BDM's Newsletter #176/2017Sent on 20 October 2017Hamas issued a statement on Thursday rejecting what it called the "blackmail attempts" by the U.S. administration and the one-sided support of Israel, reflected in remarks made earlier by Jason Greenblatt, U.S. President Donald Trump's special envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
BDM's Newsletter #175/2017Sent on 20 October 2017Police arrested some 120 ultra-Orthodox demonstrators in Jerusalem and the nearby city of Beit Shemesh on Thursday during a protest against the arrests of two yeshiva students charged with draft evasion. Thousands of protesters blocked downtown Jerusalem for hours, obstructing traffic to the central bus station and the light rail, and blocked other major roads and highways around the country.
BDM's Newsletter #174/2017Sent on 19 October 2017Trump triggered a legislative review by Congress on Friday by refusing to declare Iran in compliance with the 2015 deal between six world powers, including the United States, and Iran, which trades sanctions relief for a rollback of Iran’s nuclear program. Trump said in a White House speech on Friday that he would pull the United States out of the deal if he was not happy with the result.
BDM's Newsletter #173/2017Sent on 19 October 2017He used similar terms while defending the subjugation of other peoples. In 1893, he spoke in the British parliament of how Cecil Rhodes, an imperial marauder in Southern Africa, was “extending the blessings of civilization.” While serving as prime minister from 1902 to 1905, Balfour insisted that Europeans must enjoy greater privileges than Black natives in South Africa. “Men are not born equal,” he said in 1904.
BDM's Newsletter #172/2017Sent on 18 October 2017One aspect of this occupation are the military checkpoints. As of 2017, there are 98 fixed Israeli checkpoints around and within the West Bank. This is discounting the hundreds of flying checkpoints that sporadically erupt across the region. According to OCHA, more than 2.4 million people are affected by the physical restrictions in the West Bank.
BDM's Newsletter #171/2017Sent on 18 October 2017The new details followed Sunday’s unanimous decision by the coalition to launch a two-pronged attack on foreign funding of political NGOs, consisting of a parliamentary commission of inquiry into “the involvement of foreign governments in the funding of political organizations and activities to harm IDF soldiers,” and legislation that will be more stringent than the current laws requiring organizations to report foreign funding and announce it publicly if more than half of their budget comes from a foreign political entity.
BDM's Newsletter #170/2017Sent on 17 October 2017I was reminded of the great distance between 21 Schocken Street (the Haaretz offices) and Qalandiyah, Nablus or Jayyous with some of the articles published in Haaretz before the Sukkot holiday. They reminded me (again, again) how badly I have failed in my attempts to describe, explain and illustrate Israel’s policy of restrictions of movement. Because I have written reams on the closure policy in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank since it was first imposed in January 1991, I recognize my personal responsibility on the matter.
BDM's Newsletter #169/2017Sent on 16 October 2017Members of Benjamin Netanyahu's governing coalition slamed the prime minister after he attacked the Israel Police and its commissioner on Saturday over a report on the impending renewal of investigations into his conduct in a number of high-profile corruption cases.
Channel 2 News on Saturday announced that police would renew investigations into Netanyahu's cases. Netanyahu responded to the report
BDM's Newsletter #168/2017Sent on 14 October 2017ISM opposes the illegal occupation of the West Bank and the siege of Gaza by Israel, through non-violent resistance and civil disobedience actions such as daily school patrols to escort children crossing through military checkpoints in Hebron. ISM participates in weekly demonstrations against the occupation to de-escalate violence committed by the Israeli army against the Palestinians with the use of cameras and documentation, and if need be by the bodies of the international activists.
BDM's Newsletter #167/2017Sent on 13 October 2017The deal, for what appears to be a ridiculously low price, was made by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the second largest real estate owner in Israel, after the Israel Lands Authority. In recent years the Patriarchate has been quietly selling off its properties in various parts of the country to companies hidden in tax shelters, for sums so low one wonders whether the church is trying to get rid of its assets at any cost.
BDM's Newsletter #166/2017Sent on 12 October 2017McCarthy era anti-Communist loyalty tests have been relegated to the dustbin of history. The same must apply to government requests that employees certify they're not engaged in a boycott of Israel. The First Amendment squarely protects the right to boycott. Lately, though, a legislative assault on that right has been spreading through the United States – designed to stamp out constitutionally protected boycotts of Israel.
BDM's Newsletter #165/2017Sent on 11 October 2017Belgium said it backed a school in the south of Hebron only to find out in 2013 that local authorities changed its name to "Dalal Mughrabi Elementary School." Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said that Mughrabi was "a Palestinian terrorist" who led a 1978 attack against Israel which killed 38, including 13 children.
BDM's Newsletter #164/2017Sent on 10 October 2017How do the Union of Reform Judaism, and American liberal Jewry in general, calibrate the importance of Israel’s relations with the Palestinians and the peace process (or lack of it), versus questions of state and religion in Israel and, specifically, the recognition of Judaism's liberal streams?
BDM's Newsletter #163/2017Sent on 10 October 2017A group of Arab countries, headed by Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, have backtracked on their intention of presenting resolutions critical of Israel’s policies in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip at the UNESCO executive board session in Paris this week. This would be the first time since April 2013 that resolutions were not presented on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
BDM's Newsletter #162/2017Sent on 09 October 2017Klarman, who has been described as the Oracle of Boston, has a history of buying unpopular or distressed assets on the cheap in hopes of a payday. Baupost manages over $30 billion in assets. He is known as the top campaign contributor in New England, [Number one, per the Boston Globe] and has been a major donor in Republican politics in Massachusetts, including largely secret support for 2016.
BDM's Newsletter #161/2017Sent on 09 October 2017In recent days, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised to build thousands more Jewish housing units in a large West Bank settlement, and annex that settlement to Israel. The White House has had nothing to say (as Martin Indyk notes), though liberal Zionists are angered by the plans. J Street said that unilateral annexation of settlements is the “extreme and dangerous”
BDM's Newsletter #160/2017Sent on 05 October 2017The new Israel Police guidelines to regulate the prevention of media coverage at the scene of an incident (“Israel Police to restrict media coverage of events if ‘journalist’s entry inflames violent atmosphere,’” Yaniv Kubovich, October 2) are another dangerous link in the chain of aggressive actions designed to restrict freedom of information and the public’s right to know, and to enable the authorities to act in the dark
BDM's Newsletter #159/2017Sent on 04 October 2017Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s decision to impose a general closure on the West Bank from the eve of Sukkot on Wednesday until the following Saturday night, 11 days, is a belligerent and disproportionate reaction to the terror attack in Har Adar – even for Lieberman, a belligerent person without a sense of proportion.
BDM's Newsletter #158/2017Sent on 04 October 2017The bill is a response to the U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) call for a database (termed “a blacklist”) of companies operating beyond, in the law’s whitewashed language, “Israel’s 1949 Armistice lines”–more commonly known as the Occupied Territories. HR 1697 (and its companion Senate Bill, S 720) explicitly mentions and targets the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement. It bans U.S. persons
BDM's Newsletter #157/2017Sent on 03 October 2017Modern Orthodox Jews are among Israel’s strongest backers in the U.S. Think Jared Kushner. Well, the generational split that is occurring everywhere in American Jewry is taking place among the Modern Orthodox, with a minority of young Jews saying they “actively support the Jewish state”.
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