Top news stories from Israel/Palestine: February 27, 2019

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FMEP Resources

Occupied Thoughts: Failures of American Peacemaking w/ Peter Beinart & Khaled Elgindy,

In this edition of FMEP’s podcast series “Occupied Thoughts,” Peter Beinart is joined by Khaled Elgindy to discuss the latter’s book (due out in April 2019), “Blindspot: America and the Palestinians, from Balfour to Trump.” In discussion, Beinart and Elgindy discuss how American agency in the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations – particularly the unwillingness of U.S. presidents to deal with the power imbalance between the two parties – complicated, and perhaps doomed, their fate.

US-Israeli/Palestinian relations

Israeli Extremists Are Making a Comeback—With the Help of US Tax Dollars,

A new investigation carried out in coordination with the Democratic Bloc, an Israeli nonprofit organization founded in 2018 to research and monitor antidemocratic trends in Israel, reveals a web of interconnected groups, individuals, and websites in Israel and the United States—including several American nonprofit foundations that appear to have been founded for the purpose of funneling tax-exempt dollars to Kahanist causes, some of which are directly linked to Jewish terrorist groups.

The tangled web of Israel's extreme right, American Jewry and the US terror blacklist,

Former MK Michael Ben-Ari, who heads Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) and could return to Knesset thanks to a Netanyahu-blessed union with Jewish Home, has ties to non-governmental organizations linked to Meir Kahane’s Kach Movement, outlawed in Israel and on US Treasury and State Department blacklists; some of these NGOs get their funding from US Jews.

Senate and House introduce bills recognizing Israeli control of Golan Heights,

A bill certifying U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty of the Golan Heights was introduced Tuesday by Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Tom Cotton (R-AK) with an identical proposal filed in the House by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI).

Israeli politics

Under deal, Kahanist party promised spot on key panel that appoints judges,

An agreement signed to merge the right-wing Jewish Home party with the extremist Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) includes an article that would see Jewish Home work to get a representative of Otzma Yehudit onto the key parliamentary committee that chooses Israel’s judges.

How to stop Kahanists from taking over,

Twenty-five years after a follower of Meir Kahane massacred Palestinian worshipers in Hebron, Netanyahu is basing his future coalition on a Kahanist party. Now Israelis will have to decide between apartheid and a future of hope and equality.

'He's a Crazy Man': Decades Before Netanyahu Welcomed Heirs, Begin Warned of 'Dangerous' Kahane,

In a secret meeting with the U.S. ambassador in 1980, former Prime Minister Menachem Begin voiced loathing for the racist rabbi.


Hoyer seeks ‘movement’ as House weighs Senate-passed pro-Israel, anti-BDS bill,

U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said on Tuesday that he hopes to move along a U.S. Senate bill that passed earlier this month and that, if enacted, would allow state and local governments the right to punish state or local contractors from boycotting Israel.

US Congressmen accused of bullying Ireland over Israeli settlement goods boycott,

Ten members of the US Congress have been accused of interfering in Irish politics after lobbying the Irish Government to oppose a bill which would outlaw trade in goods from Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine.

Occupation/Human rights

Israel Arrests East Jerusalem Palestinians as Temple Mount Tensions Surge,

Israel Police raided Wednesday night Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem and carried out arrests. According to Palestinian sources, 25 Palestinians were arrested; among them was Adnan Ghaith, the Palestinian Authority’s Jerusalem governor.

Breaking the Silence opens exhibition at European Parliament in Brussels,

The photo exhibition marks 25 years since Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Palestinian worshippers at the Ibrahimi Mosque/Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

Settler teen convicted of terror offenses for attacks on Palestinians,

The Lod District Attorney’s Office announced on Tuesday that it had convicted a teenage member of a Jewish terror cell responsible for targeting Palestinians and their property in the central West Bank from 2013 to 2016.

Palestinian politics

The PLO is counting its expatriates,

The PLO’s Palestinian Expatriate Affairs Department (PEAD) is gearing up for the first-ever census of Palestinian expatriates in the world. The census is expected to launch at the beginning of April, director general of PEAD Nihad Abu Ghosh told Al-Monitor.

Top Palestinian Official Erekat Slams Trump Peace Plan as Pro-settler,

The PLO secretary general said that any plan that doesn’t ensure a Palestinian state on pre-’67 borders ‘is not worth discussing.’