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?
It’s not clear what facts the President of the Board of Deputies thinks the PM has forgotten. But let’s hope he doesn’t offer him a history lesson as his own grasp of the ‘myths of Jerusalem’ in many cultures as well as the facts of the city is dubious. His most spurious claim is that Jerusalem, myth and reality, belongs particularly to all the Jews in the world.
From the start Israel has been a highly militarised society. The IDF represented the new society’s indomitability. It was the ideal of Israel. This isn’t the first posting to look at the politicians’ growing disregard for military judgment. Ben Caspit pushes the break-down of the relationship as far as he can.
Uri Avnery takes on the ‘boycott Israel’ movement and why Israel can’t be twinned with South Africa. It hinges, again, on the lack of a Palestinian/Israeli mass anti-apartheid movement.
Efraim Sneh is the first Israeli to suggest that the relentless individual knife and car attacks on Israelis cannot be stopped by any military action. This is the first time the IDF has been unable to protect Israel. The only answer is to cede to Palestinians the 22% of territory they say is acceptable.
The Journal of Palestine Studies has made a special issue out of Zionist terrorism. Its main point is that terrorism has been engrained in the Jewish settling of Palestine/Israel from the start.
In an article that reads like a short story Liz Rose describes how an adolescent is delighted to discover meaning in the Israel and Zionism she learns about at summer camp along with its erotic companion, discovering one’s own and another’s body in teenage utopia.
The purpose of this article by Jonathan Schanzer for the right-wing Foundation for Defense of Democracies is to show that the failure to reach an agreement on a Palestinian state is entirely due to Hamas. The reason for posting it here is to ensure we know the range of views on why the conflict seems to have no end.
For all Israel’s pzazz about innovation and start-ups, few enjoy the financial benefits. The country has a very high cost of living which leaves most with a small disposable income. If its government dragged its attention away from ‘security’ and towards the well-being of its citizens life would be better. But the citizens would have to demand it.
Echoing and responding to other opinions this week [see postings below] Akiva Eldar bemoans the passivity of Israelis, especially its youth, in the face of political injustice. Many have tried, and failed, to right the wrongs of the occupation. Now they have accepted their powerlessness as normal.