May 12, 2021


Hostilities between Israel and Hamas escalated on Tuesday, raising the death toll in two days to 32 Palestinians and three people in Israel, with Israel carrying out multiple air strikes in Gaza and the militant group firing rockets at Tel Aviv…

“The violence followed weeks of tension in Jerusalem during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, with clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters in and around Al-Aqsa Mosque, on the compound revered by Jews as Temple Mount and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. These escalated in recent days ahead of a – now postponed - court hearing in a case that could end with Palestinian families evicted from East Jerusalem homes claimed by Jewish settlers.” Reuters

See past issues

From the Left

The left criticizes Israel and calls for diplomatic efforts to ensure better treatment of the Palestinians.

“It is assumed that Israel’s Supreme Court will soon decide to evict the Palestinians and give the homes to Jewish claimants. Yet that same court will not hear cases by Palestinian residents who were evicted from their homes in West Jerusalem, in 1948. The Absentees’ Property Law of 1950 deems them ‘absentees,’ even if they live in annexed Eastern Jerusalem, less than a mile away. The discrimination also extends to housing, education, social services, and the rights of Palestinians to be united with spouses who are not residents of the city…

“As long as the present discriminatory practices continue, and Jerusalem is not shared as a joint capital, the likelihood of a city in which all its residents enjoy equal rights and a measure of peace is a fantasy.”
Raja Shehadeh, New Yorker

“Just last month, Human Rights Watch declared that the threshold of apartheid had been crossed, at least in the areas of Israel and Palestine ‘where Israeli authorities exercise control.’ To many, Israel is now an apartheid state in the mold of 1980s South Africa… Now, as the Israeli government prepares to evict several hundred Palestinian residents from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, Palestinian activists and their supporters are crying out for justice…

“Successive U.S. administrations have gotten far by showing unwavering loyalty to our Israeli allies. With global opinion largely united in outrage over these latest abuses, the Biden administration has the chance to carve out a new path, based on the human rights commitments it claims to uphold.”
Jacob Silverman, New Republic

“In 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, Israel increased home demolitions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, rendering over 1,000 people homeless… Residents of four homes housing six families could be evicted as soon as this Monday. This, despite the fact that all of them legally settled there in an agreement between Israel and the Jordanian government, after losing their homes in Jaffa, Haifa, and other parts of what became the state of Israel in 1948…

“One of the first steps Biden could take is to unequivocally disavow the Trump administration’s January 2020 ‘Peace to Prosperity’ plan, which put a stamp of approval on Israel’s taking of land and resources by force and excluded Palestinians from the process outright. The administration should also plainly condemn, as the U.K. has, the systematic efforts by Israel to dispossess Palestinians from their homes…

“The Biden administration should also enforce America’s own foreign-aid laws by ensuring greater transparency and accountability for how its aid to Israel is currently used, so that Israel is held to U.S. human rights standards and other benchmarks for aid recipients.”
Mairav Zonszein, American Prospect

“Videos circulating on social media in recent days have shown Israeli police officers throwing stun grenades and shooting rubber bullets at Palestinians inside the mosque, attacking Palestinian worshippers with tear gas bombs, and viciously beating a Palestinian man in the mosque compound. On Monday, Israeli strikes in Gaza killed twenty Palestinians, including ten children…

“What is happening is the brutal daily reality of an occupying power, emboldened by unconditional US support and international apathy, exercising its military might against a stateless people living under its control, stripped of their basic human and civil rights… The United States must not be complicit in these continuing atrocities. The Biden administration must pressure Israel to end its occupation, dismantle its illegal settlements, and recognize Palestinians’ rights.”
Seraj Assi, Jacobin Magazine

From the Right

The right criticizes Palestinian leaders and urges support for Israel.

The right criticizes Palestinian leaders and urges support for Israel.

“Arab families jumped in [to the Sheik Jarrah neighborhood] when Jews were forcibly driven from their homes in 1948. When Israel returned in 1967, these families might have expected to be evicted — but were not. Those to whom Jordan had given titles found that Israel would respect those titles. Those who had no title found that Israel respected their leases, so long as they themselves abided by the terms of the leases. What then happens when some of the leases are up, some of the tenants refuse to pay rent, or some of the properties are occupied not by tenants but by squatters? That is what’s before Israel’s Supreme Court…

“Now, some of those Arab families have been living in the neighborhood for over 70 years — but without title to the land or apartments. Jordan, which ruled East Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967, did give out titles to many properties — but not these. The legal owners are now seeking to assert their rights to this property… [Israel’s courts] have consistently applied standard property law, as would courts in any Western country, and consistently found that the rights of ownership have not been obliterated just because people moved into these homes when the Jews who lived in them were driven out.”
Elliott Abrams, National Review

The evictions of Sheikh Jarrah occurred after decades of litigation. On Feb. 10, 2021, Jerusalem’s District Court upheld a previous ruling, which found that the failure of some Palestinian Arab tenants to pay rent, along with instances of illegal building and illegally renting properties to others, was grounds for eviction. Notably, however, violence didn’t erupt in February. But it did erupt in May — and it has continued despite Israel’s decision to postpone the lawful evictions. That’s because it serves the purposes of Palestinian leaders and Iran.”
Sean Durns, Washington Examiner

“Let no one be fooled about the biggest reason for the violence: Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas wants to divert attention from his decision to postpone elections again as he serves the 17th year of a four-year term to which he was elected in 2005. He fears defeat at the hands of Hamas or more militant members of his own Fatah Party. Distracting Palestinians from the misrule and corruption of their leaders by fomenting hate against Jews is an old trick but a useful one. Hamas’ firing of rockets into Israel, including toward Jerusalem, and launching incendiary balloons in the south is its way of competing with Abbas…

“Washington needs to tell the Palestinians, as Trump did, that they must stop the violence and accept the reality of Israel. Biden’s moral equivalence will only prolong the agony of Palestinians who are again being misled and betrayed by their leaders.”
Jonathan S. Tobin, New York Post

“Regional politics are at work too. Hamas is funded and supplied by Iran, whose Supreme Leader last week praised ‘the pure blood of Resistance martyrs’ in Palestine. The Biden Administration’s courtship of Iran in renewed nuclear negotiations has been met by Houthi escalation against Saudi Arabia and now Hamas escalation against Israel. The regime may think that the more its proxies clash with U.S. allies, the more eager the U.S. Administration will be to make concessions

“The White House has given the Democratic left virtually everything it could hope for since Inauguration Day, but if there’s one issue on which the Administration still sounds more like the old guard, it’s the Israeli-Palestinian conflict… That position will come under pressure if casualties mount and passions rise. Let’s hope Mr. Biden is prepared to affirm that America’s top regional alliance is more important than the dictates of social-justice ideology.”
Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal

On the bright side...

Get troll-free political news.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.