Archive for the ‘Israel’ Tag

Repost: Documenting Israel’s Human Rights Record   Leave a comment

Here’s a good post from Juan Cole about the Israeli state’s blockade of the Gaza strip. I really hope and pray that the Palestinians are accepted into the ICC, so that they can finally get some semblance of justice.

The food blockade had real effects. About ten percent of Palestinian children in Gaza under 5 have had their growth stunted by malnutrition.

A recent report [pdf] by Save the Children and Medical Aid for Palestinians found that, in addition, anemia is widespread, affecting over two-thirds of infants, 58.6 percent of schoolchildren, and over a third of pregnant mothers.

And here’s another story from Mondoweiss about the human right of education.

As countless students around the world took the SAT a week ago, Palestinians from the West Bank could not join their ranks. The October SAT exam was cancelled for students in the West Bank: The Israeli authorities held the exams sent by the College Board for weeks, not releasing the tests to AMIDEAST’s office in Ramallah…

This SAT cancellation has been devastating for high school seniors across the West Bank who were planning to apply to college in the United States—including those from the Ramallah Friends School. As alumni of the school, we are proud of its emphasis on global citizenship. RFS has a rich history in Palestine. It was established in 1869 by American Quakers and has since been certified by the International Baccalaureate Organization in Switzerland. About half of RFS students are Palestinian Muslims and the other half are Palestinian Christians—the latter are descendants of the very first Christian community. We have been nurtured by values of peace, nonviolence, social justice, and equality—principles to which many Palestinian families are deeply committed.

And then there’s the deprivation of economic rights:

  • In the West Bank, over 7,500 olive trees belonging to Palestinians were damaged or destroyed by Israeli settlers between January and mid October 2012, some 2,000 fewer than during the equivalent period in 2011.
  • Only one of the 162 complaints regarding settler attacks against Palestinian trees monitored by the Israeli NGO Yesh Din since 2005 has so far led to the indictment of a suspect.



Posted 10/18/2012 by reluctantliberal in Repost

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Repost: “Too Many Blacks in Alabama”   Leave a comment

Content Note: Offensive Racial Slurs, Racism

I was struck recently how many things that go on in the United States are obviously racist. The athletic teams the Indians and the Redskins may as well be called the Mexicans and the Wetbacks. Can you imagine going to a game of the Cleveland Mexicans (with half the players being white), whose mascot was a big grinning imagine of a Mexican man?

Anyway, that kind of racism is a real problem in the American debate about Israel-Palestine.  The NYT posted an op-ed recently that said there were too many Palestinians and Arab-Israelis in Israel. As this article points out, this is the rough equivalent of saying there are too many blacks in Alabama. That’s how one sided the debate about Israel-Palestine is. People can make transparently racist remarks in one of the biggest papers in the country without even raising eyebrows.

Posted 08/15/2012 by reluctantliberal in Repost

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Repost: But Remember, the Palestinians are the Terrorists   Leave a comment

Settler violence and extremism (and the way they’re overlooked by the Israeli government) seem to me to be one of the more important aspects of the Israel/Palestine issue that go uncovered. Take this post, for example.

“In terms of IEDs and explosives tied to cars there is actually a lot of history prior to the years we cover in our report,” said the Jerusalem Fund’s Executive Director Yousef Munayyer. He told me in the 1980s a group known as the Jewish Underground targeted three Palestinian mayors with car bombs, resulting in the mayor of Nablus losing both of his legs and the mayor of Ramallah losing one leg. Despite the severity of their crimes, by 1990 all 27 members of the underground movement were released from prison. The last three were set free on the grounds of “good behavior” after serving less than seven years, although they were convicted for killing two Palestinians in addition to the car bombings.

Posted 08/04/2012 by reluctantliberal in Repost

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Repost: This is Appalling   Leave a comment

I’m finding it difficult to even put my thoughts coherently. This is the closest I have ever come to wanting to throw someone in jail just for saying something. Let’s get some stuff straight. The Palestinians are occupied by Israel. The Gaza Strip is theoretically controlled by Palestinians, but Israel soldiers come in to make arrests whenever they feel like it. There is a pretense that the PA controls the West Bank, but all the borders in and out of Palestine are controlled by Israel or Israel’s friends.

60% of households in the Gaza strip are food insecure. 10% of children in the Gaza strip are physically disfigured because of malnourishment. Israel’s occupation is a crime against the Palestinian people, and Palestine’s economy is entirely at the mercy of Israel.

So. This. Is. NOT. COOL.

Romney went to Israel. Ignored the Palestinians. Lied about GDP per capita in Israel and Palestine (he claimed that Israel’s GDP per capita was twice as big as in the PA, when in reality it is twenty times as large). And after pointing out the results of what happens when one country controls and abuses the economy of a people it occupies, Romney attributed the difference to Israeli cultural superiority. It was racist. It was bigoted. It was offensive.

But it was good for fundraising, I guess.

Posted 07/31/2012 by reluctantliberal in Repost

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Repost: The Blatancy of Apartheid   Leave a comment

Here‘s another good post from Mondoweiss. It captures a bit of the daily grinding humiliation of being a Palestinian in Israel/Palestine. US public discourse equates all Palestinians with terrorists (How many times have I heard, “Both sides do bad things”?). But the conflict isn’t made up of sides, it’s made up of people. And to me it’s starting to look like some people are going through a slow motion process of ethnic cleansing.

The largest impression of all: These people have no freedom of movement. It takes hours to make a 10 mile trip, and none of the thoughtful city planning that Jews get in West Jerusalem is extended to the Palestinians. No, they must be constrained at every turn, and choked, so they want to fly away. I would fly away. I’d move to the Gulf, I’d go to Europe, I’d give up.


Posted 07/28/2012 by reluctantliberal in Repost

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A Short Explanation of Why Some People Don’t Support Israel   Leave a comment

Phillip Weiss radically changed my way of looking at the Israel-Palestine Conflict. It’s hard to convey all at once just how many awful things take place under Israeli occupation, so I took to scanning the titles of each blog post on Mondoweiss every day. But since most people aren’t going to up and follow a massive blog just so they can have their mind changed by a biased source, this post might serve as a good introduction:

Then the other thing is you meet these Palestinians. We have one friend who went to grad school at Cornell and his friend went to Oxford. They’re completely educated, they’re just like us, and so you see what Jim Crow was like, or apartheid, the way they’re treated. Because they can only drive on certain roads and you have to drive the long way round all these checkpoints just because only Israelis can go on the roads. It sickens you to be in the car with your friend when he’s driving around. You feel like you can’t do anything to help him.

For those of you who say, “Checkpoints, what’s the big deal?” I would ask if you’ve ever been through a checkpoint run by a foreign power that was controlling land that should be yours. I’ve never been through one of these checkpoints, but my understanding is it’s an unrelenting source of humiliation that basically embodies the Palestinians sense of powerlessness in their own land.

And for those who point out that Israel has security needs that require the occupation, I would point out that Palestinians have their own security needs, and since Palestinian casualties are about ten to one every time violence does break out, we might start paying those needs a bit more attention.