Top News & Analysis from Israel & Palestine: July 30-August 12, 2022

What We’re Reading

New from FMEP

Original Research,

FMEP publishes two resources on (most) Fridays: Lara Friedman’s Legislative Round-Up and Kristin McCarthy’s Settlement & Annexation Report. To subscribe to those reports, click here.

The Most Recent War on Gaza

World continues to ignore Gaza’s never ending state of trauma,

“People in Gaza are constantly trying to recover from previous bombardments while fearing the next one. And they have no way of recovering from the many injuries – both physical and mental – they have sustained. Indeed various international NGOs and UN agencies are trying to document the never-ending mental health crisis in Gaza. Yet many of the methodologies and theories they use are totally inadequate. As Dr Samah Jabr, chair of the Mental Health Unit at the Palestinian Ministry of Health, recently underlined, this is because these organisations and agencies are trying to understand and address this crisis using Western concepts that cannot be applied to the reality on the ground in Gaza. The notion of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), for example, is inapplicable to the experiences of Palestinians, because the trauma they experience from the settler-colonial reality is “repetitive, ongoing and continuous”. And this state of constant stress and trauma transcends generations in Gaza and the wider Palestine.” See also Why did Israel attack Gaza yet again? (Al Jazeera podcast with Mariam Barghouti); Israel’s Gaza Offensive: An Explainer (Jewish Currents); The logic behind Israel’s Gaza attack, if any, is anyone’s guess (Meron Rapoport, Middle East Eye); +972 Magazine’s Coverage, including From my balcony in Gaza, the wailings of war return, ‘If we die, we die together.’ That’s what I say to comfort my kids in Gaza; She was a promising young artist in Gaza. Israel killed her while she painted; The siege is only a symptom; ‘We killed a little boy, but it was within the rules’ (“Former IDF soldiers reveal how the army authorizes strikes in Gaza knowing civilians will be killed, so long as the number is deemed low enough.”)

Gaza: The names and faces of the 17 Palestinian children killed in Israel's onslaught,

“”There is no safe space in the Gaza Strip for Palestinian children and their families and they increasingly bear the brunt of Israel’s repeated military offensives,” Ayed Abu Eqtaish, the accountability programme director at the NGO Defence for Children International – Palestine (DCIP), said in a statement…The Israeli army has claimed that some of the civilian casualties were killed by misfired rockets, without providing independently-verified evidence. The Palestinian health ministry says all of the people killed, including the 17 children, died as a result of Israeli air strikes…Here are the names and faces of the children that died.” See also Israel raided our office and outlawed our NGO. But we’re still fighting (Khaled Quzmar, General Director of Defense for Children International – Palestine); UN rights chief decries ‘unconscionable’ killing of Palestinian children (Times of Israel); Gaza death toll rises to 49, including 17 children (Al Jazeera); Americans Rarely See the True Face of Israel’s Bombing of Gaza (The Intercept); Opinion | I Deleted My Tweet, but Israel Is Rightly Suspected of Killing Children (MK Ahmad Tibi//Haaretz)

Opinion - How Israel Attacked Gaza and Radicalized Yet More Palestinians,

“Israel’s targeted killings in Gaza always lead to the same results: a more radical and more popular PIJ with a base more unified around revenge and retaliation; a compelling pretext for an escalation that unleashes the pent-up fury of Gaza’s siege and status quo; and greater legitimacy for armed groups and armed resistance in general… Once the dust settles from this round, Israel’s political establishment is more likely than not to unlearn everything this escalation made clear. The Israeli government will continue Gaza’s 15-year-long draconian besiegement, immiseration and slow suffocation, and pretend there is nothing abnormal in keeping 2 million people under a permanent state of non-life.” See also Why Hamas stayed out of Gaza battle (Al Monitor), Another Gaza Conflict, but With a Difference: Hamas Sat It Out. (NYT), After Hamas sits out latest conflict, Israel expanding Gaza economic relief (Al Monitor), As Gaza’s factions vie for influence, civilians bear the cost of war (WaPo)

For 60 Hours, Israeli Bombs Fell All Around Us, Getting Closer and Closer,

“My family has endured the long dispossession of our land and people. For my grandparents, it was the Nakba in 1948 and the war in 1967. My parents both lived through the 1967 attack but not the Nakba. My sister Fatima, 20, lived through the most recent five assaults: 2008, 2012, 2014, 2021, and this year’s. So did my partner and baby. Everyone in my family has their own memories, their own dates, their own ledgers of death and war…For me, having never been able to leave Gaza, the two days of bombardment were a lived recollection of terror, death, and loss. As for my baby son, he’s now living a different yet similar version of my life of occupation and constant fear, just like every child born and raised in Palestine.”

