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Photograph: Copyright Amos Trust / Mark Kensett

Some time ago I bonded with a woman on Twitter over a shared commitment to the struggle for Palestinian human rights and self determination. My memory is unreliable these days, but I’m quite sure we connected around the siege of Gaza in 2014, when more than 2,000 Palestinians were slaughtered during a 51-day Israeli blitz in which the most lethal and sophisticated weaponry in human history was unleashed on 1.8 million civilians trapped on the most densely populated piece of land on earth. She quit Twitter not long after, finding the atmosphere poisonous, but we’ve managed to keep in touch via email.

We’ve never met and she and I don’t swap much personal information, but from our exchanges I gather that she is an ordinary Brit, a regular churchgoer – earnest, compassionate and driven by a sense of moral clarity – with no personal connection to the region. Nonetheless, the dispossession of the Palestinians and their ongoing oppression, alongside the refusal of her own government to stand up for international law and condemn egregious human rights abuses, captured her attention and like me she is now a committed advocate.

We are only occasionally in touch but last week she made contact to share a video of the ‘Just Walk to Jerusalem’, a 147-day pilgrimage organised by the Amos Trust, in which she and dozens of others walked all the way from London to Jerusalem. (And yes, they really did walk.)

Readers of my blog might recall that the Amos Trust was the organisation that teamed up with Palmusic to present a concert I attended at St James’s Piccadilly, featuring a string quartet of Druze Palestinian siblings. Inspired by the event, I went on to support Palmusic by sponsoring two students in its Open Hebron music programme.

The ‘Just Walk’ was conceived to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration and press the UK government to ‘change the record’ on Palestine. But this morning it seems to have taken on a new meaning thanks to Donald Trump’s wrecking ball Middle East foreign policy, which reached its nadir with yesterday’s announcement that the US will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. For those of you who don’t know, Jerusalem has been divided into (Arab) East and (Jewish) West since it was annexed by Israel in 1967, and its status has always been among the thorniest issues in already fraught ‘talks’.

I confess that while I woke up this morning still feeling the shock of Trump’s announcement, I remain uncertain what to think. Yesterday, many commentators – including those who should know better – performed last rites on the ‘Middle East peace process’ and the ‘two state solution’ both of which have in fact been sustained in a permanent vegetative state for decades. Indeed, this so-called process and its imagined solution exist now only in the minds of a few fantasists and the cynics who feed their delusion that some ‘status quo’ was being maintained. The briefest glance at a current map of the West Bank confirms the truth of the matter which is the aggressive daily expansion of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, enabled by the bloated budget of Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry which is tasked with stalking and smearing anyone who objects. In short, the ‘status quo’ was not static at all.

Others claimed that it finally exposed America as a dishonest broker in the conflict. For those wilful naifs, apparently Barack Obama’s $38-billion top up in military aid to Israel, the requirement that Texans seeking hurricane relief funding sign declarations against the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, the well-funded war on Palestinian advocacy on US university campuses (as well as those in Canada, the UK and elsewhere), and countless other displays of America’s ‘Israel first’ policy hadn’t provided enough evidence that US affections were already spoken for. Besides, it’s not clear why the “Potemkin peace process” which Hillary Clinton promised her pro Israel donors according to the Podesta email leaks, served the cause of Palestinian equality and human rights any better. Curiously, the US media were more interested in skewering Julian Assange over the leaks than pondering the implications of Clinton’s cynicism, dishonesty and admission of bias.

So yes, today we know where we stand and it’s where we’ve stood for a long time: silent witnesses to the erasure of the Palestinian people, the colonisation of their history and culture, the theft of their land and resources and collusion in the ugly pretence that the Palestinian thirst for justice is actually a thirst for blood. In short, the threadbare but familiar colonialist narrative dressed up as ‘different’ this time, with anyone who disagrees being ruthlessly silenced.

In that sense, I suppose, the ‘Just Walk to Jerusalem’ means as much today as it did yesterday, and will tomorrow. Here is their video:

Just Walk to Jerusalem 2017 from Amos Trust on Vimeo.

And here is a more in depth look at their journey. Just Walk to Jerusalem 2017

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Below is a comment piece I read yesterday in Haaretz. I came across it via Facebook, and was moved by its power and lyricism so I contacted the writer, Marilyn Garson, to tell her so. Writers on difficult topics need support, and those of us in whose bones and organs this issue is lodged need whatever scraps of hope and fellow-feeling and beauty we can find. Marilyn responded quickly, and very kindly invited me to share her piece on my blog.

