The utter muddle of Netanyahu’s government – sort of agreeing to ceasefire talks, refusing to make any concessions, suddenly recalling the negotiation team – reveals it has nothing to offer except bluster. It can’t continue shelling Gaza. It won’t lift the siege. Adam Keller resorts to the fairy tales of Hollywood and Hans Christian Andersen to reveal the truth.
Still in 1999 there was a vigorous peace camp in Israel. Since the 2nd intifada it has diminished to a dedicated, and unpopular, core abandoned by the centre ground for various reasons including the belief that Hamas does not want peace. Despite David Grossman’s pleas, says Mazal Mualem, the middle ground is set against Hamas, and peace.
News from the ceasefire talks in Cairo is unclear. A report from JPost, quoting Palestinians, says agreement on 7 points had been reached; Ma’an news says Israelis are refusing to make any concessions. Analysis from Haaretz suggests progress is possible. Predictably a group in Gaza fired rockets (no-one hurt), predictably Netanyahu chose to recall his delegation. He has been on the back-foot since the IDF had to withdraw from Gaza with no gains.
There is historic antisemitism based on punitive Christian fantasies; there is modern antisemitism which is more often a response to actuality – punitive measures against Arab muslims carried out in the name of the state of all Jews, viz Israel. One Israeli think-tank has been warning of the effects of Israeli policies on Jews outside Israel since 2002 but it has yet to be grasped by the Israeli government.
Left-wing revival: left-wing parties, including Meretz, Hadash, Peace Now and others, joined a demonstration on August 16th calling for a range of demands from continuing negotiations between Israel and Hamas to an end to the occupation and blockade of Gaza. Many who have demonstrated during the past weeks expressed disappointment at Meretz and Peace Now for their refusal to support anti-war protests before. +972
Once upon a time, like the 1930s, there was such a thing as the ‘self-hating Jew’. Since the last world war and the creation of Israel the phenomenon has largely disappeared -but the insult remains as American Jew Carey Wedburn discovered when she spoke out against Israel’s attack on Gaza. Watch the video.
This is the first of three postings on antisemitism in France where there are: a higher incidence of apparent antisemitic attacks than elsewhere in W. Europe; a silence about the level of antisemitism before the war; a large body of alienated N. African Muslims – and a Left which has been unable or unwilling to engage either with its past or the presence of its Arab and Muslim citizens.
The distinguished French Moroccan writer Tahar ben Jelloun deplores a rise in antisemitism in France, deplores the failure amongst the young to distinguish between Jews and Israel, Jewish and Zionist. Israeli colonialism, arrogance and impunity makes it worse. Only a Palestinian state will bring security he says.
In the current negotiations in Cairo between Israelis and the PA the Palestinian side has been strengthened, says Daoud Kuttab, by the decision of President Abbas to wield a team of all factions including Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Plus the fact they feel free to walk away, unlike in the Kerry talks.
France has the largest proportions of Jews and of Muslims in Europe. There is a sharp social division between them, with most of the Jews now relatively well-off and most of the Muslims, from N. Africa, living impoverished lives in abandoned suburbs.Israel’s Gaza war has heightened tensions, enforcing absolute pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian positions. Reports from Christian Science Monitor and FT.
Any army which takes tanks into a populated area knows that the result will be massive and indiscriminate death and destruction. This is the choice the IDF made when it stationed tanks on the Gaza border and fired shells into the towns, increasing the impact when the tanks entered Gaza. This makes the claim of care taken to avoid civilian deaths a nonsense says a former artillery officer.
The killings at Khuza’a near Khan Younis have become notorious not so much because of the numbers killed (unknown) but because of the method; the IDF fired on escaping civilians and selected young men for execution. Richard Silverstein indicts the officer who ordered this attack, Col. Ofer Winter.
The infamous Hannibal directive – kill a comrade rather than let Hamas capture him – is now being debated in the mainstream – though Ha’aretz articles on it are still only in the Hebrew edition. The Times of Israel’s military correspondent suggests the directive is no longer viable; Uri Misgav in Tikun Olam says the directive means the IDF is usurping the authority of the civil state.
An Israeli academic at Bar-Ilan University said in a radio interview that Middle East culture meant the only protection for Israelis against terror attacks was to threaten to rape the attacker’s sister. Mordechai Kedar is also a founder of one of Israel’s witch-hunting organisations. The mind-set of such people, including the defence of him by the university, reveals more about them than it does about any ‘terrorist’.
‘Here is a summary of the crimes that Israeli leaders have committed and U.S. leaders have abetted’. Law professor Marjorie Cohn details the agency of the US in the undoubted war crimes committed by the IDF. These are justified by the ‘Dahiya doctrine’ of the right to use disproportionate force and killing civilians as a deterrent force.
The ‘stonking’ speech of JfJfP signatory 19-year-old Barnaby Raine at the huge march and rally against the Israeli war on Gaza in London on Saturday, August 9th, 2014.
The Foreign Press Association in Israel and the oPt has issued a statement complaining that Hamas has threatened and intimidated its members and tried to control what they publish. This however is disputed by some of the journalists working in the area. A likely story from Haaretz.
Last week, nine members of London Palestine Action, climbed onto the roof of UAV Engines, the Staffordshire subsidiary of Elbit, one of Israel’s largest armaments producers. They stopped production for two days. They were arrested and charged and are organising a campaign to get the charges, and arms production, cancelled.
The Community Security Trust has, by and large, earned a reputation as a sensible and apolitical guardian of the safety of British Jews. Now the charity’s communications director has branched out into public appeals to counter the BDS movement because it is making Israel the new South Africa. There goes CST’s reputation.
In a careful indictment. B’Tselem examines the sites and statistics of the onslaught on Gaza and concludes ‘The scope of these airstrikes as well as the length of time that they persisted indicate that they were likely authorized by senior military and political officials, and were also granted advance sanction by the Military Advocate General Corps and the Ministry of Justice.’ They, the IDF and Hamas all broke the rules of IHL.