Israel-Gaza: Social media companies face accusations of silencing Palestinian voices,

“As Palestinians in Gaza struggled to find shelter from Israeli rockets, in the digital space, Palestinian rights activists grappled online with social media companies’ attempts to “silence” them… “In the case of Russia-Ukraine, we’ve seen how tech giants acknowledged the Ukrainians’ right to self-defence and allowed them to share hate speech against Russian politicians, the army, and the president, which supported them and their rights,” said Shtaya… In the last two years, Shtaya’s organisation, 7amleh, has documented more than 1,400 complaints of social media companies restricting Palestinian-related content. The preferred method of limiting Palestinian content has been suspending accounts or forcing them to remove their posts.” See also Who gets to speak out against their occupier on social media?, Mona Shtaya on +972 in March 2022; Twitter Locks Account of Palestine Chronicle’s Editor, Dr. Ramzy Baroud (Palestine Chronicle)

Masafer Yatta: Population Transfer, Expulsions, Demolitions

Why This Palestinian Activist Was Subjected to an Israeli Army Raid and 14 Hours in Detention,

“What happened last Saturday night to Nasser Nawajah, a human rights activist and a field researcher for both B’Tselem and Haqel – both of them Israeli human rights organizations – can only be described as a political arrest… The dispatch of dozens of soldiers to his home late at night, his totally unwarranted detention for 14 hours, handcuffed and blindfolded, the soldier who photographed him so he have a picture of “a terrorist,” the abusive and humiliating treatment he suffered – all this was for the sake of a very short talk with “Captain Yassin,” the regional Shin Bet agent… Why? Because Nawajah is a nonviolent resister of the occupation who will show up anywhere and anytime in the South Hebron Hills and elsewhere in the West Bank where there are episodes of settler violence or the Civil Administration is demolishing homes. He’s always there, filming and documenting the goings-on for B’Tselem and Haqel…“It’s a tough situation for the army,” Nawajah says. “If you take a weapon and shoot [at someone], that’s easy for the army. They know what to do. But if you take a camera and document events, that’s something the army doesn’t want, nor do the settlers. That’s how I documented things I never believed I would be able to get to. The police can say that the Palestinians are liars and not investigate anything, but when we bring them filmed evidence – they can’t ignore us anymore. We obligated the police to open a few investigations against settlers. But this has a price: The Shin Bet now has a blacklist of nonviolent activists – which I think of as a white list.””

UN experts slam Israel's 'harassment' of human rights defenders in West Bank,

“UN experts on Tuesday condemned Israel’s “harassment” of human rights defenders and humanitarian workers in the occupied West Bank’s Masafer Yatta villages, where Israel operates a military zone. The special rapporteurs insisted such harassment must stop, and said residents continue to be threatened by the risk of forcible transfer, including mass forced evictions and arbitrary displacement. “Israeli authorities’ hubris is proving without limits. They are even harassing human rights defenders and humanitarian workers seeking to support and protect people facing grave human rights violations in Masafer Yatta,” the four experts said in a joint statement.” See also Losing battle with IDF, Palestinians in firing zone face largest expulsion since ’67 (Times of Israel); A Disregard for humanitarian Aid By Awdah Alhathaleen (Humans of Masafer Yatta); Settlers bulldoze shuttered Palestinian stores in Hebron’s Old City (+972)

Apartheid/Occupation/Human Rights

+972 Magazine partners with The Nation and Local Call about the Erasure of the Green Line,

How Palestinian resistance tore down the Green Line long ago, Amjad Iraqi: “Israel’s consolidation of a single regime unwittingly enabled Palestinians to rebuild their national fabric between the river and the sea. Now, despite their physical dispersal, Palestinians have never been more connected.”


