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Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook - 2017-04-17 - Original post - cached version

Israel is to hold lavish celebrations over the coming weeks to mark the 50th anniversary of the occupation. The jubilee is a potent reminder that for Israelis, most of whom have never known a time before the occupation, Israel’s rule over the Palestinians seems as irreversible as the laws of...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-04-09 - Original post - cached version

The annual "March of Return" by Palestinians in Israel, commemorating the Nakba - the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes in 1948 - has been blocked by the Israeli police for the first time in its history. The police have denied the organisers a permit, saying...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-04-03 - Original post - cached version

The current obsession with BDS reflects a changing political environment for Israel. Concealment at source of damning information is no longer easy, so the battle must be taken to those who disseminate this information. The urgency has grown as artists refuse to visit, universities sever ties,...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-03-15 - Original post - cached version

The one-man show “Taha” receives its English-language premiere this week in the United States. It offers not only a rare chance to learn about Taha Muhammad Ali, one of Palestine’s finest poets, but provides a visceral account of what it was like to live through the Nakba – the Catastrophe that...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-03-12 - Original post - cached version

The choice of US ambassador to Israel has never before incurred such scrutiny or provoked such controversy. David Friedman's confirmation by the Senate's foreign relations committee last week followed a petition signed by tens of thousands of American Jews opposing his nomination. Major Jewish...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-03-08 - Original post - cached version

Israel has given itself almost complete immunity from paying compensation in cases where its soldiers have killed, injured or disabled Palestinian civilians, Israeli human rights group B'Tselem warned in a new report this week. It said changes to Israeli law over the past 15 years meant Israel...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-03-06 - Original post - cached version

Arabs and Muslims have always struggled to gain entry to Israel. Palestinians are routinely abused at the borders, and thousands, especially from Jerusalem, have been stripped of the right to return home after living abroad. But new figures show entry denials have increased nine-fold in the past...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-03-02 - Original post - cached version

The Israeli leadership shows no signs of heeding the lessons of an official report into the 2014 Gaza war that led to massive destruction and loss of life in the tiny coastal enclave, Palestinians warned this week. In particular, Israel's State Comptroller faulted Prime Minister Benjamin...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-02-25 - Original post - cached version

Israel's 1.7 million Palestinian citizens are facing a tidal wave of incitement and hate speech on social media, including from government ministers, community leaders have warned. They say the increasingly hostile political climate in Israel is stoking violence from the police and street gangs...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-02-21 - Original post - cached version

In expressing ambivalence about the final number of states in a peace agreement, Donald Trump may have assumed he was leaving options open for his son-in-law and presumed peace envoy, Jared Kushner. But words can take on a life of their own, especially when uttered by the president of the world’...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-02-21 - Original post - cached version

Human rights groups and Palestinian leaders condemned what they called the “extremely lenient” punishment of Elor Azaria, the Israeli army medic who was filmed executing a severely wounded Palestinian in Hebron last year. On Tuesday, a military tribunal sentenced the soldier to 18 months in jail...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-02-15 - Original post - cached version

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to meet US President Donald Trump on Wednesday with the aim of winning major concessions on the two issues highest on his agenda, Iran and the Palestinians. Netanyahu hopes to return home with a policy "prize" from Trump that will help him ward...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-02-13 - Original post - cached version

Often described as the powder-keg issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Jerusalem was expected to loom large in Wednesday’s meeting in Washington between Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Tensions about the city’s future are high, given that Trump has vowed to...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-02-10 - Original post - cached version

Some 17 Palestinian municipalities in the occupied West Bank have petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court to strike down a new law that retroactively sanctions the theft of their lands by settlers. Lawyers representing the villages have in the meantime asked the court to impose an immediate freeze...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-02-07 - Original post - cached version

The Israeli parliament passed the Legalisation Law on Monday – a piece of legislation every bit as suspect as its title suggests. The law widens the powers of Israeli officials to seize the last fragments of Palestinian land in the West Bank that were supposed to be off-limits. Palestinian...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-02-03 - Original post - cached version

Benjamin Netanyahu is in danger of being brought down, possibly soon, over what initially appears to be little more than an imprudent taste for Cuban cigars and pink champagne. But the allegations reveal far more than his personal flaws. They shine a rare light on the corrupt nexus between...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-01-31 - Original post - cached version

If the Trump's White House approves a relocation of the US embassy, it would overturn decades of international consensus on Jerusalem. The message to the Palestinians and Arab world would be clear and provocative, said Nabil Shaath, a senior Palestinian official. "Moving the embassy is the same...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-01-22 - Original post - cached version

