Share |

Content about Israel

November 16, 2023

Since the Gaza bombardment began, three joint Jewish-Arab gatherings for coexistence and mutual solidarity have been held in Haifa, hosted by the Israeli city's Ahmadiyya Mahmud Mosque. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community convened meetings, bringing together representatives from various faiths, including Jewish rabbis, Christian pastors, Muslim and Druze imams, and even a Buddhist monk. The meetings have drawn up to 600 attendees. The Ahmadiyya amir of the Holy Lands, Muhammad Sharif Odeh, urged Jewish guests not to justify collective retaliation: "It is haram [unlawful] to kill civilians and innocent people—this is not the right way, there are other solutions, without weapons. Muslims and Jews have lived together for more than 1,300 years, and Jews were given their rights under the Muslim rule... Muslims and Jews should know that not speaking up in the face of oppression destroys the human feelings in our hearts, and stops us from feeling empathy towards the pain and suffering of each other."

Since the Gaza bombardment began, three joint Jewish-Arab gatherings for coexistence and mutual solidarity have been held in Haifa, hosted by the Israeli city’s Ahmadiyya Mahmud Mosque. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community convened the first meeting on Oct.

November 10, 2023

In both the United States and United Kingdom, progressive politicians have been censured for use of the slogan “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea.” Much media reportage has simply accepted portrayals of the slogan as inherently anti-Semitic and a call for genocide. Nor, given the Hamas atrocities of Oct. 7 and the wave of anti-Semitic attacks around the world since then, should such concerns be merely dismissed. Indeed, the slogan does inherently challenge the precepts of Zionism and the moribund dogma of a two-state solution. In Episode 199 of the CounterVortex podcastBill Weinberg urges activists to articulate a vision of a single secular state with equal rights for all in historic Palestine. While this may seem utopian, clarity on this question will make us more tactically effective in advancing the urgent immediate demand: a ceasefire in Gaza. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

In both the United States and United Kingdom, progressive politicians have been 

November 1, 2023

As Israel now openly approaches a genocidal threshold in Gaza, it is clear that the hostages held by Hamas have been sacrificed to the end of collective vengeance on the Palestinian people. In Episode 198 of the CounterVortex podcastBill Weinberg echoes urgent demands for a ceasefire, and also notes the "all-for-all" solution now being advanced by the families of the hostages—all Israelis held by Hamas for all Palestinians held by Israel, many of whom have been detained for years without charge. First put forth by Mustafa Barghouti of the secular-left Palestinian National Initiative, this proposal holds hope for a step back from the brink, recognizing the humanity of both "sides." Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.

As Israel now openly approaches a genocidal threshold in Gaza, it is clear that the hostages held by Hamas have been 

August 30, 2023

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands affirmed that Palestinians are precluded from bringing legal action against Israeli military officers for their involvement in a deadly air-strike on the Gaza Strip in 2014. The high court upheld the decisions of lower court judges, ruling that former Israeli chief of staff Benny Gantz and former Israeli Air Force commander Amir Eshel are shielded from prosecution due to their immunity status. The court ruled that this places them above legal reproach, regardless of the seriousness or nature of the alleged actions. The case was initiated by Gaza resident Ismail Ziada, who lost his mother, three brothers, a sister-in-law and a nephew in the July 2014 air-strike. In his suit, Ziada sought compensation under the doctrine of universal jurisdiction, which permits the pursuit of legal action for grave crimes committed in other countries.

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands affirmed on Aug. 25 that Palestinians are precluded from bringing legal action against Israeli military officers for their involvement in a deadly air-strike on the Gaza Strip in 2014.

June 23, 2023

Israel's right-wing nationalist government announced new plans to approve the construction of thousands of new buildings in the occupied West Bank, despite pressure from both the US and EU to halt settlement expansion. Far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who has just been granted authority over approval of West Bank settlement construction in a cabinet decision, tweeted in explicitly annexationist language: "The construction boom in Judea and Samaria and all over our country continues." The Palestinian Foreign Ministry called for US and international action to press the Israeli government to backtrack on the decision.

