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Palestinians excluded from Israeli Covid vaccine rollout as jabs go to settlers (The Guardian) 

Oliver Holmes and Hazem Balousha write: "Human rights groups accuse Israel of dodging obligations to millions in occupied territories who may wait months for vaccination." 

"Israel is celebrating an impressive, record-setting vaccination drive, having given initial jabs of coronavirus shots to more than a 10th of the population. But Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza can only watch and wait."

"As the world ramps up what is already on track to become a highly unequal vaccination push – with people in richer nations first to be inoculated – the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories provides a stark example of the divide."

"Israel transports batches of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine deep inside the West Bank. But they are only distributed to Jewish settlers, and not the roughly 2.7 million Palestinians living around them who may have to wait for weeks or months."
With New Congress, Israel Loses Two of Its Best Friends in Washington (Haaretz)

Ben Samuels writes: "Israel officially lost two of its most stalwart Democratic supporters in Congress over the weekend, with Reps. Nita Lowey and Eliot Engel officially leaving office after more than three decades in public service."

"Both were favorites of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the most influential lobby group supporting Israel in the United States."

"They were both two of the most senior Democrats to oppose the Iran nuclear deal, and their departure removes two significant intra-party roadblocks for the Biden administration’s potential re-engagement with the 2015 agreement from which the Trump administration withdrew."

"A Democratic foreign policy adviser told Haaretz shortly before Engel’s defeat that the difference in approaches taken by Bowman and Engel on the Israeli-Palestinian issue highlights how the Democratic Party is evolving on this front." 

“Engel represents a very old school and outdated approach of what it means to support Israel – basically supporting anything the Israeli government wants to do at any given time, no matter what,” the adviser said. “There is a growing constituency in the Democratic Party that doesn’t accept this approach anymore.”
Israel dismisses 'nonsense' Iran charge it seeks to trick U.S. into war (Reuters)

"An Israeli official on Sunday dismissed as “nonsense” an allegation by the Iranian foreign minister that Israel was trying to trick the United States into waging war on Iran."

"On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter: “New intelligence from Iraq indicate that Israeli agent-provocateurs are plotting attacks against Americans — putting an outgoing (President Donald) Trump in a bind with a fake casus belli.”

“Be careful of a trap, @realDonaldTrump. Any fireworks will backfire badly, particularly against your same BFFs,” Zarif wrote, in what appeared to be a veiled threat against Israel."

"[Energy Minister Yuval] Steinitz said the remarks showed that Iran, after mounting U.S. sanctions billed as curbing its nuclear programme and involvement in regional conflict-zones, was “under pressure - economic pressure, and pressure in terms of national security”.

“We hear this nonsense by Zarif, that Israel would set off terrorist attacks against the United States - this really is total nonsense,” Steinitz told Kan public radio."

Palestinian DJ released after being arrested for performing near West Bank mosque (NME)

Rhian Daly writes "Palestinian DJ Sama’ Abdulhadi has been released on bail after being detained for eight days for performing near a West Bank mosque."

"In a statement, Abdulhadi said: “I am safe and well and would like to thank everybody who has spoken out in support of my situation and called for my immediate release."

“I am overwhelmed by the support from my fellow musicians, artists, activists and the entire music community. I want to thank anybody and everybody who has made me feel so supported. At this moment, I just want to spend time with my family.”

"The 30-year-old’s arrest sparked support around the world, including with artists such as Brian Eno and Roger Waters, and actor Mark Ruffalo. A petition calling for her release has gained over 100,000 signatures at the time of writing."


Jews of the world, disunite…in Israel! (Medium) 

Sam Bahour writes: "Stop loving Israel to death."

"As a Palestinian living in Palestine, I anxiously await your arrival. I have spoken directly to thousands of you over decades about Israel and its actions. Most recently, I had a conversation with over 100 of you on Zoom."

"The conversation and audience questions were all too familiar, like the hundreds of past encounters — cordial, frank, and informative to us both. However, this last one ended on a note that stuck with me for days. The interviewer, a well-established and respected Jewish thought leader in the U.S. closed the session with a message of hope that Israeli scientists would clone me."

"Although flattered, I got off the call and thought: Why clone me? I’m just communicating what my community has been saying for decades. There are already plenty of Palestinians saying the exact same thing."

"I ask you to indulge me in a rare rant..."

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