Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights

Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel

Written by Max Blumenthal   
Thursday, 31 October 2013 09:38

On October 1st, New York Times bestselling author and journalist Max Blumenthal released his latest book, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel. To purchase the book, click here.


Goliath, according to Adam Hochschild, is "brash, gritty, personal and close to the ground...a report from an Israel and a Palestine we seldom see in the mainstream media." Blumenthal takes us on a journey through the badlands and high roads of Israel-Palestine, painting a startling portrait of Israeli society under the siege of increasingly authoritarian politics as the occupation of the Palestinians deepens. The book is already receiving significant attention and has been positively reviewed by Kirkus Reviews: "A rich, roiling examination of 'the State of Israel during a period of deepening political and societal crisis' ... Blumenthal is an enterprising reporter." 

In an article for Al-Monitor, Akiva Eldar — a former chief political columnist and editorial writer for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, where he worked for 35 years — writes,

Unlike most Jews — American or Israeli — Blumenthal chose to leave his comfort zone, go into disputed territory and examine the burning questions for himself. In fact, Blumenthal's greatest strength and interest is in events on the ground and the people who live there, far from the 'peace process' and diplomatic salons. 

Read more: Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel

 
 

Help the Augusta Victory Hospital in East Jerusalem!

Written by Arnie Voigt   
Thursday, 27 March 2014 08:59

To all our Sabeel-Colorado trip friends:
 
On most of our Sabeel-Colorado trips we have visited Augusta Victoria Hospital on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem.  Usually Mark Brown, the Lutheran World Federation representative in Jerusalem, or his assistant -- has explained how an institution of mercy has to function under conditions of occupation. 
 
Caught under the grinding political realties, Augusta Victoria has not received payment for medical services she has performed.  Help is needed to restore this funding lest the services be curtailed and greater suffering ensue.
 
So, now I am asking you to write/phone your elected officials in Washington and ask them to make this request of USAID. The situation at Augusta Victoria is explained below.  Please google your senators and congresspersons to obtain the needed contact information.
 
The facts:

  • The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has run Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH) for over 65 years. AVH provides life-saving care (specifically, providing oncology care not available elsewhere in Gaza or the West Bank). AVH is part of a consortium of East Jerusalem hospitals.
  • A large percentage of AVH patients are referred to AVH by the Palestinian Authority (PA). The PA has not paid their bills to AVH in 14 months. The debt is now 25 million USD for AVH and nearly 40 million USD in total for the East Jerusalem and some West Bank hospitals. The debt is increasing 1.5 million USD each month for AVH. AVH bears the largest burden of this debt because of the expensive nature of the care.
  • The PA has been unable to pay because some of the funding they receive from the Oslo agreement has been withheld to pressure them in the current peace negotiations.
  • 200 million USD already has been appropriated by Congress to the PA and is now available for disbursement by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). We wish to request that 40-50 million USD of that amount be designated for humanitarian health care in East Jerusalem. This would help to cover the 25 million USD debt that AVH is now bearing.
  • Our request is that elected officials make phone calls to USAID urging them to designate a portion of the 200 million USD for bills the PA has already incurred related to health care.
  • In addition to the life-saving care provided by AVH, it also plays an important role in building Palestinian institutions and capacity for health care. The Hospital’s life-saving work also can help maintain a favorable atmosphere amongst Palestinians for a final status agreement between them and the Israelis.


Your follow up to what we experienced on our Sabeel trips is deeply appreciated.
 
Thank you, and blessings,
 
Arnie Voigt, arnievoigt  AT  msn   DOT  com

For more see: http://www.lutheranworld.org/news/critical-financial-situation-augusta-victoria-hospital-east-jerusalem

 

Israel’s N.S.A. Scandal

Written by JAMES BAMFORD   
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 08:06

[Americans and Palestinians have something in common: Israel is spying on us both!]

WASHINGTON — IN Moscow this summer, while reporting a story for Wired magazine, I had the rare opportunity to hang out for three days with Edward J. Snowden. It gave me a chance to get a deeper understanding of who he is and why, as a National Security Agency contractor, he took the momentous step of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents.

Among his most shocking discoveries, he told me, was the fact that the N.S.A. was routinely passing along the private communications of Americans to a large and very secretive Israeli military organization known as Unit 8200. This transfer of intercepts, he said, included the contents of the communications as well as metadata such as who was calling whom.

Typically, when such sensitive information is transferred to another country, it would first be “minimized,” meaning that names and other personally identifiable information would be removed. But when sharing with Israel, the N.S.A. evidently did not ensure that the data was modified in this way.

Mr. Snowden stressed that the transfer of intercepts to Israel contained the communications — email as well as phone calls — of countless Arab- and Palestinian-Americans whose relatives in Israel and the Palestinian territories could become targets based on the communications. “I think that’s amazing,” he told me. “It’s one of the biggest abuses we’ve seen.”

It appears that Mr. Snowden’s fears were warranted. Last week, 43 veterans of Unit 8200 — many still serving in the reserves — accused the organization of startling abuses. In a letter to their commanders, to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to the head of the Israeli army, they charged that Israel used information collected against innocent Palestinians for “political persecution.” In testimonies and interviews given to the media, they specified that data were gathered on Palestinians’ sexual orientations, infidelities, money problems, family medical conditions and other private matters that could be used to coerce Palestinians into becoming collaborators or create divisions in their society.

Read more on the NY Times


 
   

Shattered Hopes: Obama's Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Written by Josh Ruebner   
Thursday, 31 October 2013 09:32


Hard-hitting critique of the Obama administration's failure in the Middle East, by a leading DC-based advocate
President Barack Obama's first trip abroad in his second term took him to Israel and the Palestinian West Bank, where he despondently admitted to those waiting for words of encouragement, “It is a hard slog to work through all of these issues.” Contrast this gloomy assessment with Obama’s optimism on the second day of his first term, when he appointed former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell as his special envoy for Middle East peace, boldly asserting that his administration would “actively and aggressively seek a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.” How is it that Obama’s active and aggressive search for progress has become mired in the status quo? Writer and political analyst Josh Ruebner charts Obama’s journey from optimism to frustration in the first hard-hitting investigation into why the president failed to make any progress on this critical issue, and how his unwillingness to challenge the Israel lobby has shattered hopes for peace.

Written in a clear and accessible style by the advocacy director of a national peace organization and former Middle East analyst for the Congressional Research Service, Shattered Hopes offers an informed history of the Obama administration’s policies and maps out a true path forward for the United States to help achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace.


 

7500 New Settlers Moved Into West Bank, Jerusalem, Settlements In Six Months

Written by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies Report post   
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 08:05



The Yesha Council of Settlements has reported that the number of Jewish settlers living in the occupied West Bank, including in and around occupied Jerusalem, has reached 382031, adding that 7500 Israelis have moved into West Bank and Jerusalem settlements in the last six months.

Yesha said that, back in January of 2014, 374469 settlers lived in the West Bank and Jerusalem, and that the current number of settlers (382031) is a 2% increase.

It said that the biggest settlement is Beitar Illit settlement, located southwest of occupied Jerusalem, with a population of 63087 Jewish settlers.

There are more than 200.000 Israeli settlers living in various settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.

Settlements are illegal under International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, to which Israel is a signatory.

They are largely built on privately-owned Palestinian lands, and many on what Israel calls “State Lands” which, by itself, is illegal as the West Bank and Jerusalem are under illegitimate Israeli occupation.

Read more: 7500 New Settlers Moved Into West Bank, Jerusalem, Settlements In Six Months
 
   

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