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If you want a fair definition of Zionism, it’s best to ask a Palestinian

Robert Cohen on

There are lots of good reasons to think the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, now adopted “in full” by Labour’s national committee and by Labour MPs, is, well, a bit rubbish, writes Robert Cohen: “The truth of the matter is, the Jewish community can no longer define ‘Zionism,’ or indeed ‘anti-Semitism,’ without the help of Palestinians.”

The loving rituals of liberal Zionism (and the Birthright breakup)

Liz Rose on

I forget who I made out with on my first trip to Israel at 16, because I was in love with Jerusalem, not him, Liz Rose writes. It took me decades to understand the human rights violations of Zionism, but that awareness is coming earlier for the people who walked off their Birthright trip this summer, shocking the liberal Zionist consensus.

Why let Netanyahu write the Labour rulebook?

Pete Gregson on

Pete Gregson on the fallout in the UK Labour Party after the vote adopting the full IHRA definition of antisemitism: “What we are seeing is a Party in fear of the media, allowing Zionists to undermine freedom of speech. What we need to do is show those in fear of bad press that the NEC cannot pay lip service to a thing that it does not believe in. For who can argue that Israel is not a racist state? It’s as if we’re allowing Theresa May and Netanyahu to write our rule book here.”

An intersectional feminist movement needs to prioritize decolonization

Tamam Abusalama on

Tamam Abusalama writes, “An inclusive and intersectional feminist movement should address the struggles of women in different contexts. It should also acknowledge that there are huge gaps of privileges between women in the West and in the East. It shouldn’t ignore the long-lasting impacts of colonization on women from colonized countries. It should understand that an inclusive movement would never be successful without acknowledging the main colonial, imperial and capitalist elements, differently shaping women experiences. There is hope but we have always to keep on calling for a diverse, inclusive, de-colonial and intersectional feminist movement.”

The instant Palestinians get support from someone who might gain power– out comes the anti-semitism charge

Donald Johnson on

The New York Times says that Jeremy Corbyn brought the “anti-Semitism crisis” on himself by fixating on Israel and says not a word about Palestinian human rights, thereby demonstrating a law of western politics: The instant Palestinians start getting support from someone who might have real power, the anti-Semite accusation is wheeled out, everyone remembers Who The Real Victims Are, and Palestinians are shoved under the bus.

Herzliya terrorism conference highlights complicity of Israeli and US universities in Palestinian oppression

Nada Elia on

Nada Elia writes that American academics heading to Israel for a conference in cooperation with the Israeli government give cover for Israeli human rights abuses: “The conference highlights the complicity of Israeli universities in the oppression of Palestinians, as well as Israel’s propagation of racism and law enforcement violence globally. And U.S. academics are lending their presence and their voices to this charade.”

Candidates for UK Labour Party’s governing body share their thoughts on adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism

Pete Gregson on

Next week the UK Labour Party’s governing body, the National Executive Committee (NEC), will be voting on whether to adopt examples of antisemitism put forth by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance in its definition of antisemitism. Pete Gregson wrote to all 26 NEC candidates to seek their views on the vote. Of the 12 responses that came back, 5 were for adopting the full IHRA definition and examples, 6 were for no change, and 1 was unsure. Of those in favor, he posed the question “If it’s passed and I said Israel is a racist state, would I get expelled?”

UK black and minority ethnic groups blast Labour Party antisemitism debate for seeking to defend Israel by erasing Palestinian history

Mohamed Elmaazi on

Last week an unprecedented intervention occurred into the debate in the UK over the definition of antisemitism. Over 80 community, professional and rights-based organisations representing black, minority ethnic and diaspora peoples decried what they say is the framing of antisemitism in a way to ‘silence’ Palestinians, and other migrant groups, from speaking about their history.

Anti-Zionism is the gateway drug to anti-Semitism, for the ‘New York Review of Books’

Donald Johnson on

In a piece in the New York Review of Books on the Labour anti-semitism controversy, Matt Seaton lumps anti-Zionism with anti-Jewish bigotry. The unspoken assumption of the article is that Palestinians have no right to be anti-Zionist and that anti-Zionism is a form of vitriolic zealotry and can never be a principled human rights position.

New book gives credence to US ambassador’s claim that Israel tried to assassinate him in 1980

Philip Weiss on

John Gunther Dean, now 92, and a former American ambassador to five countries, has long maintained that Israel was behind his attempted assassination outside Beirut in 1980, which was attributed to a rightwing Lebanese group. A new book by an Israeli investigative journalist says that group was set up by Israeli security officials to sow chaos in Lebanon.

In detaining Peter Beinart, Israel has declared it no longer represents millions of Jews overseas

Jonathan Cook on

There are few places in Israel where its apartheid character is more conspicuous than the imposing international airport just outside Tel Aviv, named after the country’s founding father, David Ben Gurion. Jonathan Cook writes that Peter Beinart’s interrogation at Ben Gurion airport was just the opening salvo in the Israeli right’s war against Jewish dissent: “It is a slope liberal Jews will find gets ever more slippery.”

Dropping off my dear friend, Dareen Tatour, at prison

Danielle Alma Ravitzki on

Dareen Tatour will spend the next five months in an Israeli prison after being convicted of incitement over posting a poem online. Her close friend, Israeli artist Danielle Alma Ravitzki, writes about the “worst day of her life,” the ride to the prison last Wednesday where she dropped off Dareen.

It’s time to talk about Zionism’s racism problem

Peter F. Cohen on

We seem to be hearing a lot these days about an “antisemitism problem” on the Left – and accusations of “antisemitism” are almost sure to arise whenever Israel is criticized. Peter Cohen writes that what we really should be concerned about is racism in all of its forms – including, but by no means limited to – anti-Jewish racism. “Keeping our focus on racism rather than only antisemitism also makes it easier to see the shocking prevalence of racism in the discourse of Zionists themselves,” Cohen says.

The real occupation is Zionism, Ahed Tamimi explains

Jonathan Ofir on

On Democracy Now! released Palestinian prisoner Ahed Tamimi says the occupation and checkpoints and conflict are a product of Zionism, which is not Judaism. ‘Liberal-Zionists’ are going to have a hard time with this one. They have been insisting that the 1967 occupation can be reversed without addressing Zionism. In fact, they believe that reversing it is essential to maintaining the Zionist Jewish State.

UK Labour Party is right to drop racist IHRA guidelines of anti-Semitism

Manchester Jewish Action for Palestine on

Manchester Jewish Action for Palestine writes, “We call on everyone to see that creating a largely-mythical anti-Semitism ‘crisis’ in the Labour Party is one of the few tools left to ailing and desperate establishment hacks wanting to smear Corbyn and maintain UK support for Israel, no matter how many Palestinians the Israeli army slaughters, or how many houses, schools, and hospitals Israeli jets destroy in Gaza. In the face of this, Zionist groups with a history of uncritical support for Israel claim that Corbyn presents an existential threat to British Jews? This is obscene, hypocritical scaremongering.”

The way forward may be buried in the wall

Sam Bahour on

Mohammed Alatar’s new documentary about the separation wall built on Palestinian land, titled, “BROKEN,” shows that international law is the only way forward for Israelis and Palestinians seeking to end the conflict, Sam Bahour writes.