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Shimon Peres: Israeli war criminal whose victims the West ignored

Shimon Peres, who passed away Wednesday aged 93 after suffering a stroke on 13 September, epitomised the disparity between Israel’s image in the West and the reality of its bloody, colonial policies in Palestine and the wider region.

Peres was born in modern day Belarus in 1923, and his family moved to Palestine in the 1930s. As a young man, Peres joined the Haganah, the militia primarily responsible for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian villages in 1947-49, during the Nakba. Read more

How a church was smeared for an exhibition about Israeli occupation

When a Methodist church in central London decided to hold a small exhibition about life for Palestinians under Israeli occupation, its members probably did not expect to be smeared as antisemites in the pages of The Times.

Yet that is precisely what happened to the members of Hinde Street Methodist church in Marylebone, in response to its “You cannot pass today” event, held as part of an annual “World Week for Peace in Palestine/Israel”. Read more

Balad arrests won’t be the last in Israel’s ethnocracy

The arrests of senior Balad party officials appears to mark a new escalation in Israeli authorities’ efforts to eliminate or stifle Palestinian activism inside the Green Line.

On Sunday morning, more than 20 individuals connected to the party, including chair Awad Abdel-Fattah and other senior members, were arrested by the Israeli police, who conducted raids of party properties, seizing documents and computers. Read more

Israeli support for two-state solution based on racism

The Guardian published a review last week by Nick Cohen of a new book called The Left’s Problem with Jews. Cohen’s review was predictable enough, and the book itself, written by Dave Rich of The Community Security Trust, is not the focus of this op-ed.

Instead, I want to draw attention to a short excerpt from Cohen’s review, which is instructive in what it illuminates about the current debate on anti-Semitism and the Left, as well as broader questions about Zionism, anti-Zionism, and the Palestinians’ ongoing struggle for self-determination. Read more

US aid deal ‘significant reward’ for Israeli right

The new military aid deal formalised by the United States and Israel on September 14 could serve to boost an intransigent, right-wing Israeli government that has already shown little appetite for substantial concessions to the Palestinians, analysts say.

“The primary lesson that the increasingly extremist Israeli right will draw from this agreement is that there are no significant international consequences, but rather, significant rewards for their behaviour,” Mouin Rabbani, a senior fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies, told Al Jazeera. Read more

Jerusalem mayor boasts of collective punishment of city’s Palestinians

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat likes to present himself to a Western audience as the head of an open, pluralistic city, a place at ease with its ethnic and religious diversity, despite complex “security” challenges. The reality is somewhat different.

As reported in Haaretz (with thanks to Ofer Neiman for translation), while speaking recently with Likud party members, Barkat boasted of inflicting collective punishment on Palestinian neighbourhoods of Occupied East Jerusalem. Read more

Israeli shooting of Palestinians: The media need to check the facts

Even by the standards we have come to expect from Israel’s armed forces, the circumstances and aftermath of the killing of Mustafa Nimr by Israeli border police in Shuafat refugee camp last Monday take some beating for their sheer cruelty and gall.

At the end of an overnight raid in Shuafat early Monday, Israeli forces opened fire on a vehicle in what authorities immediately described as a thwarted car-ramming attack. Passenger Mustafa Nimr was killed, while the driver, his cousin Ali, was wounded and detained. Read more

Palestinian vote suspended amid deep divisions

Exactly one month before the long-awaited local elections were set to take place across the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian high court in Ramallah suspended the vote – and it is now unclear whether polling will go ahead at all.

The October 8 vote was meant to elect local councils in more than 400 cities and towns across the occupied Palestinian territories. Thursday’s ruling does not definitively cancel the polls, with the court announcing a further hearing for September 21. Read more

Increased Israeli attacks on civilians in Gaza endanger two-year-old ceasefire

Israeli forces markedly increased their attacks on Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip during the second quarter of 2016, United Nations (UN) data has revealed, with concerns that such violence endangers the viability of the ceasefire that ended ‘Operation Protective Edge’ in 2014.

During the period April-June, there were an average of more than 90 shooting incidents per month by Israeli forces in Gaza’s so-called access restricted areas (ARA) – some 60 on land, and 30 at sea. This is more than double the equivalent average figures for the last six months of 2015. Read more

Court case challenges role Jewish National Fund plays in Israeli land theft

On 18 August, a group of Israeli NGOs petitioned the country’s Supreme Court over the role of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in government decision-making regarding land usage.

The JNF was established in 1901 to obtain land in Palestine for Jewish settlement. Subsequently, the JNF was incorporated into the Israeli state’s land administration bureaucracy, while still remaining a private organisation. It holds some 13 percent of the land inside Israel’s pre-1967 lines. Read more