Thursday, 21. February 2019

Israeli officials pressured the European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in recent weeks to cancel her meeting with Joint List Chairman MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) regarding the racist Nation-State Law. Haaretz claimed the Israeli officials tried to convince Mogherini to have a lower-level EU official meet with Odeh in her stead.

Israeli Border Police detained on Friday, August 30, two senior members of the anti-occupation organization Breaking the Silence near the illegal outpost of Mitzpe Yair in the occupied Palestinian territories. The group’s executive director, Avner Gvaryahu, and communications director, Achiya Schatz, were detained for questioning by border police. Attorney Michael Sfard was also detained for questioning.

A demonstration against Rodrigo Duterte, who will be making the first visit to Israel by a president of the Philippines, will be held tomorrow, Tuesday September 4, at 9:30 am, at Hanassi Street 3 in Jerusalem, the official presidential residence. The protest will be held during Duterte’s meeting with the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

Duterte wants to improve “security cooperation” with Israel, which has sold the Philippines three radar systems and 100 armored vehicles. Manila is now looking to sign an aircraft deal with Israel.

The following op-ed piece by Hadash MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List) was published by Haaretz last Friday, August 31. MK Touma-Sliman is a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Israel and heads the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality.

Many good people were furious this week that we, members of the Joint List, dared defy the people the Nation-State Law defines as the lords of the land. Instead of sufficing with the crumbs of rights that Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government might deign to grant us, we declared that the nation-state law is an apartheid law. With temerity, that doesn’t suit people whose language is unworthy of official standing in their homeland, we went to the United Nations to protest the law that defines us, Palestinian citizens of Israel, as second-class citizens, legitimizes the occupation and perpetuates Israel’s place in the dubious company of ethnocentric, discriminatory and exclusionist countries.

Three people were killed Thursday night, August 30, in two separate shooting incidents in Arab communities in Israel. A man and his fiancée were shot in their car at the entrance to the city of Tira. In the second incident, 33-year-old Faysal Raddad was killed in Jisr as-Zarqa.

The couple, Mahmoud Hajaj and Rima Abu Hayat, both aged 20, were driving together when several shots were fired at them, police say. After being hit, Hajaj lost control of the car and crashed into a nearby store. The shooting in Tira came a few months after another murder in the city. In May, Zubeida Mansur, 19, was shot to death in her home. Mansur lived with her four brothers in their parents’ home.

A demonstration against the occupation of the Palestinian territories will be held today, Friday, August 31, in the South Hebron Hills. The protest was called after settlers from the area brutally attacked Israeli activists belonging to the peace group Ta’ayush last weekend. The activists were documenting illegal construction in the unauthorized Jewish outpost of Mitzpe Yair.

The activists arrived Saturday, August 25, at Mitzpe Yair outpost to photograph illegal construction there. They reported that upon their arrival at the site, at least ten settlers assaulted them, throwing them to the ground. Guy Butavia, who was among the Ta’ayush activists, estimated that 15 settlers began attacking them, throwing stones. The activists reported that they were subsequently beaten by the attackers with iron bars, which were scattered on the ground of this construction site. As a result of the attack, four Ta’ayush activists were hospitalized at the Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva.

Hadash and the Haifa branch of the Communist Party of Israel (CPI) will be holding a demonstration this evening, Thursday August 30, beginning at 17:30, following a racially-inspired hate crime attack last week against three Arab men who were beaten by a group of Jews at the Kyriat Haim beach near Haifa. During a solidarity event held in their hometown of Shef-‘Amr (Shfaram) on Monday night, August 27, the three victims of the attack, Dr. Muhammad Yusifin, Muatasim Ayoub, and Mawd Ayoub, said the outpouring of support for them has given them hope.

Members of Israel’s far-right governing coalition and of the Zionist opposition vociferously criticized Hadash lawmakers on Monday, August 27, for seeking United Nations intervention against Israel’s racist Nation-State Law. Leading the charge was cabinet minister Yariv Levin, who called to charge the MKs with treason.

Hadash Lawmaker Aida Touma-Sliman, of the Joint List, asked the UN Undersecretary for Political Affairs, Rosemary DiCarlo, last Thursday, August 23, to advance the possibility of obtaining international sanctions against the law passed weeks ago. Tens of thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets of Tel Aviv in two mass protests till now to condemn the law.

In a statement recently submitted by its representative to the Supreme Court, the Israeli government contends that the Knesset is allowed to ignore international law anywhere it so desires. The Israeli government declared that “the Knesset [is permitted] to legislate laws anywhere in the world” and that it is authorized “to violate the sovereignty of foreign countries via legislation that would be applied to events occurring in their territories.”

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