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TODAY! These Chains Will Be Broken: Ramzy Baroud

This urgent conversation with Ramzy Baroud will focus on the emergency situation of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Maher Al-Akhras described by B'Tselem on Monday as 'on the verge of death' plus Ramzy's latest book, These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggles and Defiance in Israeli Prisons (Clarity Press, 2020).

Ramzy Baroud is a US-Palestinian journalist, media consultant, author, internationally-syndicated columnist, Editor of Palestine Chronicle (1999-present), former Managing Editor of London-based Middle East Eye, former Editor-in-Chief of The Brunei Times, former Deputy Managing Editor of Al Jazeera online.

In all his books, Ramzy looks to return the centrality of the Palestinian voice back to the heart of their struggle for liberation, giving Palestinians centre stage to articulate their own discourse and reclaim the narrative from an Israeli perspective, back to a Palestinian one.

Reserve your space on the live Zoom webinar with a free ticket from Eventbrite. 6pm UK time // 1pm EDT // 8pm Palestine. 

TOP STORIES TODAY

Israel’s settlement approvals hit record high: Watchdog (Al Jazeera)

"Israel has pressed forward on plans for more than 3,000 West Bank settlement homes, making 2020 one of the most prolific years for illegal settlement building, according to a watchdog group."

"Thursday’s approvals, along with more than 2,000 new homes approved a day earlier by a defence ministry planning committee, are part of a building boom that has gained steam during the presidency of United States President Donald Trump, a staunch ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu."

"The latest approvals raised the number of settlement homes to be advanced this year to more than 12,150, according to Peace Now, the settlement watchdog group. It is by far the highest number of approvals since Trump took office in early 2017 and the highest since Peace Now began recording the figures in 2012."

Israeli settlers' racism is not an aberration. It's part of an apartheid system (Middle East Eye)

Ben White writes: "The Israeli settlement of Yitzhar, long a byword for nationalist extremism and anti-Palestinian violence, was in the news again on Monday, after residents erected a sign outside the settlement stating: 'This road leads to the community of Yitzhar - Entry for Arabs is dangerous.'"

"In fact, the racism of Yitzhar settlers can only be understood as part of, rather than extraneous to or exceptional from, historic and contemporary policies implemented and supported by Israel’s political and military leadership, judiciary, and a majority of its Jewish public."

"Today, Jewish Israeli control of land and resources - at the expense of Palestinian citizens - is ensured through various laws and planning mechanisms, including a refusal to allow internally displaced Palestinians to return to their lands, and the role of residential admissions committees."

Israel's pact with the UAE is not about peace. It's a business deal (The Guardian)

Sami Abu Shehadeh, Member of the Knesset Joint List, writes: "This week, we were given copies of the agreement, which I read in the three languages (Arabic, Hebrew and English) and figured out a few things. First of all, those who wrote it in different languages tailored it to their audiences."

"While in English and Hebrew, they repeated the word “normalisation” several times, it is not even mentioned in Arabic. This is a business deal that merely establishes diplomatic relations, and not a peace agreement. The word “annexation” (of occupied Palestinian territory) is not even mentioned."

"The agreements talk about “coexistence”. Why does Israel talk about “coexistence” with a country thousands of kilometres away? At the same time, within its borders, 100,000 Arab citizens live in villages older than the state of Israel itself, yet are unrecognised and lack access to essential services such as water and electricity?"
New Israeli Legislation to Criminalize Anti Occupation Human Rights Work (Al Haq)

"Article 114C defines a foreign agent as follows: 'anyone who can be reasonably suspected to have engaged, or have been sent to engage, by or on behalf of a foreign state or terrorist organization, in the collection of secret intelligence or in other acts that might endanger Israel's security, or anyone who can be reasonably suspected of membership in a terrorist organization, of connection to it, or of being a proxy to it.'"

"The bill suggests to change the terminology, replacing “foreign state" with “foreign political entity” as defined by Article 36A of the Organizations' Law..."

"Seen in the context of the anti-BDS act and the so-called NGO funding transparency law, this bill, if enacted, is a dangerous escalation not only by reinforcing the shrinking space reality, but by turning human rights work into a criminal offence."

GO DEEPER

Endless warnings of Gaza’s collapse are why we’re failing to prevent it (+972 Magazine)

Yara M. Asi writes "Unlike almost every other public health dimension, Gaza is performing better on COVID-19 containment than the West Bank, which has reported tens of thousands of cases and hundreds of deaths. The multiple levels of isolation and lockdown have certainly been one component of what has so far been a low mortality rate in Gaza."

"However, it is clear to all that an outbreak in Gaza would be disastrous and almost guaranteed if there was uncontrolled community spread. The strip is an extremely dense urban environment with large multigenerational households, making social distancing difficult."

"Lack of basic needs like water and electricity hamper efforts to increase sanitation, as is required for an infectious disease. And with unemployment and poverty rates so high, it is likely that many families have at least one member who cannot afford to skip work and is therefore forced to leave the house."

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