Marilyn is Jewish Canadian who lived in Gaza four years, including throughout the 51 day Israeli siege in 2014; she left a year later. Here are some comments about life in Gaza:

“For four years, I led teams of young Gazan parents. They were all bilingual, with graduate degrees. We employed dozens of recent university graduates. We worked with aspiring, professional Gaza: businesses, job-seekers, artists, freelancers and start-ups. The walls of Gaza do not confine a single, undifferentiated enemy object. They conceal a life-loving, complex society that treasures education and family.”

“Resistance is Gaza’s unifying civic virtue, and under pressure, Gaza coheres like contact cement. But those walls press many forms of resistance into absurd proximity; those who sacrifice everything today, and those who protest by living each day meaningfully in inhuman conditions. The walls empower the violent factions, who monopolize force in a closed space.”

For more of Marilyn’s lovely writing visit her blog, Contrapuntal: Transforming Gaza. Meantime, here’s her piece from Haaretz.

“Netanyahu seals the gates of the West Bank and Gaza, confining millions of Palestinians, to enjoy the Sukkot festival. If anywhere or anyone else demanded a Jew-free holiday, would we shrug that off?”

My team in Gaza were especially fond of one brand of Israeli honey cookies. We gorged whenever we spotted them, a Hebrew label among the Arabic. I dawdled over that label one morning, imagining Hebron settlers sipping coffee with Gaza strawberries.

My colleague misunderstood my reverie, and helpfully reminded me, “It’s just a cookie. It’s not politics.” The settlers with the red-stained fingers vanished.

Living in Gaza, the rest of the world could look absurd.

Newt Gingrich, an American politician, disparaged Palestinians as “an invented people”. A Gazan colleague flounced into my office. Hands on hips, she demanded, “Isn’t everybody invented?”

Israelis and Gazans had such basic, human things in common. At funeral after funeral, they both said, “Those boys were everyone’s boys. I have lost one more son.”

Some people preferred the safe distance of binary distinctions. One Tel Aviv taxi driver insisted, “We can’t live together because we’re human beings and they’re not.”

When we cannot even imagine living together, we underestimate all the creativity, the money, the technology and infrastructure, and the hard work that has gone into keeping us apart.

We slip down the self-referential slope: it’s all about us. We see only our suffering and our reasons, and we brandish the license of our losses. History becomes a litany of gestures made to straw men, who inexplicably rejected each one because they only understand violence. How could we live with straw men like that?

So the leaders of two nations with long memories wait for the other to forget, or be punished enough, or just go away.

Israel insists on its good motives but cannot ascribe the same to Palestinians. Palestinians are judged by their actions, overlaid with malevolent intentions.

Israelis at home are civilians; Palestinians in their homes are human shields. Dead Israeli civilians are victims of terror, while dead Gazans can only be collateral damage, because the IDF has its purity of arms. An IDF poster from the 2014 war made it simple: Israel uses weapons to protect civilians, while Hamas uses civilians to protect its weapons. There’s no living with people like that.

These are not the first belligerents to lie, or to wilfully refuse to see the humanity of the other side. As a witness in Gaza from 2011 to 2015, I was outraged by the asymmetry and the tactics of this conflict, and the failure of imagination – but I’m not Israeli. And I’m hardly the first Jew who has waded through the fission-fusion-fission reaction of recognizing Israel as a state rather than as a religion.

I was left with the dismay I might feel if my sister erupted in repeated, violent road rage. I didn’t do it. However, she is a part of me. The name on the warrant is also mine.

So it is, when Israel’s elected government attaches Judaism to its apparently inalienable right to dominate. In the name of religion, they withhold from others precisely the human rights that we Jews claim for ourselves. Their religious appropriation makes us more than witnesses.

Netanyahu seals the gates of the West Bank and Gaza for eleven days, to enjoy Sukkot. How flagrant, to confine millions of people in the name of a holiday that celebrates the flimsy, temporary nature of our walls.

If Jews were herded behind concrete walls and locked away for eleven days, so that someone else might enjoy a Jew-free holiday, would we shrug that off?

We tolerate a nationalism which withholds from others precisely the political rights that we claim for ourselves. Have we forgotten that statelessness was the problem statement of Zionism? Jews felt vulnerable and voiceless in a world comprised of states – yet we avert our eyes from the stateless peril of others.

