U.S. News-Haaretz.com

/us-news

  • Charles Enderlin sur Twitter : « Sondage aux USA, en dépit de la politique pro israélienne de Trump, 70% des Juifs soutiennent Biden. 27% pour Trump. En Israël selon un sondage d’I24, 63,3% des israéliens préfèrent Trump et 18,8% Biden https://t.co/OzV5xvhjvN » / Twitter
    https://twitter.com/Charles1045/status/1316301934425452544

    Sondage aux USA, en dépit de la politique pro israélienne de Trump, 70% des Juifs soutiennent Biden. 27% pour Trump. En Israël selon un sondage d’I24, 63,3% des israéliens préfèrent Trump et 18,8% Biden
    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-despite-israel-wins-u-s-jews-don-t-reward-trump-at-the-ballot-box-

  • From Missouri to Detroit, The Squad emerges victorious from Tuesday’s Democratic primaries
    Amir Tibon - 5 août 2020 - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-from-missouri-to-detroit-the-squad-emerges-victorious-from-democra

    Rashida Tlaib wins almost two thirds of the votes in the Democratic primary in Michigan, as Black Lives Matters activist labeled ‘Heartland’s AOC’ wins primary contest in Missouri

    Rep. Rashida Tlaib secured another term in Congress on Tuesday after winning the Democratic primary in her Michigan district, one of the most Democratic leaning in America.

    In addition, the group of left-wing female lawmakers known as “The Squad,” which Tlaib is a member of, will likely grow from four to five lawmakers in the next Congress, following the upset victory of a Black Lives Matters activist in a primary contest in Missouri.

    Tlaib easily won her primary in Michigan’s 13th district, where she was challenged by Brenda Jones, president of the Detroit city council. Jones briefly represented the 13th district in Congress in 2018, after she won a special election to replace Congressman John Conyers, who resigned from office. Jones then competed in the 2018 primary and lost to Tlaib by a margin of less than 1,000 votes.

    On Tuesday, the gap between Tlaib and Jones was much more decisive, with Tlaib winning almost two thirds of the vote. Tlaib had a strong cash advantage over Jones, and also won the endorsements of key labor unions in the Detroit area, as well as of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

    The district is one of the most Democratic-leaning districts in America, meaning that after winning the primary, Tlaib has de facto won another term in Congress.

    Members of “The Squad" who were first elected to Congress in the 2018 midterm elections, also includes Rep. Ilhan Omar from Minnesota, who will have her own primary challenge next week in Minnesota; and New York’s Rep. Alexandria Occasio-Cortez and Ayana Pressley from Massachusetts.

    The group could add a fifth member to its ranks after the November election, following the upset victory on Tuesday of Cori Bush, a Black Lives Matters activist, in the Democratic primary in Missouri’s 1st Congressional district.

    Bush, who was a nurse and a pastor before entering politics, defeated Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr., who has been in Congress for almost two decades, and whose father, William Lacy Clay Sr., represented the district for 32 years before him.

    Bush ended the 50-year long Clay “dynasty” in the district thanks to endorsements from Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and from Justice Democrats, a left-wing group that also supported Occasio-Cortez in her primary challenge to veteran lawmaker Joe Crowley in New York in 2018.

    Bush ran on a progressive platform which included criminal justice reform, a $15 minimum wage and cancelling student debt.

    Similar to Tlaib’s district, Missouri’s 1st District is considered heavily tilted toward the Democratic Party, and so Bush will almost be certainly elected to Congress. Political analysts are already comparing her victory over Lacy Clay to Ocasio Cortez’s victory in 2018 and describing her as “the Heartland’s AOC.”

    Also on Tuesday, the Republican Party in Kansas improved its chances to hold on to a critical Senate seat by choosing Rep. Roger Marshall to be the party’s nominee in this year’s Senate election, instead of far-right activist Kris Kobach, whom Democrats were hoping to run against in November. Kobach was the Republican nominee for governor in 2018, and was defeated in one of the most Republican states in the country by Democrat Laura Kelly.

    Kobcah, who holds extreme anti-immigrant and anti-voting rights positions, has enjoyed the support of President Donald Trump, who campaigned for him in 2018 ahead of the gubernatorial election. But his loss to Kelly in 2018 convinced enough Republican voters in the state that placing him as the nominee for the Senate seat this year was too much of a risk.

    Marshall will now face off against State Senator Barbara Bollier, the Democratic nominee, in November. Bollier used to be a Republican but left the party in 2018 because of Trump, explaining that “Morally, the party is not going where my compass resides. I’m looking forward to being in a party that represents the ideals that I do, including Medicaid expansion and funding our schools."

    #SquadUSA #Rashida_Tlaib #Cori_Bush

  • Bernie vs AIPAC: As Sanders surges, pro-Israel Democrats scramble for backup plans - Haaretz.com

    For many, taking aim at the pro-Israel lobby this week embodies what the Democratic front-runner stands for – and highlights why others are worried about him
    Allison Kaplan Sommer
    Feb 26, 2020 6:40 PM

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-bernie-vs-aipac-as-sanders-surges-pro-israel-democrats-scramble-fo

    For about a minute last week, it seemed like the traditionally pro-Israel moderates in the Democratic Party were coming to terms with the fact that their least favorite candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders, had all but locked down their party’s presidential nomination.

    They appeared to be ceasing their attacks on Sanders in the name of party unity, and because alienating the presumptive nominee – who would be the first Jewish nominee by a major party in U.S. history – wasn’t a wise move.
    Bernie, Bibi and the brutal occupation: Listen to Gideon LevyHaaretz Weekly Ep. 64

    But the cease-fire proved too fragile to hold.

    Signs of a truce came late last week as caucus polls in Nevada anticipated the sweeping Sanders victory over the rest of the Democratic field. News broke that Mark Mellman, who heads the lobbying group Democratic Majority for Israel, told a gathering in New York that his organization was taking a step back from presidential politics. “We don’t have plans to be further involved in the presidential race – against Sanders or anyone else, for that matter,” he said.
    The audience awaiting the arrival of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders during a campaign rally in San Antonio, Texas, February 22, 2020.
    The audience awaiting the arrival of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders during a campaign rally in San Antonio, Texas, February 22, 2020. AFP

    Mellman told a panel at a Manhattan community center that his group would focus its efforts instead on congressional races – both in primaries where “there are pro-Israel champions running against anti-Israel challengers,” and where pro-Israel Democrats were running against Republicans.

    Taken at face value, Mellman’s words pointed to a radical change in strategy. His Democratic Majority for Israel group had just spent over $1 million in negative ads in Iowa and Nevada casting doubt on Sanders’ electability and, controversially, invoking the senator’s heart attack last fall to suggest he was unfit to be president.

    Mellman was personally vocal, sounding the alarm that a Sanders nomination spelled a “Democratic disaster.” Sanders was, he wrote in a fundraising email on the eve of the Iowa caucus, the candidate “we believe is least capable of winning in November and most likely to adopt a hostile attitude toward Israel.”
    Related Articles


    Despite those efforts, Sanders has surged in the polls.

    And so last week, in the face of Sanders’ apparent near-inevitability as nominee, it seemed that Democratic Majority for Israel was refocusing on Congress, hoping to balance a possible Sanders White House with a House and Senate that could act as a bipartisan firewall against any attempts to leverage military and economic aid to influence Israeli policy toward the Palestinians.

    When Haaretz contacted Democratic Majority for Israel this week, the group denied having backed away from involvement in the presidential race. Rather, it was just taking a break.

    “Today we don’t have plans for specific ads in specific places,” Mellman told Haaretz. “Tomorrow or next week or next month, we could develop plans.”

    AIPAC wars

    If Sanders had been a more conventional politician, he might have seized the moment to defuse the group’s opposition to his candidacy. He had already offered an unexpectedly balanced answer when confronted earlier this month by an IfNotNow activist, who urged him to boycott the upcoming American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference.

  • Bernie Sanders says won’t attend AIPAC confab that ‘gives platform to bigotry’
    ‘The Israeli people have the right to live in peace and security. So do the Palestinian people,’ Democratic presidential candidate says on Twitter
    Amir Tibon Washington – Feb 24, 2020 4:58 AM
    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-bernie-sanders-says-won-t-attend-aipac-confab-that-gives-platform-

    WASHINGTON – Senator Bernie Sanders, the current front-runner in the Democratic primary, announced Sunday that he won’t be attending the annual AIPAC conference next week.

    He accused the group of giving a platform to “leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic rights” for the Palestinian people. (...)

    #Bernie_Sanders

    • Bernie Sanders ne participera pas à la prochaine conférence de l’AIPAC
      https://www.i24news.tv/fr/actu/international/ameriques/1582528301-bernie-sanders-ne-participera-pas-a-la-prochaine-conference-de-l-
      24 février 2020 à 08:12 - dernière modification 24 février 2020 à 16:56

      « Le peuple israélien a le droit de vivre en paix et en sécurité. Le peuple palestinien aussi »

      Le candidat démocrate Bernie Sanders a déclaré dimanche qu’il ne participera pas à la prochaine conférence de l’AIPAC, qui selon lui, offre une plate-forme aux dirigeants qui « s’opposent aux droits fondamentaux des Palestiniens ».

      « Le peuple israélien a le droit de vivre en paix et en sécurité. Le peuple palestinien aussi », a tweeté Sanders. « Je reste préoccupé par la plate-forme que l’AIPAC offre aux dirigeants qui exprime le fanatisme et s’opposent aux droits fondamentaux des Palestiniens. Pour cette raison, je ne participerai pas à leur conférence », a-t-il ajouté.

      « En tant que président, je soutiendrai les droits des Israéliens et des Palestiniens et ferai tout mon possible pour apporter la paix et la sécurité dans la région », a poursuivi Sanders.

  • How Bernie Sanders Became a Fighter for Palestine - Steve Salaita
    https://stevesalaita.com/how-bernie-sanders-became-a-fighter-for-palestine

    In short, Sanders is similar to his opponents around Palestine, but his reputation around Palestine is far better. That reputation doesn’t correspond to the substance of his legislative history or his public comments. Supporters project onto him what they hope or assume he’ll do, but hasn’t done throughout his long career in office. The myth of Sanders being “good” or “the best” has made it so that supporting him isn’t merely a pragmatic concession; it can now be passed off as devotion to Palestine.

    […]

    Try to extricate yourself from the hullabaloo of electoralism and consider a straightforward question: when have we ever witnessed Bernie Sanders fighting for Palestinians? Many of his supporters have taken up the fight, but Sanders hasn’t joined them. Instead, he gestures toward vague ideals of justice without committing to what Palestinians in struggle repeatedly profess to be their version of freedom (the right of return and equality in their ancestral homeland). He’s happy to let supporters fill the vagueness with their own suppositions. 