The line separating Israel and Palestine has been erased. What comes next?, Meron Rapoport: “For 55 years, successive Israeli governments have chipped away at both the idea and reality of the Green Line. Its disappearance finally gives us a chance to open our political imagination and envision the land differently.“ 


The End of the Green Line – Two Views, Haggai Matar: “The erasure of the infamous Green Line separating Israel from the occupied Palestinian territories represents a seismic shift in the political reality of this land.”

The Prison Intifada: Supporting Palestinian Administrative Detainees,

“Administrative detention is central to the Israeli regime’s attempts to suppress Palestinian mobilization. Al-Shabaka policy analyst Basil Farraj shows how Palestinian administrative detainees have continuously resisted this policy and demanded an end to its widespread and arbitrary use. He offers recommendations to Palestinian civil society organizations, national stakeholders, and solidarity groups for how to support the ongoing Palestinian prison intifada.” See also Military Court Watch’s July 2022 Newsletter and For Palestinian Prisoners, Hunger Strikes Are a Battle of Stomachs (NYT)

How a resurrected militia is defying Israeli and Palestinian rulers,

“In Nablus and Jenin, members of Al-Aqsa Brigades — which is designated as a “terrorist organization” by Israel and several other countries, and which was formally dismantled in 2007 under the rubric of the peace process and the PA’s state-building project — have been re-arming in spite of attempts by Israel and the PA to suppress the group. Now virtually independent from Fatah, the Brigades are cooperating with other armed militias in the refugee camps to present a united front against intensifying Israeli incursions…Though a new Israeli government is set to be elected later this year, it is clear that the political and military establishment will be keeping Jenin in its crosshairs for the months to come. The PA is also likely to continue trying, and perhaps failing, to bring the city and the camp under its control. With the close coordination between the two authorities, and the perception of the PA as the occupation’s local enforcer, the armed groups will continue to persuade many Palestinians that the battles over the refugee camps are a fight for the very survival of the resistance.” See also Nablus mourns dead fighters as West Bank resistance grows (Middle East Eye)

‘The power we had was astonishing’: ex-soldiers on Israel’s government in the occupied territories,

“The Israeli defence ministry unit known as the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (Cogat) is largely concerned with issuing and processing paperwork: approving medical and work permits to enter Israel or travel abroad, controlling the flow of imports and exports, infrastructure planning and allocation of natural resources…Testimonies from military conscripts who served in Cogat offices during the past decade have for the first time been collected by Breaking The Silence, an NGO established by IDF veterans which for nearly 20 years has given discharged soldiers the opportunity to recount their experiences in confidence – and give the Israeli public an unvarnished understanding of what enforcing the occupation entails…While putting together the project, Breaking the Silence’s interviewers found that repeated themes began to emerge: the use of collective punishment, such as revoking an entire family’s travel permits; the extensive network of Palestinian agents cooperating with Cogat’s Civil Administration, which governs parts of the West Bank; the considerable influence of Israel’s illegal settler movement on the Civil Administration’s decision-making processes; and arbitrary or baseless blocks on goods allowed in and out of Gaza. “The level of power and control we have was astonishing,” said a 25-year-old man who served in 2020-2021 at Cogat’s headquarters near the Beit El settlement north of Ramallah.” See also Breaking the Silence’s new publication, “Military Rule: Testimonies of Soldiers from the Civil Administration, Gaza DCL and COGAT 2011-2021.” and Report: Israel’s Civil Administration Eases Permits for Palestinians in Exchange for Intel (Haaretz)

Palestinian Flags Aren’t Illegal in Israel. They Still Get Torn Down.,

“The Palestinian flag is not banned in Israel but its public display has come under increasing attack by Israeli authorities seeking to crack down on expressions of Palestinian nationalism. That is especially the case in East Jerusalem, the half of the city populated mostly by Palestinians…In the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, a bill that would ban the flag at university campuses passed preliminary approval last month, although its fate appears unclear after the government collapsed. And in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, emboldened Jewish settlers are removing Palestinian flags displayed inside Palestinian towns, sometimes with the protection of the Israeli Army.”

