Some Palestinian officials are bitter at a deal which strengthens Iran’s regional dominance and at their own need for international support being sidelined yet again. Hope is resting in Obama wanting to add Palestinian statehood to his diplomatic legacy along with Iran, Cuba and Arab states.
Usually the shorthand for tehe Palestinian/Israeli relationship is ‘conflict’, colonialism or, in the case of Gaza, war or onslaught. All denote hot violence. But, argues Teju Cole, the expropriation of Palestinians is done through a massive, quasi-legal bureaucracy in which both old homes and new homes are ruled impermissible.
Gush Shalom took the lead in responding to the Palestinian request for BDS against the Occupation. It led to a nasty new law forbidding anyone in Israel from calling for a boycott. Which led to “Avnery v. the State of Israel”. But, dangerous goods apart, a state cannot tell consumers what or what not to buy. Except in Israel with a newly supine Supreme Court.
In the week April 13th-19th, 2015, two of our signatories have a go at the Board of Deputies’ statement ‘A Better Way than Boycotts’. It is possible that the Deputies really do believe that they have a strategy for ending the Occupation and ensuring human rights, in the best Judaic tradition, throughout the lands that the […]
The Episcopal church in the USA (nearest relative, the Church of England) has been asked by its new group, the Episcopal Committee for Justice in Israel and Palestine, to adopt a policy of divestment from ‘companies that profit from Israel’s illegal occupation and colonization of Palestinian lands’. This is premised on the fact that Netanyahu has rejected the two-state solution and thus there is a new political landscape. There are several background documents here and a message from Bishop Tutu.
Janus Netanyahu came to France and told European Jews to move to Israel, the only place where they would be safe. He went home and told Israeli Jews that they were in constant danger of annihilation by Iran, hostile Arab states and the enemy within. A survey by New Majority explains why Jews voted in droves for the status quo and pinpointed where there is some room for manoeuvre.
There is something Biblical about the decision of Joint List leaders to walk the land from enclaves of excluded Bedouin in the south to a razed Palestinian village on the border with Lebanon. They are followed by a motley crowd of Arab Muslims, Christians and Druze and a handful of Jews. At the moment, new MK Ayman Odeh needs to be seen reclaiming land for Palestinians. He will find it hard to fulfil all the hopes that have been placed on him.
But, sings Sam Cooke, I know that if you love me, too, What a wonderful world this would be. Which seems a good epigram on American attitudes towards the mysterious world beyond its shores. Salman Masalha on the US’s lack of historical knowledge and Peter Beinart, in an effusive piece about Obama, deplores Netanyahu’s Israel-centric and ignorant view of the world.
Last July, a group of doctors and scientists wrote to the Lancet expressing dismay at the carnage in Gaza and Israel’s propaganda. Since its publication, Sir Mark Pepys, a leading light in the Jewish Medical Association has been protesting about the decision of Lancet editor Richard Horton to publish the letter and last month Pepys organised a letter of protest, under the name Concerned Academics for Editorial Ethics (sole functions, attack Horton, defend Israel), to publisher Reed Elsevier about Horton. This prompted a counter-letter and campaign, Hands off the Lancet. Read on.
Organisers of the Southampton conference on the legal status of Israel lost their court case against the cancellation of the conference. Neither side – those who attacked the holding of the conference, those who chose a deliberately provocative subject, comes up smelling of roses.
When Israel was founded, a strong drive for Jews’ own country was that they could take up farming and manual labour and thus become new men and women. That didn’t last long. Now Israel relies on foreign workers and increasingly, Palestinian children (they’re cheap) for farm work. Report from Human Rights Watch.
We’re not holding a torch for Ed Miliband or the Labour Party but the repetition of the canard that Ed Miliband is anti-Israel is simply untrue as only a few minutes reading what he has actually said would show. If all the right-wing press pretends to think that every Jew, atheists included, MUST be pro-Israel, they are spinning a lie as they know quite well it’s not true. It’s part of the propaganda drive to ‘prove’ Ed is treacherous. Spin from Evening Standard, letter from Glyn Secker.
A photograph by the renowned Mahmoud Hams says it all: a young man sits on the step staring at nothing. The road outside is a mud track. He is cold and has nothing to do. He has nothing. His situation has been produced mostly by Israel’s bombardment and life-squeezing siege, but also by Hamas’ diversion of aid money to military purposes, the linked drying up of donor funds and the careless failure of the ‘international community’ to stand up for human rights and needs in Gaza. Charles Fromm reports.
If you fire a bullet at a child’s face, as Israeli security forces often do, you are likely to damage the child’s sight, even when you thoughtfully cover the tip of the bullet with a piece of sponge. Despite being a leading practitioner of crowd control – with accompanying profit from sales of gear and advice – Israeli police and army have still not found a way of shooting Palestinians without hurting them.
In this strongly argued article, Mike Cushman responds in detail to the half-baked, ill-informed arguments from the Board of Deputies against BDS – obviously a fearsome movement to have prompted them to such expenditure of money if not time.
Better late than never- having missed the activity of Women Wage Peace in the weeks before the election, we carry two reports of this organisation, set up after the horror of the destruction of the war on Gaza. Having attracted thousands of supporters, they have plans for sustaining the campaign into the future.
The Board of Deputies is supposedly the most – the only – representative body of British Jews. It has issued a condemnation of the BDS campaign. Robert Cohen writes directly to them reminding them of the Jewish heritage of standing with the oppressed – and asking why they do not once acknowledge that Israel perpetrates an illegal occupation of the West Bank (now in its 48th year) and an illegal blockade of Gaza. Again, subservience to Israel trumps a tradition of universal values.
Perhaps alone among nations, France enjoys good diplomatic relations with the US, Israel and with the PA. It has also been the most hardline on Iran and on Islamist terrorists – who, fear diplomats, will increase their destruction in the MidEast if Palestinian aspirations are not supported.
It’s not obvious what sort of state the Palestinians could have got by now had they really wanted it, as Sever Plocker argues. But the sort of state Israelis want is manifest in the structures, laws and practices of their state – and it is clear that continuing the Occupation is what they want.
In the week April 6th-12th, 2015 the theme which is strongest, if you take the Jewish Chronicle as a reliable guide, is the UK’s general election. The publication makes a sustained and dishonest attempt to to prove that Ed Miliband has single-handedly driven Jews away from Labour just because he said something critical about Israel’s […]