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu shrugged off the Paris peace summit as the 'last gasp of the past before the future sets in'. Israel has lost no time in preparing for the future, one in which peace talks and a two-state solution look obsolete. Ministers are rallying behind legislation...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-01-22 - Original post - cached version

Israeli police have refused to return the body of Yacoub Abu al-Qiyan, two days after he was shot dead during a pre-dawn raid to bulldoze his home and those of another dozen families in Umm al-Hiran. But claims that he was an ISIS terrorist who used his car to ram into police, killing an officer...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-01-15 - Original post - cached version

The smell of scandal has swirled around Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for years. Now the smell is starting to turn to a stench, say analysts. One commentator suggested Netanyahu's conduct risked being compared to the behaviour of a head of a "banana republic". In one of the police...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-01-10 - Original post - cached version

The popular reaction in Israel to the military court’s decision to convict Elor Azaria was far more telling than the decision itself. Like Brexit and Trump, Azaria’s trial exposed not only a deep social fissure, but also a moment of transition. Those who see a virtuous system punishing a rotten...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-01-05 - Original post - cached version

It was the trial almost no one in Israel wanted. It exposed not just the rogue actions of one soldier but the dark underbelly of Israeli society and its "citizens' army". Elor Azaria was taken to the Israeli public's bosom, celebrated as the "child of us all". But like many of his fellow...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-01-03 - Original post - cached version

A Greek Melkite archbishop, described as an "icon" of the Palestinian liberation struggle, has died in Rome at the age of 94. Hilarion Capucci, who was appointed the Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem in 1965, was jailed nine years later by Israel for arms smuggling. Hanan Ashrawi said Capucci "...

Jonathan Cook - 2017-01-02 - Original post - cached version

Some 200,000 documents concerning the mysterious disappearance of thousands of babies in Israel's early years have been made public for the first time. The Israeli government declassified the files, publishing them in an online archive, after decades of accusations that officials have been...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-12-27 - Original post - cached version

For leftwing Israelis, as well as Israel's Palestinian minority, Netanyahu is considered the king of incitement. His current conduct has revived memories of the mid-1990s, when Yitzhak Rabin, was drumming up support for the Oslo Accords. Footage of the period shows Netanyahu addressing crowds...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-12-23 - Original post - cached version

Israel is reported to be ready to expel an award-winning Australian journalist, Antony Loewenstein, after he asked a too-probing question of an Israeli politician. It is unsurprising to learn that Israel has no serious regard for press freedom. But more depressing has been the lack of solidarity...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-12-23 - Original post - cached version

As tens of thousands of Christian pilgrims converge on the Holy Land this week to celebrate the birth of Jesus, senior Israeli rabbis have announced a war on the Christmas tree. In Jerusalem, the rabbinate has issued a letter warning dozens of hotels in the city that it is "forbidden" by Jewish...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-12-19 - Original post - cached version

Friedman's appointment would mean more than a change of address for the US embassy and a deterioration in the prospects for Palestinian statehood. Analysts say it would mark a seismic shift in the "special relationship" between the US and Israel - and an early casualty of the shockwaves might be...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-12-13 - Original post - cached version

Israel's military authorities have published a video on social media publicising Palestinian attractions in the West Bank, in what looks like a generous promotional stunt to bring tourists to Palestine. Except that is precisely not where the video invites them. Instead it beckons tourists to...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-12-04 - Original post - cached version

Filmed testimonies of Palestinians in Jerusalem reveal a growing trend of violent assaults by far-right Jewish activists belonging to Lehava, or Flame in Hebrew. Run by rabbi Ben-Zion Gopstein, Lehava rejects any interaction between Jews and Palestinians. Jerusalem's streets are littered with...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-11-30 - Original post - cached version

Fatah launched its seventh congress this week, amid heated speculation about the future of its leader, Mahmoud Abbas. Among those watching closely as events unfold is the Israeli leadership. The congress – the first since 2009 – will determine the make up of Fatah’s main representative bodies...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-11-28 - Original post - cached version

The forest fires that ravaged Israel over the weekend inadvertently drew attention to the deeper goal of Netanyahu's "muezzin bill". For many Israelis, the call to prayer threatens the contrived "European idyll" created after 1948 by a programme of planting thick pine forests – creating a fire...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-11-20 - Original post - cached version

A former Dutch ambassador planted 1,100 olive trees in the West Bank on Sunday to make amends, he said, for the fact that Israel had exploited his family’s name to “cover up an act of ethnic cleansing”. Erik Ader said the trees were his way of apologising for a similar number of pine trees...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-11-17 - Original post - cached version

