AFP reports “The United States withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday, condemning the ‘hypocrisy’ of its members and its alleged ‘unrelenting bias’ against Israel.”
Monthly Archives: June 2018
Progressive Mal Hyman, in a South Carolina runoff for a Congressional nomination, has been outspoken about Israeli human rights violations. He blames the U.S. for supporting colonialism and sees U.S. failure in the Middle East as giving progressives an opening to bring in humane ideas. AIPAC has asked for a meeting and Hyman says, “Wonderful,” but we’ll disagree. His boldness on these issues is a sign of things to come in Democratic races.
The slaughter on the Gaza border has given Palestinian writers an opening in the mainstream media they have not had before. And this could lead to a public opinion shift. It shouldn’t take the deaths of 128 Palestinians to open the world’s ears. Haneen Abo Saud and Rana Shubair of We Are Not Numbers are two Gazans writing about freedom who deserve global support.
A Palestinian Boyhood, the new autobiography by Palestinian writer Reja-e Busailah, relates a remarkable story about overcoming the challenges of growing up blind in Palestine in the years up to and including the 1948 Nakba, which uprooted his family. Georgia Beeston: “Simply written, the book takes the reader through the author’s daily life, underlining the everyday challenges of the visually impaired.””
The Gaza Strip has become a free fire zone where any Palestinian can be shot and killed with impunity. Israeli soldiers are allowed to target “main inciters” who “inflame” other demonstrators; and that can mean anyone at all.
Great March of Return organizer Ahmad Abu Rtemah says the protests need to go on, but calls for a shift from confrontations with soldiers at the fence to educational and cultural projects: “The Great March of Return must go on. There is simply no alternative to peaceful popular resistance. But we also need to take a step back and think about how we can reduce its cost in lives and injuries to our people, so that we may be able to nurture and grow this new form of resistance.”
Liberal Zionist scholar Shaul Magid served in the Israeli army but he has had enough of Israel. Ben-Gurion miscalculated the nature of Jewish relations to the world, and that’s why Israelis are now flocking to Berlin and L.A. Magid left for Indiana and says if he had to live in Israel now, “It would actually drive me insane.”
Israel is involved in an ideological war against incendiary kites and balloons from Gaza. Israelis at Kibbutz Nir Am launched ‘candy balloons’ in order to counter this supposed ‘hate’ with supposed ‘love’. The gesture is a form of hasbara, aimed at denying the cause of the fire kites: Palestinian expulsion and the recent massacres by Israel in the Gaza strip.
Fifty years after she first went to Israel with other teenagers on a Ramah religious trip, Menucha Sara professes her anti-Zionism at a reunion. “I believe my fellow Ramah-niks oppose racism and injustice in our country. If they do, why won’t they see the racism of Israeli society?”
“The gruesome photos show a man desperately grasping at his throat for air as smoke pours from his cheek.” A searing report by the National on the disfigurement of Haitham Abu Sabla, whose head was penetrated by a tear gas canister fired by an Israeli sniper on the Gaza border June 8, leaving him severely compromised.
Israeli Likud lamaker Miki Zohar uses unabashed racist-supremacist talk about Jews in interview, the “Jewish race is the greatest human capital, the smartest, the most understanding… sometimes the most educated.” And there’s no controversy in Israel.
The historic contradictions of the Zionist Left are being played out in the death throes of Meretz. As Israel becomes more nakedly rightwing and racist, some elite intellectuals will delude themselves about left Zionism, but Zionism has no ideological need any longer to pretend that it can be reconciled with universalist principles.
Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian for throwing stones last week, but when settler youths threw stones at soldiers to prevent the evacuation of a settlement, they were treated with kid gloves. That Israeli-Jewish settlement outpost was evacuated without a shot; while scores of Palestinians are massacred on the border.
Dramatizing the blockade of Gaza, 14 Gazan soccer players who have lost a leg to Israeli fire played a match simulating France and Australia’s game in the World Cup in Russia tomorrow. The players sometimes used their crutches to kick the ball. Two goals were scored.
A review of the Netflix series “Fauda” by Ahmad Saad: “The show creators actually served in the secretive killing unit, which provides both gravity and a degree of perverted-ness to the show. The calls for sympathy for Israeli soldiers suffering from PTSD at having to torture Palestinians is rendered moot when their best form of therapy is to create a television show that mimics that reality.”
In an article criticizing the intersectional left at the Forward, Batya Ungar-Sargon continuously reinforces the false and dangerous notion that to oppose Zionism is to be against Jews: “Jews feel that when they do show up, there’s always something wrong with them.” Zionism is an ideology, Donna Nevel asserts; and even if Jews adhere to it, it is not “anti-Jewish” to oppose it.
To determine whether demonstrations in Gaza are “peaceful protests or violent riots,” New York Times reporter David Halbfinger imbedded himself with Israeli forces. The one-sided report follows a pattern, Norman Finkelstein says, in which Times writers rely on official Israeli statements to portray the encounters at the fence as armed confrontations in which Israeli snipers return the fire of protesters.
A small army of pro-Israeli watchdog organizations keeps a close eye on everything Palestinian academics do and say, every Tweet they post and group they join, ready to call these scholars out for alleged anti-Semitism. The groups include Hillel Int’l, which works with the Israeli ministry of education. Though critics of Israel are at last losing their fear of this army.
Given their own history, the Irish understand the implications of Israeli settler colonialism and Palestinians appreciate Irish people’s support. Despite collaboration between Israel and Ireland, Irish universities have been hospitable to pro-Palestinian voices. And an independent Irish senator is planning to introduce a bill seeking to prohibit the import and sale of goods originating in illegal settlements in occupied territories.
Musicians in the Alanwar band were arrested Monday by Israeli forces for creating tunes of incitement.
At a May 29 performance in Jerusalem, Laurie Anderson asked the audience to think of the worst things happening in the world – from Donald Trump to US school shootings, to “any shooting on any border” — and scream together, for ten seconds. That was it. The words “any shooting on any border” were her indirect reference to the Gaza massacre, and revealed a moral/political failure. She had made her audience feel warm and fuzzy.
A bill moved by Palestinian parliamentarians saying that Israel must be a “State of All Its Citizens” was not permitted to be debated in the Israeli Knesset. Even left and centrist Zionist parties blocked its movement. The Israeli parliament has declared that Israeli democracy is for Jews only, blocking the essential reform that would transform Israel toward the equality that is at the core of democracy.
Israeli journalist Dan Margalit warns of a scenario where Palestinian “terrorists and children and handicapped” break through the fence around Gaza & set up an outpost. So shooting Palestinian protestors in Gaza has “has saved many Palestinian lives”.
Most of the big Democratic donors featured in a NYT article on presidential hopefuls raising money in NY are pro-Israel. Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren need $30 million for a campaign war chest, so they are unlikely to say anything critical of Israel. Both progressives have demonstrated as much during the Gaza massacre.
In recent days, Palestinian legislators have submitted three legislative measures before parliament to explode the illusion that Israel is a western-style liberal democracy. A bill to revoke the quasi-governmental status of international Zionist organizations like the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and the Jewish Agency that discriminate against non-Jews was defeated when all the Jewish parties voted against it.