    Was Sanders fighting for Palestinian rights when he fondly recalled living on a kibbutz (in other words, a racialized settlement)? When he voted in favor of a Senate resolution (introduced by Mitch McConnell) that recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital? When he yelled at constituents protesting the war crimes Israel was committing with weapons he voted to provide? When he fired a campaign staffer for criticizing Netanyahu? When he went on a Zionist diatribe in an interview with a Palestinian journalist? When he blamed an Israeli massacre of 50 civilians on “Hamas”? When he suggested that Palestinian parents train their children to become suicide bombers? 

    All of these things happened since Israel’s 2014 destruction of the Gaza Strip, one of the century’s most vicious events. 

    How about when he calls himself “100 percent pro-Israel”? Or opposes BDS? Or offers “both sides” pabulum in response to yet more Israeli war crimes? Or declines to support the right of return (Andrew Yang accidentally provided the model for a good answer)? 

    • Sanders’ adviser tells Haaretz what his ’progressive’ foreign policy means for Israel
      Matt Duss says calling Bernie Sanders an ’isolationist’ is a ’slur’ – and explains what the difference between Benjamin Netanyahu and rival Benny Gantz is for the Democratic presidential contender
      Alexander Griffing | Feb. 12, 2020 | 12:43 PM | 9
      https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-sanders-advisor-on-what-his-progressive-foreign-policy-means-for-i

      With his win in New Hampshire on Tuesday and strong showing in Iowa last week, Bernie Sanders has established himself as the front-runner in the Democratic 2020 race. And while he is likely to be locked in another fierce left versus right battle this year, one thing is already starkly different from his 2016 run: the added clarity of his foreign policy vision.

      While much of the criticism surrounding Sanders’ stance on Israel remains the same as it was four years ago, the Vermont senator’s foreign policy adviser Matt Duss told Haaretz over the phone, ahead of the Iowa cauceses, that to label Sanders an “isolationist,” as many of his critics have done, is simply a “slur.”

      Following his loss to Hillary Clinton, Sanders worked to bolster his foreign policy credentials – a perceived weak point for the longtime independent lawmaker. Despite not serving on the Senate’s foreign affairs or armed services committees, where a U.S. senator would regularly hire a Middle East adviser, Sanders added Duss to his team after the 2016 campaign to help him beef up his foreign policy chops.

      Duss, 47, who was described by The Nation last February as “one of the most significant figures reshaping progressive foreign policy in the Trump era,” got his start in politics on Ralph Nader’s 2000 presidential campaign. He started blogging on foreign policy matters and worked his way up through D.C.’s liberal think tanks, eventually becoming president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace – a left-wing nonprofit that promotes the two-state solution – before joining Sanders’ Senate staff.

      Together, they led the charge for Congress’ historic April 2019 vote in which it used the War Powers Act to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. While Trump eventually vetoed the measure, Duss claims that the vote was the most significant foreign policy achievement of the current Congress.

      More than any other leading Democratic contender, Sanders has detailed his foreign policy vision on the campaign trail, focusing on addressing the causes of international conflict and ending America’s “endless wars.” He argued in Foreign Affairs last June that George W. Bush’s “war on terror” has actually emboldened terrorism in the Middle East.

      Critics have characterized this part of Sanders’ rhetoric as isolationist and even Trump-like, given the U.S. president’s “America First” pledges to end “stupid” Middle Eastern wars and reinvest the money at home instead. Sanders vehemently opposed the Iraq War and criticized former Vice President Joe Biden for his vote and campaigning for the war, which Sanders – like Trump – calls “disastrous.”

      However, Sanders and Trump differ on several key areas. Duss notes that Sanders regularly acknowledges both the need for building strong international alliances and the use of military action in specific circumstances – despite consistently advocating to “end America’s endless wars.” He also echoes Trump in his promises of dealmaking, but replaces the president’s “transactional” approach with one that Duss says is focused on “upholding international human rights standards.”

      “As president,” Sanders told the Pod Save America podcast over the summer, “I will sit down in a room with the leadership of Saudi Arabia, with the leadership of Iran, with the leadership of the Palestinians, with the leadership of Israel, and hammer out some damn agreements which will try to end the conflicts that exist there.”

      Also, while willing to meet with authoritarian leaders to make a deal, Sanders explained in a major foreign policy speech in October 2018 that, unlike Trump, his progressive approach is aimed at undoing the “damage” of the populist, anti-immigration right that has swept the world in recent years. This holistic worldview, Duss says, is also relevant when it comes to the Middle East.

      Sanders sees the effort to confront the threats of ISIS and Al-Qaida as going hand in hand with addressing the oppression and corruption they feed off in the Middle East, Duss explains. He cites Sanders’ foreign policy speeches that often center around upholding universal human rights and improving standards of living. For example, he regularly begins speeches about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by mentioning the high unemployment rate in Gaza.

      When asked if there is any historical comparison for Sanders’ “progressive international engagement,” Duss points to the Marshall Plan, which provided billions of dollars of U.S. aid to postwar Western Europe. He explains that while clearly “a different historical moment,” the plan serves as a blueprint for “the massive economic mobilization and investments in technological innovation needed to address shared global challenges like climate change.”

      ‘Not stoking hatred’

      When it comes to Israel, Sanders has the rare distinction of being both the only candidate to have actually lived in the country (spending several months on a kibbutz in northern Israel in 1963) and to be regularly accused of being anti-Israel.

      Sanders, who called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “racist” in a televised Democratic debate last December, also listed Israel alongside Russia, India, Brazil and Hungary as countries where “we see the rise of a divisive and destructive form of politics. We see intolerant, authoritarian political leaders attacking the very foundations of democratic societies,” he wrote in Jewish Currents last November.

      Speaking at the J Street conference in Washington last October, Sanders promised to use U.S. military aid as leverage to get Israel back to the negotiating table with the Palestinians, even suggesting to send some of that $3.8 billion annual aid to Gaza for humanitarian relief. Fellow presidential contenders Senator Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg have left that option open as well. Duss notes, however, that if Sanders were to become president, he would make every effort to work with any Israeli government to advance shared interests.

      When asked whether he sees any major differences between Netanyahu and his political rival, Kahol Lavan’s Benny Gantz, ahead of the March 2 Israeli election, Duss points out that Gantz is not out “stoking hatred and division” the way Netanyahu is – which Duss sees as an important distinction.

      While Sanders is popular with progressives and young Democrats, he polled as the least popular of the leading contenders among Jewish Democrats in a Pew Research Center survey released ahead of the Iowa caucus. And Michael Bloomberg, also running to be America’s first Jewish president, said at a recent rally: “As president, I will always have Israel’s back,” while declaring he would not touch U.S. aid for Israel – a thinly veiled jab at Sanders.

      Jack Rosen, president of the American Jewish Congress, a mainstream pro-Israel group, wrote recently on the Fox News website that, if elected, Sanders would be “the most anti-Israel president since the founding of the modern Jewish state in 1948.” He added that “Sanders has surrounded himself with political allies who champion anti-Israel policies,” specifically mentioning Linda Sarsour and Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

      Sanders has previously addressed such criticism directly, insisting in a CNN town hall last April that he is “100 percent pro-Israel” and committed to Israel’s security.

      In an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd last May, Sanders left open the possibility of moving the U.S. Embassy out of Jerusalem as a way to get a peace deal, saying that “whether it is Iran and Saudi Arabia, whether it is Israel and the Palestinians, the United States needs to bring people together, needs an evenhanded policy.”

      Regardless of the outcome of the Democratic primary, Israel is all but certain to be a flash point when the party’s general election platform is drafted – as it was in the last two cycles. In 2012, for instance, controversy erupted when language declaring Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital was removed and then reinstated at then-President Barack Obama’s behest, eliciting boos at the party convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

      For his part, Duss – who will have a key role in crafting Sanders’ policies on Israel and worked on the contentious 2016 Democratic platform – said at the time: “There is no question that we should be and will be Israel’s friend in resolving this conflict.” However, he argued that the U.S. must “recognize that Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territories … run contrary to fundamental American values.”

  • Trump administration nixes funding for Palestinian security forces from 2021 budget
    Amir Tibon Washington, D.C. - Feb 11, 2020- Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-trump-administration-cuts-funds-for-palestinian-security-forces-fr

    WASHINGTON – The Trump administration excluded funding for the Palestinian Security Services in its budget request for the 2021 fiscal year, after 27 years of bipartisan support and Israeli backing.

    The budget request does include, however, $200 million for a “Diplomatic Progress Fund” that could be used to support the administration’s Mideast plan, unveiled two weeks ago. Some of that money, according to the State Department, could go towards an “agreement to resume security assistance in the West Bank.” But such an agreement would likely require the PA to accept the Trump plan.

    For the past 27 years, Republican and Democratic administrations have provided funding for the for the PA’s security services, which operate under Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and work in coordination with Israel to thwart terror attacks in the West Bank. Israel has advocated over the years for continuous American funding for the PA services because it views the coordination with them as a security asset.

    For the first three years of Donald Trump’s presidency, U.S. security assistance to the PA was the only form of aid to the Palestinians not eliminated by the American administration. The PA decided to boycott the Trump administration at the end of 2017, following Trump’s declaration that he has “taken Jerusalem off the table” by recognizing the city as the capital of Israel. The administration retaliated by cutting all aid to the Palestinians, including to hospitals and economic projects in East Jerusalem.

    Even when it punished the Palestinians for their reaction to the Jerusalem declaration, the administration still didn’t cut the security assistance budget, which amounted to $75 million in the current fiscal year. But the administration’s new budget request, which was published on Monday, changes that, and marks the first time that the administration is allocating no funding at all for the PA security services.

    This is likely another form of diplomatic punishment against the Palestinian Authority, this time over its rejection of the administration’s Mideast plan to redraw the borders of Israel, which was published two weeks ago. The plan was unveiled by Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu six weeks before the March 2 Israeli election, and just hours after three criminal indictments against Netanyahu were officially submitted to the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court.

    In November 2019, Axios reported that Israeli officials asked the Trump administration to continue funding the PA security services, but Trump refused, saying Netanyahu’s government should pay for those forces if their activity was so important to Israel. American support for the security services has also been complicated by the “Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act,” a law that passed Congress in 2018 and could expose the PA to massive lawsuits in the United States if it accepts any form of U.S. assistance.

    #deal_du_siècle #financement_occupation

  • #AIPAC must stop Bernie #Sanders – at all costs - U.S. News - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-aipac-must-stop-bernie-sanders-at-all-costs-1.8512287

    At a time of unprecedented hyper-partisanship, and with the possibility that support for Israel will be a point of partisan contention in the fall presidential campaign - especially if the Democrats nominate Bernie Sanders, it’s hard to see how AIPAC can continue to navigate between the parties. It just isn’t possible to attack Democrats who are anti-Israel without sounding pro-Trump.

