PM Netanyahu has decided that the best response to the decision by the ICC to open a ‘preliminary inquiry’ into Israel is to use all means to delegitimise the court to boost his standing before the election (also post below). Any next step by the ICC will make either the USA and allies, or Arab states angry.
The outrage being organised by Netanyahu and expressed by Republicans, especially, in Congress at the effrontery of the PNA’s application to the ICC seems quite disproportionate. An unsympathetic comment from Douglas Bloomfield.
Sami Al Jaar was shot dead by police during a raid on Rahat; Sami Ziadna was either shot dead or died of a heart attack when police turned up at Al Jaar’s funeral, despite requests for them to stay away. Israeli Palestinians have begun a general strike. Reports from +972 (photographic) and The National.
The Swedish government recognised the State of Palestine on October 30th, 2014 – the first (and only) western government to do so despite the votes by their national parliaments. Foreign minister Margot Wallstrom – who recently criticised Israeli aggression, settlements and humiliation of Palestinians – was due to visit Israel this week. The visit has been cancelled, Scheduling difficulties were cited by an Israeli spokesman made it clear she would not be welcome.
Holocaust Memorial Day is on January 27th because this is the day the Red army liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau. The theme of this year’s HMD is, ironically, Memory. There is a widespread forgetting of the 3.3 million Soviet POWs who died in the Nazi camps – the second largest number after Jews, and of the role of the Red Army in liberating Auschwitz and providing the first care and medical treatment. The programme of Memory events was launched last November by Stephen Fry (JfJfP signatory). UN resolutions and the Stockholm declaration which made clear that the day is also a declaration against all genocides, bigotry and racial prejudice.
In modern times, Jews are the favourite minority of the British government (getting extra money for security from successive Conservative Education Minister and Home Secretary. In earlier times, Jews’ questionable loyalty to states other than Israel and their insistence on separate education and living space primed the antisemitic charge.
Obviously the dominant issue this week, January 12-18, 2015 – though it’s little to do with justice for Palestinians – was the attack on shoppers at the Hyper Cache supermarket in Vincennes, Paris, in which four Jewish people were killed. As Islamist thugs were also the killers of 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo magazine, […]
We are sorry to be posting the obituary of Mike Marqusee, long-time signatory of JfJfP, even longer a socialist and a cricket lover since he settled in England. His political memoir, If I am not for myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew, has been widely praised, especially for his insight into those who are Progressive Except for Palestine.
Israel’s ambassadors have been warned by Israel’s foreign ministry that the future is bleak for Israel. Their secret report points to the votes by European parliaments – and that Europe is Israel’s biggest trading partner. Also, Bibi’s claim to lead the fight against Islamic terrorism, based on his fight against Palestinians, annoys many Europeans.
Yes, the state of Israel and its security forces are the greatest deniers of justice for Palestinians, constantly breaching the principles of due process and international law. But others withhold justice as well – such as the government who ignored their parliaments’ votes for Palestinian statehood and, notably, the PNA which has been trying to deny freedom of association to workers since 2012. Now a union is appealing against this decision.
The horror of violent 1930s-45 antisemitism is that many European states either took part or colluded in the extermination of Jews. The opposite is true now says Joel Braunold; the state guards Jewish schools and synagogues and governments praise their role in national societies. So why urge them to make aliyah to Israel? It is also absurd to pretend that Jews are the only victims of Islamist killers in Europe.
On the combination of the killings in France and release of two opinion polls on British antisemitism (1 reputable, 1 not) a forest of press coverage has grown. In riding the Charlie Hebdo bandwagon, there has been little serious effort to analyse this antisemitism, Which means Letters. Some of those published and unpublished.
Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune on the ‘giant public-private network that has a stake in stoking these fears’ (of terrorist attack) The latest panic-monger is Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director of the little-known European Jewish Association, who says governments should allow proprietors of synagogues, kosher shops and Jewish property to arms themselves. JfJfP’s Deborah Maccoby, amongst others, condemns this over-reaction. Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune
Avraham Burg, once Knesset speaker and part of the Israeli establishment (when it had left-wing members) has burned his boats and joined Hadash, the Arab-Jewish party with communist roots. He himself is a feminist. In this Ynet interview, he says the future is either of religious fundamentalism – or two states.
Incidents of antisemitism in the UK are low. The spike in incidents last summer recorded by the CST meant they were still low. In whose interest is it to exaggerate the threat to the safety of Jews living here? 1) the pro-Israel establishment who insist Israel is the only safe haven; 2) those whose Jewish identity is as the persecuted. Of course there is antisemitism in Britain – but stereotypes (and every social / ethnic group has a stereotype attached) should not be conflated with hostility. And as Anshel Pfeffer points out, to claim that UK antisemitism today is like the 1930s is simply hysterical.
While attention is focused on Charlie Hebdo, Israeli occupation forces launched another dawn raid on Hebron, arresting 32 young men. The local committee against Israeli settlements and the separation wall said the IOF vandalized many Palestinian properties.
Ever since the Israeli state began constructing the enormous separation wall acrss the West Bank, in the name of security but ‘happening’ to annex large amounts of Palestinian land and separate farmers from their land, there have been protests in which articulate defenders of international human rights law have taken part. The response has been summary arrest, often under military regulations. Addameer report.
Europeans cannot fight terror- i.e. Islamists – because they cling to ‘political correctness’ according to Israeli security officials, reports Ben Caspit, again. Their superior experience is of suppressing Palestinians in which ‘political correctness’ plays no role. On the other hand, we thought British and Israeli secret services had long enjoyed a ‘special relationship’.
Bibi is a master of opportunism. His first response to the Charlie Hebdo massacre was to call for western nations to unite against Islamic terrorism, his first response to the kosher supermarket killings was to invite all French Jews to leave and move to Israel; he insisted on attending the marche republicaine despite Pres. Hollande making it clear he didn’t want him there, and having got there he elbowed himself into the front row and waved cheerily at a lone Israel supporter in the crowd.
The international identification with Charlie Hebdo is a declaration of the ‘right’ to free speech, the ‘right’ to offend the religious, the anger with Islamist violence. But getting a free ride on the Charlie Hebdo bandwagon may stop us finding our way through the new world of religious politics.