There was a hope in our busy office that some weeks might be Trump-free. But this week, November 27th – December 3rd, 2017, he’s making his presence felt all over the place.
First, the five ‘dissident Jewish groups’, JfJfP, Jewish Voice for Labour – JVL, Independent Jewish Voices – IJV, Jewish Socialists’ Group and Free Speech On Israel – FSoI, have joined together in a call for the state visit to the UK by Pres. Trump to be cancelled. So poisonous are his views that only ill can come of it:
Five Jewish groups say ‘No state visit for Trump’
The POTUS has repeated his campaign promise that the US embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv – where all other embassies are based. This seems to be the influence of PM Netanyahu though it is the Israeli PM who will have to bear the consequences – very angry Palestinians – not the president:
Trump scorns diplomacy on Jerusalem
Palestinian leaders are in a flurry of lobbying to get international support against Trump’s will. Does the president not have a wise and experienced voice telling him this will be a bad move. No. His secretary of State Rex Tillerson has no authority in the White House. The reasons why are in an excoriating article by Jack Beauchamp in Vox:
Trump invites hit-back if moves embassy to Jerusalem
For once there is a serious, if flawed, intra-Jewish debate about antisemitism and anti-Zionism in Britain. The flaw is the three Jewish writers, two of them historians, who chose to launch an attack on the Labour party and antisemitism. They are historians! They are supposed to base judgments on evidence. Instead, Howard Jacobson, Simon Schama and Simon Sebag Montefiore write a letter of protest about Labour antisemitism (disguised as anti-Zionism) citing no evidence, relying on right-wing anti-Corbyn sources. In the professional lives of the two historians they would never accept this as evidence.
Fortunately professor of modern history (and JfJfP signatory) Donald Sassoon uses history to refute their argument:
Zionist three lack accuracy and integrity
Plus notes from the postings editor on their claim that since AD70 Jews have longed to return to their homeland. So why didn’t they?
In rhetoric, Israel is the homeland of all Jews and the myth (which does not mean untruth) is that any Jew who immigrates to Israel is ‘returning’, exercising their right in the Law of Return. In fact, many Jews are rebuffed – they are not the right sort of Jew, they lack the documentation…Many Jews in the ‘diaspora’ reject the idea of their ‘right to return’. A new group, OneJJ, has started a register of all who reject the ‘Law of Return’. (No Palestinian has a ‘right of return’.) You can sign up for this register at:
Not a right and not a return
As we have posted on several occasions there are growing tensions between Israel (Orthodox) and American Jews (largely reform). That has been deepened by a number of issues including Netanyahu’s embrace of Pres. Trump. Very few American Jews voted for Trump seeing him as inimical to all their values. Perhaps, for the first time, American Jews will more loudly and formally develop their own Jewish culture/rituals and ignore Israel:
Deep schism between Israel and American Jewry
Here is an insoluble contradiction. Most American Jews continue to declare their loyalty to Israel but they don’t agree with most Israeli policies – the manifestation of what Israel has become. This not a stable situation:
‘Pro-Israel’ but against all its policies
Now to a subject which Israel really can’t defend. Bedouin Arabs, from the Negev to Galilee, have travelled through and settled in what is now Israel (most Bedouin are Israeli citizens). Their presence is a running sore in Israel’s side. The vast Israeli bureaucracy determines that every time they settle somewhere, eg the Jordan Valley, their buildings are demolished (they have no planning permission to live where they live) stupidly creating another pool of homeless, right-less, Palestinians.
Demolition orders against Bedouin villages
The dreaded bureaucracy again manifests itself in Jerusalem city planning. As the over-riding aim of the planners is to ensure a Jewish majority in Jerusalem the problem of homelessness amongst Palestinians is growing fast. This is their home where Israeli bureaucracy will not allow them to live:
Smash and grab, Jerusalem housing policy
Israel has existed long enough for, admirably, its state archives to be made public. One revelation is that Mizrahi Jews – persuaded to immigrate to Israel as evidence Israel was the state for all Jews – were dumped in the low-amenity ‘peripheral towns’. This makes the profound racism in Israel set in concrete. Mossi Raz, MK from Meretz, has raised this in the Knesset. Labour and Yesh Atid walked away:
State racism to Mizrahi Jews
In another release from state archives (see above) we learn that PM Levi Eshkol, after the 6-day war, had no idea what to do with the Egyptians they had captured. Taking revenge is not required by the laws of war. But as the victorious nation in 1967 Egypt was the only country he thought he could damage:
Israel at a loss with what do with ’67 victory
Not only are Jews the only people allowed to immigrate into Israel (the Thai workers brought in have no rights) but many of those Jews fail to meet the criteria laid down by the Chief Rabbis:
Airport operates selection of the fittest policy
Bedouin people are mostly citizens of Israel because they were the main indigenous group in pre-Israel Palestine. So what? They are confined to the peripheral towns where there are limited amenities and they face serious racism from the Israeli Jews in that area:
Demolition orders against Bedouin villages
And more besides.