    While it’s easy to criticize the pro-Israel lobby for its missteps, the real problem is that at a time when Democrats are divided on Israel and Trump is tilting hard toward the Jewish state all the time, AIPAC is just being asked to do something that may no longer be possible.

    #sans_vergogne

  • Elizabeth Warren says she will skip #AIPAC conference
    https://forward.com/fast-forward/439631/elizabeth-warren-says-she-will-skip-aipac-conference

    In a sign of how the #lobby has become a political lightning rod for Democrats, Warren answered “yeah” when asked if she was planning to skip the conference in Washington in March.

    “I’m an American Jew and I’m terrified by the unholy alliance that AIPAC is forming with Islamapohobes and anti-Semites and white nationalists and no Democrat should legitimize that kind of bigotry by attending their annual policy conference,” a woman attending a town hall with Warren in Derry, New Hampshire said Thursday. “And I’m really grateful that you skipped the AIPAC conference last year and so my question is if you’ll join me in committing to skip the AIPAC conference this March.”

  • Trump blasts ’far left’ magazine Christian Today for calling for his removal - U.S. News - Haaretz.com

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/trump-blasts-far-left-magazine-christian-today-for-calling-for-his-removal-

    A major evangelical Christian magazine founded by the late Rev. Billy Graham on Thursday published an editorial calling for President Donald Trump’s removal from office.

    The editorial in Christianity Today — coming one day after the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives made Trump the third president in American history to be impeached — raised fresh questions about the durability of his support among the conservative evangelicals who have proven to be a critical component of his political base.

    Trump blasted the magazine on Twitter Friday, writing, “A far left magazine, or very “progressive,” as some would call it, which has been doing poorly and hasn’t been involved with the Billy Graham family for many years, Christianity Today, knows nothing about reading a perfect transcript of a routine phone call and would rather.........have a Radical Left nonbeliever, who wants to take your religion & your guns, than Donald Trump as your President. No President has done more for the Evangelical community, and it’s not even close. You’ll not get anything from those Dems on stage. I won’t be reading ET again!”

  • Elizabeth Warren open to making settlement freeze condition for U.S. aid to Israel
    Oct 21, 2019 - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/warren-open-to-making-settlement-freeze-condition-for-u-s-aid-to-israel-1.8

    Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of the leading candidates in the Democratic Party’s presidential primary, said on Saturday that she would consider making an Israeli freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank a condition for U.S. aid, according to The Hill.

    “Right now, Netanyahu says he is going to take Israel in a direction of increasing settlements, [but] that does not move us in the direction of a two-state solution,” the Massachusetts senator told the news outlet. “It is the official policy of the United States of America to support a two-state solution, and if Israel is moving in the opposite direction, then everything is on the table.”

    Senator Bernie Sanders, another prominent candidate in the Democratic field, said in July that he supports using U.S. aid to pressure the Israeli government.

    Speaking on the popular podcast, “Pod Save America,” Sanders was asked about his vocal criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and whether he would consider using U.S. aid to Israel as leverage to get the Israeli government to act differently. “Absolutely,” Sanders said.

    “In recent years under Netanyahu, you have an extreme right-wing government with many racist tendencies,” he said.

    In Augus, Sanders raised the issue of U.S. aid in connection with the Israeli government’s decision to deny entry to Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. “But the idea that a member of the United States Congress cannot visit a nation which, by the way, we support to the tune of billions and billions of dollars, is clearly an outrage,” Sanders said. “And if Israel doesn’t want members of the United States Congress to visit their country to get a firsthand look at what’s going on — and I’ve been there many, many times — but if he doesn’t want members to visit, maybe he can respectfully decline the billions of dollars that we give to Israel.”

  • U.S. State Department removes ‘Palestinian Territories’ from list of countries - U.S. News - Haaretz.com

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/u-s-state-department-removes-palestinian-territories-from-list-of-countries

    Poursuite du meurtre lent de la Palestine par Trump et sa bande de voyous.

    Oups pardon, j’avais promis de ne plus publier d’insultes. Je me soigne mais il y a encore des ratés.

    U.S. State Department Removes ‘Palestinian Territories’ From List of Countries

    The Trump administration has defunded virtually all of the spending — about $400 million annually — that the United States had relayed to the Palestinians

  • Tlaib and Omar make things clear about South Africa’s successor
    U.S. lawmakers Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib helped reveal the truth about Israel to their country and the world
    Gideon Levy Aug 19, 2019 9:44 AM - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-rashida-tlaib-ilhan-omar-clear-about-israel-south-africa-s-success

    Two American lawmakers helped reveal the truth about Israel to their country and the world. Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar should be thanked for this. And President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in their own way, helped uncover the truth. They are also to be thanked. The two of them, who banned the two legislators from entering Israel, saved us from another false representation.

    After all the human rights activists who have been barred from entering Israel, it took the ban on two American congresswomen to show that Israel is one of the only countries in the world that turns visitors away based on political views or opposition to a country’s regime.

    The Zionist left did its part as well. Stav Shaffir and Tamar Zandberg were distraught over the “damage to Israel’s image” that would be caused, so they advised the government on how to keep defrauding the world and claim that there is no apartheid while there is indeed democracy. Shaffir, who called Netanyahu a coward – he’s certainly far less a coward – wanted to explain to her American colleagues the “complexities of the conflict,” that wretched expression that serves the cowardly Zionist left, whose members love to use it to obscure the loss of their way and the clear fact that nothing is complex about apartheid.

    No one thought that the situation in South Africa was complex but the white nationalists and their sympathizers. Neither should anyone around the world make a mistake and think this about South Africa’s successor. Black-white, occupier-occupied – it’s not complex at all.

    But in Israel, image is the be-all and end-all. The world, which sees Israel as a beacon of democracy, might now discover that it’s not. And so the ban on the entry of the two Democratic legislators will go down as a milestone in the struggle to uncover the truth, that same truth that Israelis are so afraid to look straight in the eye.

    The cancellation of the visit should bring all honest Israelis face to face with a few fundamental questions. Do they oppose the occupation? If so, do they believe that its end will come from within Israeli society, which will awaken one morning and decide of its own volition that it no longer wants the occupation and is prepared to bear the burden of ending it?

    If they believe this, are they brave enough to admit the necessary conclusion, that the end of the occupation will only come through outside pressure? After all, it’s the only thing that might push Israelis to ask themselves whether the price they’ll pay and the penalties they’ll incur will be worth it. The BDS movement is at the moment the most important agent of this pressure, so opponents of the occupation must support it.

    Opponents of the occupation must also support Tlaib and Omar. These legislators may be the harbingers of the fond hope that a new generation of politicians will arise in the United States to upset the existing order in which Israel is allowed to do any harm it wants and Washington stands up for it.

    These two courageous members of Congress, one from Minnesota and one from Michigan, have challenged the people in Israel who declare themselves against the occupation. Were these Israelis shocked by the entry ban because of damage to Israel’s image, or because of the representatives’ determination to work against Israel? Are they only declaring opposition to the occupation, or do they support activists like Tlaib and Omar and other BDS sympathizers?

    Israel almost beat them. Happily, Tlaib came to her senses and didn’t fall into the trap. The shameful proposal to let her visit her grandmother is a manifestation of colonialism: depoliticizing the Palestinian issue, transforming it from a national matter into a humanitarian one, and then portraying the occupation as merciful.

    From the expulsion of the refugees in 1948 to the blockade of Gaza, Israel has denied the Palestinians’ rights, just like it denied Tlaib’s right to visit her homeland and the right of any American lawmaker, whose country has invested so enormously in another country, to visit that country. Instead, Israel offers a little more fuel to Gaza and a visit to a grandmother in occupied Beit Ur al-Fauqa like a bone to a dog.

    #Ilhan_Omar et #Rashida_Tlaib #BDS

    • The trip Rashida Tlaib didn’t get to take
      By Gideon Levy and Alex Levac Aug 24, 2019
      https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-the-trip-rashida-tlaib-didn-t-get-to-take-1.7732982

      The house owned by Muftiya Tlaib, Rashida Tlaib’s grandmother. The landscape seen from the yard is a panorama of checkpoints and fences. Alex Levac

      A visit to Upper Beit Ur, where the mother and grandmother of Palestinian-American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib were born, and where she married in 1998.

      The tens of thousands of Israelis who whizz by here every day in their cars on their way to Jerusalem, or, if they’re traveling in the other direction, to Tel Aviv, probably don’t notice the small, old stone house that stands a few dozens of meters away from Highway 443, on the other side of the security barrier. A little house in the West Bank, with a covered verandah, a few plastic chairs and fruit trees in the yard; a solitary house set between two villages, east of the city of Modi’in: Beit Ur al-Fauqa (Upper Beit Ur) and Beit Ur al-Tahta (Lower Beit Ur).

      It’s to this house that U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib (Democrat, Michigan) was planning to come, to visit her grandmother, possibly for the last time. It’s to this house that she didn’t come, as Israel initially prohibited her from entering the country, and afterward set humiliating conditions for a visit that she could not abide. In this house we find Tlaib’s grandmother, Muftiya Tlaib, who is 90, and her uncle, Bassem Tlaib, disappointed and angry.

      If Israel blocked this roots journey of the promising and courageous congresswoman solely because of her political views, and Tlaib wasn’t able to get to the village, we will bring the sights of the village to her.

      Her family, who declined this week to speak to Israeli reporters as an understandable protest, related that Rep. Tlaib, who was born in Detroit in 1976, last visited here in 1998. That’s when her mother and grandmother set out from this house to attend her wedding to Fayez Tlaib, a native of the village. (The couple divorced in 2015.) Much has changed here since then.

      Nothing that Tlaib would have seen in her mother’s hometown would have reminded her of America, her mother’s adopted homeland. There are no scenes like this in the United States, and few like it anywhere in the world. The landscape that unfolds from the yard of the old house, a panorama of checkpoints and fences, is different from what it was when her mother grew up here, even from when Rashida visited last.

      Just a few dozen meters to the left of the house is an Israel Defense Forces checkpoint, complete with warning signs, banners of the unit and a female soldier who was sitting there this week at the guard post at the entrance, her rifle aimed at the road. “Stop before the stopping strip, shut off lights and turn on vehicle’s inside light, prepare ID cards.”

      This checkpoint is otherwise desolate; no one goes through it, it doesn’t lead anywhere. But if Tlaib were to look rightward from the house, she would see an even more daunting sight: a fortified tower, a veritable high-rise, that also belongs to the IDF. The observation tower overlooks all the surrounding villages and the highway to Jerusalem.

      The yard of the Tlaib family’s house ends at a busy road that abuts it; after that is a fence and another road, far busier. The occupants of the house can’t use that expressway – which was built on their land – to reach the district capital of Ramallah, not to mention to get to Jerusalem, and they are not able to travel by the direct route to the neighboring villages opposite them, nor to their own farmland, on the other side of the road. The expressway in question is Highway 443, the apartheid road, which, along with the separation barrier, has been a curse and has brought suffering to the residents of Upper Beit Ur, just as it did to other villages in the enclave that was created here.

