Trump’s Syria Withdrawal Enrages Pro-Israel Chickenhawks

Giraldi: The U.S. press, in its war against Trump, is pushing an illegal and unconstitutional invasion of Syria whose stated primary objective is to remove a terrorist organization which is already mostly gone – and a less frequently acknowledged goal of regime change for the legitimate government in Damascus and the expulsion of that government’s principal allies… there is no way to “win” and no exit strategy. That anyone would regard Boot and Nuland as objective authorities on the Middle East given their ultimate and prevailing loyalty to Israel has to be wondered at…

Merry Christmas, Israel is building 2,191 new settlement housing units on Palestinian land

In 2018, the government advanced thousands of housing units, including most which can be found in isolated settlements deep inside the West Bank, outside Israel’s pre-1967 borders. These are settlements that, in any two-state solution, Israel will have to evacuate. According to Peace Now, those who build these places have no intention of achieving peace and a two-state solution.

The latest announcement, which as an aside was cynically passed on Christmas while most Western governments are on holiday, shows that Netanyahu is willing to sacrifice Israeli interests in favor of an election gift to the settlers in an attempt to attract a few more votes from his right-wing flank.

Remembering Operation Cast Lead, 10 years ago today

Today we remember the 2008-9 Israeli incursion into Gaza, Operation Cast Lead, which was launched exactly 10 years ago. 1400 Palestinians – including 344 minors – and 9 Israelis were killed in the hostilities.

A UN report found that Israel’s military operation “destroyed a substantial part of the Gaza Strip’s economic infrastructure and its capacity to support decent livelihoods for families.” A decade later, little progress has been made in rebuilding, thanks in part to Israel’s 2 subsequent attacks on Gaza.

Christmas headlines from the Occupied Palestinian territories

The International Middle East Media Center reports on the ongoing acts of Israeli injustice and violence that most other media don’t bother with. Not a day goes by – including holidays – without abductions, settler brutality, shootings, and often even deaths. 

Next year in Bethlehem: Gaza Christmas celebrated despite siege

For the 11th year, Gaza’s Christian minority celebrates Christmas under Israeli siege, unable to join family in West Bank. Travel requests are mostly denied or ignored from an occupying country that claims to promote freedom of religion and worship.

Ha’aretz: Why Some Jews Don’t Study Torah on Christmas Eve

Why do many Hasidic Jews abstain from studying the Torah at Christmas? The mythology is that back in the day, Christians liked to persecute Jews during the holiday But according to an authority on the subject, the practice was originally based on a superstition that on Christmas, Jesus had to spend the day “wander[ing] in all pits of excrement or latrines throughout the world” – and studying Torah gave him respite from this torture. 

Israeli settler violence: 6 incidents in 2 days

As Israel criticizes Palestinians for their legal resistance against an illegal occupation, illegal Israeli settlers attack Palestinians on a daily basis – often with protection from the Israeli military – and go unpunished. Sometimes they destroy crops, sometimes vehicles; sometimes it’s graffiti; this week a member of the Israeli parliament called for open violence, and settlers obeyed.

Opinion: Birthrighters can handle the truth. Show them the occupation.

A former Birthright trip coordinator and leader’s bold opinion: young Jews on Birthright trips are aware of world events, and shouldn’t have to feel like they’re engaging with a sanitized and whitewashed version of Israel. When tour organizers don’t show them realities like the occupation, they are painting an incomplete and dishonest picture of what’s happening on the ground. Showing and telling the truth will make birthrighters more likely to engage and take action.

A history lesson on the legitimacy of resistance

Before the birth of modern Israel, Zionist groups – newly arrived in Palestine – engaged in armed struggle against the British military, whom they labelled as “occupiers.” But now that the tables have turned (and the UN has enshrined the right of armed struggle as a vehicle of indigenous liberation) the Israeli occupation refuses to recognize the Palestinian resistance as legitimate. 

Israeli military lives lost, while tragic, are sacrifices made willingly by the occupier who is fully aware that the resistance is ongoing.

Palestinians’ struggle for self-determination is a difficult, costly march; yet history teaches there is simply no other choice. Silence is surrender. To be silent is to betray all those who have come before and all those yet to follow.

Texas: she didn’t sign the “Israel Oath,” so she got fired

A children’s speech pathologist refuses to sign a will-not-boycott-Israel oath: she loses her job, an unknown number of children lose her advocacy. She notes how outlandish it is that she is not required to uphold the interests of the United States, or Texas, or children, but a foreign country.
As The Intercept has repeatedly documented, the most frequent victims of official campus censorship are not conservative polemicists but pro-Palestinian activists, and the greatest and most severe threat posed to free speech throughout the west is aimed at Israel critics.