Social distancing while protesting

April 20th 2020

Here is today’s DeepDive.

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Yara Hawari on the difficulty of praising Israeli - Palestinian collaboration during the pandemic (PalestineDeepDive)

Yara Hawari spoke to Palestine DeepDive from home in Palestine. Yara is a Senior Policy Fellow at Al-Shabaka. She was speaking as part of our first live panel on the topic of "Palestine & Covid-19".

She can be followed on Twitter: @yarahawari

/ / We are in the midst of planning future panel discussions—send us an email if there is a particular topic or story you would like us to address / / 

Thousands of Israelis maintain social distancing while protesting Netanyahu (Axios)

Some of the strangest pictures you will see from this quite exceptional moment in history:

More than 2,000 Israelis stood 6 feet apart in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Sunday to protest what they consider the erosion of democracy under the coronavirus-era government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The "Black Flag" demonstrations, which began in March, are a response to stringent coronavirus policies that include phone tracking for civilians. Police marked spots on the ground where protesters could stand.

Palestinians In The West Bank Improvise Checkpoints To Help Fight Coronavirus (NPR)

In the shadow of Israeli watchtowers and settlements, Palestinians affiliated with Fatah have co-opted an emblem of their occupier and set up improvised checkpoints — to enforce a Palestinian Authority lockdown in areas where Palestinian police are not permitted to patrol.

The strict lockdown has paid off so far. The West Bank has recorded fewer than 300 cases of infection and two deaths.

The Palestinian leadership, which usually has a 30% to 40% overall approval rating, enjoys 96% support for its response to the coronavirus, according to a recent poll.

With Jerusalem locked down, holy site pilgrims turn to virtual reality (The Times of Israel)

This year is the first time since 1992 that Passover, Easter and Ramadan have all fallen in the same month. It should be among the busiest tourist months Jerusalem has seen in decades, if ever.

In collaboration with two VR firms — Blimey in Israel and OccupiedVR in Canada — The Tower of David Museum allows users to walk through the Church of the Holy Sepulchre during Easter’s Holy Fire ceremony; sit among worshipers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque during Ramadan prayers; and stand with the throngs at the Western Wall as they receive the ancient priestly blessing at Passover.

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Here at Palestine DeepDive, we curate the most important news about Israel and Palestine. By presenting a range of articles, we hope that our readers will encounter new voices and perspectives.

If you know someone who might be interested in this newsletter, please forward it on.

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Until next time,

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In case you missed it: Journalism student arrested as Israel invades Bethlehem

April 19th 2020

Hello!

Here is a selection of interesting stories that did not make it into our newsletter earlier in the week. Make sure you follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our new YouTube channel.

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Palestine & Covid-19 (Palestine Deep Dive)

Watch last week’s panel discussion in full. Featuring compelling points from experts including Mohammed Omer, Yara Hawari, Jonathan Cook and others.

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We are thinking of hosting another, perhaps slightly smaller, discussion this coming Friday. If you have any feedback on how we did with our previous one (link above), then please let us know by replying to this email!

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Journalism student arrested as Israel invades Bethlehem (Electronic Intifada)

Riot in Jerusalem Haredi area over virus regulations; girl hit by police grenade (The Times of Israel)

COVID-19 offers new opportunities for Israel-Arab relations (Al Monitor)

Here are 10 more books to read on Israel/Palestine while social distancing (Mondoweiss)

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Here at Palestine DeepDive, we find the most important news about Israel and Palestine and we share it with you. By presenting a range of articles, we hope that our readers will encounter new voices and perspectives.

Until next time,

Palestine DeepDive

Weekly Deep Dive: Political Paralysis, Two-State Devolution

18th April 2020

Hello!

Here are the most read articles of the last week! Make sure you follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our new YouTube channel, where you can now watch last week’s live panel in full.

Will the Coronavirus End Israel’s Political Paralysis? (New York Times)

A useful explainer of the seemingly never-ending parliamentary deadlock an Israel: “Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Gantz differ in their approaches to President Trump’s proposal to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Mr. Netanyahu has pledged to swiftly and unilaterally annex large swaths of the occupied West Bank, while Mr. Gantz’s Blue and White party has said it is opposed to unilateral annexation in the absence of broad international consensus.

The two sides have reportedly come to an agreement on this issue. More problematic was what critics describe as Mr. Netanyahu’s singular goal of ensuring he can remain in office despite his legal troubles.”

The Two-State Devolution (Foreign Affairs)

On the viability of a two-state solution, a piece of international relations debate between Michael S Doran who praises the realpolitik of Trump’s peace plan and Tarek Osman who suggests: “successful societies should not base their security doctrines on their presumed perpetual ability to control others. In Israel, it took an experienced soldier with a strategic vision, Yitzhak Rabin, to see this. His insight was that Israel cannot—and does not want to—permanently control a large population that seeks independence. By the time he became Israel’s prime minister for a second term, in 1992, Rabin saw that Israel’s long-term security required a viable Palestinian state, albeit one that would pose no threat to Israel.”

Abbas in phone call blitz to prevent Israeli annexation in West Bank (Times of Israel)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas held a round of phone conversations with Middle East leaders to urge them to oppose Israel’s possible annexation of parts of the West Bank, senior Palestinian official Saeb Erakat said on Saturday.

In a tweet, Erakat said that Abbas spoke with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, the monarch of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa; the emir of Kuwait, Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah; and the emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to discuss “the Israeli plan of annexation and the need to prevent it.”

