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Four important ways to advance the conversation on Palestine

Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip over the summer prompted an unprecedented outpouring of solidarity for Palestinians in the West, from street protests to expressions of outrage by mainstream politicians. Israel suffered serious damage to its reputation, while support for Palestinians – including through tactics like boycott and divestment – grew.

This occurred in the context of a slowly but steadily deteriorating environment for Israel in countries whose political leaders can still be counted on, by and large, to offer essential diplomatic, military, and economic support. Read more

Lobbying the Lancet: how Israel’s apologists smeared ‘doctors for terrorism’

Over 50 days in July-August, the Israeli army subjected the 1.8 million residents of the fenced-in, blockaded Gaza Strip to an unprecedented assault. 2,131 Palestinians were killed, including 501 children. At least 142 families lost three or more family members in the same incident. Israel’s attacks left 11,231 injured, including 3,436 children – many now have permanent disabilities. Read more

Does Abbas’s ‘genocide’ speech really signal a change of policy?

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s speech at the UN on September 26, became known for his claim that Israel perpetrated a “genocidal crime” in its attack on Gaza over the summer.

But the distance between rhetoric and reality in Mr Abbas’s speech was gaping. Security “coordination” between the Palestinian Authority and Israel prompted Palestinians in the West Bank over the summer to confront those PA forces trying to prevent them reaching occupation soldiers. Read more

The West Bank: where Israel’s Gaza propaganda falls apart

Writing in Israeli newspaper Haaretz this week, regular columnist Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie bemoaned the difficult task facing Israel’s supporters internationally, in the aftermath of the devastating, murderous assault on the Gaza Strip.

With the war in Gaza just concluded, Israel’s friends in the West are now immersed in the task of making Israel’s case to a skeptical public…ours is a media age, and the pictures of destruction in Gaza are hard to overcome.

This already tricky PR challenge has now been compounded, Yoffie wrote, by the Netanyahu’s government’s decision to declare a chunk of the West Bank as ‘state land’, a step taken prior to the construction of new settlement housing. Read more

Israel’s atrocities in Gaza prompt unprecedented political fallout

“Carnage” in Gaza – “the killing of children and the slaughter of civilians”. Not the words of a Palestinian spokesperson but rather French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. Australia’s FM Julie Bishop condemned what she called “shocking” and “indefensible” incidents, with “hundreds of innocent people” killed.

Just two examples of how Israel’s strongest allies have criticised the conduct of ‘Operation Protective Edge’ in unprecedentedly harsh terms. In the UK specifically, there has been an undeniable sea-change in the way that self-declared ‘friends’ of Israel have drawn a red line – adding their voices of criticism to more vociferous condemnation heard at numerous, large-scale demonstrations. Read more

How many Nakbas?

Gaza burns while the international community sits quietly, doing nothing about it. Israel has bombarded the territory for two weeks, killing more than 700 Palestinians and wounding well over 3,000. As I write this, I am aware that the death toll will only increase.

A massacre appals, disgusts, leaves one short of breath. It is a time for mourning, protest, but also education. Without an understanding of what is taking place in Palestine, we cannot put an end to this horror. Read more

Premeditated murder: the Shuja’iyya massacre and Israeli criminality

65-year-old Ahmed Suleiman Akram al-‘Atawai and his 10-year-old grandchild Tala were running from Israel’s onslaught on Shuja’iyya. As they fled, they were hit by Israeli artillery shells, and died.

They were among the dozens of victims Sunday, when Israeli forces pulverised the Gaza City district. Some, like Ahmed and Tala, were cut down in the streets; others were killed when shells hit their homes. A paramedic, killed as he attempted to rescue the wounded. The ‘Ayad family, hit by a missile from an Israeli warplane, killing ten, including three children. Read more

Homes in the crosshairs: Israeli war crimes, deterrence and impunity

On the eighth day of Israel’s most recent assault on the Gaza Strip, a senior officer in the Israeli military commented on the overnight bombing of the house of senior Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades figure Marwan Issa. “You call it a home”, the anonymous official said, “we call it a command centre and a military post for all intents and purposes”. For all intents and purposes.

NGO B’Tselem has documented ten examples of family homes bombed by Israel with a combined death toll of 52 persons, including 19 children. B’Tselem described the IDF’s justification for such attacks (which, it noted, changed over time), as “unfounded and illegal”, calling the tactic “punitive home demolition from the air”. Read more

As Gaza burns, it is clear two states would only cement Israel’s apartheid

After six Jewish Israelis were arrested on suspicion of the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a 17-year-old Palestinian kidnapped and burnt to death on July 2, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned those responsible and stated that his government does not distinguish between Palestinian and Jewish “terror”.

Let’s leave aside for now the fact that there are no bulldozers heading to the homes of the Jewish suspects; or the fact that the Israeli soldiers who shoot dead Palestinian teenagers in West Bank towns and refugee camps – including in just the last few weeks – are applauded for their “courageous” actions. Read more

Israel’s war on the Palestinian people in Gaza

Israel is at war with the Palestinian people. More accurately, Israel is writing a new, brutal chapter in its ongoing war against the Palestinian people, a horror story stretching back decades, and, appallingly, with more pages to be written. Read more

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