This is business reporting at its worst – competition from other companies is the only reason why a company may be afflicted by tumbling share prices which have afflicted Sodastream in the last quarter. Normally ‘reputation’ is highly rated by business analysts and following the coverage occasioned by Scarlett Johansson’s endorsement, Sodastream’s image has never been worse. If anything, the advertisement spurred boycotters to focus on Sodastream.
The IDF claim last month that it had intercepted a ship carrying weapons for Hamas, or another terrorist group in Gaza, received wide publicity – and some scepticism. Now military analysts suspect the destination was more likely to have been a jihadist group in Sinai, which the IDF knew at the time. Hamas has been a force for stability in the region – but it is losing income, allies and power.
It is a testament to the growth of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign (BDS) that – if we leave aside the claim that it is by nature antisemitic – the arguments about the aims of the campaign have become more precise. Here we post a critique by Ran Greenstein and speeches by 2 JfJfP signatories for and against academic boycott. Jonathan Rosenhead checks off the objections, Bob Fine introduces nationalism into the mix.
The vote by the RIBA council to call for the suspension of the Israeli architects’ association from the international body has rightly created much discussion. Only the Jewish Chronicle has interpreted the vote as evidence of antisemitism. As Richard Kuper points out for JfJfP, to misuse this grave charge is to undermine serious work against antisemitism. Letters, editorials, news. And are there no non-Jewish architects in Israel? If so, why not?
Richard Silverstein accuses the Clarion Project of making a film in ‘honour’ killings simply as a platform for their Islamophobia. (Studies of these murders of women link them to particular family forms and places, not religion.) But Palestinian / Arab women themselves are trying to make themselves heard about ‘honour’ killings and sexual abuse. We hear them in the posting below.
It is not the honour of a family that is hurt when a daughter or sister favours a man they have not chosen; it is the pride and the authority of fathers, brothers and the cousins who have first rights. To maintain these the men kill thousands of Palestinian women every year – the rate is fast increasing. Neither Hamas nor the PA show any signs of acting against these crimes – but women are protesting more loudly and boldly.
The Holocaust definitively ended in 1945 – although efforts to use it as lesson or justification are energetic and controversial. The Nakba is ongoing – the continuous expulsion of Palestinians and expropriation of their land is Israeli state policy as is the ban on Nakba memorial events. In a programme of Reconciliation and Conflict Resolution Palestinian students have visited Auschwitz and Israeli students the Dheisheh refugee camp. IF there is any equivalence, will the Israelis feel remorse?
When the IDF or IOF make it impossible for young Palestinians to play football by bombing a sport stadium or shooting the feet of young players or blocking their travel to playing spaces then they are doing more than constrict the lives of the young; they are aiming blows at the link between a national sport and a sense of nationhood. Amit Singh on the demand to suspend the IFA from FIFA.
When a new state is created it would seem a good idea to choose as the national emblem a flag that represents all the people of the new country. The founders of Israel took over the old symbol of the Zionist congress – not even representative of all the new Israeli Jews let alone the substantial Palestinian and Muslim and small Christian populations. Not something Uri Avnery can wrap himself in.
The refugee camps of the West Bank and Gaza strip are wretched places of poverty and despair. The PA exercises no rule over them and the security forces of the PA and Israel risk unleashing greater violence if they intervene. It is the co-operating armed groups of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which make the camps autonomous, if violent, enclaves.
The ‘let’s pretend’ of the headline is the prevailing tone of the American debate on Israel/Palestine. The violence of dispossession is ignored, the significance of BDS – to resist is to exist – is grotesquely twisted into an antisemitic, delegitimisation campaign. The only arguments heard are those centred on Jewish, or American, interests. Noura Erekat analyses how it’s done.
Four Members of the European Parliament visited Israel last week to look into the condition of prisoners held on administrative detention, that is, without due process of law. This followed a resolution of the EU parliament in 2013 following the death in custody of Arafat Jaradat. The resolution has been sent on to all bodies concerned with due process by states. The delegation was denied access to any prisoners and to the Israeli Ministries of Justice, the Interior and Foreign Affairs.
Sheldon Adelson, the world’s richest Jew and 8th or 9th richest person is a man who’s got everything, including a blonde younger wife and various inherited children. But he hasn’t yet managed to buy a really big election for his chum Bibi (and his own far-right interests). Having failed to get Mitt in in 2012 he’s planning better this time – including choosing the Republicans’ candidate to ensure he or she is not one of those crazy losers.
Having made little or no effort to incorporate Arab residents as full citizens Avigdor Lieberman thinks the best idea is to get rid of them altogether. He has had a secret (before it was leaked) report drawn up on where Arab Israelis could be transferred to and how areas with big settlements, or needed for ‘security’ purposes could be transferred into Israeli control (as if they’re not already.) Even his adviser warns it’s not legal.
To the Israeli officers, it was just another killing of a Palestinian teenager. Yusef Abu Aker Shawamreh was shot dead while he was gathering cooking herbs with his friends – on the wrong side of the Wall. An enraged Amira Hass asks the soldier who actually pulled the trigger whether or not he has any sense of the wrong he has committed.
Israel’s defence minister Moshe Ya’alon has again attacked the US administration, this time for ‘weakness’ in the region. The fact that he is still in office – despite hostile criticism from most of the Israeli media – means he is saying what his boss Netanyahu wants him to say: that Israel has the power and will to make the attacks (Iran, Syria) on its own – a dangerous delusion.
The outlook for the survival of the PA as an effective force is bleak. Amira Hass on a new report which predicts collapse from the Israeli economic stranglehold or internal conflict. The attempt to oust ageing President Mahmoud Abbas is being pressed by UAE favourite and former PA security chief Mohammed Dahlan who is said to be secret talks with Israel’s Yitzhak Molcho.
Palestine has the longest history of Christianity in the world. It has survived the Crusades (Christian in name, W. European in fact), Saladin’s counter-invasion and capture of Palestine, the Ottoman empire and the creation of the excluding Jewish state of Israel. Their form of Christianity has been Roman Catholic or Greek Orthodox giving them less in common with Protestant evangelicals than with Jews. They have turned to liberation theology as the richest combination of faith and political protest.
There was a leftist Jewish story of the creation of Israel – that American/UN support for the new state would liberate Palestine by driving out British imperialism. The debate on John Judis’s book about Truman’s role in making Israel is vitriolic – but some take up his question of why Jews, known for their liberalism, should so utterly have dismissed the Palestinians. Zionism or tribalism?
Nowhere in the world do maps play a more important part than in Palestine / Israel. Israelis blithely produce maps in which Palestinian territory has been disappeared; Palestinians produce maps showing the shrinking and fragmentation of what was once theirs. And it is important to the Palestinian cause that they produce maps showing what was once all Palestinian land. It marks their existence. Jerry Haber questions the disquiet about this. Do the critics think Palestinians are going to evaporate?