Category Archives: Middle East
In Lebanon, one of the countries that has been most burdened by the Syrian refugee crisis, public schools are strained to the limits. Schooldays operate on a two-shift schedule—the first half of the day is for Lebanese children (and some Syrians if space permits), and the second half is for Syrian children. Still, half of all Syrian refugee children in Lebanon don’t go to school at all.
“Now who I do talk Hebrew to? Palestinians.” An American activist who grew up in the Orthodox Jewish community describes her long road from Zionism and a belief in Israel’s goodness to a dedication to human rights and anti-Zionism.
Antony Loewenstein reviews “Palestine Ltd: Neoliberalism and Nationalism in the Occupied Territory” by Toufic Haddad: “Palestine Ltd paints a grim picture of Palestinian hopes for statehood. Haddad shows how it was killed at birth.”
Max Ajl reviews ‘Revolutionary Yiddishland’, by Alain Brossat and Sylvie Klingberg, a history of European Jewish radicalism. Their oral history – a history from below – seeks to capture the lives of struggle of Jewish dissidents, communists, Bundists, working-class militants, martyrs of the Spanish Civil War. Ajl writes, “As we lurch into another moment when more and more may feel the jackboot of the state, one can hope also the message of this book can inspire many to again look to that horizon to which the people of lost Yiddishland looked, too, and find something there worth struggling for.”
In his recent speech ‘Remarks on Middle East Peace’ John Kerry misrepresented a central issue: The wish among Israelis and Palestinians for a one-state solution.
Obama’s endgame is the same when it comes to fossil fuels and Israel/Palestine: as part of his legacy project, he is signing decrees to protect the oceans from oil drilling and finally standing up to Israel’s aggressive and unchecked settlement expansion. Should we judge the last eight years by these eleventh-hour attempts, the looming inauguration would appear to be a radical break with a “progressive” agenda on environmental and diplomatic fronts. But the true break is between what has been going on throughout Obama’s consecutive terms and the very final stretch of his tenure in the White House.
The Israeli collective psyche is shaped by coercive pressures: It is post-traumatic; it cannot forgive the Jews their victimization in Europe; and so it is intoxicated by power and the use of violence against the weak; and is in a state of denial about its own aggression toward Palestinians. Staying alive by whatever means, the ethos of Netanyahu, has replaced traditional Jewish ethics of loving the neighbor, says psychiatrist Ruchama Marton, founder of Physicians for Human Rights, Israel.
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.
“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.