Biden administration backs contentious IHRA definition of anti-Semitism

The IHRA definition has been adopted by a number of countries but has been criticised by lawyers, academics and activists for allegedly silencing criticism of Israel. The Biden administration has "embraced" a contentious definition of anti-Semitism that has been criticised for allegedly conflating Israel with Judaism. The administration "embraces and champions" the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, a senior
| News |

Grand Mufti of Egypt Warns against Israel Plots to Judaize al-Quds

Islam Times - Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawki Allam expressed concerns against Israeli regime’s plot to Judaize al-Quds (Jerusalem) and obliterate its true identity, after Tel Aviv banned the raising of the Muslim call to prayer at the Ibrahimi Mosque under the pretext that settlers were celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim.
| Palestine |

PA condemns Israel violations against Islamic holy sites

The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Friday condemned Israeli violations against Islamic holy sites in the occupied cities of Jerusalem and Hebron, Anadolu Agency reported. In a statement issued by its Foreign Ministry, the PA announced: "Israel imposes measures and arbitrary restrictions to block worshippers from reaching worship houses, and it is working hard to extend its domination of them and Judaise
| Israel, Middle East, News |

Engaging the World: The Making of Hamas's Foreign Policy

On 4 February, representatives from the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, visited Moscow to inform the Russian government of the latest development in the unity talks with the other Palestinian factions, especially Fatah. This was not the first time that Hamas officials had travelled to Moscow on similar missions. In fact, Moscow continues to represent an important political breathing space for
| Asia & Americas, Europe & Russia, ICC |

US Senator Sanders Blasts Israel for Sending COVID-19 Vaccines to Allies while ‘Palestinians are still Waiting’

US Senator Bernie Sanders has lashed out at Tel Aviv for sending surplus coronavirus vaccines to friendly nations overseas instead of giving them to Palestinians, saying it must do so as an “occupying power.” “As the occupying power, Israel is responsible for the health of all the people under its control. It is outrageous that Netanyahu would use spare vaccines to
| Blog, News, Bernie Sanders |

'The homeland does not leave the body until the moment of death': Remembering Mourid Barghouti

The world bid farewell to the celebrated poet Mourid Barghouti in February. A champion of the Palestinian cause, Palestinian authors share their memories of the great writer. Literary lovers woke up on February 15 to find out that celebrated Palestinian poet and author, Mourid Barghouti, had passed away the day before at the age of 76 in Amman, Jordan. Barghouti
| Society |

Jewish Settlers Storm Islamic Shrines near Salfit

A group of Jewish settlers stormed ancient Islamic sites early Friday, in the town of Kifl Haris, near the West Bank city of Salfit, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA. Local sources reported that Israeli forces forced their way into the town and closed the entrances to provide protection for the Jewish settlers who proceeded to desecrate and perform rituals
| Blog, News, Israeli Army |

“America is Back”: Make the Best of It

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair America is back; Joe Biden says so. Therefore, it must be true. He seems as pleased as can be about it too. So is the entire political class, except for the miscreants wedded to Donald Trump or to rightwing views, distinguished mainly by their vileness and stupidity. There are alarmingly many Americans who hold those views, but there
| articles 2015 |

‘Dangerous and Deplorable’: Facebook Bans MEMO Staffer for Advertising Recently-Published Book on Hamas

Middle East Monitor (MEMO) and the Afro-Middle East Centre (AMEC) in Johannesburg have strongly condemned the decision by Facebook to ban a staff member from using its platform for 30 days after he posted an advert for the launch of a book written by MEMO’s director, titled ‘Engaging the World: the Making of Hamas’s Foreign Policy’. Facebook claimed that the post
| Articles, Features, democracy |

Blinken 'asks Israel to facilitate' transfer of Covid-19 vaccines to Palestinians

