BREAKING: 200+ Palestinians, Israelis, and American Jews protest to #SaveMasaferYatta


Growing up, I was told over and over: “You need to take responsibility for Israel. It’s your responsibility as a Jew.”

Now, I would say: “It’s unconscionable what’s happening in my name in Israel/Palestine, and as an American Jew, I am uniquely positioned to do something about it.”

That’s why I’ve spent the past week in the West Bank, meeting and working with Palestinians who are persevering to stay on their land and in their homes. I’m on a delegation with the Center for Jewish Nonviolence, an organization building networks of solidarity and co-resistance with Palestinians.

We’ve been working with community leaders in Masafer Yatta, a region south of Hebron where more than 1,500 Palestinians are facing expulsion from their homes. This would be the largest mass expulsion of Palestinians in sixty years.

Click for more via Instagram or Email

As I’ve traveled from community to community, alongside our Palestinian partners, I’ve heard two things over and over again:

One: Work with us. A young Palestinian organizer, Tariq, told me this:

“The fact that Palestinians and Jews are working together – that scares them. It threatens the forces that maintain occupation.”

Two: Share our stories. As one community leader put it:

“We need you to come here to hear our stories, and we need you to go home to share them.”

Today, I saw firsthand how Jews and Palestinians working together threatens this violent system.

But before I tell you what happened today, I need you to take one step to help Palestinians struggling to stay on their land. If enough of us are paying attention and speaking out, 1,500 people could remain in their homes.

If you have Instagram, follow the fight to #SaveMasaferYatta here via Instagram, or here via email.

This morning, I joined a Palestinian led-protest of over 200 Palestinians, Israelis, and diaspora Jews – including IfNotNow members – working together to re-open a road illegally blocked by settlers. The plan was to roll aside the massive boulders that settlers had put in place, which had cut Palestinians off from vital travel.

When settlers harassed us, the soldiers stood by and watched. They even detained Israeli activists and released them next to the settlers, who threw stones at them, broke their car window, and injured the activists inside.

When our group of nonviolent protesters tried to clear the road, the army responded with tear gas & stun grenades.

Now, I need you to spread this story. Follow along on Instagram, or sign up for email updates about what’s happening in Masafer Yatta.

Onwards,
Ari

Continue reading

June 14, 2022
No Way to Treat a Child Webinar

Please join the #nowaytotreatachild campaign co-leaders from Defense for Children International – Palestine and American Friends Service Committee for a webinar on June 14 at 8 p.m. Eastern / 5 p.m. Pacific time.

The webinar will share updates on Palestinian children’s human rights, including updates on Palestinian children who have been detained, killed, used as human shields, and had their homes demolished by Israeli authorities. We’ll also discuss how to approach our advocacy work in the long term to ensure it is sustainable while keeping grassroots supporters and elected officials engaged.

Background

Approximately 2.9 million Palestinians live in the occupied West Bank, of which around 45 percent are children under the age of 18.

Palestinian children in the West Bank, like adults, face arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment under an Israeli military detention system that denies them basic rights.

Since 1967, Israel has operated two separate legal systems in the same territory. In the occupied West Bank, Israeli settlers are subject to the civilian and criminal legal system whereas Palestinians live under military law.

Israel applies civilian criminal law to Palestinian children in East Jerusalem. No Israeli child comes into contact with the military courts.

Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world that automatically and systematically prosecutes children in military courts that lack fundamental fair trial rights and protections. Israel prosecutes between 500 and 700 Palestinian children in military courts each year.

Ill-treatment in the Israeli military detention system remains “widespread, systematic, and institutionalized throughout the process,” according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report Children in Israeli Military Detention Observations and Recommendations.

Children typically arrive to interrogation bound, blindfolded, frightened, and sleep deprived.

Children often give confessions after verbal abuse, threats, physical and psychological violence that in some cases amounts to torture.

Israeli military law provides no right to legal counsel during interrogation, and Israeli military court judges seldom exclude confessions obtained by coercion or torture.