      How would Rep. Tlaib have arrived at her village? The way there from Ramallah now passes through a “fabric of life” road, as the IDF terms the route that was carved out for the Palestinians, who are prevented from using Highway 443. It’s not likely that the armed soldier at the checkpoint-exit from the expansive 443 would agree to open the passage for the unwanted congresswoman. She would have to use the “fabric of life” route instead. To get to the house adjacent to Highway 443, we too had to take a circuitous route, through the local villages of Bil’in, Safa and Lower Beit Ur.

      Upper Beit Ur is the smaller of the two Beit Urs, with 1,200 residents and another 600 living in exile abroad. Whoever was able to leave, including Rashida’s parents, left for the United States or Brazil. Her mother is a native of the village and her father hails from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina.

      Highway 443’s chokehold on the village, and construction of the settlement of Beit Horon in its very backyard, crushed Upper Beit Ur. Lower Beit Ur is larger, with a population of about 5,000, most of them well-off, to judge by their homes. Many of the signs here are in English: Al Huda Pharmacy, Power House Gym and Hamooda’s general store. Almost like America. The taxis here are yellow, too, as they are throughout the West Bank. Yellow is also the color of the metal gate at the entrance to the road that goes from Bil’in to Upper Beit Ur.

      For the information of lawmaker Tlaib and her constituents: Most of the roads in the West Bank start and end with a yellow metal gate. That’s how Israel controls the territory. Within minutes a siege can be imposed anywhere. And the congresswoman might also like to know that there are two types of license plates here. The yellow ones are for Israeli or East Jerusalem vehicles, which are allowed to travel freely in both the West Bank and Israel proper; the white ones are for Palestinian vehicles, which are authorized to use only the roads designated for them, and in any event cannot enter Israel. Not to drive to the seashore, which is half an hour from here, not to see beautiful Jaffa and not to pray at the holy Al-Aqsa, in Jerusalem. How many Americans know that?

      Highway 443, next to the Tlaibs’ residence, is the second main highway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. In America it would probably be called a freeway, but here it’s hardly free. It’s a separation road, which runs through the territory of the occupied and is intended exclusively for the use of the occupier. It was born in sin – the sin of expropriating the land of the local villages, including that of Upper Beit Ur – and it grew into an even bigger sin: the sin of its closure to Palestinians.

      A brief history: In order to build this highway, Israel expropriated about 200 dunams (50 acres) of land from Upper Beit Ur in the late 1980s. The villagers petitioned the High Court of Justice against the expropriation. The court rejected their arguments, the state claiming that “the road is needed for the Palestinian population in the area and is therefore being built for its needs, based on the military commander’s obligation to the local population.”

      In practice, the road cut the village off from about 1,700 dunams of its own lands, which were now on the western side of the highway. Afterward, the authorities planned to build another road, between the Ben Shemen youth village and the Ofer military base; it was never built, but the plan itself entailed more land expropriation from the village, in addition to bans on construction by its residents. All told, Upper Beit Ur lost about 450 dunams of land to the two roads – the one that was built and the one that wasn’t.

      Then the second intifada broke out, in late 2000, and Highway 443 was closed completely to Palestinian vehicles, following shooting attacks there. Since 2002, it has been a road for Israelis only. The fact that its construction was authorized by the High Court of Justice solely because of the sanctimonious claim that it was being built for the Palestinians and was intended to serve them, was of course forgotten. The local villages were cut off from their district capital.

      Subsequently the occupier’s heart went out to the locals and a “fabric of life” road was built – on the village’s property, of course. For that, another 120 dunams were taken from Upper Beit Ur. Dror Etkes, an expert on settlements from the Kerem Navot organization, which monitors Israeli land policy in the West Bank, this week tweeted the chain of events for the congresswoman who didn’t visit. He noted that, “Frankly Upper Beit Ur is far from being a village which suffers the worst from Israel’s occupation and Israel’s settlements related land-grab machine. It’s just ‘another village’ in this sense.” Etkes then invited Rep. Tlaib to visit, adding, “We’ll be here.”

      On December 29, 2009, the High Court of Justice ruled in favor of a petition filed against the plan to block the highway to Palestinians. Three (maybe two) cheers for the enlightened justices. The IDF then set up two checkpoints alongside Highway 443 and added two exits from the road, equipped with cameras and spikes, and it ceased to be an apartheid highway. Very funny. The only way to travel on Highway 443, when coming from Upper Beit Ur, is to drive west in the direction of the village of Beit Sira; a short stretch of the road there is open to Palestinians. But that’s it. The way to Ramallah or Jerusalem remained blocked to the Palestinians long after the intifada shooting attacks stopped. The checkpoints remain unused and the High Court ruling remains ridiculous. No Palestinian would want to pass through the checkpoints just to travel the short distance to Beit Sira. In any event, Israeli traffic cops will stop any Palestinian who’s making the short trip and look for all kinds of reasons to give him a ticket – a burned-out lightbulb in the glove compartment, say – as a means of harassment, to discourage him from using the road again in the future.

      As a result, Highway 443 has reverted to what it was, an unambiguously segregationist road, with villages locked in on both sides, a fence, checkpoints and the home of the grandmother of a congresswoman from Michigan that overlooks the road from zero range. If Tlaib had been permitted to visit, maybe the Americans would have seen what’s happening on the roads of their ally, the only democracy in the Middle East. Maybe that’s why she was initially banned.

      According to a sign here, the German government helped develop the villages’ roads. Upper Beit Ur is a very handsome place, with many spacious homes and landscaped gardens. The Tlaibs’ diwan – a gathering place for special occasions – is located next to the village cemetery. Probably this is where Rashida would have met with the villagers, or possibly have convened a press conference. Instead, she held a press conference this week in Minnesota, together with Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from that state, who was also refused entry to Israel. Tlaib burst into tears when she related how, in her youth, she had seen her grandmother humiliated before her eyes at these checkpoints.

      Sitting nearby under what’s known as an “American” almond tree and drinking coffee is Zaharan Zaharan. This is his property, he has prepared it for building, but the Palestinian Authority warned him to drop the construction plans, because Israel will demolish whatever he builds because of its location in Area B (joint Israeli-Palestinian administration) of the West Bank. He paid 50,000 shekels ($14,200) for a bulldozer to level the ground and another 4,500 shekels for surveying and design – and it’s all gone down the drain. Zaharan has already lost 14 dunams to Highway 443 and a “fabric of life” road, and he doesn’t have much left. Sixty of his relatives live in Brazil.

      “Highway 443 ruined us,” he says sadly.

      Below, the separation barrier winds its way through the valley – it too wasn’t here the last time Tlaib visited. She needs to show its route, too – deep inside occupied territory – to her voters. And Beit Horon as well, the settlement that invaded the heart of Upper Beit Ur.

      We’re driving along the wall that surrounds the settlement, which is high and haughty and estranged from the village within which it grew wildly. Rep. Tlaib would undoubtedly have come here, too, on her roots journey. The road is empty. It leads only Upper Beit Ur’s high school, founded in 1955, long before most of Beit Horon’s settlers were even born. It’s summer vacation now, and the old, well-kept stone building and the large yard are deserted. This co-ed school serves the children of Upper Beit Ur and of A-Tira, located on the other side of Highway 443.

      The children of A-Tira used to get to school through a narrow, dark, head-high concrete tunnel that passes under the road. Now the steps leading to the tunnel are blocked by barbed wire; in its place is a bypass route, a long road for walkers. A fig tree that has yielded its fruit overshadows the entrance to the tunnel. Yet another recommended site for the legislator to visit.

      A Rome Pizza box lies on the road, probably from the settlement above it. Welcome to Binyamin, the sign above us on the expressway says, referring to the biblical name of this part of the West Bank, as the Israelis zoom by as if it were their country.

  • Les élues américaines Ilhan Omar et Rashida Tlaib non grata en Israël
    Par Guillaume Gendron — 15 août 2019 à 20:56
    https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2019/08/15/les-elues-americaines-ilhan-omar-et-rashida-tlaib-non-grata-en-israel_174

    Faut-il les empêcher d’entrer ? La question a accaparé ondes et pixels toute la journée de jeudi en Israël, à deux jours de l’arrivée prévue de deux élues démocrates américaines, farouches opposantes à Donald Trump et partisanes résolues de la cause palestinienne. Finalement, le Premier ministre, Benyamin Nétanyahou, a tranché. « Nous n’autoriserons pas ceux qui nient notre droit à exister dans ce monde à entrer en Israël », a annoncé sa vice-ministre des Affaires étrangères. Ainsi Ilhan Omar, députée du Minnesota, et Rashida Tlaib, du Michigan, sont officiellement persona non grata.

    Accusées « de provocations et de promotion du BDS [Boycott, Désinvestissement et Sanctions ; un mouvement international de boycott d’Israël pour mettre fin à l’occupation, ndlr] », ces deux figures de l’aile gauche du Parti démocrate étaient interdites de mettre un pied sur le tarmac de l’aéroport Ben-Gourion, à Tel-Aviv, d’où elles comptaient rallier les Territoires palestiniens, dont la visite était tout l’enjeu de leur venue, présentée comme « une délégation du Congrès dans les Territoires occupés de Palestine ». Les deux femmes devaient sillonner la Cisjordanie du 18 au 22 août, de Bethléem à Hébron, en passant par Ramallah, afin de « voir l’occupation de leurs propres yeux et ce que l’argent américain finance réellement en Israël », selon une personnalité impliquée dans le déplacement avorté. Une visite de l’hypersensible site de l’esplanade des Mosquées était au programme pour les deux premières musulmanes au Congrès.

    Pour justifier sa décision, le gouvernement israélien invoque un amendement voté à la Knesset en 2018, qui enjoint le ministère de l’Intérieur à refuser l’entrée de tout étranger ayant « publiquement appelé au boycott de l’Etat d’Israël ». C’est la première fois que cet arsenal législatif, dont la Cour suprême a déjà cassé plusieurs des tentatives d’application, est utilisé contre des élus d’un pays allié d’Israël.

    Jeudi dans la soirée, le cabinet du Premier ministre a toutefois fait savoir que Rashida Tlaib, d’origine palestinienne, pourrait recevoir un simple « visa humanitaire » pour rencontrer ses grands-parents et sa belle-famille, résidents d’un village de Cisjordanie, à condition de promettre ne pas « promouvoir le boycott d’Israël ». Ilhan Omar, elle, reste bannie. « Un affront », a-t-elle dénoncé jeudi soir dans un communiqué. (...)

