Hatim Kanaaneh reflects on the recent Israeli election and strains to find optimism in what he sees as a rising tide of fascism in the country: “It is my belief that the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel has a mission it cannot shirk: forcing true democracy on the Jewish majority that continues to slide down the slippery slope of racism. It is our ordained destiny, it seems, to save Israel from its the-whole-world-is-against-us paranoia. It is our role to coax Israel it back from its Masada Complex stand. We have little choice but to fulfill this impossible mission; the alternative is too bleak to contemplate.”
Monthly Archives: March 2015
Prof. Johan Galtung proposes a region-wide solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: “A genuine approach to peace would exclude all talk of the USA as a dispassionate honest “broker” and engage in Israel & Palestine negotiations by honestly: Pointing out that USA & Israel are in alignment on almost everything but the settlements, and working on how to integrate Israel into a regional community with its five Arab border states and the states bordering on the latter.”
Prime Minister elect Benjamin Netanyahu recently issued an apology to “Israeli Arabs” for his outlandishly racist Election Day remarks that “Arabs voters are going to the polls en masse.” Netanyahu chose to render his apology to a crowd of elderly men rather than the 12 recently elected Palestinian Arabs from the Joint List that actually represent the majority of the country’s Arabic speaking population. His message? Palestinians seeking genuine representation and influence in the body politic are not welcome.
With less than a week before the March 31 deadline to finalize the outlines of a nuclear deal, the relative positions of Iran and the Western powers are coming into focus. Israel sees its regional nuclear monopoly hanging in the balance and has sent a national security delegation to Paris to influence the negotiations. Meanwhile, the nascent U.S.-Israel breach continues to widen, as anonymous White House sources accuse Benjamin Netanyahu of using information obtained through espionage to lobby Congress against a deal.
Boldly defying the U.S., the international community, and the Palestinian people, Netanyahu said in the clearest terms possible, “If I am elected there will be no Palestinian state.” What Netanyahu stated publicly is what has been true of all of Israel’s prime ministers, whether from the left, the center, or the right. For the past 22 years, all have been lying and misleading the world, pretending to seek peace with the Palestinians while pursuing policies to ensure there will never be peace and never be a Palestinian state. The irony is that the greatest of all these liars is the one who finally told the truth and we should thank him for it.
The Adelson primary is afoot! The race among Republican presidential hopefuls to get money from the leading backer of Republican candidates, Sheldon Adelson. Jeb Bush says Obama is anonymously insulting Israeli leaders. “This is no way to treat an ally.”
At least 30 children across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, sustained gunshot wounds when Israeli forces used live ammunition to quash protests during the first three months of 2015. While none of the incidents resulted in death, the live bullets left several children in a critical condition.
Israeli PM Netanyahu’s dismissal of the two-state solution in the last days of the election campaign in Israel is having a huge and beneficial effect on the discussion of the conflict inside the United States. President Obama has taken Netanyahu at his word and says there will be no two-state solution for “several years.” He seems to be doing what many on the US left are doing: preparing Americans to think about what one state looks like.
While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in the final hours of forming a ruling coalition to lead the country, the Joint List is organizing a mass march. Unrecognized villagers will camp and walk their way to Israel’s seat of government, all while their party’s leadership is tightening ties with presumed opposition heads in the Zionist Camp.
“We’re not going to solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem this morning,” WNYC public radio host Brian Lehrer told listeners Monday at the close of his all-Jewish discussion with NY Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren and Time columnist Joe Klein about the Netanyahu victory aftermath. They might have come a little closer if his guests had included a Palestinian instead of two Zionists. Klein called Netanyahu’s race-baiting Election Day speech “beyond tragic. It is shameful and embarrassing.” Unknowingly, he nails it. For liberal Zionists, it’s not the tragedy of generations of Palestinians exiled, slaughtered or marginalized because powerful outsiders claim their land—it’s the shame and embarrassment of those who have to reconcile their support for all of that with their liberal self-image.
Rightwing Jewish supporters of Israel came out for a Ted Cruz fundraiser last night in NY, helping him to raise $500,000 on the day he announced for the presidency. Cruz takes an “unapologetic” stance in support of Israel.
In 1967, American Jews fell in love with Israel and made a solemn promise to protect the country through thick and thin. Nearly fifty years later the same community is reconsidering that vow. What we are seeing is a transfer of power from the Israeli Jewish community to the Diaspora Jewish community that Benjamin Netanyahu failed to anticipate even as he precipitated it.
Jodi Rudoren’s advocacy piece for Benjamin Netanyahu against a “harsh…disrespectful… patronizing” President Obama might have been her application for an interview with the PM, but why did the Times run this assault on US policy at the top of the front page? The lobby is embedded in our political culture.
In a review of S. Yizhar’s novel Khirbet Khizeh in the NYT, Dexter Filkins uses words like herded, roundup, evacuate, left, fled, deport, leave, to describe the expulsion of the Palestinians in 1948. These words wash over the devastating reality of the Nakba.
Big Jewish donors who support the settlement project in Israel have influenced the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton and major Jewish organizations– surprisingly frank comments by the New York Times and young leaders at J Street’s conference.
IMEMC reports: Masked Israeli settlers from the illegal settlement of Ma’on, south of Hebron, threw stones at Palestinian children and injured a six-year-old child, Saturday.
Yitzhak Herzog ran scared in the Israeli election. He did not bring up the Palestinian issue, and Netanyahu did, defining the debate in a rightwing manner. Herzog’s failure of leadership reflects his fear of fascist elements in his own society
“Massachusetts see the light. Water is a human right!” On Friday, March 20, more than 30 protesters gathered outside the headquarters of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to protest the Israel-Massachusetts Innovative Water Partnership. Demonstrators urged the Commonwealth not to be complicit with Israel’s theft of Palestinian water and policies that have been widely denounced as ‘Water Apartheid.’
Bill Maher says that if the U.S. was in Israel’s position it wouldn’t let Palestinians vote and would maybe “round them up and put them in camps”
Jimmy Carter got exiled for calling Israel an apartheid state 9 years ago. Today Yousef Munayyer, Rula Jebreal and Jim Besser all call Israel that, in the ‘NYT’ and ‘CNN’ and ‘Haaretz’, and there is little resistance. Thanks to Netanyahu.
In a stunning 2-1 decision the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a discriminatory 2011 ruling in favor of King County Metro Transit’s refusal to run Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) bus ads “Israeli War Crimes: Your Tax Dollars at Work,” in violation of SeaMAC’s 1st amendment right to free speech.
On March 19, representatives from Zochrot and BADIL, two groups working for Palestinian refugee rights, spoke at an Upper West Side church about the Nakba. It was the latest talk put on by the Nakba Education Project, a new initiative trying to bring the roots of the Israel/Palestine conflict to Americans around the country. The speakers say the right of return is the most critical issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank writes an important piece saying that Israel needs to exist because his daughter might some day need to be hidden from Nazis in the U.S. This belief, at the core of US Zionism, needs to be debated.
AFP reports: President Barack Obama on Thursday warned Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu that Washington will “re-assess” its policies after the prime minister’s election win called into question crucial US diplomatic cover for Israel at the UN
Something has changed inside Israel for its Palestinian citizens. The hard data is revealing: voter turnout by Palestinian citizens of Israel jumped by 10% from the last election and in the Joint Arab List’s party leader’s home district it was nearly an unheard of 80%. The joint list is full of fresh faces with seven first time Knesset member, two women, five communists, two national democrats, two Islamist, one Christian and one Israeli-Jew. Meet the next Knesset members from the Joint Arab List.