Top News & Analysis on Israel/Palestine: May 24-31, 2024


  1. New from FMEP

  2. Gaza

  3. Region//Global

  4. River to the Sea

  5. U.S. Scene

  6. Activism//Lawfare//Redefining Antisemitism to Stifle Criticism of Israel

  7. Perspectives//Long Reads


Centering Gaza, Punished in College: What it’s Like to be a Campus Activist Against this War (New podcast episode)

FMEP fellow Peter Beinart speaks with Shraddha Joshi and Asmer Safi, two student activists organizing for Palestinian solidarity at Harvard University. Harvard is withholding both of their degrees due to their campus activism. Peter, Shraddha, and Asmer discuss the dynamics and motivations that draw students into pro-Palestinian activism, the messages that campus activists are trying to convey, and how Harvard has failed to keep campus activists safe.

A Look From the Radical Israeli Left: A Multi-Front Battle Against Fascism & Jewish Supremacy (New podcast episode)

FMEP fellow Peter Beinart speaks with Sapir Sluzker Amran about her identity as a Mizrachi, queer activist – and her recent action to document and disrupt right-wing Israeli settlers attacking a convoy of aid at the Gaza barrier.

FMEP Legislative Round-Up: May 31, 2024 (Lara Friedman)

  1. Bills, Resolutions; 2. Letters; 3. Hearings; 4. Israel/Palestine in 2024 Elex/Politics; 5. Selected Media & Press releases/Statements See also FMEP Legislative Round-Up: May 24, 2024

Settlement & Annexation Report: May 31, 2024 (Kristin McCarthy)

1) Gallant Further Rolls Back 2005 Disengagement Law to Allow Reestablish of Three More Settlements in Northern West Bank; 2) Israel Court Finalizes the Dispossession of Shehadeh Family in Silwan; 3) Activists Petition for Demolition of Violent Jordan Valley Outpost Under Int’l Sanctions; 4) Two New Outposts Reported; 5) Extensive Updates on the Continued Politicization of Archaeology in Service of Settlements; 6) 21 New Roadblocks & 8 Newly Closed Gates Propel Settler Takeover in Bethlehem Area; 7) Bonus Reads


Biden announces new Israeli proposal for temporary cease-fire deal (WaPo 5/31/24)

President Biden on Friday announced what he said was a new Israeli proposal that, if agreed to by Hamas, will lead to a permanent cease-fire in Gaza, the release of hostages and the withdrawal of all Israeli troops from the enclave. As outlined by the president in White House remarks, the three-phase plan would echo previous proposals, beginning with a six-week cease-fire and the return of women, children and other vulnerable hostages; the release of “hundreds” of Palestinian prisoners; withdrawal of Israeli troops from populated areas of Gaza; and the surging of “600 trucks [of humanitarian aid] carried into Gaza every single day.” The new element in the proposal would come with a second phase, during which Israel and Hamas would negotiate a permanent cease-fire and complete Israeli withdrawal. Under the newly announced plan, the temporary cease-fire would continue beyond the six weeks until such a permanent plan is put in place, provided neither side violated its terms and negotiations continued.” See also Hamas says it is ready for a ‘complete agreement’ if Israel stops war (Reuters 5/30/24); Hamas says it ‘postively views’ Gaza ceasefire proposal presented by Biden (Times of Israel 5/31/24); Full text of Biden’s speech laying out hostage and ceasefire deal for Israel-Hamas war (Times of Israel)

Israel won’t end war for deal to free all hostages, PM’s aide said to tell families (Times of Israel)

“National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi reportedly told relatives of hostages on Thursday that the current government will not agree to end its war against Hamas in exchange for the release of all the remaining hostages held by the terror group. The message — made during a heated meeting during which Hanegbi reportedly rebuked and insulted the relatives of several hostages –appeared to be the first time a top Israeli official was quoted making such an admission. It highlighted the crux of the repeated impasse in the hostage negotiations where Hamas has insisted on a permanent ceasefire, while Israel has only been willing to agree to a temporary truce.” See also Israel says war on Gaza likely to last another seven months (Al Jazeera); Gaza conditions worse than ever, USAID chief says, as Rafah invasion rages (WaPo 5/30/24); Two soldiers killed in Gaza as IDF leaves Jabaliya, presses into center of Rafah (Times of Israel 5/31/24)

Amid ongoing Israeli incursions into Gaza, aid facilities shut ‘one after another’ (UN News)

“‘Humanitarian facilities in Rafah are forced to close one after another…The flow of humanitarian aid supplies into Gaza, already insufficient to meet the soaring needs, has dropped by 67 per cent since 7 May,” reported the UN aid coordination office, OCHA, amid reports that kitchens, clinics and hospitals are shutting down…After nearly eight months of war, the entire population of Gaza of 2.2 million people is almost exclusively dependent on humanitarian assistance, including food.” See also Aid Groups in Rafah Say Israel’s Advance Is Pushing Them Out (NYT); Israel’s latest offensives unleash ‘hell’ in Gaza, aid groups say (WaPo); Palestinians surviving on 3% of minimum daily water needs in Gaza (New Arab); Humanitarian operations ‘near collapse’ in Gaza, says World Food Programme (Guardian 5/22/24); Access to Aid in Gaza Was Dire. Now, It’s Worse. (NYT 5/27/24); War on Gaza: Overflowing waste threatens health crisis as hepatitis spreads (Middle East Eye); Pentagon pauses humanitarian airdrops in Gaza, citing Israel’s Rafah operation (Al Monitor); Gaza aid pier breaks down, halting US humanitarian deliveries by sea (Al Monitor)