    ABOUT #NOWAYTOTREATACHILD’S WEBINARS AND ZOOM:
    For this webinar, we will be using the Zoom platform. Additional instructions and details for joining the webinar will be shared by email with individuals that have registered.

    WHEN
    June 14, 2022 at 8:00pm – 9pm
    WHERE
    Online via Zoom
    CONTACT
    Brad Parker · info@nowaytotreatachild.org

    Register for the Webinar

Continue reading

Life in Ruins: Gaza One Year On

B’Tselem, 08 May 2022

For 11 days, Israel relentlessly bombarded the Gaza Strip, one of the most crowded places on earth, killing 232 Palestinians. Almost a quarter of those killed were minors, and more than half were not taking part in the hostilities. Many were killed at home, with nowhere to run or hide. Thousands were injured and thousands lost everything they owned. A year on, B’Tselem’s field researchers in Gaza talked to people who lost their loved ones and homes. These are their testimonies.

Israeli forces kill two more Palestinians, another dies of wounds


Deceased on Wednesday: Bilal Awad Kabaha and Ayman Mahmoud Mheisin.

If Americans Knew, June 2, 2022

Invading Israeli forces have killed three Palestinians in 24 hours in separate incidents; a fourth died of wounds inflicted by Israel in May 2021.

Israeli forces also attacked the funeral procession for the young Palestinian woman killed, firing live bullets at mourners and tear gas directly into the crowd. At least one Palestinian was seriously wounded and being treated in hospital after being hit by a live bullet during the funeral.

Below are two reports on recent deaths of Palestinians at the hands of Israel.

By Al Jazeera Staff, reposted from Al Jazeera

Two Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank in separate incidents. [Another died in Egypt from wounds inflicted during Israel’s attack on Gaza in May 2021; a fourth died less than 24 hours ago.]

Ayman Mahmoud Mheisen, 29, was killed on Thursday morning during a pre-dawn Israeli military raid on the Dheisheh refugee camp in the southern city of Bethlehem, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Mheisen was the third Palestinian to be shot dead in the occupied West Bank in less than 24 hours. He was a father of three and a former prisoner who spent three years in Israeli jails, Palestinian prisoner rights groups said.

Separately, Israeli forces killed 24-year-old Bilal Awad Qabaha during a raid on the village of Yabad, outside of Jenin city in the northern West Bank late on Wednesday, the ministry said.

Qabaha was in a critical condition when he was transferred to a hospital in Jenin, where he died.

The army had raided Yabad in the evening to destroy the home of Diaa Hamarsheh, who carried out a shooting attack on March 29 in the town of Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv, killing five people. Hamarsheh was killed in a shoot-out with Israeli police at the scene.

The army also arrested Hamarsheh’s 59-year-old father, Ahmad, after the demolition.


[Translation: The moment the Diaa Hamarsheh family home was blown up in Yabad south of Jenin]

Israel destroys the homes of Palestinian assailants as part of a policy that has long been criticised by rights groups as collective punishment towards their families and towns.

Confrontations broke out with the Israeli army in Yabad shortly after the raid began, with several serious live ammunition injuries reported.

Continue reading

Jewish mobs attack Palestinians during Jerusalem rampage


Israeli Jewish extremists marching through the Old City of Jerusalem to celebrate its occupation and colonization, on 29 May 2022. (Mustafa Bader, ZUMA Press Wire)

Tamara Nassar, The Electronic Intifada, 30 May 2022

Tens of thousands of Israeli Jewish ultranationalists marched through Jerusalem on Sunday to demonstrate their hatred towards Palestinians and assert dominance over the militarily occupied city.

Many attacked Palestinians and chanted for genocide.

This was part of the annual “March of the Flags” on Jerusalem Day, a holiday invented by Israel to celebrate its occupation and colonization of the city in 1967.

Over 2,600 extremists entered the al-Aqsa mosque compound on Sunday, an unprecedented number, according to Israeli media.

