Airbnb Stops Listing in Illegal West Bank Settlements

CodePINK, November 19, 2018

This is a huge victory! Moments ago, Airbnb announced they will no longer list vacation rentals in illegal Jewish-only West Bank settlements. It’s been exactly two years since we took the stage at Airbnb Open to confront actor Ashton Kutcher. “Airbnb is profiting off the displacement of Palestinians and human rights abuses.”

It might seem sometimes that we are speaking into the wind, but we know that when we are persistent, our work pays off. In celebration of successfully getting Airbnb to end support for Israeli apartheid, join our next campaign for Palestinian rights: Tell pop superstar Ed Sheeran to support Palestinian rights by refusing to perform in Israel. Share our Ed Sheeran petition with your friends and colleagues and on social media. Help us tell him how important it is to support Palestinian rights.

The Airbnb campaign showed that when we work together, WE WIN. The Stolen Homes coalition that formed over two years ago to work on getting Airbnb out of the settlements, included us, Jewish Voice for Peace, American Muslims for Palestine, the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Sum of Us and more. Together we protested, wrote articles and took to social media. Today our persistence paid off. Every single person who supported this campaign deserves credit and that means you!

We won’t stop campaigning until Palestine is free. So, take a moment to toast this success and then get busy working on our next win: Tell pop superstar Ed Sheeran not to perform in Israel.

Mabrouk (congratulations) to us all,
Ariel and Ursula and the entire CODEPINK team: Ann, Brienne, Carley, Caroline, Farida, Jodie, Katie, Kelly, Kirsten, Lily, Mark, Maya, Medea, Nancy, Paki, Ryan, Sarah, and Tighe

Updates on Gaza’s Water Crisis

A Public Affair, November 15, 2018

On today’s episode, we take a look at the water crisis in Gaza and its effects on the inhabitants there, particularly the children. The discussion also highlights people-to-people grassroots efforts happening here in the U.S. to respond to the disaster, along with local ecumenical projects for peace in the Middle East.

Zeiad Abbas Shamrouch is executive director of the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), a non-profit humanitarian aid organization based on Berkeley, California that supports children and families in Palestine, Iraq, and Lebanon. He is a Palestinian refugee from Dheisheh Refugee Camp in the West Bank and is co-founder of the Ibdaa Cultural Center in Dheisheh. He was co-producer and production manager of the documentary film Promises, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2002.

Jeff Spritzer-Resnick is a Madison-based civil rights attorney. He is the president of Madison’s Shaarei Shamayim congregation and chair of the Madison chapter of J Street, a non-profit advocacy group working for a peaceful resolution between Israel and Palestine.

Continue reading

Israel kills Gaza fisher despite ceasefire


Palestinian fishing boats in the Gaza City seaport in July 2018. (Ashraf Amra | APA images)

Maureen Clare Murphy, The Electronic Intifada, 14 November 2018

Israel killed a fisherman in Gaza less than 24 hours after a ceasefire ended intensive bombing against and rocket fire from the territory.

Gaza’s health ministry identified the slain man as Nawaf Ahmad al-Attar, 20.

The head of Gaza’s fishers union said that Israeli soldiers positioned on land shot at al-Attar when he was only 30 meters into the sea in northern Gaza.

Israel restricted access to the sea for fishing since Monday evening, according to the rights group Gisha.

On Wednesday Israel partly lifted the restrictions but banned fishers from working in the waters of northern Gaza, accounting for one-third of the coastline.

The permitted fishing areas off of other areas of Gaza range from six to nine nautical miles.

Continue reading

The health system in Gaza cannot handle another war


A new war would lead to the collapse of an already-debilitated medical infrastructure in Gaza, Palestinian health officials warn.


A wounded Palestinian protester is evacuated and treated at Al-Awda Hospital in Gaza City, after the Israeli navy tried to block a flotilla that set out to break the decade-long blockade with gunfire and tear gas canisters on September 24, 2018. (Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90)

Amjad Yaghi, +972 Magazine, November 13, 2018

GAZA CITY — Fear has been palpable across Gaza for the past couple of days, not only in homes but also in hospitals and medical clinics. For years, health professionals have warned of a looming collapse of medical services. If Tuesday’s nascent, Egyptian-brokered cease-fire doesn’t hold, a war would devastate Gaza’s medical infrastructure, Palestinian health authorities say.

