Is the time right for a palace revolution?

ActivismIsrael/Palestine
on 18 Comments

This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.

First it’s the infiltrators. They need to be thrown in the sea. Instead, they’re marching in Tel Aviv. Now it’s the inciters. The inciter’s crime? Living in their own land.

How dare Africans demonstrate for their right to live free of harassment!

How dare Palestinians incite against those who continue to steal their land!

Infiltrating Africans and inciting Palestinians are joined at the hip.

Now comes the Israeli peace offering to transfer hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens out of Israel – coupled with the demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

So much for a fresh start in the New Year.

Israel has always believed it can wait out the Arabs, the Europeans, the United Nations and the Americans. In 2014, the supposed year of decision, Israel will redouble its efforts to wait it out.

So far Israel is right. Time has been on Israel’s side.

BDS moves steadily along. I was a serious doubter at first. And, sure, not every motive is pure. BDS operates like any political movement. Sometimes mutual interest makes for strange alliances.

BDS’s silence about Jewish particularity is troubling but, then, Israel has permanently damaged the possibility of arguing Jewishness in a positive way. In 2014, negative attitudes toward Israel – and Jews – will increase. The idea in progressive quarters that Zionism and Judaism – or Jews and Israel – can be finely distinguished is an idea not a reality.

Yesterday, the large Dutch pension fund, PGGM, removed its funds from Israeli banks because of the banking system’s involvement with the occupation. The BDS movement continues to pick up steam. Look for yet more BDS victories in 2014.

The question before BDS is whether there is an occupation tipping point. If so, Israel would have to admit defeat and withdraw at least to all the places it now controls. That is, Israel will get everything it has but will be unable to get everything it wants. Whether BDS can get what Palestinians need is debatable.

Yes, shades of the Rolling Stones who, rumor has it, may play Israel this summer. Millions of dollars are at stake for the Stones. Having recently read a biography of Mick Jagger, I’m not sure he can look a million dollar gift horse in the mouth and turn away.

Will Israel get what it needs this year? Time is what it needs. And even though John Kerry travels Super 1st Class, you’d think he’s tired of being humiliated by Benjamin Netanyahu. He just left Israel without even detailing his “framework agreement,” already a downgrade from a “permanent agreement,” itself a downgrade from the initially announced “urgency” of the situation.

Time is factoring in once again. But no one really knows for sure.

As the Stones sing it, Kerry – but Netanyahu and Abbas as well – are “practiced in the art of deception.”

Jagger was once a street fighting man. I think the Stones should go to Israel, pocket their millions, and midway through the concert announce their support for BDS, donate a million to the cause, then continue on with the show.

Think the time is right for a palace revolution?

About Marc H. Ellis

Marc H. Ellis is retired Director and Professor of Jewish Studies at Baylor University and author of Burning Children: A Jewish View of the War in Gaza which can be found at www.newdiasporabooks.com

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18 Responses

  1. hophmi
    January 9, 2014, 10:40 am

    “Infiltrating Africans and inciting Palestinians are joined at the hip.”

    No, they aren’t. Not when there is similar rhetoric about third-world immigrants across Europe. These are two completely different issues. Conflating them is disingenuous.

    “BDS’s silence about Jewish particularity is troubling but, then, Israel has permanently damaged the possibility of arguing Jewishness in a positive way.”

    Really? How? Would you say that terrorism has permanently damaged the possibility of arguing Islam in a positive way? Would you say that Stalinist Russia permanently damaged the possibility of arguing atheism in a positive way?

    “Yesterday, the large Dutch pension fund, PGGM, removed its funds from Israeli banks because of the banking system’s involvement with the occupation. The BDS movement continues to pick up steam. Look for yet more BDS victories in 2014.”

    Look for the number of Americans supporting the Palestinian cause to remain stagnant.

    ” I think the Stones should go to Israel, pocket their millions, and midway through the concert announce their support for BDS, donate a million to the cause, then continue on with the show.”

    I think you should go to Israel, give a lecture, and halfway through, announce your support for the two-state solution.

  2. seafoid
    January 9, 2014, 10:42 am

    I have no sympathy for the devils in the IDF Kirya.

    As for BDS, Woo hoo.

  3. bilal a
    January 9, 2014, 10:52 am

    BDS hasnt reached sandy hook yet:

    The idea for the Newtown grove grew from a request made by Veronique Pozner, whose son, Noah, was the only Jewish victim of the shooting at the Connecticut school. Pozner said memorial contributions could be directed toward the planting of trees in Israel.

    Read more: link to jta.org

    • ritzl
      January 9, 2014, 11:07 am

      As seafoid says, you just can’t make this stuff up.

      Memorialize your murdered son by helping to ensure that other people’s sons (and daughters, and wives, and husbands, etc.) will be murdered in the pursuit of Israel’s “land for trees” process.

      I wish there was a kind, gentle way to break it to this lady, but there isn’t. It’s still an opportunity for stark education.

      • Donald
        January 9, 2014, 11:30 am

        “I wish there was a kind, gentle way to break it to this lady, but there isn’t. It’s still an opportunity for stark education.”