Israel’s right-wing nationalist government announced new plans June 18 to approve the construction of thousands of new buildings in the occupied West Bank, despite pressure from both 

April 7, 2023

The Israeli cabinet authorized plans for a paramilitary "National Guard" sought by far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to target violence and unrest in Palestinian communities within Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said that a committee comprised of Israel's existing security forces is to determine the Guard's responsibilities, and whether it will be subordinate to the Israel Police or take orders directly from Ben-Gvir, as he demands. Opposition leader Yair Lapid responded by calling the plan an "extremist fantasy of delusional people," and slammed a decision to cut budgets from other ministries "to fund Ben-Gvir's private militia." 

The Israeli cabinet on April 2 authorized plans for a paramilitary "National Guard" sought by far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to target violence and unrest in Palestinian communities within Israel.

March 29, 2023

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he will delay his proposed reforms of the judicial system in the face of ongoing mass protests. Calling it a move to "avoid civil war," Netanyahu declared in a televised address "a timeout for dialogue." However, he added: "We insist on the need to bring about the necessary corrections in the legal system." Opponents of the reform remain wary that the current respite is only temporary, a tactic to buy time while tensions cool. The protest campaign has also seen a wave of civil disobedience, with military reservists refusing to report for duty. Despite the general single-issue focus on the judicial reform, the demonstrations have included an "anti-apartheid bloc" calling for a secular state and decolonization of Palestinian lands.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 27 announced that he will delay his proposed reforms of the judicial system in the face of ongoing mass protests.

January 29, 2023

In Episode 160 of the CounterVortex podcastBill Weinberg notes hideous ironies in the current horrific headlines. Russia was excluded from the official commemorations of Holocaust Day at Auschwitz-Birkenau as it pursues its war of aggression and extermination in Ukraine in the perverse name of "de-nazification." But Israeli flags were of course displayed at the commemoration—even as Israel escalates toward a genocial solution to the Palestinian question. The fundamental contradiction driving the conflict is the expropriation of the Palestinian people of their lands, and the denial of their self-determination by Israel. The emergence of an explicitly anti-Zionist bloc in the protests against the new far-right government in Israel is a sign of hope. The US, however, is undertaking its biggest joint military exercises ever with the new Israeli regime, despite Biden's supposed rejection of its extremist policies of settlement expansion and annexation—viewing the Jewish State as a strategic ally against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Meanwhile, the oppressive regime in Iran treats the KurdsBaluchAhwazi and Baha'i much as Israel treats the Palestinians. 

In Episode 160 of the CounterVortex podcastBill Weinberg notes hideous ironies in the current horrific headlines.
 

 

 

January 26, 2023

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met in Jerusalem with President Isaac Herzog, signaling continued US support for Israel's new far-right government—despite the Biden administration's supposed opposition to its policies such as settlement expansion and annexation of the West Bank. The trip coincided with Israel's eviction of a wildcat settler outpost in what Israeli authorities call the "Samaria" region of the West Bank. Simultaneously, the Israeli government announced it is preparing to demolish the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem, home to at least 180 people. Khan al-Ahmar lies within a key corridor stretching to the Jordan Valley, where Israel aims to expand and link settlements, effectively cutting the West Bank into two.

January 23, 2023

Anti-government protests have mounted in Israel each week since the new far-right administration led by Benjamin Netanyahu government took power at year's end. The most recent saw over 100,000 march in Tel Aviv, while thousands more filled the streets in Jerusalem, Haifa and other cities. The protests have won support from Israel's traditional political establishment as well as the left opposition. While Israeli flags and slogans such as "Israel, we have a problem" predominate, some demonstrators have raised the Palestinian flag in defiance of an order from new National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to remove all Palestine flags from public places. The demonstrations have included an "anti-apartheid bloc" calling for a secular state and decolonization of Palestinian lands.

Anti-government protests have been mounting in Israel each week since the new far-right administration

January 2, 2023

The UN General Assembly passed a resolution referring Israel's 55-year occupation of Palestinian territories to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for a legal advisory. The vote, which followed approval of a draft resolution by the Special Committee on Decolonization, was 87-26, with 53 abstentions. The Palestinian Authority welcomed the vote, saying in a statement: "The time has come for Israel to be a state subject to law, and to be held accountable for its ongoing crimes against our people." But the response of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who returned to power just two days before the vote, makes clear his government's annexationist agenda. He stated: "The Jewish people is not occupying its land and is not occupying its eternal capital Jerusalem. No UN resolution can distort this historical truth." The far-right coalition that now takes power has pledged to expand Israeli settlement of the West Bank. 

The UN General Assembly on Dec.

