As the spat between the Obama and Netanyahu administrations plays itself out, Uri Avnery and Gideon Levy look at the ramifications of the “chickenshit” appellation thrown at Netanyahu. This conflict with Obama is one that Netanhayu has provoked and wants, argues Uri Avnery. And, adds Levy, “Netanyahu, at least, is acting according to his ideology and belief. Obama is acting against his – and that’s pure cowardice.” So who’s the chickenshit then?
The arguments put forward by the US and Israel against the PA both asking for and being granted UN recognition of Palestinian statehood are utterly specious says Henry Siegman, President of the US/Middle East Project. Here he refutes their case
Mark LeVine, the ’42nd most dangerous academic in America’ and author of ‘Impossible Peace: Israel/Palestine Since 1989′, looks at a paradox of modernity which links all opponents of their politically correct states with their declared enemies
If Israel’s existence depends on racial exclusion and inequality, what does that say about Israel and its US supporters asks Omar Barghouti?
An extensive survey by Forward of the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions on campuses in the US suggests few practical results but an increase in debate – and an organized onslaught on the movement from Occupation defenders
A Foreign Policy analysis examines a new WikiLeaks revelation that US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice tried to block any UN investigation into Israeli war crimes in Gaza in exchange for Israeli participation in a US-backed peace process.
The Vanguard Leadership Group of African American students is placing ads in student newpapers attacking the term ‘apartheid’ as describing the treatment of Arabs in Israel. AIPAC has been encouraging this group for some years. The ad is misleading as ‘apartheid’ clearly describes the physical separations enforced in West bank and Gaza, whereas the ad refers to Israel itself.
Pressure grows on the Brandeis Hillel Student Board (BHSB) to reconsider their ban on Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). On the latter’s web site it states,” Hillel at Brandeis University provides a rich and vibrant Jewish life on campus“. A thousand students and faculty members have petitioned the BHSB to reconsider but till now unavailingly. The author’s tip to JVP: get yourselves elected to the governing body of BHSB. (There was a previous posting on this theme on 10th March.)
A good piece of investigative journalism. showing how the US Dept of Commerce and the US embassy in Tel Aviv are co=promoting a an Israeli trade mission with Airlift Inc, an aerospace and consulting firm based in an illegal settlement in East Jerusalem – in explicit contravention of US policy and international law…
In this posting, blogger MJ Rosenberg casts his eye over the latest moves by AIPAC, by far the most influential pro-Israel pressure group in the US, and assesses its and Netanyahu’s strategy (which it faithfully reflects). He believes that stopping a Palestinian unilateral declaration of independence is now Netanyahu’s number one goal. So: smear the Palestinian Authority and place the onus on the PA for the impasse as, once again, ‘there is no partner for peace’.
Hillel provides a home for Jewish student groups without consideration of their denomination, but not, it would appear, independently of their politics on Israel. At Brandeis university the Jewish Voice for Peace chapter was rejected for admission to Hillel. “The board effectively said to JVP, ‘Even though we recognize that you express your Judaism politically, and even though we admit other Jewish political groups here, your vision of Judaism and your political vision of Israel has no place in Hillel. Unless you say the magic words ,’Jewish and democratic’ and mean by them what we say you should mean, your organization is treif.'”
J Street’s conference opened last Saturday night. We carry some reports and analyses.
Media and public affairs strategist Dan Fleshler writes in advance of the conference as to “Why the Jewish Right Is Terrified by J Street’s Conference”; Natasha Mozgovaya reports for Haaretz on the opening razzamatazz; and Richard Silverstein injects a note of discord, calling J Street “an empty shell…Where are they on the issues? All over the place.”
2nd March: links to all the speeches at the conference added. 5th March: final update with more links to analytical and critical articles.
The US Boat to Gaza campaign gives an update following the recent Madrid meeting of the international flotilla with representatives from 22 countries at the meeting. Current plans are for the flotilla to sail in the second half of May…
In the face of the US veto at the Security Council last week, Jeff Halper argues that “the United States simply cannot deliver on a just peace in Israel/Palestine”, that even if Obama, Petraeus and the rest “understand that Israel’s occupation is unsustainable and only isolates the US in the international community”, they cannot deliver – because of the overwhelming support for Israel in both Houses: “Unlike other foreign policy issues, Israel has become a domestic American issue.”
The US should no longer be “seen as the sole and ultimate arbitrator of the conflict”: instead we and the Palestinians should be looking for ways of “Working around America”, with Latin America, Turkey, South Africa, Russia, all of which are making interesting noises about the conflict…
So, despite its formal opposition to Israeli settlements, Obama and the US decided to stand alone and veto a resolution at the Security Council condemning Israel’s settlement policy. 14 voted for the resolution, including Britain, Russia, Brazil, 1 against — and no abstentions.
Various commentators give their immediate reactions and assess the implications.
M J Rosenberg writes: “Anyone who thought that the United States has learned anything from the various revolutions upturning the Arab world has another think coming. We didn’t.”
Mitchell Plitnick is the former Director of the US Office of B’Tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories and was previously the Director of Education and Policy for Jewish Voice for Peace. He is a widely published policy analyst. In this blog for JNews he looks at reactions to events in Egypt within the Jewish community in the US.
A JfJfP statement of support for the Egyptian people and a short selection of articles on Egypt and the wider region.
Three appraisals of the Egyptian upheavals and a report of the emerging demands of the movement. An insightful article by Tony Karom, author of the Rootless Cosmopolitan blog, written after the first five days of street protests, reflecting among other things on US, Israeli and Palestinian reactions, on El Baradei and on the Muslim Brotherhood; then International Socialist Review editor Ahmed Shawki reports from Cairo on the mass demonstrations that shifted the balance away from the violence of the regime; Jack Shenker in the Guardian reports on the emerging demands of the movement. And the Magnes Zionist, reflecting on Jewish ambivalence about the Egyptian events, suggests “if the price to pay for a Jewish state is acquiescing in tyranny and injustice for reasons of realpolitik – as Israel did with apartheid South Africa – then arguably that price is too high…”
Plus links to our previous postings on the Egyptian events…
Fascist behaviour by right-wing Zionists in Los Angeles is another example of the hatred being expressed towards Jewish Voice for Peace as it roots itself ever-more deeply in American Jewish life. Estee Chandler writes: “Throughout history, every movement for freedom has faced backlash, threats, and violence.” These threats are now coming from other American Jews…