US Secretary of State Tony Blinken reportedly asked his Israeli counterpart to assist in transferring Covid-19 vaccines to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. US Secretary of State Tony Blinken called his Israeli counterpart on Monday to “facilitate the transfer” of Covid-19 vaccines to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza , news agency Axios
| News |

Palestinian PM: ‘While we remain committed to peace, Israel is destroying it’

Speaking at the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee’s (AHLC) virtual meeting, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Tuesday that while the Palestinians remain committed to peace based on the two-state solution, Israel is doing everything in its effort to destroy it. “While we remain committed to peace based on the two-state solution to achieve the legitimate national rights of our people
| News |

Book Launch - Engaging the World: The Making of Hamas's Foreign Policy

The webinar will feature: Dr Anas Altikriti Founder and CEO, The Cordoba Foundation Dr Daud Abdullah Author of Engaging the World: The Making of Hamas's Foreign Policy Director, Middle East Monitor Clare Short Former Secretary of State for International Development, UK Prof. Ilan Pappe Director, European Centre for Palestine Studies Dr Sami Al-Arian Director, Centre for Islam and Global
| Middle East, News, Palestine |

A Spanish Company is Building an Apartheid Railway in Israel – Now It Wants in on HS2

Israel’s leading human rights organization B’Tselem made headlines last month after it issued a report saying what Palestinians have been saying for decades: that Israel maintains not just a regime of military occupation in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, but an apartheid regime over the entire Palestinian people. In East Jerusalem, where I live, we’ve experienced that apartheid
| Articles, Opinion, apartheid |

‘Israeli’ Elections: Anti-Netanyahu Bloc Maintains Majority, Poll Shows

Islam Times - An election poll released by ‘Israeli’ Channel 12 News on Tuesday showed little movement compared to its previous one last week, with 62 of the Zionist parliament [Knesset]'s 120 seats predicted to be won by parties that have ruled out sitting in a government with the entity’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
| Palestine |

Coups and Colonialism: Why Does America Do What It Does?

Trump is gone; Biden is in. But America is still recognizing the coup leader in Venezuela, is silent on Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara, is continuing Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol while accepting the importance of Israel’s hold on the Golan Heights and is only cautiously correcting course on Cuba. The history of … Continue reading "Coups and
| Uncategorized |

The long and bumpy road to Palestinian elections

Comment: Palestinians are keener than ever to vote, but it's not yet clear whether persistent obstacles can be overcome, or the extent of change elections might bring, writes Jonathan Kuttab. Palestinians love elections and take them very seriously. Deprived of a state of their own and hungry for any form of self-expression, Palestinians eagerly embrace any opportunity to vote and
| Comment |

Israel 'rewards' allies with surplus Covid-19 vaccines

Honduras, the Czech Republic, and Guatemala have all opened or promised to open diplomatic offices in Jerusalem. Israel is rewarding key allies, who have taken steps to recognise its contested sovereignty over Jerusalem , with surplus coronavirus  vaccines , according to a report by the country's public broadcaster. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Tuesday that Israel
| News |

How the Israeli Occupation has devastated the Palestinian Economy

Overview The Dominance of Internal Trade in Palestine Sub-sectors Number of Establishments Share of Internal Trade Establishments Share of all Economic Establishments Convenience shops “al-dakakin” 17309 21% 11% Food retail shops 10567 13% 6.7% Clothing retail shops 10364 12.7% 6.5% Hairdressers and beauty treatment 8629 Not part of internal trade sector 5.5% Dependency and Trade in the Palestinian-Israeli Context The
| Israel/ Palestine |

Focus On: Palestinian Political Leadership

Learning from the Past Reflections on Palestinian Leaderships Past Palestinians and Their Leadership: Restoring the PLO Abbas and the Farce of Palestinian Democracy An Illegitimate Leadership Can Sign Away Rights Youth and the New Generation of Leaders Palestinian Leadership Through Resistance or Leaderless Subsistence? The Role of Youth A Leadership Model from the Palestinian Diaspora in the US Upending the Palestinian Leadership: The Role of Youth A New Model for
| Politics |

