Further comments and reflection on the end of the peace talks: PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Saeb Erekat’s statement on the end of the nine months negotiations period; Faysal Mikdadi’s moving reflections “Betrayal Tinged with Greed and Stupidity”; a Ha’aretz piece “Kerry: Israel risks turning into an ‘apartheid state'”; and Richard Silverstein’s “Kerry Says the ‘A-word’ and Abbas says the ‘H-Word'”
The Magnes Zionist blog is written by Jeremiah (Jerry) Haber, an orthodox Jewish studies and philosophy professor, who divides his time between Israel and the US. Coinciding with the collapse the peace talks he asks the unaskable question: “What if the Global BDS Movement Were to Achieve Its Goals?” He is not fazed by his answer – even from a Zionist point of view – finding its aims to be both much more moderate and more moral than the status quo within 1967 Israel…
Jordan G. Teicher reports on Natan Dvir’s photos of 18-year old Israeli Palestinians and reproduces ten stunning images. A portrait of a part of Israeli society seldom encountered in the West.
Following the collapse of the “peace” talks Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director at the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and author of Shattered hopes: Obama’s failure to broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace is interviewed by Frank Barat, co-organiser of the Bertrand Russell Peace Tribunal on Israel, which completed its work last year.
A press release received today tells of an attempt to blast Gaza’s Ark – a boat being prepared to sail goods from Gaza in protest against the blockade – out of the water. It is followed by a report from today’s Ha’aretz.
The death has been announced, although the obituaries are not yet written. There was never a peace process – only a last effort to get the Palestinians to accept Israeli domination, with a prettier dress on. Israeli ministers had nothing to gain – and were prepared to lose nothing except what remains of their reputation. They have, it seems, embraced the status of ‘pariah’ because they can beat it economically and it supports their self-image of eternal victimhood.
As several of these articles point out Hamas leaders have been signalling a desire to come out of isolation for some years; Israeli intelligence knows it is Palestinian Islamic Jihad or other jihadist groups in the SInai who fire rockets into Israel. But central to Netanyahu’s ‘strategy’ is to magnify the terrorist threat from Hamas and to nourish the Hamas-Fatah split. Now that it looks as though the latest Hamas/Fatah talks might have a lasting effect, Israel (and to an extent the US) are bereft of their bulwark. This posting overlaps with the one below on the peace talks. The separation has been made to make the material more manageable.
At last, through the Kerry obfuscation, it’s clear: the occupation makes a peace deal impossible.Kerry did make it clear that Israel’s persistence in building new settlements did for the talks. Plus Israel’s reneging on the prisoner release deal. Israel has now said that the Hamas-Fatah deal killed talks but nobody believes them. A few of the many weary comments.
Since the Israelis reneged on the prisoner release agreement, the PA has adopted a new strategy: to gather ever greater legitimacy for statehood in the international arena, slowly turning Israel into a pariah nation for refusing to end the occupation. The PA itself is a vehicle that cannot get Abbas to his destination. Jonathan Cook assesses their options.
One of Palestin’e most incisive political thinkers, Rashid Khalidi, talks to Philip Weiss of what options the Palestinians now have. He is less hopeful of NVDA (see posting above), has no hopes of the USA but does believe that institutions like the EU and ICC will have an open door for Palestinians to walk through – if they get on their feet.
The one who bestows names on people, property, land, processes is the one with the power. So Israel renames the western part of Palestine as ‘Judea and Samaria’, bureaucrats rename the quest for peace as the work of finding a ‘political settlement’ and Putin renames the Ukraine as ‘Russia’. Uri Avnery on the seized power of naming.
Over 180 Palestinians are being held in Israeli prisons as administrative detainees; (no charge, no trial, no lawyer, no habeas corpus). On April 24 they began a hunger strike in protest against the practice of administrative detention. Women have been quick to take to the streets in public protest against this illegal form of ‘security’.
Older readers might remember the Reagan/Kirkpatrick ‘doctrine': if they’re our dictators they’re our friends and poof to our moralising sermons on universal democracy. Richard Silverstein brings us the Canadian version, under its right-wing, pro-zionist PM. It is welcoming an MK ‘s fund-raising for the Jewish Defence League – a body which is on the US’s list of terror organisations and an off-shoot of the Kahane Chait, a terror group on Israel’s list.
Outside the Sodastream factory flutter the flags of eight states – but no symbol of the national identity of the workers who make Sodastream’s profits – the Palestinian workers.
A Merip Report
Whistleblowers are the heroes of the secret and dangerously malfunctioning business or state . Their reward is penury, persecution, prison (Vanunu) or exile (Edward Snowden). Lest we forget – a letter from Paul Oestreicher and article from Duncan Campbell. Although Vanunu was abducted in Rome via London whither he came to reveal Israel’s nuclear facilities, there has been scant effort in the UK to support or honour his courage – tho Paul Oestreicher sticks with CND. Petition to sign for Vanunu.
“it is abundantly clear, including to IDF generals, that Israel is not facing an existential threat at this time” writes Ben Caspit. So clear that they have reconfigured their armed forces and order of battle. Today the army relies on a large infantry (for policing the oPt ) and elite units for special ops. Its intel work is up to scratch; its understanding of Palestinian aspirations remains at zero.
Easter – which this year happens to have coincided with Passover – has traditionally been a time to focus on the state of Christian worship in its birthplace, Palestine. Despite the marriage of convenience between the right-wing forces among American evangelical protestants and Israeli Jews, Palestinian Christians (of the foreign, i.e. indigenous sort) share the persecution that Israelis and fundamentalist Islamists show their enemies, not the comradeship of shared religion or nationality.
Tamed by neoliberalism, every one. An organic intellectual in Marxist Antonio Gramsci’s work is the person who thinks politically, strategically about whatever work she/he is doing, whether a factory worker or a professor. Once, says Faris Giacaman, Palestinians in academia did this. But the end of class-struggle revolutionary politics has ended that role.
Anthony Alessandrini of Jadaliyya responds to Faris Giacaman’s article (above) with an argument that political engagement and thought is still present in the work of Palestinian intellectuals and artists. Unlike their forebears, they have to take on not just overt colonial oppression but the complex issue of the subjugating force of national liberation elites. They are also part of a tradition which includes formally Jewish and Christian analysts of post-colonialism.
What is the collective noun for Palestinians? Terrorist threat. As thousands tried to make their way to Christian churches in Jerusalem in particular, they found their way barred by police. Foreign pilgrims were caught up in what looked like a ‘kettling’ operation. But so normal is this impediment to free movement that when the UN’s special envoy found himself blocked, the police dismissed his complaint as a ‘micro-incident. They do not not know what normal freedom is.