In The Now:  “The occupation is daily terrorism against everyday lives of Palestinians.”

In The Now: “The occupation is daily terrorism against everyday lives of Palestinians.”

In a protest in the West Bank on December 10, Palestinian protesters were attacked by Israeli soldiers although not a single act of violence has been committed against the occupying forces.  Palestinian Minister Ziad Abu Ein was physically attacked, collapsed and died. You can view the protest here: My appearance on In the Now where I discussed with Anissa Naouai my experience of begin an activist for Palestine, December 10,...
The Intifada of the Loners: Israel Finds Itself in a Bind As the Occupation Continues

The Intifada of the Loners: Israel Finds Itself in a Bind As the Occupation Continues

AntiWar.com/blog Joshua Tartakovsky, November 11, 2014 Recent Palestinian attacks against Israel suggest a new uprising (intifada) of the loners is on the making to which Israel may have no sufficient response. The stabbing of several Israeli youth near the Alon Shvut colony in the Occupied West Bank by a Palestinian man, the stabbing of an Israeli soldier on November 10 in Tel Aviv, and the running over of several Israeli citizens in Occupied East Jerusalem that resulted in the death of an infant last week, all indicate that a new intifada or uprising is well underway. Yet while similar intifadas were marked by popular uprisings throughout the West Bank that disrupted the Israeli status-quo and sense of normalcy, as was the case in the Al Aqsa Intifada of 2000, or in the first intifada of 1987, popular protests that took place in recent days in the West Bank and inside Israel (particularly in the Galilee, where a Palestinian youth was shot several days ago, and in East Jerusalem) have been contained to a significant degree by Israel forces who are well accustomed to popular protests and who fired tear gas canisters on the demonstrators. The new intifada or uprising, witnessed in recent days, seems to be characterized by its unpredictable nature: attacks can be carried out at any given moment at any location, inside Israel or the West Bank, by loners operating on the loose who are not acting on behalf of a particular Palestinian organization who are using a car or a knife as a weapon of choice. While Israel inflicted a heavy collective punishment on the Palestinians...
Time to Address the Jerusalem Issue

Time to Address the Jerusalem Issue

Photo by Joshua Tartakovsky AntiWar Blog The shooting of a prominent Jewish activist who frequented the sacred Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif on a nearly daily basis by a Palestinian gunmen on October 29, 2014, is another cornerstone signaling a deteriorating state of affairs. Young Israeli Jewish nationalists declared that they would attempt to visit the Temple Mount tomorrow morning in response. This latest incident comes after another attack in which a Palestinian driver ran over an Israeli baby and a woman, while several days earlier an Israeli settler ran over a Palestinian girl in the Occupied West Bank. Jerusalem is holy to the three monotheistic religions and contains residents of all three faiths. Ever since 1967, when Israel occupied East Jerusalem, it did not grant Arab residents of the city the same rights given to Jewish residents. Non-Jewish residents in the East are given residency permits but usually not full citizenship. They are often barred from expanding their homes as their families grow in number while they suffer from neglect by the municipal services in an attempt to “Judaize” the city. The city’s poster site, the Temple Mount where the magnificent Al Aqsa Mosque is located, is occupied by Israeli soldiers who guard the entrances and exits and frequently raid the area once clashes break out. Israel limits access to the holy site to Palestinians below the age of 45, thereby restricting Palestinian Muslims’ freedom of religion. For many Palestinian Muslims, it is not easy to accept that that this holy site is under a foreign occupation. As Israel expands its building of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem it appears that a future Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as Jerusalem remains as elusive and...
Israel’s Bombardment of Gaza: What Is Different This Time?

Israel’s Bombardment of Gaza: What Is Different This Time?

Gaza; Photo via Younes Arar. Joshua Tartakovsky, July 12, 2014 AntiWar.com Blog The current Israeli onslaught on Gaza which so far resulted in 120 dead and counting, as Israel is attempting to a final blow to Hamas after many failed attempts, appears to have been planned in advance, regardless of developments on the ground. Following the abduction of three Israeli youth and their subsequent murder several weeks ago, Israel laid the blame on Hamas although the latter denied responsibility and said it wants calm with Israel. It then went on to conduct a major crackdown on the movement in the West Bank and arrested over 500 people. Israel is now launching a massive aerial bombing campaign on Gaza, claiming its goal is to eradicate Hamas. Hamas was a convenient target for the Israeli government that has been fretting over the fact that it joined a unity government with the PLO, which received international recognition. By framing Hamas as the culprit initially, Israel probably sought to disrupt the government and chose an escalation at a time when it was faced by increased international criticism as peace talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas collapsed. In a way, the current Israeli onslaught on Gaza is not much different than the earlier aerial bombing campaigns that took place in 2009 and in 2012. Then, as now, the Israeli government claimed it was doing so to protect its civilians from rocket fire while failing to acknowledge the fact that the illegal blockade of Gaza, in which 1.8 million people are confined to a tiny strip and in which anyone who approaches a buffer zonenext to the border is automatically shot, will mean that Palestinian will attempt to practice resistance...
Israel’s Leaders Are Using a Kidnapping to Push a Sinister Agenda

Israel’s Leaders Are Using a Kidnapping to Push a Sinister Agenda

Photo by AFP/File Gali Tibbon AlterNet / By Joshua Tartakovsky The Israeli government is using the kidnapping of three youths to spread chaos and destroy Palestine’s unity government. June 24, 2014  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a weekly cabinet meeting in his office in Jerusalem.   The disappearance of three Israeli youth in the Occupied West Bank on June 12, 2014 has expectedly reignited nascent Israeli fears and traumas. The Israeli public has for the most part readily adopted the position of Prime Minister Netanyahu who stated that he knows “for a fact” that Hamas kidnapped the teenagers even while offering no evidence. A massive Israeli campaign calling on the international community to “bring back our boys” did not acknowledge the nearly 200 Palestinian children who are imprisoned illegally by Israel. Since the kidnapping, Israel launched massive raids on various cities and villages throughout the West Bank and searched private homes recklessly. 500 Palestinians were arrested so far and 5 people killed, including a 14 year old boy, yet the Israeli government has failed to provide evidence that Hamas was behind the kidnapping or locate the missing youth. Although no credible Palestinian group has claimed responsibility for the act, and while Hamas denied outright that it was involved, Netanyahu said that “those who perpetrated the abduction of our youths were members of Hamas — the same Hamas that Abu Mazen made a unity government with,” referring to the recent unity government formed between the secular Fatah and Islamist Hamas on June 2. Kidnapping of soldiers and citizens tends to be seen as a form of psychological torture in Israel and in such times, passions run high, hateful incitement comes easy and difficult questions are often not asked. When Palestinian member of...