The Paris conference on peace in the Mid-East attracted representatives from 70 countries and organisations. They re-affirmed the principles of enforcing the pre-’67 borders and pursuing a 2-state solution. Either the delegates were an anachronism – or these in reality are the only basis for peace. The UK began its isolationist position here, sending no representatives.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has quite rightly said that the evidence of the Israeli subversion of British political life, especially amongst students, shows a threat to national security and there should be a public inquiry, Hear hear. Write to your MP. This was a blip on the national news agenda. Stop the cover-up.
President Abbas has started a campaign to marshall opposition to moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. Trump seems to be unaware that Jerusalem has a special and guarded status as a sacred city for Christians, Muslims and Jews. Treating it as an American province will have widespread repercussions.
Haaretz’s investigative reporter Barak Ravid reveals that British legal figures and diplomats worked directly with the Palestinians on the wording of resolution 2334 without informing Israel. The Brits smoothed the wording and made it possible for Obama’s administration to support it without involving any American figures. British diplomats also encouraged New Zealand to become one of the four presenters of the resolution.
Two reputable and knowledgeable bodies, Foreign Policy magazine and the Institute of Palestine Studies strongly deprecate the Trump team’s stated intention of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a hugely symbolic act, and issue sharp warnings about the consequences.
John Kerry, outgoing Secretary of State and indefatigable worker for Palestine/Israel negotiations makes a definitive speech because he thinks that the incoming administration will be a disaster for the 2-state solution – ‘we cannot, in good conscience, do nothing, and say nothing, when we see the hope of peace slipping away.’ Full transcript.
It was hoped that out of the horror and tragedy of the Holocaust would come a determination that never again would a policy of genocide be conceived and carried out. All humanity has failed in this. The obstacle, illustrated by the IHRA’s ‘instructive ‘examples’ is the idea that, says David Rosenberg, this means ‘never again must Jews be at risk of genocide’. As for others, such as Palestinians, – that’s someone else’s problem.
The JfJfP exec sends its best wishes to all concerned with Palestine and hopes more light will spread among us all. There is no mention of the Hannukah ceremony of lights in the Bible. It is usually celebrated today as a domestic family occasion – sometimes as a more public victory of Jewish bravery and self-determination by military resistance as in the Maccabean Revolt, 174–135 BCE led by Judas Maccabeus. And an occasion of rededicating ourselves to promoting justice and light. Click headline above to read.
Forward’s JJ Goldberg writes about the antisemitism that has grown on both right and left in the US. From the Right it’s traditional Jew-hatred. From the Left it’s more slippery; it focuses on Israel and its policies but can slide into anti-Jewish feeling – Jews had the US-backed power to create the new state of Israel and all Jews share the responsibility of what is being done to the Palestinians. This is stronger when Muslims and left-wing people get together – Muslims are oppressed and need the left, Jews aren’t and don’t. It’s likely to get worse.
This is a long essay by Josh Ruebner in the Journal of Palestine Studies. It sets the words and expressed hopes of Pres. Obama about and for Palestine – none of which was realised – against the realpolitik of keeping Israel as a military ally.
These are all about efforts to define antisemitism which is not really a problem except for those who want to silence critics of Israel by coming up with definitions which condemn them as anti-Semites
Gisha, the NGO concerned with freedom of movement, produced this report 2 months ago. It records a recent unexplained clamp-down on Palestinians wanting to leave Gaza through the Erez crossing. While economic policy must be for freedom of movement of students, business people and goods, so-called security policy is for the complete immobilisation of Palestinians.
Many Americans have been shocked to find that Trump comes with a long train of white supremacists. It’s probably less of a surprise to African-Americans and is certainly not news to Palestinians most of whom have been born into a white supremacist regime.
If Trump’s election was a surprise that may be less to do with the polls than the fact many had assumed the long supremacy of White Protestant men had been hollowed out. But the Tea Party breathed new life into it by picking out the issues that enflamed older white men – all women, black men, Chinese people, dark-skinned immigrants of an alien religion.
This posting on Palestinian writer and thinker Emil Habibi, who coined the term ‘opsimist’, is included now because of the posting above about currents in Palestinians’ thought. Habibi died in 1996.
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 Pres. Abbas gained by his attendance at the funeral of Shimon Peres he lost at home where it was seen as distinctly unPalestinian to display sadness at the death of a man who had been instrumental in the quashing of Palestinian hopes.
Here are two documentary videos from telesur-English that show, first, what it says in the title and second ‘Inside Palestine’s refugee camps’. Could be shown to groups for discussion,
If you read the comments made by the posse of men – Guido Fawkes (Paul Staines), Marcus Dysch (the JC’s attack dog), John Mann (Labour), Jon Lansman of Momentum – in pursuit of Jackie Walker, you might well think they’re in the grip of some strange hysteria. Certainly their knowledge of the highly disputed definitions of antisemitism, or of other genocides, seems wanting.
States of denial, of people not wanting to know, have marked the experience of Jews in Europe as they now mark the experience of Palestinians in Israel and the oPt. ‘Denial’ is a new film, script by David Hare, about David Irving’s libel suit against Deborah Lipstadt in London.