Another victory for free-wheeling Bibi might not suggest disaster for any progressive position. But as he has chosen to bring in pro-settler and ultra-Orthodox parties to shore him up – it has. It will not win him any friends abroad. His shift to hardline right-wing policies is at odds with those he wants to admire and support Israel. And he’s changed the law to protect his government’s endurance.
Despite the dramatic events on the eve of FIFA’s Zurich Congress, the agenda will be followed at the Congress and the Palestine Football Association will put their resolution. But this may not have the impact they hoped for given the media’s focus on the arrests of nine FIFA offficials and background stories on FIFA corruption.
Like male Palestinian journalists, women – who make up a third of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate – are subject to assaults by Israeli army and police who don’t want their actions recorded. Such assaults leapt in number last year. Palestinian authorities are no more welcoming of critical reporters, but under their aegis women journalists are subject to sexist abuse and threats, which remain beyond the law.
Amnesty International has followed up its critical reports on Israel’s conduct during Operation Protective Edge with two on Hamas. The first, published in March, identified a number of war crimes committed by Hamas including firing from and at civilian buildings, The 2nd details the violent methods used to control people in Gaza and eliminate critics.
Rela Mazali and Ghada Ageel respond to the wide coverage given to the recent record of testimonies by Breaking the Silence. They question the ‘privileged status’ given to this report when multiple testimonies by Palestinians are so often ignored. Their valid and important critique does, however, does not acknowledge the importance of the soldiers’ revelation of what orders they were given.
So far two American states have passed resolutions opposing any boycott against any product from Israel or its settlements and one state, Illinois, has passed an amendment prohibiting state agencies from entering into a contract with any agency that boycotts Israel (settlements included). This would prohibit trade with the EU if it continues with its policy of not trading with settlements.
Uri Avnery casts a despairing, but ever keen, eye over Netanyahu’s new government. He had not expected it to produce peace with Palestinians but he had hoped it would treasure democracy. There is little hope of that.
When Israel was created it did not have, could not have had, a national culture. One had to be created by, amongst other means, adopting existing cultures. Many of the elements of Israel’s infant culture were taken from Palestinians. Nothing wrong with that. Ben White’s objection is that this appropriation is not acknowledged by Israelis. One has launched ‘International Hummus Day’ so that people will associate Israel with this dish.
Slowly moving into the front line comes the EU, author of many resolutions deploring the illegal occuption and warning that Israel’s trade with Europe – Israel’s largest export market – will be restricted if serious negotiations for two states do not start. But officials seem satisfied with a finely honed form of words. Two analysts […]
On the momentous festival of Shavout, when God handed down the 10 commandments to Moses, Robert Cohen asks why and when the state of Israel replaced God as the centre of Jewish identity and loyalty. His own critique of Israeli (unJudaic) oppression of another tribe has drawn huge hostility and accusations of treachery. Nationalism has swamped religion and ethics reducing Jewish identity to loyalty to a state.
It is said so often that antisemitism is rising in Europe that it seems to have become the new commonsense – of course it’s going up, look at all those Jew-hating Muslims. And ‘Palestinianism’ has become dominant making anti-Israelism the new antisemitism said Prof. Wistrich. Yet a careful analysis of the data by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research shows this is not so, though there some anomalies. High antisemitism in Poland, Russia and Spain, more antisemitic attacks recorded in the UK than in France, with its much larger Jewish population. It is clear that current methods of recording and evaluating antisemitism leaves much to be desired say the authors. Meanwhile some Jewish bodies act on the assumption of rising antisemitism with no base of evidence.
An Italian and an Israeli analyst look at where the EU and Israel have incompatible policies (on MEPP – Middle East Peace Process) but where there is room for rapprochement and diplomacy. The EU should be more pragmatic, Israel should get out of its immobilising hole and both need more courage and practical, realistic action.
No body takes responsibility for the essential infrastructure and amenities of East Jerusalem. And then there is shock when the youth rebel. A report from ACRI, updated from 2013, reads like a blueprint for deprivation, distress, disaffection. Why the Jerusalem municipality is so unconcerned that its neglect of one area is breeding violence as well as poverty is not explained.
You may not have heard of Scott Walker, Republican governor of Wisconsin, who is known in his state for his anti-trade union policies. We repost this comment on his visit to Israel because it could be about anyone who needs to be a friend of Israel and needs not to know about Palestinians.
In the bad old days football clubs were often nests of racism. In the last 15 years tackling racism in football has been recognized as a priority in clubs , by UEFA and FIFA. The barriers crippling the movement and assembly of Palestinian players and spectators in the name of Israel’s security have escaped FIFA censure. This blanket justification for all measures by the security state no longer convinces the world of football that Israel should enjoy an exceptional status.
Defence minister Ya’alon announced a plan to make bus segregation absolute and required by law. PM Netanyahu, very aware of the symbolism of bus apartheid in his alma mater, the USA, has over-ruled him. This will not change the long-established practice of different bus lines for Palestinians and settlers in the West Bank. The settlers will be disappointed at not getting apartheid legally enforced.
Peace between Israel and Palestine is in the national security interest of the US says President Obama in this exclusive and sympathetic interview with Asharq Al-Awsat. He speaks of the ‘daily indignities’ of Palestinian life under the occupation and the tragedy of lives lost in the Mediterranean sea. He is strong on empathy, vague on how this goodwill can be put into effect.
Plans by the French government for the immediate re-starting of Israel-Palestine negotiations to be concluded by September 2016 are now public. The resolution will be put to the UN Security Council after the June 30 deadline on talks with Iran. The resolution stresses respect for the security needs of both nations and proposes that Jerusalem should be the capital of both. If the resolution is rejected, France will recognise Palestine as an independent state.
You would think, if you read multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s Israel HaYom, that Israel was a frail little state teetering on the edge of extinction by the mighty armed forces of Palestine. Living in a delusional world is the kindest thing one can say from his paper’s response to the Vatican’s recognition of Palestine. More unkindly, you might see a very sick imagination. Bradley Burston thinks they’re making it up.
The Pope’s friendly and respectful treatment of President Abbas has not gone down well with the Israeli government, for whom Abbas is either a cunning terrorist or a servile simpleton. In the normal world, the Vatican treaty with Palestine, confirming its recognition of Palestine as a state, has been a godsend and its first canonisation of two Palestinian women has done much to strengthen the status of Christians in Palestine. Despite the international status of the Vatican, it is seen as another move in the European move towards refusing to play the Israeli negotiations game.