Top News & Analysis from Israel & Palestine: August 13-19, 2022

What We’re Reading

New from FMEP

This is Not a Drill: Israel Brings the Hammer Down on the Palestinian NGO Sector,

Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch, speaks with FMEP’s Lara Friedman about Israel’s further targeting of Palestinian human rights/civil society, with the “ratification” 8/17/22 of Israeli decisions to designate 6 Palestinian NGOs as terror organizations, and Israel’s move 8/18/22 to raid and shut down the groups. Also see FMEP’s resource page: On Israel’s Declaration of Palestinian Human Rights Groups as “Terrorist Organizations” (Oct 2021 to the present).

“Treated as subhuman, deprived of rights and dignity,” Gazans need “to heal, be heard, and be free”,

FMEP Fellow and the Education and Policy Coordinator of the Palestine Activism Program at the American Friends Service Committee Jehad Abusalim in conversation with FMEP’s Sarah Anne Minkin speaks about the aftermath of the most recent escalation, the relationship between the Nakba and the ongoing violent realities of Gaza, and questions of how to talk about and envision Gaza within broader frameworks of Palestinian liberation and freedom.

Israel's Renewed Assault on Palestinian Civil Society

Palestinian Rights Groups Raided by Israeli Soldiers,

“Seven Palestinian human rights organizations that Israel has accused of having links to terrorism were raided on Thursday by dozens of Israeli soldiers who broke down office doors, seized documents, printers and computers and then welded the doors shut, the groups and the Israeli military said. The soldiers left behind military orders taped to the doors stating that the groups were illegal and no longer allowed to operate, following a move in October to designate six of them as terrorist organizations, the groups said. Another group that was not designated in October was also raided on Thursday…Online videos posted by some of the groups of the raids, which mainly took place in and around the city of Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, showed soldiers ransacking offices and carting away equipment they later loaded onto trucks. The groups also posted images of the front doors of their offices, some with boot marks on them and welded shut.” See also Israel shutters Palestinian rights groups, drawing diplomatic backlash (Washington Post), Israel raids Palestinian rights groups it labeled terrorists (WaPo) and Israeli forces raid offices of Palestinian civil society groups in West Bank (Middle East Eye)

Israel storms Palestinian NGO offices after months-long failure to discredit them,

“The Israeli army raided this morning the Ramallah offices of seven prominent Palestinian NGOs that have been designated as “terror organizations” by the Defense Ministry. In a concerted operation, soldiers simultaneously broke into the groups’ headquarters across the occupied West Bank city just before dawn, seized files and equipment from some of them, and welded the doors shut. At the entrance to each office, the army left copies of military orders declaring that the organizations were illegal. Six of the organizations — Al-Haq, Addameer, Bisan Center, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P), the Union of Agricultural Works Committees (UAWC), and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC) — were outlawed by Defense Minister Benny Gantz in October 2021, while the seventh, the Health Work Committees, was outlawed the year before…The raids were launched just a few hours after the Defense Ministry announced that it had rejected appeals filed earlier this year by the organizations to the Israeli military commander in the West Bank seeking to cancel the designations; the appeals argued that the authorities did not provide the targeted groups with evidence for its decision nor allowed the organizations fair due process to object to the order before it was made. The Defense Ministry also announced that with regard to three of the organizations (Bisan Center, Addameer, and UPWC), the designations have now been fixed into law…[Al Haq Executive Director Shawan] Jabarin continued: “Israel has no justice system for Palestinians — it is an illusion. They are even threatening Israeli lawyers for representing us, trying to criminalize their legal work. This is why our call is for people to open their eyes and to address the reality on the ground: this is an apartheid, colonial state, and this is the nature of the illegal occupation here.” See also Al Haq’s detailed press release, Alert: Israeli Occupying Forces Raid, Damage and Close Offices of Al-Haq and other Designated Organisations, International Community Must Intervene, and also see +972’s ongoing coverage of the Israeli assault on Palestinian civil society, including Israel’s new secret document still fails to tie Palestinian NGOs to ‘terrorism’

#StandWithTheSix: Palestinian NGOs 'will continue to work' despite Israel's forced closure,

“The six Palestinian NGOs designated as “terrorists” by Israel declared that they will continue to operate despite Israel’s forced closure of their premises. “We don’t take our legitimacy from an Israeli military commander, but from our people and Palestinian law,” they said. The declaration was made at a press conference in Ramallah on Thursday, hours after Israeli forces forcibly closed the premises of seven Palestinian civil organisations, including the six offices of the six organisations designated as ‘terrorist’, during a night raid on the city.”

