It is well-known that Christian Zionists are evangelical about Jews retaking Israel (to trigger the 2nd Coming). Less well-known, points out Richard Silverstein, is that Jewish supremacists in Israel are violently hostile to Christianity.
This week, 17th-23rd October, 2016, there happened to be two interesting articles about Britain’s imagined role in the Middle East, both suggesting that more power is projected onto this former imperial power than it has actually exercised since 1945. The 1917 Balfour Declaration is a particular paper tiger. Chris Doyle of CAABU is taken aback […]
One thing is known by Palestinians: their ills are caused by the Balfour Declaration. Good politics perhaps but terrible history. The declaration was highly conditional, made to get the US on side during WW1. Many UN committees later, the British hurriedly left Palestine, allowing the US to step in as the primary outside force backing very unequal partition and the mass immigration of European Jews.
Gaza was once rich farming country, with 100,000 farmers growing crops to feed extensive family networks. Now there are only 18,000 left, unable to obtain fertilizer. Salt has infiltrated the land and defoliant, sprayed by the IDF, destroys much of the vegetation. Without farming, life is impossible in Gaza.
Two recent reports state that the number of Palestinian children being imprisoned under administrative detention orders is rising as are the children’s complaints of torture and humiliation. Posting something hostile about Israeli forces on Facebook (‘incitement’) is the new cause of arrest. How many laws and conventions are being broke here?
Notionally Temple Mount / Haram al-Sharif is sacred to the three Abrahamic religions. Christians don’t much care. For Israelis and Palestinians the site is a symbol of the power of possession. The UNESCO report does not comment on any of this – it merely deals with the Israeli responsibility for the upkeep of the site. It is this demotion to a caretaker role which is so angering Israelis.
What plot is resolved by the sudden arrival of the deus ex machina of Labour antisemitism and why have so many been enthused by it? Jonathan Rosenhead, who was at the same training session as Jackie Walker, gives us a history of Jewish organisation in the Labour Party, and today’s coalition of forces which have created this moral panic.
Anshel Pfeffer applauds the Select Committee for its report on antisemitism (‘brave’ ‘unique’). He rolls those, Chakrabarti, Corbyn, Livingstone – who were criticised for not getting the measure of ‘modern antisemitism’ – into one appeaser of hatemongers. Perhaps he thinks this restraint was the report’s only fault.
Ben White has recently published The 2014 Gaza War: 21 Questions & Answers, an ebook available for Kindle download here. Accessibly written and comprehensively referenced, it is exemplary in tackling head-on the difficult questions that are raised around Israel and Gaza: didn’t Israel disengage?; is Gaza under occupation?; isn’t the siege legitimate? who started the war of 2014?; did Hamas use “human shields”? – and more. We reproduce here White’s chapter on the argument most used to justify the bombing: “Israel’s right to self-defence”.
This week, October 10-16, 2016 has been a disturbing one at the JfJfP offices. First, an unknown hand inserted an encomium to Shimon Peres (our own coverage had been less than flattering), then deleted without trace our 3-part posting on Hannah Arendt of which two parts were highly critical of Israel. Then our posting of […]
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