This week, November 23-29, 2015 a number of the postings are linked by the principle MidEast reality – the vacuum that was left after the overthrow of the dictators in which popular movements were fragmented and which then has sucked in jihadi groups with their grim form of law and order. Nouriel Roubini writes on […]
Marc Ellis has pushed the ethical tradition to a point where many Jews fear to go, but have to in good conscience. For Ellis, says Robert Cohen, ‘the Jewish “Progressives” duck the difficult questions. Was Zionism flawed from the very beginning? Was Israel born in sin? Have we liberated ourselves at the expense of another people whose needs we must now forever suppress?’
Most French and Belgian Jews are still in their home countries. But according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) they should all be hot-footing it to Israel before they are engulfed by a rising tide of antisemitism. Yes, there are serious antisemitic attacks in both countries and pro-Palestinian politics can veer into antisemitism. But, unmentioned by the JTA, France in particular fought a bitter war against the independence movements in N. Africa during which ‘Islam’ gained its political identity. The French Dieudonné is exploiting this in his antisemitic entertainments.
Here are another eight contributions from Palestinian political intellectuals. They share the quest – for an authentic national leadership – but not the answers which range from rejuvenating the PLO to bypassing it altogether. They are responding to the challenge of young people, but mostly don’t think this constitutes a national leadership as it is too narrow in support and strategy.
Al Shabaka rounds up eight Palestinian political intellectuals to debate the PLO: should Palestinians create a wholly new body better able to represent Palestinians and advance the Palestinian cause, thus countering the despair they feel? Or would losing the PLO mean losing the only body with international recognition? Can it be reformed into a leadership body without corruption? Al Shabaka starts the debate.
In a further entrenchment of martial law in the West Bank, IDF military commanders have been given the power to close down (lock in) any Palestinian village they deem shelters a security risk.
The settler youth who assaulted Rabbi Ascherman of Rabbis for Human Rights told Channel 10 it would not be legal to kill human rights activists but “We need to deter them. They need to be made fearful. They need to receive a blow.” Surprisingly he has been remanded to house arrest. But then he has far-right, Honenu member Itamar Ben Gvir to plead his case.
A petition is circulating for the Palestinian poet, Ashraf Fayadh, born in Saudi Arabia, but a citizen of no land. He has been in prison since January 2014 when he was charged by the religious police with “insulting the Godly self and having long hair”. The initial sentence was four years in prison and 800 lashes. The prosecutor appealed and the death sentence was imposed which is now being appealed. As a stateless person, like many Palestinians, he has no government to intervene with the Saudi authorities. Sign the petition.
Amos Harel, Haaretz military correspondent, reports that military intelligence thinks Palestinian unrest in the West Bank is escalating and that increasing the controls, which already Palestinians find humiliating and time-wasting, will only add to the tension. The government is ignoring military advice, and the far-right want an absolute security clamp-down.
Contrary to the emphasis of this report by Robert Swift , polls show that the vast majority of Palestinians (82% -91%) do not support ISIL or want it to operate in their territory. The notion that the reverse is true comes from Israel whose leaders wish to portray the country as a victim of ISIL, for obvious reasons.
Uri Savir talks to unnamed sources in Palestinian security and in the EU about how PA forces will be trained to manage the new security threats in the MidEast. Netanyahu declares that Israel will maintain security control over the West Bank – an unacceptable affront to Palestinians who say the main source of violence is the Occupation and resistance to it.
Some are quick to declare that Islam is at fault for those who kill in the name of Islam. That IS perhaps their view of what Islam commands . But religions are a great medley of different ideas, stories, examples. And what of the mass killers produced by white, once-Christian cultures? What do they invoke? Usually a grievance for their loss of status in a world where their white maleness should have made them masters.
In a bitter diatribe, primarily directed at what he sees as the all-powerful USA, Ramzy Baroud mourns the wreckage caused by western intervention and its encouragement of Daesh which fans out to perpetuate the unending cycle of death, violence and insanity.
Nouriel Roubini provides an alarming analysis of the ‘arc of instability’ stretching from the Maghreb to Afghanistan, in its wake failed states, a mass of refugees and the spread of jihadism. Diverting the $trillions from bombing into building economies and infrastructure is the only hope.
Rogel Alpher responds to the repeated Israeli calls for all French Jews to go to Israel No, he says. ‘Stay in France. Fight the just war – the one there is no choice but to fight. France does not live by the sword, but uses it in order to live. Here, life is sacrificed on the altar of the sacredness of the land of Israel. This is idolatry.’
This ‘Analysis’ by JPost writers takes Netanyahu to task for being unable to distinguish between Islamic groups and regarding them all as posing an existential threat to Israel. The writers regard NGOs and lawyers as for more of a threat.
This week, November 16-22, 2015 the 2002 Arab Peace Iniative, initiated by Saudi Arabia, has made a surprise comeback. Every few years somebody or other points to it as the best basis for negotiation: New life for the Arab Peace Initiative And the most recent person to pluck it out of the cupboard of MEPP […]
A state of denial doesn’t come naturally. It can be hard work to keep suppressed all the senses that pick up that something is wrong. But most Israelis achieve it, as Germans did from 1933. Ilana Hammerman upbraids her fellow Israelis for deadening their sensibilities to the obvious evidence of cruel and violent persecution of Palestinians.
Ma’an reports that a group of settlers is demanding that Palestinians be banned from ‘settlers” roads, presumably forcing Palestinians in the oPt to use what are in effect dirt tracks – or not travel at all. Because of the knife attacks, more and more measures are being taken to wall Palestinians in.
Israel’s latest budget lays out what the dominant politicians want for the country: more settlements, safer settlements, more religious settlements, a new social elite from religious schools – and an existence on the impoverished margins for everyone else. Mazal Mualem looks at the winners and losers.