Palestine Theater

Google fires employees who protested Israel contract

Google fired 28 workers on April 17 after dozens of employees participated in sit-ins at the company's offices in New York City and Sunnyvale, Calif., to protest a cloud computing contract with the Israeli government. Nine were arrested at the company headquarters in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood after they refused police orders to disband their occupation. Another five were arrested at the Sunnyvale headquarters. Tensions had been building between management and activist employees over Project Nimbus, a $1.2 billion joint Google-Amazon deal to supply the Israeli government with cloud services, including artificial intelligence. Google employees affiliated with the group that organized the sit-ins, No Tech for Apartheid, said in a statement that the firings were "a flagrant act of retaliation."

Marek Edelman: Jewish hero, anti-Zionist

In Episode 222 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg marks the 81st anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising by reviewing the new documentary on Jewish armed struggle against the Nazis, Resistance—They Fought Back. A nearly forgotten element of this struggle was the consciously anti-Zionist politics of some of the resistance leaders—most notably Jewish Combat Organization subcommander Marek Edelman, who was the last surviving leader of the Ghetto Uprising when he died in his native Poland in 2009. Edelman was a follower of the General Jewish Labor Bund, which rejected the colonization of Palestine in favor of fighting for a dignified and secure place for Jews within Europe. This history is especially critical at this moment in light of credible accusations that the self-proclaimed Jewish State is committing genocide in Gaza, and propagandistic efforts to cynically conflate anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism.

US vetoes Palestine bid for full UN membership

The US vetoed a resolution to approve Palestine's application for full membership in the United Nations on April 18. The resolution before the Security Council was put forward by Algeria, and received 12 votes in favor—more than the required nine. Two countries, the UK and Switzerland, abstained.

Pressure mounts for arms embargo on Israel

The UN Human Rights Council on April 5 adopted a resolution, A/HRC/55/L.30, reiterating the Security Council's call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza—and further calling for an embargo and prevention of the supply of weapons to Israel by UN Member States.

Podcast: against Zionism, toward pro-Semitism

In Episode 220 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg discusses two new books on the related themes of the Jewish Question and the Question of Palestine. One, The New American Anti-Semitism: The Left, the Right, and the Jews by Benjamin Ginsberg, is dangerously deluded. The other, The No-State Solution: A Jewish Manifesto by Daniel Boyarin, begins to move the discussion in the right direction. Weinberg goes further, callling for pan-Semitic unity between Jews and Arabs in repudiation of racism, imperialism and colonialism in all forms—including both Zionism and anti-Semitism.

Gaza: flashpoint for regional war? (redux redux)

At least 42 people were reportedly killed March 29 in Israeli air-strikes near the Syrian city of Aleppo, allegedly targeting an arms depot belonging to the militant group Hezbollah. Those killed include members of Hezbollah and Syrian soldiers. Israeli air-strikes in southern Lebanon on March 27 killed 16 people, and one person in Israel was killed by a barrage of rockets fired by Hezbollah from south Lebanon. Earlier in the week, a series of air-strikes on Syria's eastern province of Deir el-Zor killed 15 people, including a World Health Organization staff member as well as an Iranian military adviser. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for those strikes. (TNH)

What fate for Rafah civilians as Israeli invasion looms?

As Israel presses toward an invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where 1.4 million displaced Palestinians are trying to find shelter, the Israeli military says it plans to direct a "significant" number of them toward zones in the center of the Gaza Strip. Referring to the areas as "humanitarian islands," Israel's chief military spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, did not provide details on how or when civilians would be moved when he made the March 13 announcement. Any Israeli invasion of Rafah could trigger an even larger humanitarian catastrophe in the densely crowded area, aid groups have warned for weeks.

Podcast: for Tibet-Palestine solidarity

The 65th anniversary of Tibetan Uprising Day immediately follows Tibetan protests against plans to flood ancestral lands for mega-hydro development to power the cities and industrial zones of China's east—a clear parallel to the struggle of the Cree and Inuit indigenous peoples of the Canadian north to defend their territories from mega-hydro schemes to power the megalopoli of the US Northeast. The illegal Chinese occupation of Tibet since 1959 also has a clear parallel in the illegal Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories since 1967. Yet the Tibetan and Palestinian leadership have long been pitted against each other in the Great Power game. In a significant sign of hope, Students for a Free Tibet responded to the criminal bombardment of Gaza by issuing a statement in solidarity with the Palestinians, and some leading figures in the Tibetan exile community have drawn the connection between the two peoples' struggles. Bill Weinberg explores in Episode 217 of the CounterVortex podcast.

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