Statement by the Foreign Ministries of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.,

“We are deeply concerned by the raids which took place in the morning of 18 August, as part of a worrying reduction of space for civil liberty in the oPT. These actions are not acceptable. The further reduction of civil space in the oPT remains a source of concern. We stand firm with NGOs to uphold the right to freedom of expression and association in the oPT. A free and strong civil society is indispensable for promoting democratic values and for a two state solution. As we stated on 12 July, no substantial information was received from Israel that would justify reviewing our policy towards the 6 Palestinian NGOs as ‘terrorist organisations’. Should convincing evidence be made available to the contrary, we would act accordingly.” 

U.S. Says Israeli Info on Palestinian NGOs Not Enough, 'Concerned' Over Raids,

“The United States is “concerned” by Israel’s raid of several Palestinian NGO offices in the West Bank, the State Department’s spokesman said Thursday, adding that Israel hasn’t provided enough information to justify its designation of the organizations as terror groups. This is the first time the Biden administration has publicly stated that the information Israel provided justifying its moves last year has not swayed the U.S. to adjust its position on these organizations’ designation. After reaching out to senior Israeli officials, the U.S. was assured that more information will be “forthcoming regarding the basis of their actions,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a press briefing on Thursday. Israel has not clarified a timetable on which they would provide the U.S. with this information.” See also US says concerned by Israel’s raid on Palestinian NGOs, not convinced by prior intel (Times of Israel). 

The Biden Admin owns a big part of Israel's attack on Palestinian NGOs",

“The Biden Admin has had Israel’s “evidence” for almost a year. It clearly knows this “evidence” is BS — otherwise there is zero doubt they  would have validated Israel’s designations/designated the groups themself. But knowing the evidence was BS, they appear to have taken the politically & morally cowardly approach of staying silent — a approach that amounts to foreign policy gross negligence/complicity…”

Response from Adalah,

“After 10 European states rejected Israel’s declarations of the groups as “terrorist organizations”, pronounced in the absence of any evidence, Israel continues to persecute Palestinian human rights and civil society groups with the clear aim of silencing any criticism against it. The effort is led by a Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, suspected of committing war crimes, in an attempt to terrorize those who will testify against him and his actions. The raid on the offices of the six organizations was carried out only a few hours after the Israeli Military Commander rejected the objection filed by the groups against their declaration as “unlawful associations”, without giving any answer to the fact that these organizations were and are not given any opportunity to defend themselves against the secret evidence that the Israeli security forces allegedly hold against them. This attack on Palestinian civil society is an attack on the entire Palestinian people and their right to self-determination. Standing aside or staying silent constitutes active cooperation with the persecution and oppression of human rights defenders.”

"A Clear Rebuke of Israeli Claims",

“In a clear rebuke of Israeli claims, representatives of 17 diplomatic missions met today w/reps of the 6 designated groups, including: Belgium, Chile, Denmark, EU, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK”

See also these responses: 

Escalations & Aftermath in the Gaza Strip

Israeli Strike Killed 5 Gaza Children, Officials Admit, After Initially Blaming Islamic Jihad,

“Immediately after their deaths on the final day of the recent Israel-Gaza flare-up, Israeli senior officers had said the five were likely killed by a misfired Islamic Jihad rocket, a day after what was initially seen as a similar incident…Israeli defense officials have confirmed that Israel was responsible for the deaths of five minors killed on the last day of the recent hostilities with Islamic Jihad this month.”

Palestinians claim social media crackdown following latest Gaza war,

“A fierce attack has been launched on Palestinian social media content, as dozens of accounts of Palestinian activists, journalists and media institutions have been restricted and deleted after they increased in numbers in the wake of the recent three-day Israeli war on the Gaza Strip. These social media accounts had published pictures of the victims and wounded and praised the resistance operations and bombing of Israeli cities, thus prompting a campaign on the Palestinian news and narrative, which activists accuse Israel of being behind.”

