In Pre-Dawn Raid, Israel Arrests Badly Wounded Cousin of Ahed Tamimi, Jailed Protest Icon

by Robert Mackey
The Intercept

EARLY MONDAY MORNING, Israeli forces detained a teenage Palestinian boy who has been missing part of his skull since December, when he was shot in the head by an Israeli soldier during a protest against the occupation of his West Bank village.

The boy, Mohammed Tamimi, 15, was one of 10 Palestinian residents of the village of Nabi Saleh arrested in a pre-dawn raid. Tamimi’s 17-year-old cousin, Ahed, has been in an Israeli military prison since December, when she was filmed slapping an Israeli soldier outside her family home about an hour after Mohammed was shot.

Mohammed was arrested in the middle of the night, and taken away for interrogation, despite the fact that his medical condition has been widely reported on in the Israeli press, and his head remains badly deformed.



The World Will Not Mourn the Decline of U.S. Hegemony

by Paul Street

There are good reasons for any good progressive to bemoan the presence of the childish, racist, sexist and ecocidal, right-wing plutocrat Donald Trump in the White House. One complaint about Trump that should be held at arm’s-length by anyone on the left, however, is the charge that Trump is contributing to the decline of U.S. global power--to the erosion of the United States’ superpower status and the emergence of a more multipolar world.

This criticism of Trump comes from different elite corners. Last October, the leading neoconservative foreign policy intellectual and former George W. Bush administration adviser Eliot Cohen wrote an Atlantic magazine essay titled “How Trump Is Ending the American Era.” Cohen recounted numerous ways in which Trump had reduced “America’s standing and ability to influence global affairs.” He worried that Trump’s presidency would leave “America’s position in the world stunted” and an “America lacking confidence” on the global stage.

But it isn’t just the right wing that writes and speaks in such terms about how Trump is contributing to the decline of U.S. hegemony. A recent Time magazine reflection by the liberal commentator Karl Vick (who wrote in strongly supportive terms about the giant January 2017 Women’s March against Trump) frets that that Trump’s “America First” and authoritarian views have the world “looking for leadership elsewhere.”

“Could this be it?” Vick asks. “Might the American Century actually clock out at just 72 years, from 1945 to 2017? No longer than Louis XIV ruled France? Only 36 months more than the Soviet Union lasted, after all that bother?”

I recently reviewed a manuscript on the rise of Trump written by a left-liberal American sociologist. Near the end of this forthcoming and mostly excellent and instructive volume, the author finds it “worrisome” that other nations see the U.S. “abdicating its role as the world’s leading policeman” under Trump--and that, “given what we have seen so far from the [Trump] administration, U.S. hegemony appears to be on shakier ground than it has been in a long time.”

For the purposes of this report, I’ll leave aside the matter of whether Trump is, in fact, speeding the decline of U.S. global power (he undoubtedly is) and how he’s doing that to focus instead on a very different question: What would be so awful about the end of “the American Era”?the seven-plus decades of U.S. global economic and related military supremacy between 1945 and the present? Why should the world mourn the “premature” end of the “American Century”?

It would be interesting to see a reliable opinion poll on how the politically cognizant portion of the 94 percent of humanity that lives outside the U.S. would feel about the end of U.S. global dominance. My guess is that Uncle Sam’s weakening would be just fine with most Earth residents who pay attention to world events.

According to a global survey of 66,000 people conducted across 68 countries by the Worldwide Independent Network of Market Research (WINMR) and Gallup International at the end of 2013, Earth’s people see the United States as the leading threat to peace on the planet. The U.S. was voted top threat by a wide margin.



Ahed Tamimi remains in Israeli prison as “trial” adjourned

by Ali Abunimah
Electronic Intifada
More than two dozen prominent US Black artists and public figures are speaking out in support of Ahed Tamimi, as the teenager’s trial began in an Israeli military court.

On Tuesday, Ahed was brought before the Ofer military court in the occupied West Bank.

Amid the presence of many journalists and diplomats, the military judge ordered the session to be held behind closed doors, claiming this was for Ahed’s own good.


New York bookseller bowed to Israel supporters after violent threats

by Ali Abunimah
Electronic Intifada
A New York City bookseller faced threats of violence from Israel supporters before it caved in to demands to sign a statement repudiating the nonviolent BDS -- boycott, divestment and sanctions -- movement for Palestinian rights.

The statement, written by a local rabbi, also declares that Israel has a “right to exist.” Columbia University Students for Justice in Palestine and Columbia/Barnard Jewish Voice for Peace are reaffirming a call to boycott the bookseller, Book Culture, unless it rescinds the statement.

Book Culture issued the statement in the wake of threats and intimidation because it was promoting a children’s book called P is for Palestine.



Empire Files: Abby Martin Meets Ahed Tamimi -- Message From A Freedom Fighter

Ahed Tamimi, Teen Palestinian Activist, Speaks on Life Under Occupation

Like a Safari: Israeli Troops in Jeeps Hunt a Palestinian Teen and Shoot Him in the Head

by Gideon Levy

The killing field of young Laith Abu Naim is an empty lot in the remote village of Al-Mughayyir, north of Ramallah. Someone once planned to build a house here, but got no further than iron rods and a retaining wall. The boy ran for his life between the rods, pursued by two armored Israel Defense Forces jeeps. The chase ended when the door of one of the vehicles opened and a soldier aimed his rifle straight at Laith’s forehead from a range of 20 meters. He fired one bullet, killing the teen ? the same way an animal is hunted down and bagged on a safari.

A 16-year-old boy who dreamed of becoming a soccer goalie threw stones at a jeep and suffered the punishment of execution at the hands of a soldier, perhaps to teach him a lesson, perhaps as revenge. The rubber-coated steel bullet struck the exact spot it was aimed at ? the boy’s forehead, above his left eye ? and had the anticipated result: Laith fell to the ground and died shortly afterward. The outstanding IDF sniper could have aimed at his legs, used tear gas, or tried to stop him in other ways. But he chose, in what seems to be an almost standard pattern in recent weeks in this area, to fire a round directly at the head.

That’s how soldiers shot two young men named Mohammed Tamimi, one from Nabi Saleh, the other from Aboud, wounding both youngsters seriously. The latter is still hospitalized in grave condition in a Ramallah hospital; the former, part of his skull missing, is recovering at home.

Laith Abu Naim now lies in the ground in his village’s cemetery.



Israeli leaders celebrate extrajudicial execution

by Maureen Clare Murphy
Electronic Intifada

In the early morning hours on Tuesday Israeli occupation forces killed a Palestinian man who they claim was involved in the shooting death of an Israeli settler in early January.

A second Palestinian was reportedly killed during confrontations with soldiers in the northern occupied West Bank on Tuesday night. The confrontations erupted as the Israeli military surrounded a house in Nablus belonging to the father of a Palestinian who Israel suspects of fatally stabbing another Israeli settler a day earlier.

The Palestinian Authority health ministry stated that 32 people were injured by live fire during the confrontations and six were critically wounded.

Statements by Israeli leaders and intelligence bodies indicate that the Palestinian killed during the pre-dawn hours on Tuesday may have been extrajudicially executed, according to the Palestinian Center for Human rights.