December 26, 2022

Chile is planning to open an embassy in Palestine, President Gabriel Boric has announced. Speaking at a private ceremony hosted by the local Palestinian community in the capital Santiago, Boric acknowledged that he is "taking a risk" with the move, but added: "We are going to raise our official representation in Palestine from having a charge d'affaires. Now we are going to open an embassy." The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately commended the decision, saying it "affirms the principled position of Chile and its president in support of international law and the right of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state."

Chile is planning to open an embassy in Palestine, President Gabriel Boric announced Dec. 23. Speaking at a private ceremony hosted by the local Palestinian community in the capital Santiago, Boric acknowledged that he is "taking a risk" with the move, but added: "We are going to raise our official representation in Palestine from having a charge d'affaires.

November 19, 2022

The Israeli military has installed robotic weapons that can fire tear-gas, stun-grenades and "non-lethal" bullets in two volatile locations on the West Bank. One is atop a turret at al-Aroub refugee camp; the other in the nearby city of Hebron, where soldiers often clash with Palestinian residents. When young protesters pour into the streets hurling rocks and improvised firebombs at Israeli soldiers, the robotic weapons unleash gas and projectiles on them, according to witness accounts. The robo-weapons, produced by Israeli firm Smart Shooter, use artificial intelligence to track targets. Israel says the technology saves lives—both Israeli and Palestinian. But, as YNet states in its report on the installation, "critics see another step toward a dystopian reality in which Israel fine-tunes its open-ended occupation of the Palestinians while keeping its soldiers out of harm’s way." 

The Israeli military has installed robotic weapons that can fire tear-gas, stun-grenades and "non-lethal" bullets in two volatile locations on the West Bank. One is atop a turret at al-Aroub refugee camp; the other in the nearby city of Hebron, where soldiers often clash with Palestinian residents.

October 22, 2022

The UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, released its second report, stating there are "reasonable grounds to conclude that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory is now unlawful under international law due to its permanence and the Israeli Government's de-facto annexation policies." The commission called for the UN Security Council to bring to an end the "illegal situation resulting from the permanent occupation imposed by Israel" and require Israel to bring "its permanent occupation to an end immediately." 

The UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, on Oct.

June 23, 2022

The Parliament of Catalonia passed a resolution recognizing Israel's actions in the Palestinian Occupied Territory as "against international law and...equivalent to apartheid as defined in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court." The resolution was approved with support from all the left parties in the regional body. En Comú Podem (Together We Can) stated that the regional parliament is "the first European institution to recognize that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people, as noted by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch."

March 31, 2022

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett instructed security services to hold "terror suspects" in "administrative detention," even without charge. The order extends to Palestinians in Israel a policy long applied to Palestinians on the West Bank. Bennett cited "a new situation that requires suitable preparations and adjustment by the security services to the circumstances within which extremist elements of Arab society, directed by extremist Islamic ideology, are carrying out terror attacks and taking lives." The order follows deadly attacks by Israeli citizens who were said to be supporters of the so-called "Islamic State."

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett instructed security services March 28 to hold any "terror suspects" in "administrative detention," even without charge.

January 16, 2022

As part of a "forestation" plan, Israel's Jewish National Fund began clearing cultivated lands at the "unrecognized" Bedouin village of Sawa in the Negev desert, sparking angry protests by the villagers. The protests started as villagers and Bedouin leaders expressed their objections the JNF plan to plant trees on an area of 5,000 dunums (1,250 acres), much of which had been planted with wheat only a few months ago. Things escalated as tractors arrived at the area to begin clearing the fields, and villagers physically resisted. Police detained 18 local youth for throwing stones. Protests continued for the following two days, with the security forces firing rubber-coated bullets, tear-gas and malodorous "skunk water," causing several injuries. 

As part of a "forestation" plan, Israel's Jewish National Fund began clearing cultivated lands at the "unrecognized" Bedouin village of Sawa in the Negev desert this week, sparking angry protests by the villagers. The protests started Jan.

October 28, 2021

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz declared six Palestinian human rights groups to be terrorist organizations, claiming they are "secretly linked" to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)–a leftist resistance group that Israel has long designated a "terrorist organization." The groups on Gantz's list are Addameer, al-Haq, the Bisan Center, Defense for Children Palestine (DCIP), the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), and the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees (UPWC). International rights groups Humans Rights Watch and Amnesty International released a joint statement calling the announcement a "brazen attack on human rights." The Israeli rights group B'Tselem called the declaration "an act characteristic of totalitarian regimes, with the clear purpose of shutting down these organizations." 

