It’s not the holocaust, which many say cannot be represented by fiction. The current Israeli-Palestinian conflict is open to fiction writers – though few outside Israel have tried. Deborah Maccoby examines those who have. For the pro-Israelis, Howard Jacobson comes over as propaganda). Otherwise there’s the sentimental ‘we can all love each other’ contributions. Anger and justice have no part.
The stunning mismatch between pollster and media predictions are explained in different way here: the last minute switch of opinion as voters scampered for safety with Likud; voters lying; polling errors magnified by Israel’s complex electoral system; commentator bias, out of touch with the hinterland and seeing what they wanted to see.
American Jewish organisations have constitutions committing them to opposing racism. American Jewish organisations responded to Netanyahu’s openly racist election campaign – by sending him their warm congratulations as a great leader. Some mistake surely? Jewish Forward calls out the hypocrites.
Veteran peace activist Gershon Baskin is aghast at the election result and what the dumping of the two-state solution will mean for both Israelis and Palestinians. He thinks the only option left will be for everyone-but-Israel to support universal democracy throughout a single territory.
Open Democracy discusses the Israeli election result with Amira Hass and Dr. Jamal Zahalka, MK and member of the Joint List. Amongst their points – most Israelis find the Occupation is a good thing for them, that the result was a product of popular racism and that the Joint List stood for a truly progressive position.
Gideon Levy despairs of the Israeli people.
Most of the international community was happily expecting Netanyahu’s downfall. His intransigence and ambitions keep relations between the EU and USA with Arab and Muslims nations stuck in impotence. Will Israel become more isolated – or will others have to bend to his ambition?
Israeli fears about scary neighbours (and enemies within) won Bibi his victory, which did not surprise Antony Lerman. Now, with the Israeli right-wing behind him and the international community distracted he can focus on denying Palestinian statehood and expanding Israel’s borders. But there was an expectation of change which will suck in other forces.
Everybody, including the pollsters, got it wrong (a lot of people must have lied about their voting intentions). Israeli voters on the whole share Netanyahu’s views on Iran and on Palestine. They are, in short, more right-wing and responsive to racist rhetoric than those longing for a change of government in Israel wanted to believe.
In this last posting before the Israeli election results are known, we put forward the assessment by Barak Ravid that, whatever the results, the momentum of the 2011 social protest movement means the cry of ‘security’ is not going to win an election.
Last Sunday, the FInancial Times broke the news that Tony Blair was stepping down – clear implication he was pushed down the steps – as the envoy to the Middle East. Palestinians are scornful of his efficacy and see him as pro-Israel.Which as a man who follows the money is probably true. Plus a fine article from Simon Kuper on Blair Disease – which is also about making money.
In his submission to the Parliamentary inquiry into antisemitism Tony Klug recognises instances of classic antisemitism – hatred of Jews as Jews – but argues that Palestinians would have hated any religious group that created a state in their country and ruled over them. It is in Jews’ best interest to distance themselves from the propensity of the Israeli government to infringe Palestinian human and political rights.
The dominant themes in this week’s media, March 9th-15th, and thus in the postings, have been the Israeli election and International Women’s Day. The commentariat is still puzzling over the bathos of Netanyahu’s speech to Congress (which is, obviously, connected to the election) The Netanyahu pantomine Two respected journalists comment on the bizarrely (frighteningly) rapturous […]
Recent decisions – or failure to make them – by the Israeli government have needlessly pushed the conflict into violence. The failure of the Kerry talks – attributed to Israeli bull-headedness and reliance on the IDF – has produced all the results which, in theory Bibi’s regime deplores: lone wolf attacks, anarchy in Jerusalem, a Palestinian turning from negotiations. Well, he asked for it.
From an assured win to a likely loss, the fortune of Binyamin Netanyahu has been assiduously charted by opinion polls in which he is lagging behind Zionist Camp who will have to form a coalition to rule. Herzog’s position on the oPt is not clear. While Bibi focused on security, Herzog and Livni concentrated on economc issues. Ironically, Bibi’s dash to the US to warn them about Iran has backfired. Why does Bibi not focus on the dire standard of living in Israel rather than grandstanding on the anti-war Obama?
Astonishingly, Bibi’s speech to the US Congress is still garnering comment, again, all of it hostile. ‘A tremendous own goal’ says one, ‘It was just an exercise to paint a straw man and knock it down’ said a senator and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee. And as the anti-Bibi rally showed, the effects are leeching into the election campaign, in exactly the opposite way of his intention. How did he get it so wrong?
There are precedents for a dominant group taking possession of the desired property of a defeated people – the Yankees in the south after the American civil war, the original carpet-baggers, the Poles losing no time in taking over Jewish property. But in both those episodes, there was no rule of law. The Jews taking possession of Palestinian property in Jerusalem are in theory governed by the rule of law. In practice, they are led by far-right groups and aided by the police.
The clearest proof of Israeli decadence and escapism? Jewish ‘parties sell Israelis an all-inclusive package of ‘social justice’ – within Zionist and neoliberal parameters – that does not include Arabs, conflict, refugees, Jerusalem, settlements or any other passé 1990s concepts’ writes Yonatan Mendel in this dispiriting account of the pull to Zionist conformity of the campaign and of Israeli voters. He does mention Joint List, but cannot see them getting Jewish votes, Instead he fears progressive Jews will vote for Zionist Camp giving the same racist, unequal Israel a human face.
Two of the three articles here have ‘new’ in their headlines. A new generation of PCIs (Palestinian Citizens of Israel) displaying a new activism. The third, from the Communist Party of Israel is more wooden but as it’s joined the new Joint List – the source of the hope – it must feel something new in its bones. And new in this election is their emphasis on ending racism and occupation. Perhaps the ebbing tide of left-wing activism and hope has indeed changed.
Israel’s Nature and Parks authority have demolished small shelters, donated by the EU, for the Bedouin living in Issiwaya near Jerusalem. The aim is obvious – to clear all Bedouin out of the area so that Jewish settlements can be built there. It remains to be seen what the EU will do about this.