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We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters, informing them of issues, events, debates and the wider context of the conflict. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.
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Leon Rosselson, letter to the Guardian, 28 July 2014

“Before the current round of violence, the West Bank had been relatively quiet for years,” writes Jonathan Freedland (Israel’s fears are real, but this war is utterly self-defeating, 26 July). According to B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights centre, 90 West Bank Palestinians were killed, 16 of them children, by the IDF or by settlers between January 2009 and May 2014. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there have been 2,100 settler attacks since 2006, involving beatings, shootings, vandalising schools, homes, mosques, churches and destroying olive groves. According to Amnesty International, between January 2011 and December 2013, Israeli violence resulted in injuries to 1,500 Palestinian children. “Relatively quiet” for whom?
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Posts

Israel on its own with its racist policies


In the first issue of Captain Israel the hero/Israel creates an oasis in what was previously “the wilderness”, settles in an “empty land”, and miraculously wins battles against “vastly superior forces” against tremendous odds. It is produced by StandWithUs and distributed round whatever gatherings of young persons it can reach. See Captain Israel: Comic book nationalism at its most stupid

Making Le Pen seem leftist

Israel is today at the extreme right end of the political spectrum and is being distanced from the family of enlightened nations.

By Zeev Sternhell, Ha’aretz
November 01, 2013

One weekend last month a thousand members of the French Socialist Party, including cabinet ministers and leading party activists, gathered in Paris to discuss the National Front, a radical right-wing party that, according to recent polls, is expected to significantly increase its electoral strength. The purpose of the conference was to arrive at a profound understanding of the National Front phenomenon and its broad historical and intellectual dimensions, and to create tools for fighting ethnic and racist nationalism.

In light of what is happening today, a simple fact must be understood: The chauvinistic, racist right is an integral part of European culture and is a built-in element in European ethnic and cultural nationalism. Furthermore, it must be understood that the emergence of the chauvinistic, racist right in the 20th century was not just an incidental result of the First World War and the crises that erupted in its wake. Many people are now asking the frightening question: Are we witnessing a return to the 1930s?

An Israeli participating in this conference could not help but compare the situation in Europe with what is happening today in Israel, and could not resist recalling that the last time the Israeli left held a similar discussion was the period immediately following the debacle in the 1977 elections. The Israeli left shuns ideology; it clings to “pragmatism,” which is nothing but crass opportunism, because by being “pragmatic,” it hopes to prove that it is fit to be the ruling party. Second, in failing to vigorously oppose the ethnic, religious and messianic perception of nationhood that is being promoted by the right, the Labor Party’s leftist establishment is actually collaborating with the right.


Graffiti painted in English on a Palestinian girls’ school in Hebron, signed JDL (Jewish Defence League). The JDL was founded by [the very racist and right-wing] Rabbi Meir Kahane in New York City in 1968,and operates in several countries. It has been branded a terrorist organisation by the FBI, and was outlawed by Israel in 1994 for terrrorist atacks. But it still exists and attracts supporters.

In the situation currently prevailing in Europe and Israel, those who do not wage an all-out war on xenophobia and racism are, in effect, making peace with the existence of the most destructive phenomenon in modern history. Ultimately, one must ask whether the current wave of xenophobia is not in principle similar to the anti-Semitism that, in the 1930s, confronted the Jews who lived in western Europe or immigrated there. In other words, is “Islamophobia” today replacing anti-Semitism as a social ill? All of the various groups comprising the European left find this question highly disturbing. Everyone is aware that radical right-wing groups are gaining strength on the European continent – even in countries where the growth of the radical right is surprising, such as Norway, which does not have a high rate of unemployment or poverty and which has a superb welfare system. Many people today are reluctantly admitting that the source of the problem is to be found deep inside European culture and the European concept of organic nationalism.


Jerusalem Day 2013. The new holiday is always an aggressive assertion that Jerusalem has been reunited as the capital of Israel. It is notable as attracting almost exclusively young men and a rise in racist attacks on non-Jews. Photo by Ashernet and published by Stand for Israel. It is on the itinerary of American tourists.

When comparing Europe and Israel in 2013, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that among Western states, the country where the radical right is the most powerful (and is even in power), and where the left is the weakest, is Israel. Here as well, the source of the problem is to be found in the country’s culture, in the concept of the nation as a tribe and in the problematic definition of Jewish identity. It is even harder to avoid the conclusion that the Israeli right – from the Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu to Habayit Hayehudi – is very far to the right of Marine Le Pen’s National Front. Compared to most of the cabinet ministers and Knesset members, Le Pen looks like a dangerous leftist.