Israeli attack on Rafah tent camp kills 45, prompts international outcry (Reuters 5/27/24)

“An Israeli airstrike triggered a fire that killed 45 people in a tent camp in the Gazan city of Rafah, officials said on Monday, prompting an outcry from global leaders who urged the implementation of a World Court order to halt Israel’s assault…More than half of the dead were women, children, and elderly people, health officials in Hamas-run Gaza said, adding that the death toll was likely to rise from people with severe burns.” See also Headless child, charred bodies: Survivors recount Israel’s Rafah camp massacre (Middle East Eye); Israel’s Netanyahu says Rafah strike went tragically wrong and will be investigated (Reuters); Israel Used U.S.-Made Bombs in Strike That Killed Dozens in Rafah (NYT); US says latest Rafah deaths won’t change Israel policy, military aid (Reuters); Flattened Buildings, Widespread Destruction: This Is What Israel’s ‘Limited Operation’ in Rafah Looks Like (Haaretz, 5/22/24); Israeli airstrike on Rafah kills 12 Palestinians, Gaza medics say (Reuters 5/30/24); ‘Bodies everywhere’: the horrors of Israel’s strike on a Rafah camp (Guardian 5/29/24)

Eyewitnesses describe horrific scenes after Israeli strike on Rafah camp (WaPo)

“A deadly Israeli airstrike on a tent camp in Rafah late Sunday drew widespread international condemnation Monday — focusing further scrutiny on Israel’s controversial offensive against Hamas in the south and the desperate plight of Gaza’s civilians. Witnesses described a horrific scene late Sunday as fires tore through the makeshift encampment in the Tal al-Sultan neighborhood, killing at least 45 people, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Parents were burned alive in their tents while children screamed for help. Doctors recounted struggling to treat gruesome shrapnel wounds with dwindling medical supplies…The Israel Defense Forces said two militants were killed in the attack, including the commander of Hamas operations in the West Bank. “There were many measures taken before the attack to minimize harm to non-involved people,” the IDF said Monday, adding that the incident was under investigation.” See also Gaza: After ICJ order to halt attacks on Rafah, Israel launches over 60 air raids on the city in 48 hours (Euro Med Human Rights Monitor 5/26/24)

Israel says its forces seize entire Gaza-Egypt border corridor (Reuters 5/29/24)

“Israeli forces have achieved tactical control over the entire corridor that runs along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, Israel’s chief military spokesperson said on Wednesday. The statement came as Israel continued its deadly raids on Rafah in southern Gaza despite an order from the International Court of Justice to end its attacks on the city, where half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people had previously taken refuge…[Chief IDF spokesperson] Hagari said the forces located some 20 tunnels along the corridor. He said soldiers discovered and destroyed a 1.5 kilometer-long tunnel route in eastern Rafah that contained “large quantities of weapons”, with the entrance shaft found 100 metres from the Rafah Crossing…A “high-level” Egyptian source denied Israeli reports on the existence of tunnels along the Gaza-Egypt border, Egypt’s state-affiliated Al-Qahera News TV said on Wednesday.” See also Israeli forces kill dozens of Palestinians in Gaza strikes, battle Hamas in Rafah (Reuters 5/23/24); Egypt tight-lipped over Israeli takeover of Gaza buffer zone (Guardian); ICJ orders Israel to ‘immediately halt’ military operations in Rafah (Al Monitor); Israel in control of Philadelphi Corridor, expects 7 months of war (Al Monitor)

Far-right Israeli settlers step up attacks on aid trucks bound for Gaza (WaPo)

“Radical Israeli settlers have expanded their attacks on aid trucks passing through the West Bank this month, blocking food from reaching Gaza as humanitarian groups warn that the enclave is sinking deeper into famine. Groups of settler youths are tailing relief convoys, setting up checkpoints and interrogating drivers. In some cases, far-right attackers have ransacked and burned trucks and beaten Palestinian drivers, leaving at least two hospitalized. The assailants use a web of publicly accessible WhatsApp groups to track the trucks and coordinate attacks, providing a window into their activities. Working off what they say are tips from Israeli soldiers and police, in addition to the public, members pore over photos to work out which vehicles might be carrying aid to Gaza and mobilize local supporters to block them.” See also Israeli soldiers and police tipping off groups that attack Gaza aid trucks (Guardian)

Israeli troops withdraw from Gaza’s Jabalya, leaving devastation (WaPo)

“After an operation lasting nearly three weeks, Israeli forces said Friday that they have “completed their mission” in the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza — five months after the military declared victory in the same area. The Israel Defense Forces said its troops killed “hundreds” of militants, destroyed about six miles of underground tunnels and recovered the bodies of seven hostages in the densely built-up area.”

