Oren Yiftachel writes that the means used to control Palestinians is no longer occupation but apartheid. This is an arguable point given the role the military plays in policing the West Bank, checkpoints, home demolitions and running courts to prosecute and sentence any form of Palestinian resistance. But with the oPt divided into cantons, separated by settlements and their roads, maybe ‘apartheid’ does better describe that means of control.
This is a sad piece, perhaps an epitome of the generation who were exuberantly hopeful when Israel was founded. It is by David Gordis, professor emeritus of Hebrew College, Massachusetts. From ideals of equality and rationality he now finds racial oppression and religious fanaticism.
B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories – reports on recent house demolitions carried out by Israeli occupation forces, with Israeli High Court approval – a collective punishment in clear breach of international law.
In 2015, Israel ushered in the most right-wing government in its history. But the same election produced another notable outcome: for the first time, Arab parties joined in a bloc with the sole Jewish-Arab party, Hadash, to form the Joint List, with 13 seats in the current Knesset, making it the third largest party and second largest in the opposition.
Ayman Odeh, Chair of the Hadash party and head of the Joint List, is interviewed on a wide range of issues by Mitchell Plitnick.
Crazy Country is Adam Keller’s blog from Israel in which he regularly takes stock. As he shows here, a week can be an even longer time in Israeli politics than usual. His report ranges from the Israeli reaction to Reykjavik’s call for a boycott of Israeli goods, to a delegation of former Israeli diplomats calling on the Brazilian embassy not to recognise the appointment of settler leader Danny Dayan as the new Israeli ambassador to Brazil, from the simmering fires on the ground as daily incidents – confrontations, shooting and the hurling of stones and Molotov cocktails – continue under occupation, to Netanyahu’s proposals to deal with the discontent by shooting stone throwers and fining their parents…
Crazy country, indeed…
Dror Etkes has been monitoring the settlements for nearly 20 years through a series of roles – initially in Peace Now, then in other organisations. His new detailed report, “Walled Garden – Declaration of Closed Areas in the West Bank” concludes: “The State of Israel is making sweeping use of closure orders in the West Bank for varied purposes, first of all closing off areas for military training maneuvers. Research shows that the continued closure of the vast majority of the training zones does not answer to any military need…”
We reported a few days ago about the brutal shooting at Checkpoint 18 in Hebron in Lest we forget the price of occupation.
B’tselem has investigated the incident and in measured, cautious language says that “the soldiers at the checkpoint acted disproportionately. They did not try to subdue al-Hashlamun and take her into custody without resorting to live fire. The claim that al-Hashlamun tried to stab soldiers, repeated by the media, cannot be reconciled with the fact that there was a metal barrier between her and the soldiers at the time of the shooting. Furthermore, the soldier who opened fire continued shooting after she had been hit in the legs and no longer posed a danger.”
We call it murder.
An International Solidarity Movement report from Shuhada Street checkpoint 56 in Hebron.
Short and anguished. Cold-blooded murder. Impunity in action. We wait to see someone held to account, but not with bated breath…
Update: supplemented by a report by Philip Weiss, with video evidence
PM Netanyahu was quick to condemn the burning of the Dawabasheh family as ‘terrorist’. Amongst the many reasons for his response was the desire to separate this one incident from the overall crime of the Occupation. The PA is marshalling its evidence for the ICC.
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’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 this new era of undiplomatic hostility between the US and Israeli governments, the President’s Chief of Staff tells the J Street conference that the occupation – yes, he used the word – must end and that negotiating with Iran was the best and proper way to contain Iran’s supposed ambitions.
“The restrictions are so pervasive and systematic that it almost seems as if the Israeli state has mapped the entire Palestinian economy in terms of input-output relations, right down to the capillary level of the individual, the household, the small firm, the large firm, the school, the university, so as to find all possible choke points, which Israeli officials can tighten or loosen at will. Under these circumstances – which I’m happy to say I have never encountered elsewhere – political and economic development is barely possible…”
Who Profits? is a brave and committed Israeli organisation – a research center dedicated to exposing the commercial involvement of Israeli and international companies in the continued Israeli control over Palestinian and Syrian land. It focuses on three main areas of corporate involvement in the occupation: the settlement industry, economic exploitation and control over population.
Here, just to remind readers of its wonderful work, are two reports from its October 2014 Newsletter
Daniel Levy, policy adviser and diplomat, answers Israel’s belligerent question – what would you – by saying self-defence does not include the right to kill civilians and upbraids Israelis for pushing Palestinians into a corner, for offering nothing but more occupation in return for their own demands for ‘security’.
For 47 years Palestinians have been living with a catastrophe (the 2nd one) – and Israelis with a curse. Unlike old colonisers, Israel denies it is an occupying power or that it has any duty to protect of provide for its subjects. JfJfP signatory Prof. Avi Shlaim reviews a thorough account of failed (US) efforts to get a peace deal and the consequences of that failure. Plus a more sceptical view from The Economist.
A word has been coined to step forward from the arguments about whether the governance of the Palestinians is apartheid, S. Africa-style, colonialism, European-style or occupation, war-time style. An editorial in the Abu Dhabi-owned The National calls it Occupartheid to name the unique means of dispossessing Palestinians.
Two writers from +972, one from Haaretz take up the debate on whether ‘apartheid’ is the correct name for Israel’s form of rule over non-Jews. In Israel, the separation is less absolute than it was in S.Africa; in the oPt the Palestinians are wholly alien, never to have their national political identity put into effect. Even colonialism – in which the ruled were thought to be in training for nationhood – is too kind a word. And occupation, as has been ruled, is assumed to be temporary. Lost for words?
It is a testament to the growth of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign (BDS) that – if we leave aside the claim that it is by nature antisemitic – the arguments about the aims of the campaign have become more precise. Here we post a critique by Ran Greenstein and speeches by 2 JfJfP signatories for and against academic boycott. Jonathan Rosenhead checks off the objections, Bob Fine introduces nationalism into the mix.
A discussion of water discrimination in Israel-Palestine. Both the New York Times and Ha’aretz carried reports on the Palestinian water problem. Guess which one was impartial? And in case of doubt, we also reproduce B’tselem’s latest factsheet which asks: Is there discrimination in terms of the quantity of water available to Israelis and Palestinians? The answer is yes. Are there gaps in water consumption between Israelis and Palestinians? Absolutely.