Or rather, the particular form of Zionism that faithfully followed US foreign policy from the 1960s was an aberration for progressive Jews in the US argue two writers from JVP; now the young generation can’t accept that their politics makes an exception of Israel.
For Jews in Europe and the USA, Israel no longer stands as either the sacred and redemptive destination or the only safe homeland. Outside Israel, argues Alan Wolfe, Jews can better continue their tradition as bearers of universal values and enlightened religion.
Another comment this week on the disaster that is Netanyahu’s government; by continuing to clobber the Palestinians, ignore all law, all criticism, by pushing the basic law bill he has lost all popular support from all but the fanatical right. Alon Ben-Meir’s indictment.
Things are looking difficult for Israel’s current expansionist policy when even its most loyal backer considers action rather than warning words reports Barak Ravid. Israel’s isolation is becoming complete as European parliaments and the White House say they have had enough of Israeli obduracy and contempt for peace, Haaretz editorial.
Uri Avnery asks us not to despair at the thought that the next election will bring a further shift to the right in Israel. The government is now pushing such right-wing legislation through the Knesset that it’s increasing the chances of creating a centre-left coalition. If not, it’s ‘A racist Israel of inequality, engaged in an endless war and increasingly subject to the rule of fundamentalist rabbis.’
Ramzy Baroud, pondering on Palestinian resistance, is very taken with the American Hunger Games, a series of novels and films. They tell the age-old, cross-cultural story in which heroic people fight back against a cruel and powerful dictator for whom the people must be either dead or slaves.
Two old friends, Arab-Israeli Sayed Kashua and Jewish-Israeli Etgar Keret write to each other about their feelings about living in Israel, and being an ex-pat – Sayed has moved to the US. Both are horrified by the violence in Israel. Could a 3-state solution be the answer – the State of Israel, the State of Palestine, and the Republic of Force-Is-the-Only-Language-They-Understand?
Citizen anger and disillusionment with elections is now common-place. Anger at government’s failure to deliver change, realism about the limited powers of a nation-state, hopelessness about politics? Shlomi Eldar on the debate amongst Israeli Arabs.
Being black and liberal was not quite enough to unite all the US’s illiberal factions to block the election of President Obama. There is only one force powerful enough to bring them together says Philip Weiss and that is Israel at a Zionist Organization gala.
PM Netanyahu’s hardline stance on protesters in Jerusalem has so alarmed those who want peace in the region – Kerry, the king of Jordan, President Abbas and, by phone, President al-Sisi – that he got Netanyahu to confer with them and agree to allowing men under 50 to visit Al Aqsa mosque. Daoud Kuttab doubts if this outside intervention isn’t too little too late for a PM who cannot see the dangers.
In this alarming article, Tomer Persico examines the remaking of Zionism as an aggressively nationalist and religious movement. Those involved appear to be gripped by an hysterical desire to ignore state rulings and pragmatism and pursue redemption through, amongst other things, building a Third Temple on Haram al-Sharif.
Israel’s reputation has never been lower. This is entirely to do with its occupation of Palestinian territories, its harsh control of Palestinians and, especially, its lethal onslaughts on Gaza. JfJfP’s Arthur Goodman responds to an article on how this has come about with some simple questions.
Yasser Arafat, PLO president and Fatah leader, died 10 years ago, on November 11 2004. In this essay, Hussein Agha and Ahmad Samih Khalidi examine why such an unprepossessing man exercised an authority that has not been replicated.
Once upon a time, says Allison Kaplan Sommer, Israel was the adored new baby of the entire Jewish family (apart from a few wicked aunts and uncles whom she doesn’t mention). Jews were brought together in their desire to see the baby grow and flourish. And what has the spoiled child become? An adult country which is as likely to divide Jews and set them against each other as to bring them together.
Daniel Barenboim’s argument for Germany to come out of hiding and take an open role in pressing Israel is not based on a position that the Nazi holocaust gives Germany a special responsibility, but rather that the disunity within the EU makes it ineffectual, Germany’s commitment to Israel’s security demands that Israel reaches a genuine peace agreement with the Palestinians.
‘Israelis live in a largely mythic world, a vastly simplified version of the Iliad. In this starkly polarized vision of reality, in which Israelis are by definition innocent victims of dark, irrational forces operating against them, heroic death in war always makes sense, and violent coercion is the option both of necessity and of choice.’ Review by David Shulman of Israel’s attack and Hamas sectarianism.
Access to buses for Palestinians travelling to Israel for work has long been segregated because of separate checkpoints. Now defence minister Ya’alon has ordered that Palestinians travelling home have to go on separate lines. He cites security of course. But his highly symbolic decision appeases settlers – and enrages Americans.
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?