‘The smell of death and blood wafts throughout Jabalia camp’ (Ibrahim Mohammad//+972 5/29/24)

“On the morning of May 11, the Israeli army spokesperson announced that the military had begun a new operation in Jabalia, the city and adjacent refugee camp in northern Gaza. Evacuation orders were issued to Palestinian residents of several neighborhoods, but many have been unable to leave; others have decided to stay, given the lack of any safe areas throughout the Strip. The northern half of the Strip bore the initial brunt of the Israeli army’s bombardment in the first weeks of the war, and, on Oct. 27, was the first region of Gaza to be targeted by the Israeli ground invasion. By March, the north was facing a Phase 5 famine — the highest level measured by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, designated as “catastrophe.” Nearly no humanitarian aid is reaching northern residents, and an estimated third of all children there under the age of two are suffering from acute malnutrition. The situation is perhaps most dire in the Jabalia refugee camp, the largest in Gaza, with a prewar population of over 100,000 Palestinians living in an area of just 1.4 square kilometers…The latest Israeli attack on the camp, involving both aircraft and ground troops, has had devastating consequences: the army has bombed and bulldozed entire residential squares, markets, and food warehouses, exacerbating the already desperate humanitarian crisis, while corpses remain scattered in the streets…And for those that remain, Al-Batsh predicted, “whoever does not die of hunger will be killed by the bombs.”’

My family has fled Rafah for yet another ‘safe’ area. By now we know there is no such thing (Mohammed Al Khatib//Guardian 5/29/24)

“I am an aid worker, and my work involves supporting the local healthcare system and providing aid to communities around me. But like everyone in Gaza, I am also simply trying to survive. Until recently, I was sheltering and working in Rafah. I was forced to flee there from Khan Younis with my family, after the area was designated as a “humanitarian safe zone”. Yet it was not long until the Israeli military began its invasion of Rafah, and we were forced to move again after Israel’s evacuation orders. The situation in Rafah is now utterly chaotic. People do not know where to move to, and are terrified of going somewhere else that will get bombed…As I write this, Israeli soldiers and tanks are advancing deeper into Rafah while Palestinians, scared for their lives, have nowhere to go.”

Cementing its military footprint, Israel is transforming Gaza’s geography (Ruwaida Kamal Amer//+972)

“Since the start of the war, the military has demolished buildings along the eastern edge of the Gaza Strip, part of what is widely believed to be a plan to establish a kilometer-wide “buffer zone” between populated areas in Gaza and Israel — the equivalent of 16 percent of Gaza’s territory — which Palestinians would be banned from entering. Doing so would permanently displace thousands of civilians and severely impact Gaza’s already-limited agricultural sector.”

Gaza’s Stolen Healers (Kavitha Chekuru//The Intercept)

“As early as November, reports emerged of doctors being detained and going missing in north Gaza. According to the World Health Organization, at least 214 medical staff from Gaza have been detained by the Israeli military. In early May, the detention and alleged torture of medical staff from Gaza made headlines when Israeli authorities announced the death of Adnan Al-Bursh, a well-known surgeon and the head of orthopedics at Al-Shifa Hospital. After being taken into custody in December, officials said Al-Bursh died in April while in Ofer Prison, an Israeli detention facility in the occupied West Bank…Al-Bursh is one of at least 493 Palestinian medical workers who have been killed in Gaza since October 7, according to the Ministry of Health. The Israel Defense Forces has systematically targeted hospitals from the north to the south of the strip, claiming that Hamas operates in the facilities. Medical staff in Gaza’s hospitals have repeatedly denied this claim.” See also Stop the Gaza genocide immediately (Muhammad Abu Salmiya, Director of Al Shifa Hospital, The Lancet)


Revealed: Israeli spy chief ‘threatened’ ICC prosecutor over war crimes inquiry (Guardian)

“The former head of the Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence agency, allegedly threatened a chief prosecutor of the international criminal court in a series of secret meetings in which he tried to pressure her into abandoning a war crimes investigation, the Guardian can reveal. Yossi Cohen’s covert contacts with the ICC’s then prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, took place in the years leading up to her decision to open a formal investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in occupied Palestinian territories…Cohen’s personal involvement in the operation against the ICC took place when he was the director of the Mossad. His activities were authorised at a high level and justified on the basis the court posed a threat of prosecutions against military personnel, according to a senior Israeli official. Another Israeli source briefed on the operation against Bensouda said the Mossad’s objective was to compromise the prosecutor or enlist her as someone who would cooperate with Israel’s demands…The Mossad also took a keen interest in Bensouda’s family members and obtained transcripts of secret recordings of her husband, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the situation. Israeli officials then attempted to use the material to discredit the prosecutor.” See also How Israeli Security Nixed Haaretz’s Report Into Alleged Mossad Extortion of International Court Prosecutor (Haaretz); Israeli journalist describes threats over reporting on spy chief and ICC (Guardian)

Surveillance and interference: Israel’s covert war on the ICC exposed (Yuval Abraham & Meron Rapoport//+972)

“For nearly a decade, Israel has been surveilling senior International Criminal Court officials and Palestinian human rights workers as part of a secret operation to thwart the ICC’s probe into alleged war crimes, a joint investigation by +972 Magazine, Local Call, and the Guardian can reveal. The multi-agency operation, which dates back to 2015, has seen Israel’s intelligence community routinely surveil the court’s current chief prosecutor Karim Khan, his predecessor Fatou Bensouda, and dozens of other ICC and UN officials. Israeli intelligence also monitored materials that the Palestinian Authority submitted to the prosecutor’s office, and surveilled employees at four Palestinian human rights organizations whose submissions are central to the probe. According to sources, the covert operation mobilized the highest branches of Israel’s government, the intelligence community, and both the civilian and military legal systems in order to derail the probe…Our investigation draws on interviews with more than two dozen current and former Israeli intelligence officers and government officials, ex-ICC officials, diplomats, and lawyers familiar with the ICC case and Israel’s efforts to undermine it. According to these sources, initially, the Israeli operation attempted to prevent the court from opening a full criminal investigation; after a full probe was set in motion in 2021, Israel sought to ensure that it would come to nothing. Moreover, according to several sources, Israel’s underhanded efforts to interfere with the investigation — which could amount to offenses against the administration of justice, punishable by a prison sentence — have been managed from the very top.” See also Sounds Like Cosa Nostra Blackmail’: Former Mossad Chief on Successor’s Alleged Threats Against ICC Prosecutor (Haaretz); Israeli campaign against ICC may be ‘crimes against justice’, say legal experts (Guardian)

