The week in brief 22-28 March – a summary of recent postings


March 28, 2010
Richard Kuper

jfjfpThe ongoing conflict between the US and Israel continues to dominate. Two JNews postings on East Jerusalem give the background to it; while Crisis? What Crisis? This Crisis? give an overview of responses in the English-language Israeli press: Haaretz, Ynet – Yediot Ahranot online – & the Jerusalem Post. A Guardian editorial takes a firm line on Israel following the cloning of twelve UK passports and Israel’s intransigence on house construction in Jerusalem. And in The Doomsday Weapon, Uri Avnery commented on Israel’s relationship with Obama with characteristic incisiveness.

In A view from Cairo Ezzedine Choukri Fishere, professor of international politics at the American University in Cairo, asks why EU policy towards Israel has failed so badly.  EU supreme Cathy Ashton’s shock is palpable in an op-ed she wrote for the International Herald Tribune after her visit to Gaza. And JfJfP sent an Open letter to David Miliband calling for no upgrading of relationships between the EU and Israel until human rights and democratic principles are consistently upheld.

Nor is all well internally in the ‘Jewish and democratic state’:

* Ben White documents the prosecution of Arab Members of Knesset in Israel and suggests it is closer to persecution;
* Adalah’s “Targeted citizen”, a 15-minute film about Palestinian citizens of Israel, highlights the discrimination built into the system;
* an article in Ha’aretz reports the claim that ‘Current Knesset is the most racist in Israeli history’; and
* Sderot is reported to be tottering on the brink of bankruptcy – because the flow of charitable donations to the municipality has ceased together with the flow of the Qassam rockets…

Diana Mason is in good form in her posting Tell Me Again, Who Made The Desert Bloom? on the Lawrence of Cyberia website: In December 1945 and January 1946, the British Mandate authorities carried out an extensive survey of Palestine which gives quite specific answers as to who really made the barley fields of Beersheba bloom, or the melon patches of Jaffa, or the tobacco fields of Safad, or […]

A range of civil-society organisation in Gaza sent An open letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon urging him “to bring to bear on Israel the full force of your mandate to open the borders of Gaza to allow the import of building materials as well as all the other requirements for decent living conditions for us, the besieged Palestinians of Gaza”.

An official UN body has determined for the first time that the militarization of Israel’s government-run school system is in violation of the International Convention of the Rights of the Child.

An interview with Tony Judt includes interesting reflexions on Israel-Palestine.

And Ivor Dembina performed his stand-up in parliament to great acclaim.

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