April 2019, Week 1

April first:

In a 2 a.m. tweet, President Donald Trump announced that he will move the U.S. embassy back to Tel Aviv. In a follow-up tweet the President called moving the embassy in the first place, ‘a bad deal, very bad deal. Rosie O’Donnell bad’.
and this just in:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has converted to Buddhism, abandoned politics and plans to spend his remaining years in quiet contemplation seeking forgiveness.

April Fool’s

And now: the news:

04.01.2019 Israeli forces detain 9 Palestinians across West Bank Maan News. Night and Fog raids, again.

04.01.2019 Israeli settlers spray racist slogans in East Jerusalem neighborhood Maan News.

04.01.2019 Bedouin women capture their village’s final moments before it’s demolished by Israel Haaretz by Vered Lee. Arab women commemorate their lives and community by creating a photo book as a requium on the eve of Israel displacing them and destroying the place for a Jewish town.

04.01.2019 Israel allows expansion of fishing zone in Gaza Maan News. After stopping the fleet at gunpoint for a week, Israel has announced it will let the fleet out to 12 miles off shore.

04.01.2019 Trump heads to Vegas for Adelson’s Jewish Republicans gathering. Will Adelson attend? Haaretz. The Republican Jewish Coalition is the party’s leading group of Jewish donors to Republicans. Trump is heading to the summons in Las Vegas to speak before them. 85-year-old Adelson is ill with cancer. His private jet is on the ground in Switzerland.

04.02.2019 Israeli forces shoot dead Palestinian youth in Qalandia Maan News. Qalandia is a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. Jewish occupation troops raided the camp before dawn sparking a violent clash with local people. The heavily armed Israelis gassed the people and shot them with live ammunition, rubber coated steel bullets, and stun grenades. The Israelis shot 23-year-old Muhammad Awan at point blank range.

04.02.2019 Slain Palestinian laid to rest in Qalandiya Maan News. Another gorgeous funeral for one who died too young. Thousands carried 23-year-old Muhammad Adwan to his rest. Israel killed Adwan during the night and fog raids. Rest in Peace.

04.02.2019 Students suffocate as Israeli forces attack Hebron school Maan News. Jewish occupation troops gassed little children and teachers at a Palestinian elementary school again. Locals say the Israelis fired live ammunition, rubber coated steel bullets, and gas canisters at the school. A large number of students and teachers were taken to the hospital with trouble breathing from gas inhalation.

04.02.2019 Israeli forces demolish Palestinian home in Bethlehem Maan News. Occupation troops sealed off part of a Bethelehem neighborhood and bulldozed a 3-story building belonging to a Palestinian lawyer.

04.02.2019 Egyptian navy detains 4 Palestinan fishermen, injures another in Gaza Maan News. Local fishermen say the Egyptians went 300 meters inside Gaza waters, shot a fisherman with live ammunition, and arrested the other four. Article says the injured man escaped while his companions were being arrested, and fled the scene. His whereabouts are unknown. Their boat was confiscated.

04.02.2019 Israeli navy sprays Palestinian fishermen with skunk water Maan News. After announcing yesterday that they will let fishermen fish further from shore, the Israelis have stepped up attacks on the fishermen. Skunk water is a foul mixture that smells like a combinations of shit and vomit that sticks to skin and clothes for weeks. [Some American police departments have bought skunk water from Israel to use against protesters in the U.S.]

04.02.2019 Israeli air strike targets Palestinian youths in Eastern Gaza Maan News. Localas say the Israelis fired another missile into Gaza.

04.02.2019 Minor among 10 Palestinians detained by Israeli forces Maan News. 15-year-old Mohammad Khalaf is among those dragged from their beds in the night and fog raids last night. Occupation troops also took away his father.

04.02.2019 Israeli forces detain lawmaker in Ramallah Maan News. Night and fog raid in West Bank. Israel arrested a Hamas leader and took him to Ofer prison. The raid prompted clashes between locals and Jewish soldiers who gassed the people and shot at them with rubber coated steel bullets and concussion grenades.

04.02.2019 Putin is pulling for Netanyahu as he did for Trump—but this time in broad daylight Haaretz by Chemi Shalev. Netanyahu had a surprise meeting with Putin in Moscow a week out from the Israeli elections. Author posits that the meeting will boost Netanyahu’s stock with Israel’s ethnic Russsian voters who are the largest Jewish voting bloc in Israel. The meeting also showcases Netanyahu as player on the world stage.

