Monthly Archives: May 2015
Haaretz reports: President Reuven Rivlin yesterday described academic boycotts against Israel as a “strategic threat of the first order.” During a discussion of the issue at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, the chairman of the Council of Presidents of Israeli Universities, Technion president Prof. Peretz Lavie, said it was still possible to stop the snowball effect of the movement, but warned that “we are at the 90th minute.”
On May 28, 2015, the Washington State Supreme Court struck down the state’s anti-SLAPP law, following an appeal filed by five individuals who are suing the Olympia Food Co-op for boycotting Israeli products. The Israeli advocacy organization StandWithUs immediately hailed the decision as a “BDS Defeat,” “a major setback to the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) campaign,” and an “overwhelming victory.” But in reality the Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the plaintiffs’ case, much less on BDS.
Driving south from Bethlehem to Hebron on Route 60, a main settler road in the Occupied West Bank, is Beit al-Baraka, an old church compound made up of eight buildings built from Jerusalem yellow stone. Haaretz published last Friday that the site had been sold to Aryeh King, who was renovating the site in anticipation of moving settlers into it. Hannah Sterling and Sara Anna visited Beit al-Baraka and say the site shows the extent to which the settler enterprise will go to ensure the real identity and intentions of property purchases are hidden.
Nigerian Foreign Minister Aminu Wali apologized to Palestine for Nigeria’s crucial abstention on a UN Security Council vote to end the occupation, saying that the pressure on Nigeria amounted to a “national security threat.” The pressure came from the US and Israel
Only a few weeks into Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government, the intense strain of trying to square its members’ zealotry with Israel’s need to improve its international standing is already starkly evident. While the US tries to reach a deal on Iran’s nuclear programme and revive peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel – however futile such a process may be – Israeli ministers will be in a contest to see who can make most mischief. The irony is that, just as the White House gears up for another 18 months of humiliation and sabotage from Netanyahu and his government, Obama is showering Israel with gifts, as part of its long-standing “security” doctrine.
Dore Gold likens Lebanon to Gaza, and suggests Israel will have to “cut the grass” there this summer; war with Hezbollah could be Israel’s hole card on the Iran deal, as US legislators are sure to side with Israel, maybe with the help of the New York Times
While companies like Caterpillar and Hewlett-Packard have taken the center stage of the BDS movement, activism against Boeing has also been making its way to the front over the past year.
Rand Paul is doing a better job of criticizing the neoconservatives than Hillary Clinton is. Does she really regret the Iraq war? Chris Matthews asks
Birthright Israel is limited to those under 26. Now you can get a free-ish trip to Israel if you’re 25-40, called “Honeymoon Israel,” aimed at getting intermarried couples to raise their children Jewish
NYT’s Jodi Rudoren reports that “many international experts” say that Israeli settlement blocs in Palestine will be part of Israel under a peace deal. Why is the Times endorsing the idea that we get to negotiate about how much of what I stole from you I have to give back.
Avi Melamed brags that he works for the Israeli army and prisons and for rightwing Israel lobby groups like AIPAC and Israel Project. So why is the New York Times making him an “expert” for 25 elite travelers to Israel and Palestine next fall? Because it’s on one side of this conflict.
Ma‘an reports: Heavy traffic jams were reported along the main road between Hebron and Bethlehem on Monday as a settler bicycle race took place in the area. The 30-minute drive between the two cities took three hours as Israeli forces closed a main exit from Hebron connecting to Route 60 as settlers from Kiryat Arba took part in a race.
Confirmed last week Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely became the highest official in the foreign ministry, aside from Netanyahu who heads the portfolio. She will run day-to-day business, and is a vocal supporter of the greater Israel project. She is motivated by a religious belief that God gave the West Bank to the Jewish people, which she re-announced last week in her first address to the foreign ministry. In addition, another annexationist, Gilad Erdan became the public security, and the strategic affairs and hasbara minister. In his latter role, Erdan will produce public relations materials against the boycott, divestment, sanctions (BDS) movement and negotiations with Iran.
The Israelis are signalling that they will go along with the Iran deal, but they want a lot of military largesse in order to do so. And you thought this was a matter of principle on the part of the Israelis, and Iran is an existential threat? Turns out it is a bargaining chip, and who are they bargaining, but the United States,
Hannah Arendt’s portrait of Adolph Eichmann is controversial to this day because it sees evil in his actions not in his underlying motivation; and Zionists are especially critical because they insist on the prevalence of anti-Semitism in Europe, as a basis for the necessity of the Jewish state
The American Jewish community is in crisis over Israel. Some support the state, others are sharply critical. The community used to be able to marginalize the critics, but now it is splitting, and a debate is beginning that will transform American politics of the issue.