The week in brief 29th March-4th April – a summary of recent postings

April 4, 2010
Richard Kuper

jfjfpThings may have wound down a little for passover but it was a good time for reflection – see the pieces by Arik Asherman of Rabbis for Human Rights (linked to in our pesach greetings), the Magnes Zionist, Sam Bahour and Akiva Eldar (reworking the ninth plague);  and David Landau, former editor of the English-language Haaretz shows how, “Since last Passover, over the first year of Benjamin Netanyahu’s prime ministership, Israel has slid almost inadvertently a long way down the slope that leads to McCarthyism and racism..

Will Israel attack Iran? Judging by the flurry of articles on the topic one may fear the answer might well be yes – though Uri Avnery’s contribution is a resounding rejection of the idea. Two contributions focus specifically on the nuclear imbalance in the Middle East, and Richard Silverstein takes a broad view in a half-an-hour video broadcast in the States.

A fair amount of activity is reported on the BDS front: Swedish pension funds have followed those of Norway in divesting from the occupation; the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, in partnership with the TUC, and War on Want are promoting campaigns to get supermarkets to stop selling settlement produce, campaigns that JfJfP endorses. Students at Berkeley voted to divest from the occupation, in particular from two American companies, General Electric and United Technologies, that are “materially and militarily supporting the Israeli government’s occupation of the Palestinian territories”; their President took it upon himself to veto the decision and it will be reconsidered soon. Noami Klein argues in its support.And supporters of any boycott, divestment or sanctions against Israel are being branded as ‘delegitimisers’, in a coordinated campaign to delegitimate the current campaign. British MPS want to ensure that, since British arms appear ‘almost certainly’ to have been used in the war on Gaza, it does not happen again…

Two analyses of Gaza: Yezid Sayigh looks at how Hamas has managed to consolidate its control over Gaza and to maintain its domestic legitimacy while Husam Zomlot analyses the reasons for the current deadlock over Gaza’s desperately needed reconstruction.

Finally: Louis Fankenthaler of Pcati, writes about making sense of Israel to himself as well as to others; research suggests that the BBC’s Arabic coverage is not objective; a map shows how recent is the expanded terrain of Jerusalem, supposedly Israel’s ‘eternal and united’ capital. And Ramzy Baroud will be speaking at a public meeting organised jointly by JfJfP and the Jewish Socialists’ Group.

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