Top news stories from Israel/Palestine: January 15, 2019

What We’re Reading

BDS and Settlement boycotts

Republicans Play “Israel Card” and Fail,

By putting these anti-BDS provisions in the funding bill and including another Israel-related section, Republicans hoped to accomplish two objectives: break the resolve of the Democrats who object to conducting “business as usual” until a budget is passed and use “support for Israel” as a wedge issue to try to peel American Jewish support away from the Democratic party.

GOP loses key Democrat with third anti-BDS vote in a week,

The Senate on Monday evening failed 50-43 to advance an anti-BDS bill for the third time within a week.

I support Israel, but laws banning BDS are wrong,

“I reject BDS campaigns because they single out Israel as the sole obstacle to peace,” writes Paul Asofsky. “However, I still oppose Texas’ violation of our First Amendment rights through this law.”

Israel calls for deportation of Human Rights Watch rep.,

Almost eight months after the Israel-Palestine director of organization appealed his deportation order, the state replies by saying ‘appellant continues to promote boycott of Israel.’

"Americans Have a Right to Boycott, Even If It’s Wrong",

Sen. Rand Paul argues that Congress’s anti-BDS legislation violates the First Amendment.

Occupation/Human rights

Israeli minister calls for annexation of the West Bank,

A newly appointed Israeli minister on Sunday dismissed the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state in the West Bank and called for the occupied territory to be annexed.

Palestinian Woman Petitions Israel's Top Court to Visit Father's Grave Inside Military Base,

The state is not letting Qubati visit the grave because it is located inside a military base built at the site of a Christian cemetery in the village of Malul, saying allowing her access would set a problematic precedent.

U.S. must erase legal opinion condemning West Bank settlements, ZOA says,

The United States must rescind its famous 41-year old legal opinion that West Bank settlements are “inconsistent with international law,” the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) said as it embarked on a renewed campaign this week to pressure the Trump administration on the matter.

Israeli politics

Israeli Arab voters prefer Tibi to Odeh, poll shows,

After his request to split his party from the Joint List, 47% of respondents say Ahmad Tibi should lead the faction, more than double number of respondents supporting Ayman Odeh.

US-Israeli/Palestinian relations

Tulsi Gabbard Zig Zags On Israel From Adelson Embrace To Questions On Gaza,

Gabbard has developed some surprising relationships with right-wing supporters of Israel who are affiliated with the Republican Party.

Palestinian politics

Mahmoud Abbas set to assume chairmanship of major UN bloc,

Abbas on Tuesday will succeed Egypt as the leader of the Group of 77. He is scheduled to address the General Assembly, which elected the “State of Palestine” in July to head the bloc.

Egypt closes crossing to Gaza as Abbas tightens noose,

The Palestinian Authority’s latest action in the Gaza Strip is expected to worsen conditions for the already suffering Palestinians in Gaza.

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