpoints and areas close to settlements.

A student march launched from Birzeit University north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday, heading towards the settlement of Beit El, which is built on lands belonging to the Palestinian city of al-Bireh.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/palestinians-stage-day-rage-protestin...

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A major tactic that the New York Times deploys to slant the news about Israel/Palestine is to downplay or cover up racism by Jewish Israelis, including political leaders. That tactic is on display yet again in today’s report on Israel’s latest failure to form a government.

Let’s start with the truth; the centrist opposition, led by Benny Gantz, could not build a governing coalition in large part due to Jewish racism against the 20 percent of Israelis who are Palestinian. These Palestinian citizens of Israel voted for the Joint List, headed by Ayman Odeh, which came in third. Gantz tried to form a minority government with tacit support from the Joint List.

https://mondoweiss.net/2019/11/ny-times-covers-up-israeli-racism-this-ti...

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Jeff Halper / Palestine globalization and pacification industry https://youtu.be/2JgtmQIMKLw

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Israel’s newly appointed defence minister, Naftali Bennett, said on Wednesday that the Israeli army will no longer release the bodies of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces, regardless of their political affiliations.

Bennett spoke to Israeli security heads, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the matter will be discussed for the government's approval.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-withholding-all-palestinian-bo...

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Bolivia announced that it will restore diplomatic ties with Israel, two days after the South American country's new interim government appointed its first ambassador to the United States since 2008. 

The new government's foreign policy shake-up comes after former president Evo Morales was ousted on 10 November.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/bolivia-announces-plans-renew-diplomatic-ties-israel?fbclid=IwAR2hk08STua0qebOr-CtGCO2Mzmq2jhtDljAHcRJzlAedvXQQxpeHKI0G_8

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Israel has approved a new settlement on the site of a Palestinian market in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, prompting anger from Palestinians who blame a recent shift in US policy.

Defence Minister Naftali Bennett gave the go-ahead on Sunday for the new settlement, which would involve bulldozing the old wholesale market and could reportedly double the settler population.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-approves-new-settlement-hebron...

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s an integral part its ongoing propaganda, Israel, along with its fervent supporters and legions of paid and anonymous agents, zealously repeats and disseminates - in the media, on university campuses, in blogs and comment sections, at conferences and more - the same old, tired Zionist myths.

Propaganda guides and tool kits, such as the “global language dictionary”, offer ready-made arguments and counter-arguments to sell Israel to journalists and critics. Such talking points come with tips on what tone and rhetorical tactics to use, what words and formulas “work”, and how to discuss “sensitive” issues, such as Israel’s illegal colonisation and annexation of Palestinian land, Jewish settlements and the killing of civilians.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/how-israel-became-one-worlds-worst...

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As Omar Shakir flew out of Israel's Ben Gurion Airport on 25 November, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) director for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories added one more country to the list of states that have banned him for his work.

But the culmination of an 18-month legal battle against his deportation has left Shakir more determined than ever.

"If Israel thought it could hide its rights abuses by deporting me, it miscalculated," he told Middle East Eye on Monday, during the London leg of a week-long European tour to discuss Israel's human rights violations and its crackdown on civil society organisations seeking to document them.

On 5 November, the Israeli Supreme Court upheld the Israeli government's decision to deport Shakir, after authorities accused him of supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement - an allegation both Shakir and HRW have denied.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-miscalculated-human-rights-wat...

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JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) - Christians in the Gaza Strip will not be allowed to visit holy cities such as Bethlehem and Jerusalem to celebrate Christmas this year, Israeli authorities said on Thursday.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-palestinians-gaza-christmas/is...

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Noor Sawarka is an 11-year-old girl, in the sixth grade. On November 14, 2019, the Israeli air force killed both her parents, Yusra and Mohammed, and her two brothers Muaz, 7, and Waseem, 13,at their home in Dir al-Balah, a city in the central Gaza Strip. Her uncle Rasmi, his wife and their three children were also killed in the Israel Defense Forces attack. All told, nine members of the extended family were killed. Noor remains alone with her five siblings, some of them stepsiblings, orphaned, traumatized, homeless. Last week, she told Olfat al-Kurd, a Gaza-based field researcher of the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, about the disaster that befell her and her family.

“I was at home that night. Everyone was sleeping and only I couldn’t fall asleep because of the noise of some airplanes. Afterward I heard tremendous thunder when they bombed our house. My sisters Nirmin and Reem were sleeping next to me. I ran outside fast – without seeing a thing, because the electricity was cut off by the bombing. I heard three bombings within a few seconds. At that moment I saw Nirmin, who also tried to escape but didn’t succeed, because both of her legs were hit.

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-i-said-get-up-moth...

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https://www.vox.com/world/2019/12/23/21024634/bethlehem-tourism-christma...

BETHLEHEM, West Bank — It’s daytime in Bethlehem, about two weeks before Christmas, and two laborers are adding stones to a narrow, cobbled road believed to have been taken by Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to the place of Jesus’s birth.

The pilgrimage route known as Star Street is being renovated in hopes it will return to its former glory: a bustling thoroughfare of historical importance. For now, though, it is often deserted, its storefronts almost always shut.

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Now it’s a double header. In a combination of events, not entirely coincidental, Israel and its prime minister are both accused of crimes, and both are trying to evade justice in the same way: by hobbling the justice system in each case. The suspicions regarding the state’s crimes are much more serious than those of its prime minister, and therefore the state’s evasion of justice is much more nefarious.

https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-israeli-patriots-and-justice-se...

