The Republican gambling billionaire Sheldon Adelson, is pouring money into Mitt Romney’s campaign. For his money he wants Obama defeated. He wants – and expects – his favourite to be his puppet and ‘commit to moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, and to declare the Palestinians as unwilling to make peace’. Report by Ron Kampeas, JTA.
Redoubtable intellectual Antony Lerman has written a book on the long journey he has made to understand both himself as an engaged political Jew, the country of Israel and the ideology of Zionism which once held him and he has now rejected. We post here an exclusive extract from the Afterword of The Making and Unmaking of a Zionist, interspersed with quotations from the preceding section. An interview with him by Anshel Pfeffer follows. Details of how to order the book are at the end of the extract.
This piece from Yonatan Preminger can be read together with the post below about the expulsion of Sudanese people from Israel. Israel has an unbalanced economy where there is a shortage of Jewish labourers. Black immigrants from Moslem Sudan are unwelcome, as are the Palestinian Arabs on their doorstep. Yonatan Preminger looks at what Israel must do to manipulate the labour market.
The hardline minister of the interior, Eli Yishai, has given Sudanese immigrants (who cannot get legal Israeli status) until October 15 to leave Israel. If they don’t, they will be transported to the vast new detention centre the government is building in the Negev before expulsion. This is to “to preserve the Jewish and Zionist character of the state for our children”. An estimated 60,000 East Africans live in Israel.
Five leading activist for human rights, committed through belief and experience to the work of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, here issue an appeal to others who share their shock at Israel’s violations of international law, to attend and promote the tribunal’s final hearings in New York in October. The five are Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Dennis Banks, Russell Means and Stephane Hessel.
After many months of talking up their existential need to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities, Israel’s political leaders are now expected to put up or shut up in the near future. While most Israeli people and international counsel think such an attack would be self-destructive, the FT’s Gideon Rachman now thinks Israel might gamble that it has more to win than to lose with an attack. Sefi Rachlevsky, Ha’aretz, disagrees.
The French Office of the Prosecutor has decided to open a judicial inquiry into the death of Yasser Arafat. There has been pressure on the French authorities since a finding by a Lausanne laboratory that Arafat’s effects were contaminated by plutonium. Arafat remains important, not least because of his mysterious death, and the suspicions he had been killed by Israelis or Palestinian enemies, that the PA/French had hidden the facts. The desire to know the truth – if it can be established – is now widespread. Report by AFP.
If there is a simple division on the verdict on the case brought by Rachel Corrie’s parents it is this: 1) Israel, and the IDF particularly, are above the law; 2) Pro-Palestinians exploited a naive young American for their own nefarious ends. Unable to come down on either of these sides, most US and Israel media have published no opinion. Remarkably, the story was the lead item on BBC radio on Tuesday. 15 items to choose from.
Antony Loewenstein, who has co-edited ‘After Zionism’ with Ahmed Moor, attacks those who mouth ‘two-state solution’ and ‘peace process’ thereby excusing themselves from the need to think or act to make a difference, in particular by supporting BDS and the proposal for one state.
For totally avoidable reasons – bombed housing, untreated sewage, contaminated water, frequent power cuts, lack of schools and medical facilities – the Gaza strip will be ‘unlivable’ by 2020 concludes a new report drawn up by the UN Country Team from reports by UN agencies. Half the population is under 18 years old. The Hamas government lacks the income and freedom of supply to create the housing, sanitation and energy infrastructure on which change depends.
Not for the first time, the BBC’s difficulty in allowing the words Palestine or Palestinian to be broadcast has been noted. Ameena Salem takes up the example of Ken Loach and the Diwan orchestra and contrasts it with the untouchable special status of Mark Regev, the spokesman of PM Netanyahu.
Rachel Corrie was crushed to death by an armoured IDF bulldozer in March 2003. She was a member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) trying to prevent the army from destroying Palestinian homes. Nine years later, a Haifa court judge has ruled that she had put herself in danger and was assisting unlawful combatants and so on both counts the IDF bore no responsibility for killing her. Her parents say they will appeal.
Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian policy network, has used the UK’s Freedom of Information Act to extract documents from the Foreign Office revealing what the Jerusalem consulate has told the FCO about oil reserves in the West Bank being exploited by ‘a Jewish religious organisation’. If the rumours are based on fact the implications for a self-sufficient Palestinian state are obvious.
Breaking the Silence, the veterans’ organisation committed to gathering testimony about what soldiers actually do in the oPt, has published a new report, focussing on the treatment of children and youth. Each account is unique in its detail but all tell the same story: Israeli soldiers who seem more concerned with humiliating and terrifying youngsters than any recognised form of peace-keeping. Seven out of 47, chosen almost at random, are posted here.
Of all the qualities that countries offer in order to attract tourists, the most distasteful come from Israel. Fun for all the family in training in how to kill ‘terrorists'; trips to highly militarised areas in the hope of catching a glimpse of violence. It’s not just the tourists’ money that is wanted. It is also their impressionable minds. Blog from Foreign Policy and article from Ceasefire on Israel as military theme park.
Last summer the UK’s Israel/Palestinian media were filled with news of the arrest of Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of a branch of the Islamic Movement, after he arrived in London despite a banning order against him. He was freed on bail a few weeks later; in September a high court judge ruled his detention had been unlawful and awarded him damages, A letter from JfJfP played an important part. He won an appeal against the deportation order at an immigration tribunal last April. At every stage, judges ruled Mrs May had relied on flimsy evidence supplied to her by Israel, which judged Salah a terrorist and antisemite, and the CST which had, ineptly, moved into intelligence gathering at, it seems, her request. Asa Winstanley surveys the case and the value of finding and using reliable factual evidence.
Eilat, a tourist city in southern Israel, has refused to enroll immigrants’ children in its schools since 2008. It has sent them to segregated schools outside the city. This year the Be’er Sheva District court ordered the city to admit the children of African immigrants. The council appealed to the Supreme Court and the national education ministry has taken up the appeal on the grounds that integration harms other children. Two reports from Ha’aretz.
In Israel, emergency aid is provided by Magen David Adom (MDA), which actively seeks volunteers and donations from home and abroad. MDA has just appointed Shmuel Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi of Tzfat/Safed, to its halachic (law deduced from scripture) committee. The rabbi seems to live in a paranoid fantasy where Arab men always steal Jewish women and property and so must be kept apart. Reform Jews are campaigning for his appointment to be rescinded.
Egypt’s President Morsi is pressing ahead with his own military and diplomatic path by sending troops into the turbulent Sinai and defying the US/Israel policy of isolating Iran as a pariah nation. He has also decided to attend the non-aligned nations’ summit in Tehran next week. Richard Silverstein reads the new Egyptian script . 2nd, a brief news item from MEMO says that Morsi has receved no complaint from Israel about sending tanks to Sinai.
Israel’s demagogic foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman has gone over Netanyahu’s head to appeal for Mahmoud Abbas to be replaced as president of the PA. His letters went to the Quartet and Lady Asthon, the EU’s foreign policy representative. It appears to be a flamboyant attempt to focus blame for the lack of Israel/Palestine peace negotiations on President Abbas at a time when Israeli belligerence towards Iran is under scrutiny. Al Arabiya and Huffington Post.