Top News from Israel & Palestine: August 30, 2019

What We’re Reading

Occupation, Annexation & Human Rights

WATCH: Israel Police Hurl Stun Grenade at Journalist During Nightly Raids on East Jerusalem,

“Israeli police detained a journalist for 40 minutes and threw a stun grenade at a Haaretz photographer at the scene on Wednesday night during raids in the East Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhood of Isawiyah.”

'This Place Is Only for Jews': The West Bank's Apartheid Springs,

“According to Dror Etkes, the founder of Kerem Navot, an organization that studies Israeli land policy in the West Bank, there are today more than 60 springs in the central West Bank that settlers coveted and seized as part of a project of plunder that began 10 years ago. The landscaping and renovation work at about half of them has been completed, the dispossession made absolute, the Palestinians blocked from even approaching the springs and their lands. Other springs targeted by the settlers are in various stages of takeover.”

Israel, PA find creative ways to save West Bank from economic collapse,

“Nonetheless, in pushing through the deduction law, Israel acted contrary to all logic and brought on itself a severe escalation in the West Bank. In fact, the law that would supposedly curb terrorism has turned into a prime motivating terrorism force. Israel, not for the first time, made a hasty decision without exploring its implications — just as it did when it imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip 12 years ago — and does not appear to have any idea how to extricate itself from the resulting mess. Now, without intending to, Israel may be forced to abandon the Paris Protocol and hand Abbas a knockout victory. On the face of it, this may not be such a bad outcome. The customs union regulated by the Paris Protocol should have been renegotiated years ago, but it is too bad that such decisions are always made only after bloodshed and loss of lives.”

For Jerusalem police, even directing traffic is a form of terrorism,

“Israeli police arrested a well-known Palestinian activist in East Jerusalem earlier this week, accusing him of encouraging drivers to run over Israeli officers while he directed traffic in his neighborhood. Muhammad Abu Hummus, one of the most prominent activists in Issawiya who has been documenting the daily police incursions into the neighborhood over the last several months, was arrested on Sunday after uploading a video of himself guiding a Palestinian driver through a traffic jam.”

Palestinian, Israeli economies intertwined,

“But it’s not only security that plays a role here. The private sector does too — industry, commerce and workers employed in Israel. The number of Palestinians employed in Israel and the settlements is around 130,000, many of them in construction. In 2017, 21% of all workers in construction were Palestinian. Without them the industry would be paralyzed.”

Israeli Politics

Netanyahu Strikes Deal With Far-right Leader: Government Portfolio in Exchange for Dropping Election Run,

“Far-right Zehut party leader Moshe Feiglin announced on Thursday that he is dropping out of the September 17 election in exchange for a role of a minister in Prime Minister’s Benjamin Netanyahu’s next government, should he succeeds forming it.”

Can Abbas revive peace vote for Israeli left?,

“The quest by the Palestinian leadership to revive the peace process is dependent on the Democratic Union and the Joint List in league with others blocking Netanyahu from retaining the premiership. A poll conducted Aug. 26 by Channel 11 had the Likud and Blue and White neck and neck, winning 32 and 31 of the 120 Knesset seats, respectively, meaning both would need the cooperation of other parties to form a government. The Democratic Union was predicted to take 6-7 seats and the Joint List 11 seats.”

Arab leader seeks to shake up Israeli election,

“The leader of the main Arab faction in parliament has shaken up Israel’s election campaign by offering to sit in a moderate coalition government — a development that would end decades of Arab political marginalization and could potentially bring down Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”

U.S. Politics

Questions after US turns away Palestinian Harvard freshman,

“‘The chilling effects of incidents like these ripple through communities far beyond Harvard’s incoming freshman class, resulting in widespread self-censorship on social media and threatening intellectual freedom,’ said Carrie DeCell, a staff attorney at Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute, which has sued the administration to release more information about the enhanced enforcement methods.”