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.
A new report published by Al Haq – Water For One People Only: Discriminatory Access and ‘Water-Apartheid’ in the OPT – focuses on the control of water as an instrument of exploitation and subordination along colonial, racial lines in the Occupied Territories. It is – surprise, surprise – in violation of International Humanitarian Law.
A sharp-eyed Twitter user spotted a surprisingly direct headline about Palestine and took a screen shot of it; and then a few hours later noticed it had become unsurprisingly bland and euphemistic. Guess which word the New York Times readers may not read or hear? Ali Abuminah provides the evidence.
Oded Na’aman writes: “As you stand at the checkpoint, you must constantly consider the various ways in which you may be attacked: Where are they going to come from? What will their strategy be? Is that child as innocent as he seems, or is he smuggling a weapon? Is that ambulance really rushing a woman to the hospital to give birth, or are there enemies hiding inside? Is that old man harmless…
These are the instructions soldiers receive before beginning their principle combat mission in the IDF: enforcement of military rule in the West Bank.”
See our earlier posting “Defiance of law, case for one state, proof of apartheid: responses to Levy” (at http://jfjfp.com/?p=32416) which contains 9 items on the Levy report. Here we include a new statement from Acri (1); an analytical piece by Jonathan Cook suggesting that the report might open the way to annexation of Area C of the West Bank (2); and an opinion piece by human-rights advocate Sari Bashi, executive director of Gisha, the Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement in Israel (3).
Outrage, arguments for one state, silence. These are the responses to the Levy panel’s proposition that the West Bank is not ‘occupied’. The silence is from the Palestinian media, where there has been little reaction. The outrage is obvious. The arguments that this makes the case for one state, making West Bank Palestinians Israeli citizens, or Zionist apartheid, also follow. Nine reactions.
“I don’t want to continue through another summer of protest to be partner to the lie” writes Gershon Baskin, a negotiator for the release of Gilad Schalit. Fellow protesters don’t want to talk ‘politics’, meaning the occupation. But that refusal gives them the mere illusion of accomplishing something.
Delegates from the US Methodist Church are in conference this week. A decision they have to make is whether or not to divest from companies that profit from the occupation. Like the Co-op (see posting below) they have a history of ethical investment. Here they are urged, in Mondoweiss and The Magnes Zionist, to have the courage to divest.UPDATE: voted against divestment, e.i. and NY Times report
Democracies are frail systems for they always contain people who would rather get their own way than abide by principles of equality and inclusion. In Israel, democracy is under peculiar stress, argues David Remnick, because of the belligerent occupation – and protection of that occupation – of Palestinian territories.
The refusal by American author Paul Auster to visit Turkey because it lacked free speech, in contrast to Israel, has created a bloggers’ flurry. At heart is how one regards the occupation: an aberration which could be put right by serious negotiations, something that begun in 1967 since when it has been damaging Palestinians and Israeli politics or that ‘the Occupation IS Israel’ and has been since its foundation.
A film that won the best documentary prize at the 2011 Jerusalem film festival — shown last week at the Sundance film festival — tracks the laws and precedents discovered which turned temporary settlement into permanent colonisation. If Israel does live under the rule of law, it is either military or apartheid law as far as Palestinians in the OPT are concerned
In a controverial article Yossi Gurvitz attacks the left outside Israel for seeing the protesters as middle class who won’t go outside their comfort zone and take on the Occupation. Can (pro)Palestinians be allies if they see Israelis as guilty of original sin? In response, Noam Sheizaf remains hopeful of progress, but chides non-Israelis for accepting his Jewishness but not his Israeli-ness
At a public meeting for the tent protestors to discuss the ‘Palestinian September’, the sound was of hope for a common civil struggle and the crumbling of the old divisions – the people versus the Left, Jews v Arabs- which have shored up the reign of the right. Haggai Matar reports
‘Is it actually useful for them to “demand their country back from the oligarchs”, without the slightest sense that it is Israel itself that owes the Palestinians “their country back”?’ asks Rachel Lever in this report from Tent City? Yes, because desire for political organisation across ethnic and religious divides is growing in size and clarity
‘Every rational discussion was smothered in a melange of sentimental, patriotic, and nationalistic kitsch whipped up with self-righteousness and victimhood’ writes David Grossman, who discovers a fresh and open togetherness on the J14 march after the post-Occupation years of silent acquiescence in which one weak group after another was picked off.
Two more assessments of the social protest – a critical one by Dahlia Scheindlin and Joseph Dana for what the protesters don’t want to hear or say, and Anshel Pfeffer’s view that it’s a protest from a new middle class that no longer accepts for itself the egalitarian austerity of Israel’s founding years
Jerry Haber boycotts products made by Israeli companies which operate in plants built illegally on occupied Palestinian land. He expected the boycott act to make him a martyr for free speech but discovers the bill punishes only those who boycott in order to destroy Israel. We’re all free to boycott. The text of the bill is published below
Seph Brown hears some good speakers and discussion at the We Believe in Israel conference , but is dismayed by the refusal to admit there are questions of Palestinian statehood and rights which need to be considered
A performance made from testimonies published by the Breaking the Silence blog, using statements made to the Breaking the Silence team of ex-soldiers. More material will appear on the blog from May 9th.