Shot Like a Clay Pigeon


Pictured Here: Palestinian killed at random by an Israeli soldier

Christian Peacemaker Teams, March 13, 2019

On March 12, a Palestinian man came to deliver documents on behalf of the Palestinian court in the neighbourhood of Al-Jabari or Wad Al Hussein. His name was Yasser Fawzi Shweki and he was 27 years old. He was probably new to the neighbourhood of H2 because he used to live and work elsewhere. He was carrying a large bag full of documents; maybe that is why an Israeli soldier who guarded an Israeli settlement took interest in him. He ordered him at gunpoint to come closer. A little later, a shot was heard and Yasser fell on the ground, bleeding heavily. The Israeli military dragged him inside the building and refused to allow any medical assistance. The name of the settlement is Beit HaShalom, which means, ironically enough, house of peace.

Previously, two cousins were killed at the same spot and in the same style. Hussam Jabari and Bashar Jabari, who were also new to the neighbourhood, passed by the Israeli settlement to visit their aunt who was living there. After the Israeli military noticed the two young boys, they were shot immediately and the army let them simply die on the floor. The first one was 16, the second only 14 years old.

Right after Yasser died, the Israeli army officially declared that it was due to an attempted knife attack. However, a source declared that, slightly before, he saw how the Israeli army moved the body to another place, put a knife close to it and took a photo. That would fit a pattern in which the Israeli military tries to cover up murders of Palestinians this way, at least according to proof from video recordings from other killings.

And that is not even all that can be said about this notorious spot. It needs to be known that a total of 12 Palestinian people have been killed in this area by Israeli bullets. The Israeli occupation of the West Bank is an ugly business and the less known its real practices are to the world, the uglier it gets.

A Teenage War Resister in Israel

An Antiwar Story from the Embattled Middle East
He is a rarity in his own land, one of only a handful of refuseniks living in Israel.

“Let us fight together for human rights, for a country that is democratic for all its citizens, and for Israelis and Palestinians to live together based on citizenship and equality, not segregation and racism.”
Ahmed Abu Artema

Rory Fanning, TomDispatch, March 18, 2019

Hilel Garmi’s phone is going straight to voicemail and all I’m hoping is that he’s not back in prison. I’ll soon learn that he is.

Prison 6 is a military prison. It’s situated in the Israeli coastal town of Atlit, a short walk from the Mediterranean Sea and less than an hour’s drive from Hilel’s home. It was constructed in 1957 following the Sinai War between Israel and Egypt to house disciplinary cases from the Israeli Defense Forces, or IDF.

Hilel has already been locked up six times. “I can smell the sea from my cell, especially at night when everything is quiet,” he tells me in one of our phone conversations. I’m 6,000 miles away in Chicago, but Hilel and I have regularly been discussing his ordeal as an Israeli war resister, so it makes me nervous that, this time around, I can’t reach him at all.

A recent high-school graduate with dark hair and a big smile, he’s only 19 and still lives with his parents in Yodfat, an Israeli town of less than 900 people in the northern part of the country. It’s 155 miles to Damascus (if such a trip were possible, which, of course, it isn’t), a two-hour drive down the coast to Tel Aviv, and a four-hour drive to besieged Gaza.

Yodfat itself could be a set for a Biblical movie, with its dry rolling hills, ancient ruins, and pastoral landscape. The town exports flower bulbs, as well as organic goat cheese, and notably supports the Misgav Waldorf School that Hilel’s mother helped found. Hilel is proud of his mom. After all, people commute from all over Israel to attend the school.

He is a rarity in his own land, one of only a handful of refuseniks living in Israel. Each year roughly 30,000 18 year olds are drafted into the IDF, although 35% of such draftees manage to avoid military service for religious reasons. A far tinier percentage publicly refuses to fight for moral and political reasons to protest their country’s occupation of Palestinian lands. The exact numbers are hard to find. I’ve asked war resister groups in Israel, but no one seems to have any. Hilel’s estimate: between five and 15 refuseniks a year.

Continue reading

March 26 – April 14, 2019
Naila and the Uprising

On Wisconsin Public Television’s Women, War & Peace

Tuesday, March 26 8:00 pm on WPT 26-1
Wednesday, March 27 2:00 am on WPT 26-1
Sunday, April 14 9:00 pm on The Wisconsin Channel 26-2

Discover the story of a courageous, non-violent women’s movement that formed the heart of the Palestinian struggle for freedom during the 1987 uprising, known as the first Intifada. One woman must make a choice between love, family and freedom. Undaunted, she embraces all three.

During the Intifada, women weren’t just following orders, we were instrumental in making decisions alongside men.

We want our home land!
We want to live free.

Women’s resistance went hand-in-hand with national resistance.

There is a discussion guide available to help you learn more about women’s leadership, unarmed civil resistance and grassroots organizing in Israel-Palestine.

March 18, 2019
Israeli Politics Decoded with David Sheen

Online from the Palestine Center
Washington, DC
12 noon – 1 pm Central Time
Listen live

“Gaza is eviscerated. Apartheid is entrenched in the West Bank. Inside official Israel, the ruling party openly promotes racial hatred towards Arabs and Africans.

