Top News Stories from Israel & Palestine: June 13, 2019

What We’re Reading

The Deal of the Century

The Neocolonial Arrogance of the Kushner Plan,

Rashid Khalidi writes in the New York Review of Books, “The Trump administration has made it clear that while the Israelis are to have ample input into deciding what happens in Palestine, the Palestinians themselves do not deserve to be consulted on their future: in their arrogance, Kushner, Friedman, Greenblatt, and their right-wing Israeli mentors know better. The tired routine of depriving Palestinians of agency, as Kushner’s plan does in a pointed and disrespectful way, has been tried for over a century. It did not work under the British Mandate, it did not work between 1948 and the rise of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the 1960s as the Arab regimes tried to impose their tutelage on them, and it has not worked under Israel’s military rule.”

Why I'm optimistic about the 'deal of the century',

David Hearst writes for the Middle East Eye, “Far from burying the Palestinian cause, after a long period where it was sidelined by the Arab uprisings of 2011, the counter-revolution, the rise of Islamic State group (IS), the deal of the century has managed to push this ancient struggle back where it belongs in the centre stage of Arab politics.”

David Friedman Is A Joke. He Should Be Fired.,

Ori Nir writes in The Forward, “You see, Friedman’s objective is not to come up with a fresh, new, outside-the-box approach to peacemaking. His goal is to smash the box, to liberate Israel from the confines of an international consensus and an official US policy that supports the creation of a Palestinian state.”

Occupation/Human Rights

Israel Strikes Hamas Targets in Gaza After Intercepting Rocket,

The Israeli army said it struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip following interception of a rocket fired at Israeli border-communities early Thursday morning. The escalation follows an Israeli decision to impose a maritime blockade on the Strip after continued launching of incendiary balloons from Gaza into Israel.

Israel Imposes Maritime Blockade on Gaza Over Launch of Airborne Firebombs,

The Israeli army announced Wednesday a maritime blockade on the Gaza Strip “until further notice,” after airborne firebombs launched from Gaza ignited eight fires in the country’s south.

Sick Gaza child caught in Israeli permit system dies alone,

So far this year, roughly half of applications for patient companion permits were rejected or left unanswered by Israel, according to the World Health Organization. That has forced over 600 patients, including some dozen children under 18, to make the trek out of the territory alone or without close family by their side.

Palestinian village targeted with vandalism, graffiti in apparent hate crime,

One of the phrases daubed was “Price tag [for the] Yitzhar evacuation.” Last week, security forces demolished several illegal buildings near the flashpoint settlement just north of Einabus.

The 'Money Mountain': Israel Holding Millions in Palestinian Deposits, Promises Now to Finally Pay It Back,

Behind the money mountain, or to be more exact inside of it, are some 58 million shekels ($16 million) as of last week, an Israeli security source told Haaretz. These funds are guarantees that Palestinian residents of the West Bank paid the Israel Police, mainly deposits paid by people suspected of traffic violations, or bail paid to the military courts upon conditional release to ensure the suspects would show up in court if and when an indictment would be filed against them.

Israel settlement goods should be labelled, EU court advised,

In legal advice to the court, Hogan said that, under EU rules, labels must make it clear if products originate in the occupied territories, and in particular if they come from Israeli settlements in those areas. “EU law requires, for a product originating in a territory occupied by Israel since 1967, the indication of the geographical name of this territory and, where it is the case, the indication that the product comes from an Israeli settlement,” an ECJ statement outlining Hogan’s legal opinion said.

This American Woman's Crime: She Married a Palestinian. Now She Must Pay,

I thought an hour would suffice to hear about Elaine Zoughbi’s return to her house in Bethlehem. After all, I already knew the background.

Palestinian Politics

The brewing war to succeed Mahmoud Abbas,

Daoud Kuttab writes, “The jockeying for post-Abbas leadership is already taking shape. While many names have been floating, the choice of Shtayyeh presents an opportunity for the former Birzeit University professor who helped launch peace talks during the 1991 Madrid negotiations to lay claim to replacing Abbas when that day comes. Shtayyeh has tried to carefully walk a tight rope, strengthening his own popularity by visiting refugee camps and connecting with unions, women, and student activists, while maintaining day-to-day ties with diplomats and visiting politicians.”

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

France Should Label Israeli Wine From Settlements, EU Advocate General Says,

The advocate general noted that EU law requires that a product made on a territory captured by Israel since 1967 be marked as produced in the settlements.

Israel's Ministry of Strategic Harm,

The government treats BDS movement as a danger to security, or a terrorism threat, and uses the resources of its security agencies and other means to monitor citizens who express opinions it doesn’t like; even worse, it does so beyond the borders of the state. This is a battle against the freedom of political expression of the Palestinians and their supporters throughout the world. The means Israel employs in this battle are antidemocratic and draconian, and they often achieve the opposite of the desired effect, distancing liberal Diaspora Jews from Israel.