Anshel Pfeffer welcomes the place the holocaust has gained in common knowledge. But the corollary of its being publicised as a human tragedy is that it has become a phenomenon that Jews can no longer hug to themselves as their own peculiar history.
Like many Jews, Robert Cohen spent a chunk of his young life reading whatever he could on the human mystery and incredible horror of the holocaust. Now he thinks there’s no danger of its being forgotten. Rather than insisting on remembering, we should be asking what are the lessons we should be drawing – and, judging by Israel’s treatment of Palestinians – have failed to draw.
This time Netanyahu has gone too far. He has accepted an invitation to address the US Congress on the dangers Iran poses (as if they don’t know) – and done so without informing the White House. This act of disrespect has infuriated even the right-wing American media and again embarrassed Israelis by another clumsy act of self-publicity.
President Hollande has offered a contract to French Jews: they stay at home in France, the state will crack-down on Islamist freedom of speech. This is not done in the name of curtailing hate-speech but in terms of security. But he snubbed Netanyahu’s opportunistic invitation to all French Jews to move to safe Israel by saying this would be a victory for terrorism. Plus the 2012 Palestinian statement against antisemitism and all forms of bigotry and racism.
PM Netanyahu has been doing all he can to make Israelis feel they are in danger – Hamas is like ruthless Islamic State, if Israel is a ‘beacon’, that can only be because it’s in a dark and barbarous region, no Israeli is safe from the ‘lone wolf’ attack etc. It is on these assumptions, spoken and implicit, that Bibi is basing his electoral campaign.
An Israeli military court has sentenced a 14-year-girl to two months in HaSharon prison for throwing stones. She had been interrogated by police without any legal representative – without any adult at all – present. In his last Rosh Hashana speech, PM Netanyahu said ‘In the New Year, Israel will remain a beacon of freedom and human rights.’
Richard Silverstein notices that the police, who had been asked not to come near the funeral of Bedouin youth Sami Al Jaar, disrupted the funeral – killing Sami Ziadna – in order to silence Public Enemy Number 1 Raed Salah, who was delivering the eulogy. No communal Palestinian event is free from Israeli state disruption.
A ‘tiny handful’ of terrorists has succeeded in instilling fear among Europeans, especially Jews who think they will be the first targets of antisemitic Islamists. The EU has to both protect its citizens against people who think they’re doing what God wants and to protect civil liberties for all. Reports from Brussels and the World Economic Forum.
A campaign run by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Jenin Friendship Association in London’s east end borough, Tower Hamlets, has succeeded in persuading the council to adopt an ethical procurement policy which would exclude companies like G4S and Veolia from contracts because of their complicity with an illegal occupation.
Apartheid has become the preferred term for some critics of Israel as the best label for Israeli/Palestinian relations. Irene Calis disagrees. Whereas white South Africans needed, and still need, black people as cheap labour, Zionist containment of Palestinians is merely an unfortunate by-product of creating a Jews-only state.
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