oD. Annabelle Sreberny examines these elements of identity: a reinvigorated Israeli anti-Arabism and its contradictions; Jewish antisemitism and the need to historicise socio-cultural categories; and a possible political recuperation of the ‘Semites’.
Miri Regev, Israel’s culture minister, is an ambitious and successful woman who makes headlines with populist racism. She is taken to task by fellow Mizrahi woman, Mazal Mualem, for cultivating a public persona as a victim of racist exclusion which sits oddly with her life experience.
The military leaders of Egypt and Israel have long enjoyed good relations, having in common the priority of keeping Palestinians down. This is quite out of step with Arab citizens – Egypt is the most populous Arab country – who, a new poll reveals, have support for Palestinians and hostility to oppressor Israel in common.
Crazy Country is Adam Keller’s blog from Israel in which he regularly takes stock. As he shows here, a week can be an even longer time in Israeli politics than usual. His report ranges from the Israeli reaction to Reykjavik’s call for a boycott of Israeli goods, to a delegation of former Israeli diplomats calling on the Brazilian embassy not to recognise the appointment of settler leader Danny Dayan as the new Israeli ambassador to Brazil, from the simmering fires on the ground as daily incidents – confrontations, shooting and the hurling of stones and Molotov cocktails – continue under occupation, to Netanyahu’s proposals to deal with the discontent by shooting stone throwers and fining their parents…
Crazy country, indeed…
The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research is the premier opinion polling organisation in the Palestinian territories. It has just published the results of a new poll showing a shift in Palestinian opionion: a (bare) majority no longer supports a two-state solution.
We carry Ali Sawafta’s report in Haaretz, and full details of the extensive survey itself.
An Israeli blogger claims that the Tamimi family from Nabi Saleh have an ‘open passion for Jewish blood’. The role of the young Tamimi boy, in this version, was to lure the soldier, by throwing stones at him, to pin him down thus exposing him, despite his anti-bite face-mask, to the vampires hunting their next meal. It’s a good fairy story to chill the blood of the credulous.
The demonstration against PM Netanyahu on September 9th when he visited his friend David Cameron produced many complaints that the demonstrators were antisemitic. Some were, using, as Brian Klug said, ‘the figure of the Jew’ (Netanyahu) to stand for many forms of depravity. There is a particular sensitivity here; President Assad has been portrayed as a child-killer as have other despots. But they have not been persecuted by Christians for centuries for child-killing as the mythical impulse for genocide. PSC makes a strong stand against the antisemitism.
Israel has acquired a new expert on international law to advise the government on Europe. Professor Kontorovich’s knowledge seems to consist of two points – Europeans are irrational and two-faced. We illustrate some of his know-nothing points.
This is a response to Michael Walzer’s essay in Dissent by the Lebanese-American scholar As’ad AbuKhalil. In all the contributions to this debate there seems more heat than light, more fear and anger than curiosity about the other. But if they encourage thought about the replacement of secular politics by religion or by how religion or religious conflicts have shaped our civilisations, all to the good.
Why is this not an international disaster? People in Gaza have no reliable supply of potable water. Houses, hospitals lie in ruins. It is the conflict with Israel which frightens international donors – and development agencies.
This article by Roy Isacowitz continues the debate about whether Israeli governance of Palestinians can properly be described as apartheid. Roy Isacowitz thinks yes. This is illustrated with photos of Israeli police rough-handling children and shouting at women whom they are not allowing through the Qalandia checkpoint. Israel justifies its repressive measures as protecting their security.
More evidence that younger Palestinians in the West Bank, expressing themselves via social media, are entirely alienated from the corrupt croneyism of Pres. Abbas and his Fatah faction. His attempts to revive Fatah’s relevance may be too late.
Having decided to lead the world (viz. the USA) in a crusade against Iran, PM Netanyahu has had to cast his decision in the most hyperbolic terms – good v. evil, for Israel or for another holocaust of Jews? Only Israelis are listening.
President Abbas sits in his palace moving his knights around – and ejecting them from his web of intrigue. His most recent move was to close down the Palestinian Peace Coalition – the Palestinian side of the Geneva Initiative – to skewer its head, Yasser Abed Rabbo, former secretary-general of the PLO.
Netanyahu’s belief that he is leading a world-wide crusade to make Iran an impotent pariah state has crumbled. Not only have the USA and EU turned in the opposite direction, his belief that he could recruit the Gulf states – no friends of Iran – is baseless. They will do no public deal with Israel unless and until there is a negotiated settlement with Palestine.
Jeremy Corbyn has been most strongly attacked for his positions on foreign policy – he is a long-established supporter of Palestinian rights and of talking with one’s enemies. What have been treated as his fringe causes usually, over time, become mainstream and the only answer to violent conflict. Antisemitism accompanies him – fight back !
We understand the desire for some areas to be outside politics. But, like soft porn, football is used in Israel to display, to its own citizens, that it is one of a family of civilised nations. It is the faux form of normality. This con is swallowed by all those who want to carry on as usual – e.g. the Welsh football team. Colonial rule is colonial rule, even if extreme violence is not used.
Many Palestinians have been able to leave the notorious Yarmouk refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus, Syria after fighting broke out in 2013 and again with ISIL in April this year. Those without contacts, money, health, passports are still there – with little food and water, but with an outbreak of typhoid.
If any proof were needed that Netanyahu has retreated to his bunker then look at his appointment of Danny Danon as UN ambassador. The PM would rather have have Danon in New York expressing his repellent views than challenging him at home.
An anguished Bradley Burston, who immigrated from LA to Israel in 1976, has finally had to recognise that the mesh of laws which the Israeli state has amassed to restrict every possible form of independent Palestinian life can only be called apartheid. Every self-respecting Jew should oppose this injustice.