A new group calling itself The Third Narrative has been created for American academics who class themselves as pro-Israel and pro-Palestine. Jerry Haber questions whether it can strike out a new path given its absolute opposition to academic boycotts of Israel and its exclusive membership of ‘Liberal Zionists’.
It was Israel’s turn to have its record of human rights reviewed by the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva. Committee members had many questions – access of Palestinians to water and their farmland, settlements on their land, house demolition to make way for settlements or ‘firing zones’. But, to the disapproval of the committee, Israel claimed it was not answerable for its actions in the oPt.
Palestine has now become a security state, argues this analysis from al-shabaka. The proportion of people employed in security is extremely high – and producing a security apparatus has been an Israeli demand in all negotiations. ‘Self-determination for the Palestinians went from being a right to a privilege that the PA had to demonstrate it deserved’ – by enforcing law and order.
Israel is not short of critics about its policies – but little attention has been paid to a conference exploring the causes and nature of domestic xenophobia and to a speech by President Rivlin describing Israel as ‘sick’. It was organised and attended by Israelis themselves – which is perhaps why, as Philip Weiss says, it didn’t go viral in the US.
At a recent State department gathering, John Kerry remarked that Arab leaders had told him that the Israel-Palestine conflict was ‘a cause of recruitment [to ISIL] and of street anger and agitation’. Israeli politicians are lining up to shoot this messenger. It was classic Jew-blaming said Jewish Home’s leader – though whether he meant it was John Kerry or Arab leaders doing the blaming is not clear.
Palestinians are using all means, from naming and shaming in social media to hurling molotov cocktails and stones, to prevent settlers buying up whatever Arab properties they can in Silwan. The unrest has been going on so long that Israel’s police chief has announced the creation of a new unit to suppress it.
EU member states have drawn up a document defining their ‘red lines’ before upcoming discussions with Israeli diplomats. Haaretz has obtained a copy of the document which identifies the population transfers and new settlements which present a “focused and increasing threat to the possibility of the two-state solution.” Barak Ravid reports.
The Cairo donors’ conference on rebuilding Gaza showed the international goodwill towards the establishment of a Palestinian state – but that will only come into being if the rigidity of the US approach is rejected by the EU. At the moment, all the EU is doing is maintaining the fiction of a ‘peace process’ argues Yezid Sayigh
As US-Israel relations have worsened, the superpower’s relations with the PA have become stronger. These two shifts may not be connected, but it is clear to analysts that a strong PA is essential if violence or anarchy are not to subsume the moderate authority. Interview with Mustafa Barghouti on US/Palestinian relations.
Such deep-seated hostility to all things Palestinian, Arab, Islamic as afflicts education minister Avi Wortzman can turn a person’s head. His remarks on his facebook page, following the Commons vote, about how ‘at home’ Islamic State feels in Britain conveys only how profoundly out of touch with reality such people are.
The division of the land between a Jewish state and a Palestinian state, requiring the Jewish state to reduce its size, withdraw and make room for a durable Palestinian state, matches the Zionist message from time immemorial writes Sever Plocker. Israelis should welcome the vote of British MPs to recognise Palestine.
This is the last post of the widespread discussion engendered by British criticisms of Israel’s policies – which also make clear abhorrence of antisemitism and acceptance of Israel’s secure existence as a state. The criticisms came from MPs in a debate last Monday and a speech made the next day by Sir Alan Duncan. They set a benchmark from which there can be no turning back to the past silences about Israel’s legal transgressions.
It’s one thing for youngish people to note that the British MPs debate on recognizing Palestine marked a change in opinions about Israel l. It’s another when a veteran insider and campaigner, 91 year old Uri Avnery, finds it ‘a profound, perhaps tectonic change in the public attitude towards Israel.’ Yet whatever Israelis think of their government, the IDF, however brutal, still basks as ‘the most moral army i the world’.
Horribly, the reputations of Adolf Eichmann and Hannah Arendt will remain forever linked. Her book on his trial – she saw a nondescript bureaucrat who was, indeed, obeying orders – has been deeply infuential. But further work has shown Eichmann to be a more strategic architect of Jewish extermination than she had imagined. Does this destroy her view of the mass murderer?
It’s been coming for a long time. Now it’s being organized. Young Jews, who want to be free to discuss Palestine or BDS have broken away from Hillel, the traditional organisation for Jewish students, and held their first ‘open Hillel’ conference. As this event received extensive coverage for its significance, several of the comments/reports are posted here.
In this essay Mitchell Plitnick surveys the post-war history of US policy towards Israel and concludes the Administration’s unflinching support for Israel is more to do with its assessment of national geo-strategic interests – Israel is a reliable military partner and anti-communist bulwark – than the over-rated power of the Israel lobby.
Attempts by Arab League members to persuade the International Atomic Energy Authority to call on Israel to join it, to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty and to open its nuclear facilities to inspection were rejected by a majority of IEAE members last month, for the second time. This article by Barak Ravid is posted now to accompany Mitchell Plitnick’s, above.
This is not our first posting on strained relations between American Jews and Israel and no doubt won’t be the last. The main point made here by Shlomi Eldar here is that young Jews now have a strong American identity and feel affronted by Netanyahu’s misreading of American values – human rights, equality, democracy and acceptance of the other.
The speech on the ‘peace process’ given at the acme of the establishment by Sir Alan Duncan, senior Conservative and former minister for International Development, has had a big impact. He assails Israel relentlessly for its treatment of Palestinians and its ‘churlish’ rejection of all attempts to make peace. He is firm on Israel’s right to exist, without question. He comments on Britain’s non-homogenous Jews – and those groups which receive money from a foreign country. It outraged the Board of Deputies.
Amira Hass is the Israeli journalist who has done most, via the English-language edition of Haaretz, to educate westerners in the reality of Israeli occupation. But staff and students at Bir Zeit expelled her from a public conference as a zionist. This marks both the separatism of some Palestinian radicals and, as Jonathan Cook reports, the death of the Israeli peace camp and any experience of Israeli/Palestinian anti-occupation action.