04.02.2019 Al-Quds University’s debate team wins 1st place in Qatar Championship Maan News. A bit of good news. 107 teams from 51 coutries took part. The Al-Quds team came in first among Palestinian teams and tenth overall.

04.03.2019 Measles outbreaks are sickening ultra-Orthodox Jews. Here’s why many of them go unvaccinated Washington Post by Michele Chabin. Ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in New York City, New York state, and New Jersey have had measles outbreaks after members brought the disease back from Israel. Article says lack of vaccination among Orthodox is more a result of secular factors like being to busy, mistrust of government, fear of possible side effects from vaccine, rather than religious belief. Israeli Health Ministry reported 4,000 measles cases in 2018 vs. 30 the previous year. The U.S. had 372 cases in 2018 and already has reported 387 by March,31, 2019.

04.03.2019 Palestinian succumbs to wounds sustained during land day protests. Maan News. Last Saturday a Jewish siege sniper shot 26-year-old Fares Abu Hajras. He died of his injuries today, making him the fifth Palestinian Israel killed Saturday and the 271st Israel has killed since the Great March of Return protests began in Gaza, March 30, 2018. 16,556 have been injured during the same period.

04.03.2019 2 Palestinian minors suffer head injury during Qalandia clashes Maan News. Jewish occupation troops gassed and shot at local people again. Two young men were shot in the head with rubber coasted steel bullets. Injuries described as moderate.

04.03.2019 In video: Palestinian shot dead by Israeli settler, another injured Maan News. Locals say Jewish colonist, Joshua Sherman blocked the road with his car to stop 23-year-old Mohammed al-Fattah from crossing, then shot the young man to death. Sherman also shot a bystander with a stray bullet. Israel says al-Fattah was, “attempting to carry out a knife attack in the area.”

04.03.2019 Palestine in pictures: March 2019 Electronic Intifada. Last month photos of life under occupation.

04.03.2019 MOH: 270 killed, including 52 children, in first year of Gaza protests Maan News. Palestinian Ministry of Health gave statistics of 270 dead including 52 children, 6 women, an elderly man, 16,556 injured including 3,310 children, 1,088 women, 551 injuries were critical. 6,876 shot with live ammunition, 865 shot with rubber coated steel bullets, 2,426 injured by gas suffocation. There were 136 amputations, 1,567 injuries to the head and neck, 761 injuries to chest and back. 654 in abdomen/pelvis.

04.03.2019 Hundreds of grapevines, trees vandalized in suspected West Bank Hate crimes. Haaretz by Yotam Berger. Another 400 grapevines and 150 fruit trees uprooted or cut down by thugs who painted Star of David, and Hebrew graffiti on the ancient stone walls nearby.

04.03.2019 Euro-Med: Israel regularly violates rights of Palestinians Maan News. Another report on Israeli brutality against Palestinians Arabs in East Jerusalem. Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor calls out the Jewish state for curtailing people’s ability to, “practice religious, social, and political activities” by arrests, arbitrary policies to kick people out of their homes, home demolitions, night raids, etc.

04.04.2019 Israeli navy fires mortar shells at Palestinian fishermen Maan News. Siege gunboats using Palestinians for target practice again. Drove them ashore.

04.04.2019 Israeli settlers raze Palestinian lands in Burin Maan News. Jewish colonists, intent on taking over more Palestinian land, came in bulldozers to flatten fruit trees belonging to Burin village near Nablus.

04.04.2019 Hundreds of Israeli settlers raid Nablus area village Maan News. Jewish occupation troops warned villagers in Awarta to get their cars off the streets and stay off the streets themselves. Then Jewish colonists swarmed through the town to perform religious rituals.

04.04.2019 171 Swedish activists demand boycott of Eurovision in Israel Maan News.
We, Swedish artists and cultural workers who have signed this call, cannot quietly watch Israel use the Eurovision Song Contest to conceal their crimes against the Palestinian people.”
Artists and celebrities noted their letter that “just a few days” after Israel won Eurovision last year, they killed 62 Palestinians, including six children, on the Gaza border. Article notes Iceland’s entry to Eurovison signed a petition to boycott and last September 140 from around the world—including Israelis—signed a petition to boycott.

04.04.2019 Brazilian opposition leader declares support for Palestine Maan News. Brazil’s Senator Ranolfe Rodrigues said Brazilian President Bosonares’ visit to Israel does not represent the conscience of the Brazilian people.

04.04.2019 Israeli bulldozers raze lands in southern Gaza Maan News. Armored D-9 bulldozers destroyed more farmland on the Gaza side of the segregation wall today.

