Top News from Israel & Palestine: July 12, 2019

What We’re Reading

Israeli Politics

'Only the Strong Survive.' How Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu Is Testing the Limits of Power,

“The moves compound the impression, already articulated by critics, that Israel’s Prime Minister has embraced the same populist authoritarianism rising elsewhere around the world. ‘Netanyahu has opened the door for fascist elements within the Israeli society and undermined democratic principles,’ says Avner Gvaryahu, a former head of an Israeli sniper team who is the executive director of Breaking the Silence, a veterans’ organization devoted to directing the attention of the Israeli public to ‘normalization’ of its occupation of Palestinian territories.”

Once there's no Palestinian suspect, the media loses interest,

Uzi Benziman writes, “Most of all, however, I fear that ignoring the ongoing investigation confirms, yet again, the racist nature of Israeli society and the media that shapes it. As long as people are convinced that a downtrodden Palestinian has committed this horrendous crime, the Israeli public — led by its leaders and journalists — will be sure to loudly condemn it. But once Mahmoud Katusa was no longer a suspect, Israeli Jews went back to life as usual. As if a young girl wasn’t raped. As if her case no longer needs to be solved.”

Is Netanyahu concerned about anti-Semitic rulers?,

Akiva Eldar writes, “What ‘tools’ are appropriate for dealing with a Jewish prime minister who hands out seals of approval to anti-Semitic leaders? A survey conducted by the JPPI among a select group of 180 rabbis and Jewish community leaders found that 50% of the respondents believe the US administration is not fighting anti-Semitism effectively, and 40% are concerned about the decline in Jewish community participation in their regions due to fear of anti-Semitic incidents.”

Attorney General Backs Legal Petition to Allow Israeli Arabs to Enter Public Park,

“The city’s decision, Mendelblit said in a statement, ‘raises serious questions about the nature of the motives’ behind it. Any decision on who is allowed in public parks ‘cannot be based on race, religion, origin, sex, sexual orientation, or any other innate characteristic,’ he added.”

Palestinian Politics

Does The Palestinian Authority ‘Pay To Slay’ Jews? Here’s How We Palestinians See It,

“Rather than viewing these payments as rewards to violent terrorists, Palestinians view them as compensation to Palestinian victims of the Israeli occupation, itself a violent force. And if some terrorists are also recipients of the funds, Israel’s penchant for imprisoning Palestinian nonviolent activists and for keeping Palestinians jailed indefinitely under administrative detention without a trial, has rendered Israel’s claims to who is a terrorist and who is not immaterial. With a conviction rate of 99.74% for Palestinians, Israel’s military courts are justly regarded as kangaroo courts within Palestinian society.”

Palestinian PM turns to Jordan first,

Daoud Kuttab writes, “It was no surprise that the newly appointed Palestinian prime minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, chose Amman as his first foreign capital to visit July 7 and 8. Jordan was not only chosen because of its proximity and the strong ties with its people, but also because it provides the most logical country to begin the “delinking” process from Israel, which the new prime minister has been talking about. Jordan is the only country other than Israel that borders the West Bank and one of two Arab countries that have signed a peace agreement with Israel.”

Palestinians rally in response to Kuwaiti support,

“On July 2, Palestinian activists hung banners in central Gaza City expressing gratitude to Kuwait for boycotting the Manama workshop; there also were large posters of Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and parliament Speaker Marzouq al-Ghanem in recognition of their pro-Palestinian positions. On June 28, Return March protesters raised Kuwait’s flag at the Gaza border.  Moreover, Yatta, in Hebron governorate, decided to rename ‘Bahrain Street’ for ‘Marzouq al-Ghanem’ instead; the city Salfit in the West Bank renamed a street for him as well. Palestinians also hoisted the Kuwaiti flag June 27 in Salfit, where both the Palestinian and Kuwaiti national hymns were sung and Palestinian police attended the ceremony inaugurating the main street renamed for Ghanem.”

Occupation & Human Rights

Christian leaders protest sale of Jerusalem church properties to Jewish group,

“On Thursday, Christian leaders including Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilus III prayed ‘or peace’ in Arabic, Greek and English outside two hostels near Jaffa Gate in the Christian quarter that have been taken over by Jewish buyers. They expressed support for the tenants set to be evicted and the patriarch denounced the actions of “extremist groups trying to weaken the unity and identity of the Christian neighborhood. The settlers want to take over our heritage,’ the spokesman for the Greek Orthodox Church, Issa Musleh, told AFP, claiming the sale was only made possible by forged documents.”