Israel Must Stop Its Campaign Against UNRWA (Philippe Lazzarini//NYT)

“The war in Gaza has produced a blatant disregard for the mission of the United Nations, including outrageous attacks on the employees, facilities and operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. These attacks must stop and the world must act to hold the perpetrators accountable. As I write this, our agency has verified that at least 192 UNRWA employees have been killed in Gaza. More than 170 UNRWA premises have been damaged or destroyed. UNRWA-run schools have been demolished; some 450 displaced people have been killed while sheltered inside UNRWA schools and other structures. Since Oct. 7, Israeli security forces have rounded up UNRWA personnel in Gaza, who have alleged torture and mistreatment while in detention in the Strip and in Israel…We must meaningfully defend U.N. institutions and the values they represent before the symbolic shredding of the charter establishing the United Nations. This can only be achieved through principled action by the nations of the world and a commitment by all to peace and justice.”

Unpacking the ICC arrest warrant bids against Israeli and Hamas leaders (Middle East Eye 5/20/24)

“On Monday, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan said he filed an application for arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, Ismail Haniyeh and Mohammed Deif. The application was based on evidence collected by the prosecutor during his visit to Israel, Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, and Egypt’s Rafah on the border with Gaza. Khan, however, has not visited Gaza, as his requests to enter the enclave for investigation have been declined by the Israeli government.”

Spain, Ireland and Norway recognise Palestinian statehood (Reuters)

“Spain, Ireland and Norway officially recognised a Palestinian state on Tuesday, prompting an angry reaction from Israel, which has found itself increasingly isolated after more than seven months of conflict in Gaza. Madrid, Dublin and Oslo said they sought to accelerate efforts to secure a ceasefire in Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza. The three countries say they hope their decision will spur other European Union countries to follow suit.” See also Israel orders recall of ambassadors to Ireland and Norway (Reuters); Israel’s FM Cuts Ties Between Spanish Embassy and West Bank Palestinians After Recognition of Palestinian State (Haaretz); Palestinian prime minister visits Madrid after Spain, Norway and Ireland recognize Palestinian state (AP News); Brazil withdraws ambassador to Israel after Gaza war criticism (Al Jazeera)

Joint U.S.-British attack kills at least 16 in Yemen; Houthis claim attack on carrier (WaPo)

“Airstrikes carried out by the United States and Britain targeting the Houthi rebel group in Yemen killed at least 16 people and wounded 35 on Thursday, according to Houthi media reports. If confirmed, the death toll would make the strikes the deadliest to have been publicly acknowledged in the months-long campaign.”


Hamas Fires Rocket Barrage From Rafah at Tel Aviv, Central Israel for First Time in Months (Haaretz 5/26/24)

“According to the IDF, a barrage of eight rockets were fired from Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, close to the positions of Israeli forces. The army said that most of the rockets were intercepted, with some falling in open areas. Hamas quickly accepted responsibility for the barrage.” See also Israel says it killed 18 Gaza-based Hamas members in charge of West Bank attacks (Times of Israel); Jenin resistance defiant as Israeli army kills 12 Palestinians in raid (Mondoweiss 5/23/24); IDF: Terrorist involved in 2023 murder of Israeli killed in rare West Bank airstrike (5/18/24)

Israeli forces spark devastating fire at Ramallah vegetable market (Middle East Eye)

Israeli forces ignited a devastating fire at Ramallah and al-Bireh’s main vegetable market in the occupied West Bank on Thursday that has destroyed dozens of shops owned by Palestinians and caused millions of shekels in losses. Troops raided the neighbouring West Bank cities at dawn, firing live ammunition, stun grenades and tear gas in residential areas and the local market, known locally as al-Hisbah. Wooden carts caught on fire and the flames spread throughout the market and to nearby commercial buildings, wounding at least one person and ravaging over 100 stalls and shops, according to al-Bireh’s acting mayor, Robin al-Khatib. Initial losses from the devastation are estimated at tens of millions of shekels, al-Khatib told local media.” See also How Palestinians Near Bethlehem Are Expelled From Their Land (Amira Hass//Haaretz)

Israel’s Cause for Detention: ████ ██ █████ (Jonathan Pollak//Haaretz)

“Administrative detention is based on secret suspicions, secret evidence and no charges being brought. To conceal its inherent absurdity, hearings are held in-camera and away from the public eye. As such, even the little that is revealed to the defense remains prohibited for publication…Like Bassem, thousands more are held captive by Israel under administrative detention. In the past, it was considered, at least officially, a measure reserved for the most extreme of cases. This hypocritical position has always been false, but now there is no longer any need to save face. According to the Israeli army’s own data, almost 5,000 arrests were made in the West Bank in the past eight months. These are very conservative numbers, as they don’t include the many thousands arrested and released without being indicted. The data shows that administrative detention, this so-called extreme of extremes, is now the norm. According to Israeli Prison Service numbers, Israel now holds 7016 people who have not yet been convicted in its jails – either awaiting trial or under administrative detention. Of these, 4,299 – more than 60%! – are held without charge or trial. And all that is without saying a single word about the torture, hunger and humiliation to which all Palestinian prisoners held by Israel are subjected these days.” See also Sources: Internal IDF Report Finds Two Gazans Died After Being Beaten en Route to Israeli Prison (Haaretz); Israeli police arrest Palestinian woman over Gaza Tent Massacre social media post (New Arab); Seven Israeli Cops Expected to Be Tried for Stamping Star of David on Palestinian’s Face (Haaretz)

