Saturday, March 10, 2018

3-10-2018 Who profits from keeping Gaza on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe? - Shir Hever +972

...Keeping Gaza on the verge of collapse keeps international humanitarian aid money flowing exactly to where it benefits Israeli interests....Despite the ever-deepening national hatred for the Palestinians, the Israeli government has clearly acted to prevent this kind of scenario, allowing emergency deliveries of medicine and desalination machines (internationally funded) to prevent mass death in Gaza...Despite numerous protests from the Palestinian side, the Paris Agreements signed in 1994 continue to constitute ...Israeli security regulations require aid organizations to use Israeli transportation companies and vehicles, since Palestinian companies are not allowed to enter Israel to pick up goods from airports or sea-ports. Even more significant is the fact that the Palestinians do not have their own currency or central bank: financial assistance must be given in New Israeli Shekels. The foreign currency remains in the Bank of Israel, and Israeli commercial banks collect numerous service charges along the way...


Posted by Judith Ferster, AIME member

2-26-2018 The Israeli Settlement Movement Is Failing - Shaul Arieli The Forward

…Contrary to [settlement movement leader] Yaakov Katz's] assertions, the real data show that the settlement enterprise has failed to achieve its central aim of preventing the establishment of a Palestinian state by creating irreversible physical facts on the ground...Contrary to Katz's claims, the data shows [sic] that his movement has not created the demographic or physical conditions necessary to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state. It remains feasible to create an Israeli-Palestinian border, with minimal land swaps, that will allow the vast majority of both Palestinians and Israelis living beyond the Green Line to remain in place.  The obstacle to a peaceful two-state outcome is not Yaakov Katz, or the numbers. It's the continued failure of leadership and vision by the current Israeli government.

Posted by Judith Ferster, AIME member

3-8-2018 Seeds of resistance: The woman fighting occupation with agriculture - Joshua Leifer +972

Vivien Sansour, founder of the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library, talks to +972 Magazine about Palestinian agricultural heritage, the occupation in global context, and the movement to preserve local farming techniques and biodiversity…."Farmers who can produce their own food and make their own seeds represent a threat to any hegemonic power that wants to control a population. If we are autonomous, we really have a lot more space to revel, to create our own systems, to be more subversive."…

Posted by Judith Ferster, AIME member

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

3-6-2018 ACLU Opposes Federal Bill Aimed at Boycotts of Israel as Free Speech Violation - ACLU


The American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to the Senate today opposing a revised version of a bill that would criminalize supporting certain boycotts of companies doing business in Israel and its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. The ACLU had voiced objections to the original bill last July on First Amendment grounds. Last weekend, Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) released a revised version. "This bill is unconstitutional because it seeks to impose the government's political views on Americans who choose to express themselves through boycotts," said Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. "The proposed changes are improvements, but the revised bill continues to penalize participants in political boycotts in violation of the First Amendment. ..

Posted by Judith Ferster, AIME member

Saturday, March 3, 2018

2-20-2018 Former president of Modern Language Association resigns following decision to ban debate on BDS – Margaret Ferguson If Americans Knew blog [originally Mondoweiss]

…By passing Resolution 2017-1, which closed the door in a constitutionally unprecedented way on future debate about the Palestinian call for boycott of Israeli academic institutions, the Association has sent a message to the world that it wants protests about the conditions of teaching and learning in Palestinian universities off the table. Because the resolution misrepresents the MLA's purpose in its opening clause, leaving out the Association's long-standing efforts to advocate for humanities educators' rights; and because the resolution prohibits future discussion of an issue of public concern, eleven past presidents with different views on boycott asked the Council not to treat the resolution as business as usual at its meeting last February. The decision to do just that means that the Association has gone on record as wishing to prevent further discussion of infringements of educators' rights in the Occupied Territories…


Posted by Judith Ferster, AIME member

2-22-2018 Study: At least 78% of humanitarian aid intended for Palestinians ends up in Israeli coffers – Jonathan Cook Mondoweiss