A large crowd also gathered at the iconic Damascus Gate to Jerusalem’s Old City, waving the flags of Israel and the anti-Palestinian Jewish nationalist group Lehava:

Israeli Jews began their provocations early in the day. Reporters noted that they were more violent and confrontational on Sunday than in previous years.

Footage shared by Haaretz journalist Nir Hasson shows Israelis throwing a chair and other objects at Palestinians, who throw objects back:

A Word from Jeff Halper on “Jerusalem Day”

Jeff Halper, ICAHD, May 29, 2022

Today, Sunday, May 29, the Jewish state of Israel will carry out a government-sponsored pogrom on the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem. “Jerusalem Day,” the annual Israeli celebration of the conquest and illegal annexation of the Old City and “East” Jerusalem, has been called the “national holiday of the settlers.” If Independence Day on May 15 marks the UN vote in 1948 that approved (with no authority) the establishment of the state of Israel on the majority of historic Palestine, then Jerusalem Day, by contrast, marks the displacement of the Palestinians from Palestine — the Judaization of Palestine whose flip-side is de-Arabization, the erasure of the very Palestinian Arab presence in the country. Just two weeks ago the Israeli police attacked the funeral of the murdered Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and tore the Palestinian flag off her casket; it is illegal to display a Palestinian flag in an Arab city in a historically Arab country that still has an Arab majority despite Israel’s massive expulsions and displacement.

It is not enough to displace Palestinians from their lands, homes and communities (more than 530 entire Palestinian villages, towns and urban areas were systematically demolished inside what became Israel in 1948, and 85% of the Palestinian population driven from the country; since 1967, Israel has demolished 60,000 Palestinian homes, schools, mosques, agricultural facilities and community structures). It is not enough to replace the Palestinian population with Israeli settlers. It is not enough to eliminate by force and by law every expression of Palestinian resistance to their own national erasure. Israel must send “the Arabs” – Israelis do not say “Palestinians” – a clear message: You have three choices: submit and accept the fact your country is now a Jewish state and you will never have civil rights, get out, or die.

Jerusalem Day is when Israel annually reaffirms this message, and it uses the religious settlers as its eager messenger. The Russian government and the others of Eastern and Central Europe sponsored hundreds of pogroms against their Jewish communities with exactly the same message, albeit with the emphasis on “get out or die.” Jews were ideally controlled, contained and intimidated into submission by the population rather than by the military or police, populations inculcated with virulent anti-Semitism. Israel uses its religious settler population, including pupils from virtually every Jewish religious school in the country, for the same purpose, supported by governments elected by an Israeli Jewish population inculcated by a virulent hatred of “Arabs,” seen as “terrorists” whose elimination is therefore justified.

Pogroms against Palestinians are daily occurrences, of course. Even the United States has protested against “settler violence,” the euphemism used for progroms. But government-sanctioned pogroms – military attacks on densely-crowded refugee camps or the Gazan concentration camp of 2 million people; the displacement of entire populations such as that of Masafer Yatta, approved by the Supreme Court; massive demolitions of Palestinian homes and confiscation of land; nightly raids on sIeeping families to “demonstrate a presence”; detention of thousands of Palestinian children and teens; a virtual hunting season on Palestinian men; the storming of al-Aqsa mosque – are carried out by official arms of Israeli state terrorism, whether the legal system and the courts, the military or police, or their settler agents.

Tomorrow’s pogrom will see thousands of religious Israelis (primarily kids, the ones still in need of indoctrination) carrying Israeli flags through the Damascus Gate and down the main street of the Muslim Quarter shouting “Death to Arabs!”, damaging stores, businesses and homes, and attacking any Palestinian they find in their way. True, there will not be mass murders tomorrow as there were in European pogroms, but there will be mass murders, simply spread out over the mini-pogroms carried out daily. Diluted rather than concentrated killings. Israel killed 319 Palestinians in the Occupied Territory in 2021, 71 of them children, according to the Israeli human rights organization, B’tselem.

