A seemingly trivial and, on the face of it, the most grave, subject dominate the postings this week, January 26 – February 1, 2015. The trivial has brought the wrath of the American media, yes, even Fox news, on PM Netanyahu’s head and, as with the Marche Republicaine, caused Israeli media to express their shame […]
Gaza is under threat from IS. This report from Ma’an news makes clear the local view that the Egyptian repression of the Muslim Brotherhood has led directly to the growth of Islamic State; ‘democracy’ , which failed to secure Morsi’s election, has won no supporters.
But as it acts as the password to get into the Israeli public forum it no longer has any particular meaning. Uri Avnery looks at the different meanings the word Zionism has had since it first came into popular use after the first Zionist congress in 1897.
China, now the world’s largest economy, has become a major buyer of Israeli military goods – while diplomatically it has been a supporter of Palestine. Israel needs a safer market than the EU, which is applying pressure for a negotiated settlement with Palestine. Popular sentiment in the EU is increasingly critical of Israel whereas it is pro-Israel in China. And relations with the USA, which opposes Israel’s arms sales to China, have never been poorer.
Amidst the American and Israeli outrage about Bibi’s plan to make a direct speech to the American Congress two weeks before the election, Al Jazeera’s Marwan Bishara kept his head and transcribed the conversation he imagines the two leaders had.
Anshel Pfeffer welcomes the place the holocaust has gained in common knowledge. But the corollary of its being publicised as a human tragedy is that it has become a phenomenon that Jews can no longer hug to themselves as their own peculiar history.
Like many Jews, Robert Cohen spent a chunk of his young life reading whatever he could on the human mystery and incredible horror of the holocaust. Now he thinks there’s no danger of its being forgotten. Rather than insisting on remembering, we should be asking what are the lessons we should be drawing – and, judging by Israel’s treatment of Palestinians – have failed to draw.
Akiva Eldar doubts if ‘security’ , or the pursuit of a Greater Israel, will win the election for Likud. These aims have pushed out any chance of improving living standards for poorer Israelis who may not share the mad dreams of their leaders.
This time Netanyahu has gone too far. He has accepted an invitation to address the US Congress on the dangers Iran poses (as if they don’t know) – and done so without informing the White House. This act of disrespect has infuriated even the right-wing American media and again embarrassed Israelis by another clumsy act of self-publicity.
Netanyahu’s happy acceptance of an invitation from the US’s House Speaker – set up by the Israeli ambassador – to address Congress on Iran has drawn withering scorn and embarrasment from all Israeli media. A small section here.
Since last September, when there was a spate of attacks on Muslims, Jews and Muslims have worked together to keep their North London neighbourhood peaceful and decent. The Jewish volunteer group, Shomrim, “the eyes and ears of the police”, was approached for help by local Muslims.
President Hollande has offered a contract to French Jews: they stay at home in France, the state will crack-down on Islamist freedom of speech. This is not done in the name of curtailing hate-speech but in terms of security. But he snubbed Netanyahu’s opportunistic invitation to all French Jews to move to safe Israel by saying this would be a victory for terrorism. Plus the 2012 Palestinian statement against antisemitism and all forms of bigotry and racism.
PM Netanyahu has been doing all he can to make Israelis feel they are in danger – Hamas is like ruthless Islamic State, if Israel is a ‘beacon’, that can only be because it’s in a dark and barbarous region, no Israeli is safe from the ‘lone wolf’ attack etc. It is on these assumptions, spoken and implicit, that Bibi is basing his electoral campaign.
Setting his argument in the context of rampaging capitalism and imperialism Sid Shniad says western interests created , and still sustain, the gulf between ‘civilisation’ (USA, Europe, Japan, Israel) and ‘barbarism’ – all those who resist, with or without violence, that ‘civilisation’.
An Israeli military court has sentenced a 14-year-girl to two months in HaSharon prison for throwing stones. She had been interrogated by police without any legal representative – without any adult at all – present. In his last Rosh Hashana speech, PM Netanyahu said ‘In the New Year, Israel will remain a beacon of freedom and human rights.’
The Palestine / Israel conflict is not a war between two armies of grown men. The force used by IDF and police, often demolishing houses, but also using live ammunition, leaves many children dead or crippled, orphaned and homeless. DCI-International’s report on a grim year for Palestinian children.
There is no single issue to this week’s postings though the claim that Israel is constantly in danger from its neighbours is belied – or confirmed – by Israeli attacks on the Bedouin – the enemy within – and on an Iranian general in a Syrian convoy. Much is attributed to PM Netanyahu’s drive to […]
Richard Silverstein notices that the police, who had been asked not to come near the funeral of Bedouin youth Sami Al Jaar, disrupted the funeral – killing Sami Ziadna – in order to silence Public Enemy Number 1 Raed Salah, who was delivering the eulogy. No communal Palestinian event is free from Israeli state disruption.
Such is the cynicism about Netanyahu’s good faith that to many observers it is entirely plausible that he had ordered an airstrike that killed an Iranian general and six members of Hezbollah to boost his own reputation as Israel’s toughest defender.
A ‘tiny handful’ of terrorists has succeeded in instilling fear among Europeans, especially Jews who think they will be the first targets of antisemitic Islamists. The EU has to both protect its citizens against people who think they’re doing what God wants and to protect civil liberties for all. Reports from Brussels and the World Economic Forum.