Israel has been outsmarting the West, says Israeli economist Shir Hever, making a profit on the occupation instead of paying its bills. Hever's study indicates that the international community in its generosity has so incentivized the occupation, that Israelis – not Palestinians – have become "the most aid-dependent people in the world." What the international community has done over the past 20 years of the Oslo process – inadvertently or otherwise – is offer Israel financial incentives to stabilise and entrench its rule over the Palestinians. It can do so relatively cost-free…

Posted by Judith Ferster, AIME member

Saturday, February 24, 2018

2-22-2017 A bizarre end to the trial of Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour - Yoav Haifawi +972


…The defense insisted that the poem [Resist, My People] is a legitimate expression of protest, which speaks about the occupation's violence against innocent Palestinians. The defense based its arguments on specific events that were mentioned in the poem: the children who were burned; Hadeel, who was shot; the settler's robbery; and the violence of the army's special undercover units.  The prosecutor focused on what she thought was clear to every "average person"—the Israeli worldview that sees every Arab, and especially whoever opposes the occupation, as a dangerous terrorist…According to the prosecution, the publication of the photo "I am the next Martyr" was part of a systematic pattern of encouraging suicide attacks. The fact that the picture was first published in response to the burning of young Abu Khdeir, of course, should have been conclusive proof that Tatour speaks of the martyr in the sense of a victim rather than an attacker…Only after receiving these summaries will the judge set a date for announcing the verdict. Until it is given, Dareen Tatour will have lost more than two-and-a-half years of her life to prison and house arrest.

Posted by Judith Ferster, AIME member

Sunday, February 18, 2018

2-13-2018 Gaza in a vice - Omar Karmi Electronic Intifada


Hamas has given over control of crossings and administrative duties to the PA to no avail. There is little armed resistance left in Gaza, whatever the movement's rhetoric: bar a flurry of rockets after Trump made his Jerusalem announcement in early December, there has been nothing for Israel to worry about all of last year.  What the situation does offer is clarity: The US has given up on even a pretend peace process. And simply waiting for Trump to go away will not do: Israel has in effect been given a green light to take what it wants now, and it is considering its options.  Arab countries, meanwhile, may step in to avoid absolute catastrophe, but only at the last minute and only with the green light from Israel. Politically, there is neither        the   will nor the drive to help Palestinians achieve any of their minimal claims. …Further afield, a Saudi crown prince plots war with Iran that demands US and Israeli support and unquestioned loyalty from other Arab states in a slow-motion car crash of self-fulfilling Sunni-Shia conflict prophecy. Palestinians are told to stand aside...

Posted by Judith Ferster, AIME member

2-11-2018 102 Congress Members Urge Trump: Don't Cut Funds to UN Palestinian Aid Agency - Amir Tibon Ha’aretz

…In their letter, the members mentioned news reports indicating that Israel asked the Trump administration to reconsider cuts to UNRWA's budget. "The Israeli Government deems UNRWA's work providing basic services and education to Palestinian refugees so consequential for Israeli security that it has reportedly weighed in with your administration in support of maintaining U.S. contributions to the agency, despite frequent criticism of it," they wrote.  The members also mentioned an article that was published last month in Haaretz by "Former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Peter Lerner," who wrote that "By weakening UNWRA and, consequentially, the Palestinian population even further, without a real administrative alternative, I believe that Palestinians will be even more susceptible to extremism and violence. This will not contribute to security or stability in the region." …

Posted by Judith Ferster, AIME member

Thursday, February 15, 2018

2-15-2018 In prison I understood Israelis want peace, says released Palestinian murderer - Elior Levy Ynetnews,7340,L-5115295,00.html


In a special series of interviews, terrorists who were released in 2013 as part of an Israeli gesture to PA President Abbas tell Ynet about the murders they committed before the Oslo Agreements were signed, the 'Israelization' process they went through in jail and the impact of the second intifada…


Posted by Judith Ferster, AIME member