New Film on Hebron at the New York Times

Mission: Hebron by Israeli filmmaker Rona Segal was published recently in the opinion section of the New York Times website, and can be watched there (with a subscription) or on YouTube.

Mission: Hebron is a short documentary based on interviews conducted by the director with Breaking the Silence testifiers about their service in Hebron. Describing a horrifying yet mundane routine of manning checkpoints, invading homes, nighttime arrests, and violently dispersing protests, they paint a picture of what serving in the second largest Palestinian city in the occupied territories requires, the atmosphere in the city, their interaction with the local population, both Palestinians and settlers, and how they felt about it all.

Screened around the world at international film festivals, the film won the Shagrir Prize at last year’s Jerusalem Film Festival and is now long-listed for the Academy Award for Best Short Documentary.

Settler attacks on Palestinians more than double in two years

Israeli authorities have created a “permissive atmosphere” allowing settlers to “let off steam”

Hebrew graffiti in the village of Deir Estya, which translates as ‘village of terrorists’, in an apparent ‘price tag’ attack by Jewish settlers, 18 June 2019 (AFP)

Middle East Eye, 4 October 2021

Israeli settler attacks on Palestinian villages and properties in the occupied West Bank have more than doubled in the first half of 2021, compared with the same statistics over the past two years, Haaretz reported on Sunday.

The spike may be linked to a change in tactics from authorities following the death of teenage settler Ahuvia Sandak, who died in a car crash fleeing Israeli police, and the killing of 52-year-old mother Esther Horgan by Palestinians in December 2020.

To avoid confrontation, Israeli authorities created what officials described as a “permissive atmosphere”, including allowing settlers to “let off steam”, according to the Israeli newspaper.

In 2019, 363 settler attacks were reported, while in 2020, that number was 507.

Masked settler mob attacks Hebron villages
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In the first half of 2021 alone, however, there have been 416 anti-Palestinian attacks, according to Haaretz, more than double the same figure in 2019 and 2020.

Of these, 139 involved vandalism of Palestinian properties, stone-throwing and so-called “price tag” incidents, which include spraying racist graffiti, slashing tyres and uprooting trees.

A number of attacks were carried out by prominent settler groups Price Tag and Hilltop Youth, some of whose members are students at religious schools in the illegal settlements of the West Bank.

Twenty-three Palestinians have been wounded so far in 2021, compared with eight in 2020 and seven in 2019, as physical attacks on Palestinians have risen.

Settler attacks on Palestinian villages have remained on the rise throughout the three lockdowns Israel has imposed to help curb the spread of Covid-19. Most took place in the Palestinian cities of Hebron, Ramallah, and Nablus and its environs.

Israeli settler attacks are not exclusive to the West Bank, however. Palestinian citizens of Israel and those living in occupied East Jerusalem have had property vandalised over the years.

In December 2020, Palestinian residents in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Shuafat woke up to find dozens of their cars and properties had been vandalised by settlers. In January 2021, Israeli settlers torched a mosque in the East Jerusalem suburb of Sharafat village.

Racist slogans about Arabs and Muslims were sprayed onto the walls of a mosque in Jish, a Palestinian town in the north of Israel, in February 2020, while scores of cars were targeted.

Some of these attacks resulted in Palestinian deaths, such as the Dawabshedh family in the Palestinian town of Duma, and the kidnapping and killing of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdier in East Jerusalem’s Shuafat in 2014.


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  • November 28, 2021
    Defund Racism Webinar: A Palestinian Call for Solidarity

    12 Noon Central Time

    Join Christian Peacemaker Teams-Palestine and the Good Shepherd Collective for a conversation on international structures and funding sources that perpetuate racism and the Israeli Occupation in Palestine.

    Featuring Bana Abu Zuluf from the Good Shepherd Collective and Hisham Sharabati & Ahmad Abu Monshar, human rights activists from Hebron.

    November 29, 2021
    WORT on #PalestineDay

    UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
    It’s Background and Enduring Importance

    WORT Access Hour
    8-9 pm, 89.9 FM
    or listen live online

    Steve Wolvin and David Williams will discuss the origination of the Day of Solidarity in 1977, and summarize its yearly observance up to the present. This will be followed by a brief overview of a course on the history of the Palestine Conflict to be presented in five monthly sessions from January through May 2022 and how potential attendees can prepare for it. The phone lines will then open for a Q&A.

    More info | Or call 608-284-9082

    December 8, 2021
    “Reality Under Apartheid” Virtual Tour

    10 am Central Time

    If Not Now and the Palestine Institute of Public Diplomacy (PIPD) present an hour long virtual tour of Palestinian neighborhoods and cities to demonstrate how Apartheid as practiced by Israel — and supported by US funding — is not some abstract concept, but a lived reality for millions of Palestinians every day.

    More Withdraw from the Miss Universe Pageant in Israel

    Miss Universe Greece is not the only contestant who will be a no-show at the pageant which takes place in Eilat, Israel on 12 December. Contestants from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Laos have all bowed out of visiting the controversial venue. Barbados has also withdrawn, but cited COVID as the official reason…

    Also, South Africa has withdrawn its support for Miss South Africa to attend, although so far she is refusing to withdraw. Nelson Mandela’s grandson has been prominently among those publicly urging a boycott, saying “nothing about Apartheid is beautiful”.

    New York Times Op-ed on BDS

    November 22, 2021

    I’m writing to share some news: a few hours ago, The New York Times published an important op-ed by Alan Leveritt, a news publisher in Arkansas who is suing the state over its anti-boycott legislation.

    Alan is also one of the protagonists of our new film, Boycott, and his article — “We’re a Small Arkansas Paper. Why Is the State Making Us Sign a Pledge About Israel?” — paints a vivid picture of the impact of legislation designed to silence voices of dissent on Israel-Palestine.

    Alan is writing at a crucial time. His case is right now being reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and he’s not optimistic that the ruling will go his way.

    If it doesn’t, the case will likely end up at the Supreme Court, potentially impacting not just the right to boycott Israel for its human rights record — boycott being constitutionally protected under the First Amendment — but also our right to voice dissent on a whole range of issues.

    We hope you’ll share Alan’s op-ed widely. Please forward this email or share the article on social media. We just had the world premiere of Boycott at DOC NYC last week. With Alan’s case awaiting a ruling, this is a crucial time to spread the word and raise awareness about the dangers of these laws, which, to date, have largely gone underreported.

    With determination,

    Suhad Babaa
    Executive Director & President, Just Vision
    Producer, Boycott