The Arab residents of Jerusalem have been confined behind a wall in the eastern part of the city where they lack most amenities. To enter the main city, where the services are, they have to have a permit. Now the director-general of the municipality has asked the IDF to take control of providing sanitation and supervising construction in what is becoming a cramped and unhygienic ghetto. Ben White reports.
While it is true that the images of Greater Israel and of the pioneering, gun-bearing frontiersman attract some settlers to the West Bank, it is also obvious from the figures here – from Richard Silverstein and Peace Now – that the Israeli state has to provide heavy subsidies to get Israelis to move to, and stay in, the occupied land. It is a price the Israeli government is prepared to pay to make a Palestinian state impossible.
Republican Mitt Romney has heaped gifts on PM Netanyahu – American support for HIS decision to attack Iran, fact-free flattery about Israeli/Jewish ‘culture’ and God’s favouritism, and the hint of bottomless riches in the presence at his side of Sheldon Adelson, 8th wealthiest American. Palestinians say – Just Go Home. Jewish Voice for Peace asks all supporters (Brits too) to sign an Open Letter of protest to Mitt Romney.
The Palestinian economy has neither the state-power of China-style development nor the freedoms of other ‘Asian tigers’ – which makes the advice of the World Bank, 2nd, pretty pointless. The PA’s financial dependence makes it a weak actor in the economy. But IT is one industry that does not depend on freedom of movement, hence the hopes that Ramallah might become an IT hub in the region (Ist).
In early July the European parliament passed a lengthy resolution reminding all EU institutions of their legal and moral duties to enforce EU policies in relation to the oPt. It was proposed by the Greens and EFA, and supported by the Socialists’ and Democrats’ alliance. We can at least hope that this marks the energy of some MEPs on the issue. This is a useful document to keep when lobbying your MEP.
Neither the US nor Quartet will use tools to block Israeli transgressions – or rein in ‘radical factions’ – says former British ambassador Tom Philips in Prospect magazine; Arab states have been no more effective. But the EU, Israel’s greatest trading partner, has many tools it could use to press for change. It should start using them. Jonathan Cook, 1 and Akiva Eldar, 2, comment.
The apartheid between Jews and Arabs in Israel stares visitors in the face – on transport, on the streets, everywhere you look. But American Jews can’t, or won’t see it so blinded are they by the joy of the power they have in Israel. A powerful denunciation by Philip Weiss.
Posted here is the whole of Adalah’s new campaign to raise support to block the Prawer Plan – the programme to move tens of thousands of Bedouin from their unrecognised – by the Israeli state – homes in the Negev to concentrations in set areas. JfJfP supports the rights of the Bedouin to stay in their traditional homes.
The Migron settlement was acknowleged as illegal by Israel’s Supreme Court – because it was built on privately-owned Palestinian land. It was to be evacuated on August 1st but this has been delayed because, say authorities, it falls during Ramadan.
The Egyptian uprising is finally having results for the people of Gaza. Gaza’s Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has had talks with new Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi and agreed that the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt will be open 12 hours a day. This should ease the siege imposed by Israel on people and goods moving in and out of Gaza.
Nobody knows what millionaire CEO and Republican candidate Mitt Romney stands for – except everything President Obama doesn’t. Obviously that includes Israeli military aggression. So from a drizzly performance in the UK he has gone to a sunny reception in Israel, where he hopes his bellicose remarks will win him Jewish votes back home.
The long alliance of Palestinians and Syrians is breaking as Palestinians too feel the brunt of pro-Assad violence. Palestinians are divided over old loyalties and new realities. Sharif Nashashibi warns against supporting Assad as a way of opposing the US and Israel rather than universal human rights.
The attempts of Israeli state officials to control the movement of Palestinians have generated a huge and inefficient bureaucracy in which the clerk controls the Arabs but no-one is in charge of what the clerks do, how or why. Ha’aretz interviews the author of a new book on how it works – or doesn’t.
Dani Dayan, chairman of the council for West Bank settlements, claims in an op-ed piece in the NY Times that Israel’s seizure of the West Bank was morally necessary as a defence against Arab aggression (!) and the settlers will expand their control (2nd). Lara Friedman, (1st) disputes his argument and conclusion as immoral and wrong; lastly, Richard Falk asks whether his realpolitik is not to be admired.
We post this week OCHA’s weekly report for 18-24 July because the number of Palestinians injured by settlers and the IDF is unusually low. The dispassionate account of daily life in a ‘good’ week for West Bank Palestinians is horrible, Second, a frenzy of land grabbing and house demolitions by settlers is reported by the National Bureau for the Defense of Land.
London student Jakril Hoque is shocked when he is interrogated, imprisoned and deported from Ben Gurion airport. Why? He is the wrong colour. He is most shocked when his interrogator tells him happily that Israel alone is alllowed to practise racial discrimination because it is ‘special’. From justifying paranoia and racism to implementing fascism is not, it seems, beyond possibility.
The USA’s new security co-operation law, passed earlier this month, had great ideological power. Its most immediate practical significance may be, writes Yitzhak Benhorin, to allow the IDF to buy re-fuelling aircraft for the first time. It was to hinder Israel attacking Iran that aerial refuelling planes have been withheld by the USA up till now.
Uri Avnery examines the ways in which the meanings of Zionism have changed since the 1890s and especially since the founding of Israel. He recounts how and why he coined the term ‘post-Zionism’ – as a word for the redundancy of this ideology which is thus still useful.
The take-over of De Beers diamond company by Anglo American is stumbling on ethical issues, nowadays key to the pure diamond image. One such gem is De Beer’s Steinmetz Jubilee diamond on display at the Tower of London. Steinmetz funds the Steinmetz Foundation which adopted the IDF’s Givati Brigade – accused of the worst massacre during Operation Cast Lead. Protesters highlight another ‘blood diamond’ .
As predicted, 2 posts below, the EU-Israel Association Council has decided to expand their areas of co-operation even though ‘respect for human rights and democratic principles’ is part of the agreement. Stuart Reigeluth believes the EU side was bedazzled by Lieberman’s talk of Hezbollah, Syria and war. Palestinian human rights groups have jointly condemned the EU’s failure to stand by its own principles.