Joe Rogaly became a signatory of JfJfP in 2009. Those who don’t recognise his name from the many wise and thoughtful columns he wrote for the Financial Times may remember it from the time when he issued the mail-outs for JfJfP. He died last week aged 77 and those of us lucky enough to have know him mourn him and honour his contribution to British political life. We post his obituary from the FT with an added comment from his son Ben, also a JfJfP signatory.
McDonald’s has a reputation for being the acme of commercial nous. The company protects its reputation with as much vigour as it protects its profits – in the long run, they’re the same thing. Hence its refusal to open a branch in the illegal West Bank settlement of Ariel. Israeli critics disingenuously complain that this is ‘political,’ No, it’s commercial. International companies operating in illegal settlements get more trouble than it’s worth.
Establishment Jewish bodies say the movement for BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) is puny and ineffectual. So why is one of the most right-wing and powerful of all putting all its might into a campaign to convince young American Jews to desist as BDS ‘delegitimises’ Israel? Do they believe something they’re not telling us? UPDATE Netanyahu and ‘Jewish millionaires’ join in.
Anyone would think Israeli and Palestinian authorities are afraid of the prospect of a large class of educated young Palestinians with high expectations. This is the aim of most modern societies – but it’s an impossible dream for many young Palestinians. Maysoon Zayid explains why.
There is no doubt that 12-year old Mohammed al-Dura was in a state of terror as his father tries to protect him from IDF gunfire coming towards them. All else has been been relentlessly questioned. Philippe Karsenty in particular has spent the last 13 years trying to prove the incident was staged for the cameras by Palestinians with the collusion of France’s Channel 2. On June 26 the Paris Court of Appeal found Karsenty guilty of defamation.
For over 12 years the Israeli state has been trying to force out the people living in the South Hebron hills. The pattern is familiar – demolitions, the wall, deprivation of amenities. Twenty four Israeli writers have signed a letter calling for the IDF to cease its evictions. The 6th Festival of non-violent resistance this week puts the villagers centre-stage.
On the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, 26 June, two dedicated organisations speak out against the torture that is routinely used against Palestinians in Israeli prisons – and in the custody of the PA. Both regimes are acting against international law prohibiting torture.
The British Home Secretary Theresa May must have been briefed on the many reports of the damage Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer cause in the name of defending civilisation against sharia law. She has barred them from entry to the UK – where they wanted to speak at an EDL rally – in the name of preserving the peace, i.e. civilisation.
No-one who speaks out against Israel’s occupation or apartheid system says it is a uniquely destructive regime, worse than Syria, Saudi Arabia, the Taliban… But no western government funds or defends those regimes. The West’s left ‘pick on’ Israel because the West picks out Israel for favours, alone amongst law-breaking regimes.
Palestinians are dispersed, support from Arabs has dwindled as their uprisings take centre stage, neither the PA nor 2-state negotiations can deliver full citizenship. Rather, argues Ghada Karmi, Israel/Palestine is already one state, albeit an apartheid one. Palestinians should junk the PA and demand full equal rights in the one state.
Displacing Palestinians from their homes and lands has been a continuous practice and defining policy of all Israeli governments since 1948. Munir Nuseibah describes the array of measures governments have used and argues that ‘transitional justice’, not narrow rights, is the only framework for exercising justice.
Recently, a former communications officer from Netanyahu’s office wrote an hysterical column charging Germans with reverting to their past and boycotting Jews – because Germany has accepted the EU law that imports from Israeli companies be labelled with place of origin.The German ambassador delivers a measured rebuke.
Recent polls have shown a majority of Israeli Jews want two states, preferably just handed down from on high. But if asked in detail, says Ben White, most oppose Israel returning to its ’67 boundaries, or E. Jerusalem being the capital of a Palestinian state. In fact, they seem to want to keep their expanding Israel with Palestinians living in bantustans.
Modern Palestinian identity has been forged through experiences of exile, displacement, occupation. This excludes the 1.4 million Arabs living inside Israel, embraced neither by Israel nor other Palestinians. The Arab Pop Idol final was broadcast from Nazareth, amongst other places, a rare recognition of Palestinian life inside Israel.
Shimon Peres, President of Israel has won the Nobel Prize (with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat). He has twice been Prime Minister (without ever winning an election outright). He has just had a hugely extravagant birthday party. His contemporary Uri Avnery looks at his career with an eye unclouded by sentiment or the gods.
The success of the young wedding-singer, Mohammed Assaf from the Khan Yunis refugee camp in the Gaza, in the pan-Arab singing contest brought exultant crowds on to the streets in West Bank cities, East Jerusalem and Gaza city. Assaf is a new symbol for Palestinian identity and Palestinians flocked to microphones to say he is a rocket for peace, a nightingale, a uniting figure, peaceful. Islamist leaders harrumphed in disapproval.
If you read this report from the UN’s committee on the Convention on the Rights of the Child, it is neither mere ‘Israel bashing’ nor a mere list of IDF abuses of children. More subtly, its mix of praise for some Israeli laws and procedures and censure of the violence, fear and poverty to which Palestinian children are subjected reads as a thorough documentation of an apartheid system.
The English Defence League has invited Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, who run the Stop Islamisation of America group, to speak at a rally in Woolwich in supposed tribute to Drummer Lee Rigby. These notorious hate-mongers are familiar names on this website. Lest you forget, several previous articles are reposted here.UPDATED
The government of Dr. Rami Hamdallah was only meant to be transitional, until reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah arrived at some conclusion – but not as transitional as two weeks. Mr Hamdallah seems to have been taken aback by the impossibility of his task – how to act as a PM under the authority of President Abbas and his forbidding enclave of Fatah apparatchiks and within the constraint of the Paris protocol.
A by-product of Kerry’s mission to to Israel/Palestine is disarray in the EU. The EU has remained consistent in the policy of supporting two states, opposing settlements, and supporting the labelling of settlement products. The US thinks the EU should stay still while Kerry pursues his mission, a position which Lady Ashton agrees with.