This week’s selection begins with coverage of carnage of Palestinian civilians at the hands of armed Israelis. As included in last week’s summary, not only did Israeli forces shoot live ammunition at the head of a 10-year old child at point-blank range during an anti-Wall protest in the village of Nilin, they also shot an 18-year old in the head during the first boy’s funeral. That second victim died at the beginning of this week according to the BBC in the first piece below. The second completes the gruesome pair by noting the extent to which Israel makes miserable the lives of Gazans. Here the Guardian offers an account of the Israeli refusal to allow disabled and chronically ill Gazans access to medical care unless they agree to serve as collaborators with the occupation.
Sadly, the selection of articles below also includes the painful news of Mahmoud Darwish’s untimely death. The eloquent voice of Palestinian dispossession, Darwish’s poetry has been a beacon of the Palestinian struggle for independence, peace and dignity. Other links to obituaries for Darwish have been posted elsewhere on this blog, but this selection concludes with the simple, sad news of his death.
In between, the selection covers the major items of the week including U.S. pressure on donors to funnel money to America’s chosen faction in Palestine and the final revocation of Fulbright grants to three Gazans after Israel refused to allow them to travel to be interviewed by the U.S. for visas and the U.S. acquiesced in Israel’s “security determinations” about these scholars. Electioneering was in full-swing in Israel this week — it is in this context that one should read Ehud Barak’s promise of new raids in Gaza and Shaul Mofaz’s pledge to keep all of Jerusalem. Gideon Levy’s article (#18 below) mocking the Israeli media’s penchant for treating Netanyahu as the only bogeyman on the Israeli political spectrum is spot-on, especially in light of the nature of the war-mongering-as-electoral-politics being undertaken by Livni, Barak and Mofaz with the blithe acceptance of the Israeli (and indeed world) public. There are a couple of articles covering new announcements of settlement activity (#9 and #16), a reflection by Israeli novelist Avraham Yehoshua on the adverse effects of occupation on Israel’s democracy.
Perhaps the most curious piece from this week’s media coverage of Israel-Palestine is Tanya Gold’s story in the Guardian (#6) following the lives of “Nazi-descended Jews living in Israel,” as it is captioned in the paper. The story reports on relatives of Waffen-SS men and even of Hitler who converted to Judaism and now live in Israel. Also included is coverage of Hebron settlers’ attack on a convoy of British diplomats. Finally, the Israelis have introduced a new tactic following fatalities from the use of live ammunition to disperse Palestinian crowds on the West Bank. They are calling the device the “skunk” — the description from Ynet (#19) is another monument to Israeli ingenuity in evolving more and more sophisticated weapons to dehumanize and pacify Palestinians. Read the rest of this entry »