Organisers of the Southampton conference on the legal status of Israel lost their court case against the cancellation of the conference. Neither side – those who attacked the holding of the conference, those who chose a deliberately provocative subject, comes up smelling of roses.
When Israel was founded, a strong drive for Jews’ own country was that they could take up farming and manual labour and thus become new men and women. That didn’t last long. Now Israel relies on foreign workers and increasingly, Palestinian children (they’re cheap) for farm work. Report from Human Rights Watch.
We’re not holding a torch for Ed Miliband or the Labour Party but the repetition of the canard that Ed Miliband is anti-Israel is simply untrue as only a few minutes reading what he has actually said would show. If all the right-wing press pretends to think that every Jew, atheists included, MUST be pro-Israel, they are spinning a lie as they know quite well it’s not true. It’s part of the propaganda drive to ‘prove’ Ed is treacherous. Spin from Evening Standard, letter from Glyn Secker.
A photograph by the renowned Mahmoud Hams says it all: a young man sits on the step staring at nothing. The road outside is a mud track. He is cold and has nothing to do. He has nothing. His situation has been produced mostly by Israel’s bombardment and life-squeezing siege, but also by Hamas’ diversion of aid money to military purposes, the linked drying up of donor funds and the careless failure of the ‘international community’ to stand up for human rights and needs in Gaza. Charles Fromm reports.
If you fire a bullet at a child’s face, as Israeli security forces often do, you are likely to damage the child’s sight, even when you thoughtfully cover the tip of the bullet with a piece of sponge. Despite being a leading practitioner of crowd control – with accompanying profit from sales of gear and advice – Israeli police and army have still not found a way of shooting Palestinians without hurting them.
In this strongly argued article, Mike Cushman responds in detail to the half-baked, ill-informed arguments from the Board of Deputies against BDS – obviously a fearsome movement to have prompted them to such expenditure of money if not time.
Better late than never- having missed the activity of Women Wage Peace in the weeks before the election, we carry two reports of this organisation, set up after the horror of the destruction of the war on Gaza. Having attracted thousands of supporters, they have plans for sustaining the campaign into the future.
The Board of Deputies is supposedly the most – the only – representative body of British Jews. It has issued a condemnation of the BDS campaign. Robert Cohen writes directly to them reminding them of the Jewish heritage of standing with the oppressed – and asking why they do not once acknowledge that Israel perpetrates an illegal occupation of the West Bank (now in its 48th year) and an illegal blockade of Gaza. Again, subservience to Israel trumps a tradition of universal values.
Perhaps alone among nations, France enjoys good diplomatic relations with the US, Israel and with the PA. It has also been the most hardline on Iran and on Islamist terrorists – who, fear diplomats, will increase their destruction in the MidEast if Palestinian aspirations are not supported.
It’s not obvious what sort of state the Palestinians could have got by now had they really wanted it, as Sever Plocker argues. But the sort of state Israelis want is manifest in the structures, laws and practices of their state – and it is clear that continuing the Occupation is what they want.
In the week April 6th-12th, 2015 the theme which is strongest, if you take the Jewish Chronicle as a reliable guide, is the UK’s general election. The publication makes a sustained and dishonest attempt to to prove that Ed Miliband has single-handedly driven Jews away from Labour just because he said something critical about Israel’s […]
This is a rather hard-to-read piece by the usually lucid Amir Oren on where Netanyahu is left after the enrolment of Iran amongst the good guys. (For years, Israeli belligerence had surfed on the belief in US backing for a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.) The wind has been taken out of the Israeli sails – can it take off a new track of diplomacy?
The new Joint List MKs are determined to raise issues of discrimination against Arab citizens. Al Monitor interviews MK Yousef Jabareen, whose home town of Umm al-Fahm has been a frequent target of far-right aggression, talks about the discriminatory laws and practice that diminish the lives of Israeli Arabs.
‘Oslo’ is dead. Economic aid does nothing for political spirit. Bibi’s re-election means no negotiation. The 2-state solution is not viable. It’s time to start again and take the steps which would create a new political system for Palestinians says Alaa Tartir. A new political spirit and leadership are needed.
Deir Yassin was a small Palestinian village near Jerusalem. On April 9th 1948 it was attacked by Israeli paramilitary groups who killed over one sixth of the village’s residents. Its main success was that it terrorised other Palestinians into fleeing their homes. Ilan Pappe discusses the dehumanisation that is part of acts of ethnic cleansing.
In a venomous piece in the Jewish Chronicle, Marcus Dysch attacks ‘toxic Ed’ for causing the move towards conservatism of British Jews because he criticised Israel’s attack on Gaza last summer when he was ‘Israel’s chief political critic’. As if. In what silo is ‘The UK’s oldest and most widely-read Jewish newspaper’ produced?
In this week’s Signatories’ Blog, Ben Samuel, one of our youngest signatories, writes about how his interest in politics grew and what attracted him to JfJfP. He is standing as the Green candidate for Hendon in the coming election. Obviously, JfJfP does not endorse any political party.
This seems like a Jewish Chronicle storm in a teacup. Labour MP Fabian Hamilton, Leeds, has attacked party leader Ed Miliband for ‘betraying’ a foreign country, viz Israel, by criticizing its lethal onslaught on Gaza last year. He did say “Armed responses to protests, including killing with impunity and the torture and imprisonment of individuals, have become the cause of instability and are therefore deeply counter-productive.” He was talking about Tibet.
This is a fascinating article from 1967 extolling the role of the UK in supporting the establishment and development of Israel and the need for British Jews (most of whom did not want to move to Israel) to support their brethren who did. Palestinians and the ’67 occupation are not mentioned. It is such a different world, when all events took place in the context of the Cold War and the UK still fancied itself as a Great Power.
‘Anonymous’ has threatened before to launch a cyber war against Israeli computers. This time it succeeded in hacking and suspending websites, though not in affecting any used by the Israeli state (or at least, that’s what the government says). This is, by and large, a peaceful protest. But it is tinged by antisemitism by reference to The Jews and a Holocaust (see Brian Klug below).