Palestinian elections: The view from Gaza

In-depth: Fifteen years after Palestinians last went to the polls, Gazans have seen their living conditions drastically deteriorate. For most, the upcoming elections elicit a mixture of hope and scepticism. "Reform starts from the bottom, not the other way around," says Mustafa, 50, a Palestinian political analyst from the Gaza Strip, referring to the  Palestinian legislative and presidential elections scheduled
| In-depth |

Hamas and Fatah 'pen joint letter' to Biden administration agreeing 'Palestinian state on 1967 borders'

The reported letter comes following recent talks between Fatah and Hamas officials, ahead of national elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Rival Palestinian factions have sent a joint letter to the administration of US President Joe Biden in which they appear to agree on backing a future Palestinian state along 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as
| News |

Palestine is on my mind — why is Hamas taking part in the elections?

The Palestinians need to formulate a comprehensive national project that everyone will agree upon before going to the polls, and it must be presented to all Palestinians inside and outside the occupied territories. There are, after all, more than six million Palestinians in the diaspora spread across five continents. This should be a priority for them. This is what they
| Article, Israel, Middle East |

Israel planning to 'use Covid-19 vaccines to buy normalisation'

The Israeli government could use the Covid-19 vaccine to establish relations with an undisclosed nation, an official said. Israel may donate precious Covid-19 vaccine doses to an undisclosed Arab country in return for  normalisation , the country's Army Radio reported on Sunday. The vaccines would be given to Arab states after its own inoculation efforts have concluded,
| News |

Can a new generation change Palestinian politics?

Haya Rimawi cannot remember the last Palestinian election. The producer at a Ramallah radio station, who was a young girl when elections were last held 15 years ago, says for her and her peers, the political “old guard” has been the only guard. “Ever since I was born, I have heard the same politicians’ names over and over again, rotating in and
| News |

Africa: On Shaky Ground, the ICC Must Rebuild With a New Prosecutor

[ISS] For the International Criminal Court (ICC), February has been a momentous month. A new chief prosecutor was appointed after a fraught election, important cases were started and another was concluded, and a decision reached on the question of Palestine. With some effort, the ICC can use these developments to assert its independence and leverage goodwill by focusing on investigations
| News |

AHRC applauds Life for Relief and Rahma Worldwide

AHRC applauds Life for Relief and Rahma Worldwide The American Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA) commends Life for Relief & Development (LIFE) and Rahma Worldwide for their recent humanitarian effort in Lebanon responding to an urgent call for relief. The aid was provided to Syrian and Palestinian refugees residing at camps in the city of Tyre... The post AHRC applauds Life for
| American Arabs, NewsWire, Syria |

Breaking the Silence – A Poem

– Timothy McCord has a passion for writing poetry. He lives in France, where he taught English for many years. Timothy was born and grew up in Britain, and became politically active there through his involvement in the anti-apartheid movement. This poem was written in response to the pressure being put on organizations to accept the IHRA definition and working
| Articles, Features, Poetry |

Freedom of expression in a downward spiral in Southern Africa, says new study

Some of the laws reviewed have a chilling effect on digital freedomYouth pose for a photo at a conference in Namibia. Image credit: Yusuf Kalyango Jnr. (CC BY-SA 2.0) A recent study by the coalition of the African Declaration of Internet Rights and Freedoms (AfDec) reviewed extant legislation and its impact on the right to freedom of expression in seven countries in Southern Africa—
| Advocacy, Human Rights, Law |

Pandemic politicking: Israel’s election sprint echoes US’s

IMAGE: Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, left, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, second left, visit the Leumit Health Care Services vaccination facility and meet Theodor Salzen, the four millionth person in Israel to be vaccinated for the coronavirus, in Jerusalem, Tuesday, February 16, 2021. Candidates hoping to topple Netanyahu in next month’s election are looking to the US experience
| Middle East, coronavirus (COVID-19), Elections |

Coen Brothers: Don't Accept Dan David Prize!

