-Mark Hage, Vermonters for Justice In Palestine

January 9: Palestine Chronicle

Billions of US taxpayers’ dollars will continue to be funneled into Israel in the next fiscal year, and for many years in the foreseeable future. Republican and Democratic Senators have recently ensured just that, passing a bill aimed at providing Israel with $3.3 billion in aid every year.

January 20: Mondoweiss

Israeli police arrested a delegation of foreign activists, including a member of the Finnish parliament, while the group [Gaza 2020: Breaking the Siege] were attempting to break the 13-year blockade on Gaza by cutting through the Israeli “security fence” around the territory.

The group, accompanied by Finnish MP Anna Kontula, were on their way to the border with the intention of cutting through the border fence.

“I’m participating in the action because the situation in Gaza is awful and needs the world’s attention,” Kntula said in a statement.  “It’s like a prison, except that in my country prisoners are [given] more food and better health care than the children in Gaza. And, of course, they can get out some day,” she said.

January 20: Electronic Intifada

The arrest of the campaigner Jonathan Pollak has highlighted how a far-right group is seeking to silence Israelis who speak out against the oppression inflicted on Palestinians.

Pollak is being targeted by the organization Ad Kan, which alleges that he has taken part in violent protests against Israel’s wall in the occupied West Bank.  The Ad Kan complaint, filed in December 2018, does not mention any specific incidents or victims of the alleged assaults.

He [Pollak] has continued to reject the legitimacy of the Israeli courts since his arrest. He has remained in detention, after refusing to post bail of approximately $150.

In an opinion piece for Haaretz last year, Pollak wrote: “I will not go [to court hearings] because half the people under Israeli control are second-class citizens, in the case of the Palestinians who are Israeli citizens, or subjects lacking any basic democratic rights, in the case of the Palestinians living in the occupied territory. Despite the complex bureaucratic mechanisms designed to disguise that fact, there is one regime between the river and the sea, and if part of it is a military dictatorship, we must treat all of it that way.”

January 27: The Assassination of Qasem Soleimani, podcast on Electronic Intifada

AbuKhalil, a professor of political science at California State University Stanislaus…, discusses the aftermath of the assassinations of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the leader of Iraqi militias that were instrumental in the defeat of the Islamic State.

AbuKhalil analyzes Israel’s role not just in the assassinations, ordered by US President Donald Trump, but in expanding wars across the region.

“Every regional conflict, and every internal conflict in the region, Israel is always involved and always on the worst side,” says As’ad AbuKhalil.