    #Ilhan_Omar #Rashida_Tlaib
    https://seenthis.net/messages/797277

    • Ilhan Omar et Rashida Tlaib réagissent à l’interdiction d’entrer en Israël
      16 août 2019 à 07:42 - dernière modification 16 août 2019 à 09:45
      https://www.i24news.tv/fr/actu/international/ameriques/1565934084-ilhan-omar-et-rashida-tlaib-reagissent-a-l-interdiction-d-entrer-

      Les membres du Congrès, Ilhan Omar et Rashida Tlaib, ont tous deux répondu jeudi soir à l’annonce de leur interdiction d’entrer en Israël, avant leur visite prévue dans le pays.

      « Que le Premier ministre israélien Benyamin Netanyahou, sous la pression de Donald Trump, refuse l’entrée (en Israël et dans les Territoires palestiniens) de deux représentantes de l’Etat américain, représente un affront », a-t-elle écrit sur Twitter.

      « Refuser l’entrée en Israël limite non seulement notre capacité à apprendre des Israéliens, mais également à entrer dans les territoires palestiniens, ce qui n’est malheureusement pas une surprise, étant donné les positions publiques du Premier ministre Netanyahou, qui a toujours résisté aux efforts de paix », a-t-elle ajouté.

      « L’ironie c’est que la ‘seule démocratie’ au Moyen Orient prend une telle décision. C’est à la fois une insulte aux valeurs démocratiques et une réponse effrayante à la visite de responsables gouvernementaux d’un pays allié », a-t-elle encore dit.

      Rashida Tlaib a également réagi jeudi à l’interdiction israélienne, qualifiant le mouvement de signe de faiblesse.

      « Cette femme ici, c’est ma raison d’être », a écrit Tlaib sur Twitter avec une photo de sa grand-mère.

      « Elle mérite de vivre en paix et dans la dignité humaine. Je suis ce que je suis à cause d’elle. La décision prise par Israël d’interdire à sa petite-fille, une femme du Congrès américain, (d’entrer en Israël) est un signe de faiblesse parce que la vérité sur ce qui arrive aux Palestiniens est effrayante », a-t-elle insisté.

      https://twitter.com/RashidaTlaib/status/1162073791595470849

    • Israël interdit à Ilhan Omar et Rashida Tlaib de se rendre en visite en Israël
      15 août 2019
      https://www.bbc.com/afrique/region-49361199

      (...) Tom Malinowski, membre du Congrès du New Jersey, a qualifié cette décision de « irrespectueuse envers le Congrès » et a déclaré que lors d’un voyage multipartite du Congrès en Israël la semaine dernière, des fonctionnaires leur ont assuré que leurs collègues seraient autorisés à se rendre en Israël.

      D’abord, il dit à la députée Tlaib de « retourner » dans « son » pays, puis il dit à ce pays de ne pas la laisser entrer ", s’est-il indigné sur Twitter, en faisant référence aux commentaires de M. Trump.

      La sénatrice et candidate à la présidence du Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, a qualifié de « honteuse » et de « sans précédent » cette initiative contre un membre du Congrès américain.

    • Israël interdit la visite de Rashida Tlaib et Ilhan Omar, élues américaines et adversaires de Trump

      Le président américain avait encouragé Israël à leur interdire l’entrée sur son territoire, affirmant qu’elles « détestent Israël et tous les juifs ».

      Le Monde avec AFP Publié hier à 16h56, mis à jour hier à 20h45
      https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2019/08/15/israel-envisage-d-interdire-la-visite-de-deux-elues-americaines_5499742_3210

    • Israel approves Rashida Tlaib petition to enter ’on humanitarian grounds’ to visit grandmother
      Noa Landau | Aug. 16, 2019 | 11:53 AM
      https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-israel-approves-rashida-tlaib-petition-to-enter-on-humanitarian-gr

      Israel has decided to approve a petition by U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib to enter Israel on ’humanitarian grounds’ so she may visit her Palestinian grandmother, the Interior Ministry announced Friday, this after it barred her from entering the country due to her support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

      In a letter she sent to Interior Minister Arye Dery, Tlaib wrote that she is requesting approval to visit Israel “in order to visit relatives, especially my grandmother who is in her nineties, and lives in Beit Ur al-Fauqa. This may be my last opportunity to see her.”

      Dery’s bureau released a statement Friday morning saying that Tlaib’s request was approved. “Tlaib sent a letter last night to Minister Dery, in which she promised to hold to Israel’s requests, respect the limitations put on her for the visit and also affirmed that she would not promote the boycott against Israel during her visit.” Dery expressed hope that “she will stand by her obligations and the visit will be for humanitarian means alone.”

      Under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reversed his decision Thursday to let Tlaib and fellow BDS-supporting congresswoman Ilhan Omar into Israel. After the decision was made, the Michigan congresswoman uploaded a picture of her grandmother to Twitter and wrote “The decision by Israel to bar her granddaughter, a U.S. congresswoman, is a sign of weakness because the truth of what is happening to Palestinians is frightening.”

      Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan wrote Friday morning that Tlaib’s request must be approved “mainly in light of the need to respect Israeli law and not to advance the boycott against us.” Erdan, who does not have the authority to make that decision, did tweet that the decision to ban the two congresswomen from entering Israel was “correct and just” because of their support for the boycott movement.

      Netanyahu decided to deny Tlaib and Omar entry to Israel after Trump said that “It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit.” The policy reversal was justificed by the claim that their visit intends to “strengthen the boycott and invalidate Israel’s legitimacy.”

      Last month, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer announced that Tlaib and Omar would be allowed to enter the country: “Out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America”, his government would not deny entry “to any member of Congress."

    • Israël autorisera la visite de l’élue américaine Rashida Tlaib au motif d’une « visite humanitaire »
      16 août 2019 à 11:15 - dernière modification 16 août 2019 à 11:37
      https://www.i24news.tv/fr/actu/israel/1565946899-israel-autorisera-la-visite-de-l-elue-americaine-rashida-tlaib-au

      Les autorités israéliennes vont autoriser l’entrée sur leur territoire à l’élue démocrate américaine Rashida Tlaib pour motif « humanitaire », a indiqué vendredi le ministre de l’Intérieur.

      Israël avait annoncé la veille avoir interdit la visite de Mme Tlaib et d’une autre élue américaine Ilhan Omar en raison de leur soutien au mouvement de boycott de l’Etat hébreu et à la suite d’une demande du président Donald Trump.

      Mais le ministre Arié Dery a décidé vendredi d’autoriser l’entrée de Mme Tlaib « pour une visite humanitaire à sa grande-mère ». Rashida Tlaib a aussi « promis de ne pas faire avancer la cause du boycott contre Israël durant son séjour », selon un communiqué du ministre.
      (...)
      Mais dans la nuit de jeudi à vendredi, Rashida Tlaib a écrit aux autorités israéliennes pour leur demander de pouvoir visiter sa famille, et plus particulièrement sa grand-mère, qui vit dans le village de Beit Ur al-Fauqa, près de Ramallah, en Cisjordanie occupée.

      « Il pourrait s’agir de ma dernière chance de pouvoir lui rendre visite », a fait valoir l’élue américaine dans sa lettre mise en ligne.

      #BDS

    • STATEMENT FROM DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY FOR ISRAEL CO-CHAIR ANN LEWIS AND PRESIDENT AND CEO MARK MELLMAN ON THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT’S DECISION TO DENY ENTRY TO U.S. CONGRESSWOMEN RASHIDA TLAIB AND ILHAN OMAR
      https://demmajorityforisrael.org/press-releases/statement-omar-tlaib-trip

      WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 15, 2019) – In response to the Israeli government’s decision to prevent Representatives Tlaib and Omar from entering the country, Democratic Majority for Israel Co-Chair Ann Lewis, and President and CEO Mark Mellman, issued the following statement:

      “While we disagree strongly with the anti-Israel, and in some instances antisemitic, views articulated by Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar, and while we were disturbed to learn that their planned itinerary was completely unbalanced, there is simply no excuse for any country, including Israel, to prevent travel by elected officials of the United States. Unfortunately, the Government of Israel was both wrong and unwise to reverse their earlier decision to allow these elected Members of Congress to visit the country. (...)

      http://english.pnn.ps/2019/08/16/congresswoman-tlaibs-statement-on-travel-to-palestine-israel

    • Rashida Tlaib
      ‏@RashidaTlaib

      https://twitter.com/RashidaTlaib/status/1162333169846247425

      My sity wanted to pick figs w/ me. I broke down reading this & worry every single day after I won for my family’s safety. My cousin was texting me which photo of @IlhanMN & I they should put on a welcoming poster when I heard the news. I couldn’t tell her.

      https://twitter.com/RashidaTlaib/status/1162341203406401536

      When I won, it gave the Palestinian people hope that someone will finally speak the truth about the inhumane conditions. I can’t allow the State of Israel to take away that light by humiliating me & use my love for my sity to bow down to their oppressive & racist policies.

      https://twitter.com/RashidaTlaib/status/1162341203406401536

      When I won, it gave the Palestinian people hope that someone will finally speak the truth about the inhumane conditions. I can’t allow the State of Israel to take away that light by humiliating me & use my love for my sity to bow down to their oppressive & racist policies.

      ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““

      DETROIT – Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) released the following statement regarding travel to Israel and Palestine:
      August 16, 2019. Press Release
      https://tlaib.house.gov/media/press-releases/congresswoman-tlaib-s-statement-travel-palestine-israel

      "In my attempt to visit Palestine, I’ve experienced the same racist treatment that many Palestinian-Americans endure when encountering the Israeli government. In preparation for my visit, my grandmother was deciding which fig tree we would pick from together, while Palestinians and Israelis who are against the illegal military occupation were looking forward to Members of Congress finally listening to and seeing them for the first time. The Israeli government used my love and desire to see my grandmother to silence me and made my ability to do so contingent upon my signing a letter – reflecting just how undemocratic and afraid they are of the truth my trip would reveal about what is happening in the State of Israel and to Palestinians living under occupation with United States support.

      “I have therefore decided to not travel to Palestine and Israel at this time. Visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions meant to humiliate me would break my grandmother’s heart. Silencing me with treatment to make me feel less-than is not what she wants for me – it would kill a piece of me that always stands up against racism and injustice. (...)

      ““““““““““““““““““““““““““““
      Rep. Ilhan Omar Statement on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Decision to Deny Her Entry into Israel
      August 15, 2019
      Press Release

      https://omar.house.gov/media/press-releases/rep-ilhan-omar-statement-prime-minister-netanyahus-decision-deny-her-ent

    • La famille de Rashida Tlaib pas surprise par les obstacles érigés par Israël à sa venue en Cisjordanie
      Les proches de la première femme d’origine palestinienne à être élue au Congrès américain se préparent depuis juillet à la venue de celle en qui ils voient un espoir pour la cause de leur peuple
      Par Shatha Hammad
      – BEIT UR AL-FAWQA, Cisjordanie occupée
      Date de publication : Vendredi 16 août 2019 - 09:35


      https://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/reportages/la-famille-de-rashida-tlaib-decue-mais-pas-surprise-par-linterdiction

      (...) Rashida a passé la majeure partie de sa vie aux États-Unis, se rendant en Palestine chaque été.

