Israel bans Code Pink and Jewish Voice for Peace from entering country while NYT forgets Gaza exists

The New York Times’ Jerusalem bureau chief, David Halbfinger has a lengthy article about how recent Trump administration and Israeli actions have led Palestinians to more seriously consider changing their position to advocate for a single state with equal rights for all. It’s titled: As a 2-State Solution Loses Steam, a 1-State Plan Gains Traction:

The Israeli right, emboldened by President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, is not the only faction arguing for a single state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

The Palestine Liberation Organization has also begun to ask whether that might not be such a bad idea, though it has a radically different view of what that state would look like. —…

The NYT is being rather coy when it says the Israeli view is “radically different”. As the article itself explains later, “radically different” actually means a system of Jim Crow or Apartheid:

“I would never give citizenship to the masses of the Arab population in Judea and Samaria,” said Yoav Kisch, a member of Parliament from Mr. Netanyahu’s party who is advancing one autonomy plan, using the biblical names for the West Bank.

A far bigger problem with the article is that the Jerusalem bureau chief for the New York Times seems to have forgotten Gaza exists. Oh sure, he does manage to insert the Israeli talking point that the West Bank result in “rockets raining down on Ben-Gurion airport”. But apart from that, the 1.8 million Palestinians who live in Gaza have been completely erased. It’s like they don’t exist.

The debate in the NYT about a one-state solution is framed by the Israeli narrative. The Israeli right wants the West Bank and Jerusalem. They figure they can trim the population over time with expulsions, and many dream of slowly forcing Palestinians out of their ancestral homeland to Jordan.

The thing is, if you add the 1.8 million people in Gaza, then you have just about as many Palestinian Muslims and Christians as you have Jewish persons within the country. This is unacceptable to mainstream Israeli parties because they cannot envision a day when they may have to share power with Palestinians. To an American reader, these views should recall the way in which white supremacists in the South fought against the realization of political power by formerly enslaved black populations during reconstruction. Or how settler colonists in the US dispossessed the indigenous population. The arguments and motives of the Israeli right are also comparable to those of white nationalists like Trump, Bannon, Sessions and Miller who want to establish an white ethno-state in the US.

Halbfinger either suffers from Stockholm syndrome, or has completely internalized the view that a single political entity, with equal rights for all, would be an apocalyptic result. He ends the article with a quote that compares a one-state eventuality to driving off a cliff.

What does the NYT find so frighteningly offensive about a country where all have equal rights? And how does the NYT get away with simply ignoring 1.8 million people? Has the Jerusalem bureau chief of the NYT forgotten that the Gaza based Hamas government and the Ramallah based Fatah/PLO government signed a unity agreement last year? Though there still appears to be some squabbling,  Gaza and the West Bank are now being governed by a joint government in some respects.

Yet, the NYT article seems oblivious to all this. The article claims to describe a shift in Palestinian negotiating positions, from a two-state demand to a realization that one-state with equal rights may be the only feasible option now. Incidentally the original Palestinian proposal was for a single secular state.

The thing is, no one has ever seen a Palestinian proposal that accepts a division of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Palestinians have, despite all the international and Israeli pressures to divide them, insisted they are one people. But the NYT simply ignores Gaza. This incidentally, is exactly what the Israeli right desires. And the NYT is happy to oblige them.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government announced that certain Jewish persons are no longer welcome in Israel.

The left-wing organization Jewish Voice for Peace has been placed on a BDS blacklist being compiled by Israel, the Strategic Affairs Ministry confirmed on Saturday, following a report by the Israel Television News Company.

The ministry has been compiling a list of 20 organizations whose members will not be allowed to enter Israel due to their support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. The ministry has refused to name the other organizations that are on the list.

Code Pink is also going to be given the same treatment that many

Members of 20 international organizations that promote a boycott campaign of Israel, many of them affiliated with the BDS movement, will be banned from entering the country, according to a list published Sunday by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs.

The list was created after Israel’s parliament in March approved legislation that would deny entry visas to foreign nationals who publicly back or call for any kind of boycott — economic, cultural or academic — of Israel or its West Bank settlements. […]

Among those featured on the list are six U.S. organizations, including two run by Jewish activists — Jewish Voice for Peace and Code Pink.  —…

The other U.S. groups on the list are: American Friends Service Committee; American Muslims for Palestine, Code Pink, National Students for Justice in Palestine; and the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights.

European groups on the list include BDS France; BDS Italy; War on Want; Friends of Al-Aksa; The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine; and Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign. The BDS National Committee; BDS Chile; and BDS South Africa also are on the list. —…

And in other news, the Israeli military continues to prosecute a 15 year old girl, Ahed Tamimi, in a military court, for slapping a soldier. The soldier had shot her cousin earlier in the day in the head with a rubber bullet.

Stateside, n NYC, Code Pink and JVP participated in a protest at Grand Central against Israel’s military detentions of hundreds of children.

While Ahed is in military custody, an Israeli soldier shot and killed another distant cousin of Ahed’s:

Israeli forces have shot dead a Palestinian teen on the northern outskirts of the occupied West Bank town of Ramallah, according to Palestinian officials.

The Palestinian health ministry identified the 17-year-old boy as Musab Firas al-Tamimi from the village of Deir Nitham, where Wednesday’s shooting took place. —…

The soldier claimed the boy had a gun, but no weapon appears to have been recovered. At this point, it is fair to consider this as credible as a claim that he was“reaching for his waistband”. The pattern of IDF violence inflicted on Palestinians explains why BLM has voiced strong support for Palestinian liberation movements.

— @subirgrewal