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Posts tagged ‘Palestinians’

Why calling Israel an apartheid state or racist is not anti-Semitic

The frenzied debate over the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s definition of anti-Semitism – or more precisely, definition and illustrative examples – has centred on whether the document restricts criticism of the state of Israel and delegitimises solidarity with the Palestinians. Read more

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Israel’s ‘creeping annexation’ of West Bank continues

There is much talk these days about Israel’s “creeping annexation” of the occupied West Bank, from both critics and proponents alike.

Critics say Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s government, dominated by right-wing nationalists in both the Likud and Jewish Home parties, has been advancing various laws designed to prepare the ground for Israel to annex portions of the occupied territory. Read more

News agencies still whitewashing Israeli forces’ lethal violence

Many media outlets are continuing to repeat important mistakes when it comes to covering the killing of Palestinians by Israeli forces, errors that result in a whitewashing of the routine violence of Israel’s occupation, and ultimately, biased coverage.

When I wrote about this issue last year (see here, here, and here), I focused on the output of news agencies like Reuters and The Associated Press (AP), on the basis that their reports go global, and that their coverage – perhaps more than other outlets – is perceived as objective (or striving to be).

Unfortunately, the flaws that have characterised the reporting of events since autumn 2015 have persisted into 2017 – as the following examples demonstrate. Read more

How The Guardian continues to exclude Palestinians from its comment pages

This time last year, I carried out an informal survey of how The Guardian was covering the issue of Palestine and Israel in its comment pages. The results were not good.

Out of 138 op-eds on the topic published by the newspaper in its ‘Comment is free’ section from October 2013 to November 2015 (including both print and online-only articles, as well as content from The Observer), just 20 were written by Palestinians – 15 per cent of the total. Read more

Nakba Day: A ‘clear challenge’ to Israeli establishment

Last week, as Israelis celebrated their Independence Day, Palestinians in the country’s south held the annual March of Return, walking to the site of one of hundreds of Palestinian villages destroyed between 1947 and 1949.

This mass displacement and dispossession, known as the Nakba (catastrophe), is commemorated internationally each May. But in recent years, Israeli authorities have attempted to clamp down on events to mark the Nakba – most notably through a 2011 change to legislation pertaining to budget allocations.  Read more

What Zionism has meant for Palestinians

“If there are other inhabitants there, they must be transferred to some other place. We must take over the land. We have a greater and nobler ideal than preserving several hundred thousands of Arab fellahin.”

Menahem Ussishkin, chair of Jewish National Fund, 1930.

There is a lot of discussion about Zionism at the moment: how to define it, what it means to be anti-Zionist and whether that equates to antisemitism, and so on. But there has been a notable, and instructive, absence in these debates: an understanding of what Zionism has meant for Palestinians. Read more

Concern over Israel’s attacks on NGOs betrays anti-Palestinian racism

Two weeks ago, the Israeli cabinet gave itsapproval to proposed legislation that would “impose new regulations on Israeli non-profit groups that receive funds from foreign governments.”

The ‘Transparency Bill’ will compel NGOs that receive more than half of their funding from foreign governments to state so in all official publications, and to “provide details about that funding in any communication with elected officials.” Read more

Israel-Palestine: The Unattainable Peace

October 2015 was one of the bloodiest months in Palestine/Israel since the Second Intifada, with 69 Palestinian fatalities (including some 40 attackers or alleged attackers) and 7,392 injuries, along with eight Israeli fatalities and 115 injuries.

The number of Palestinians injured mainly during anti-occupation protests across the West Bank and Gaza Strip, was more than for the whole of 2014. 2,887 Palestinians were shot by Israeli forces with live ammunition or rubber-coated metal bullets.

The international guardians of the comatose peace process, however, remained largely on the side-lines, with little ability to influence events on the ground that have ebbed and flowed irrespective of external appeals for ‘calm.’ Read more

Business as usual at the UN – but US public opinion on Israel is shifting

Speaking to the Security Council on Tuesday shortly after voting against the doomedPalestinian-drafted resolution on statehood, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power referred three times to an “unsustainable status quo” between Israel and the Palestinians.

It is of course Washington itself that bears most responsibility for this status quo, through its diplomatic, military, and economic support for the occupier, and leadership of a decades-long ‘peace process’ that has given Israel the cover to de facto annex its way to a permanent occupation. Read more

The problem with Palestinian political leadership

For a few months now, discussion of Palestine/Israel has focused on the looming UN vote on Palestinian statehood, but this is obscuring more fundamental problems in the Palestinian political arena – of which the forthcoming UN vote is a symptom.

In three critical areas, there are significant flaws hampering Palestinian political leadership.

The first is a legitimacy deficit. Both the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority and Hamas have, with the most generous interpretation, a minority mandate from the Palestinian people. The last elections of any sort took place in 2005-2006, and overdue local elections have been indefinitely postponed. And even if presidential or parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza were to take place tomorrow, they would still exclude Palestinian refugees. The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) remains a potential vehicle for democratic decision-making, but serious reform is still not on the horizon. Read more