Top News from Israel & Palestine: June 10, 2019

What We’re Reading

The Deal of the Century

U.S. Ambassador Says Israel Has Right to Annex Parts of West Bank,

Israel has a right to annex at least some, but “unlikely all,” of the West Bank, the United States ambassador, David M. Friedman, said in an interview, opening the door to American acceptance of what would be an enormously provocative act.

With One Word, Trump's Envoy Sets Stage for Israeli Annexation of West Bank,

Washington distanced itself from David Friedman’s comments on Israel’s ‘right’ to annex parts of the West Bank, but history teaches that the ambassador is a much better barometer for which way the wind is blowing in the Oval Office

'Settler Spokesman': Palestinians and Israel's Left Slam Friedman for Annexation Remarks,

Palestinian factions as well as Israeli left-wingers lashed at the U.S. ambassador to Israel on Saturday after the New York Times published an interview with him in which David Friedman said that Israel has a right to annex parts of the West Bank.

The Fate of the Palestinians,

Graham E. Fuller writes in LobeLog, “The logic of the Israeli Right for a longer term solution points mainly to the gradual expulsion— through legal procedures, land seizures, intimidation, pressure, oppression, here and there even by force—of all Palestinians in the country so that the lands “promised to Israelis by God”  will now be in their  hands. The only remaining question will simply be how unpleasant and public the gradual expulsion and ethnic cleansing process of Palestinians has to be.”

Palestinian Politics

Palestinians weigh ICC complaint against US envoy for backing Israeli annexation,

The Palestinian Authority said it will consider filing a complaint at the International Criminal Court against the US ambassador to Israel for saying the Jewish state has the right to annex “some” of the West Bank….“This person [Friedman] who is illiterate in politics, history and geography, and who belongs to the state of the settlements… has nothing to do with logic, justice or law unless they serve the occupation state which he is eager to defend by all means,” the statement said.

Palestinians planning ‘popular uprising’ against Trump’s plan,

The Palestinians said on Sunday that they are planning a “popular uprising” later this month to protest US President Donald Trump’s upcoming plan for peace in the Middle East. The protests, scheduled for June 25 and 26, will coincide with the launching of the US-led economic workshop in Bahrain – where the US administration plans to unveil the economic portion of its long-awaited plan.

Some Palestinians up in arms over weapons proliferation,

A security official told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “Smuggling weapons in the West Bank is one of the Palestinian leadership’s main concerns for several reasons. First, Israel contributes to their entry. Second, talks are increasing about the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s potential collapse due to its financial crisis. Third, [there are] fears of such claims being exploited by other Palestinian forces to destabilize the PA and take over the West Bank. All weapons that don’t belong to the security services are illegal, whether they are owned by Palestinian factions, families or outlaws.”

NGOs will watch, work with new Palestinian government,

The Palestinian Constitutional Court in Ramallah decided in December to disband the Palestinian Legislative Council. Now, the Palestinian Consultative Staff for Developing NGOs (PCS) — an independent civil association comprising 70 civil society organizations — has stepped up with a program dubbed “Accountability Development.”

Occupation/Human Rights

Palestinian journalist facing deportation,

A Palestinian photo-journalist arrested by Israeli police is due to hear whether he will be deported. Rights groups say Mustafa al-Kharouf is being punished for his work but officials argue he is in occupied East Jerusalem illegally.

Gaza: Isolation and Control,

Ben White writes in Al-Jazeera, “This summer marks an important but often overlooked anniversary in the history of the Gaza Strip. Thirty years ago, in June 1989, Israel imposed for the first time a magnetic-card system to restrict the exit of Palestinian residents. Anyone denied a card would be prevented from leaving.”

On equating BDS and anti-Semitism: a letter to the German government,

Sara Roy writes in Mondoweiss, “If you think that by refusing to criticize Israel’s brutal occupation—and punishing those who do—you are protecting and securing the State of Israel or the place of the Jewish people in the world, you are terribly misguided. Your approach achieves the exact opposite—by insisting on treating Jews as an exception, you are weakening us by again making us a kind of anomaly, an intruder, a negation of Europe. It makes us more vulnerable to and unsheltered from the racism and the true anti-Semitism now resurgent throughout the world.”

Israeli Politics

Who stands in the way of Israel’s Shaked premiership?,

Ben Caspit writes, “After the humiliating April election defeat, Shaked had a comfortable future lined up for herself. She had come to politics from the world of high-tech and meant to go back there. She received tempting offers from medical marijuana companies and other topflight firms. She planned to take it easy for a few years, make money, travel the globe and plan her comeback. This all fell by the wayside with the scheduling of new elections in September. All she has to do now is decide.”

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