Israel needs an endless source of new Jewish citizens, mainly for demographic reasons but also to renew the the spirit of Israel with hope faith and gratitude. Hence for messianic Jews and Christian Zionists the availability of a small community of Chinese Jews was irresistible. They will be found homes in West Bank settlements.
A village is a community living in the same place, with a name. Palestinian villages may consist of caves or tents. This is an affront to the Israeli authorities who want to dispatch them to approved towns, like Rahat for the Bedouin. They do not want to supply such villages with amenities. Perhaps the US State Dept. intervened because of the high-profile support for Susya (see below). It has become a symbol for all sides..
For once: Israeli commandos who boarded the Mavi Marmara as it sailed to Gaza and shot dead 9 Turkish volunteers on board are to be referred to the ICC by the Comoros islands union where the ship was registered. Also Spanish activists who were on board are pressing their government to make a referral to the ICC. This is happening now because a panel of judges has ruled the court’s chief prosecutor made serious errors in deciding not to take up the case.
The more stately position of the Jewish establishment is that no-one knows what will follow the Iran nuclear deal; at best it will buy a decade of peace with Iran. The more frantic view is that it boosts the worldwide [?] network of terrorist groups sponsored by Iran. Having built so much on the idea of Iran as the axis of evil the credibility of the Israeli/UK Jewish establishment has ‘taken a blow’. Iran does deploy a clear antisemitic rhetoric but this is not the point they made.
Susya is perhaps the best-known of the Palestinian villages in the South Hebron hills because its residents, assisted by volunteers and NGOs, have put such resistance to the plans which demand its demolition (because Palestinians can’t get planning permission). The latest threat is a High Court ruling in May 2015 granting permission to the ‘civil administration’ to demolish the village.
If you designed a recipe for violence you would design Qalandiya refugee camp. Between Ramallah and Jerusalem, it contains a large number of unemployed, disowned, angry young men. In theory it is under Israeli state control. Its amenities are minimal. In practice, there is no law and order except what the armed gangs lay down.
It’s the right-wing politics, not religion, that fills evangelical American Christians with zeal for the Israeli security state. Christians United for Israel, in conference this week, aims to lead the Republican fight against Obama. Unlike AIPAC, Nathan Guttman points out, CUFI does not pretend to be bipartisan.
The response of the UK’s foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, to Netanyahu’s furious response to the Iran settlement is ‘well he would, wouldn’t he’. That is, even in this most Israel-friendly government, there is no expectation that Israel’s government will be rational or diplomatic. In the parliamentary debate, Tory MPs are more critical then Labour.
The belief that a two-state solution can and should be found to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has fallen on both sides to just 51% – a steep drop amongst Palestinians, who had invested more hope and trust in it than Israelis. Findings are from the regular poll of attitudes. Mutual distrust about the other’s intentions is very high but Palestinians, realistically, have a much higher fear of being harmed by Israelis than the other way around.
In their absolute rejection of the joint comprehensive plan for Iran’s nuclear capability the Israeli security cabinet shows its refusal to accept that international effort and diplomacy can achieve anything . Worse, it will inevitably undermine Israel’s security. Here are views from Israel, the US, Iran and Arab countries including Palestine.
This is an unusual article from Ma’an news. Usually their articles are unsigned and unopionated. Here the editor-in-chief makes a strong case for President Abbas extricating himself from the conflicting pressures of Fatah politicos and the technocrats to urge an alliance with popular unions.
It is to the credit of the IDF that it has the office of MAG which has the power to investigate alleged war crimes. We don’t know how many complaints have been made – often by NGOs – and what proportion are being investigated. We do know from Pillar of Defence that no complaints were upheld.
The IDF are not alone amongst security forces in claiming they were ‘in fear for their lives’ when they shoot unarmed young men dead. Which means the shooters are either very nervous or lying. The brigade commander who killed a fleeing teenager would probably have got away with it but for CCTV which caught the scene. Result, international uproar and another martyr.
Where power lies: This week, July 6th – 12th, 2015 there is a small cluster – should be larger – on where power lies in Israel. Although obviously the ‘military industrial complex’ is the basic power network there are important agencies within this which deserve attention. One of these is Unit 8200, the elite and […]
Tourism rises and falls according to perceived pleasures and dangers. Israel is not exempt from the sense that all of the Middle East is dangerous whatever the lure of historical sites. Since OPE Israel has not been able to promote itself as a safe destination- ‘Israel is always being mentioned in the news and not in a good way’ says one hostel manager.
The ‘right’ to kill young women seems to be most common in cousin societies – where the young are expected to marry first cousins. Breaking this tradition may be good for the health but bad for the guardians of the tradition – cousins, brothers, uncles, fathers. The oxymoron, honour killing, is a gift to all hostile to Palestine and Muslims, who should, friend Richard Silverstein included, listen to Palestinian women’s protests.
Heike Schotten here argues that ‘terrorism’ became the universal threat after the collapse of the Soviet Union. To fit the US’s need for an external enemy the new threat had to be political, dark-skinned and religiously foreign – that is unknowable and outside ‘civilisation’. Enter Palestine.
‘If there is a beating heart to Israel’s high-tech security state — the spot on the Venn diagram where “cool” meets “creepy” — it is Unit 8200′ writes the FT’s John Reed. This cyber spy agency has been hugely expanded to become the largest unit in the IDF. It is almost the most elite unit in the military providing post-IDF access to the best jobs around so when some of the unit objected to spying on Palestinians – their main task – they were , like many whistle-blowers- treated as traitors.
The cyber unit of an Israeli spy agency, probably Shin Bet thinks Richard Silverstein, managed to get a page to pop-up on the screen of a lecturer in Middle East and in Italian Studies. The page was a recruitment advert for Shin Bet, in Arabic and aimed at Palestinians who wanted to ‘make a lot of money’ in return for information. Having worked out how to do it, this is now presumably happening to thousands, hundreds of thousands, of Palestinians and students of MidEast politics.
Predictions about the demise of ‘Israel’ are made quite often. Israel can mean the zionist enterprise, the exercise of Jewish sovereignty, the unique creation of a democracy from scratch. Ari Shavit seems to mean all 3, all threatened by the occupation. He urged Israelis to wake up and end it. At the J Street conference, Obama’s chief of staff insists on the need for a Palestinian state.