BREAKING: Trump Signs Waiver, But Senate Wants Embassy in Jerusalem

Josh Ruebner, U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, 1 June 2017

Breaking news: Donald Trump has backed off one of his major campaign pledges and signed a waiver to the Jerusalem Embassy Act to keep the US Embassy to Israel in Tel Aviv for another six months.

For the time being, Trump is upholding a long-standing, bipartisan policy of not recognizing any nation’s claims to sovereignty in Jerusalem.

While Trump has realized that moving the US embassy to Jerusalem at this point would be a mistake, the Senate has other ideas.

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced S.Res.176, a resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of what it terms Israel’s “reunification of Jerusalem.” And he’ll be bringing it up for a vote next Monday, June 5.

Click here to find out if your Senators have sponsored this legislation and contact them to register your opposition.

Not only does S.Res.176 call on the president to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. It also celebrates the fact that Israel has held East Jerusalem under military occupation for the past half-century and ignores Israel’s violations of international law—its construction of settlements and a wall, its expropriation of Palestinian property and demolition of Palestinian homes—there.

It makes patently false claims that all people enjoy freedom of worship in Jerusalem under Israeli administration when Palestinians from other parts of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip do not have the ability to pray at their holy sites in Jerusalem without a permit, which is often difficult or nearly impossible to obtain.

The resolution also fails to mention the separate-and-unequal status that Palestinian Jerusalemites face under Israel’s regime. Even though Israel annexed East Jerusalem, a move which even the United States refuses to recognize, Palestinian residents are not citizens of Israel and can’t vote for its parliament. Israel often regularly revokes Palestinians’ residency rights in the city as part of a plan to engineer a favorable demographic balance. And Palestinians face systematic discrimination from the municipality in the allocation of building permits and funds for schools, health care, sanitation and other services.

Click here to contact your Senators about this resolution (and your Representative about a similar one in the House which may also come up for a vote next week).

Learn more about why we oppose these resolutions in the talking points we sent to Capitol Hill earlier this week. And learn more why we think it would be a terrible mistake to move the US Embassy to Israel to Jerusalem in this policy paper we published earlier this year.

Continue reading

Tell Radiohead: “You Don’t Belong” in Apartheid Israel

Stand up for Palestinian rights and cancel your concert in Tel Aviv


The British rock group Radiohead is planning to entertain Israeli apartheid with a concert in Tel Aviv on July 19, 2017.

Help us get the message to Radiohead: “You don’t belong there!”

Palestinians, thousands of Radiohead fans, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ken Loach, Roger Waters, the Young Fathers and tens of renowned artists have all called on Radiohead to cancel their Israel gig.

And during the band’s US tour, Radiohead fans unfurled banners at concerts and published articles in the press to get Radiohead to turn away from playing apartheid.

On June 6, Radiohead will kick off the final leg of their tour, with stops in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, Ireland, UK, Poland, Belgium and France.

We need your help to make sure Radiohead hears our message loud and clear throughout their tour. Take action by:

#ObliteratedFamilies – Balata Family

During the 2014 Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip, 142 Palestinian families lost three or more members. Some of the families were wiped out entirely.

The #ObliteratedFamilies project tells the stories of some of these families, their loved ones who were killed and those left behind.

I renewed everything
Balata Family, Jabaliya refugee camp
11 people killed
July 29, 2014

Naim sat in a room full of birds, drinking his morning coffee. At the end of July, the Israeli army had warned the people of East Jabaliya to evacuate the area. Naim was torn: should they leave everything behind and run? Who would take care of the birds? His brother Abdelkarim’s house, where they would have been welcome, had a thick cement roof, something that could protect them from debris in case of a nearby explosion. Above Naim’s head was a thin sheet of asbestos, not even good enough to shield his family from the merciless heat of the summer sun. Naim’s 17-year-old son, Ala, was on his way to pick up groceries from the market when he saw many people leaving the area. Some people were carrying their belongings, others were riding on donkey carts or in tuk-tuks, a few had cars, filled up to the roof. When he got back home, he convinced his father that they too should evacuate their place and go to their uncle Abdelkarim’s house, also in the Jabaliya refugee camp, but a much more solid construction.

The family sat in Abdelkarim’s house, eating lunch, telling each other stories, joking and trying to turn their forced evacuation into a family gathering. The two brothers were very close, so were their wives. Later on that day, Ala’s older sister, Wafaa’, brought up the topic of marriage. She said their mother had someone in mind for Ala. He listened, but right away laughed the idea off.

The shelling started on 29 July in the afternoon and lasted until the next day. The house of Naim’s brother, Abdelkarim, where the family had gone for shelter, was hit on the first day, it was struck by several shells. One of them fell into the room where Ala’s sisters were staying. Ala’s parents and all seven siblings were killed.


Room of 17-year-old Hadil, nicknamed “Delo”. “She planned to become a doctor; she promised this to her grandfather,” Hadil’s father, Abdelkarim, says. Ala, her cousin, will add later that she got 92% in her high school final exam. She made the entire family proud.

Continue reading

#ObliteratedFamilies – Al-Khalili Family

During the 2014 Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip, 142 Palestinian families lost three or more members. Some of the families were wiped out entirely.

The #ObliteratedFamilies project tells the stories of some of these families, their loved ones who were killed and those left behind.

Life and death in Gaza: neither normal, nor natural
Al-Khalili family, Gaza City, al-Tuffah neighbourhood
8 people killed
July 30, 2014

In al-Tuffah neighbourhood, in the eastern part of Gaza City, Mahmoud al-Khalili turns the ground floor of his family home into a workshop, which in time grows to become a small factory adjacent to the building. His sons, Ashraf and Ahmed, work with their father and eventually become mechanics of specialized factory machines imported from Germany. The family business is doing well despite the fact that the Israeli occupation and the blockade increasingly cripple the local economy, eventually leaving half of Gaza’s population unemployed. The factory produces simple plastic and wooden elements, such as broomsticks. Easily flammable.

One hot Friday afternoon

June 2014, Gaza beach

Mahmoud’s son, 37-year-old Ashraf, is laughing and when he laughs his whole body shakes. Compulsively hospitable, as all Gazans are, he entices his guests to eat more and more of a watermelon, picking for them the sweetest and juiciest pieces and not stopping until the silver tray is empty.

Ashraf and his childhood friends from al-Tuffah meet every weekend in a small chalet on the Gaza City beach, where they smoke sheesha, play cards and chat about troubles at home. All are married, with kids. Ashraf and his wife Nidaa’ have three children, age three to eight: Mahmoud, Dima and Ziyad. Ashraf is a proud father and Dima is the apple of her daddy’s eye, as he says. She is a very energetic little girl. The kids are the joy of the house above the factory, where three generations of al-Khalilis live.

Continue reading

#ObliteratedFamilies – Al-Hashash Family

During the 2014 Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip, 142 Palestinian families lost three or more members. Some of the families were wiped out entirely.

The #ObliteratedFamilies project tells the stories of some of these families, their loved ones who were killed and those left behind.

Eid of martyrs
Al-Hashash family, Rafah, in the al-Hashasheen area
7 people killed
July 29, 2014

Every morning, on her way to school, Mina passes a poster on the side of the road. She makes sure she walks right by it. If anyone is in the street, she will grab their attention and pull them close to look at the poster with her. It has pictures of her brothers, and a rose instead of a photo for her step-mom Hanaa’. Neighbours or passersby have to stand there as Mina names each one of them; once the ritual is done, she will allow them to leave.

Continue reading