Palestine Update 496
Restricting US Military Aid to Israel in the Age of Normalization
With the rise in global solidarity with Palestinians since the May 2021 Unity Intifada, United States policymakers and activists are calling for conditioning and halting US military aid to Israel. Al-Shabaka’s US policy fellow, Nadya Tannous, examines this shifting tide and offers recommendations for how policymakers, lobbyists, and the international community can seize on this historic moment in the defense of Palestinian rights.”
The entire article is a must read
Palestinian-Americans are turning the tide of US policy
Overcoming distance and fragmentation, a new generation of diaspora Palestinians is dismantling Israel’s monopoly over the U.S. conversation.
“For many in the Palestinian diaspora, this enraging feeling is always compounded by a sense of paralyzing helplessness that stems from our physical distance, as we are forced to sit by and watch as Israeli forces pummel what could and should be “home.” The sense that we play only a peripheral role in the Palestinian struggle for liberation perpetually hovers over our heads, mingling with the fierce loyalty we have to a place we cannot return to. And like others, I have often internalized the fragmentation forced upon our people — a divide and conquer tactic that Israel has perfected over the course of decades. Or so we thought. Over the past few months, the global response to the ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem neighborhoods like Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, along with Israel’s latest war crimes in Gaza, have shaken the policy of fragmentation that Israel hoped would permanently cripple the Palestinian movement. For what felt like the first time in decades, Palestinians from all geographies rose up in unprecedented scenes of unity, their shared identity superseding their physical and psychological separation under varying forms of Israeli apartheid.”
Israel shuts down for Yom Kippur, but forces on high alert
“Israel shut down on Wednesday evening for Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement and the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, even as security forces remained on high alert amid a recent spike in attacks and with two escaped Palestinian security prisoners still on the run…Jerusalem has seen a spate of stabbing attacks in recent days, apparently in solidarity with six Palestinian security prisoners who escaped from the Gilboa Prison last week. Two of the six are still on the run. Searches for the two fugitives were expected to continue on Yom Kippur, , with the focus now on the northern West Bank. The IDF also imposed a closure on the West Bank and Gaza, a standard practice over Israeli holidays in a bid to ward off attacks.”
Palestinian NGOs begin campaign against political corruption
“For years, the AMAN coalition of Palestinian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) focused on issues of administrative and financial corruption. However, the Palestine chapter of Transparency International, which was established in 2000, decided in 2021 to tackle a much more controversial issue: political corruption. Those two words seem to many to be synonymous rather than an oxymoron, but the eroding integrity of the current Palestinian leadership appears to have forced the local Transparency International to raise the stakes and tackle a corrupt political system that among other things canceled an already long-overdue national election and allegedly ordered harming a critic in Hebron by the Palestinian security forces, an act that led to his death and the violent crackdown of demonstrations calling for accountability.”
Textbook hypocrisy: EU’s new low point on Palestine
Unlike the US-funded study, which compared both Israeli and Palestinian textbooks (and found broadly similar levels of bias on both sides), the EU set out to examine schoolbooks on the Palestinian side only
“The whole idea that Palestinian anger towards Israel is driven by textbooks rather than the daily injustices Palestinians suffer under its occupation shows a lack of basic empathy. While both sides tend to omit the other from their schoolbook maps, Israel’s expanding settlements are erasing any possibility of a Palestinian state on the ground. This leaves in place open-ended Israeli occupation and ethno-domination over the Palestinians – recently qualified by the Human Rights Watch as meeting the legal definition of apartheid. Getting the EU bogged down in one-sided textbook revisions is a perfect way to deflect from that chilling development.”
Gantz says Israel could accept new nuclear deal with Iran
“Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz signaled that Israel could tolerate an American return to a nuclear deal with Iran, marking a departure from the rhetoric previously used by senior Israel officials to describe the multilateral accord. “The current US approach of putting the Iran nuclear program back in a box, I’d accept that,” Gantz told Foreign Policy in an interview published Tuesday. The “back in the box” language has been used by US officials to describe their efforts to salvage the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the landmark nuclear deal abandoned by President Donald Trump in 2018. Under the multilateral pact, Iran agreed to limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief. The Times of Israel quotes Gantz’ spokesperson as saying the minister does not support a US return to the landmark nuclear agreement but “rather maintains that Israel would accept some other longer, broader and stronger nuclear agreement.