It’s been an interesting week as the articles listed below will testify.
First, two takes on the Chanukah story, Mark Braverman’s ‘Rededicating the Temple: A Hanukah Homily’ and Tony Karom’s Revisiting Chanukah from a ‘J-theist’ angle.
And then of course, Defra has (finally!) come up with guidance notes on the labelling of settlement goods – and they are good news indeed. They don’t go as far as we would like, and do not raise the issue as to why, if settlements are illegal (as Her Majesty’s Government accepts without quibble), settlement goods are not. But nonetheless, a real step forward and congratulations to all who have been campaigning over a long period of time on this issue.
At the same time, the situation in both Israel and the OPT continues to deteriorate. The much-trumpeted plan to develop the Negev will involve further massive discrimination against the Bedouin who happen to live there – not that that stops the JNF collecting for this purpose in the UK. And the repression on non-violent resistance continues apace, with demolitions, evictions and the arrest of Abdallah Abu Rahmah, Coordinator of Bil’in’s Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements and the usual army attacks on the weekly demonstrations there – as well as ongoing hostility towards human-rights activists within Israel itself.
Finally, the discrimination against Palestinians with Gazan IDs in the West Bank continues, with the High Court upholding the Israeli state’s demand for Berlanty Azzam’s expulsion. Israel admits that it has no security concerns about her and that she was removed only because the address on her identity card is in Gaza.