The pendulum begins to swing back: Rep. Rashida Tlaib plans to lead a congressional delegation on a trip to the occupied West Bank – a counterbalance to AIPAC’s standard Israel trip for new Congress members. Rights groups have regularly criticized the AIPAC-sponsored trip as propaganda, and hopes to show what is really happening to Palestinians in the region.
Four Special Rapporteurs express ‘deep concern’ that Nation-State Law is ‘discriminatory in nature and in practice against non-Jewish citizens and other minorities and does not apply the principle of equality between citizens, which is one of the key principles for democratic political systems,’ and gives Israel 60 days to explain itself.
Two right-wing ministers criticize Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not “acting like a real right-wing government” by being too soft on Gaza, Hamas, and Khan al-Ahmar; but they vow to stay in power rather than resigning as Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman did last week.
A United Nations committee is directed to facilitate self-determination among colonized and suppressed people groups. The committee is poised to pass 9 resolutions against Israel. Predictably, the charge of anti-Semitism arises.
It is not hard to dismantle the accusation – using context, fact-checking, and a bit of logic.
The past week has seen the promise of peace shattered, first by an Israeli incursion into Gaza (7 Palestinian, 1 Israeli dead), then Gaza’s rocket retaliation (1 Israeli Palestinian dead), then Israel’s retaliation (7 Palestinians dead). Israel’s defense minister has resigned, and a new, fragile ceasefire is in effect.
018 midterm elections are a mixed bag when it comes to the Palestine/Israel issue: 6 Jewish people are expected to chair important congressional committees; 122 J-Street endorsees were elected (J-Street is pro-2 state solution); some of the many pro-Israel congress people lost their seats, while 3 new pro-Palestine women were elected; it is becoming more commonplace for even Israel supporters to speak critically of Israel.
Bottom line: the US midterm elections have ushered a new dawn in American politics that is defying the unflinching influence held for many years by pro-Israel lobbies and interest groups.
Khalida Jarrar is a lawyer, politician, human rights activist – and administrative detainee. The harassment began when she led an effort to take Israel to the ICC. She has been relocated, imprisoned, released, and imprisoned again, where she remains. Her transgression? Being a strong, relentless, and articulate messenger of the injustices that Israel imposes on the Palestinian people. Khalida Jarrar exposes the truth.
The good news: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib are Israel-criticizing congressional newcomers. The bad news: other Dem midterm winners join the army of Israel supporters – having vowed to keep America’s commitment to Israel “as fixed and as permanent as the sky” and “make sure that we are supporting Israel into the next generation.” In addition, some key leadership positions will be filled by pro-Israel Jews. Norman Finkelstein sees this as a sign of “a growing divide between US Jews and Israeli Jews.”
Gaza is running out of medicine. The US, which has for decades supported the United Nations agency tasked to help Palestinian refugees, has cut off all funding. We need to step in and pressure our leaders to reverse this decision.
If IAK’s new Congressional Scoreboards piqued your interest, but you shied away due to less-than-remarkable computer skills, this is just for you. In a few minutes, you’ll be ready to take on Capitol Hill…