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 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 to 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.
The EU’s High Representative for External Affairs, Federica Mogherini is back in the Middle East determined to show that finding partners for discussion and restarting a peace process are a priority for her and the EU, which is ready to play a much larger role than it has before. Rami Khoury spells out what steps it can take now.
While the Palestinian Football Association has been pressing its campaign to exclude the IFA from FIFA, the Israeli government has been busy lobbying foreign governments citing its security needs, its security reasons for preventing the free movement and practice of Palestinian footballers and the Israel-hatred which is the only reason for the PFA campaign. Foreign governments may be the wrong lobby fodder.
A theme this week, continued from last week, is the shambolic inability of Israel’s judicial system to manage even an approximation of judicial fairness. A report from Yesh Din gives accounts of some of the criminal harms done to Palestinians – and the failure (refusal) of police or courts to hold the Israeli offenders to account. Due process does not operate in the land of martial law.
Try “being a Palestinian in the West Bank, where the man in charge of administering your day-to-day life doesn’t even see you as a human being”. The man with these views, Jewish Home MK Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, has been appointed as the head of Civil Administration in the oPt. What hope for justice?
Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper is well-known as an Israeli groupie. Even Israelis will be surprised at his desire to introduce a law making boycott of Israeli goods an antisemitic hate crime. Robert Fisk asks if he would prefer critics of Israeli policies not to use such a peaceful means of protest and advocacy for Palestinian rights.
The dominant theme this week, May 11th-17th, 2015, is Israel’s judicial system. No-one’s happy with it. Jewish Home – HaBayit HaYehudi – which got the repugnant Ayelet Shaked installed as Justice Minister, regards the Supreme Court as too powerful – it can, as in most countries with a supreme court, strike down legislation as either […]
As Ben White points out, Israeli government and media do not understand the importance of football in Europe, Africa and South Africa and so missed the growing support for the plight of Palestinian footballers, whose playing is so restricted by Israel bringing its politics into the game, and for their campaign to get FIFA to suspend the Israel Football Association.
As a mark of the changes in Palestinian political consciousness, the marking of Nakba day has become a central feature of political life – causing the Israeli Knesset to pass a law withholding funds from any body which recognises the day, viz in Israeli terms, desires the annihilation of Israel. The law hits NGOs, not the Palestinians who are, as Daoud Kuttab reminds us, marking their own pain as well as making their own history.
Cabinet posts for two Jewish Home MKs, Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett, are causing serious concern in and outside Israel. The Supreme Court has not shone as an upholder of equal and human rights, but it has overruled some of the Knesset’s more nationalistic acts. With her new power as Justice minister, Shaked plans to change the law so that the Knesset can overturn Supreme Court judgments. That will leave Israel with no checks and balances.
The Supreme Court ruling that Israel’s anti-boycott law applied to the oPt, not just those living in Israel proper has, effectively obliterated the Green Line demarcating Palestinian land. As such BDS supporters will have no reason to confine their efforts to Israeli products from the oPt. Plus Gideon Levy assails the failure of Israel’s courts to uphold human rights and the rule of law.
Or, as Bedouin spokesperson Oudeh Basharat says, the Jewish state ‘is poised to wipe us out’. The Bedouin are Israeli citizens.The Bedouin are also Arabs with legal claims to the land they live on. The Israeli state has spent much time in working out how to invalidate these claims and move the Bedouin to a bantustan, e.g. the bedouin-only township of Hura. The ‘free market’ Israeli state is using its state ownership of land to get rid of the Bedouin from land Israel wants
Israeli courts are falling into confusion in their rulings on freedom of speech. Uri Avnery lost his appeal against a law forbidding Israelis to talk of boycott. The High Court has ruled it is a right (freedom of expression) for a rabidly right-wing religious crowd to parade through a Muslim Arab area of the old city waving their flags. Perhaps they will have enough sense not to shout their usual chant: death to Arabs.
Ironically, the more Israel becomes a place of belligerent, anti-Arab, anti-Muslim nationalism the less attractive it becomes for all but the most fanatical Jews abroad. By voting in such large numbers for a man who despises Palestinians and is sworn to prevent a Palestinian state, Israeli Jews demonstrate that this ethno-nationalism is now dominant in Israel. Michael Young fears for the consequences.