Cage, smother, subdue, repeat: Israel’s Gaza policy,

“But there are some preliminary observations based on our years of documenting previous rounds of hostilities in Gaza. First, Israel’s dropping of explosive weapons with wide area effects in the densely populated Gaza Strip causes foreseeable harm to civilians. During last May’s escalation, Human Rights Watch documented unlawful Israeli strikes and war crimes, including strikes that killed scores of civilians…Second, indiscriminate rocket attacks fired by Islamic Jihad towards Israeli cities bear all the hallmarks of similar assaults, which Human Rights Watch found violated the laws of war and amounted to war crimes. The laws of war prohibit attacks that do not target a specific military objective or that use a means or method of attack that cannot be directed at a specific military target…Third, Israeli authorities’ sealing of the crossings into Gaza between 2 and 7 August parallels similar measures made in prior flare-ups. Human Rights found these to be punitive and to constitute collective punishment – a war crime. The move blocked the movement of people and goods, including the fuel necessary to run Gaza’s sole power plant, and blocked Gaza residents in need of urgent medical care from getting treatment outside Gaza…Fourth, the Palestinian digital rights group 7amleh reported again that social media companies were taking down posts by Palestinians and pro-Palestinian activists about events on the ground. Human Rights Watch last year documented how Facebook wrongfully removed and suppressed similar content, including about human rights abuses carried out in Israel and Palestine during the May 2021 hostilities.”

The Israeli arms companies that will profit from the latest assault on Gaza,

“Israel’s 2014 attack on the Gaza Strip was a turning point for the Israeli arms export industry. In the wake of the 51-day bombardment, new battle-tested Israeli weapons that were developed and tested operationally for the first time — such as drones, bombs and land surveillance equipment — were sold globally in deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars…following Israel’s next major attack on Gaza, in May 2021, the country broke its record for arms sales, raking in around $11.3 billion…All of these companies (and many more) have a clear interest in maintaining Gaza as a fruitful and limitless playground for any military technology Israel wishes to develop or test. The ability to label certain arms as “battle-tested” provides the industry with great advantages that other nations — including those that are themselves militarily oppressing civilian populations — also seek to preserve.”

Forced Population Transfer & Expulsions in Masafer Yatta

Why did the army shut down a Palestinian village? So settlers could pray in it,

“Earlier this month, Israeli settlers published an invitation on social media to a prayer service for the Jewish fasting day of Tisha B’Av. The service was to be held at 5 a.m. on August 7 in the yard of a Palestinian home in A-Tuwani, a village in the region of Masafer Yatta in the occupied West Bank. The event was organized in cooperation with the Israeli security forces, who turned our lives into hell that night in order to ensure the settlers would enter the village and hold prayers undisturbed right next to Palestinian homes on private Palestinian land…Now, however, it seems that Israel is increasingly turning to archaeology and religion as a tool in the service of forced Palestinian displacement. Seeing the settler prayer service in A-Tuwani, I felt nervous that the same fate would befall the village as had befallen its neighbor Susiya, where Palestinians were forcibly displaced in the 1980s under the pretext of the presence of Jewish archaeological findings in the area…Since the start of this year alone, the Israeli Civil Administration has already issued demolition orders against five houses in A-Tuwani, claiming that they are built on archaeological sites. “History,” of course, is not something that settlers will ever lose their homes over; it is manipulated solely to take over Palestinian land and homes. It is yet another weapon in our ethnic cleansing.” See also An hour and 22 years away: Visiting Jerusalem from the West Bank (Awdah Hathaleen//+972)

Apartheid/Occupation/Human Rights

Why This Palestinian Hunger Striker's Father Is Prepared to Lose His Son,

“This is day 170 of the longest-ever hunger strike by a Palestinian administrative detainee. Khalil Awawdeh has spent 13 years in Israeli jails and was due to be freed after the Gaza cease-fire, but that didn’t happen.” 

For Palestinian Prisoners, Hunger Strikes Are a Battle of Stomachs,

“The hunger strikes have left the Israeli authorities in a bind, largely unable to act against the prisoners or stop the images of emaciated strikers from publicly circulating. This has rallied support among Palestinians and drawn criticism of Israel from around the world, including the United Nations. The fate of one hunger striker was discussed as part of a deal to end a brief conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group in Gaza over the weekend…There are currently about 500 Palestinian prisoners being held under administrative detention, according to Palestinian rights groups. Israel does not divulge information on the number of people held or what they are accused of, and says that the administrative detentions are necessary for preventing attacks against its citizens. Palestinian prisoners have long responded with hunger strikes, either collectively with dozens or hundreds taking part, or individually, to protest prison conditions and get basic amenities, or as protests against the open-ended detentions themselves. “There is a very long history of hunger strikes in the prisoner’s movement in Palestine,” said Sahar Francis, a director of Addameer, a Palestinian prisoners’ rights group. Every improvement “in the conditions of the prisons was reached after a collective hunger strike, especially in the first years,” Ms. Francis said. “To guarantee mattresses, they were forced to use hunger strikes, for a pen they hunger struck, almost everything.”” See also Israel rejects Palestinian hunger striker’s appeal for release (Al Jazeera), Palestinians: Teenager killed in clashes with Israeli troops (WaPo), Israeli forces kill Palestinian inside his Jerusalem home (Middle East Eye), West Bank: Israeli forces kill Palestinian man, wound dozens in Nablus (Middle East Eye), Israeli soldier kills Palestinian man during raid on West Bank village (Middle East Eye)

