The Berlin based campaign in support of Firas Maraghy continues to grow. At 4pm yesterday, a letter with 115 signatories was sent to Daniel Barenboim, the Argentinian/Israeli conductor – text below. We only had 24 hours to collect signatures but they came in from all over the world. In the meantime, the two petitions are [...]
More news from the occupied territories: a B’tselem report, a personal story and a look at the Gaza Mall; Israel appears to fear non-violent resistance more than open warfare and is doing its best to suppress it; as economic sanctions bite, the slide to the right intensifies; peace talks are about to open but with very limited chances of success; a fresh look at the Israel=apartheid analogy and a moving account of Moris Farhi’s hopes and fears for Israel today. All this and more in this week’s posting. For a detailed guide click on the heading above.
Under the heading “A Must-Read Analysis of American Policy in the Middle East” the Magnes Zionist introduces Robert Malley and Peter Harling’s article “Beyond Moderates and militants”. He writes: “How would the Obama’s administration Middle East policy look different if they had left Dennis Ross and Dan Shapiro out, and brought Rob Malley in? Part of an answer can be found in an excellent article appearing in Foreign Affairs here, which Malley has co-authored with Peter Harling. It is simply one of the best policy diagnoses and prescriptions ever. It’s a long read, but worth the time spent.”
In this long, two-part analysis Ran Greenstein casts a refreshing eye over the whole debate about Israel and apartheid. In it he argues that “The notion of apartheid may be applicable in different ways to different components of the system. While Israel clearly is different from South African historical apartheid, in crucial respects it has affinities with apartheid in its generic sense.”
See the introductory comment to Part 1 in the posting above
This week Israel’s Channel 10 aired a TV programme under the above title. It concluded, in Uri Avnery’s words that “there is no need for a world-wide organization… because all over the place there is a spontaneous surge of pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli feeling”. Uri Avnery applauds the general pressure for change but argues that “the first thing is to clearly differentiate between the boycott of the settlements and a general boycott of Israel… If the world protest is clearly focused on the settlements, it will indeed cause many Israelis to realize that there is a clear line between the legitimate State of Israel and the illegitimate occupation.”
Hagai El-Ad, executive director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, comments on Israel’s sad slide from democracy…
Didi Remez of Coteret has published a translation of a Yedioth Ahronoth scoop which “publishes minutes of White House negotiations briefing for Jewish-American leadership”.
B’tselem has just published its latest report on Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, covering the period from 1 January 2009 to 30 April 2010. We reproduce the Preface and the List of contents as well as a link to the full report.
“Three times a week, Noor H. from the West Bank goes for dialysis at an East Jerusalem hospital. Chronically ill and barely able to walk, she has to cross an Israeli checkpoint on foot. Most of the time she is meticulously searched. No one from her family can accompany her…”
In a very helpful overview of the balance of forces in Israel and the region, Paul Rogers sees little prospect of progress in the forthcoming peace talks…
A Yediot Acharonot round up on how sanctions against Israeli companies involved in the occupation are taking effect.
Gush Shalom’s weekly ad in Haaretz targets theatre groups performing in the settlements. And Haaretz reports that two actors from the national theater will not cross the green line to perform in Ariel.
As Israel convicts another non-violent organiser and protestor, the Magnes Zionist comments: “Since any protest against the expropriation of land in the Occupied Territories (by Arabs; Jewish settlers, under the system of Hafradah, are not tried in military courts) can be interpreted as IPSO FACTO disturbing the public peace or public order (what public peace or public order? These protests are in Palestinian villages), the law, in effect, bans all Palestinian protest. And if you organize a non-violent protest, you can sit in jail for up to ten years…
Abdallah Abu Rahmah, the coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee, was convicted of incitement and organizing illegal marches by an Israeli military court. The conviction concluded an eight months long political show trial, during which he was kept behind bars. Join the call for his immediate release!
Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies reports on the growing grassroots boycott,divestment and sanctions movement in the States which is challenging U.S. support for Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.
Moris Farhi MBE, a vice-president of International PEN, gives a lyrical account of being Jewish, of his love for Israel and his alarm at what it has become: “I am a Turkish Jew, born in Ankara in 1935. My mother’s family, from Salonika, Greece, perished in Auschwitz… Israel’s birth became the mainstay of my existence. I embraced her as my spiritual country. And her survival has been – still is – my life’s primary concern… However, for many years now I have deplored the politics of her governments. Today, as Israel veers toward ultra-nationalism and religious extremism, I fear for her future.”
“The Gaza Mall, a 10-shop complex, opened a month ago and has provided ammunition to Israel’s fiercest defenders.” Ethan Bronner reports.
More this week on the rightward drift of Israeli politics and society: IDF members caught thieving and generally behaving badly; the threat to academic freedom; the drift towards a fascist cast of mind. More on the occupation: settler violence against peace observers, the slow strangulation of Gaza – and of the Jordan valley’s Palestinian population. Some thought on what exactly is ‘the Jewish state’? And some resistance.
For a detailed guide to this week’s postings click on the heading above.
Members of the IDF stands accused of pilfering goods – laptops, credit cards and the like off the Mazi Marmara and other boats in the Freedom Flotilla. The Israeli authorities are reportedly “shocked”. And Eden Abergil, who completed her military service last year, posted two images of herself posing next to blindfolded Palestinian prisoners in a Facebook album she called “The Army… the most beautiful time of my life ” cannot understand what the fuss is about…