Transcripts of Kafr Qasem Massacre Trial Revealed: ‘The Commander Said Fatalities Were Desirable’,

“Newly uncovered transcripts from the trial of the infamous 1956 Kafr Qasem massacre quotes an Israeli Border Police company commander as saying that “it was desirable for there to be a number of fatalities.” The company commander operated in the sector where the massacre took place, and his comment has remained secret in the ensuing decades until being revealed in the trial transcripts released for the first time on Friday. During the massacre, 50 Arab civilians, including children, were killed by Border Police troops when they returned home without knowing the time a curfew began had been changed. The transcripts have been revealed to the public by the Defense Ministry following an appeal by historian Adam Raz of the Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research. The state initially refused to release the transcripts, claiming their content could jeopardize national security…[Commander of the Border Police’s Southern Company]Levy was further asked [in the 1957 trial]: “From what you understood, the policy was to get rid of Arabs?”… Here Levy referred to a plan – active or passive – to deport the Arabs of the Little Triangle area in central Israel to Jordan. This plan, code-named Hafarperet (Mole), was ultimately shelved. It was first revealed by the journalist and author Ruvik Rosenthal, but its full details have never been revealed. The testimony now uncovered in the court minutes allow a partial glimpse into the details of the plan, as related behind closed doors by witnesses at the trial of those accused of ordering and carrying out the massacre.” See also Analysis | Israeli Soldiers in 1956 Kafr Qasem Massacre Believed They Were Doing the Right Thing (Tom Segev in Haaretz), Editorial | There Are Thousands of Classified Pages Israel Has Yet to Reveal, for the Sake of Healing (Haaretz)

Opinion | Kafr Qasem's Journey to Healing Has Just Begun,

“Like every child in Kafr Qasem, I grew up in the shadow of the massacre. The trauma that struck the village seven years before I was born was present through the years I was growing up. I remember my parents’ frightened looks in the rare instances when they were forced to agree to my leaving the village – to go to Jewish areas. We all shut ourselves in, frightened…We knew that the murders had been planned, that the eastern gate out of the village had been left open at the time of the shooting in the mistaken hope that the residents would flee for their lives to Jordan. We knew about the plan code-named “Mole” to expel the residents of the Arab Triangle, that the clearly illegal spirit of the commander that was issued on the evening of October 29, 1956, with a figurative black flag flying over it, came from much higher levels than the commanders on the ground…The release of the transcripts in full does bring us closer to the truth – the fact that the murders had not been the result of a mistaken understanding of the orders from above but rather part of a broad plan originating at the political level. It’s true that the Mole plan itself was not allowed to be released, but it is present on every page of the transcripts. And from now on, it’s no longer an “allegation,” but a fact…This truth has the capacity to begin to allow the wound to heal. It’s true that in the past, Presidents Rivlin and Herzog had sought forgiveness, but as long as the concealment continued, genuinely confronting what had happened had not begun. Now this journey is beginning.”

US Scene

Why Can’t AIPAC Defend Israel?,

“Despite spending millions of dollars in election races on advertisements to make sure that what the organization calls “pro-Israel” candidates are elected, none of the ads make any mention of Israel. In fact, watching the spots by the United Democracy Project, the generically named AIPAC PAC, a viewer would have no idea that the particular single issue the group paying for the ads is dedicated to is support for Israel…If it seems strange that a single-issue PAC would spend millions of dollars on political advertisements in Democratic primary contests only to not mention the single issue the PAC is dedicated to, you should consider just how much opinion on Israel has shifted, among Democrats in particular…AIPAC is clearly hoping to nip this growing congressional dissent in the bud with a multimillion-dollar power move—spending nearly $25 million so far in the 2022 cycle alone—precisely so continued debate over US support for Israel will cease. But if AIPAC and pro-Israel advocacy groups more broadly could defend what Israel is doing to Palestinians—which a long list of respected human rights groups and international organizations have concluded amounts to the crime of apartheid—they should welcome the debate instead of seek to shut it down. Instead, these heavy interventions in the Democratic primaries reflect the broader, if unspoken, strategy of pro-Israel advocates today: to prevent the debate from happening because they can’t win it.” See also AIPAC vs. Democracy (Ruth Messinger & Mik Moore//The Nation); AIPAC’s new strategy: Spend millions on elections, don’t mention Israel (Eli Clifton//Responsible Statecraft); Opinion | AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the ‘pro-Israel’ Lobby (Eric Alterman//Haaretz); How AIPAC went from Lobbying for Israel to quashing Progressives and backing Jan. 6 Insurgents (; Transcript of Washington Post interview with AIPAC Executive Director Howard Kohr (scroll towards the end of the page for the interview)