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has revived long-standing suspicions that his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, was murdered. Abbas announced last week that he knew the killer's identity, adding that the world would be "amazed when you know who did it". Abbas also suggested that a Palestinian...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-11-16 - Original post - cached version

Palestinian lawmakers in Israel have found an unexpected ally inside the government against a new bill banning mosques from using loudspeakers to broadcast the call to prayer. A parliamentary vote was delayed after worries from health minister Yaakov Litzman that the bill might apply to...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-11-14 - Original post - cached version

Netanyahu was among the first to congratulate Trump by phone. The US president-elect reciprocated by inviting him for talks "at the first opportunity". And yet Netanyahu is reported to be anxious about a Trump White House. Why? It is certainly not because of Trump’s stated policies on the Israel...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-11-10 - Original post - cached version

Israel's far-right culture minister, Miri Regev, scored a significant victory last month in her self-declared war on the country's cultural establishment. Israel's national theatre company, Habima, it was revealed, had agreed to perform for the first time in Kiryat Arba, a notoriously violent...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-11-01 - Original post - cached version

Taking advantage of the renewed quiet at al-Aqsa, Israel allowed record numbers of ultra-nationalists to visit the mosque during its recent high holidays. Parties of Israeli soldiers also entered the site. For Palestinians, Israel’s treatment of this supremely important Islamic holy site...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-10-27 - Original post - cached version

The top posts in Israel's national police force are now in the hands of hardline religious settlers who are seeking to make "alarming" changes to policing in both Israel and the occupied territories, critics have warned. The growing influence of the settler movement was highlighted this month...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-10-18 - Original post - cached version

The chauvinism implicit in a new Israeli foreign ministry video portraying Jacob and Rachel as the only normal folk, stoicly enduring barbarians butchering each other in their living room, is ugly enough. But it is harder still to take seriously an account in which the Palestinians suddenly...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-10-06 - Original post - cached version

As world leaders congregated in Jerusalem to eulogise Shimon Peres as a "great peacemaker", the peace camp of which he was the figurehead went to war against its main Palestinian partner in Israel. Ayman Odeh, head of the only Jewish-Arab party in the Israeli legislature, enraged the Israeli...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-09-29 - Original post - cached version

Israeli airport staff regularly violate Israeli law by subjecting Arab passengers, including Israel's own Palestinian citizens, to strip searches and other degrading procedures, says Adalah, a legal rights group. The practices occur at Israel's international Ben Gurion airport, as well as at...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-09-28 - Original post - cached version

The death of Shimon Peres, aged 93, marks the departure of the last major figure in Israel's founding generation. Peres spent his long political career in the public spotlight, but his greatest successes – from overseeing the construction of Israel's nuclear bomb to devising an interminable "...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-09-20 - Original post - cached version

Members of one of the main Palestinian parties in the Israeli parliament have accused authorities of seeking to criminalise their political activity following the arrest of more than two dozen party officials. Balad party leader Jamal Zahalka tied the arrests to the outlawing late last year of...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-09-19 - Original post - cached version

The announcement last week by the United States of the largest military aid package in its history – to Israel – was a win for both sides. Benjamin Netanyahu could boast that his lobbying had boosted aid from $3.1 billion to $3.8bn a year. Barack Obama, meanwhile, hoped to stifle critics who...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-09-12 - Original post - cached version

A new peace movement, Decision at 50, stuffed with former political and security leaders, is demanding the Israeli government hold a referendum next year – to mark the 50th anniversary of the occupation – on whether it is time to leave the territories. Whatever its proponents imply, the...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-09-12 - Original post - cached version

In Netanyahu's new video, he claims that a Palestinian demand to dismantle Jewish settlements amounts to the "ethnic cleansing" of 650,000 Jews living illegally in the occupied territories. Netanyahu wants to place another obstacle in the way of Palestinian efforts to seek international backing...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-09-04 - Original post - cached version

Israel has agreed to allow the International Criminal Court in The Hague to send a delegation to Israel and the occupied territories, it was revealed at the weekend, in a step that could dramatically increase the risk of Israeli officials being tried for war crimes. The ICC's move comes as human...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-08-29 - Original post - cached version

Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman launched his new plan to retool the occupation. His "carrot and stick" approach is intended to sideline the Palestinian Authority in favour of new local leaders hand-picked by Israel. He will use a new website to speak in Arabic directly to ordinary...

Jonathan Cook - 2016-08-17 - Original post - cached version

In just a decade, a Palestinian farming project, Canaan Fair Trade, has recruited 2,000 small-hold olive farmers in the West Bank. It teaches them how to grow crops that can withstand the privations of a hostile occupation; cooperate to raise prices and make a sustainable living; and access...

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