Palestine This Week

Israel approves 1600 new settler homes in East Jerusalem

Much to the dismay of the UN envoy to the Peace Process and other fans of the Geneva Conventions, The Israeli Interior Ministry has approved 1600 new settlement homes in Palestinian Territory. Last week the Ministry approved the construction of 900 new homes in Hor Homa, East Jerusalem. According to Ma’an News Agency, the Ministry will approve 2,000 more in Givat Hamatos and 700 in Pisgat Zeev, East Jerusalem.

Pisgat-Zeev as seen from behind the Apartheid Wall


The UN envoy said this of the announcement:

“This provocative action undermines ongoing efforts by the international community to bring the parties back to negotiations and shape a positive agenda for September.”



Israeli Academic claims Textbooks contain racial bias

Nurit Peled-Elhanan, a professor of language and education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has criticised Israeli educational textbooks as depicting Palestinians as terrorists and backwards. The Academic, who has been researching the content of Israeli Textbooks for the past 5 years, said:

“People don’t really know what their children are reading in textbooks. One question that bothers many people is how do you explain the cruel behaviour of Israeli soldiers towards Palestinians, an indifference to human suffering, the inflicting of suffering. People ask how can these nice Jewish boys and girls become monsters once they put on a uniform. I think the major reason for that is education. So I wanted to see how school books represent Palestinians.”

Perhaps Peled-Elhanan’s most disturbing finding was the common narrative in the textbooks regarding the events of 1948 (leading up to and following ‘Declaration of Israeli Independence’, a time characterised by massacres and forced expulsions of Palestinian civilians). She said:

“It’s not that the massacres are denied, they are represented in Israeli school books as something that in the long run was good for the Jewish state. For example, Deir Yassin [a pre-1948 Palestinian village close to Jerusalem] was a terrible slaughter by Israeli soldiers. In school books they tell you that this massacre initiated the massive flight of Arabs from Israel and enabled the establishment of a Jewish state with a Jewish majority. So it was for the best. Maybe it was unfortunate, but in the long run the consequences for us were good.”



Y-Net slanders Desmond Tutu as Anti-Semite

Y-Net, Israel’s most popular News and Daily Content Website, has accused Arch-Bishop Desmond Tutu as being on a campaign against the Jewish people.  In an article tactfully entitled ‘Tutu’s War against Israel, Jews’, the Y-Net pulled out all the stops. My favourite part was the tired invocation of Nazi Imagery to (not to subtly) suggest Tutu is an Anti-Semite :

“Tutu’s cassock masks a long, hateful history of ugly intolerance toward the Jewish people and Israel. Under a new guise, the Nazi appeal “Kauft nicht bei Juden…” (Don’t buy from Jews) is back.”

Of course, those of us who have been following the conflict can note that this has been used countless times as an attempt to silence Israel’s critics.

This follows Tutus recent endorsement of a Palestinian call for an Arms Embargo against Israel. Tutu said:

“I endorse this call for an arms embargo because we desire peace and justice for Palestinians and Israelis through non-violent ways”

The article scrambles to-and-fro to make a valid point (From Tutu’s work for Palestinian Self-Determination to Israel’s to hysterical accusations about his desire to see Israel ‘liquidated’) but only ends up tripping over itself. It currently lies in a sobbing mess right here:



US-Aid Halts Assistance to the Gaza Strip

As of August 12, US-Aid Humanitarian Relief programs have been put on hold. A US official had this to say:

“We deeply regret that USAID-funded partner organizations operating in Gaza are forced by Hamas’s actions to suspend their assistance work.” And “Hamas, through a series of measures it has imposed over the past months, has created an environment which jeopardises the ability of non-governmental organisations to provide assistance to Gaza’s most vulnerable residents.”

HAMAS responded:

“The minister of interior of the government of Hamas intends to exercise its legal rights in the surveillance of all institutions operating in Gaza,” and “USAID refuses to recognise the government in Gaza,” adding that anyone who “wishes to work in Palestinian territory must obey its laws.”

According to the UNRWA, Gaza is in a humanitarian Crisis, due to the Israeli imposed (and American Supported) Blockade.


The story of Silwan

Over the last few years, Israeli Settlers have (been) moved to the Palestinian Village of Silwan, East Jerusalem.  This video documents among other things the function of the Israeli Police and Military to assist Israeli Settlers in their attempt to secure hegemony over the city and its history.