Israeli Views of the Israel-Hamas War (Pew Research Center 5/30/24)

“Arab Israelis are less likely than Jewish Israelis to think Israel will succeed in achieving its war aims (38% vs. 76%) and less optimistic when thinking about the future of the country’s national security (21% vs. 63%). Israeli Arabs are much more likely than Jews to say the country’s military response has gone too far (74% vs. 4%). Almost no Israeli Arabs (3%) want Israel to govern the Gaza Strip after the war, while half of Israeli Jews think it should do so. A plurality of Arabs would like the people who live in Gaza to decide who governs (37%), while only 8% of Jews prefer this outcome.” See also Most Israelis rate military’s campaign in Gaza ‘about right’ or not enough (WaPo);

Inside the scheme to grab ‘holy’ land in Jerusalem’s Armenian quarter (Al Monitor)

“Jewish settlers, a shady Australian developer and a defrocked priest. This unlikely cast sits at the heart of a multimillion-dollar real estate deal that has caused an uproar within Jerusalem’s ancient Armenian community and mobilized its youth in an unprecedented campaign to defend their land. The legal case to sink the deal, which would see a long-coveted chunk of the Armenian quarter of Jerusalem fall into suspect hands, is inspiring Christian and Muslim Jerusalemites as they face down Messianic Jews bent on eradicating their presence in the bitterly contested city, now through dubious real estate deals. Armenian resistance to that long-running effort has spurred repeated attacks by masked thugs hired to intimidate the activists and revived gripes from the community about the conduct of the Armenian church, all of which has caught the attention of diverse foreign governments amid the conflict in Gaza.” See also Israel’s Ben Gvir says he wants to live in Gaza (Middle East Eye); Al-Aqsa ‘belongs only to Israel’, says Ben Gvir during ‘incendiary’ visit (Middle East Eye)

Israeli military censor bans highest number of articles in over a decade (Haggai Matar//+972)

“In 2023, the Israeli military censor barred the publication of 613 articles by media outlets in Israel, setting a new record for the period since +972 Magazine began collecting data in 2011. The censor also redacted parts of a further 2,703 articles, representing the highest figure since 2014. In all, the military prevented information from being made public an average of nine times a day…​​Israeli law requires all journalists working inside Israel or for an Israeli publication to submit any article dealing with “security issues” to the military censor for review prior to publication, in line with the “emergency regulations” enacted following Israel’s founding, and which remain in place. These regulations allow the censor to fully or partially redact articles submitted to it, as well as those already published without its review. No other self-proclaimed “Western democracy” operates a similar institution.”

How Israel uses financial control as a tool of collective punishment against Palestine (Shahzad Uddin & Dalia Alazzeh//The Conversation)

“Israel’s finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, announced on May 22 that Israel will withhold Palestinian tax revenues from the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank “until further notice”. The move came on the same day that Norway, Spain and Ireland announced that they will recognise a Palestinian state. These funds constitute between 60% and 65% of the Palestinian public budget. Withholding them will have a devastating effect both on a Palestinian government already in financial crisis and on the lives of the Palestinian people. This is not the first time Israel has withheld funds that provide basic goods and services to people in the West Bank and Gaza. Israel has used this tool six times since the peace accords of the 1990s, when it began collecting tax on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.”

Abandoned by the state, Palestinian citizens of Israel face record crime wave (Baker Zoubi//+972)

“But in addition to widespread discrimination against and increasing political persecution of Palestinian citizens by the Israeli government, the number of Palestinian victims of organized crime continues to rise at a frightening rate. According to a Taub Institute study, the Arab community in Israel had the third-highest murder rate among OECD countries in 2019 — just below Mexico and Colombia — with 11.11 murders per 100,000 citizens, a figure that tripled for those between the ages of 20 and 34. The study also noted that murders in Palestinian communities more than doubled, from 109 cases in 2022 to 233 in 2023, with a consistent climb in the murder rate every month through last September…Since the beginning of this year, 86 Arab citizens have been murdered — a startlingly high number that suggests the murder rate this year will be similar to last year’s. Yet although the numbers are roughly the same, criminal organizations have recently escalated their tactics, publishing lists of murder targets, abducting civilians, and hiding the bodies of their victims.”

