- The Universal Jurisdiction debate is coming: PSC has put together an e-tool where you can email your MP in less than two minutes on this issue. Fire away an email and then send the link to your friends.
- The House of Lords oversaw a debate about the Israeli government’s continued refusal to remove illegal settlers from the West Bank. It reads fairly sensibly until Baroness Miller of Hendon refers to the settlements as a ‘haven’ and Lord Pannick prefers to divert attention from the main issue.
- In The House of Commons, the Minister for International Development was asked ‘what steps he is taking to ensure that people in Gaza receive the humanitarian aid allocated by his Department’. LibDem Julian Huppert raises an important issue about how the Gaza blockade is preventing UNRWA from building urgently needed schools.
- Julian Huppert also visited Gaza last week as part of a parliamentary delegation, which he discusses on his blog here. He praises how the UN is ‘slowly putting the area back together’ but also comments ‘it’s tragic to see the widespread senseless damage’.
- The Independent reports that Israeli soldiers shot at children collecting gravel by the Gaza border.
- Peter Hitchens has a rather curious piece in the Daily Mail, arguing that ‘the true state of the Gaza Strip, and of the West Bank of the Jordan, is so full of paradoxes and surprises that most news coverage of the Middle East finds it easier to concentrate on the obvious, and leave out the awkward bits’.
- The Alternative Information Center reports on the ‘BDS Victory’, as Veolia has signed an agreement to sell its shares in the Jerusalem Light Rail project (Israeli government project that ignores the illegality of the Occupation) to the Israeli transportation cooperative Egged.
- The Palestinian leadership rejected a dodgy ‘offer’ from Netanyahu, pledging to extend the freeze of the illegal settlement building in the West Bank in exchange for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
- MEMO interviews an Arab Knesset Member, Mr Talab El Sana, about Israel’s proposed ‘loyalty oath’ here. “We view this as a dangerous development which seeks to legitimize state discrimination against the 1.5 million Palestinians in Israel,” he says.
- In the Independent, Adrian Hamilton argues that ‘Israel has no future as a purely Jewish state’, an article that has got Melanie Phillips quite excited.
- Anshel Pfeffer writes in the Jewish Chronicle that ‘rage over ‘racist’ law is misplaced, as ‘the pledge merely underlines an already existing situation’. The real problem, claims Pfeffer, is the law’s ‘PR effect’, as acknowledged by several UK rabbis.
- In the New York Times, Ethan Bronner has a useful analysis piece on the internal dynamics of Israeli politics vis-à-vis Netanyahu’s ‘offer’.
- Jonathan Cook argues that by rejecting Obama’s reckless and extravagant incentives to Israel in return for a temporary freeze on settlement-building, Netanyahu hopes to persuade the White House “to reaffirm a promise made in a 2004 letter from … George W. Bush that Israel will not be required to withdraw to the pre-1967 borders in a peace deal”.
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