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 Israei shelling? Many try to escape to Europe in journeys organised by ruthless people traiffickers. 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.
To define as a ‘strategy’ Netanyahu’s long-standing approach of embanking divisions between Palestinians and stalling at every possible hurdle that must be jumped to get serious negotiations going is a calumny against that serious notion. Under more threat from his own right wing than he is from all Palestinians has pulled a jewel out of his-near empty bag of gains from his Gaza war – a big chunk of Palestinians’ land . With the infrastructure it will bring (water, electricity, roads for settlers) it shows he has no strategy, merely grabbing things here and there to keep the right quiet. Quiet for quiet as he famously explained the war on Gaza.
It has become apparent that much of the Israeli public is more jingoistic and in favour of military destruction than is their government – or army. They think the IDF should have ‘finished the job’ and blame a very unpopular Netanyahu for the ceasefire. But it is army sources who are talking of easing the blockade and diplomacy as the only means of securing ‘quiet’. Jonathan Cook surveys the moods.
“Confronting today’s Israel and demanding it change is not a rejection of Judaism but the most profound manifestation of it” writes Steve Koppman in a heartfelt plea for Jewish organisations and people to remember and reconnect with the Judaic values they have been flouting.
This is the first of three very disturbing, if not surprising, depictions of the now-dominant Israeli youth culture of hatred of the left and hatred of Arabs. The view that neither the left nor Palestinians have any place in Israeli society has all the signs of a young fascist movement and one which the education system has no power to combat.
Prof. Zeev Sternhell, an authority of the rise of fascism in France, defines fascism as a rejection of, an assault on, enlightenment values. In the regime’s treatment of the Palestinians and of Jewish dissidents, in the submission of intellectuals to government orders and the blind following of the masses, Prof. Sternhell sees signs of fascism, and certainly the end of Zionism as he understood it.
As a means of denying Palestinian statehood and the Oslo Accords , the strategy of keeping Gaza as a locked-in enclave, separate from the West Bank has had partial success. Longer-term it is unsustainable as the proportion of unemployed, angry young men increases. The economic warnings are being ignored by Israel’s security chiefs; their interests would be best served by the very thing they are trying to destroy – a unity government whose writ runs throughout Palestine.
France has the largest proportions of Jews and of Muslims in Europe. There is a sharp social division between them, with most of the Jews now relatively well-off and most of the Muslims, from N. Africa, living impoverished lives in abandoned suburbs.Israel’s Gaza war has heightened tensions, enforcing absolute pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian positions. Reports from Christian Science Monitor and FT.
As JfJfP’s social media strategist Aaron Dover has said before on this website, traffic to the site and to our new Facebook page has increased enormously during the attack on Gaza. The number of JfJFP signatories has jumped by107 to 1874 in the 6 weeks since the beginning of July. Haaretz looks at the phenomenon – which also sees an increase of interest in the Zionist Federation which has redefined itself as ‘centrist’ rather than right-wing.