How Changes in the Israeli Military Led to the Failure of October 7 (New Lines Magazine)

“The punishing system of control maintained by the Israeli government over Gaza prior to Oct. 7 collapsed because of a decadeslong failure to address structural and operational problems within the military-intelligence system, systematic dehumanization of the Palestinians that blinded Israeli analysts to Palestinian capabilities, rising politicization of military decision-making and a fixation with technological “solutions” as a substitute for political engagement to address the long-running conflict. The blind spots created by this approach bred systemic rot inside Israel’s security establishment. These failures ultimately enabled Hamas’ assault, shattering Israel’s image of invulnerability.” See also Eisenkot: Israel needs elections this year; Netanyahu government must be replaced (Times of Israel); Thousands Protest Across Israel as Opposition Leader Lapid Calls on Gantz and Eisenkot to Leave Gov’t (Haaretz)



Two more US officials resign over Biden administration’s position on Gaza war (Guardian 5/30/24)

“Two more US officials have resigned over the Gaza war, saying that the Biden administration is not telling the truth about Israeli obstruction of humanitarian assistance to more than two million Palestinians trapped and starving in the tiny coastal strip. Alexander Smith, a contractor for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), said he was given a choice between resignation and dismissal after preparing a presentation on maternal and child mortality among Palestinians, which was cancelled at the last minute by USAID leadership last week…In another resignation on Tuesday, a state department official from the bureau of population, refugees and migration, Stacy Gilbert, sent an email to colleagues explaining that she was leaving because of an official finding by the department that Israel was not deliberately obstructing the flow of food or other aid into Gaza…Smith and Gilbert bring the total number of Biden administration officials to have publicly resigned over US policy on Gaza to nine, though Josh Paul, the first official to resign, said that at least two dozen more had left quietly, without a public declaration.” See also US state department falsified report absolving Israel on Gaza aid – ex-official (Guardian 5/30/24); White House stands by support for Israel amid deadly Rafah incident (Jewish Insider); Johnson formally announces Netanyahu invitation, slams Biden in Israeli Embassy speech (Jewish Insider)

Another State Department official resigns over Gaza, taking aim at aid (WaPo)

“A career State Department official involved in the Biden administration’s contentious debates over Israel’s conduct in Gaza resigned this week, citing disagreements with a recently published U.S. government report that claimed that Israel was not impeding humanitarian assistance to Gaza, two officials told The Washington Post. The outgoing official, Stacy Gilbert, served in the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. Gilbert sent an email to staff Tuesday explaining her view that the State Department was wrong to conclude that Israel had not obstructed humanitarian assistance to Gaza, officials who read the letter said. The cause for resignation is unusual in that it speaks to internal dissent over a hotly disputed report that the Biden administration relied on to justify continuing to send billions of dollars of weapons to Israel…Gilbert, whose views were echoed by the vast majority of aid and humanitarian organizations, said Israel was impeding the aid from reaching civilians in Gaza.”

Trump told donors he will crush pro-Palestinian protests, deport demonstrators (WaPo)

“Former president Donald Trump promised to crush pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses, telling a roomful of donors — a group that he joked included “98 percent of my Jewish friends” — that he would expel student demonstrators from the United States, according to participants in the roundtable event with him in New York.” See also With swollen war chests, AIPAC-backed pro-Israel candidates are winning primaries (USA Today); House races to sanction ICC over Israel war crimes allegations (The Hill); ‘FINISH THEM,’ Nikki Haley scribbles on Israeli artillery shell (Politico)

Israel Policy Could Cost Biden the White House—and Us Democracy (Yousef Munayyer//TNR)

“Democrats should be very worried about November because the White House’s pro-Israel policy may well cost them dearly in an election that could be decided by under 100,000 total votes in a few key states. It is not too late for President Biden to switch gears on Israeli policy, but every day that passes without a shift brings us closer to a 2016-like outcome. This time, however, the consequence may not just be a Trump presidency but, as Democrats have warned, the potential end of the American democratic experiment…Even if overall voter turnout is down in 2024 compared to the historic turnout of 2020, Biden simply cannot afford significant dips in voter turnout among either the youth or the Black vote if he hopes to win in November. Right now, it is hard to escape the likelihood that we will see dips in both.” See also Biden’s support among Arab Americans plummets amid Gaza war, new poll shows (Al Jazeera)



New Report Analyzes Crackdown on Palestine Solidarity in the U.S. (Palestine Legal)

“Today Palestine Legal published a new report on the post-Oct 7th crackdown on Palestine solidarity in the US. The report is Palestine Legal’s first total accounting and analysis of the reports of repression the organization received between Oct 7th and Dec 31, 2023, with the high volume of reports continuing into 2024. The report comes as universities continue to summon state, local, and campus police to brutally crack down on student activists on a scale not seen in decades. Within the last month alone, university administrators called in law enforcement to arrest over 3,000 students, professors, and solidarity activists on more than 80 campuses. The report shares data showing how repression targeting Palestinians and their supporters is at an all-time high…The report breaks down the trends in repression, describing numerous incidents and challenges to them across all arenas, including severe campus crackdowns; attacks on K-12 students and teachers; widespread workplace discrimination and retaliation; criminalization of protesters and physical threats and violence; and increased legislation targeting Palestine advocacy. All of these repression tactics are fueled by the dehumanizing anti-Palestinian rhetoric coming from Israel and its allies, and echoed by elected officials and institutional leaders.”

Business titans privately urged NYC mayor to use police on Columbia protesters, chats show (WaPo 5/16/24)

“A group of billionaires and business titans working to shape U.S. public opinion of the war in Gaza privately pressed New York City’s mayor last month to send police to disperse pro-Palestinian protests at Columbia University, according to communications obtained by The Washington Post and people familiar with the group.” See also Pro-Israel billionaires urged New York crackdown on Gaza protests: Report (Al Jazeera) Sued for Laundering Profits from Israeli War Crimes in Palestine (ELSC)

“The European Legal Support Center (ELSC), Al-Haq, SOMO and The Rights Forum have filed a criminal complaint to the Dutch Public Prosecution Service to hold to account for profiting from the commission of war crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT). This case is being brought after years of research into’s activities in illegal Israeli settlements as part of a longer trajectory of actions on businesses profiting from abuse in OPT. By facilitating the rental of vacation homes on land stolen from the indigenous Palestinian population, profits from war crimes. Profiting from war crimes is illegal under Dutch criminal law…By profiting from serious violations of international humanitarian law, is bringing proceeds of crime into the Dutch financial system – which means that the company is guilty of money laundering, the claimants assert.”