Coen Brothers: Don't Accept Dan David Prize!In the NewsThe British Commitee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP) calls on filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen to refuse the Dan David Prize, awarded jointly with Tel Aviv University, and not attend the 15 May award ceremony in Tel Aviv in the company of Israeli President Shimon Peres. Academic BoycottMarch 14, 2011 By:  BRICUP
| News |

Beloved Palestinian poet Mourid al-Barghouti dies at 76

Barghouti leaves behind a son, fellow poet Tamim al-Barghouti, and a celebrated body of work. Leading Palestinian poet and writer Mourid al-Barghouti died on Sunday at the age of 76. Born four years before the state of Israel was created in the town of Deir Ghassana, Barghouti spent most of his life in
| News |

The PA and UN are wilfully complicit in Israel's settler-colonialism

While Guterres and Mansour relied upon ambiguity to put forth a redundant message, Israeli human rights group B'Tselem made it clear in a position paper last month that the apartheid designation applies to all of the territories that Israel controls, the state "proper" and the occupied Palestinian territories, thus branding it as an apartheid state from its creation in 1948.
| Blog, Blogs - Politics, International Organisations |

Palestinian elections and the West

Fifteen years later, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge and the Palestinians are finally returning to elections. Will the EU in particular accept another victory for Hamas later this year? Have the conditions melted away in the face of the huge changes that have taken place since 2006, or is everything still the same?
| Article, Asia & Americas, EU |

West 10 to the West Bank: Reflections on My Visit to Occupied Palestine

One of the most common requests of local Palestinians for me to share upon arriving home was to encourage Muslims to visit the holy city and reconnect to our heritage in the region. Many locals are banned from entering the courtyard. They need us to make it clear that Muslims worldwide have not abandoned the struggle for Al-Aqsa.
| Middle East, Travel, israel |

Biden's cybersecurity pick is a threat to US security

For two decades, the Adelsons have founded and fostered a network of right-wing, anti-Palestinian organisations. They were the power couple of the pro-Israel lobby in the US. They bankrolled such groups as AIPAC, the Israeli American Council and Birthright; all are organisations which further Israel's apartheid colonisation of Palestine in one way or another. We now know that President Joe
| Article, Asia & Americas, Inquiry |

Exclusive: Stephen Jackson Discusses His Journey to Islam

In a Muslim Matters exclusive, I sat down with NBA Champion and activist, Stephen Jackson, to speak about his conversion to Islam, along with Tone Trump, a Philadephia based rapper who has been a mentor and friend to Stephen Jackson in his Journey to Islam. Hamzah Raza [HR]: Assalam Alaykum. It’s a pleasure to be in touch with you. I have
| Dawah and Interfaith, Featured Home, Positively Muslim |

Nothing has changed in US policy, so why is the PA building links with Biden?

According to a spokesperson of the US State Department, Ned Price: "The United States objects to today's International Criminal Court decision regarding the Palestinian situation. We will continue to uphold President Biden's strong commitment to Israel and its security, including opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly." It is worth noting that the US has praised the justice of
| Article, Asia & Americas, Israel |

George Shultz, The Nowhere Man

Daunting foreign policy challenges confront the United States during the Reagan era. But there are also delicious opportunities for leaders with imagination and a sense of strategy—if such leaders we only had. The Soviet Union has achieved military parity with the United States, its leadership is in transition, and new technologies threaten traditional patterns of both nuclear deterrence and arms
| George Shultz, Department of State, State Department |

Palestinian rivals Fatah, Hamas to discuss elections

Technical, legal and security issues must be resolved first, observers say, to ensure the first Palestinian votes in 15 years are not derailed by acrimony between the former enemies. The key Palestinian factions - Fatah, which controls the West Bank, and Gaza's Hamas Islamists - plan to meet in Cairo this week to tackle issues that
| News |

