Website policy


We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters, informing them of issues, events, debates and the wider context of the conflict. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.
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Posts

How Palestine had to make itself a security state

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.

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Israel is sick and needs treatment says president

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.

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Blaming Israel for MidEast violence

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.

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Anger in E. Jerusalem still rising

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.

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EU draws its red lines on Israeli expansion

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.

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Israeli minister claims UK welcomes Islamic state

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.

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Last word on why Brit crit matters

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.

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New views of Arendt and Eichmann

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?

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Declaration of independence by young American Jews

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.

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US activists must raise the political cost of defending the occupation

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.

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Behind-the-scenes campaign to protect Israel nuclear power from scrutiny

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.

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Amira Hass banned from Bir Zeit university

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.

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British MPs judged as representing world-wide shift in opinion

Press coverage of the Commons vote that the UK should recognise the state of Palestine disproves one argument made against the motion: that no-one cares what backbench British MPs think. Every Israeli online newspaper covered the vote and many said their government should take it seriously as a sign of European anger and impatience with Israeli policies.

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‘A Palestinian state is not a gift but a right’

This is the first part of the historic House of Commons vote on recognising the state of Palestine, and of Palestine / Israel and the UK’s responsibility (or impotence) more generally. It is striking how long the debate lasted (hence several parts), how many MPs spoke – and how little support Israel’s stance enjoys amongst them.

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We supply the weapons. We have not been seen as even-handed.

The resolution was passed with only 12 voting against. It is clear from the speeches how much MPs were influenced, or strengthened, by messages from their constituents to support the motion. It is thus also true how feeble the pro-Israel lobby was on this occasion. No-one used the antisemitic card – British Jewish anger with Israel was cited – and only one used the Syria gambit. The result is a success for all of us who campaign for Palestinians and against antisemitism.

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I resign from being a Jew

Shlomo Sand, Israeli, intellectual, historian, controversialist, Jewish. Previously, he has disputed the idea of that one can be Jewish if one does not practise Judaism. Here he says he no longer considers himself Jewish because that means being identified with Israel’s racist policies. Psychologically, it seems unlikely that he can excise this aspect of his identity. Politically, it shows an odd ignorance of the life of non-Israeli Jews. Plus Bertell Ollman on the same theme.

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Donors pledge money – and demand end to causes of destruction

The purpose of the Cairo donors’ conference – attended by over 50 nations plus international organisations – was to organise pledges of money for the reconstruction of Gaza. An inevitable other effect was to produce statements that this cycle of destruction must be stopped. UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon was unequivocal: ‘We must not lose sight of the root causes of the recent hostilities: A restrictive occupation that has lasted almost half a century, the continued denial of Palestinian rights and the lack of tangible progress in peace negotiations.’

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Commons vote on Palestine defies Israel lobby

The vote on a backbench motion that the UK should recognize the state of Palestine is more controversial than it might seem at first sight. This is testament to Britain’s pro-Israel lobby which has been insisting that such a vote will damage peace negotiations. Although the Labour leadership has decided to whip its MPs into the Yes lobby, the divisions are within parties rather than between parties.

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Provocation and security clampdown in E. Jerusalem

In an order that does not bode well for the future, PM Netanyahu has instructed police to stop Palestinian protests – which have been going on for 3 months – in E. Jerusalem ‘in a fundamental manner’. And in a knowingly provocative move, police have joined forces with right-wing religious groups to assert their right of access to the Al Aqsa compound, E. Jerusalem.

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Israel lays down the rules on rebuilding Gaza

Donors met last weekend in Cairo to plan reconstructing Gaza. Not only is Israel leaving the cost of the damage it caused to outside agencies, it is also insisting that those agencies put Israel’s ‘security’ demands first. It has subcontracted the role of checking the end-use of all building materials to the UN. With winter approaching and thousands of people homeless, the agencies feel they have no choice but to accept Israel’s dictates.

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