As US-Israel relations have worsened, the superpower’s relations with the PA have become stronger. These two shifts may not be connected, but it is clear to analysts that a strong PA is essential if violence or anarchy are not to subsume the moderate authority. Interview with Mustafa Barghouti on US/Palestinian relations.
The division of the land between a Jewish state and a Palestinian state, requiring the Jewish state to reduce its size, withdraw and make room for a durable Palestinian state, matches the Zionist message from time immemorial writes Sever Plocker. Israelis should welcome the vote of British MPs to recognise Palestine.
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?
This is not our first posting on strained relations between American Jews and Israel and no doubt won’t be the last. The main point made here by Shlomi Eldar here is that young Jews now have a strong American identity and feel affronted by Netanyahu’s misreading of American values – human rights, equality, democracy and acceptance of the other.
The speech on the ‘peace process’ given at the acme of the establishment by Sir Alan Duncan, senior Conservative and former minister for International Development, has had a big impact. He assails Israel relentlessly for its treatment of Palestinians and its ‘churlish’ rejection of all attempts to make peace. He is firm on Israel’s right to exist, without question. He comments on Britain’s non-homogenous Jews – and those groups which receive money from a foreign country. It outraged the Board of Deputies.
Or rather, as the Telegraph’s Peter Oborne argues in this cogent piece, the alternative is Israel leaving the community of civilised nations as it struggles to maintain control over a mass of angry Palestinians through a military-controlled system of apartheid. Surely even the Conservative Friends of Israel, the largest organisation in Europe dedicated to the cause of Israel, cannot wish for this.
The leaders of Palestine and Israel addressed the UN General Assembly in September. Uri Avnery, like other Israeli commentators, has no time for Abbas’ solemn accusation of genocide; he is more dismissive of the Netanyahu’s salesman’s pitch at an international (American) audience, homing in on his ISIS=Hamas claim and other such false equations.
President Abbas addressed the UN General Assembly on September 26th. He needn’t have bothered because no-one listened. While Netanyahu’s speech received widespread coverage, only one word of Abbas’s speech was heard – genocide. Which meant the commentators have not been listening to the wider discussion about whether Israel’s policy towards Palestinians is genocidal.
In this interview with Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN’s veteran diplomat utters some frank and hard-hitting judgments on the US’s role in the Middle East: it has been naive, without strategic thinking and unable to distinguish between different Arab nations.
‘The story of the Jews’ was a five part TV series made by British historian Simon Schama and first broadcast on BBC2 from September 2013. It was generally well received – except for its last part which suggested the settling of Palestine by Jews and the creation of Israel was the culmination of ‘the’ Jewish story. Interview with him by Poppy Sebag-Montefiore on the series and his new book .
This is a more sceptical view on whether or not the Palestinian Unity Government, led by President Abbas, will actually be able to exercise control over Gaza and the Rafah crossing. But the writers in this WSJ article point to the pressure Palestinians are putting on Hamas for evidence, including reconstruction, of achievement in the resistance to Israel.
Less publicised than the war on Gaza was the Operation Protective Edge campaign of mass searches and arrests in the West Bank. Professors, students, intellectuals as well as politicians were included in the sweep. Although they feel harassed, Palestinian cadres think new, younger people will take over the leadership.
Freedom for all religions (unlike those intolerant Muslim regimes) has been one of Israel’s main claims to be the leading light in the Middle East. In fact, as with everything in Israel, freedom of worship in Israel and the oPt is significantly curtailed in the name of security (Israel’s). Orly Noy speaks her mind.
What life is there for people in Gaza now that much of what little they had has been destroyed by Israeli shelling? Many try to escape to Europe in journeys organised by ruthless people traffickers. On Sept. 6th, in the “worst shipwreck in years”, hundreds drowned when their ship was rammed by a rival smuggling group. Having done so little to stop the siege and bombardment of Gaza, it is time the EU took responsibility for allowing legitimate movement by such desperate people.
According to the Prime Minister of Israel, the aim of the attack on Gaza was to ‘restore calm’. This aspect of Operation Protective Edge may have succeeded – at tremendous cost to Palestinians. Less remarked has been the impact of the operation in the West Bank – where many Palestinians believe the kidnapping of the Israeli boys was just an excuse to extend Israeli military control – which is causing anything but calm.
Nationalism can begin as a left- or right-wing movement, or neither; it is almost invariably populist-defined by finding an ‘other’ to be against. So whatever their potential for advancing democracy, nationalist movements carry the danger of harnessing racism. Anshel Pfeffer thinks nationalist movements are more of a threat to Europe than crazed jihadis.
Having created its role as the US’s first partner in the Middle East and the leading warrior against fanatical Islamic terrorism (i.e. Hamas) Bibi can’t hide his distress at not being allowed to take part in the gang. Obama’s reasoning is that the coalition would break down if it did. The US now has more useful friends in the region. So what did all the ‘strategic edge’ money buy for the US?
The UN Human Right Commission, Yesh Din, B’Tselem, Amnesty, Human rights Watch are some of the organisations pressing for a proper investigation into the IDF’s lethal assault on Gaza, and judging them against Israel’s own laws as well as international laws. Jonathan Cook adds a new point: the effectiveness of Iron Dome makes indiscriminate attacks on Gaza indefensible.
The 43 members of elite Unit 8200 who have refused to continue intrusive and malicious spying on Palestinians are telling the truth writes Ynet’s Nahum Barnea. Their information ‘contributes to the occupation’s maliciousness, arbitrariness and foolishness, or provides a decent cover to the government’s false policy.’
However many pictures you have seen, however many stories you have read of Israel’s war on Gaza, this speech from Dr. Mustafa Barghouti on how thorough and unsparing the attack was is still chilling. Every number you read is made up of individual persons, homes, places of worship, sanitation facilities… He urges resistance.