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In the final days before the second Israeli elections of 2019, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a special press conference. Speculation ran high: was the prime minister about to resign and fight the criminal charges against him in court? Would he announce the much-hyped mutual defense pact with the United States? Bibi’s aides signaled he had something even bigger in store.

https://www.972mag.com/one-state-annexation-decade/?fbclid=IwAR0QQqf_ngq...

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Anyone who sees Amir Zubeideh would find it hard to believe that there are soldiers who are capable of aiming their rifles at such a small child – he looks younger than his 11 years – and shooting him with live ammunition. Anyone who hears his chirpy voice and sees his sweet face, won’t believe it. It’s also hard to understand how Israel Defense Forces soldiers shot his friend, Rami Abu Nasara, who’s a little older, already 13, bar-mitzvah age. The two children were targeted from a distance, first Rami and then Amir, by a sniper who took aim and fired, while they hid, frightened, behind a concrete wall and then tried to run for their lives.

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-palestinian-boys-wounded-by...

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MONSEY, N.Y. (JTA) — A short while after the worst anti-Semitic attack ever carried out against haredi Orthodox Jews in New York, those present in the Forshay neighborhood of Monsey witnessed an unbelievable scene.

At Congregation Netzach Yisroel, the synagogue attached to the rabbi’s house in which the horrific attack took place, the Rebbe of Koson, Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg, sat down to celebrate a Hanukkah and Melave Malkah Tish.

Together with his Hasidim, ignoring all of the chaos and panic outside, he sang songs and praises to the Almighty for all of the Jews who miraculously survived the attack.

https://www.jta.org/2019/12/31/opinion/we-hasidic-jews-of-monsey-must-ig...

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GAZA CITY — Jana Tawil was born in 2012, the same year that the United Nations released an alarm-raising report on the state of the Gaza Strip: If the prevailing economic, environmental and political trends continued, the organization warned, the besieged coastal enclave sandwiched between Israel and Egypt would become unlivable by 2020.

The United Nations revised its initial rating in 2017 to warn that “de-development” was happening even faster than it first predicted.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/01/01/un-predicted-gaza-would-...

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PALESTINIAN journalism student Mays Abu Ghosh has been tortured in an Israeli jail, her family alleged today as human rights groups warn of systemic abuse of prisoners by authorities. Her mother said Ms Abu Ghosh’s face was “full of bruises” and barely recognisable after 30 days of interrogation at the notorious Moscovia detention centre in Jerusalem. “I could not hug her due to the pain hurting all of her body,” she explained. Ms Abu Ghosh, who is studying at Bir Zeit University, has been held in prison since August 28 when she was detained along with five other young Palestinians. https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/w/palestinian-journalist-torture...

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Undercover police officers arrested prominent Israeli anti-occupation activist Jonathan Pollak at his workplace Monday morning, after he repeatedly refused to appear in court over a private prosecution filed against him by a far-right organization.

https://www.972mag.com/police-israeli-anti-occupation-activist/?fbclid=I...

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Kifah Adara lives less than two kilometers from the Ein Albeida spring in the southern West Bank, but was unable to visit the site for nearly 15 years.

On Friday, however, she was finally able to draw water from the spring once more — accompanied by over a hundred Palestinian, Israeli and international Jewish activists, who led a joint direct action at the site.

https://www.972mag.com/palestinian-israeli-activists-spring/?fbclid=IwAR...

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An Israeli committee will convene Sunday to discuss the annexation of the Jordan Valley despite a warning by the International Criminal Court's prosecutor.

The panel is convening despite a warning by the International Criminal Court's prosecutor that declarations on extending Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank could be used in an investigation into Israeli officials, if one were to open.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has conceded in the past that a transition government would have difficulties promoting the move.

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-despite-hague-warnings-isra...

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he TV series Fauda (Arabic for “chaos”) deals with the story of an Israeli undercover unit, the mistaravim, whose commandos carry out missions in the occupied Palestinian territories while disguised as Arabs.

Among the most successful Israeli drama series ever made, the show has garnered numerous awards, both at home and abroad. The show premiered in 2015 and Netflix acquired it the following year, after which Fauda became a wildly successful international hit.

Journalist Avi Issacharoff and actor Lior Raz created the series, based in part on their experiences in the Israeli army’s Duvdevan commando unit. Consultants for the show included Gonen Ben-Yitzhak, a former Israeli security coordinator and elite commando, and Aviram Elad, another Duvdevan graduate.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/fauda-turning-israels-victims-ente...

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The figures, collected by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – Occupied Palestinian Territory, show the scale of Israel’s demolition regime over the Green Line. The vast majority of the destruction (79 percent) has taken place in Area C of the West Bank, over which the Israeli army has full control. Roughly two percent of demolitions took place in Areas A and B of the West Bank, which are putatively under full and partial Palestinian Authority control, respectively.

https://popularresistance.org/over-9000-palestinians-displaced-in-a-deca...

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NEW YORK (JTA) — The Ethical Culture Fieldston School, an elite New York City prep school, has fired a teacher who posted tweets opposing Zionism.

JB Brager, who taught history at Fieldston, was fired Thursday, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency has learned. The termination comes after Brager, who is Jewish, posted multiple tweets disparaging Zionism amid a controversy over anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism at the school.

“ECFS does not comment on personnel matters,” the school said in a statement to JTA Thursday evening. “We can reaffirm, however, that the school does not tolerate hurtful, offensive, or exclusionary content or comments from any member of the community. Students, parents, employees and other members of our community all face consequences for misbehavior of this nature.”

https://www.jta.org/2020/01/09/united-states/fieldston-school-fires-teac...

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