The theft of Palestinian land is a legacy of British colonialism. The UK must stand in the way of further Israeli annexations
If ever there was a time to re-examine colonial legacies and responsibilities, this is it. The theft of Palestine from the Palestinians is one such legacy. On 2 November 1917, the foreign secretary, Arthur James Balfour, issued his famous declaration in support of “a national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. In 1917, Jews constituted 10% of the population, the rest were Arabs. Yet Britain recognised the national rights of a tiny minority and denied it to the majority.Continue reading...
WhatsApp has accused an Israeli spyware company of hacking 1,400 of its users, including journalists, human rights activists and diplomatic officials. As new allegations emerge, Guardian US investigations correspondent Stephanie Kirchgaessner discusses how she first discovered the story
In October 2019, the encrypted messaging app WhatsApp filed a lawsuit against a little known Israeli technology company called NSO Group. It accused the group of being responsible for a series of highly sophisticated cyber-attacks on 1,400 of its users, many of them human rights activists, journalists and diplomatic officials. It was the latest twist in a saga that the Guardian’s Stephanie Kirchgaessner had been investigating for months.
She tells Anushka Asthana that after working with researchers at the Canadian firm Citizen Lab, which tracks the use of spyware, she believes current and former clients of NSO Group include Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates.Continue reading...
Amnesty alleges phone of Omar Radi in Morocco was infected by NSO’s Pegasus software
As NSO Group faced mounting criticism last year that its hacking software was being used illegally against journalists, dissidents and campaigners around the world, the Israeli spyware company unveiled a new policy that it said showed its commitment to human rights.
Now an investigation has alleged that another journalist, Omar Radi in Morocco, was targeted with NSO’s Pegasus software and put under surveillance just days after the company made that promise.Continue reading...
Sections of the British Jewish community are among those voicing dismay at nomination of settlements supporter Tzipi Hotovely
The appointment of a hardline supporter of the annexation of Palestinian land as the next Israeli ambassador to the UK has dismayed sections of the British Jewish community, with some calling on the UK government to refuse to accept the nomination.
Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s settlements minister, has been named by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the successor to Mark Regev, who stepped down as ambassador to the UK last week.
[Hotovely’s] political views on Palestinians, annexation and religious pluralism clash with our core valuesContinue reading...
Use of invasive digital and physical tracking measures soars as the pandemic spreads
Extensive surveillance measures introduced around the world during the coronavirus outbreak have widened and become entrenched, digital rights experts have said, three months after the World Health Organization declared a pandemic.
The measures have often been billed as temporary necessities rushed into place to help track infections, but governments have been accused of denting civil rights with the widespread use of techniques such as phone monitoring, contact tracing apps, and physical surveillance such as CCTV with facial recognition.Continue reading...
A bereaved vet takes his daughter on a healing road trip after she tries to kill herself, in Nimrod Eldar’s intelligent drama
Israeli film-maker Nimrod Eldar makes an accomplished and worthwhile feature debut with this very intelligent, character-driven drama, which he has written, directed and edited. A middle-aged man in Tel Aviv, Yoram (Menashe Noy), is coming to terms with the death of his wife but failing to communicate with his 17-year-old daughter, Roni (Zohar Meidan), or understand her feelings. When she makes an unsuccessful attempt to take her own life, Yoram gets it into his head to take her on a healing road trip to visit his late wife’s relatives, people that he doesn’t at all get on with – especially his reactionary, gun-toting brother-in-law, Arie (Alon Neuman).
The opening 20 minutes of the film are superbly composed, especially the extraordinarily tense scene when police officers show up at the family apartment, having been informed by social media monitors that Roni has made suicidal posts online. Noy is very good at suggesting a man who has grumpily and bitterly retreated into himself, as a protection against being hurt any more than he already is. Meidan’s performance is also a model of care and sensitivity.Continue reading...
Benjamin Netanyahu’s threat will end hopes of a two-state system and probably result in expulsions and violence
Unsurprisingly, Benjamin Netanyahu has now made things starkly clear. On 28 May the Israeli prime minister explained that when – not if – his government goes ahead with unilateral annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank, thousands of Palestinian residents would be granted neither citizenship nor equal rights.
It has become fashionable to argue that Netanyahu’s move will clarify, once and for all, that two states is a fantasyContinue reading...
MPs including Jeremy Corbyn and Caroline Lucas, and peers including Tessa Blackstone and Peter Hain, along with union leaders, campaigners and cultural figures, call for the UK government and all political parties to heed the appeals of Palestinian civil society organisations for ‘effective measures’
Starting in July, the new Israeli government has said that it intends to illegally annex large swathes of Palestinian land in the West Bank, which was militarily occupied in 1967. This would be the culmination of years of appropriation of land through the forced displacement of Palestinians and the illegal settlement of the West Bank and annexation of East Jerusalem. By annexing the West Bank, Israel would be taking over occupied Palestinian territory and making it an integral part of the Israeli state.
Palestinian civil society has made a global call for “effective measures” to be taken to stop this annexation happening. For the UK, this means we should by now, at the very least, be adhering to an ethical policy on all trade with Israel, with a particular focus on applying international law on settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. We also need to end the UK’s arms trade with Israel, which results in the violation of the human rights of Palestinians.
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, a number of organisations and individuals are cooperating to try to respond to the call from Palestine by making annexation a live issue and bringing it to the forefront of the current political agenda. Israel’s timetable is to annex land quickly with President Trump’s support – this means we cannot wait any longer.
This is why we are speaking out now, on the 53rd anniversary of Israel completing the military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, calling upon the UK government and all UK political parties to heed the call of Palestinian civil society organisations for effective measures by all states in order to stop Israel’s illegal annexation.
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Caroline Lucas MP
John McDonnell MP
Tommy Sheppard MP
Andy Slaughter MP
Tessa Blackstone House of Lords
Christine Blower House of Lords
Peter Hain House of Lords
Jo Grady General secretary, UCU
Len McCluskey General secretary, Unite the Union
John Phillips Acting general secretary, GMB
Mark Serwotka General secretary, PCS
Mick Whelan General secretary, Aslef
Dr Salman Abu Sitta
Prof Kamel Hawwash Chair, Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Prof Karma Nabulsi
Joff Oddie, Ellie Rowsell, Theo Ellis and Joel Amey Members of the band Wolf Alice
The best stories from the beautiful game that you may never have heard before, written by some of the world’s leading sports journalists, and spanning more than 100 years of sporting history from across the footballing planet.
In this episode: the concluding part of a two-part feature-length story about how the little Israeli Abraham Klein survived politics, prejudice and even the Holocaust to become the best referee in the world (listen to part one)
Read the text version here.Continue reading...
Shtayyeh calls on world powers to threaten Netanyahu with sanctions over expansion plans
Palestine will declare statehood over all of the West Bank and Gaza, with Jerusalem as its capital, and push for global recognition if Israel goes ahead with plans to annex land it occupies, the Palestinian prime minister has said.
Mohammad Shtayyeh described the possible step pledged by the Israeli leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, as an “existential threat” to a decades-long international effort for Israelis and Palestinians to reach an agreement that establishes two states side by side.Continue reading...