      C’est dans la maison de ses grands-parents que les célébrations de son mariage, en 1997, ont commencé. La grand-mère de Rashida, Muftiya, qui, avec l’âge, a perdu la plus grande partie de son audition, a déclaré à MEE que ce qui la rendait le plus heureuse était la possibilité que Rashida cueille des figues directement sur les arbres du jardin de son grand-père.

      « Je suis tellement fière d’elle. J’ai fait les préparatifs pour sa cérémonie de remise des diplômes au lycée, puis pour son diplôme universitaire et, aujourd’hui, nous célébrerons son élection au Congrès », déclarait Muftiya à MEE en début de semaine.

      Jeudi après-midi, Bassam, l’oncle de Rashida, a indiqué à MEE que la famille n’avait pas encore informé Muftiya de l’interdiction prononcée à l’encontre de sa petite-fille, craignant que cela n’affecte sa santé.

      « Nous ne sommes pas surpris par cette décision », a-t-il ajouté. « Nous nous attendions à ce que l’occupation lui interdise d’entrer en Palestine à tout moment. » (...)

  • Un des instruments de la manipulation des journalistes (notamment américains), The Israel Projet (TIP) en Israël met la clef sous la porte. On ne s’en plaindra pas. L’occasion de revoir sur @orientxxi le documentaire sur le lobby https://orientxxi.info/magazine/un-documentaire-interdit-sur-le-lobby-pro-israelien-aux-etats-unis,2715

    What the collapse of this leading pro-Israel group means for the future of hasbara in the U.S. - U.S. News - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-behind-the-scenes-of-the-israel-project-collapse-as-it-shutters-je

    WASHINGTON — The Jerusalem office of leading pro-Israel advocacy organization The Israel Project shuttered on Wednesday, with its local head citing polarization among America’s pro-Israel community as a key cause for its demise.

    As previously reported by Haaretz, the U.S. nongovernmental organization has encountered a severe budget crisis and is in the process of shutting down completely. Wednesday’s development, with the office being cleared and all staff laid off, was the clearest indication yet that the organization will cease to exist in the near future.

    Some of TIP’s supporters and partners were hoping to maintain the Jerusalem office — which specialized in working with foreign journalists stationed in Israel and had developed an extensive list of contacts among the world’s most prominent media outlets. However, as of now, the office seems unlikely to ever reopen.

    “They just have no money left, absolutely nothing,” said one person who has worked closely with TIP over the years. Work at its U.S. office, in Washington, has also come to a halt, with TIP’s board of directors debating how exactly to end operations.

    Lior Weintraub, the NGO’s vice president and head of its Israel office, wrote on Facebook Thursday morning (in Hebrew): “After almost 15 years, yesterday was the last day of the Israeli office of The Israel Project.” Weintraub wrote that the organization’s core mission — improving Israel’s image in the international media by working directly with journalists, editors and opinion makers — remains “more important than ever,” despite TIP’s current crisis.

    Weintraub, a former Israeli diplomat who previously served as the chief of staff and spokesperson at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, provided the following explanation for TIP’s collapse: “So what happened? A lot. We were the Israeli branch of a U.S. organization that based its work mostly on the commitment and support of Americans, most of them Jewish, from both sides of the political divide — Democrats and Republicans.
    Lior Weintraub, The Israel Project’s VP and head of its now shuttered Israel office.
    Lior Weintraub, The Israel Project’s VP and head of its now shuttered Israel office.Lior Mizrahi, Baubau

    “During the fight over the Iran nuclear deal [in 2015], we fought with everything we had, without any compromises. In the following two and a half years, when the polarization in America reached new heights, we maintained — forcefully and without compromise — a nonpartisan middle ground, because we knew it was the right way to serve Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship.”
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    Weintraub described how, in recent years, certain Democratic supporters left TIP “because we attacked the Iran deal; because Israel became part of the internal American political debate; because we didn’t choose sides; and because support for Israel became too complicated for some of them in these times.”

    He added that some Republican supporters also left TIP at the same time: “They chose to support initiatives that fully expressed their personal worldviews. There were very few buyers for a centrist approach in 2019.”

    According to Weintraub, “TIP became the first casualty of the polarization in the pro-Israel community in America — and in some ways that’s alright. Certain causes are worth paying a price for.”

    In recent weeks, Haaretz spoke with former employees, donors and board members who witnessed TIP’s crisis from the inside. They described how the organization, which for years was considered a leading enterprise in the field of pro-Israel advocacy, went from being “the future of the pro-Israel community” to being on the verge of shuttering.

    Other Israel advocacy organizations are following TIP’s collapse closely, trying to learn practical lessons from it in order to avoid a similar fate. “The entire combination of things that happened to us over the past years was unique,” said a former TIP employee, “but some of the problems we faced can definitely happen tomorrow at another organization — and maybe they are already happening and people just don’t know it yet.”

  • AIPAC may be celebrating now, but the BDS battles in Congress have just begun -

    House vote shows that Democrats object to BDS, but they can expect growing Republican pressure to support more thorough anti-boycott legislation
    Allison Kaplan Sommer
    Jul 27, 2019

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-aipac-may-be-celebrating-now-but-the-bds-battles-in-congress-have-

    You could practically hear the champagne corks popping and fireworks exploding across AIPAC’s social media feeds on Wednesday.

    The celebration was justified. At a time of unprecedented partisan division, it was no small feat for legislation condemning the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel to make it through the Democrat-led House of Representatives, let alone by a vote of 398-17. Even better for the pro-Israel lobby, which aspires to wall-to-wall support of the Jewish state, the overwhelming endorsement garnered “yea” votes from prominent progressives, including a member of the vaunted “squad” — Rep. Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts).

    Supporters of AIPAC were delighted that with the passage of House Res. 246, no less than 92 percent of the House had agreed “to condemn the BDS campaign as anti-Israel, anti-peace and damaging to U.S. interests.” This, they said, was “representative of the broad, bipartisan support in Congress for Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship.”

    But anyone who believes that this resolution will in any way resolve or mitigate the bitter political wrangling over BDS has been drinking too much celebratory champagne, said Lara Friedman, president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace — a nonprofit that promotes a two-state solution.

    “You’d have to be delusional to think that this is over,” said Friedman.

    The nonbinding vote Wednesday may have been impressive, but it was just a short chapter in the saga of BDS legislation that has been underway for two years and will continue into the future. And even as the celebrations continued, future battles were shaping up on both sides of the aisle.

    Although the passage of the resolution did put Democratic objections to the “the Global BDS movement” on the record, Republicans openly dared them to move beyond mere words and support binding legislation that would deliver real consequences to entities that boycott Israel or the settlements.

    Sen. Marco Rubio (Republican of Florida) is author of the Combating BDS Act, which encourages state governments not to sign contracts with supporters of boycotts against Israel or its settlements (passed by the Senate in February). He goaded House Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi by saying that for months she “has refused to bring my bipartisan bill to combat the BDS movement’s discriminatory conduct and strengthen America’s security in the Middle East to the House floor. … Out of fear of retaliation from the far left wing of her conference, it’s clear that Speaker Pelosi has allowed the radical, anti-Semitic minority in the Democratic Party to dictate the House floor agenda.”

    Rubio’s bill was the latest manifestation of legislation that has been in limbo for the past two years. In 2017, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act was first proposed in the Senate, in an attempt to target government-sponsored boycotts of Israel and update laws drafted in response to the Arab League boycott of Zionist goods and services in what was then British Mandatory Palestine in 1945.

    Objections to the legislation — primarily, but not exclusively, among Democrats — focused on the argument that such laws violate free speech, a charge led by the American Civil Liberties Union.

    In his reaction to the House vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican of Kentucky) scoffed while speaking on the Senate floor that “this symbolic BDS resolution is held up as a major victory, while Senate-passed legislation that would actually take action — actually do something against BDS — doesn’t even get a vote.”

    On the Democratic side of the aisle, progressives who were not among the 17 members who voted against the resolution (which included the three other “Squad” members, Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib) were on the defensive, following criticism that they caved to pressure from the pro-Israel lobby.

    In a Twitter thread, Pressley said that while “there are a lot of anti-BDS bills out there that infringe on 1st Amendment rights,” in her view the House resolution “wasn’t one of them.” That, she said, convinced her to support “what I heard resounding” in her district: “That voting yes on this resolution affirmed to my constituents raised in the Jewish faith Israel’s right to exist, a view I share as a supporter of a two-state solution.”

    She vowed that she would never vote for a bill that would punish those who support BDS, and stressed that “this resolution does not mitigate the pain and trauma of the Palestinian people and as with my co-sponsorship of the McCollum bill, I will continue to be a strident voice critiquing conservative Israeli policies.”

    Pressley was referring to the bill introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum (Democrat of Minnesota), which would “require that the Secretary of State certify that American funds do not support Israel’s military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill-treatment of Palestinian children.”

    Another Democratic congressman who voted for the resolution, civil rights icon and Georgia Rep. John Lewis, also defended himself by pointing to another piece of legislation he co-sponsored: a bill introduced with Tlaib and Omar last week. That bill, which did not mention Israel by name, affirms “that all Americans have the right to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights at home and abroad.” Lewis said it “was a simple demonstration of my ongoing commitment to the ability of every American to exercise the fundamental First Amendment right to protest through nonviolent actions.” Squad members Pressley and Ocasio-Cortez made a point of signing on as co-sponsors of the bill later in the week as well.

    At the same time, Lewis said he co-sponsored House Res. 246 “as a longtime friend of Israel,” and because he wanted “to make it very clear that I disagree strongly with the BDS movement. Economic, educational and cultural interaction with Israel, America’s democratic ally, is not only in the best interest of Israelis and Americans, but it improves the climate for peace with Palestinians, which is in everyone’s interest to encourage.”

    Friedman, of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, says Democratic leaders are fooling themselves if they think that passage of the resolution will “release some of the pressure on them” to sign onto more punitive anti-BDS legislation and “neutralize the issue as a weapon for attack against them.”

    She predicts that it will have exactly the opposite effect: “Right now, you see Republicans celebrating that they managed to corner the Democrats. For people motivated to go after Democrats, they have signaled that this is an issue on which they — the Democrats — are vulnerable. Once you give into bullies, you are going to get bullied more. I expect BDS to come up in every possible context and that Republicans will keep pushing Democrats, asking them why they won’t move on the Combating BDS Act. They’d have to be nuts not to. the way they see it, this is the gift that keeps on giving.”

