Top news stories from Israel/Palestine: January 9, 2018

What We’re Reading

FMEP in the News

Israel’s Deplorable Boycott Of BDS Supporters Is Just The Beginning,

“How much of the slippery slope toward authoritarianism is left before Israel hits the bottom? How fast Israel is sliding? And will more Americans who profess to care both about Israel and progressive, democratic values now finally take a stand?” asks FMEP’s Lara Friedman.


I Oppose BDS. But It’s Israel’s Democracy, Not the Boycott, That’s Netanyahu’s Real Target,

“If the Israeli government succeeds in distracting us with a debate about BDS while freedom of speech is becoming more and more conditional, and Israelis are taking to the streets to protest Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption – then they’ve made friers and suckers of us all,” writes Daniel Sokatch.

Trump Could Be the Best Thing That Ever Happened to BDS,

“If anyone thought that Trump’s [Jerusalem] declaration would improve Israel’s standing in the world entertainment market, in practice the opposite is the case.”

Israel Sets Up Secret Firm With Top Ex-generals, Envoys for Online 'Mass Awareness' Campaign 'To Fight Delegitimization',

The Strategic Affairs Ministry has set up a public-benefit corporation to engage in what it calls “mass awareness activities” as part of “the struggle against the delegitimization campaign” against Israel internationally.

US-Israeli/Palestinian relations

Is Liberal Zionism Dead?,

As the Trump administration’s policies foreclose the two-state solution, “most of the world — including most of the Jewish diaspora — will have a hard time coming up with a decent justification for opposing a Palestinian campaign for equal rights,” writes Michelle Goldberg.

Is Trump widening a rift between the evangelicals and Mideast Christians?,

When President Donald Trump announced in December he would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and call for the U.S. embassy to be moved there, some of his loudest cheerleaders were American evangelicals. But the faith-fueled praise overshadowed a possible consequence: Namely, an escalation of simmering tensions between Middle Eastern Christians — especially those living in the occupied Palestinian territories — and American evangelicals seeking to balance hard-line support for Israel with concern for their fellow faithful.

US vice president confirms visit to Israel amid Jerusalem tensions,

US Vice President Mike Pence will visit Israel as part of a Middle East tour initially planned for last month after President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Israeli politics

Defense Ministry drafts bill to cut PA funds over [prisoner] stipends,

The Defense Ministry on Tuesday publicized a draft bill that would deduct welfare payments paid out by the Palestinian Authority to Palestinian prisoners and their families from the tax revenues Israel transfers annually to the PA.

In Be'er Sheva, coexistence is 'political,' and can get you evicted,

The Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Quality has been a fixture in the city of Be’er Sheva for decades. Now, following pressure from far-right activists, the city is evicting it.

Attorney General to make definition of jurisdictions in West Bank more transparent,

The decision comes following a petition to the High Court of Justice by the head of the municipal council of the Palestinian village of Jalud and the Yesh Din NGO.

Opposition slams 'idiotic' BDS activist ban,

Opposition party leaders came out against Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan’s banning members of boycott organizations from entering Israel, in their faction meetings on Monday.


Six months of needless suffering later: Electricity supply from Israel to be restored,

Much more needs to be done to meet actual demand for electricity. Israel must cooperate to solve the ongoing electricity crisis in the Strip.

Does Trump Want to Starve the Palestinians Into Submission?,

“The U.S. administration’s threat to withhold funds from UNRWA, where I worked, will drag down two million Gazans from an economy of scarcity down to a politics of hunger. Politics are negotiable: food must not be,” writes Marilyn Garson.