We accept the straw men they show us. If Jewish nationalism requires this domination, we assume that Palestinian aspirations must be as lopsided. Their rights would necessarily be realized at our expense, wouldn’t they? We leave every better possibility unexamined, because we have already decided that we cannot live together. We’ve been primed.

Naturally, Netanyahu is preventatively foreclosing on Palestinian reconciliation.

We’ve seen this. In 2014, this was one of the last way-stations before a calamitous and (according to Israel’s State Comptroller) avoidable war. First there was no Palestinian interlocutor who could deliver all of Palestine. Then, overnight, at the prospect of reconciliation, there was no acceptable Palestinian interlocutor because someone might represent all of Palestine. The risks of war are more tolerable than the risks of compromise.

Why do we permit it? Netanyahu invokes the spectre – they all want to kill us. They always, only, want to kill us. That’s why we can’t live together, because Israel’s strength is the only Jewish safety. Be very afraid. Build walls. Then build more walls.

The Global Militarization Index ranks Israel as the most militarized country on earth, a distinction it has held for 17 of the past 25 years (Israel was ranked second from 1999 – 2006). Israel has imprisoned itself, and still finds it necessary to spend another $800 million, on yet more walls, to hide itself from immiserated Gaza.

So, um, are we safe yet?

No. There is no separate safety in our entropic time. Jews, and everyone else, will become safe in a tolerant world, when Jews enjoy the same rights as those human beings behind the walls.

Call all this brick-laying ‘Israeli’, if that is what you want ‘Israeli’ to mean. But do not call it Jewish, because oppression is not the content of Judaism. Value life, and resist its waste. Seek justice – that is the content I understand. We are failing at it.

Marilyn Garson lived and worked in Gaza from 2011 – 2015, as the Economic Director of Mercy Corps and the Business and Livelihoods Consultant to UNRWA. She is a co-founder of the Gaza Gateway social enterprise. She now writes from New Zealand. Her blog is Transforming Gaza.

‘Israeli authorities are set to advance plans to triple the size of a settlement in the heart of occupied East Jerusalem, according to reports Thursday…

Peace Now’s Hagit Ofran told Channel 1: “The previous attempt to build apartments there, as if it were a regular real estate project, failed because there is no market of people who innocently want to live in the heart of a Palestinian neighbourhood. Only ideologues”.

According to Haaretz, “approval of the new units would take place as Netanyahu heads for a ten-day visit to Latin America and the UN General Assembly in New York”.’

The rest is here: Israeli authorities set to triple size of settlement in East Jerusalem

Meantime, instead of focusing on Israel’s daily violations of international law like this one, or its destruction last week of a Palestinian school, the thuggish and corrupt Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, is filling his days by arresting non-violent Palestinian activists like Issa Amro for their Facebook posts. File this under ‘you couldn’t make it up.’

A comment from director Mike Leigh ahead of Radiohead’s Tel Aviv gig on Wednesday. If you haven’t been following, artists around the world have been calling on Radiohead, who have (now infamously) expressed support for Tibetans and other oppressed people while insisting that playing in Israel will foster dialogue between the occupiers and the occupied – to cancel the gig.

‘As the lights go out in Gaza and Palestinian cancer patients die because they are denied travel permits by Israel, while a Palestinian poet in Israel lives under house arrest for a poem she wrote on Facebook, while a young circus performer from the West Bank languishes in administrative detention without charge or trial – Thom Yorke speaks loftily about ‘crossing borders’ and ‘freedom of expression’. One has to ask, freedom for whom exactly?’

The rest is here: Mike Leigh slams Radiohead for ignoring Palestinians

The debate that’s been generated by this very public dispute has thrust BDS into the spotlight, which is for the good I think. As for Thom Yorke, here’s his message to pro Palestine fans at last week’s Radiohead concert in Glasgow.

This piece by Haaretz’s Gideon Levy appeared on Middle East Eye on June 30th. I excerpt a few bits below, but I’d urge you to read it in its entirety. It speaks for itself, very painfully. I’m too old for naivety but apparently maintain the capacity for bewilderment that our political leaders collude with their shameful silence in the incremental genocide of the Palestinians of Gaza. Never again, indeed.

“One of the biggest experiments involving human subjects ever conducted anywhere is taking place right before our eyes, and the world is silent.

