New video deals another blow to Israeli police version of Umm al-Hiran raid
Last month as Israel tried to evict its Arab citizens from the village of Umm Al-Hiran in the Negev, they said that they had killed a “terrorist” (actually a local teacher) who tried to ram them with a car, killing one officer.
Palestinian witnesses told a different story, and now video has emerged that shows they were right. This incident (and the demolition of the village to make way for a Jewish-only settlement) sparked enormous outrage inside Israel among Palestinians, resulting in a day of general strike.
Last week Musa Abu al-Qi’an, 100-year-old resident of Umm Al-Hiran and father of the killed teacher who was featured in many news stories, passed away. He survived the Nakba and everything before and since, but did not survive the death of his son.
Ma’an News Agency, 12 Feb 2017
AYMAN ODEH, The New York Times, February 11, 2017
A Bedouin woman reacts to the destruction of houses by Israeli authorities on January 18, 2017 in the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran, which is not recognized by the Israeli government, near the southern city of Beersheba, in the Negev desert. (Menahem Kahana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)
HAIFA, Israel — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is expected to visit Washington this week to meet with President Trump, presumably to discuss the political philosophy they share: power through hate and fear. A government that bars refugees and Muslims from entering the United States has much in common with one that permits Israeli settlers to steal land from Palestinians, as a new law that Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition pushed through Parliament last week did.
Like Mr. Trump, Mr. Netanyahu used blatant race-baiting tactics to win his last election, in 2015. Since then, he has made discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel central to his agenda. This takes many forms; a particularly painful one is his government’s racist, unjust land use and housing policies.
Arabs make up one-fifth of Israel’s population, yet only 2.5 percent of the state’s land is under Arab jurisdiction. And since the founding of the state, more than 700 new towns and cities have been built for Jews, while no new cities have been built for Arabs.
Israeli police clash with settlers in the West Bank outpost of Amona on Feb. 1, 2017. The Israeli parliament passed legislation to prevent more demolitions. (Oded Balilty/AP)
William Booth, The Washington Post, February 6, 2017
JERUSALEM — Israel’s parliament passed a contentious law late Monday that allows the state to seize land privately owned by Palestinians in the West Bank and grant the properties to Jewish settlements for their exclusive use.
The measure is designed to protect homes in Jewish settlements, built on private Palestinian property “in good faith or at the state’s instruction,” from possible court-ordered evacuation and demolition.
Trump was reportedly blindsided by Israel’s announcement of 5,500 new housing units to be built in the West Bank
Jordan Fabian, The Hill, 02/02/17
The White House on Thursday warned Israel to stop settlement announcements that could undermine peace with the Palestinians, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The surprising statement comes as President Trump signaled he would depart from former President Obama’s Israel policy and forge a close relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a strong proponent of settlements.
But Trump was reportedly blindsided by Israel’s announcement of 5,500 new housing units to be built in the West Bank, which would have been the first new settlement in around 20 years.
Josh Ruebner, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, 31 Jan 2017
Donald Trump’s first ten days in office have resulted in a whirlwind of policies that have led to major protests, from blocking refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, to ordering a wall built on the US-Mexico border, to moving forward with the Keystone and the Dakota Access Pipelines, to name just a few.
Amid his flurry of Executive Orders, you may have missed the fact that on Inauguration Day, Trump formally submitted to the Senate his nomination of David Friedman to be US Ambassador to Israel.
In case you haven’t heard of Friedman, here’s what you need to know:
It is absolutely bizarre to be watching Trump’s policies of hatred unfold from inside Palestine — here where ANY traveler or foreigner finds herself overwhelmed by kindness and hospitality. If we find ourselves at a loss to imagine resisting over the long haul we should take courage from these schoolchildren who for the past THIRTEEN YEARS have required a military escort in order to reach their school safely in the face of settler violence and intimidation. We have a long long road ahead!
Thank you so much for helping me to spend this time working here — and for all your efforts to stop the madness in the US!!!
Mary House of Hospitality
The second semester of school has just started for these children, and Operation Dove has compiled the following report of the challenges faced by the children during the first semester.
Jonathan Cook Blog, January 19, 2017
(copyright: Keren Manor)
Here is another image that conveys the situation of Palestinians – these ones Palestinian citizens of Israel – more completely than any words. The man on the ground is Ayman Odeh, a member of the Israeli parliament, the head of the Joint List, the third largest party in the parliament, and the highest-ranking Palestinian politician in Israel.
Israeli police have just shot him with rubber-tipped bullets, not once but twice – including to the face. Odeh is one of the least confrontational politicians among Israel’s large Palestinian minority, a fifth of the population. His message is consistently one of peace and amity between all Israeli citizens, whether Jews or Palestinians. That does not seem to have protected him from the shoot-first, ask-questions-later approach of Israel’s security forces towards Palestinians.
This image should be as shocking as seeing a bloodied Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn crawling in the dirt, watched impassively by US or UK police.
In America there is always a domestic political reason for not doing the right thing on Israel-Palestine. It’s ugly, but then ugliness is having its day.
ROGER COHEN, The New York Times, January 17, 2017
Elon Moreh, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, seen from the Palestinian village of Azmout, last week. (Credit: Jaafar Ashtiyeh/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images)
WASHINGTON — The bizarre burst of diplomatic activity on Israel–Palestine in the waning days of the Obama administration has been tantamount to an admission that, on this subject, things only get said too late and when they no longer mean anything. The rest of the time political cowardice in the form of silence prevails.
In a matter of weeks we have had a United Nations Security Council resolution calling on Israel to “immediately cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory;” a long speech by Secretary of State John Kerry setting out the Obama administration’s parameters for a two-state peace agreement and defending the American abstention that allowed the U.N. resolution to pass; and a Paris peace conference that urged Israelis and Palestinians, neither of them present, to take concrete steps to get the two-state idea off life support.