Focus On: Palestinian Digital Rights,

“The arrival of new digital technologies over the past decade has had critical implications for Palestinian activism. On the one hand, these developments have reinvigorated the Palestinian cause. Indeed, social media platforms have facilitated new channels and modes of social organization, helping Palestinians counter their geographic fragmentation under Israeli apartheid; multimedia visualizations offer novel ways to communicate the histories and ongoing realities of the Palestinian struggle to global audiences; and digital currencies may help Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza circumvent Israeli economic domination. On the other hand, the threats that new technologies pose to Palestinians and their allies are significant. Using a range of technological and political tactics, the Israeli regime is increasingly infiltrating social media networks to criminalize Palestinian activism, violating Palestinians’ rights to privacy and free expression. Tech and social media companies often collaborate with the Israeli regime to remove Palestinian content and prevent their access to digital platforms. Beyond social media, the Israeli regime has turned the West Bank and Gaza into testing grounds for the development of unprecedented military and surveillance technologies, which are then outsourced to authoritarian governments worldwide on the condition that they silence Palestinian activism. In this Focus On, Al-Shabaka analysts examine these trends and address the state of ICT infrastructure in Palestine, Israeli surveillance and the complicity of the Palestinian Authority (PA), and how Palestinians and their allies can resist violations of their digital rights.”

Abu Akleh killing: 100 days on, family still fighting for justice,

“Now, more than three months after Abu Akleh was killed, her family – who were snubbed by US President Joe Biden during his visit to the Middle East last month and again when they went to Washington – said that despite overwhelming evidence and several investigations finding Israel responsible, the US has failed to do the bare minimum in holding its ally accountable.” See also Al Jazeera commemorates 100 days since Abu Akleh’s killing (Al Jazeera) and Scoop: U.S. asked Israel to review IDF’s “rules of engagement” in West Bank (Axios): “Between the lines: U.S. pressure for Israel to review the guidelines is unusual, but comes as the Biden administration faces pressure to do more to ensure accountability in Abu Akleh’s death.”

Why this Town is Fighting an Army for a Flag and Winning,

“There is a town in Palestine that is seeing a battle unfold. Palestinians are facing armed Israeli soldiers and settlers in a tug-of-war over who has the right to fly a flag. But this fight is part of a bigger story, one about colonization, identity and resistance. So let’s get into it.”

Palestinians submit war crimes complaint against Israel in the ICC,

“The International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) on Wednesday filed a war crimes complaint to the International Criminal Court (ICC) over Israel’s policy of unlawfully depriving Palestinian civilians of property, both for settlements and in “circumstances not justified by military necessity”. The complaint was filed on behalf of Rezk Salem Hamed Kadih in the Gaza Strip and members of the Salhiya family from Sheikh Jarrah, a Palestinian neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem, following an investigation that opened on 3 March 2021…The complaint calls on the ICC prosecutor to include the cases it has submitted, and intends to submit, as part of the formal investigation.”

The closure of a music studio and the destruction of Palestinian Jerusalem,

“On the last day of July, Sabreen, the first Palestinian music studio, closed the doors to their headquarters in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah…Focusing on music and community-based projects, Sabreen has been an institutional home for many Palestinian artists. From recording albums to youth music projects, it has been a crucial actor in the Palestinian arts scene. Yet after years of financial struggle and deliberate Israeli regime policies designed to suffocate Palestinian cultural institutions in Jerusalem, Sabreen will no longer be able to operate from its original home…This is happening within the context of the Israeli regime working consistently to sever Jerusalem from Palestinians and their identity and national consciousness since the Nakba in 1948.” Also see Destroying Palestinian Jerusalem, One Institution at a Time (Yara Hawari//Al Shabaka Policy Brief)

Global News

Abbas calls Holocaust the ‘most heinous crime’ after drawing criticism for accusing Israel of ‘Holocausts’,

