In the week April 27th – May 3rd, 2015 there are more articles about Palestinian energy for changing their impossible lives. In order to change the status quo, Palestinians at all levels want outside intervention; unofficially they ask for BDS, officially they are hoping for results from the UNSC and International Criminal Court. One signatory, Robert […]
Which means, says Robert COhen, voting Green, because their party is the only one to break away from the exhausted formula – 2-state solution, negotiations…..which has muffled all discussion for decades. Given establishment ties to Israel, could any party with this policy ever get into government? This is the 2nd blog by a signatory on voting Green, so if you agree or disagree send your argument to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mahmoud Abbas has chosen now to write a succinct Op-Ed on why now is the time. For Palestinians it’s now because of the referral to the International Criminal Court. By enclosing the Palestinian demand for statehood tightly within a framework of international law he hopes, at the least, to wrong-foot those who oppose the demand. Gershon Baskin comments on Abbas’ argument. He believes that disputed issues can be resolved, if the negotiations are conducted in secret.
Shimon Gapso, the mayor of Upper Nazareth campaigns as a racist (it increases the Jewish vote for him), refused to build a school for the 2000 Arab children of Upper Nazareth, provides no municipal services for Arabic speakers, is building a new neighbourhood for Orthodox Jewish families only, expecting the women to bear a lot of new Jews, and in brief is devoting all his mayoral energy to ensuring the Palestinian population of Upper Nazareth is as small and weak as possible. Jonathan Cook reports on his neighbour up the hill.
Zvi Barel picks up whispers of indirect Hamas/Israel talks being effected by a variety of intermediaries. The most that can be hoped for is a longer ceasefire and an easing of the siege Israel enforces on Gaza. However, Palestinians’ access to the outside world via air or sea ports is not on the cards. Israeli claims they have left Gaza and exert no control over the Strip are obvious lies.
This begins with Adalah’s new report on the acute housing crisis for Arab Israelis in response to the State Comptroller’s report on housing in the country. Within the notoriously bureaucratic system for new housing and town development, state bureaucrats deliberately allocate less space for Arab citizens and leave them out of housing programmes. Overall, the State Comptroller is scathing about the government’s neglect of housing needs, the situation which prompted the 2011 social justice protest.
People-smuggling has a long history. But the world of rigid border controls is new. Young men who would once wander the land looking for a better life no longer can. Criminals have seized the opportunity – great profits, no responsibility – and are providing false passports or shipping thousands into the Mediterranean. Many of the passengers, often the bravest and best of young men, come from Gaza.
Enough is enough. There were significant protests by young people against the rule of Hamas in Gaza this week. The police responded with violence – which, by historical criteria, is unlikely to silence the anger. There is too little information to say more but the fact of popular anger against conditions in Gaza, and that the young blame Hamas, is worthy of note.
When it comes to elections in ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’ Israel is more like Africa than like any of its European parents. Analysis of results showed that it is not a melting-pot nor indeed that Jews have more in common with each other than with any other. Most voted on tribal lines, Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Mizrahi. The latter two make up more than half of Israel’s population and the left in particular lost out because of its contempt for the greater religiosity and tribal adherence of the poor under-classes.
The Palestinian Football Association is preparing its request to the FIFA Congress in May that Israel’s team be suspended from the association. Restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement and association make it impossible for them to practice in the way players in other countries can and must. JfJfP Executive has written a letter in support of the PFA to FIFA.
In the midst of prolonged negotiations to create a coalition government PM Netanyahu has taken time off to promote two Knesset bills which will seriously weaken the powers and independence of the Supreme Court. Potential partners Kulanu and Labour may feel they have to set aside any conditions and join the government in order to prevent these changes going through. Is the PM playing a Machiavellian game of truth, dare, promise?
Arthur Goodman, JfJfP’s diplomatic liaison officer, grew up as a conventional, Israel right-Arabs wrong, Jew. Then came the startling and courageous rebellion of the 1st intifada and the re-telling of Israel’s story by Israel’s new historians. After that, it was JfJfP and his work as an incessant campaigning diplomat in the EU and parliament.
Publicity seeking, Muslim hating Pamela Geller has won the freedom to run a series of hate adverts on NY buses which say ‘Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah’ attributed to Hamas. The test was not whether or not this quotation was true but whether or not is was protected by freedom of speech law, which a court ruled it was. The adverts are loudly opposed by the Jews Against Islamophobia Coalition.
Yes, Hamas was found guilty of storing ammunition in UNRWA schools, possibly firing from the schools. The PA is urged to investigate. The IDF, says the UN’s Board of Inquiry, shelled UNRWA schools where there were many hundreds of living refugees , killing 44 of them and injuring far more. If the IDF had liaised with the UN, if it really had targeted Hamas militants and ammunition dumps and so used more accurate missiles, exchanged information with UNRWA, these deaths could have been avoided. The IDF no longer takes steps to ensure civilians are not killed.
This is a meticulous account by the UN of who caused what damage to UNRWA schools which were made available for refugees from Operation Protective Edge. One of its findings is that information provided to the IDF about the schools had no effect – they were shelled anyway. Hamas did store some ammunition in some schools – UNRWA could have acted on this had the IDF informed them. Sadly, UNRWA now needs military advisers.
Israel still has no government. Netanyahu’s ‘crushing’ victory was more a swallowing victory – the further Right scuttled to safety to give Likud its unexpected number of seats. Which still left sizeable other Knesset parties which have to be let into a coalition. This is not a graceful business says Uri Avnery, with disgust. The scramble is on for who gets what.
Robert Wistrich, English Jewish Israeli historian of many subjects, was offered a platform at the Oxford Union to expound his views that antisemitism is growing (albeit in a new form of anti-Zionism or anti-Israelism, ie a superior 2.0 version because it is disguised) and that Islamophobia is an invention of Muslim militants. Close questioner Mehdi Hassan with Richard Kuper, Hannah Weisfeld, Sharif Nashashibi and BoD’s Jonathan Arkush as the ‘expert panel’.
In the week April 20th – 26th, 2015, our postings began and ended with the same issue: the new Israeli law (2011) forbidding anyone, including its citizens, from publicising the call for boycott of anything Israeli (Law for Prevention of Damage to State of Israel through Boycott). It’s in the news again because Uri Avnery headed a […]
Akiva Eldar gives his eloquent, and angry, response to those who ask him why he must be silent on the injustices perpetrated by his country against Palestinians and why he may not join with his fellows abroad in even talking about a boycott of bodies complicit in the occupation.
It is reasonable to think the BBC might address different questions to Israeli and Palestinian spokespersons; after all, the Israelis have the power, and the death toll to prove it. In BBC in Wonderland the reverse is true. Amena Saleem records the unbalanced questions and the nonsensical reasons the BBC offers for the difference.