Jerry Haber has been pondering the often-linked tenets of Orthodox Judaism and Zionism. He finds adherents do not have to see special meaning in the State of Israel nor tolerate indifference or oblivion towards Palestinians and their history.
US pension fund divests from Caterpillar because of ‘controversy [about] the occupied Palestinian territories” – despite denials by pro-Israel advocates reports Richard Silverstein; Veolia has lost its tender for a Dutch public transport contract (Al Haq); and is engaged in a strategy of divestment and global shrinkage.
If the principal aim of the PA is to be Israel’s ‘partner for peace’, speaking for all Palestinians, then it follows they will crush articulate or organised dissenting voices. Chief dissenter is Hamas, many of whose members were arrested in a 2010 crackdown by the PA’s security service.. Now six of those detained – whose release was ordered by the Palestinian High Court – are on hunger strike. Occupied Palestine, PCHR and background article.
1st, Ramzy Baroud says the claim that the freezing of Gaza is a response to Hamas -who took control of Gaza in 2007 – is belied by historical evidence. 2nd, from the 2004 archives, a long interview with Dov Weisglass, Ariel Sharon’s fixer, on how Israel put relations with Palestinians into ‘formaldehyde’, making them of no account. 7 months later, Israel withdrew from Gaza, 8 months after that Sharon fell into a deep coma.
G4S and Israel seem made for each other, having in common a paramount concern with security. More surprising might be the contracts the company is winning in Arab countries, despite the official position of many on the oPt. Rather, says Al Akhbar, it is Europeans who are leading moves to question and boycott the company. JfJfP is at the forefront of the campaign to stop G4S winning contracts in the UK.
For protesting middle-class youth priced out of the housing market, the answer lay in the high cost of the occupation, sucking state funds into the military and subsidies to settlements. This is denial, writes Noam Sheizaf; Israel profits financially from the land and resources it controls through occupation. Ami Kaufman and Emily L. Hauser join in the discussion.
President Vladimir Putin visited Israel and the West Bank on Monday and Tuesday. He was warmly received by both governments who see him as able to move parts other leaders can’t reach. He gave nothing away in public on Iran and Syria, but let it be known that he praised Mahmoud Abbas for taking a ‘responsible’ position. NY Times and AP.
A meeting of the EU Council in May affirmed that EU policy was for security for both Israelis and Palestinians, and an agreement on two states. But settlements, pushing Arabs out of East Jerusalem, undermining the PA and more are making this impossible. Ireland’s Foreign Minister concludes that the EU should impose a ban on the entry to the EU of all settlement products – and of violent settlers.
A team of lawyers funded by the UK Foreign Office has found that Israel’s military authorities breach many articles of international law – some amounting to torture and cruelty – in their arrest and imprisonment of Palestinian minors. News report of Children in Military Custody from the Independent, Executive Summary of the report and link to full report.
The Board of Deputies, the ‘establishment’ body of British Jews, has launched an attack on the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, a World Council of Churches initiative which supports Palestinians under attack. The sudden move seems to be a response to growing public antagonism to the Occupation, as is a petition against the Co-op’s boycott decision from ‘We Believe in Israel’. JfJfP issues a statement supporting EAPPI and criticising the Board of Deputies for its misleading attack.
When Daphni Leef pitched her tent in Rothschild Boulevard last summer, sparking the J14 protest, it was regarded with sympathy, a quixotic and girlish act of defiance. This year, on Friday, she was roughly arrested, as were over 85 more protesters the next day. The protesters are angrier, they mention the Occupation, the mainstream media turn their backs. Outsiders +972, Tikkun Daily and Maki report.
The flight of people from east Africa in particular has caused problems for African and European countries – but none has reacted with such rejection as Israel, people and government. Donald Macintyre reports, 1. Political black Americans have taken up their plight, connecting it to US-Israel colonialism (2) – which may cement the pro-Israel fervour of tea-party Christians. The official solution to the racism is the vast prison compound being built in the Negev, 3.
Another settler attack on a mosque – fire and bellicose graffiti; it’s no longer news. News: a synagogue in Moshav Maor has ‘allahu akbar’ sprayed on it.
More evidence that it’s right-wing Christians who provide the popular support for Israel, especially its military hardware, in the US. A week after Mitt Romney promised the Faith and Freedom Coalition (4, 5) to do the opposite of whatever Obama did towards Israel (1), the Republican Jewish Coalition has seized on the issue to win Jewish support for Romney, hoping fealty to Israel will be their trump card (3). Mitt proves it (2).
The rapid and illegal moves to demolish the Palestinian village of Susya, despite previous court rulings in favour of the Palestinian land-owners, have still not been checked by any legal order. The Villages Group speculates that the High Court’s tolerance of illegality is an attempt not to earn more bad marks, after the Ulpana affair, with this pro-settler government. JfJfP asks the UK’s Foreign Office to intervene.
Settler violence seems like mindless thuggery. But, says Jonathan Cook, there is a clear purpose – to threaten the Israeli state with mayhem if Palestinian citizens receive any state protection. Palestinians may be the victims but the destruction of any hope of an egalitarian state is the settlers’ bigger aim. Is this what a ‘Jewish state’ looks like?
The Bedouin way of life – nomadic and pastoral – is gradually being destroyed in Israel as land-use authorities (in effect, the national government) decree that these Palestinians must leave the West Bank – and set up camp on Israel’s waste spaces. Fresh air and freedom of movement, central to the Bedouin tradition, are thus destroyed. Yet they are touted as a tourist attraction for their romantic freedom. Plus link to ‘Nowhere left to go’, a film from the Jahalin Association.
The importance of the PLO has dwindled in the last 25 years except for the members who are involved in the PA. Made up of many different groups, its dominant group, Fatah, has had a long enmity with Hamas, which is not in the PLO. Now PLO-Hamas talks and the success of non-violent actions might bring results, suggests Daoud Kuttab, reviving the PLO and the notion of one voice for the Palestinian people.
Special Rapporteur Frank La Rue has written a critical report for the Human Rights Council of the state of free speech under all governing bodies in Israel-Palestine. In the Only Democracy in the Middle East free speech is limited on issues such as Israel as a Jewish state, calling for boycotts and the Nakba; the PA censors, Hamas harasses and arrests journalists. The report’s conclusion after a news report from AP.
According to a 2004 EU rule all products from the oPt must pay the non-preferential 7% customs duty – though they are still labelled ‘Made in Israel’. If the company can’t fiddle the place of origin requirement, it still doesn’t suffer from the levy, says Neve Gordon, because the Israeli state compensates it for its loss. South Africa has recently decided that only goods made in Israel proper may bear a ‘Made in Israel’ label, giving people the power to boycott settlement products.