From ancient Palestine to Syria: A treasure trove of incredible Middle Eastern maps is now available online(The National)

American academic Zachary Foster really likes maps. But not just any maps, particularly maps of the Middle East. He has collected them all his life. Now, he has thousands of them.

Foster, who now lives in San Francisco, has just launched a website to share all of these maps – from ancient geographic charts of Syria to a city plan of Beirut in 1909 – with the wider public.

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Here at Palestine DeepDive, we find the most important news about Israel and Palestine and we share it with you. By presenting a range of articles, we hope that our readers will encounter new voices and perspectives.

Until next time,

Palestine DeepDive

East Jerusalem virus testing site shut down

April 17th 2020

Here is today’s DeepDive. Make sure you follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our new YouTube channel, where you can now watch last week’s live panel in full.

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Mohammed Omer on how coronavirus is affecting Jordan and the Palestinian refugee camps there (PalestineDeepDive)

Mohammed Omer spoke to Palestine DeepDive from his home in Amman, Jordan. Mohammed is an award-winning journalist, originally from Gaza.

He was speaking as part of our first live panel on the topic of "Palestine & Covid-19".

Israel said to shut down East Jerusalem virus testing site operating under PA (The Times of Israel)

The Public Security Ministry said in a statement: “All activity by the Palestinian Authority in Israeli territory that is not coordinated and approved by authorities is prohibited under law and the police must prevent it.”

Israel considers East Jerusalem its territory, though Palestinians want it as the capital of a future state. Though its residents are Palestinians, East Jerusalem is under the control of the Israeli government, which is responsible for providing them with services.

According to the report, the clinic was using equipment supplied by the PA Health Ministry and the tests it carried out were to have been transferred to the PA for assessment.

The Arab medics battling coronavirus in Israel’s segregated society (Financial Times)

Since Mr Netanyahu first came to power in 1996 he has denigrated Arab politicians as supporters of terrorism, stripped Arabic of its status as an official language and last year passed a law that gave Jews alone the right to self-determination in the state of Israel. Now, in the battle against Covid-19, Mr Netanyahu needs their help.

Arabs make up only a fifth of Israel’s population, but represent half the country’s pharmacists, a quarter of its nurses and just under a fifth of its doctors, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. Some of the nation’s largest hospitals have Arab doctors heading major departments, and the country’s leading virologist is Arab. 

The Perils of Social Distancing and Remote Schooling in Palestine (Haaretz)

Extract from a blog on the life of a Jewish Israeli lawyer married to a Palestinian, living in Ramallah.

“The boy wants to eat the chicken,” Miss Chantal started to explain in French, but she stopped when Forat’s face disappeared from the screen. “Can Forat hear me?” she asked me in English.

“Yes,” I said. “But she’s hiding under the table.”

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Here at Palestine DeepDive, we curate the most important news about Israel and Palestine. By presenting a range of articles, we hope that our readers will encounter new voices and perspectives.

If you know someone who might be interested in this newsletter, please forward it on.

Share Palestine DeepDive

Until next time,

Palestine DeepDive

Only Americans can save Israel from itself argues Israeli legislator

April 16th 2020

Here is today’s DeepDive:

Steve Sosebee on how the West Bank is responding to the coronavirus (Palestine DeepDive)

Steve Sosebee spoke to Palestine DeepDive from his home in Ramallah, Palestine about the situation on the ground in the West Bank during these unprecedented times.

Steve is the founder of Palestine Children's Relief Fund and was speaking as part of our first live panel on the topic of "Palestine & Covid-19".

Only Americans can save Israel from itself by blocking West Bank annexation in D.C., lawmaker says (Mondoweiss)

Golan is a member of the Labor-Meretz-Gesher alliance in the Knesset (7 seats in the 120-member parliament).

Golan said that a solid right-wing majority of Israeli Jewish politicians– 65 out of the 120 members of Knesset– support annexing large portions of the West Bank so as to make sure there will never be a Palestinian state. And the only way to stop them, and save Israel from itself, he said, is on Capitol Hill.

He argued that many Israeli Jews understand that annexation as a threat to Zionism, because it would undermine the Zionist dream of a Jewish majority in the land, but they are too mistrustful of their neighbours to agree to give up land.

Rivlin gives Knesset 21 days to agree on the PM it wants, or go to new election (The Times of Israel)

Rivlin chose not to give Netanyahu another 28 days in which to attempt to negotiate a government himself, as he could have done under law. The move was widely seen as intended to force Netanyahu and Gantz to stop dithering and seal a unity deal quickly amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Row in Gaza over arrests for Zoom chat with Israelis (France 24)

A fierce dispute has divided the Palestinian community after Gaza's rulers, Hamas, arrested six local activists for chatting by video conference with left-leaning campaigners in Israel.

Gaza's Hamas-run interior ministry said that "establishing any activity or communication with the Israeli occupation under any excuse is a crime punishable by law, and is treason against our people".

"We absolutely condemn arrests of individuals because of practising their right to peaceful expression and assembly," said Saleh Hijazi, Amnesty's deputy director for the Middle East.

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Here at Palestine DeepDive, we curate the most important news about Israel and Palestine. By presenting a range of articles, we hope that our readers will encounter new voices and perspectives. Make sure you follow us on Twitter.

If you know someone who might be interested in this newsletter, forward it on.

Share Palestine DeepDive

Until next time,

Palestine DeepDive

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