“Under fire for accusing Israel of “50 Holocausts,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas walked back his statement, calling the Holocaust “the most heinous crime in modern human history.”…He had come under sharp criticism from U.S., Israeli and German officials for accusing Israel of carrying out “50 Holocausts” against the Palestinians during a press conference in Germany on Tuesday, standing alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.” See also Berlin police investigate Abbas’ Holocaust comments (AP) and Opinion | Forget Using the Word Holocaust. Just Free Palestinians From Israeli Tyranny (Hanin Majadli//Haaretz)

Turkey vows to back Palestinians despite restoring Israel ties,

“Turkey has said its decision to restore diplomatic relations with Israel after a decade of tensions does not mean it will abandon its support for Palestinians…Çavuşoğlu said the decision would allow Turkey – which is mostly Muslim, but officially secular – to lobby for Palestinian interests in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem. The return of ambassadors “is important to improving bilateral ties”, Çavuşoğlu said, adding: “As we have always said, we will continue to defend the rights of Palestinians.”…Turkey’s relations with Israel disintegrated when 10 civilians were killed after an Israeli raid on a Turkish ship, part of a flotilla aimed at breaching a blockade of Gaza in 2010.” See also Israel, Turkey to reappoint ambassadors, opening new chapter in relations (Al Monitor)

At Israel’s Cyber Week, generals and CEOs sell warfare as a techno-utopia,

“…these days, Cyber Week feels like an exercise in corporate speed dating between heads of state, career generals, and venture capital (VC) fund managers. They offer visions of virtual warfare waged on behalf of militaries by private firms and their financial backers, rather than soldiers and their commanders. Most of the big names at this year’s Cyber Week have moved from decorated military postings to managing venture capital funds or advising startups…Outsourcing research and development to private firms means new technologies can be prototyped and refined quickly, without the hassle of government bureaucracy. However, monitoring and regulating the private companies developing new technologies is difficult…The revolving door between the national security state and the private tech sector is especially pronounced for “the Startup Nation,” where the blurred line between the military and the high-tech economy is a national brand. Even so, armies worldwide keep pumping money into a militarized technology market that advocates — from elite coalitions of scientists to Human Rights Watch — characterize as lawless. To date, there are zero overarching regulations on developing and deploying AI-powered surveillance tech and weapons. Journalists and activists have long warned of this status quo’s brutal impact in Palestine, where Israel’s military deploys autonomous and remote-controlled weapons — from killer drones to spyware — on a civilian population living under occupation.”

Bella Hadid Isn’t Afraid to Speak About Palestine Anymore,

“Hadid’s activism has ramped up in the past two years. On Instagram, she’s shared a letter against apartheid, as well as photos and videos of alleged unprovoked violence between the Israel Defense Forces and Palestinians. In March, she and her sister, Gigi Hadid, announced that they would be donating their Fashion Week earnings to organizations providing aid in Ukraine and Palestine. Her activism has not come without cost. “I had so many companies that stopped working with me,” the supermodel told Rep. “I have friends that completely dropped me.” In May of 2021, she was accused of being an “advocate for throwing Jews into the sea” by the official Israel Twitter account after attending a pro-Palestinian march following an air strike in Gaza. At the time, Hadid called out “Israeli colonization” and “military occupation and apartheid” on Instagram — though she also made clear that this was “not about religion” or “spewing hate on one or the other” — writing, “I stand with my Palestinian brothers and sisters.” Shortly thereafter, Hadid, her sister, and Dua Lipa (who was dating their brother, Anwar Hadid, at the time) were targeted by a full-page ad in the New York Times accusing them of “antisemitism.” See also Bella Hadid says she lost modelling jobs for supporting Palestine (Middle East Eye) and How Bella Hadid and Ramy Youssef Became BFFs (GQ)

US Scene

Trump letter authorized Israeli sovereignty in West Bank - exclusive,

“Former US president Donald Trump authorized then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to annex parts of the West Bank, in a letter obtained exclusively by The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. In a three-page letter dated January 26, 2020, two days before Trump presented his Vision for Peace in the White House, the president summarized some of its details. These included that Israel would be able to extend sovereignty to parts of the West Bank, as delineated in the map included in the plan if Netanyahu agreed to a Palestinian state in the remaining territory on that map…Netanyahu’s response said that Israel would move forward with sovereignty plans “in the coming days,” according to his spokesman, who did not provide the letter. The letter calls into question the narrative set out in Breaking History: A White House Memoir, a new book by Trump’s son-in-law and former senior adviser Jared Kushner. In it, Kushner asserts that former US ambassador to Israel David Friedman went behind his and the president’s back and “assured Bibi that he would get the White House to support annexation more immediately.” “He had not conveyed this to me or anyone on my team,” Kushner said.”

