Stephen Zunes : Israel and Palestine


A Dangerous Move to Crack Down on Protests Against Israel
4 December 2020

Late last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the U.S. government finds the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign to be inherently “anti-Semitic.” He pledged to “immediately take steps to identify organizations that engage in hateful BDS conduct and withdraw U.S. government support for such groups” and urged all nations to “recognize the BDS movement for the cancer that it is.”


Pompeo Embraced Israeli Settlements, But Democrats Also Paved the Way for It
28 November 2020

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has faced widespread international condemnation for his recent assertions that illegal Israeli settlements constructed in the occupied West Bank are somehow legal and part of Israel, and that products from these colonies on confiscated Palestinian land should be labeled as “Made in Israel.” What fewer are discussing, however, is that while these proclamations are unprecedented in their scope, they are in fact the culmination of decades of bipartisan support for Israeli expansionism.


DNC Platform Condemns BDS But Not Israel’s Occupation of Palestine
7 August 2020

Due to a series of decisions by the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC’s) platform committee, progressives are concerned that the Biden-led Democratic Party’s foreign policy toward Israel and Palestine will more closely resemble that of Republicans than that of the Democratic rank-and-file.


Trump “Peace Plan” Too Extreme Even for Former Right-Wing Israeli Prime Minister
12 February 2020

In an extraordinary joint press conference at the United Nations on Tuesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert outlined their objections to Donald Trump’s so-called “peace plan” between Israel and Palestine. The plan would allow Israel to annex large swathes of territory conquered in the 1967 war that it has since illegally colonized with Israeli settlers. Trump’s proposal, made without Palestinian participation and unilaterally announced last month, would leave small noncontiguous enclaves of remaining Palestinian territory surrounded by a greatly expanded Israel and allowed only limited autonomy.


Trump’s Recognition of Israeli Settlements Is Rooted in Bipartisan Support
21 November 2019

Three previous U.S. administrations all ignored the gross power asymmetry between the Palestinians under occupation and the Israeli occupiers—an imbalance compounded by the fact that as the chief mediator in negotiations, the U.S. is also the primary military, economic, and diplomatic supporter of the occupying power.


Biden Has Defended US Allies’ Use of Lethal Force Against Civilians
4 November 2019

On an October evening in 2002, while quietly embroidering on the porch of her home in Nablus in the West Bank, 60-year-old Shaden Abu Hijleh was shot and killed by Israeli occupation forces. A grandmother and community activist involved in promoting the arts, women’s and children’s advocacy, serving the needy and nonviolent resistance to the occupation, she had no links to any violent or extremist organizations. No protests or other violent disturbances were taking place nearby, and her killing is widely believed to have been a targeted assassination.


U.S. Recognition of Israel’s Golan Annexation a Threat to World Order
25 March 2019

The Trump Administration’s decision to recognize Israel’s illegal annexation of the Golan Heights—Syrian territory seized in the June 1967 war—marks a serious violation of fundamental principles of international law.


‘More AIPAC Than J Street’: Kamala Harris Runs to the Right on Foreign Policy
28 January 2019

Harris is being embraced by many progressive Democrats, and she’s branding herself as a progressive. Yet in the course of her little more than two years in the U.S. Senate, she’s taken some foreign policy positions that should give pause to supporters of human rights and international law.


Rescinding a Human Rights Award to Angela Davis Was Cowardly and Unfair
10 January 2019

This past October, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute announced that activist, author, and scholar Angela Davis would be presented with the Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award at the group’s annual gala event next month. The announcement described Davis as “one of the most globally recognized champions of human rights, giving voice to those who are powerless to speak.”


Dems Eye Hawkish Eliot Engel to Chair House Foreign Affairs Committee
14 November 2018

Congressman Eliot Engel, Democrat of New York, currently the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will likely be the choice of the Democratic Party leadership to chair that influential committee when the new Democratic majority comes to office in January. In that role, he will serve as the Democratic Party’s most prominent figure on […]