How popular are these belligerent policies among Israeli Jews? And how can we make sense of Israeli politics — where dozens of parties run for parliament, and double-digits get in — with wild swings, seemingly, in who holds power?

Journalist and human rights defender David Sheen will give an unflinching interrogation and a compelling analysis of the state of Israel/Palestine under Trump and Netanyahu.”

More info

March 23, 2019
David Rovics in Madison

Wil-Mar Community Center
953 Jenifer St, Madison

Workshop 3:00 pm
The Role of Music in Social Movements And Popular Education – Workshop / Teach-In / Discussion – with radical folksingers and labor activists, David Rovics and Anne Feeney! Free with pizza!

Concert 7:00 pm
David Rovics Live! – a night of lefty folk music with this longtime radical singer-songwriter and international activist!

Both events hosted by the Madison Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

Tickets and More Info

Just World Podcasts on Palestine

Story/Backstory, episode 1:
The longer arc of U.S.-Palestine relations

Helena Cobban, February 22, 2019

This is the first episode in our new “Story/Backstory” miniseries, which combines both the reading by JWE president Helena Cobban of her most recent 1,300-word op-ed on U.S. policies in the Middle East, with a slightly longer segment in which she reflects on some of the issues raised by the op-ed. For more details, visit the blog on our website.

All Episodes

April 19, 2019
Palestinian Culture Night: Existence is Resistance

UW-Madison Students for Justice in Palestine‎

Memorial Union
UW-Madison
800 Langdon St
7:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Register here

Despite decades of facing oppression and appropriation, Palestinians continue to resist the attempted erasure of their identity. Palestinian Culture continues to thrive, both in Palestine and in the diaspora. We wish to recognize that resilience.

Join us as we celebrate the rich history and heritage of Palestine. The night will feature authentic Palestinian Cuisine, spoken words, poetry performances, Dabka performances, art display and auctions, and dancing!

An inciting post against Palestinians every 66 seconds

7amleh, March 11, 2019

The Index of Racism and Incitement in Israeli Social Media 2018

In 2018, 474,250 inciting posts against Palestinians were written. Legislation about the Nation-State Law was the main engine of racism for hate speech via Facebook. Palestinian politicians and Palestinians Citizens of Israel are most vulnerable to incitement.

The results of the Index of Racism and Incitement in Israeli social media, released annually by 7amleh – The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media, shows a staggering rise in incitement and Israeli racism against Palestinians on social networks in the past year (2017 – 2018). The most hate and racism in 2018 was directed at Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset and their political parties in Israel during the discussions and passing of the Nation-State Law, which gives rights to only Jewish citizens.

In general, the rate of racism and hate online has increased since 2017 and an inciting post was published every 66 seconds in 2018 (up from every 71 seconds in 2017). In total, there were 474,250 posts that call for violence, racial profiling and insults against Palestinians (compared to 445,000 in 2017) published past year. From all of the posts about “Arabs,” 1 out of 10 contain an insult or an invitation to violence against Palestinians (in 2017 it was 1 out of 9).

Half of the inciting posts published in social media networks used by Israelis during 2018 were related to politics, most of them directed against Palestinian members of the Israeli parliament and their political parties in connection to the Nation State Law. In May 2018, a few months before the law was passed, more than 115,000 posts including insults, racism and calls for violence against Palestinians were published on social networks. This shows how politicians influence the escalation and descalation of hatred.

Aside from politics, the year 2018 was also characterized by an increase in incitement against influential Palestinian Citizens of Israel in the Israeli media, such as the media figure Lucy Harish, who was attacked despite her general integration approach.

Facebook remains the main platform for violence and incitement (66%), with right-wing news pages supporting violent, racist activism online. There is also a high level of violent rhetoric via Twitter due to the political nature of the platform (16%), which doubled from last year (7%).

Continue reading

Gal Gadot hits out at Netanyahu over ‘Jewish people’ comment

“Israel is not a state for all its citizens. According to the nation-state law that we passed, Israel is the state of the Jewish people — and belongs to them alone,” Netanyahu wrote.

F. Brinley Bruton and Yael Factor, NBC News, March 11, 2019

“Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot waded into the debate over what it means to be Israeli after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the country is the homeland “only of the Jewish people.”

“Love thy neighbor,” the Israeli actress said Sunday on Instagram, where she has 28.3 million followers.

“It is not a matter of right or left, Arabs or Jews, secular or religious,” she added. “It is a matter of dialogue, of dialogue for peace, and of our tolerance for each other. It is our responsibility to shine hope and light for a better future for our children.”

Earlier Sunday, Netanyahu addressed “slightly confused people” on Instagram after model and actor Rotem Sela — a friend of Gadot’s — defended the rights of Arab Israelis. The minority makes up around 20 percent of the country’s population.

“Israel is not a state for all its citizens. According to the nation-state law that we passed, Israel is the state of the Jewish people — and belongs to them alone,” Netanyahu wrote.

Continue reading