Two people who don’t fit their prescribed identities – Avraham Burg who wants to repeal the law of return and Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, a secular Palestinian – both with long histories in peace movements, explore what they may have in common.
It has been an unwritten rule, observed on this website, that lightly-made comparisons with the Holocaust are wrong. Uri Avnery, who was there while it was in the making, observed the same rule until now, when Maj. Gen Golan, broke it by making comparison to the making of a catastrophe. Cheers from Avnery.
The Palestinian Museum has just opened near Birzeit university. It is still largely devoid of exhibits – so much has been lost, destroyed or looted by Israeli soldiers and officials. Yet in itself it declares that Palestine has a history and culture worth conserving, an inspiration to the fragmented communities of Palestine. Former director Jack Persekian hopes it will confront ‘taboos and sanctioned narratives’.
The state of alarm felt by Labour about accusations of antisemitism is evident in the two enquiries they have set up at the same time. First is the one by Lady Royall which finds that some Jewish students feel unnerved and that there is no antisemitism at Oxford. What a failure to explore the gap between facts and feelings.
‘Zionist’ is short-hand for many things. Different groups use the same word, with different meanings and moral positions. This much in Prof. Herman’s article is uncontentious. Ironically, the same could be said of her use of the term ‘the Left’ and ‘left-wing’ scholars’.
If Israel’s Independence Day is a moment of mourning for Palestinians, May 15, Naqba Day has become a thorn in the side of the Israeli government and a prompt to serious planning for a future Palestinian state.
Step back from the commotion and ask, as Avi Shlaim and Gwyn Daniel do – why now? The entire western world has put all its money on the 2-state solution. But Israel won’t play. Let’s put up a smokescreen over that and run round shrieking ‘I spy antisemites.’
Anshel Pfeffer believes that “every few days for the last couple of months, a new name of a Labour activist who has been engaging [in antisemitism] emerged in the media”. Really? More plausibly he argues that Israel is seen as powerful and Jews as no longer an endangered minority.
The Palestine-Israel conflict has inflamed passions and made many want to support the underdog Palestinians writes MidEast expert Tony Klug. We should all reflect on the critical role Britain and Europe played in instigating the conflict in the first place and all refrain from feeding the poisonous atmosphere engulfing us. Palestinians and Israeli have to live together.
At our table a small selection of items: warm greetings from JfJfP to signatories, friends and supporters; messages from Breaking the Silence, Rabbis for Human RIghts and Freedom Seder and links to other sites; a truncated article dissing the myth that matzah is eaten at passover to remind us that in the flight from Egypt there was no time to let the dough rise. Wrong.
The best hope of Zionism was that it would cause antisemitism to wither in face of the strong Jewish state. The greatest vicitims of this Zionism are the Palestinians. With the fatal conflation of opposition to Jews, to Zionism and to Israel, the demon becomes the Palestinian – and anti-Palestinianism is rife says Jerry Haber, unremarked, condoned.
There is a short report by Ma’an on the US 2015 country report on human rights in Israel and the oPt. Then the report – over 22,000 words which do not include checkpoints, barrier, wall, occupation and settlements except for their illegal boycott. And not a word on the current state of deprivation and destruction in Gaza. It is strong on Israel’s lack of accountability for security actions.
Did terrorism bring Israel into existence? Tomer Persico looks for a clear distinction between terrorism – which murders indiscriminately – and guerilla operations – which pick their targets of power carefully. Terrorism seems to be winning.
Yes, anti-Zionism can be a euphemism for antisemitism or the fantasy that Israel can be destroyed. But it can also, argues Peter Beinart, be a logical response by Palestinians to their subjugation. He is responding to Lord Sacks who pursues the metaphors of a virus and a scapegoat which exempt him from having to face many facts.
Three very different articles on the same theme – distinguishing antisemitism from anti-Zionism. They are easily elided in the US writes Jane Eisner because for many young Jews it’s Israel, not their history in Europe or the US, which defines their Jewishness. Tony Greenstein, PSC member, writes urging the PSC to make a more public stand against the right’s use of the charge of antisemitism to bash the left. Larry Derfner tersely writes that the overlap between antisemitism and anti-Zionism is a fraction of the overlap between Zionism and Islamophobia.
Glenn Greenwald surveys how all expressions of Palestinian resistance, and support for it, are defined as antisemitic, terrorist, or criminal – which BDS has been made by various states and universities.
A clutch of Israeli businesses and individuals have gained a lot of money through secretive dealing and tax evasion. People from Mossack Fonseca and Leumi bank representatives discussed their dealings during golf games or barbecues. The two chief conspirators, Mossack and Fonseca, were born into Roman Catholic families. Who needs John Le Carré or Graham Greene when real life is so exotically dishonest?
Paul Scham asks why Israelis see themselves as living in a small, frail, endangered country when in fact it is the richest, safest and most powerful in the region. The ‘poor little’ image rests on the need to justify their occupation of Palestine.
What’s the point of the BDS movement if it does not enable Israeli Jews and Palestinians to live in peace with each other? And, asks Uri Avnery, what’s the point if it encourages a train of antisemites and Israel-haters?
Al Haq is the pre-eminent Palestinian organisation campaigning on the legal rights of Palestinians. Now it and its staff have been subjected to death threats by an anonymous violent Jewish group. Al Haq thinks it stems directly from the Israeli state though there are plenty of violent Jewish groups who could be responsible. Will the Israeli police investigate?