For many years now, the Israeli government and disinformation groups like NGO Monitor have been working constantly to attack and smear organisations that draw attention to, and demand accountability for, the war crimes and other rights violations perpetrated by Israeli authorities.
These efforts have focused, in particular, on denigrating Palestinian human rights defenders living under Israeli military occupation, including by alleging involvement in, or links to, “terrorism”.
It’s a particularly nasty tactic given that, under Israel’s military regime, Palestinian political activity and expression is systematically delegitimised as “terrorism”. The tools of repression include military courts, detention without charge, and the banning of more than 411 organisations since 1967.
The Israeli settlement of Yitzhar, long a byword for nationalist extremism and anti-Palestinian violence, was in the news again on Monday, after residents erected a sign outside the settlement stating: “This road leads to the community of Yitzhar – Entry for Arabs is dangerous.”
As explained by Haaretz, the background to the stunt was an incident two weeks ago, when “an Arab medical worker who was sent to conduct a Covid-19 test was refused entry to Yitzhar”, reportedly on the basis that “he was an Arab”.
In response, the senior Israeli commander for the region “made it clear to the residents of Yitzhar that they must allow the entry of Arabs”, prompting the erection of the road sign in “protest”. Pictures of the sign were quickly shared on Twitter, prompting widespread outrage and opposition.
A new report in the Israeli publication Haaretz has shed fresh light on Israel’s intensifying demolition campaign in Palestinian communities, leading to a stark conclusion: Israel is conducting a war against the very existence of Palestinians in Area C, 60 percent of the occupied West Bank.
Meetings were held by the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee in late July and mid-August, and the subject was “the Palestinian takeover of Area C”.
The argument that the two-state solution is dead, or as good as dead, has by now become firmly embedded in mainstream commentary on Israel and Palestine.
Warnings about the diminishing likelihood, or viability, of a Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, based on the size of the settler population and extent of Israeli colonisation, have been sounded for decades.
Now, practical hurdles are also being understood in the context of – and as a practical expression of – the political obstacles, namely the rejection of and opposition to Palestinian sovereignty in the West Bank and Gaza Strip shared by Israeli leaders across the mainstream political spectrum. Read more
With just days to go until Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is allowed, per the coalition government agreement, to pursue the annexation of illegally occupied West Bank territory, debate swirls around what – if any – land will be formally annexed in the coming weeks and months.
Various annexation scenarios are being discussed, from the 30 percent of the West Bank envisaged in the Donald Trump administration’s plan – including the Jordan Valley region – through to a smaller amount of territory concentrated around major settlements. Read more
As Israel’s parliament swore in a new government this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his goal of annexing territory in the occupied West Bank. “It’s time to apply the Israeli law and write another glorious chapter in the history of Zionism,” he told the Knesset.
Ever since the deal between Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz took shape, including a commitment to advancing “sovereignty” in the parts of the West Bank allocated to Israel under the Trump administration’s plan, annexation has featured heavily in diplomacy and in analysts’ debates.
But amid all the discussion about potential consequences for Israeli relations with the EU or for the peace treaty with Jordan, not much attention has been paid to the possibility that annexation will ultimately be fudged. Read more
Delegitimizing Solidarity: Israel Smears Palestine Advocacy as Anti-Semitic
Journal of Palestine Studies (2020) 49 (2): 65–79.
In response to growing Palestine solidarity activism globally—and particularly in countries that have been traditional allies of Israel—the Israeli government has launched a well-resourced campaign to undermine such efforts. A key element of this campaign consists in equating Palestine advocacy; the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement; and anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. Read more
Amid the fallout from the announcement of US President Donal Trump’s plan for Israel-Palestine, it was hard to avoid the conclusion that the timing and manner of its publication had much to do with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s battle for political survival.
Facing an election on March 2, Israel’s third national vote in less than a year, Netanyahu has crisscrossed the globe to meet leaders and officials. His meeting with Trump was the most high-profile stop and saw the unveiling of the US plan which, analysts have noted, heavily favours Israel. Read more
One of the first bills to be introduced by Britain’s new Conservative government will reportedly stop “local authorities from boycotting individual companies”, a move described as targeting the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.
The Conservative Party election manifesto did indeed pledge to “ban public bodies from imposing their own direct or indirect boycotts, disinvestment or sanctions campaigns against foreign countries”, on the grounds that such moves “undermine community cohesion”. Read more