UCLA’s Unholy Alliance (Robin D.G. Kelley//Boston Review)

“House Republicans accuse student protesters of vicious anti-Semitism, but it is administrators who are courting violence.”

October 7 Survivors Sue Campus Protesters, Say Students are ‘Hamas’s Propaganda Division’ (Akela Lacy//Intercept)

“Survivors of the October 7 attacks filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court last week alleging links between Hamas and the pro-Palestinian student groups leading nationwide protests against Israel’s war on Gaza. The survivors claim the student groups are liable for monetary damages because of the purported terrorism links. “When someone tells you they are aiding and abetting terrorists — believe them.” That’s the opening line the suit filed Wednesday against the Palestinian advocacy groups American Muslims for Palestine and National Students for Justice in Palestine, the umbrella group supporting student organizers for Palestine, which supports more than 350 Palestine solidarity groups, including more than 200 campus organizations across the country…The survivors of the October 7 attack alleged that American Muslims for Palestine “serves as Hamas’s propaganda division in the United States.” “Through NSJP, AMP uses propaganda to intimidate, convince, and recruit uninformed, misguided, and impressionable college students to serve as foot soldiers for Hamas on campus and beyond,” the October 7 survivors wrote in their suit.”


The Palestinian challenge to US medical ethics (Joelle M. Abi-Rached & Eric Reinhart//The Lancet)

“For the past 7 months, the world has been witnessing the murder of health workers, as well as their abduction, torture, execution, and the dumping of their bodies in mass graves;1 killing of patients in their hospital beds; deliberate bombing of hospitals and clinics; targeted destruction of health and sanitation infrastructure; blockades to humanitarian aid and essential medications during a historic famine manufactured to serve as a weapon of war; and the infliction of conditions designed to be incompatible with life on Palestinians in Gaza…And yet, in the USA, the most influential medical professional organisations, journals, and lobbies have been disturbingly reluctant to take any meaningful stand against the systematic obliteration of health systems in Gaza, including the killing of at least 491 of our Palestinian colleagues by Israeli forces since Oct 7, 2023. This inaction is particularly notable as it is the US Government’s provision of arms, diplomatic cover, and financial resources that makes Israel’s campaign against Palestinians possible.”

Open letter by Gaza academics and university administrators to the world (Gaza Academics and Administrators//Al Jazeera)

“We have come together as Palestinian academics and staff of Gaza universities to affirm our existence, the existence of our colleagues and our students, and the insistence on our future, in the face of all current attempts to erase us. The Israeli occupation forces have demolished our buildings but our universities live on. We reaffirm our collective determination to remain on our land and to resume teaching, study, and research in Gaza, at our own Palestinian universities, at the earliest opportunity…Our civic infrastructure – universities, schools, hospitals, libraries, museums and cultural centres – built by generations of our people, lies in ruins from this deliberate continuous Nakba. The deliberate targeting of our educational infrastructure is a blatant attempt to render Gaza uninhabitable and erode the intellectual and cultural fabric of our society. However, we refuse to allow such acts to extinguish the flame of knowledge and resilience that burns within us.”

The Right’s Anti-Israel Insurgents (Ben Lorber//Jewish Currents)

“As Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip approaches its eighth month—bolstered so far by $17 billion in emergency supplemental aid from the US, on top of the regular $3.8 billion yearly aid package—dissent is growing across segments of the MAGA movement’s leadership and base. The trend recalls an earlier era in which a sizable right-wing bloc opposed US support of Israel on nativist grounds. And like its earlier manifestations, today’s right-wing anti-Israel sentiment frequently dovetails with broader racist and anti-Jewish sentiment. Indeed, while the left at its best adopts a structural understanding of US imperial support for Israel, the America First right almost axiomatically arrives at antisemitism when it slots anti-Zionism into its pre-existing nationalist frame, positing that a shadowy Zionist cabal is subverting American sovereignty from within. As mounting pressure from progressives over Israel’s war on Gaza finds little outlet in an obdurate bipartisan establishment, this insurgent right threatens to capitalize on this opening to build power and reshape the political landscape.”

Can Palestinians imagine a future with Israelis after this war? (Mahmoud Mushtaha//+972)

“Reflecting on my grandfather’s stories, I often find myself wondering when our struggle will end. How long will this land, sacred to Muslims, Christians, and Jews, continue to be soaked in blood? Many people, especially young Palestinians, see the bloody history of the conflict and ask themselves, “How can we live with them after all they’ve done to us?” This is a sentiment that is almost certainly growing in the face of the current onslaught…Can Jews and Palestinians truly coexist in historic Palestine? This is the question at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the question that runs through our history and our present. Despite the formidable obstacles and entrenched divisions, is there a path forward towards a future of peaceful reconciliation? Under military occupation, discrimination, ethnic cleansing, and apartheid, the answer is no.”

