We have posted in full the ‘Principal findings and conclusions’ of the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict. It provides a very clear account of what happened, of the body of international law regulating armed conflict and where these laws were broken by both the IDF and Palestinian armed groups. The Israeli refusal to co-operate with the inquiry seems less a response of fear and more an assertion that the state of Israel cannot be held accountable to or by any body in the world.
This week, June 15th -June 21st, 2015, the stand-out issue is the consequences for Israel of OPE – Operation Protective Edge (the US-friendly English version of their assault on Gaza in 2014). It has not not been forgiven and forgotten. As the PLO’s Hanan Ashrawi says, it is the First time ever that Israel is […]
Right-wing Zionists are affronted by Muslim and Christian places of worship because they, like Islamic State, want to expunge all evidence of other religions pre-dating or usurping their place in Israel. Despite advice by successive heads of Shin Bet that such men should be classified as terrorists, PM Netanyahu has refused. His American friends won’t be happy about the most recent attack on a Christian church in Galilee.
The crime of abduction has a potent history in Israel, from the kidnap and hanging of two British soldiers by Irgun, through the PFLP’s kidnap and shooting of an Israeli soldier to the abduction and killing of 3 Israeli teenagers in 2014 and seizures of Palestinians by Israeli police and soldiers. Adam Keller gives scrupulous attention to the first two examples, the successful drive by the right to block funding for a play about the Israeli Arab who abducted and shot an Israeli soldier and Miri Regev’s criterion – she is open to all artistic endeavour ‘as long as they lay off the occupation and politics.’
Several ships have gathered at Messina, Sicily, preparing to sail to Gaza. The purpose is to bring hope to the people of Gaza that they can be reached, they have not been forgotten. All activists have done training in non-violence should they be attacked by the IDF.
The Israeli establishment knows that UN enquiries are going to find Israel responsible for breaching laws of war. Amir Oren asks who, and what branch of the establishment, might be accused. Previous history shows that everyone except the Prime Minister might be found culpable. The Netanyahus are working hard to ensure this doesn’t change.
UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon has returned to the charge that was omitted from the list of states which harm children in conflict – that in its assault on Gaza in 2014 the IDF did not take steps to protect children from harm. Netanyahu has insisted that an unnamed group of senior generals has acquitted his country of all charges – and Hamas was worse, which seems an odd benchmark to use when assessing humanitarian concerns.
Within the sealed borders of Gaza, with all imports checked by Israel security in case they can be converted for military use, malnutrition and poor medical care are inevitable. That means the most suffering is endured, not by warring militants, but by children, pregnant women, the elderly, those with chronic illnesses. This article focuses on the children.
Mitchell Plitnick here argues that the effects of BDS are hyped – by its supporters, for obvious reasons, and by the Israeli government for the (equally obvious) claim of enemies and security threats. But economic action must be applied to Israel for why would Israelis voluntarily renounce the benefits of Occupation?
It is a universal truth that you never see yourself as others see you. It can be useful and quite interesting to know what that view is. Here the founder of a Zionist institute explains how the Left has sustained its hegemony over Israeli politics, not allowing the Right to get a word in edge-ways, for decades – during which it has retreated to ‘civil society elites’ to continue their dominance.
These reports on Israel’s economic future, both predicting bankruptcy, show just how weird Israel is and utterly outside the neo-liberal dominion it aspires to belong to. It has a large, non-working Haredi population; it controls a large, excluded, Palestinian population. Despite its claims to modernity, it inhabits its own peculiar world of religious dispensation, ethnic discrimination and colonialism. It can’t make capitalism work for it. Rand concludes, Jonathan Cook reports.
In this unchallenging interview with Al Monitor, the PLO’s Hanan Ashrawi sees little hope of change, and little to hope for from any of the PA’s recent initiatives. But she does think the recent UN report on Israeli attacks on Palestinians in 2014 (and the forthcoming UNHRC report) are acts that for the first time hold Israel accountable and dismiss its excuse of exceptional security needs.
Palestinian / Israeli distrust, the starting Palestinian demand – Israel must define its borders, and Israel’s – Palestine must recognise us as The Jewish State – block any start in talks. But such is the frustration, that there are many talks going on between third parties, mainly other Arab countries whose own fear of Iran has created some common ground with Israel. So Iran may rescue Israel from growing international frustration and threats.
Miri Regev has opened a new front in the government’s war against the left – as unwelcome and contemptible to the Israeli right as Palestinians, if better off and protected, by declaring that she will dispense state arts funding depending on the national (government) loyalty of their productions. It is galvanising organised protest among the artists.
It’s not news that the Israeli state and its adherents have no respect for freedom of expression. The reputation of the state is paramount. But given the role of the IDF as the totem of Israeli morality and security-need, nothing does more harm to that than the critical commentary from ex-soldiers in Breaking the Silence. It must be silenced. Foreign support is seen as its weakest link. (Foreign does not include American).
There is some truth in what Israel says about its Operation Protective Edge (OPE). Hamas was firing rockets at civilian areas. Three teenagers had been killed by Hamas (albeit a freelance operation). Hamas tunnels under the border were a threat to Israel. What Israel did – kill over 2000 Palestinians, most civilians, a third children, and destroy vast swaths of homes, infrastructure and amenities – was totally our of order. Knowing how OPE will be judged, the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs has published its own version of events hoping this will be the benchmark against which the forthcoming UN report will be judged.
This week, June 8th-14th, one issue is overwhelming and dominates the website as it has Israeli media: the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign. Binyamin Netanyahu, and his sponsor, ‘casino mogul’ and billionaire Sheldon Adelson, have organised rich people and government services to combat BDS which they now see as a serious threat to Israel. Though as […]
The BDS campaign has suddenly appeared at the top of the agenda this week and this posting represents the range of arguments. For – it’s non-violent, it’s people power, it really upsets the Israeli government – and against – it’s ineffectual, it doesn’t target the occupation and Israeli colonialism, it can incite antisemitism.
Here are two pieces a raising questions about the efficacy of the BDS campaign. Is it just a social media phenomenon? Does it fail to distinguish between the illegal settlements and Israel proper? Is it too confrontational or is it the only bulwark against the pressure for ‘normalisation’? Does it boost the right’s charge that it seeks to delegitimise Israel?
Born into a Zionist, Jewish family in Dublin, signatory Brian Robinson here looks back on ready-made political identities such as support for Sinn Fein or Israel, the discomfort they cause and their conflict with the requirement on us for civil behaviour. To his surprise, he finds himself supporting BDS which he once thought antisemitic.