        One can go after Israeli racism, the Jewish National Fund, and how tree planting has been used to hide Palestinian villages without involving a mother’s misguided choice on how to memorialize her murdered child. I’d stay away from this “opportunity for stark education”.

      • seafoid
        January 9, 2014, 12:43 pm

        “Pozner said memorial contributions could be directed toward the planting of trees in Israel.”

        Israel doesn’t need trees. It needs mind opening.

      • ritzl
        January 9, 2014, 12:51 pm

        I understand the sensitivities, Donald, as I understand the sensitivities of the last/next murdered Palestinian’s family. The question is how much harshness is fair in an effort to break the cycle.

        You’re probably right in that she should be allowed her particular expression of grief, but the question, and the cycle, remains.

      • Donald
        January 9, 2014, 1:06 pm

        “The question is how much harshness is fair in an effort to break the cycle.”

        Quite a bit of harshness is fair. The JNF is a deplorable organization and if someone were supporting it under any other circumstance they should be told in no uncertain terms what they’re supporting. It’s just this particular case I’d keep my mouth shut. In almost any other circumstance people should be coming down on the JNF like a ton of bricks.

      • American
        January 9, 2014, 1:11 pm

        ” a mother’s misguided choice on how to memorialize her murdered child”…donald

        Most people looking at this would consider it somewhat ‘inappropiate” to memoralize the “Newtown” tragedy by planting trees in the foreign country of Israel.

      • ToivoS
        January 10, 2014, 1:43 am

        This mother’s effort to memorialize her son’s death in Connecticut by giving money to JNF’s efforts seize more land for Israeli colonist certainly has precedence. The Nazi instigated holocaust is without doubt a reality. Therefore, the Palestinians must pay for this crime that happened in Europe. They continue to pay to this day even though they had nothing to do withe the European Holocaust. It is only natural, I guess, that a psychotic in Connecticut that killed a first grade class should be punished by stealing even more land from the Palestinians.

        This is just too weird. But that is the way of 21st century Zionism.

    • pabelmont
      January 9, 2014, 11:08 am

      I don’t suppose he meant (or could be construed to have meant) planting olive trees to replace Palestinian-owned trees removed by Israel, did he?

    • Chu
      January 9, 2014, 11:30 am

      Hey Folks, for only 18 dollars you can help to legitimize the illegal occupation and continued occupation. Act now by purchasing one of our fine trees
      and you’ll instantly start feeling better about the Sandy Hook massacre nearly one ocean away… I can’t believe people participate in such a trick.

    • W.Jones
      January 9, 2014, 1:58 pm

      S.H. was odd to begin with.

  4. Citizen
    January 9, 2014, 12:35 pm

    The history of this American blank check to rogue Israel goes back far, try 1963 when the Beatles and Rolling Stones were on the cusp of fame:

    link to antiwar.com

  5. amigo
    January 9, 2014, 1:43 pm

    ” Having recently read a biography of Mick Jagger, I’m not sure he can look a million dollar gift horse in the mouth and turn away.” Marc Ellis.

    Not sure how credible the source below is but they cite Jagger,s wealth at 305 million dollars.

    I cannot see Jagger worrying about dropping a million if he is pro human rights.

    Besides he can get that money playing elsewhere so the loss would be minimal if any at all.

    link to celebritynetworth.com

  6. ritzl
    January 9, 2014, 5:16 pm

    The distinction between Jews writ large and Israel is glaring and easily recognizable, despite Israel’s (or BIG-ZION, as pbelmont says) best efforts to contrive it to be otherwise.

    Where does this come from, as definitive statement?

    …. The idea in progressive quarters that Zionism and Judaism – or Jews and Israel – can be finely distinguished is an idea not a reality.

    This site is a stellar example of this persistent distinguish-ability. As are JVP, BTselem, ICAHD, and many, many more, named and unnamed, small and large, here and in Israel.

    If most people, Jews and non Jews, subscribe to the blockquoted contention, the coercive and destructive forces in/supporting Israel have won. Pack it up. But we’re not there, and will not get there.

  7. DICKERSON3870
    January 9, 2014, 5:18 pm

    RE: “Israel has always believed it can wait out the Arabs, the Europeans, the United Nations and the Americans. In 2014, the supposed year of decision, Israel will redouble its efforts to wait it out.” ~ Marc Ellis

    FROM ALISTAIR CROOKE, London Review of Books, 03/03/11:

    [EXCERPT] . . . Israel’s vice-premier, Moshe Ya’alon, was candid when asked in an interview this year: ‘Why all these games of make-believe negotiations?’ He replied:
    Because … there are pressures. Peace Now from within, and other elements from without. So you have to manoeuvre … what we have to do is manoeuvre with the American administration and the European establishment, which are nourished by Israeli elements [and] which create the illusion that an agreement can be reached … I say that time works for those who make use of it. The founders of Zionism knew … and we in the government know how to make use of time.

    SOURCE – link to lrb.co.uk

  8. SQ Debris
    January 10, 2014, 3:01 pm

    Time to plaster the Stones facebook page with Don’t Entertain Apartheid messages. There are enough people on this list to at least rattle the cage.

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