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Oct. 19 declared six Palestinian human rights groups to be "terrorist organizations," effectively outlawing their activities.

July 14, 2021

A UN human rights investigator announced that Israeli settlement of the West Bank and East Jerusalem meets the definition of a war crime. Special rapporteur on the Palestinian Territories, Michael Lynk, addressed a Geneva meeting of the Human Rights Council, in which he gave a report on whether the settlements violate the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Lynk concluded that Israeli behavior meets the definition of a war crime and therefore falls under the jurisdiction of the ICC. He accused Israel of not being "serious about peace" because of its ongoing defiance of the Rome Statute. Israel, which does not recognize the special rapporteur's mandate nor cooperate with his office, was not present at the meeting. 

A UN human rights investigator announced July 9 that Israeli settlement of the West Bank and East Jerusalem meets the definition of a war crime.

May 14, 2021

Individuals involved in the new outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian fighting may be targeted by an International Criminal Court investigation now underway into possible war crimes in earlier eruptions of the conflict, top prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in an interview with Reuters. Bensouda said she would press ahead with her inquiry even without the cooperation of Israel, which rejects the ICC's jurisdiction. "These are events that we are looking at very seriously," Bensouda stated. "We are monitoring very closely and I remind that an investigation has opened..." She also warned in a tweet of the "possible commission of crimes under the Rome Statue.

Individuals involved in the new outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian fighting may be targeted by an International Criminal Court investigation now underway into possible war crimes in earlier eruptions of the conflict, top prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in an interview with Reute

April 29, 2021

Human Rights Watch issued a report accusing Israeli authorities of crimes against humanity, specifically those of apartheid and persecution, targeting the Palestinian people. The report charges that there is "an overarching Israeli government policy" to mitigate what authorities have openly described as a "demographic threat" from Palestinians. The 213-page report, A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution, cites definitions in the 1973 International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid and the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Human Rights Watch on April 27 issued a report accusing Israeli authorities of crimes against humanity, specifically those of apartheid and persecution, targeting the Palestinian people.

February 16, 2021

President Joe Biden's pledge to rebuild the Iran nuclear deal is already deteriorating into a deadlock—a testament to the effectiveness of the Trump-era intrigues that sabotaged the agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Biden and Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei have each traded "You Go First" statements—the White House demanding Tehran return to compliance with the JCPOA and Khamenei insisting the US lift the sanctions that were re-imposed by Trump. There is indeed a case that the US, having abrogated the pact first, should now be the party to "blink" in the stand-off, and lift the sanctions as a good-faith measure.

President Joe Biden’s pledge to rebuild the Iran nuclear deal is already deteriorating into a deadlock—a testament to the effectiveness of the Trump-era intrigues that sabotaged the agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). On Feb.

February 11, 2021

The Israeli human rights group B'Tselem has issued a report with the provocative title: This is Apartheid: A Regime of Jewish Supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. It documents sysematic discrimination against Palestinians in the spheres of land, citizenship, freedom of movement and political participation—on both sides of the Green Line. It echoes the 2017 findings of the UN Economic & Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in its report, Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid. But the fact that this time the comparison between Zionism and South African apartheid is being made by an Israeli group poses a challenge to the increasingly entrenched dogma that all anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.

Last month, the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem issued a report with the provocative title: This is Apartheid: A Regime of Jewish Supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

December 3, 2020

The world is breathing a collective sigh of relief after General Services Administration chief Emily Murphy officially contacted the team of president-elect Joe Biden, marking the Trump administration's belated initiation the transition process. But along with the news of Murphy's capitulation come reports that the US has deployed heavy bombers to the Middle East, and that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a secret meeting in Saudi Arabia with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Simultaneously, Yemen's Houthi rebels have conveniently claimed responsibility for a missile attack on a Saudi oil facility in the port of Jeddah. And this all comes just days after the disconcerting news that Trump had gathered his cabinet and advisors for a White House conclave weighing the options for military strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities. With his attempted judicial coup failing, Trump's Plan B could be postponement (read: cancellation) of the presidential transition under pretext of a world crisis of his own making.

The world is breathing a collective sigh of relief after General Services Administration chief Emily Murphy officially contacted the team of president-elect Joe Biden, marking the Trump admin