This week’s

September 10, 2017
Sarah Benton


This week, September 4th-10th, 2017 was, in Israel, another step towards the ousting of PM Netanyahu. The Attorney General announced he was investigating Mrs. Netanyahu’s misuse of public funds for private entertaining. Sara Netanyahu already has a bad reputation for lacking civility and honesty in her household management. She is referred to as Marie-Antoinette, the French queen who became a symbol of the excesses of the monarchy and thus helped bring about its overthrow:
Time called on venal royal reign

While Israelis may tolerate any amount of political, economic cruelty toward Palestinians an extravagant woman touches a different nerve. The royal couple may be overthrown.

An example of a dead nerve, of public indifference towards maltreatment of Palestinians was shown this week when B’Tselem’s director, Hagai El Ad, sent the PM a carefully referenced indictment of his policy towards Bedouin tribes:
This is a war crime Prime Minister

Al Jazeera reinforces B’Tselem’s indictment of policy toward Bedouin. The Israeli state is gradually stripping them all of the citizenship they thought they enjoyed as of right. No, it was a  mistake….:
Israel rendering Bedouin stateless

This is a fact that will delight Jewish Home, HaBayit HaYehudi, the main other party in the ruling Likud coalition. Ayelet Shaked is one of their MKs who got a government post, that of Justice minister. At a conference of the Israel Bar Association on August 28th she attacked the Supreme Court for not privileging Zionism and the country’s Jewish majority. And she has no inhibition in proposing an Arab-free Israel, possible because she states that Zionism should not ‘bow its head’ to international human rights law. She appals Daniel Blatman, a professor of modern history whose work is in line with ‘the new historians’:
Horrifying path of New Zionism

Anyone who has spent time on the political or trade union Left will recognise Gideon Levy’s argument in favour of MS Shaked. You know where you are with her and don’t have to waste time dealing with obstructive people hiding behind a mask of common sense. He is challenged by Ravit Hecht and this item is their debate:
Ayelet Shaked – the devil you know

Shaked was the last straw for B. Michael. Taken with the land-grab law – masked by its Orwellian new-speak title of ‘regularization’ law – the Israeli body politic has been irredeemably corrupted:
The rot spreads

Three bodies have a responsibility for the situation in Gaza – Israel, the Palestinian National Authority and Hamas. They all devote time and energy to doing each other down. Not one of them puts the welfare of Gaza Palestinians first. Only the NGOs speak freely – in this case Save the Children – about what can and should be done to stop Gaza sliding into the abyss:
The Gaza ghetto

The international reputation of the PA is low. Corruption and factionalism prevent good governance. But if you want the authority to crush Islamists and anti-Israel militants it’s the only body available. So the US’s counter-terrorism bureau has been advising it for some years on techniques of crippling ‘terrorists’. A useful rather than exciting document:
Hidden hand of US counter-terrorism guides PA

Perhaps the bureau should have briefed Congress on what they’re doing. A nasty little law – the Taylor Force Act –  has been passed which forbids the US from funding the PA as long as it continues what Americans call their ‘pay to slay’ policy. That’s their take on the fact that, of necessity, the PA pays stipends to the families of Palestinians who are killed when resisting Israeli forces. This is a symbolic victory for the Israel lobby:
A law to stop pensions to Palestinian families

Out of fear for their own survival, if or when Pres. Abbas resigns or dies, the clique fixed to him has begun arresting and intimidating journalists and anyone who puts up an irreverent comments on Facebook:
Abbas whacks people who put up snarky posts

A keen student of history and a leading intellectual on matters of racism Angela Davis sees the alikeness of Israel and the USA and their abused ethnic minorities, Palestinians and Native Americans, African Americans:
Angela Davis makes the Palestinian struggle hers

An anonymous American academic has also embraced the Palestinian need for human rights law to be applied. It seems like a personal journey story, which it is, but what she is learning is not about herself but about how Palestinians are bullied, excluded, monitored everywhere they go. Quoting James Baldwin she comments on Israelis’ “feigned ignorance” about the maltreatment which is enforced in their name:
Insisting on ‘innocence’

In contrast to the generous view of Anonymous, Zionist militant Gary C. Gambill, a specialist in Arab affairs, describes how he revolted against the pro-Palestinian position he had held in his youth. Propelling him on his personal journey was the discovery that some pro-Palestinians liken Netanyahu to Hitler. This is usually a very small contingent but one that has to be argued with for its sheer ignorance and stupidity. To blame them for turning you into a Zionist does not seem credible:
What made me a hardline Zionist

As so many have said, support for the 2-state solution has weakened if not disappeared. Various forms of federation/confederation are being proposed instead. The very senior intelligence analyst on middle eastern affairs, Dr. Emile Nakhleh, proposes that the whole territory should be divided into cantons:
For an Israel-Palestine of cantons

And here is an example of either pointless Israeli bureaucracy or a serious effort to force Palestinians to move out – Amira Hass discovers that the rules on Palestinians’ spouses have changed making it next to impossible for the wife/husband of a West Bank Palestinian to get the visa they need in order to live with their spouse:
New rules split Palestinians from foreign spouses

© Copyright JFJFP 2017