AIPAC broke spending records this campaign cycle — so why did it stay out of Ilhan Omar’s tight race?,

“The lack of spending is especially noticeable in a year when the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has made national headlines for lavishing for the first time in its history tens of millions of dollars on congressional races. AIPAC officials haven’t said whether they considered entering the Omar race or what they plan to do in Bowman’s. And it’s possible that outsized spending by pro-Israel groups would have benefited Omar, not hurt her: After all, her margin of victory was far wider in 2020, when Israel donors spent big to oppose her — and possibly increased turnout by Omar’s supporters as a result.”

Jewish Currents Tuesday Bulletin,

“Last week, The Times of Israel reported that the Pentagon has reversed its plan to downgrade the military rank of the US Security Coordinator (USSC)—an official tasked with bolstering what is known as “security coordination” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank—from general to colonel…By keeping the US Security Coordinator’s rank the same, the Defense Department avoided taking a step that could have undermined the Biden administration’s policy of renewing ties with the Palestinian Authority. The reversal represents a doubling down on the administration’s overall emphasis on improving daily life for Palestinians by ameliorating the effects of Israel’s occupation, as opposed to diplomatic initiatives aimed at ending the occupation and securing a Palestinian state. “The current policy is basically stabilization, as well as quality-of-life type of initiatives, and this [decision] fits nicely because the security coordinator plays an important role in stability,” said [analyst Ghaith] al-Omari.” 

Jewish groups urge SEC to take action on anti-Israel bias in financial ratings,

“On Tuesday, the Jewish Federations of North America, American Jewish Committee and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law submitted public comments to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as the agency prepares regulatory rule amendments for the environmental, social and governance (ESG) sector…“The new rulemaking will require transparency across the board, and we are asking the SEC specifically to require ESG-related funds that focus on the social aspect of ESG to tell investors how they derive ratings for such companies, how they check for and eliminate anti-Israel bias in their sources, and whether they include anti-Semitism on their human-rights radar,” said L. Rachel Lerman, vice chair and general counsel of the Brandeis Center.”

Sierra Club reschedules Israel trips that it canceled under pressure from pro-Palestinian groups,

“Five months after canceling its planned trips to Israel, and then — following outrage from Jewish organizations — apologizing days later and saying the trips would be reinstated, the Sierra Club has quietly posted a new excursion to Israel for next year…Participants also will be meeting with Palestinians working on conservation to hear “first-hand about their daily and ongoing challenges,” according to the itinerary that was posted Friday. The itinerary additionally lists a visit to the Arava Institute, which brings Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians and students from around the world together for environmental studies and research…The planned trip is the latest development in a saga that saw one of the country’s oldest and most influential environmental groups — which traditionally avoids politics in favor of a big-tent approach to environmental conservation — embroiled in a public controversy that drew ire from large Jewish organizations and prompted intervention by California politicians.”

Israeli Scene

Far-right Israel MK wants Palestinian stone-throwers, 'disloyal' politicians deported,

“Extremist Israeli Knesset member Itamar Ben-Gvir yesterday said he wants to bring forward a bill that will enable courts to deport Palestinians who attack soldiers and politicians who are disloyal to the state of Israel…He went on to point at Joint List Members of the Knesset Ayman Odeh and Ofer Cassif as politicians he wants deported after accusing them of being “disloyal” to Israel.” Also see Israel elections: Itamar Ben Gvir, the Jewish supremacist on the rise (Middle East Eye)

Israel: Ben-Gvir's threats to deport Palestinians are no joke ,

“In a country founded on the crime of mass deportation of the native inhabitants, where senior officials in the ruling echelons unhesitatingly and explicitly threaten a second Nakba, and where obedience is viewed as a value even among leftist circles, Ben-Gvir’s newest detailed plan of action must not be discounted. There is a solid basis for believing that, should he in fact come to power, not only will Ben-Gvir act to implement his plan – but also that, if historical experience is any guide, among those who will take part in its implementation will be those same good leftists who, although they will conscientiously oppose it, will remain as faithful as ever to the obligation to obey.”

Peace Now is taking direct action against settler outposts. Can it succeed?,

“The anti-occupation group is pushing the Zionist left to adopt more disruptive tactics, says interim head Dana Mills. But are there limits to its approach?”