“The project is at its peak and the world shows no interest. This experiment on human beings, unsanctioned by any of the international scientific institutions whose oversight is required by the Helsinki Declaration, seeks to examine human behaviour in situations of extreme stress and deprivation.

“The experimental group does not comprise just a few, nor dozens or hundreds, nor thousands or tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people. The experimental population includes no fewer than two million human beings…

“At first Gaza was deprived of electricity for about a third of each 24 hours, then for about half, and now the level has been ratcheted up such that the two million residents of Gaza have electricity for only about 2.5 hours in each 24. Let’s see what that does to them. Let’s watch how they respond. And how about when they are supplied with electricity for only a single hour per day? Or for one hour per week? This experiment is still in its early stages, and no one can foresee its end…

“Israel bears primary responsibility for this situation, due to the siege it imposes, but Israel is certainly not the only culprit.

“The PA and Egypt are full partners in this crime. Yes, crime. This is 2017 and preventing millions of human beings from receiving electricity means depriving them of oxygen and water. Israel’s responsibility cries out to the heavens because Gaza is still under partial Israeli occupation.

“Gaza is dying, slowly. Elsewhere, its suffering matters to no one. No one in Washington, or Brussels, or Jerusalem, or Cairo nor even in Ramallah. Incredibly, there is evidently almost no one who cares that two million people are abandoned to the dark at night and to the sweltering heat of the summer days, with nowhere to run and no shred of hope. Nothing.”

June 5 1967 was the day Israel launched an allegedly pre-emptive attack on Egypt, starting what came to be known as the ‘six-day war’.

I have no memory of the event, in which the Egyptians were swiftly routed by Israel, as I was only one year-old when it took place, but since that time, the pre-emption defence has been widely refuted. As James North reminds us on Mondoweiss, its many challengers include the American historian Norman Finkelstein.

In his book, Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, Finkelstein argues that the war was actually a land grab, a thesis he supports with a number of carefully documented facts. First, a planned meeting in Washington on June 7th between Egypt’s Vice-President, Zacharia Mohieddine, and officials in Lyndon Johnson’s administration aimed at defusing the crisis undermines Israel’s claim that Egypt was on the verge of attack. There is also Israel’s promise to do nothing until June 11th, which it promptly broke on June 5th.

‘We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.’

In addition, Finkelstein offers up this quote from Menachem Begin, the Irgun terrorist gang leader responsible for the King David Hotel bombing in 1946, who went on to become an Israeli Prime Minister:

‘Prime Minister Menachem Begin, former Minister without portfolio in PM Levi Eshkol’s cabinet, while addressing Israel’s National Defence College on 8 August 1982: “In June, 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian army concentrations in the Sinai did not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.” (New York Times, 21 August 1982)’

Writing in Haaretz, Amir Oren tells us that Moshe Dayan’s memoirs confirm Begin’s admission. ‘Right after the aerial attack, there will be a general announcement that won’t go into details and won’t say anything about who attacked first – something along the lines of “Hostilities broke out,” and then the background that made it necessary for Israel to break the noose,’ Dayan recounted.

‘Our actions should be depicted as a response to the Arabs’ attacks, and in the first 24 hours we should be “the ones in jeopardy”‘ Dayan wrote.

Surely Finkelstein’s land-grab thesis is best supported by the fact that this ostensibly short-lived conflict has spun into a vivid brutality that has lasted throughout my lifetime, in the longest military occupation in contemporary history. Its mechanics would be unspectacular were it not for their grotesque efficiency, honed over a generous half century during which the world has stood idly by, indulging the inevitably and increasingly vicious tantrums of a child to whom no one ever dared to say ‘no.’

Settlers armed with weapons and Teflon-coated entitlement

In those five decades, Israel has fine-tuned the oppression of millions of Palestinians, including trying Palestinian children in military courts who’ve signed confessions in a language they don’t understand in otherwise evidence-free trials, so that their parents can be shaken down for thousands of shekels which pay the court’s judges, while launching studiously random nighttime raids on Palestinians’ homes to ensure that they live in a state of permanent terror.

The current regime pushes through legislation to erase Arabic from the country’s streets and schools and to ‘normalise’ land-theft, while settlers armed with weapons and Teflon-coated entitlement roam the streets like jackals, mowing down Palestinian children and attacking Palestinian farmers, and occupation forces do their bit by harassing and intimidating Gaza fishermen.