  • Tlaib and Omar’s planned West Bank trip embroils Israel in Trump’s battle with ‘the squad’ - U.S. News - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-tlaib-and-omar-s-west-bank-trip-embroils-israel-in-trump-s-battle-

    Netanyahu’s decision to allow the congresswomen entry into the country shines spotlight on Israeli ’travel ban’ on BDS activists
    Allison Kaplan Sommer | Jul 20, 2019 3:48 AM

    There’s bad news for American Jews who are already deeply uncomfortable with the fact that Israel is playing a role in the confrontation between progressive congresswomen known as “The Squad” and U.S. President Donald Trump. Things don’t look like they are going to get any better, in what is shaping up to be a long, hot summer.

    Trump has turned the Jewish community into a political football with his repeated characterization of the group of four congresswomen - particularly Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar – as anti-Semites who hate Israel. The charge is echoed by Trump’s allies and defenders in the Republican Party seeking to deflect the charge that Trump himself is a racist.

    Posturing as a defender of Israel is a message that appeals to right-wing pro-Israel evangelical voters while deliberately pushing a sensitive button that undermines unity in the Democratic Party. In Trump’s now-infamous North Carolina rally, he singled out Omar - pointing to her “history of launching vicious anti-Semitic screeds” and accusing her of hating both America and Israel. His supporters in return chanted “send her back,” echoed the message of his tweet earlier in the week, telling members of “The Squad” to “go back” where they came from.

    At the same time that all this was playing out, the groundwork was being laid for a new confrontation - one that will take place in Israel. Omar revealed midweek that she had introduced a bill in Congress opposing “unconstitutional legislative efforts to limit the use of boycotts to further civil rights at home and abroad," pushing back against anti-BDS legislation that was poised for a vote. Her bill was widely applauded by the Palestinian boycott, sanctions and divestment movement.

    On the same day Omar told a journalist that she planned to be in Israel and the West Bank “within the next few weeks” – in her words, to learn about the “occupation.” She will presumably be joining “Squad” fellow Rashida Tlaib.

    Travel ban

    For more than three years, Netanyahu’s government has vigorously pursued a policy of barring BDS activists from the country. Dissatisfied with existing laws that gave wide latitude to authorities to deny entry to those it deemed unacceptable, legislation was created to make the policy explicit. The “travel ban” law was passed in March 2017, banning the entry of any person “who knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel that, given the content of the call and the circumstances in which it was issued, has a reasonable possibility of leading to the imposition of a boycott – if the issuer was aware of this possibility.”

    Over the past few years, the government has used these powers on multiple occasions to refuse entry to a variety of people, even compiling a formal blacklist of organizations whose leaders would be barred from coming to Israel or the West Bank.

    Whether or not Omar and Tlaib would be allowed entry into Israel and the West Bank would be determined by no less than Prime Minister Netanyahu, Haaretz reported on Thursday. And on Friday, Israeli Ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer said the two congresswomen will be allowed entry, “out of respect for the U.S. Congress and the great alliance between Israel and America.”

    Do Tlaib and Omar qualify to be barred under Israeli law? Tlaib has gone on record as supporting BDS, telling the Intercept “I personally support the BDS movement,” saying that boycotting draws attention to “issues like the racism and the international human rights violations by Israel right now.” Omar said that she believed in and supported the BDS movement, shortly after she was elected to Congress last year.

    These statements alone might not have been seen as “a public call for boycotting Israel” which “has a reasonable possibility of leading to the imposition of a boycott."

    But in light of the new House bill, one could argue that they have moved from merely verbally supporting BDS to taking action that will make boycotting possible and help block legislation that would prevent it.

    Yad Vashem

    The timing is deeply charged for the Israeli leader. When the two congresswomen arrive “in a few weeks” the Israeli prime minister will be less than a month away from the fateful September 17 national election, where he is fighting to win a fifth term as leader.

    Currently, Netanyahu’s political prospects are worrisome, with polls suggesting that he may fail to assemble a ruling coalition, just as he failed to do so after last April’s elections.

    Some of Trump’s supporters in Israel - including the leader of Republicans Abroad in Israel - urged Netanyahu to refuse Tlaib and Omar entry. That would have won him much-needed support on his right flank, while scoring points with President Donald Trump.

    But to forbid any members of the U.S. Congress - let alone the first two Muslim women ever to serve - would have been unprecedented. It would have been a wrecking ball to bipartisan support of Israel, further alienating the bulk of U.S. Jewry, who identify as Democrats. In addition to the diplomatic ramifications, Netanyahu would also be denying the first Palestinian-American woman congresswoman the ability to visit her grandmother and her family in the West Bank, a move which would play into the hands of those who wish to paint Israel as a heartless violator of human rights.

    Netanyahu could instead turn the tables by rolling out the welcome mat and inviting them to meet with him, offering to bring them to Yad Vashem to heighten their sensitivity to the Holocaust. If they refuse, he can score points as being on the side interested in dialogue and reconciliation.

    Hot summer

    The precise dates and circumstances of the upcoming visits are still unclear. Tlaib had originally envisioned her trip as a large-scale congressional visit, painting it as an alternative to the major AIPAC trips to Israel for freshmen congressmen during the August recess. This year’s trip for Democrats, led by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, is set to arrive in the first week of August. The Republican delegation is set to arrive a week later.

    Last December, Tlaib excitedly unveiled plans for her alternative congressional delegation, which she hoped would enable her colleagues “to see that segregation and how that has really harmed us being able to achieve real peace in that region,” asserting that she doesn’t believe “AIPAC provides a real, fair lens into this issue. It’s one-sided.” The Israel lobby’s “lavish trips to Israel,” she said, “don’t show the side that I know is real, which is what’s happening to my grandmother and what’s happening to my family there.”

    As of last week, her plan appears to be in trouble as the group that was supposed to organize the trip announced it was dropping out, citing “scheduling conflicts."

    But even if Tlaib and Omar do not travel as part of a “CODEL” - an official congressional delegation paid for by the federal government, they are free to visit as part of a private trip.

    Whether they come individually, together, joined by other members of the “squad” or beyond, they now know that they can come. Tlaib has already said that she is “really, really” excited to visit her family in the West Bank and that she plans to bring her sons along.

    #Ilhan_Omar #Rashida_Tlaib #BDS

    • Netanyahou décidera si Ilhan Omar et Rashida Tlaib pourront entrer en Israël
      jeudi 18 juillet 2019 , Noa Landau, Haaretz, Traduit de l’anglais original par l’AFPS
      http://www.france-palestine.org/Netanyahou-decidera-si-Ilhan-Omar-et-Rashida-Tlaib-pourront-entrer

      Le ministre des Affaires étrangères peut faire une exception à la loi qui interdit l’accès au pays aux partisans de BDS. Mais, sujet sensible oblige, la décision reviendra finalement au Premier ministre.

      Les députées américaines Ilhan Omar et Rashida Tlaib prévoient de venir en Israël et en Cisjordanie dans les semaines qui viennent. Ce sera au Premier ministre lui-même de trancher s’il leur accordera le droit d’entrer dans le pays malgré leurs appels à soutenir la campagne BDS. (...)

  • Bahrain debacle marks crash of Trump team’s campaign to diss Palestinians into submission

    Kushner’s Peace for Prosperity includes Utopian projects funded by non-existent money as part of peace deal that won’t happen
    Chemi Shalev
    Jun 25, 2019 9:12 AM

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-bahrain-debacle-marks-crash-of-trump-team-s-campaign-to-dis-palest

    The unveiling of the U.S. administration’s long-awaited production of Peace for Prosperity, premiering in Bahrain on Tuesday, garnered mixed reviews, to say the least. Barak Ravid of Axios and Israel’s Channel 13 described it as “impressive, detailed and ambitious – perhaps overly ambitious.” Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and Egypt Dan Kurtzer offered a slightly different take: “I would give this so-called plan a C- from an undergraduate student. The authors of the plan clearly understand nothing,” he said.

    The plan, released in a colorful pamphlet on the eve of the Bahrain economic summit, is being portrayed by the White House as a vision of the bountiful “fruits of peace” that Palestinians might reap once they reach a peace agreement with Israel. Critics describe it as an amateurish pie-in-the-sky, shoot-for-the-moon, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink hodgepodge that promises projects that cannot be implemented, funded by money that does not exist and contingent on a peace deal that will never happen.

    But the main problem with Peace for Prosperity isn’t its outlandishly unrealistic proposals – such as the $5 billion superhighway between the West Bank and Gaza, which Israel will never agree to; or its occasional condescending and Orientalist attitude towards Palestinian society - their great hummus could attract millions of tourists; or even its offer to manage and foster Palestinian institutions and civil society in a way that can be viewed either as implicit state-building or as imposing foreign control on a future Palestinian government.

    >> Read more: ’There is no purely economic solution to the Palestinian economy’s problems’ ■ Trump’s Bahrain conference - not what you imagined ■ Kushner’s deal holds some surprises, but it’s more vision than blueprint ■ The billion-dollar question in Trump’s peace plan

    The Palestinians would have been suspicious in any case, even if Jimmy Carter or Barack Obama were President. They have always been wary of the term “economic peace”, especially when detached from the real nitty-gritty of resolving their dispute with Israel. Nonetheless, if the President was anyone other than Trump, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas would have more or less emulated Benjamin Netanyahu’s reaction: Somber nodding of the head, then a non-committal reaction to Peace for Prosperity, followed by effusive but general praise for our lord and savior Donald Trump. Israelis and Palestinians would have attended the Bahrain conference, while doing their best to suppress their inner guffaws.

    If it was anyone by Trump and his peace team - which often doubles as Netanyahu’s cheerleading squad – the Palestinians might have allowed themselves to believe that A. A comprehensive peace plan isn’t just a mirage and is indeed forthcoming. B. The deal won’t be tilted so far in favor of Israel that it will be declared stillborn on arrival and C. That it isn’t a ruse meant to cast Palestinians as congenital rejectionists and to pave the way for an Israeli annexation of “parts of the West Bank”, as Ambassador David Friedman put it when he pronounced Trump’s imperial edict conceding territory to Israel, which even Palestinian minimalists claim as their own, in advance of any actual talks.

    But because the plan bears Trump’s signature, it was received in most world capitals with shrugs, as yet another manifestation of the U.S. administration’s preposterous handling of foreign policy – see North Korea, Europe, Mexico, Venezuela et al. Israel, of course, didn’t miss the opportunity to regurgitate the cliché about the Palestinians “never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity”.
    A Palestinian man steps on a painting depicting U.S. President Donald Trump during a protest against U.S.-led Bahrain workshop in Gaza City, June 24, 2019.
    A Palestinian man steps on a painting depicting U.S. President Donald Trump during a protest against U.S.-led Bahrain workshop in Gaza City, June 24, 2019. \ MOHAMMED SALEM/ REUTERS
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    For Palestinians and their supporters, however, Kushner’s bid was but the latest in the Trump team’s never-ending stream of slights, slanders and slaps in their collective faces. In Palestinian eyes, the economic bonanza isn’t a CBM – confidence building measure – but a con job and insult rolled into one. It dangles dollars in front of Palestinian noses, implying they can be bought, and it sets up a chain of events at the end of which Jason Greenblatt will inevitably accuse them on Twitter of being hysterical and dishonest while praising Netanyahu’s bold leadership and pioneering vision. They’ve been there, and done that.

