Human Rights Watch Report Takes Aim at Israeli Banks; Palestinians Drop Bid to Join United Nations Tourism Body

What We’re Reading

Occupation/Human Rights

Israeli Law and Banking in West Bank Settlements,

The activities of Israeli banks in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank raise serious human rights concerns. By providing services to and in settlements, which are illegal under international humanitarian law (IHL), and partnering with developers in new construction projects, Israeli banks are making existing settlements more sustainable, enabling the expansion of their built-up area and the take-over of Palestinian land, and furthering the de facto annexation of the territory.

Rights Groups Blasts Israeli Banks for Settlement Expansion,

Israeli banks are contributing to the proliferation of West Bank settlements by providing loans and mortgages for construction there, violating their human rights obligations, Human Rights Watch said in a report Wednesday.

Coca-Cola, Teva on UN blacklist of settlement-friendly firms — report,

A United Nations blacklist of companies operating in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights includes some of the biggest firms in Israeli industry as well as some household names in the US. Among those on the UN Human Rights Council list are Coca-Cola, TripAdvisor, Airbnb, and Caterpillar, Channel 2 reported on Tuesday.

Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian during alleged stabbing attack in Hebron,

Israeli forces shot and wounded a Palestinian east of Hebron city outside Israel’s illegal Kiryat Arba settlement in the southern occupied West Bank on Wednesday for allegedly attempting to commit a stabbing attack at the gate of the settlement.

8 Palestinians displaced after Israeli forces demolish home in Silwan,

Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian home in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Wednesday morning, displacing eight Palestinians, including four children. Workers from Israel’s Jerusalem municipality escorted by Israeli police forces raided the Ras al-Amud area of Silwan, surrounded a two-story home belonging to the Abu Farha family, and proceeded to raze it to the ground.

U.S. Relations

Jared Kushner, Israel And The Enduring Power Of ‘Whiteness’,

Peter Beinart writes, “Ta-Nehisi Coates has published a new essay. It’s about Donald Trump and the enduring power of whiteness in American politics. It doesn’t mention Israel. But it explains a lot about the American Israel debate, and why it may change.”

Jimmy Carter says almost no hope of Trump progress on Mideast peace,

Carter, 92, dismissed Trump’s optimism that he can engineer Middle East peace. Trump has tasked his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, with handling the issue that has vexed US administrations for generations, but the president notably backed off the long-held US position calling for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israeli Politics

In video, PM welcomes attendees at confab promoting Palestinian emigration,

As a right-wing nationalist conference convened Tuesday to adopt a diplomatic initiative encouraging Palestinian emigration from the West Bank, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told attendees via video that he was “pleased” they were grappling with Israel’s future.

Israeli Party Approves Annexation Plan to Coerce Palestinian Departure,

The conference of the National Union faction, which has MKs in the Habayit Hayehudi Knesset party, approved a plan Tuesday for essentially annexing the territories while either facilitating the exit of Palestinian residents or allowing them to remain but without voting rights.

New Israel Fund sues Adelson-owned newspaper Israel Hayom for defamation,

The lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges that the journalists knowingly lied in three reports that the New Israel Fund paid for a going-away event for a former Arab-Israeli lawmaker who was imprisoned in July for smuggling cellphones to Palestinian prisoners. It requests a total of 75,000 shekels ($21,000) in damages from the reporter, Yair Altman, and editor-in-chief, Boaz Bismuth.

Palestinian Politics

Facing US, Israeli pressure, Palestinians pull bid to join UN tourism body,

The Palestinians on Wednesday retracting their request for a vote on becoming a member state in the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) amid American and Israeli pressure, a source in Jerusalem told The Times of Israel.