Your media may or may not cover the “March of Flags” on tomorrow’s Jerusalem Day. But a state-sponsored pogrom is about to happen.

Thank you for your continuing support.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@ICAHDU)
Email us at: info@icahdusa.org

ICAHD-USA
119 N. Fairfax Avenue, #486
Los Angeles, CA 90036-2110

May 20, 2022
Shireen Abu Akleh on WORT

Esty Dinur discusses Shireen Abu Akleh and related issues with Osama Eliwat of Combatants for Peace in Jericho.

Combatants for Peace is a non-profit organization of ex-combatant Israelis and Palestinians who have laid down their weapons and rejected violence. We are working together to end the occupation of Palestine, bring just peace to the land, and demonstrate that Israelis and Palestinians can work and live together.

Why Did Israel Execute Shireen Abu-Akleh?

They attacked the mourners because they weren’t in the casket

Steve Salaita, May 13, 2022

Immediately after Israeli soldiers executed Al-Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu-Akleh and fired at a group of her colleagues, observers began asking how such a horrible thing could happen. Why would Israel murder a journalist well-known throughout the Arab World? A noncombatant wearing appropriate press gear? A high-profile Palestinian with U.S. citizenship? At best, it seemed like a terrible PR move. It didn’t make any sense.

Except it did make sense. In fact, from a certain point of view killing Abu-Akleh was painfully sensible.

It’s natural to seek rational explanations for what appear to be mindless acts of violence. Explanation is contingent on material conditions, though, and so we have to understand the situation in context of Zionist settler colonization. Using the humanistic logic prevalent in most civil societies, Israel’s conduct was baffling. Its soldiers murdered a civilian in full view of people whose job is to report news. Those soldiers had to know that they couldn’t keep their act a secret, that targeting journalists would result in worldwide outrage. And yet they did it anyway.

Why?

To arrive at an answer, we have to discern the colonizer’s psyche. We’re not dealing with normal civil society standards, first of all. The relevant context is military occupation. In such a context, gratuitous state violence is normal. Obviously, killing Abu-Akleh has the immediate benefit of silencing a prominent voice of Palestinian resistance, one that had long exposed Israeli crimes of aggression.

There is more to the story, however.

We also have to explore the assumptions underlying a desire for simple explanations. By asking for reasons over and over again, observers seek answers to incongruous questions. In so doing they’re apt to tacitly implicate the victims in their own suffering. The journalists must have done something. There had to be a provocation. Israeli soldiers don’t just shoot innocent people for the hell of it.

But that’s exactly what Israeli soldiers do. Israel has murdered around fifty journalists over the past two decades. One or two might be an aberration. Fifty is a policy.

We needn’t turn to the victim’s behavior for answers to the colonizer’s violence. He is violent because of colonization.

So there’s no need to seek legible reasons for Abu-Akleh’s murder according the rationale of civic decency. The settler doesn’t need a “reason” to kill the native. The settler kills because deracinating the native is a precondition of his social identity. It is a function of his legal status and class position. Israeli forces viciously attacked a crowd carrying Abu-Akleh’s coffin—abusing our beloved martyr even in death—which only affirms the fact that the settler kills precisely when confronted by the native’s vulnerability. There is a higher purpose to his violence. The settler doesn’t kill simply to produce death; he kills to negate the native’s existence.

Israeli forces attacked Abu-Akleh’s corpse because killing her wasn’t enough. They needed to expunge her from a land they claim by divine mandate. Her body impedes a mythological birthright underlying the settler’s entire sense of self. She has to be rendered nonexistent in order for the settler to survive. Such is the logic of desecrating ancient Muslim cemeteries and planting flora over the ruins of ethnically cleansed Palestinian villages.

The same forces attacked hundreds of mourners not because they were unruly, but because they weren’t also in the casket.

The settler’s violence, in short, is endless. It is the only way he knows how to be a good citizen. And it is the only way, in the end, he can imagine a meaningful existence.

Steve Salaita is a scholar, author and public speaker born in Bluefield, West Virginia.