Ali Abunimah

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”.

Palestinians are hailing the decision by Brazilian music legend Gilberto Gil to pull the plug on a planned performance in Israel.

Meanwhile, dozens of artists are declaring their support for the cultural boycott of Israel following the latest Israeli mass killings of civilians in the occupied Gaza Strip. They include bands such as Portishead, Wolf Alice and Slaves.

“Israel is carrying out a murderous assault against protesting Palestinians, with its armed forces killing and maiming demonstrators who pose no imminent threat to them,” Amnesty International said on April 27 as thousands of Palestinians taking part in Great March of Return rallies in Gaza faced Israeli bullets for the fifth week in a row.

Over those weeks, Amnesty said, “the Israeli military has killed 35 Palestinians and injured more than 5500 others — some with what appear to be deliberately inflicted life-changing injuries”.

Faten Ahmed was a 26-year-old with a rare form of cancer. She died in August while awaiting an Israeli permit to travel for chemotherapy and radiotherapy not available in the Gaza Strip, which has been subjected to a crippling Israeli siege since 2007.

She had previously missed eight hospital appointments after Israeli “security approval” was delayed or denied, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Ahmed was one of five women who died from cancer in that month alone while waiting for Israeli permission that never came.

Donald Trump’s announcement that his adminstration would recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital will end decades of US policy that such recognition could come only after the status of the city is settled in negotiations.

Last month, US lawmakers held hearings to promote recognising Jerusalem and moving the embassy that only heard from members of the Israel lobby, and completely excluded Palestinians.

After 40 days without food, hundreds of Palestinian prisoners have suspended their hunger strike in Israeli jails.

The end of the strike came after 20 hours of intense negotiations between the strike’s leaders, including imprisoned Fatah figure Marwan Barghouti, and the Israel Prison Service, according to a statement issued on the morning of May 27 by the prisoners solidarity committee.

FIFA, the governing body of world football (soccer), has capitulated once more to intense pressure from the Israeli government. It has removed from the agenda of its upcoming congress the issue of teams from Israel’s illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land playing in Israel’s national league.

Calls are mounting on FIFA to require Israel’s national league to exclude teams from West Bank settlements or face suspension from the governing body of world football (soccer).

But there are warning signs FIFA may be succumbing to intense pressure to once again give Israel a pass to continue violating Palestinian rights with impunity.

Leaders of Palestinian political party Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, released a document outlining their guiding principles at a press conference in the Qatari capital Doha on May 1.

Much coverage focused on the document’s acceptance of Israel’s 1967 boundary as the basis for establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel. The document also includes pronouncements on how Hamas views the roots of the conflict, the role of Palestinian resistance and its position towards Jewish people.

Pages

Subscribe to Ali Abunimah