White City, Black City: Architecture & War in Tel Aviv & Jaffa By Sharon Rotbard Pluto Press, £14.99 In July 2003, Unesco put the “White City” of Tel Aviv on its list of World Heritage Sites. It took almost 20 years of incessant campaigning by the Israeli state to secure this recommendation that, de facto, legitimised far-reaching aspects of Zionist ideology. But was there any merit to the Tel Aviv case in the first place? In fact, the building of Tel Aviv began adjacently to Jaffa — one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world — only from about 1909.
Israeli group Physicians for Human Rights has released two reports documenting the deterioration of Palestinian health under occupation. Divide and Conquer documents the deterioration of Palestinian health in the West Bank and Gaza as the direct consequence of ongoing Israeli military occupation.
Israelis voted for the status quo in elections on March 17. The ruling Likud party and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were re-elected, as voters endorsed ongoing apartheid and military rule for the Palestinian population. Israeli Jewish society is itself wracked by economic and social crisis. It is also conflicted by class, gender, religious and ethnic divides. But like all Israeli elections, the campaign was fought over how Israel should relate to its subject Palestinian population.
Let me be clear: I am not happy, as such, that Likud Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won Israel's March 17 elections. Netanyahu is a blood-soaked killer. He should be put on trial for his many crimes, from the relentless theft of Palestinian land to last summer’s massacre in Gaza — and I yearn to see that day.
Palestinian student Lina Khattab, 18, a first-year media student at Birzeit University, was sentenced by an Israeli military court to six months imprisonment, a NIS6000 (US$1500) fine and three years probation on February 17. She is also a folkloric dancer with the world-renowned El-Funoun Popular Palestinian Dance Troupe and is active in other cultural and political student activities at the university.
Instro Precision, a factory in Kent, England, owned by Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Systems was shut down on February 17 by four activists occupying the roof while others blockaded the entrance. Instro Precision is a manufacturer of military targeting systems. Its optical equipment is used in drones such as those Israel used to bombard Gaza during the summer of 2014, say the activists. Such surveillance equipment has also been installed in Israel’s apartheid wall in the West Bank.
More than 700 creative professionals living in the Britain — including writers, visual artists, actors, musicians and many others — have signed up to a pledge to boycott collaboration with Israeli state-funded projects. The announcement marks a significant step for the British cultural boycott campaign. There have been many open letters and other statements of support for Palestine from British artists, but the pledge brings together a huge number of creatives in one coordinated effort.
Sami Ziadna, who died as a result of excessive tear gas inhalation on Jaunary 18, was the 50th Palestinian citizen of Israel to be killed by Israeli police since October 2000. Then, as protests spread throughout Palestinian communities in Israel, 13 unarmed demonstrators were shot and killed by police officers in northern Galilee. About 1.7 million Palestinians carry Israeli citizenship, but dozens of discriminatory laws stifle their political expression and limit their access to state resources, including land and education.
Israeli MPs passed a motion on December 3 paving the way for early elections, Morning Star Online said that day. Further votes were expected in coming days to officially dissolve Israel's parliament, ushering in new polls on March 17 next year.
In a move that surprised many ― and symbolises Israel's growing isolation and global opposition to its crimes ― former Australian foreign minister Bob Carr has publicly declared his opposition to Israeli policies of apartheid and ethnic cleansing. Carr's change in position was announced in a November 8 Australian opinion piece titled “Why I am now a friend of Palestine rather than Israel”.
The Israeli parliament has voted overwhelmingly to suspend Haneen Zoabi, a legislator representing the state’s large Palestinian minority, for six months as a campaign to silence political dissent intensified. The Israeli parliament, or Knesset, voted by 68 to 16 to endorse a decision in late July by its ethics committee to bar Zoabi from the chamber for what it termed “incitement”. It is the longest suspension in the Knesset’s history and the maximum punishment allowed under Israeli law. At a press conference, Zoabi denounced her treatment as “political persecution”.
To mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, a direct action took place in Beit Hanina, a neighbourhood in Jerusalem.
The number of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land have doubled in the past 54 months, UN Commission on Human Rights member Cees Flinterman said ton October 31. Middle East Monitor said that day that Flinterman presented the fourth stage of a report monitoring activity of Israel's practices in Palestinian territory.
Since Israel’s July-August military offensive against the Gaza strip, Venezuela has sent 50 tonnes of food and medicine to Palestine. On November 2, the Venezuelan government sent its third shipment of aid to Palestine as part of the measures ordered by President Nicolas Maduro to help Palestinians after Israel’s war. The shipment was sent by plane and consists of 10.3 tonnes of food and medicines.
Israel’s July-August war on Gaza, under the pretext of Operation Protective Edge to counter Palestinian rocket fire, demonstrated why it will never defeat the Palestinian resistance. Israel formally withdrew its troops from Gaza in 2005, yet has retained absolute control over the strip via its siege. Israel controls everything going in and out of Gaza. It officially imposed its blockade and a “buffer zone” inside Gaza that led to 20% of the strip being declared a no-go area for Palestinians.
Israeli drink machine company SodaStream announced on October 29 that it will close its settlement-based factory in the occupied West Bank next year. The move was hailed as a victory by campaigners for the boycott of Israel, who said they would continue to target SodaStream for its other human rights violations.