This week’s

June 18, 2017
Sarah Benton


This week, June 12-18th 2017, we have a mix of constant themes in the work of JfJfP and one-off articles which are reposted here because of their insight and perception which may change how you think of something.

First in this latter category is political analyst and intellectual, Professor Oren Yiftachel. Regular readers may remember Yiftachel’s ability to recognise and name new developments in Israeli society. Here he argues that the political power of the settlers, and the compliance of the state, means they have ‘annexed’ Israel from the oPt:
Having laid the foundation for an Arab-free state…

It’s an excellent if unnerving read. Robert Cohen usually delivers a unique take on politics and Jewish affairs in Britain. And does so again in his remarks on Balfour100 ‘the official tribute of the British Jewish community marking the centenary of the Balfour Declaration’. It has a large following of Christian Zionists. To set off all that ignorant self-congratulation there is, he says, a ‘Walk to Jerusalem’ organised by the Amos Trust:
Balfour100: celebrate the ‘wrong sort of Jew’

Philip Weiss is one of those who are the ‘wrong sort of Jew’. In an essay written after his most recent visit to Israel he describes how hopelessly intractable the Palestine-Israel conflict seems today. Racism is a far more potent force as is the fear that racism engenders in those who feel it:
Fear drives all Israelis

A major cultural event in London is the opening of the Palestine Expo 2017 at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre on 8-9 July. This has made the fear-stricken hate-mongers froth at the mouth – for of course all Palestinians are sub-human terrorists. Amongst the complainants is the 2015 body, Jewish Human Rights Watch, who wrote to the QE2 Centre demanding the ‘cancellation of a terror-linked event’ which is ‘entirely in line with British concerns about radical and terrorist ideologies, anti-Semitism, and international terrorism’. Their evidence consists entirely of libellous character assassinations:
London Palestine expo slandered by Israel loyalists

There now exist many serious, well-researched reports on the impossibility of living in the Gaza Strip. These act as an enticement to the Israeli government and the Palestinian National Authority to further deprive Palestinians in Gaza of the necessities of human life including fresh water and fuel. These measures are designed to kill off the authority of Hamas. They are not working. They are a cruel, illegal form of collective punishment. It is inflicted by both Israel and the Palestinian National Authority:
No electricity brings Gaza to the boil

That was the first posting this week. The last is a desperate appeal by MAP to all state authorities to intervene to stop an anti-human disaster in Gaza. Petition to sign:
The impending humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza

There seems there is no price to pay for bullying the weakest body in the MidEast. Someone other than the perpetrators will, they hope, step in to save their faces. In this case it is WHO:
Gaza carries the can for power owners

The man who created Jewish Human Rights Watch through which he threatens any body which hosts a Palestinian event is Emmanuel Weiss.  Mr. Weiss is very rich and a patron of Michael Gove. David Cronin reveals that Mr. Gove is a zealous supporter of all things Israeli in line with his most powerful patron, the billionaire Rupert Murdoch. What in this, if anything, explains Mr. Gove’s leadership of the Leave campaign?
Murdoch’s man in government

Both Mr Gove and his leader, Mrs May, are suckers for the Christian Zionist approach to Middle East history. The British PM has plucked her prop from Northern Ireland – the Democratic Unionist Party founded by  Protestant fundamentalist Ian Paisley in 1971. Protestant fundamentalists tend to be great admirers of Israel and see the country as fulfilling God’s will:
May plucks her mate from Ulster bible belt

The ‘advance’ of Israel from merely having a right-wing government to being a country outside the norms of democratic states is discussed by several. As well as Oren Yiftachel (see above), Chemi Shalev has written a jeremiad on the effect on Israeli politics of the Jewish Home party. Its little-noticed incremental steps towards excluding anyone to the left of them from positions of influence has reached critical mass:
Hunting the enemies within

Incremental steps to the sinking of Israel’s democracy have also been taken by PM Netanyahu and strategic affairs minister Gilad Erdan in their measures to exclude all NGOs from a role in Israel’s public life:
Bibi aims to cut funds to NGOs and stop them taking up Palestinian rights

One of the most important NGOs for Palestinian rights has been Yesh Din, volunteers for human rights who have had some success in presenting court cases for Palestinian rights to their land. One of Yesh Din’s founders was Ruth Kedar. In this Independent article she describes how she moved from a conformist life to a state of horror at her state’s land grabs in what she calls:
‘Robbery that is devoid of shame’

Fifteen years ago there was a panel discussion at Chicago university on the difference between antisemitism and criticism of Israel. Today the readiness to crack down on any criticism of Israel as ‘antisemitic’ makes the reposting of this article of more than academic interest:
Against antisemitism, against Israeli policy

Entirely new on the MidEast scene is the Saudi-led Sunni coalition for ? and against ? It’s not entirely clear. The exclusion of Qatar, one of the main funders of Palestine (including Hamas) seems to begin with the ‘love-fest’ between Pres. Trump and Saudi monarch, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Despite well-established links between members of the Saudi elite and armed groups (=terrorists), the point seems to be to punish Qatar for its closeness to Iran, the enemy which unites king and president:
Saudi hypocrisy on armed groups

The term ‘love-fest’ comes from Yossi Alpher, an Israeli who has held many senior positions in Israeli security agencies. He writes regularly for Americans for Peace Now. He attributes the current instability in alliances not just to the president and the king but also to the PM’s machinations:
The games Netanyahu plays

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