This local campaign of bullying and state sanctioned criminality is supported by a well-funded and equally rigorous global PR operation, in which a double act of party donations and the threat of vicious and defamatory smears constitute the carrot and stick that keep Western governments supine. Meantime Israel normalises its colonialist ambitions with breathtaking chutzpah, daring FIFA, Eurovision and other ostensibly non-political organisations to exclude it thereby proving their own latent anti Semitism.

The result is a level of foreign influence that would make Russian hackers drool with envy.

Of course, in Israel the term ‘Occupation’ is used with a wink and a nudge these days. Recently the horror show Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu – by their own reckoning, a friend of Donald Trump, Theresa May and Justin Trudeau – admitted he has no intention of returning the West Bank to the Palestinians now or ever. And each of those leaders dutifully makes clear to their own rank and file that any diversion from the risible ‘two-state solution’ talking point that provides unassailable cover for relentless and unapologetic Israeli expansionism will cast them into the wilderness.

Meantime, the siege of Gaza – a collective punishment meted out to its 1.8 million inhabitants for daring to elect the wrong government – grinds on with barely an eye brow raised.

‘We make music, not war.’

Yesterday evening, I attended a concert by the Galilee String Quartet, a young ensemble of siblings who are Druze Palestinians from Israel. The concert was terrific, spanning works from Beethoven to Fairouz to the musicians’ own compositions, but for me it began rather jarringly. Introducing the group, eldest brother Omar Sa’ad, whose viola studies have been punctuated by stints in Israeli prison for refusing to enlist, assured us half-jokingly that the family are not hate-filled terrorists. Indeed, ‘We make music, not war’ is the ensemble’s slogan.

Omar’s comment reminded me how every aspect of the Palestinian identity in the West has been saturated with the political by those who have sought to erase it entirely. It brought to mind the agonised faces of children being brutalised by Israeli soldiers, their jeans drenched with urine as their organs go into free-fall in the grip of such fear. That in turn made me think of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s powerful exposition of the materiality and vulnerability of the black body as a political canvas in Between the World and Me, which won the National Book Award in 2015.

It would break your heart if you have a heart to break, and a conscience not yet desiccated by cowardice and cynicism. It surely broke mine a little, but the damage might have been worse were it not for the music, joyful laughter and youthful jitters there to stitch it up. And so I listened, the Fairouz especially taking me back to the eight-track tape of hits by the exalted Lebanese singer which we used to listen to when I was a kid, loaded into our Country Squire station wagon headed for Dairy Queen.

But this morning I was inevitably pulled back to my desk and this mostly-written blog for which I’d already documented the horrors below, captured with headlines and excerpts, in what has turned into a never-ending wrong.

Video: Let Palestine be “wiped out,” sings Jerusalem Day mob

‘After militarized police units clear the parade route of Palestinians, even from the Muslim Quarter, thousands of Israelis assert their territorial and religious claims to the city with a massive march, dancing and singing victory songs…’

‘It has long been common for marchers to belt out racist songs, including “Zachreni Na,” with its call for ethnic cleansing: “Palestine – May their name be wiped out!”’

Jewish settlers write ‘death to Arabs’ in Jerusalem

At one of the Palestinian cars, the extremist Jewish settlers wrote: “Revenge. Binyamin Richter says hello.”…

One of the Palestinian owners of the vandalised vehicles, Amer abu-Hamed, posted pictures of the damage to his Facebook page but wrote he and his friends have no intention of filing a complaint as they have no faith in the police.

Israeli settlers release wild boars on Palestinian farms

‘Speaking to the PIC reporter, the farmers affirmed that hundreds of wild boars were deliberately released by Israeli settlers to destroy their fruit trees, leading to heavy losses.’

14-year-old girl joins dozens of Palestinian women in Israeli prison

Addameer [a Palestinian prisoner support and human rights group] has also reported on the treatment of Palestinian women prisoners by Israeli prison authorities, stating that the majority of Palestinian women detainees are subjected to “psychological torture” and “ill-treatment” by Israeli authorities, including “various forms of sexual violence that occur such as beatings, insults, threats, body searches, and sexually explicit harassment.”

“These techniques of torture and ill-treatment are used not only as means to intimidate Palestinian women detainees but also as tools to humiliate Palestinian women and coerce them into giving confessions,” the group stated.

Another patient in Gaza dies after being denied access to hospital

WHO figures have shown Israeli approvals of permits have declined year on year since 2012 and have fallen further in 2017, with almost half (46%) of patients applying to leave Gaza via the Erez Crossing in March being refused a permit by the Israeli authorities, or not receiving a response in time to attend their appointments. In February, 40% were delayed or denied.