04.04.2019 Congress passes historic resolution to end U.S. support for Saudi-led war in Yemen VOX by Tara Golshan. Byline: “Republicans tried to weaponize anti-Semitism against Democrats to block the vote—and failed.” Saudi driven war in Yemen has killed over 50,000 and left 20 million in need of humanitarian assistance. The U.S. has been enabling the Saudis with weapons and other support. To end that support, congress invoked the 1973 War Powers Act which gives congress the power to make the President remove troops from overseas where no war has been declared. Trump supports Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman, calls him a ‘great ally’ despite American revulsion and anger at bin Salman’s henchmen killing and dismembering American journalist Jamal Kashoggi at the Saudi embassy in Turkey.
Democrats came to control the House, made Yemen vote a priority. Republicans added an amendment to the Yemen legislation condemning—anti-Semitism as a swipe at Ilhan Omar. Democrats voted for it. Then Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell blocked the law on grounds the amendment republicans had inserted wasn’t relevant.
Republicans tried the same trick again in the final vote by inserting an amendment to censure Ilhan Omar and (if I understand this right) inserted language that would make a ‘yea’ vote by democrats appear anti-Israel, pro-BDS. The democrats have voted in favor anyway and called out republicans to stop their sham politics.

04.04.2019 Netanyahu deserves to win the election, and we Israelis deserve him Haaretz by Anshel Pfeffer. Article details Netanyahu’s last minute plays that have propelled his image from divisive/corruption, scandal plagued, hate/fear mongering churl, to world statesman who is crushing it at the polls. In the past ten days he’s met personally with presidents of U.S., Russia, and Brazil. He got Trump’s blessing for Israel annexing the Golan Heights, got Brazil to open a diplomatic office in Jerusalem, and got Putin to locate the remains of an Israeli soldier who went missing during Israel’s 1982 Lebanon invasion. [Bringing back the soldier is huge news in Israel. One news source has a picture of Russian honor guard carrying a casket, another has a picture of a Russian general handing Netanyahu what looks like a cigar box. Hard to know just what the remains are.]

04.04.2019 Euro-Med: Israel regularly violates rights of Palestinians Maan News. Another report on Israeli brutality against Palestinians Arabs in East Jerusalem. Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor calls out the Jewish state for curtailing people’s ability to, “practice religious, social, and political activities” by arrests, arbitrary policies to kick people out of their homes, home demolitions, night raids, etc.

04.05.2019 IDF general: Israel behind coup that installed al-Sisi dictatorship in Egypt Mint Press by Whitney Webb. [story also appeared in MEMO two days ago] Israeli Brigadier General Aryeh Elad speaks to the press: 1) Back in 2012 Mohamad Morsi became Egypt’s first democratically elected President. 2) Israel considered him a threat because he was affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. 3) Israelis were afraid he would re-evaluate, and perhaps cancel, the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel. And that he may increase Egyptian military presence on the Sinai Peninsula. 4) In August, 2012 Morsi responded to terrorist bombings in the Sinai by increasing security troops there. The Israelis accused him of a military build up. Morsi accused the Israeli Mossad of being behind the terrorist bombings in order to destabilize his government. 5) General Elad says: “Israel was quick and willing to activate its tools and perhaps even greater means, to bring Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to power in Egypt, and convince the then US administration under President Barak Obama not to oppose this move.”

04.05.2019 Dozens suffocate with tear gas in Nilim Maan News. Israeli Jews gassing Arabs again. In Ramallah, today. They also fired concussion grenades.

04.05.2019 Israeli tear gas kills dozens of birds in Sabastiya Maan News. Occupation troops trying remove a Palestinian flag flying over a Palestinian village gassed the village and fired concussion grenades. Dozens of birds belonging to a local breeder suffocated to death.

04.05.2019 Israel approves new settler by-pass road in northern West Bank Maan News. Plans announced for another Jews only road to be built across Palestinian village lands for the convenience of Jewish colonists.

04.05.2019 South Africa embassy to Israel begins down grading relations Middle East Monitor. South Africa downgraded its embassy in Tel Aviv into a limited diplomatic mission with no trade/political/or development cooperation mandate.

04.06.2019 Israeli forces suppress weekly Gaza protests, injure 83 Maan News. Article says Jewish snipers shot 83 people with live ammunition. One of them is in critical condition. Israeli siege troops also gassed the people.

