British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that the UK is formally adopting a definition of anti-Semitism agreed to earlier this year by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. Many of the definitions would bar criticisms of Israel that even Jewish Israeli critics have made, like likening Israeli conduct to that of Nazis.
Category Archives: Middle East
The Torah command, “Love thy neighbor as thyself” is thought to be a Jewish gift to civilization. In fact, there are so many requirements for who your neighbor is as to render the teaching meaningless in a tribal society.
At Texas A&M, alt-right leader Richard Spencer praises Israel for its intrinsically racist and exclusionist policies, and Hillel Rabbi Matt Rosenberg has no answer. No Zionist can have one, and no wonder Israel’s defenders are queasy these days.
Palestinians have lived in the refugee camps around Lebanon since the Nakba in 1948 when they were forcibly ejected from their homeland by Israel. Most of these Palestinians have never set foot in Palestine and are prevented from doing so by Israel. Only the oldest have any memory of their homeland. Celia Peterson interviewed Palestinians of various ages in Bourj El Barajneh camp in Beirut to see how they keep the memory of their homeland alive.
“If death is my fate, I will die even in Copenhagen. Gaza is relatively safe and a more simple place to live,” says Aleppo chef Anas Qatarji, who fled war-torn Syria for the besieged Gaza Strip and moved his destroyed restaurant with him.
The day after Donald Trump won the presidential election, I received an email from one of my undocumented students in my Junior English class. “I’m scared. I don’t have anything to return to in my home country, and the U.S. has become my home.” Liz Rose meditates on the shifting meaning of home during a crisis of leadership.
Israelis believe without evidence that Palestinians started recent fires near Haifa. Secret Police officials have confirmed that they suspect Arabs and have taken thirty of them into custody. One had toilet paper on his person! Hatim Kanaaneh writes, “Arafat must have started all those fires in our country. Or was it Haj Amine Al-Husseini? After all, we all know the Mufti was the one who convinced Hitler to go after the Jews in Europe. Or could it be Mahmoud Abbas since we can slap him at will?”
Trump’s upset victory recalls another rightwing demagogue’s, Netanyahu in 2015, and it’s no surprise that Trump transition team members praise Netanyahu. The two political cultures seem connected; and the right won’t be defeated by lukewarm centrists.
One of Bernie Sanders’s greatest foes in the presidential primary was hasbara culture, an aggressive and proselytizing construction of reality from a minority of the Jewish community that Sanders threatened with statements that changed the political discourse on Israel. Hasbara culture helped to undermine the insurgent senator.
Opposition to intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews in Israel is not confined to the far right. State funds support a shelter to “rescue” Jewish women who are married to “Arabs,” and the idea of conversion is linked to annihilation and betrayal in Hebrew tradition.
Trump’s election is most reminiscent of the Egyptian counter-revolution. Maybe history is not progressive. Maybe cultural advances and economic fairness are not the end point. Maybe history is actually deeply conservative, and majoritarian reactions are going to last a long time in an era of shortages, climate crises and mass migrations.
President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of Stephen Bannon to be his chief strategist has brought to the surface the antisemitic undercurrent of Trump’s reactionary populism. How we go about explaining the phenomenon goes some way towards guiding us as to how to mobilize against it. Max Ajl says it’s essential to understand that “Trumpism” is the product of a US social and political order that was neither reformable nor defensible, and it offers an opportunity to join a more inclusive movement – “one big enough for all of us, except for those who insist that others pay the price for their safety.”
Palestinians in Lebanon sympathize with Americans weeping over Donald Trump. The new president of Lebanon also is hostile to refugees.
Before Trump surprised Clinton in Michigan, Bernie Sanders led a revolution that included some of the same political materials but had a universalist, non-racist message. That revolution is more alive than ever, and in the next generation’s hands.
Bill Fletcher Jr. offers some initial takeaways from the U.S. presidential election. He says it was a referendum on globalization and demographics and represents the consolidation of a misogynistic white united front in U.S. politics and society. Still, he sees reasons for hope including the fact that the results were incredibly close even without the ideal candidate to represent the new majority emerging in the country.
Jordan’s national airline carrier has posted an advertisement that takes a jab at presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims by offering an Election Day sale of fares to locations in the United States while Muslims are still let into the country.
European governments – fearful of upsetting Israel’s patron in Washington – have been trying to hold in check popular anger at a belligerent and unrepentant Israel.
Sam Bahour says Michael Chabon’s “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union” should come with a warning label READ WITH CAUTION IF YOU ACTUALLY LIVE UNDER A JEWISH ISRAELI MILITARY OCCUPATION because “between the seriousness of the political premise, the gut-wrenching humor, the community involved, the concept of a collective return of land as even being imaginable, the real, day to day stories—love, death, addiction, work, relationships, etc.—interspersed, and the burning of the Dome of Rock, which already happened once in reality and is being threatened again these days, it’s just too much for a person living under an actual Jewish (or so believed)-inspired military occupation to handle.”
“We live under a totalitarian system of occupation,” Feryal, a Palestinian mother in Hebron’s Tel Rumeida section explains. She was once detained for five hours for laughing in front of an Israeli soldier.
The rise of anti-Semitism is real. But the use of false anti-Semitism charges to justify Zionist crimes is a lamentable and important trend, Lillian Rosengarten writes.
Journalist Julia Ioffe says she was “glad” to experience an “outpouring of anti-Semitism” on line because it reminded Americans that Jews are a “persecuted minority” and not the Establishment
The foreign policy elite in Washington seems to be united on imposing a no-fly zone over Syria. But two veterans with hundreds of combat missions between them contend that Assad’s anti-aircraft capabilities are far too robust to permit such an intervention without significant losses and billions in expenditures.
British lawmakers have said the word “Zionist” as a pejorative “has no place in a civilised society” and recommend considering a victim’s feelings when deciding if a criminal investigation into anti-Semitism should be launched, said an annual report on anti-Semitism published last week by a cross-party group in Parliament.
A new book by New York Times reporter Robert Worth does not say what U.S. policymakers should do about Syria. But he shows how violence promotes sectarianism and lasting bitterness; and it is hard to see how he would then advocate more violence as any kind of answer.
Hagai El-Ad, the head of the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, urged the United Nations Security Council to take action at last against the occupation because, “The reality will not change if the world does not intervene. I suspect that our arrogant government also knows this, so it’s busy fearmongering against such an intervention.” Netanyahu has responded in outrage.