This week’s

August 13, 2017
Sarah Benton


How tiny Israel can afford its outsized arsenal is usually answered by the American state department – another tranche of $billions. This week, August 7th-13th, 2017, thanks to Ali Abuminah who read the appropriate documents, we find that the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme to promote European technological innovation, has been bent to allow a substantial award to Israel’s arms company Elbit Systems on the basis of scientific sharing and co-operation. The information was extracted from the EC — not as unaccountable as Brexiteers assert — by French and Dutch Members of the European parliament:
EU funding for Israeli military

The UK’s place in this dishonourable world is as a supplier of WMD using British government ministers as their pimps. So when Kuwait invaded Iraq it provided, as then-PM Mrs. Thatcher, a great chance to to add British-made arsenals to the already highly over-armed and over-militarised Middle East, in this case the Arab Gulf states; which is OK for big brother USA who then can just allocate a few $billions more to Israel:
MidEast wars – great British business opportunity

The leaders of the USA and UK like to see their countries as a civilising, if highly militarised, force in contrast to, say, those street-fighting Palestinians. The delight in the success of the wholly non-violent Al Aqsa protest (see last week) continues. Mustafa Barghouti, interview by Palestine Monitor, also rejoices in the non-violence which he hopes will spread as the hegemonic form of protest. He disputes the claim that this was because of its religious leadership as, he says, secular and religious people worked together on the protest. Something to be celebrated:
Is non-violence a new, hopeful model?

Ahmad Melhem, in Al Monitor, is one of those who identify the religious nature and leadership of the Al Aqsa protest as the reason for the break with the tradition of violent resistance:
The religious govern Al-Aqsa crisis

Others might add that the non-violence is due to the fact that the defenders of Al Aqsa as a Muslim shrine on Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount are all women. The Murabitat (meaning the steadfast) are supporters of the Islamic Movement, whose northern branch is led by Sheikh Raed Salah. This fact is striking but was nowhere mentioned in the July 2017 coverage so we had to go back to find the information:
The women defenders of Al-Aqsa

Many commented on the fact that this protest was peaceful because neither Fatah nor Hamas had any significant role in it so keeping it free of factional conflict.

An important and challenging article by Hussein Agha and Ahmad Samih Khalidi in the New Yorker argues that Fatah at least (probably Hamas too) are stuck in an outmoded, failed and irrelevant form of resistance. The idea of an organised national liberation movement of Palestinians (under Fatah/Hamas leadership) has no takers. At the moment, the political energy goes into developing Palestinian national identity, not trying to force a negotiated solution to violence:
Can national liberation still be the Palestinian goal?

And still on non-violence, the premise of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement is that this is a peaceful way of pressing Israel (and its overseas supporters) to end its occupation and humiliation of Palestinians. The American response has been to introduce a bill making practising or arguing for boycott a criminal offence. Civil libertarians, such as ACLU, are steadfastly opposed:
Ban boycotts, ban free speech

It is quite extraordinary that a loose ‘movement’ which has apparently had no effect at all on Israeli trade should occasion such anger – or alarm – that the politicians of Israel and the USA are expending such effort and legislative time on trying to shrink/extirpate/outlaw this un-organised mass of free individuals.
American states mobilise for Israel

Presenting Israel as an oppressive state (like the US-sanctioned Russia) is a hard blow against Israel’s ontological character as ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’, a ‘beacon of light’, the ‘village in the jungle’. What is Israel without these morally uplifting, money-drawing epithets?

The image allows the presentation in the US congress of a bill to make practising or promoting BDS a criminal offence:
Ban boycotts, ban free speech

Led by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) there is strong opposition to this bill on the basis of the right to free speech.

According to an infographic from Visualising Palestine, there is no possibility of getting justice after IDF attacks on people and environment. This graphic sets out the steps:
Unpunishable killings

The Israeli historian Shlomo Sand, who renounced his Jewishness in 2014, fires a highly informative article at France’s new president. Emmanuel Macron made an excellent beginning – acknowledging French collusion in Reinhard Heydrich’s round-up of foreign Jews in France as the first step to extermination in Auschwitz of all Jews. Then having welcomed PM Netanyahu on a visit to France he said “Anti-Zionism is the reinvented form of anti-Semitism”. Sand can’t understand why such an intelligent, well-educated, man should say something so very a-historical and stupid:
M. le President – what of the anti-Zionist Jews?

Mitchell Plitnick is less pleased than many about the imminent retirement of PM Netanyahu because of corruption charges (it hasn’t happened yet). He argues that the Israeli PM has so changed the possibility of successful peace negotiations that no successor, however ardent for Palestinian/Israeli peace, will be able to achieve this:
Post-Bibi Possibilities

Netanyahu’s time in power may be coming to an end because the rich Americans (mostly) do not want to be embroiled in the tawdry business of corruption trials:
Wealthy backers desert Netanyahu

Sensing the possibility of his political demise, a rally of his fans was organised in Tel Aviv. By all accounts it was a scary occasion when supporters, feeling the ground pulled from under their feet, rounded on the left and the media – in their minds the same conspiracy:
Where Bibi has brought his people: “Death to journalists”

A man who was the opposite of tawdry is Reuven Moskovitz who, aged 82, joined the Jewish Boat to Gaza. The captain of the boat, Glyn Secker of JfJfP, writes a eulogy for this brave man and Holocaust survivor:
In Memoriam: Reuven Moskovitz

© Copyright JFJFP 2017