04.06.2019 Israeli navy opens fire at Palestinian fishermen in Khan Younis Maan News.

04.06.2019 In video-Palestinian family demolishes own home in Jerusalem. Maan News.

04.06.2019 Israeli forces detain Palestinian, ban 2 others from Al-Aqsa Maan News.

04.06.2019 Trump says Rep. Omar ‘doesn’t like Israel’ one day after arrest in threat case The Washington Post. Donald Trump went to Las Vegas to speak to the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual convention, with Sheldon Adelson sitting in the front row. Trump said, “Special thanks to Rep. Omar of Minnesota, Oh, I almost forgot. She doesn’t like Israel. I’m so sorry.” This is right after Patrick Carlineo called her office and threatened to, ‘put a bullet in her fucking skull.’ Article notes that Netanyahu told Trump, “Israel has never had a better friend than you.” Trump got a standing ovation. [According to the Guardian, (11.02.2018, Midterm big spenders: the top 20 political donors this election.) Sheldon and Miriam Adelson donated around $113 million during the 2018 mid-term elections.]

4.06.2019 Netanyahu: Killing 300 Gaza protesters was ‘wise’ decision Middle East Monitor. Bibi on the campaign trail gloats about killing Arabs and making them suffer. He lists 3 imperatives that he has issued to Trump. 1) Israel won’t remove a single colonist from the occupied territories. 2) Israel will have permanent control of all the occupied territories from the Jordan River to the sea, always. 3) Israel will control all of Jerusalem.

04.07.2019 PPS-Israel detained over 6,000 Palestinian children since 2015. Maan News. Palestinian Prisoner Society says Israel physically and/or mentally abused 98% of the children they arrested, and that dozens of kids were arrested after being shot with rubber coated steel bullets and live ammunition.

04.07.2019 Israeli forces carry out detention raids across West Bank Maan News.

04.07.2019 Israeli forces open heavy fire at Gazan farmers, fishermen Maan News. Jewish siege snipers firing from the safety of military towers in East Gaza, and from gunboats off shore in West Gaza, fired at Palestinian farmers and fishermen again today, to drive them away from their livelihoods.

04.07.2019 Israel is voting for apartheid Haaretz by Gideon Levy. Levy weighs in on the elections, saying they are already lost as 100 of 120 legislators in the Knesset support the current situation which is apartheid. The 4 million Palestinians whose lives will be most affected by the elections are not allowed to vote in it. [Netanyahu’s chief rival in the elections] ‘Benny Gantz’s party has ambitious plans for a regional conference, making history, “deepening the process of separation from the Palestinians along with uncompromisingly maintaining…the Israeli army’s freedom of action everywhere.” Gideon closes his article with, “Vote apartheid.”

04.07.2019 ‘Such statements feed bigotry.’ Jewish American groups slam Trump for dual loyalty comment. Haaretz by Amir Tibon. Speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition, Trump called Netanyahu, “Your Prime Minister.” RJC didn’t complain at the time but some Jews complained later lest they be accused of ‘dual loyalty.’

04.07.2019 Netanyahu says will begin annexing West Bank if he wins the election Haaretz. Three days before elections Netanyahu says “A Palestinian state will endanger our existence.” and that he pans to keep all of Jerusalem inter Jewish control, and that he will “not evacuate any community” [meaning any Jewish community in the occupied West Bank. The Israelis evacuate Arab communities all the time.]

04.07.2019 Israeli Apartheid Week or Hebrew Liberation Week? At Columbia U. it depends on where you stand Haaretz. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) set up a mock-up of the apartheid wall on campus with colorful, homemade art and signs. There is a lot of interest.
A few hundred meters away are two tables that spark little interest. On one is what looks like a professionally done sign that has the logo for Students Supporting Israel (SSI). The SSI sign says, “ProIsrael. Grassroots. Movement.” [Israel is noted for ‘astroturfing’ events like this, that is, they pay students to show up and claim it is a grassroots movement. At the second table is Israeli student Ofir Dayan, who is Dani Dayan’s daughter. Dani is an Israeli colonist leader, and presently is the Israeli General Consul to New York. [He got that job after Israel tried to foist him off on Brazil as Israeli ambassador. Brazil didn’t want him and refused.]
In this article, SJP participants were reluctant to talk with an Israeli paper, fearing they would be misquoted. Nevertheless, the article give a decent in assessment of the Palestinian students and supporters, noting that they had a lot more interest from students than the Israelis. But, since the Palestinians weren’t talking, most of the comments for the piece come from Ofir. Article says she is outraged by the Palestinian display. That she recognizes “people identify with them a lot more than with us.” She claims her group doesn’t take sides in Israeli or U.S. politics.