Israel

Israeli forces seized a boat on July 29 that was carrying nearly two dozen activists and journalists aiming to break Israel’s maritime blockade on Gaza.

The boat is part of the international Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC), which describes itself as “a grassroots people-to-people solidarity movement composed of campaigns and initiatives from all over the world working together to end the siege of Gaza”. 

As Israel passes legislation that reinforces its apartheid system against non-Jews, Palestinians across the West Bank and Gaza, bearing the brunt of Israel’s plethora of discriminatory laws and practice, continue to resist, writes Lisa Gleeson.

Dozens of already existing laws entrench Palestinians’ place as second-class citizens, either within the official borders of Israel or the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza.

The Washington insider crowd was absolutely outraged and appalled by Donald Trump’s performance at Helsinki, Juan Cole notes, as he violated all the principles of American hawkishness.

Trump sat next to Vladimir Putin, leader of a rival power, signaling that Russia is a peer. He sided with Putin over the assessments of the CIA, the National Security Agency and other US intelligence organizations.

Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset, approved the controversial nationality bill on July 19 declaring Israel a nation-state for the Jewish people and downgrading the status of Arabic from official language to “special status”, TeleSUR English reported. Arabs make up 21% of Israel’s population.

Two Palestinian children were killed on July 14 as Israel intensified its bombing of the Gaza Strip that it began that previous night, The Electronic Intifada said. The health ministry in Gaza named the victims as 15-year-old Amir al-Nimra and 16-year-old Louay Kuhail. The ministry said the children were killed by an Israeli missile that hit the al-Katiba area of Gaza City.

There is plenty of evidence that the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting Israel, initiated by dozens of Palestinian civil society groups in 2005 in protest against Israel’s apartheid policies, is frightening the Israeli state, writes Lisa Gleeson.

As the 2018 World Cup frenzy starts to take over the news cycle, it is crucial to highlight examples of how the sport has brought people together. Michael Blosser writes that one example is the case of Celtic FC and Palestine, with the Glasgow-based club showing consistent solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. 

The question asked by many isn’t whether the Palestinian cause is worthy of support — it clear is — but why Celtic and its fans have so consistently offered support while many others haven’t.

Palestinians are celebrating the news that Argentina – and its star Lionel Messi – will not be playing the “friendly” football match that had been set for Jerusalem in the coming days.

The cancellation is a huge blow to Israel and came after an intense campaign by Palestinians and their supporters, especially in Latin America and the Spanish state, urging Argentina not to help Israel whitewash its most recent massacres of unarmed civilians in Gaza.

Palestinians are welcoming the news that Shakira will not play in Tel Aviv in July, as previously announced.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), said Shakira’s decision dashes Israel’s hopes “to use her name to art-wash its latest massacre in Gaza”.

While the May 14 massacre of protesters by Israeli snipers was occurring in Gaza, United States President Donald Trump was symbolically opening the US Embassy in Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was there, heaping praise on Trump.

There were also two pastors present, one to give the opening prayer, the other the closing one. Both pastors were from the extreme rightist, white Christian evangelical community and are well known for their outspoken anti-Semitism and support for Israel.

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