The week in brief, 3rd-9th May – a summary of recent postings

May 9, 2010

jfjfpIn briefest: a worsening of the repressive realities on the ground in Israel and the occupied territory, and growing fears of the effects of Israeli repression and policy generally on Jewish communities worldwide…

The week saw the arrest of Ameeer Makhoul,  General Director of Ittijah, a Palestinian-Israeli NGO network holding special consultative status at the UN, and a gag order on groups in Israel reporting it; new evidence suggests that General Daniel Almog, Israel’s Gaza commander at the time, was implicated in a cover-up of the circumstances of Rachel Corrie’s murder; and an attack and vandalism of Rabbi Lerner’s house as he and Tikkun staff received hate mail, prompted apparently by their reporting on the South African barred-mitzvah-gate affair of Judge Goldstone.  On that front, there was a dignified response from Justice Goldstone: “It would have been hypocritical for me not to speak out about Israeli violations of international law simply because I am Jewish…” And the split within the South African Jewish community is echoed in other Jewish communities.

Carol Strenger blogs in Haaretz: “Diaspora Jews around the world are realizing the time has come to reject the right’s dictate that being pro-Israel means that you need to support the policies of Israeli governments, no matter what they do…”. And Paul Vitello writes of Jews in the US: “The questions that Jews are now facing are rooted not in being for or against Israel, but in the shadings of difference over how to achieve peace, and the complexities of the relationship between Israel — a state whose government is now dominated by nationalist and ultrareligious politicians — and the predominantly liberal-leaning and secular base of Jewish support in the United States…”  Tony Klug has revised his Limmud talk Are Israeli Policies Entrenching Anti-Semitism Worldwide? first published on this website in January 2010. The Tikkun website also carries an hour-long audio interview with him.

Uri Avnery chose this week to highlight the grotesque venality and greed that surrounds Israel’s occupation.

Hasan Abu-Libdeh, Palestinian Authority Minister of National Economy writes in support of the Palestinian campaign against settlement produce; and Jerry Haber finds that discrimination against Palestinian citizens in Israel is ‘foundational’, flowing from the assumptions of the Jewish ethnic state established in 1948 against the will of the native Arab population.

By the time you read this Israel may – or may not – have become a full member of the OECD. Simon Mohun & Avi Shlaim give the case against.

Earlier this year, British journalist Paul Martin was held for 26 days in a Gaza gaol – for having appeared as a witness in a court case. He speaks movingly of his experiences …

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