    This has been the Trump approach from the outset: Uncontained admiration for Israel and its leader coupled with unhidden disdain for Palestinian leaders and contempt for their “unrealistic” dreams. Trump’s peace team swears by Israel’s security needs as if they were part of the bible or U.S. Constitution; the ongoing 52-year military occupation of millions of Palestinians, on the other hand, seems to have escaped their attention.

    For the first ten months of Trump’s tenure, the Palestinians put up with his administration’s unequivocal pledges of allegiance to Israel as well as the White House’s departure from past custom and continuing refusal to criticize any of its actions – not to mention the appointment of a peace team comprised exclusively of right-wing Netanyahu groupies, which Palestinians initially thought was surely a practical joke.

    Trump’s announcement in December 2017 that he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. embassy there was both game-changer and deal-breaker as far as the Palestinians were concerned. While Netanyahu and most of Israel were celebrating Donald the Daring and the long-awaited recognition of their eternal capital, Palestinians realized they were facing a President radically different from any of his predecessors - one willing to break the rules in Israel’s favor and to grant his bestie Bibi tangible victories, before, during and after elections - without asking for anything in return.

    The Palestinians have boycotted the Trump administration ever since, embarrassing Friedman, Greenblatt, Kushner and ultimately Trump in the process. They, in response, have increasingly vented their anger and frustrations at the Palestinians, and not just in words and Tweets alone: The administration shut down the PLO’s office in Washington, declared Jerusalem “off the table” and indicated that the refugee issue should follow it, cut aid to UNRWA and is endeavoring to dismantle it altogether and slashed assistance to Palestinian humanitarian organizations.

    In March 2018, in a move strongly supported by Israel and vigorously endorsed by Evangelicals and other right wing supporters, Trump signed the Congressionally approved Taylor Force Act that prohibits U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority as long as it continued to pay monthly stipends to the families of what the Act describes as “terrorists”. Palestinians, who, to many people’s regret, regard such terrorists as heroes and martyrs, noted that the passage of the Taylor Force Act embarrassed Israel and spurred it to legislate its own way to withholding Palestinian tax money for the very same reason.

    Throughout the process, Trump and his peace team have lectured the Palestinians as a teacher reprimands an obstinate child. The Palestinians need to face reality, to lower their expectations, to land back on earth, Kushner and colleagues insist. Not only will they never realize their dreams and aspirations, they should also forget their core demand for an independent state free of outside control and not confide inside Israeli-controlled gates. Israelis are worthy of such independence, the Palestinians are told, but you are not.

    Trump approach is a product, first and foremost, of his own inexperience, arrogance and unwillingness to learn anything from a past in which he wasn’t in charge. It is fed by anti-Palestinian prejudices prevalent in his peace team as well as his advisers and most of his political supporters. Trump and his underlings basically adhere to the arguably racist tenet encapsulated in the Israeli saying “The Arabs understand only force.” The more you pressure them, the greater the chance they will succumb.
    Women protest against the U.S.-led workshop in Bahrain in the Moroccan capital Rabat, June 23, 2019.
    Women protest against the U.S.-led workshop in Bahrain in the Moroccan capital Rabat, June 23, 2019.AFP

    At this point at least, it hasn’t worked out that way. Bahrain, by any measure, is a humiliating bust. As Trump and his aides contemplate the reasons for their abject failure they are likely to blame stubborn Palestinians who don’t know what’s good for them, along with radical Muslims, perfidious Europeans, idiot liberals and all the other usual suspects.

    In a better world, they would take a hard look at themselves in the mirror and possibly have an epiphany. They can make an immediate adjustment that will cost them nothing but possibly achieve dramatic results. Instead of incessantly rebuking, reproaching, reprimanding, threatening and intimidating the Palestinians in a way that garners cheers from Christian messianics and Jewish zealots, they could try and treat them, as Aretha Franklin sang, with just a little respect. And perhaps, if it isn’t asking too much, take down their fawning for Netanyahu a notch or two.

    It might not be enough to reconcile irreconcilable differences or to make peace, but it will signal that Trump is finally getting serious about his claim to be the peacemaker the world has been waiting for. Alternatively, the Palestinians will continue to frustrate his designs and pray to Allah for his quick departure.

  • Tlaib says she is humbled her ancestors provided ’safe haven’ for Jews after Holocaust
    The Palestinian-American Democrat charged in an interview that Netanyahu could not look her grandmother in the eye and say ’you are as human as I am to you’
    Allison Kaplan Sommer - May 11, 2019 11:10 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-rashida-tlaib-says-she-is-humbled-her-ancestors-played-role-in-jew

    Rep. Rashida Tlaib said that she “loves the fact” that her “Palestinian ancestors” were part an attempt “to create a safe haven for Jews” after the Holocaust, although the role “was forced on them” and took place “in a way that took their human dignity away.”

    In an interview on the Skullduggery, Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat and the first Palestinian-American woman to serve in Congress as well as one of the first two Muslim female lawmakers, also harshly condemned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “coming from a place of division and inequality” and refusing to acknowledge her grandmother, who lives in the West Bank, as his equal.

    Having grown up in an African-American neighborhood of Detroit, Tlaib says that she viewed Netanyahu and his government through the lens of someone who understood “inequality and oppression” and that she condemns the Israeli leader’s endorsement of U.S. President Donald Trump’s border wall and his treatment of Palestinians.

    “We can smell it from far away, that no - you don’t want to look at my grandmother in the eye, Netanyahu, and say ‘you are equal to me. You are as human as I am to you.’“

    Tlaib referred to the recent commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day when asked about her decision to support a one-state solution, becoming the only Democratic member of Congress to buck her party’s position in favor of two states.

    “There’s always kind of a calming feeling when I think of the tragedy of the Holocaust, that it was my ancestors - Palestinians - who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence, in many ways, has been wiped out … in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-Holocaust, post-tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time. And I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that in many ways,” said Tlaib.

    “So when I think about one state, I think: why can’t we do it in a better way? I don’t want people to do it in the name of Judaism just like I don’t want people to use Islam in that way. It has to be done in a way of values around equality, around the fact that you shouldn’t oppress others. So that you can feel free and safe. Why can’t we all be free and safe together?”

    Pressed as to why she was the only Democrat who has publicly “given up” on a two-state vision, she responded: “I didn’t give it up. Netanyahu and his party gave it up - the Israeli government gave it up.”

    Tlaib said that the Israeli premier has the power to push for a two-state solution, if he “gets up tomorrow morning and decides: ‘I’m going to take down the walls, I’m not going to expand settlements, enough is enough.’”

    If he were to do so, she said, perhaps “people like myself and others would truly believe in that. But uprooting people all over again? When you look at the landscape and map it out, it is almost absolutely impossible with how he has proceeded to divide, dissect and segregate communities.”

    In the current reality, Tlaib said it was “impossible” for her “to see a two-state solution without more people being hurt.”

    Tlaib said her one-state position should not be compared to that of Hamas and others who wished Israel’s destruction because “I’m coming from a place of love, for equality and justice, I truly am. I want a safe haven for Jews: who doesn’t want to be safe? I am humbled by the fact that it was my ancestors that had to suffer for that to happen. I will not turn my back and allow others to hijack it and say it is an extremist approach.”

    She added emotionally: “But how can I say to my grandmother in her face, that she doesn’t deserve human dignity, that she is less than, because she is not of Jewish faith... I keep saying to people, how is that not wrong? How is it that we aren’t saying that we going to create a place that is safe for everybody in the state of Israel and in the Palestinian occupied territories?”

    Tlaib has made waves on Capitol Hill by announcing her leadership of a summer trip to the West Bank that would counter the Israel trips organized by the American Israel Education Foundation, an affiliate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). In the interview she said she did not envision the trip as involving any meetings with Palestinian or Israeli officials, but one in which both Israeli and Palestinian individuals would be heard.

    “At a town hall - you want to talk to the people,” she said. “And I’m hoping this trip is a massive town hall.”

  • In the U.S., more Jews than Christians see Trump’s policies as too pro-Israel, poll finds

    42 percent of Jews said that Trump’s policies were too favorable to Israel while 26 percent of Christian thought so and 15 percent of Evangelicals held this view
    Amir Tibon
    May 06, 2019 8:09 PM

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-poll-in-the-u-s-more-jews-than-christians-see-trump-s-policies-as-

    American Jews are more likely than American Christians to think that President Donald Trump’s policies are too favorable to Israel, according to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center. As part of a national poll on American attitudes toward Israel, the respondents were asked whether they thought Trump’s policies in the Middle East were too favorable to Israel, too favorable to the Palestinians, or had the right balance.

    Among Jewish respondents, 42 percent said that Trump’s policies were too favorable to Israel. Only 6 percent said that his policies were too favorable to the Palestinians, while a plurality of 47 percent said the policy struck the right balance. Among Christian respondents, meanwhile, only 26 percent said Trump’s policies were too favorable to Israel, while 59 percent said the 45th president has the ‘right balance.’

    Within the different Christian denominations, there are different views on the subject. Among Evangelical Christians, 72 percent think Trump’s policy strikes the “right balance,” and only 15 percent think he is too favorable to Israel. Among Catholics, 34 percent think he is too favorable to Israel, and 51 percent think he has the “right balance.” In addition, 33 percent of the respondents who belong to the “historically black” church said that Trump’s policies are too favorable to Israel, and 40 percent of them said it has the right balance.

  • U.S. denies entry to BDS founder Omar Barghouti
    Noa Landau | Apr 11, 2019 7:22 PM | Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/bds-founder-omar-barghouti-denied-entry-to-the-united-states-1.7110679

    The U.S. government denied entry to co-founder of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement Omar Barghouti on Thursday.

    Airline staff at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport informed Barghouti that he could not fly to the United States, despite holding valid travel documents. He was told that U.S. immigration officials ordered the American consul in Tel Aviv to deny him permission to board the flight.

    Barghouti was told that it is an “immigration matter,” according to a statement by the Arab American Institute, a Washington-based advocacy group. They added that Barghouti often faces travel restrictions from Israel, but not from the United States.

    Barghouti was set to attend his daughter’s wedding, who lives in the United States. He was also set to speak at Harvard, New York University and a Philidelphia bookstore owned by Marc Lemont Hill, whose contract at CNN was terminated last year over his support for Palestinian rights. (...)

    #expulsions #renvois