On Monday, Gazans experienced one of the most difficult nights since the war in 2014. After Israeli special forces bungled a covert operation deep inside the strip, the ensuing firefight nearly led to a full-fledged war. The barrage of Israeli airstrikes and Hamas rocket fire into Israel that followed, only made the situation worse.

It’s not just that Gaza’s hospitals and clinics are in bad shape: they are still busy treating people who were wounded in previous rounds of violence, most recently during the Great Return March. Israeli snipers shot thousands of demonstrators, leaving Gaza’s hospitals overwhelmed to the point that hundreds of patients had to make do with treatment in hospital corridors, sometimes on the floor.

Health services in Gaza have been stretched even thinner since early November, when 12 people contracted the swine flu, six of whom ended up dying. There is no vaccine for the virus in Gaza, neither in the Ministry of Health’s stocks nor in private practices, which is emblematic of a far broader problem.

Israeli Incursions into Gaza Are the Rule, Not the Exception

Israeli troops have crossed into Gaza over 70 times this year alone, according to the UN. And those are only the incursions we know about.

File photo of Israeli troops deployed along the Gaza border. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
File photo of Israeli troops deployed along the Gaza border. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Henriette Chacar, +972 Magazine, November 14, 2018

[Editor’s note: In accordance with our legal obligation, this article was sent to the IDF Censor for review prior to publication. We are not allowed to indicate if and where the article was censored.]

Since Israeli special forces troops got into a deadly firefight with Hamas commandos deep inside the Gaza Strip Sunday night, Israel has dropped dozens of bombs and missiles into Gaza and Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets into Israel.

The New York Times described the special forces raid as “the first known Israeli ground incursion into Gaza since Operation Protective Edge, in July 2014.”

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Since the start of 2015 through the end of October 2018, the Israeli army made 262 known ground incursions and operations to level land inside the Gaza Strip, including over 70 this year alone. This does not include the unknown number of covert operations like the one that went awry on Sunday.

Continue reading

November 15, 2018
Gaza Water Crisis on WORT

Thursday, Nov 15
12 noon – 1 pm

A Public Affair with host Allen Ruff will feature guests Zeiad Abbas Shamrouch, Executive Director of the Middle East Children’s Alliance, and Jeff Spitzer-Resnick, President of Congregation Shaarei Shamayim, discussing the water crisis in Gaza in advance of Madison’s November 20 fundraiser for Clean Water for the Children of Gaza.

Tune in at 89.9 FM or Listen Live online, and call in at 256-2001. There will also be a discussion of this week’s escalation of violence in Gaza. If you can’t listen live, you can find the show later in the WORT Archives.

Gaza’s drinking water spurs blue baby syndrome, serious illnesses

Contaminated and scarce water owing to Israel’s brutal siege and bombing of infrastructure leads to death and disease.


A Palestinian woman bathes her son with water from a tank filled by a charity inside their dwelling in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip July 3, 2017 [Mohammed Salem/Reuters]

Sandy Tolan, Al Jazeera, 29 Oct 2018

This article is the first of a two-part series on Gaza’s water crisis. The second, which examines solutions to Gaza’s water and health catastrophe, was published on Tuesday, October 30.

Gaza – The unshaven doctor with circles under his eyes enters the children’s ward at Al Nassar hospital in Gaza City. It’s a Thursday evening, almost the weekend. The ward is bleak and eerily quiet, but for the occasional wail of an infant.

At each cubicle, sectioned off by curtains, it’s a similar image: A baby lies alone in a bed, hooked up to tubes, wires and a generator; a mother sits in silent witness at the bedside.

Dr Mohamad Abu Samia, the hospital’s director of paediatric medicine, exchanges a few quiet words with one mother, then gently lifts the infant’s gown, revealing a scar from heart surgery nearly half the length of her body.