When the Gaza War Ends, Israel’s Mainstream Media Will Have a Lot to Answer For (Michael Sfard//Haaretz)

“Let them explain, for example, how their ethos and professional ethics fit with the shameful decision to withhold from Israelis documentation of what’s happening in the Strip. Not only are images of Gazans suffering withheld from us, there are no interviews with Gazans. Seven months of Israel displacing, shelling, starving, killing, crushing and crowding together about 2 million people – and on the Israeli channels there’s nothing. Absolutely nothing. They’ve decided that the public doesn’t need to see and hear what we’re inflicting on the people of Gaza. Then Israelis are shocked by what people say about us in Western capitals, where the media still believes that its job is to reveal, not conceal.”

Rebuilding Gaza: Considerations for a Habitable Future (Omar Shaban//Al Shabaka)

“Even so, it remains necessary for Palestinians to lead the conversation on what comes after Israel’s genocide. To opt out of these discussions is to leave our collective future in the hands of the very people who have sought for decades to erase us. Accordingly, this commentary offers an entry point to a Palestinian dialogue on what may follow after a ceasefire is reached. It does so by delving into the current non-Palestinian “day after” discourse, then by identifying the ways in which today’s reconstruction effort is distinct from those of the past, and finally by putting forth a possible approach to begin to embark on such a project.”

For many American Jews protesting for Palestinians, activism is a journey rooted in their Jewish values (Atalia Omer//The Conversation)

“As of April 2, 62% of American Jews believe Israel has responded to Hamas’ attack in an “acceptable” way. Yet that support drops to 52% among U.S. Jews ages 18-34, with 42% saying Israel’s response has been “unacceptable,” according to Pew Research Center polling. Many of those young people are involved in the variety of Jewish organizations that have mobilized for a cease-fire since October, such as IfNotNow and Jewish Voice for Peace…as a peace and religion scholar, I know that some U.S. Jews’ involvement in Palestinian solidarity movements began years before the current war. In my ethnographic research, which included in-depth interviews and participant observation work, activists emphasized that they were inspired to act because of their Jewish identity and values, not in spite of them.”

We’re Israelis who study fascism. This week, our country took a terrifying step toward the abyss (Shira Klein & Lior Sternfeld//Forward)

“The National Union of Israeli Students on Tuesday proposed a new law that would require universities to fire all academics who express dissent, including tenured professors. “Academic institutions will be obliged to immediately fire a lecturer, a teacher or researcher who expresses or acts in a manner that includes denial of the existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, incitement to racism, violence or terrorism and/or support for an armed struggle or an act of terrorism against Israel,” the bill reads.  Institutions that fail to comply would lose their state funding. With even the proposal of this law — which reportedly enjoys the support of a Knesset majority — Israel is hurtling toward fascism at breakneck speed…If passed, this law will legitimize and intensify the already rampant persecution of educators who have dared to criticize the war or the government…As attacks on Gaza continue to shock the world, and as settlers and soldiers terrorize West Bank Palestinians with impunity, let there be no mistake: Israel is also turning on its own citizens.

How Israel twists antisemitism claims to project its own crimes onto Palestinians (Amos Goldberg & Alon Confino//+972)

“Indeed, influential Jewish and non-Jewish actors in the media and politics have deliberately sought to create a public moral panic by conflating harsh criticism of Israel and Zionism with antisemitism. This conflation is the outcome of a decades-long campaign waged by Israel and its supporters around the world to stymie opposition to the state’s violent policies of occupation, apartheid, and domination over the Palestinians — which over the past seven months have taken on immense, plausibly genocidal proportions. This strategy is not only cynical, hypocritical, and harmful to the essential fight against real antisemitism. It also allows Israel and its supporters, as we will argue here, to deny Israel’s own crimes and violent discourse by inverting and projecting them onto the Palestinians and their supporters, and calling it antisemitism.”

‘The international legal order needs repair — and Gaza is a part of this’ (Ghousoon Bisharat//+972)

“+972 spoke with Issam Younis, director of the Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, and a former commissioner general of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights. Younis was displaced with his family from Gaza City at the outset of the war, before leaving the Strip for Cairo, where he currently remains. In a wide-ranging interview, Younis welcomed Khan’s request for arrest warrants, emphasizing the need to use every legal tool to hold Israel accountable; he similarly saw the ICJ ruling as a significant step toward securing a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. Nonetheless, Younis warned, the global system of international law was clearly at its breaking point. Palestinians, he explained, feel that there is a “chronic antagonism” between their pursuit of justice and a world in which the rules of international law are only selectively applied to certain actors. Gaza, in Younis’ view, is thus a test for the legal order, as countries from the Global South fight to uphold the moral convictions articulated by the Global North nearly eight decades ago.”

The View from Palestinian America (Zaina Arafat, Photography by Kholood Eid//New Yorker)

“To be a Palestinian in the diaspora is to miss one’s home, the blād—the mountains and the sea, the family members left behind, the distinct bitterness of our olives and our sumac- and za’atar-dusted mezze spreads—even as one enjoys the privilege of distance from Palestine’s hardships. It is to possess a luxury that is missing from Palestine itself: a choice. A new series of photographs by Kholood Eid, a New York-based photographer who grew up in Missouri and the West Bank, tries to depict what this tension does to a person. Her photos are full of sharp contrasts: joy and sorrow, light and dark, past and present.” See also Cartoon of Palestinian Boy Inspires, Years After Creator’s Murder (NYT); Gaza’s Historic Heart, Now in Ruins (NYT)