The Israeli government thinks nothing of interfering blatantly in the academic life of Palestinian universities. Denial of entry to international academics, professionals and activists intending to visit Palestine, is now routine. Renowned UK academic, Dr Adam Hanieh of SOAS is the latest victim.
Further comment on Netanyahu’s claims that Palestinians won’t allow any Jews to live in the West Bank if they have their way, while ethnic cleansing is alien and abhorrent to Israeli Jews.
Just two problems: Jews in Palestine did precisely that in 1947-48 (according to historian Benny Morris, even the term they used to describe it was “cleansing”); and a substantial minority of Israeli Jews would currently do more of the same if they had half a chance. While Palestinian leaders have made it clear they don’t object to Jews but to settlers living in Palestine..
As Peter Beinart says: “The problem isn’t Jews in the West Bank. It’s Jews and Palestinians living in the same territory under a different law. Despite Netanyahu’s endless attempts at obfuscation, it’s not that hard to understand”.
The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) reports that Israel is demolishing Palestinian homes and livelihoods at an increasing – and alarming – rate. This destruction is explicitly linked to the advancement of new settlements, many of which are illegal under Israeli as well as International law.
This is as good a moment as any to consider supporting ICAHD in resisting these developments!
Noah Myln writes: “I do not single out Israel any more than the rest of the American Jewish community. But because I do so in a radically different way – holding the Jewish state to the standards of universal human rights rather than defending its repeated, grievous errors – I stand out as obsessed…”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent actions have brought to an end 50 years of Israeli deception about the temporariness of the settlement enterprise – Yitzhak Laor, Ha’aretz
And Ban Ki-moon wades in at the UN: “Let me be absolutely clear: settlements are illegal under international law. The occupation, stifling and oppressive, must end.”
“Is Israel on the verge of civil war, as a growing number of Israeli commentators suggest, with its Jewish population deeply riven over the future of the occupation?” Jonathan Cook investigates.
The UN Conference on Trade and Development has issued a detailed report on the Palestinian economy, which offers the chilling estimate that without the Israeli occupation it would be double its current size. Richard Silverstein investigates.
Barak Ravid reports in Ha’aretz on the newly signed United States and Israel defense aid agreement that promises Israel $38 billion over 10 years, from 2019 through 2028. And Mitchell Plitnick of the Foundation for Middle East Peace looks at the Memorandum of Understanding and finds a number of pluses in it.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews and the UJS have produced a campaign resource to help students to combat the BDS movement on campus. What strikes us is how terribly thin it all is. We offer some brief rejoinders to their assertions.
These articles address the twisted mirror in which Netanyahu looks to insist that it is Jews who are the victims of ethnic cleansing in the region he governs, rather than Palestinians. Gideon Levy argues that, by using the term ‘ethnic cleansing’, the Israeli Prime Minister parts company with any semblance of reality and historical fact. Matt Duss argues that it is hard to swallow Netanyahu’s claims of Israeli victimhood when Palestinians are being ethnically cleansed right now by means of ‘home demolition, land confiscation, and explusion’. Palestinians leaders have made it clear that Jewish people will be welcome to live in Palestine, he points out, but not in enclaves of Israeli Jewish privilege.
An up-to-date legal statement from Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights elaborates and corroborates the case put forward by Gisha (Legal Center for Freedom of Movement) in 2008 that “The closure of Gaza is neither a siege, nor a blockade, nor an economic sanction – it is an illegal act of collective punishment and stands in violation of both international and Israeli law”.
JfJfP signatory Murray Glickman elegantly disembowels the argument, most recently put forward by Jonathan Arkush, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, that denying Jewish people ‘self-determination’ is, by definition, antisemitic. An unconditional national right to self-determination in a territory for any particular group of people immediately violates that very principle for others in that same territory, whatever justified claims they might have to it.
Obama is widely regarded as the most pro-Palestinian US president to take office, only serving to highlight the absence of initiatives under his watch to resolve the plight of the Palestinians. In this article, Nathan Thrall considers what meaningful options remain for Obama, given his formidable international, domestic and time constraints. Thrall concludes that in order to move forward, negotiation parameters must be put in place between Israel and the Palestinians. The catch is that the Palestinians may have to make dramatic concessions on paper in order to bind Israel to a path for Palestinian independence…
This week’s postings – September 5th to 11th , 2016. On Israeli impunity The Israeli investigation into liability for breaking the laws of war during Operation Protective Edge, the war on Gaza in August 2014, is over. The Israeli military has exonerated itself. There are no indictments (though three Israeli soldiers have been found guilty of looting). […]
In the United States, as in Britain, accusations of the prevalence of antisemitism abound and are used as sticks to beat those – protesting too vigorously? – at Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. But some antisemitism is real and it is important to make the right distinctions, to clarify the difference between expressions of antisemitism and support for Palestinian human rights. Here is a JVP policy statement on the issue.
The real threat Israel faces, Uri Avnery argues, is not from Iran or Daesh or anybody else outside. Far more dangerous is the split inside Israel’s Jewish society. Is Israel on the verge of a civil war?
The Israeli investigation into liability for breaking the laws of war during Operation Protective Edge, the war on Gaza in August 2014, is over. The Israeli military has exonerated itself. There are no indictments (though three Israeli soldiers have been found guilty of looting…).
Cue the likelihood of an International Criminal Court (ICC) delegation to Israel and the occupied territories. Israel has (had to) agree in principle…
How do you think the Israeli police handled a serious case of assault when, two years ago, Ahmed Uda and Fouad Skhadeh were attacked by Israeli civilians while tending their field in the West Bank? Frankly, they didn’t care a damn. As usual.
Yossi Gurvitz of Yesh Din explains.
A short announcement of the release of refusenik Omri Baranes two weeks ago. Thanks to all who signed petitions of support for her and Tair Kaminer.
The Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and Gaza are arresting, abusing, and criminally charging journalists and activists who express peaceful criticism of the authorities. The crackdown directly violates obligations that Palestine recently assumed in ratifying international treaties protecting free speech.