Israel is today at the extreme rightist end of the political spectrum, and its rightist groups are among the worst and most dangerous of those currently operating in democratic societies, with the exception of neo-Nazi groups. Israel is gradually being distanced from the family of the world’s enlightened nations – by laws being proposed in the Knesset that are founded on openly declared ethnic and national discrimination, and by the oppressive regime in the West Bank.

As in Europe, the key to Israel’s continued survival as an enlightened country is in the hands of the so-called moderate right and in the hands of those who wallow in the mud that is called the political center, such as the leader of the Yesh Atid party, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, and his followers. In a time of crisis, who will they side with and where will Israel’s Labor Party turn to? Will it turn to the hardline nationalists who each day are causing Israeli society to deteriorate, or to the left, which sticks by its principles and fights for them?


Israeli man confronts an African asylum seeker after an anti-African rally in south Tel Aviv, December 31, 2012 . Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org

New York Times Solicits Then Rejects Video of Anti-African Racism in Israel

By Rania Khalek, Dispatches from the underclass
October 18, 2013

You can tell a lot about a media outlet by how it covers Israel. A recent case in point is the New York Times.

The Times recently posted a short video entitled, “Free Style In Tel Aviv“, which showcases Israeli hipsters in Jaffa, a Tel Aviv neighborhood with an “eclectic style inspired by the area’s famous flea market.” Of course there’s no mention of Jaffa’s indigenous Palestinian inhabitants who were ethnically cleansed by Zionist militias in 1948 to make room for the Israeli Jews featured in the piece. Nor is there any acknowledgment that ethnic cleansing of Palestinian citizens of Israel continues at a gradual pace to this day, in an atmosphere of violent anti-Arab and anti-African racism that plagues the heart of Israeli culture. But who cares about dispossession when there are funky Israeli hipsters to celebrate, am I right?

Here’s an excerpt from the video (transcribed by Phil Weiss at Mondoweiss):

Omri Aviv. Hipster. “I really love the Jaffa area because it’s funky with a true Israeli look. … funky and authentic.”

Ofir Siman-Tov, on wearing women’s clothes in Jaffa: “This neighborhood is relaxed, chilling, and there’s freedom in the street.”

Tmima Svitelman: “There’s certainly an eclectic style here that I like very much, and I hope they preserve it.”

In stark contrast, The Nation recently posted “Israel’s New Racism: The Persecution of African Migrants in the Holy Land,” a short video produced by journalists David Sheen and Max Blumenthal. The mini-documentary reveals Israel’s brutal racism towards African migrants in disturbing scenes of nationalist rallies led by mainstream Israeli politicians proudly declaring their hatred of Africans and leading n-word laden chants demanding “the infiltrators” return to the countries they fled, all in the name of preserving Israel’s Jewish character. This is the Israel that most major US news outlets are loathe to acknowledge.

As it turns out, Sheen and Blumenthal’s video was originally commissioned solicited but ultimately rejected by the New York Times. In an interview with Consortium News, Blumenthal explains how it all went down:

I was asked to submit something by The New York Times op docs, a new section on the website that published short video documentaries. I am known for short video documentaries about the right wing in the US, and extremism in Israel. They solicited a video from me, and when I didn’t produce it in time, they called me for it, saying they wanted it. So I sent them a video I produced with my colleague, David Sheen, an Israeli journalist who is covering the situation of non-Jewish Africans in Israel more extensively than any journalist in the world.

Israelis protesting against African migrant workers in south Tel Aviv, May 23, 2012. (The placards demand the expulsion from Israel of Africans from Sudan and Ethiopia). Photo by Moti Milrod

We put together some shocking footage of pogroms against African communities in Tel Aviv, and interviews with human rights activists. I thought it was a well-done documentary about a situation very few Americans were familiar with. We included analysis. We tailored it to their style, and of courseit was rejected without an explanation after being solicited. Isent it to some other major websites and they have not even responded to me, when they had often solicited articles from me in the past.

Why show their readers the real Israel, where Jewish nationalists—incited by Israeli politicians—scream racial epithets at Sudanese migrants in scenes reminiscent of white supremacist riots in the Jim Crow south, when the Times can instead glorify Tel Aviv as an Israeli hipster paradise?

So, without further ado, here is the video that the New York Times doesn’t want you to see:

And here is the New York Times’ whitewashed version of Israel:

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I recently conducted a Q and A with Blumenthal, which will be published soon at Truthout. We spoke at length about the horrors detailed in his book, “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel” and the establishment media’s refusal to acknowledge the realities he exposes on the ground. It’s truly a must-read.


This is a scary video by David Sheen and Max Blumenthal:
Israel’s New Racism: The Persecution of African Migrants in the Holy Land

 

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