The big story of the week was the Gaza Freedom Flotilla – though you wouldn’t have known it until the last minute if your only source of information was the British media. Eight large boats and with more than 10,000 tonnes of supplies, including water-filtration units and pre-fabricated homes, have caused a near panic reaction in Israel. More than anything else, it has brought home the sheet cruelty as well as illegality of Israel’s policy toward Gaza, with Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, reiterating a call for an immediate end to Israel’s blockade. As this summary was being prepared there was as yet no news as to the fate of the convoy…
Within Israel itself, rampant self-righteousness is combining with a deep vengefulness. The Gaza flotilla is in the words of the Israeli Foreign Ministry ‘a violation of international law’! The Knesset is considering a series of five laws, proposed by right-wing party Israel Beiteinu, nicknamed the ‘loyalty=citizenship laws’. Palestinian Israeli activist, Ameer Makhoul, has been charged with espionage – apparently having been tortured for ten days first. Israeli activist in the South Hebron hills, Ezra Nawi, has been goaled and would appreciate letters of support. And Israel is a rage with the Palestinian Authority and making all kinds of threats because of its call for a boycott of settlement goods.
The Guardian reports that “Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of the state’s possession of nuclear weapons…” and is standing by its story despite Israeli denials. There is yet more on the vilification of Goldstone, which has stressed, once again, the clear and close links between the Israeli and the apartheid regimes.
Ben White calls into question the “peace process” which he says as “heading increasingly swiftly towards its ultimate demise…” Uri Avnery is more sanguine and thinks there can still be hope from the Obama administration.
The liberal US Jewish “Daily Forward” carried an informed and interesting overview of calls for a cultural boycott of Israel, following Elvis Costello’s decision not to go.
And, in the midst of it all, don’t forget the Palestinian Summer Celebration 2010 which gives you the chance to enjoy Palestine and learn from the Palestinians.