Dark Money is Killing Open Debate and Free Elections,

“Thus far, in 2022, the pro-Israel “dark money” groups and PACs have spent in excess of $30 million with a mixed record of wins and losses. But the real losers go beyond the candidates themselves—both those who’ve lost and the winners whose reputations have been tarnished. What’s at stake is the integrity and openness of our elections and the political process that can be so distorted by excessive amounts of “dark money.” The outcome of an election in a democracy shouldn’t go to the highest bidders, free to spend unlimited amounts to destroy someone deemed an opponent. Also at risk, and of equal importance, is the ability of candidates to freely debate a critical issue of importance without fear of having their political careers ended by a handful of big money donors willing to ruin their reputations if they dare to speak out.”

Palestinian Scene

Mo Amer: “There’s never been a Palestinian family like this on TV before”,

“As he prepared to write the show, Amer started asking his mother certain questions in order to navigate the new world he was creating. To his relief, after some hesitation over the years, Amer’s mother had finally reached a point where she understands what he’s trying to accomplish in telling their stories in the way he does, he says…“This is TV, sure, but this is my life. There’s stuff we’re going to fictionalize, but it’s heavily inspired by what’s really happened. It’s about tipping a hat to the ones that afforded me the opportunity to have a life in America, to have a dream, to pursue it, and be supported while doing it. It’s a thank you. It’s a love letter to Houston for raising me, a love letter to my family, to my ancestors. That’s what it’s really about.”…On set, the many Palestinians both in front of and behind the camera continue approaching him as they watch production unfold, in awe of what they’re seeing.”

U.N. body determines Palestinian Authority condones torture and ill-treatment against civilians,

“Last week, the United Nations Committee against Torture (CAT) — a subsidiary of the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) — convened in Geneva to investigate, for the first time, instances of torture and ill-treatment carried out or condoned by the Palestinian Authority (PA)…The committee’s recommendations include: categorizing torture — which is currently considered a misdemeanor — as a felony; banning unlawful and torturous detentions; and creating a domestic commission to investigate any allegations of torture and ill-treatment. CAT also recommended the PA implement policies to democratize the Palestinian system of government, including safeguarding free speech.”

Lawfare//Redefining Antisemitism to Quash Criticism of Israel

This Israeli-American philanthropist is advocating for IHRA definition in 7 US states,

“Chairman and real-estate mogul Shawn Evenhaim spoke with The Jerusalem Post from his Los Angeles home and shared that the organization which he leads [the Israeli American Coalition for Action] set a new goal for the next 12 months: “We are focusing [promoting legislation of IHRA] in seven states and are already working in four of them. There is one state where we are already in very advanced stages but in other states, we just recently began to work. We hope that this year we’ll be able to pass an IHRA law in between four and seven states.” IAC for Action is the policy and legislative arm of the Israeli-American Council (IAC), the largest organization of Israeli expats in the world, which has become the umbrella organization of Israelis living in the US…“In the US you can attack Israel and not be called an antisemite, which we know is not the case,” Evenhaim said and therefore explained the need for the IHRA definition.”

Furor Over Documenta Highlights a Widening Chasm in Germany,

“Since the sprawling show opened in June, a major artwork has been pulled from display for containing antisemitic caricatures, and the event’s director general has resigned…The events of the past 50 days may be unprecedented for an event like Documenta, which is only rivaled in importance in the art world by the Venice Biennale…Taken together, Documenta has become the latest cultural event to highlight a growing divide between the German establishment’s views on a boycott of Israel and those of artists, musicians and other creatives, particularly from outside the country…The broader opinion in much of the art world is that supporting a boycott is not antisemitic, and that Israel acts as a colonial power, said Meron Mendel, the director of the Anne Frank Educational Center in Frankfurt. Those views are in stark contrast to those held by German politicians.”