If it weren’t so serious it would be comical watching how the US and Israeli do elaborate dances to ensure they and their vassals never have to hear, or judge by the standard of international law the daily breaches of Palestinian human and political rights carried out by Israel. But it’s not comical and former UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk has been on on the receiving end of their tactics of ignorance. Palestinian passivity does not help – but then political passivity has become the hallmark of western ‘civilisations’, unnervingly like the 1930s.
We often post distressing news of settlers uprooting, burning or wrecking the olive trees of Palestinians. There is such a report from Sarta, in the north-west West Bank in this post. But first we post some lovely photos from Palinfo.com of Palestinians – men and women, young and old -picking and sorting their olives in settler-free Gaza.
When the only way you have of defending an Israeli state policy is to cry ‘antisemitism’ at any critic then you know the policy is in trouble. More profoundly, an event of such historic horror as the Nazi genocide of jewish people (for of course they slaughtered a lot of others along the way) cannot, should not, be used to defend the racist policies of a state, Israel. To equate the EU decision on funding with the antisemitism that led to the holocaust is breathtakingly dishonest and profoundly ignorant about what led to the Nazi slaughter of millions of Jews.
Are intellectual products different from other products exchanged in the international market? Should national academic associations, such as the AAUP, take a position on which countries should be subject to boycott and on what criteria? Which is more likely to persuade Israelis to end the occupation – reading intellectuals’ arguments, or being immured in their desert fortress? The US Journal of Academic Freedom devotes an issue to these questions, plus notice of the Beyond the Stalemate conference, London October 13th.
Some means of control in Palestine are visible: checkpoints, watchtowers, the grotesque wall. More effective in instilling fear and humiliation in Palestinians are the men who come out at dusk, shouting orders, pointing guns, firing tear gas at the young men who also come out to defend their space from these incursions. Growing up absorbing this fear and humiliation is a form of mind control that does great harm to young Palestinians writes Alia Al Ghussain.
When Kamil Qandil was denied re-entry to Israel he chose not to take a plane back to Warsaw but to stay in the detention centre while making an appeal against the immigration and border authority. There the inmates are divided into ethnic and geographic sections. The one thing they had in common is that they did not know why they were being detained or refused entry. Amira Hass reports on the Polish citizen’s experience.
The person offering the introduction is blogger Max Blumenthal. His account of actual life in Israel and the non-violent Palestinian popular councils is a radical challenge to Israel’s absurd self-promotion as a weak victim of mighty forces of destruction. In fact, Israel is increasingly propelled by a nationalistic hatred of all others (especially Palestinians) and most of its media offer no check to this ruling discourse. Whether any American Jews who buy into the myth will read the book is another matter.
PM Netanyahau forbade all Israelis from listening to President Rouhani’s speech in New York. The rest of the UN General Assembly was very interested as Iran’s new President juggled tributes to the old hard line while opening new doors. He affirmed the Holocaust had taken place and was a crime, called terrorism a ‘violent scourge’ and did not once refer to the USA as an enemy. Netanyahu scorned the speech as a trick.
This is the fourth posting in the the past three months about the desperate efforts being made by Jewish bodies to get people to think ‘Israel – start-up nation, only democracy in middle east, no Jew is safe without Israel’s strength’ etc etc. Students are being trained, institutes set up, media groups primed, millions of dollars being spent. And people will still think Israel: occupation, overbearing military, injustice.
Liora Sion, continuing the debate in Open Democracy, argues that unlike western countries, Israel has had no separate civil society, where activists speak for or organise groups within the whole nation. But such is the Zionist dominance of Israel that human rights groups or those speaking for Palestinian or African rights are treated as traitors to the community and, if outside Israel, as enemies. Hence, she says, BDS merely reinforces that stance.
Love thy neighbour is a commandment for Jews, Christians and Muslims, who revere the Old Testament/Torah; ‘love thine enemy’ is the injunction Christianity introduced. So what are Christian Zionists doing giving material and moral support to the IDF and supporting the eradication of a Palestinian nation? Tristan Sturm reports on the descent on Jerusalem of such American Christians for Succot/the Feast of the Tabernacles.
With ‘peace’ negotiations going on in Jerusalem, the arguments about a solution for two warring, deeply unequal, nations have begun again. What would the Palestinians gain, except a weak, demilitarized state from 2 states? But a single state could only be a rigidly apartheid state. What about a Canadian-style confederation? Yousef Muayyer and Bernard Avishai respond to Ian Lustick.
Israelis have been shocked by two, separate lethal shootings of soldiers. Such killings are very rare and the two incidents close together have raised fears of an organised armed fight-back by Palestinians. The town of Hebron is effectively under curfew and military control.
Israel’s hostility to the EU seems at an all-time high, with the IDF prepared to rough up EU diplomats engaged in the perfectly legitimate task of delivering humanitarian aid to West Bank Palestinians. Perhaps Israel might care to ask why Palestinians need help from a foreign agency? From inside their bunker, the Israeli government declared the EU mission ‘a provocation’.
The numbers aren’t clear-cut, but whichever way you count them, non-Jews – mostly Palestinian Arabs – are already in the majority in Israel and the oPt. This majority has in part been created by the Knesset’s drawing ever tighter the definitions of the ‘Jewish state’ and the Jewish citizen. As that state does not engage in ‘soft power’ its only alternative for government is barbed wire, checkpoints, walls and military control.
This post is about the quality of evidence used by the US government to threaten a missile attack on Syria. The UK has better intel than the Israelis – was it used? Its relevance to Israel/Palestine is that it reveals the shaky quality of evidence used by Israel to demand huge American subsidies for its military – used to dominate the region, especially Palestinians – and the fact that military expenditure is the only department which regularly evades scrutiny and accountability in every country.
Leonard Fein of Jewish Forward says the air is loud with the same old ‘strike Iran’ songs from the neo-cons and right wing; it’s time for others to raise their voices for diplomacy. As Israel’s stance has been almost wholly shaped by the idea of Iran as an evil aggressor Bibi is now at a loss and can only say Rohani is a fraud and deceiver.
This report from the Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling does not break new ground. Its importance is that yet another reputable body has taken evidence of and examined statistics on new settlement building and incidents of settler violence. There are no statistics on arrests or charges against these breaches of internal and international law because the Israeli state ignores, institutes or encourages them.
Israel plans new super highway cutting through the Jordan valley and areas of wilderness to the Dead Sea so that residents of the illegal Gush Etzion settlement and tourists can get there more quickly. It appears a deliberately insulting provocation to the Palestinian Authority.and diversion of the peace talks.
In a tense article, David Rosenberg takes a few pops at Roger Waters (Pink Floyd) and other cultural boycotters in order to state why it’s the decision by Dutch engineering firm Royal HaskoningDHV to withdraw from a waste water contract in E. Jerusalem that matters. This is Dutch government policy – as it should be the policy of all EU governments following the EC guidelines.