Israeli police assault, detain Al-Aqsa guards as hundreds of Israelis take to holy site

Al-Aqsa compound director Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani told Ma’an that Israeli police forces assaulted a group of four of the mosque’s guards at Lion’s Gate, after the guards “objected to the provocative behaviors of Israeli settlers during their raid of Al-Aqsa”…

The incident occurred as dozens of right-wing Israelis and ultra-religious settlers marched through and toured Al-Aqsa under the protection of police forces in celebration of Jerusalem Day.

Combatants for Hate

Israel refuses to allow 225 Palestinians into the country to attend a joint Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day ceremony. ‘The Palestinians who sought to enter Israel wanted to sit in the same room with parents whose soldier sons had been killed, with bereaved families from the occupying nation.’

‘The devastation of losing a child is identical for all human beings simply because they are human beings. But this message isn’t allowed entry into Israel. The only Palestinians who are allowed to enter Israelis’ consciousness are terrorists, murderers and suicidal fanatics. The government has an interest in maintaining this outlook, which assumes that there is no partner and no Palestinian people, only terrorists. Anyone who dares think otherwise remains beyond the pale.’

Israeli forces fire tear gas, bullets at Palestinian hospital in Ramallah

“The assault caused panic and fear among children, women, and elderly patients at sections of the center,” [Palestinian Minister of Health Jawad] Awwad said. “This fear will never be erased from the memories of the children who came to the hospital to receive treatment, not to enter war.”

Israeli settlers write racist graffiti on walls and cars in Jerusalem

‘Local resident Morad Issa said that surveillance cameras captured the images of two Israeli settlers infiltrating into the neighborhood at about 3:15 am. The cameras showed the pair writing graffiti on the walls and on a car. But Israeli police say they have no suspects in the case, although Jerusalem District police say they have opened an investigation.’

Teenage Palestinian girl ‘executed in cold blood,’ witnesses say

‘However, shortly after the shooting, an eyewitness told Ma’an that Hjeiji had been standing near Damascus Gate, more than ten meters away from a group of Israeli border guard soldiers, before she was killed.’

“One of the soldiers started to shout ‘knife! knife!’ and moments after that, about five soldiers opened fire at her from every direction,” he said.’

Another witness said the girl was first hit in the chest and fell to the ground, “but Israeli soldiers continued to fire at her back.”

‘Pizza Hut’ and Israeli army radio join in grotesque attacks on Marwan Barghouti

[Note: this story is rather old but Noy’s comments resonated so I’ve included them here].

‘As Orly Noy wrote in the Hebrew version of her article in Local Call titled “When did we become so beastly” (my translation):’

‘“When did we become so beastly? How did we become this loser, this despicable nation which celebrates in glee that a human whose body is close to collapse after continuous starvation, has put some crumbs in his mouth? How did we become this nation that sets up a grill outside the prison walls so that the smell of the meat would reach the nostrils of the hunger strikers and exacerbate their tortures? How have we become this appalling and sickening thing?”’

Gaza health crisis deepens as 33 percent of medicines at ‘zero stock’

‘The UN has also stated that the number of patients being referred outside of Gaza is also increasing. Despite this, as MAP has highlighted in a recent briefing, patients are frequently denied permits to leave Gaza for treatment by the Israeli authorities, with 40 percent denied or delayed in February 2017. According to the UN, the percentage of denied or delayed permits has increased each year since 2012. In the last month, two patients, one a five-year-old girl, died after missing medical appointments in East Jerusalem while awaiting a response to their permit requests.

Note: the title of this blog comes from the Katherine Anne Porter story, about the trial for robbery and murder of the anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti.

Another forceful statement from an American academic appalled by the MLA’s push permanently to stifle criticism of Israel. Tim Brennan is a professor of Comparative Literature, English and American Studies at the University of Minnesota, and is affiliated with the Institute for Global Studies and the Institute for Advanced Studies.

Here is an excerpt:

“This effort to censor — and even to render permanently invalid – the richly deserved condemnation of Israel’s violations of international law and its unspeakable treatment of Palestinians, is disgraceful, and would embarrass the organization in the eyes of many here and abroad.”

Source: “An Outrage and a Betrayal”: Tim Brennan Statement against MLA Resolution 2017-1

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