When should anti-Zionists apologize to apologists for Israeli war crimes? Steven Salaita writes, “we know enough about Zionist rituals of forced atonement to understand that they don’t belong to the category of détente, but coercion. Apology is merely a pretext, a simulation of penance that reinforces the primacy of Israeli life. If Palestinians cannot verbalize sensibilities fundamental to their identity, then it means Zionists have effectively severed them from the insuppressible proclivities that comprise a human being.”
Category Archives: Middle East
Mohammed Shamla, 25, used to call Gaza the “grave of dreams.” Luck was his only hope. Earlier this year he paid a bribe to exit Gaza through Egypt an traveled on to Turkey where he died on April 12 after falling from a balcony while police chased him for allegedly not possessing paperwork to legally be in the country.
Every Friday since February 22, the cities and towns of Algeria have seen massive demonstrations that have brought women, men, children, and old people pouring into the streets, often in high spirits but always voicing pointed political demands. Helena Cobban talks to William B. Quandt about what has been going on in this large North African country of 42 million people—and what resonance might the events there have for the rest of the Middle East.
Alice Rothchild travels to Jordan on a trip to report on refugee conditions and is struck by the lack of omnipresent security that she experiences in Israel. She wants to yell out to security, “I’m over here guys, in Jordan. On the east side of the Jordan River!!! It’s me!”
In her new book, Deborah Lipstadt says, “Zionism is the national liberation movement of Jews,” and therefore those who oppose the idea of a Jewish state are anti-Semitic. She distorts the values of anti-Zionists, who are for democracy not ethnic states, and offers an ideological justification for the displacement of Palestinians.
Sara Burback travels from Washington DC to the West Bank city of Bethlehem to participate in the 2019 Palestine Marathon. Burback says it is a “special opportunity to run through Bethlehem and join runners from all over the world in defense of the basic human right to movement.”
Nada Elia loves the Netflix series “Grace and Frankie,” but wishes there was a similar show featuring Muslim characters.
On March 25, Donald Trump signed an order proclaiming U.S. support for Israel’s annexation of the Golan. This act ended Washington’s opposition to any acquisition of territory by force– a principle that has been a key pillar of the global order since the United Nations was founded in 1945. Washington’s new policy on Golan may well now allow the US company Genie Energy to go ahead and plunder the oil and gas reserves that its Israeli subsidiary discovered in Golan in 2015, and Trump’s step changes the political dynamic within Syria, too.
Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh was banned from speaking at an event marking International Women’s Day in Berlin and faces the imminent threat of deportation. Gilad Erdan, Israeli Minister for Strategic Affairs, claimed credit for the decision taken by German authorities to revoke Odeh’s visa. The Rasmea Spricht campaign says, “Once again, Israeli officials have exerted their influence on Germany in order to prevent public criticism of its human rights abuses.”
In Shoshana’s latest installment, what she appreciates most about Ramallah on Thursday night (party night) is how committed her friends are to partying, with no hesitancy to dance, an appreciation of letting loose. Shoshana thinks it is a world away from the tension she often encounters in Jerusalem.
Memo to Tom Friedman: Israel is not your “ancestral homeland,” that is a Zionist myth. There was never an exile from Judea. Jews were all over the Roman Empire as converts; and your ancestors were surely among them. And mythical Jewish history doesn’t convey rights to someone born in Minnesota.
Pitzer’s College Council took a historic and overwhelming vote to suspend a study-abroad program in Israel following years of organizing by progressive faculty and students. President Melvin Oliver’s swift veto of the resolution shows the discomfort that the mainstream left is feeling about Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and also the growing moral importance of the issue on the left.
Misrepresentations of the Arab world, especially Palestine, in school textbooks is a widespread problem that has contributed to anti-Arab racism, Islamophobia and fear of “the other.” Aline Batarseh is working to change that in Virginia.
The group UK Lawyers for Israel is one of the quietest yet most influential Israel lobby actors currently operating in Britain. But Hilary Aked writes there is compelling evidence that the organization is merely a front for the Israeli government’s fight against BDS.
The Palestinian Youth Movement, the Alliance of Middle Eastern Socialists and Southwest Asian & North Afrikan – Los Angeles, stand in solidarity with the growing Refugee Movement in Greece, who are self-organizing against the violences of the European Union and Greek state, the ineptitude of the International Non-Governmental Organization system and against vigilante violence by growing European right wing-ultra nationalist formations such as the Golden Dawn Party.
The United Nations postponed last week for the third time the publication of a blacklist of Israeli and international firms that profit directly from Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied territories.
Robert Fantina asked the Bernie Sanders campaign for his position on Palestine and was told the candidate supports “diplomatic efforts to end the occupation and broker a two-state solution.” Fantina says that as Sanders continues to ride his populist wave across the dismal political landscape of the United States, he will continue to burnish his credentials as being progressive except on Palestine.
Tom Suarez writes that the real taboo Ilhan Omar broke was not accusing AIPAC of buying politicians, it was correctly distinguishing between Jews and the Israeli state.
A new documentary called WitchHunt points out the narrow room for debate over alleged antisemitism in the British Labour Party. Anti-Zionist Jews are excluded as unrepresentative of British Jews. And why is it okay to talk about antisemitism and Zionism in Britain without asking a Palestinian what their direct experience of Zionism has looked and felt like?
The United States’ much ballyhooed conference in Warsaw, the purpose of which was to gather support for more pressure on Iran, is now over. This exercise in futility did not gain the so-called ‘benefits’ that President Donald Trump and his racist, jingoistic cohorts had hoped. Rather, it exposed disagreements between the U.S. and many of its allies, and worsened some of them.
Jonathan Cook says that elites in the U.S. and Europe have moved on from their once-defensive posture that Zionism is not racism. Now, they are on the attack. Their presumption is that anti-Zionism is synonymous with racism and across the West there are efforts to codify this into law. Nowhere is this clearer than in France where Emmanuel Macron recently threatened to outlaw anti-Zionism.
That Israel’s own mouthpieces, including AIPAC, openly admit to using campaign cash to push pro-Israel legislation, should end any ambiguity: Ilhan Omar and all sensible citizens were being gaslit in the name of preserving the status quo and its decades of silencing Israel’s victims. This was especially clear in the liberal Zionist attacks on Omar, which sought reduce her criticisms of the lobby to little more than an anti-Semitic fantasy.
What is it like to go from a tenured professorship to an hourly wage driving buses? Steven Salaita tries to make sense of an unusual transition.
On a wintery Friday night in Washington DC the Palestinian electronic debke band 47Soul plays a sold-out club show at the Tropicalia. Kim Jensen interviewed the band about their music that fuses elements of electronic dance, trance, reggae, and rock with Palestinian percussion and the mijwiz—a traditional Arab reed instrument—driving the vibe. “That sound deserves to be international,” guitarist and vocalist Hamza Arnaout tells Jensen. “I want it to be part of our music. Maybe later on it will contribute to the bigger pool of consciousness in pop music.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stole the show during a Trump administration summit in Warsaw, Poland focused on “peace and security” in the Middle East when he said the meeting would be helpful “to advance the common interest of war with Iran.”