At the next cubicle, he attends to a child suffering from severe malnutrition. She lies still, her tiny body connected to a respirator. Because electricity runs only four hours a day in Gaza, the baby must stay here, where generators keep her alive.

Continue reading

How can Gaza’s contaminated water catastrophe be solved?

Barely three percent of Gaza’s drinking water wells is fit for human consumption, and the crisis is claiming lives.


Mousa Hilleh, 48, rebuilt his home after the 2014 Gaza war and says not having access to clean water is a major concern [Abdel Kareem Hana/Al Jazeera]

Sandy Tolan, Al Jazeera, 30 Oct 2018

This article is the second of a two-part series on Gaza’s water crisis. The first, which examines Gaza’s water and health catastrophe, was published on Monday, October 29.

Gaza – When it comes to survival in Gaza, safe, clean drinking water is not at the top of Mousa Hillah’s list of priorities.

Since the 2014 war, Hillah, known to neighbours and family as Abu Ali, has had far bigger worries, which are etched deeply into the exhausted face of the 48-year-old grandfather.

Dodging shell fire from Israeli tanks, he fled with his family from the destruction of his Shuja’iyya neighbourhood, flattened by Israel in an attack so devastating – 7,000 shells in barely an hour – that it astonished even US military officials. (“Holy bejeezus!” one retired general exclaimed.)

The family took refuge for months in an in-law’s house near the sea, along with 50 other people. When they returned, Abu Ali found his home – the one he had built after 30 years of working construction in Israel – utterly destroyed.

Continue reading

Scars of Freedom

Addameer, 16 October 2018

“Scars of Freedom” describes the Palestinian experience of arrest, interrogation, and life in captivity that carries great political, economic, and social impact.

From the beginning of the occupation to the present day the arrest and incarceration of Palestinians has been used continuously to suppress their aspirations for independence and freedom, to oppress Palestinian prisoners, and to inflict collective punishment on their families.

Addameer has also published I’ve Been There: A Study of Torture and Inhumane Treatment in Al-Moscabiyah Interrogation Center.

The Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association is a Palestinian non-governmental, civil institution that works to support Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli and Palestinian prisons. Established in 1992 by a group of activists interested in human rights, the center offers free legal aid to political prisoners, advocates their rights at the national and international level, and works to end torture and other violations of prisoners’ rights through monitoring, legal procedures and solidarity campaigns. Addameer is Arabic for conscience.

ADC Condemns Israel’s Attacks on Gaza


 
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) | November 13, 2018 |

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) condemns in the strongest terms Israel’s recent airstrikes against the Gaza Strip. On November 12, 2018, Israeli military aerial attacks killed at least seven Palestinian civilians. Additionally, Israel has bombed and destroyed several civilian buildings in Gaza, including family homes, a hotel, the office of the human rights organization Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, and a T.V. station office. ADC firmly calls on Israel to immediately stop its military air campaign against the Gaza Strip and to halt targeting and killing Palestinians. Israel continues to commit human rights violations against the Palestinian people with impunity. ADC condemns attacks on all civilians.

Since March 30, 2018, Israel has killed over 200 Palestinians in Gaza, including children, humanitarian aid workers, and marked members of the press. In 2018 alone, Israel has killed 46 children in Gaza and 52 children throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). ADC calls on the U.S. administration together with the international community to hold Israel accountable for its repeated gross human rights violations against the Palestinian people.

Additionally, Israel’s eleven-year illegal siege of Gaza has created what the UN defines as “one of the world’s largest open-air prisons.” Over 95% of the water in Gaza is deemed undrinkable, electricity is limited to only 3-6 hours per day, and the deteriorating health care system in Gaza operates in a constant crisis mode. The U.N. reports that the humanitarian disaster in Gaza is so severe that Gaza will be unlivable by the year 2020. ADC support the UN’s repeated calls on Israel to lift the siege on Gaza.

We call on the U.S. administration to uphold its domestic laws that stipulate the U.S. must immediately halt financial aid and training to foreign military units that commit gross violations of human rights, as it is stated in the U.S. Leahy law. The U.S. has a responsibility to uphold the values of human rights, peace, and dignity for all people. The Palestinian people are not an exception.