Top News from Israel & Palestine: June 26, 2019

What We’re Reading

Occupation & Human Rights

Donors Pledge $113 Million to Help Palestinian Refugees,

Krahenbuhl said it is “urgent” for UNRWA to receive the $113 million pledged Tuesday “because we are in a cash flow crisis.” He said the biggest contributions came from the European Union, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Israel’s Rape Indictment of Palestinian Reveals the Moral Rot,

The Haaretz Editorial Board writes, “The Qatusa affair exposed an overall moral rot whose roots are malignant racism and nationalism. This is a result of leaders infected with a racist and nationalist bug who through a long and steady process have infected more and more citizens. To lead the changes needed to prevent the repeat of such cases, we must end the rule of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – the trunk of the tree from which all these rotting branches are growing.”

U.S. News Crew Says Israeli Soldiers Tear Gassed Them at anti-Trump West Bank Protest,

PBS journalist Jane Ferguson reported that she and her crew were among those tear gassed by Israeli troops. Ferguson wrote on Twitter, “Rough day reporting for the @NewsHour in the #WestBank today. #Israeli Forces gased the press covering a small protest nearby. Then they gased us as we tried to drive away.”

A Novel That Explores the Silencing of Palestinian Trauma,

Adam Dannoun, the protagonist of Elias Khoury’s powerful new novel, calls himself a child of the ghetto. He does not mean the Warsaw ghetto — although, growing up in the newly established state of Israel, he allows his university colleagues to make that assumption. He means the “ghetto” of the Palestinian town of Lydda, created by Jewish forces who uprooted tens of thousands of Palestinians on a death march in one of the bloodiest massacres of the 1948 Nakba. (That term, which Arabs use for the founding of the Jewish state, means “catastrophe.”) Adam, a baby at the time, was one of those who remained.

The Deal of the Century

Kushner in Bahrain: No Palestinian prosperity without fair political solution,

Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner said on Tuesday that prosperity for the Palestinians was not possible without a fair political solution – but that agreement on an economic way forward was a necessary precondition for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Economic Band-Aids Won’t Bring Peace to the Middle East,

Muriel Asseburg and Hugh Lovatt write in Foreign Policy, “The fundamental problem with a purely economic track is that even if there were buy-in from the Palestinian side, restrictions stemming from the Israeli occupation regime would continue to impede economic development. The actions of Europeans leaders in the wake of the Bahrain conference may well determine the fate of the U.S. plan and thus could be crucial in determining whether or not it will be accepted as the new reference point for the international community’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

No Economic Plan Can Compete With Israel’s Occupation,

Sari Bashi writes, “Even if it were possible to improve the Palestinian economy without ending the occupation, it can’t be done without lifting restrictions on the movement of people and goods, as the Israeli military knows too well. For the first two decades of the occupation, the Israeli authorities pursued a policy of ‘enlightened occupation’: opening borders to facilitate improvement in standard of living with the goal of reducing Palestinian resistance to foreign dominance.”

Anti-BDS/Anti-Free Speech/Pro-Settlement Lawfare

Palestinian human rights orgs slam Israeli gov’t minister for ‘libelous’ smears,

Despite the ministry’s claims of success against Al-Haq and other organizations, Al-Haq pushed back, saying that their organization does not actually hold credit card accounts, “and therefore despite the sweeping claims articulated by the MSA, there was never an account open, that could be closed to begin with.”

Israeli Politics

Netanyahu says he’s considering proposal to cancel September election,

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will consider a proposal by Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein to cancel the September 17 elections, his Likud party said Tuesday.

How Netanyahu exploits US-Iran tensions,

Akiva Eldar writes, “On one hand, Netanyahu, like Trump, has no interest in a photo op against the backdrop of battlefield scenes and cemeteries. On the other, Netanyahu, who is also Israel’s defense minister, does have a keen interest in keeping the Iranian threat in the headlines, at least until the Sept. 17 elections — just as long as the media does not delve into the corruption scandal involving him and his wife. As far as he’s concerned, the Iranians or their proxies can bomb a Japanese oil tanker in the Gulf of Hormuz every day and intercept a US drone every two as long as Trump does not suddenly include Iran’s spiritual leader Ali Khamenei on his Christmas list, as he did with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un, whose fingers have long been poised over the nuclear button.”

U.S. Politics

Stateless and Stuck,

This Palestinian Activist Got Swept Up in the War on Terror. Decades Later, ICE Tried to Secretly Deport Him to Israel.