The Demise of Palestinian Productive Sectors: Internal Trade as a Microcosm of the Impact of Occupation

Overview The Dominance of Internal Trade in Palestine Sub-sectors Number of Establishments Share of Internal Trade Establishments Share of all Economic Establishments Convenience shops “al-dakakin” 17309 21% 11% Food retail shops 10567 13% 6.7% Clothing retail shops 10364 12.7% 6.5% Hairdressers and beauty treatment  8629 Not part of internal trade sector 5.5% Dependency and Trade in the Palestinian-Israeli Context Since the establishment of the PA, Palestinian trade has been dependent on Israel for 75% of its imports and 80% of its exports Click To
| Economics |

In Game Changer, Int’l Criminal Court will take up Israeli War Crimes and Apartheid in Palestine

So, Palestine sought the same status at the U.N. as is enjoyed by the Vatican, of permanent observer state. The General Assembly can grant this status, and did so for Palestine in 2012. Permanent observer states cannot vote, but they are not voiceless and can attend sessions. Palestine’s prerogatives were expanded in 2019 when the Group of 77 at the UN
| Featured, Israel/ Palestine |

International initiatives exclude any voice for the Palestinian people

Now that the Trump administration is history, albeit still influential in terms of annexation and normalisation, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called upon the Quartet to meet in order to attempt a resumption of negotiations. US President Joe Biden has restored diplomatic relations with the PA and pledged to resume humanitarian aid. According to Guterres, "There is a
| Asia & Americas, Blog, International Organisations |

Jerusalem was targeted by Israel and the Trump administration

One of the immediate results of the Trump policy in Jerusalem was an increase in the number of Palestinian Jerusalemites applying for Israeli citizenship. Between 2000 and 2003, the number of such applications was less than a hundred. By 2009, the figure was more than 700, and last year 1,633 applications were submitted.
| Article, Israel, Middle East |

Palestine and the election game (Part 2)

Of course, many countries encouraged the movement to take this step, some of which support the resistance, while others like the US or the EU countries wanted the movement to get involved in politics, abandon resistance and surrender its arms. Hamas duly participated in the 2006 elections after receiving reassurances from these countries, and it won. It suggested to Fatah
| Article, Asia & Americas, EU |

Palestinians say will launch vaccinations in two weeks

The Palestinians are to receive a first batch of 50,000 coronavirus vaccines by mid-February, when they will launch inoculations in the West Bank and Gaza, their prime minister said Monday. Speaking ahead of a Palestinian Authority weekly cabinet meeting, Mohammed Shtayyeh said the procurement had been secured through various sources, including the UN-backed Covax programme, set up to provide vaccines
| Middle East |

8th Year Running: Al-Shabaka Ranks Among World’s Top Think Tank Networks

The 2020 Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) has just been released. We’re delighted to report that Al-Shabaka again ranks in the top echelons of the "Best Think Tank Network" category! We maintain our place at 35th out of 86 global think tanks in this category – just two spots below Human Rights Watch and six spots ahead of CSIS
| News |

Jerusalem – Where Things Stand at the Start of the Biden Presidency

In the waning hours of the Trump Administration, the Israeli government issued a significant slate of last-minute settlement approvals, including granting a tender for the construction of an East Jerusalem settlement (Givat Hamatos) long understood to be a “doomsday” settlement by those advocating for a two-state solution. Given the centrality of Jerusalem to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, what do these latest settlement
| News |

Israel closes crossings with Egypt, Jordan until end of January

Deri said that these border crossings will be closed from Thursday morning at six am until the end of January, barring access into Israel from these crossings. The coordinator of Israeli government activities also announced that at five pm on Thursday, the Karama crossing will be closed until further notice in coordination with Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, as part
| Egypt, Allenby crossing, border crossing |