Because he wrote a blogpost justifying armed resistance to armed settlers in 2011, Yossi Gurvitz was charged with the crime of incitement by Israeli government prosecutors. Then the case was purposely left open with no action and hung around his neck, and career, for 7 years till it was finally closed. The writer reflects on the painful experience.
Category Archives: Middle East
Richard Falk: “Seeking to criminalize support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) and deny entry to Israel of its active supporters is a step that even racist South Africa never took in opposing a similar transnationally organized solidarity movement.” An interview about the BDS movement, launched 13 years ago.
If only Yugoslavia had not broken apart, then Serbia and Croatia might have combined to win the World Cup in Russia. But valiant Croatia fell short. As France’s diverse, winning team demonstrates, ethnic nationalism is self-defeating. Modern countries need to honor equal rights and diversity.
“Killing Gaza,” the new documentary by Max Blumenthal and Dan Cohen, offers a series of intimate portraits of Palestinians who witnessed hellish events during the seven-week Israeli attack of 2014 and demonstrates that the political issues at the heart of the conflict can never be resolved by more violence.
On May 16, 2018, Guatemala followed the U.S.’s example by moving its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, thereby recognizing the city as Israel’s capital to almost unanimous criticism from the international community. Guatemala’s long-standing alliance with Israel was widely mentioned at the time, but little attention was given to the reaction of its own large Palestinian population. In a bid to overturn the embassy move Guatemalans of Palestinian origin have brought a case to Guatemala’s constitutional court.
Israel finally built an access road to the West Bank village of Khan al-Ahmar last week, after half a century of delays. But the only vehicles allowed along it are the bulldozers scheduled to sweep away its 200 inhabitants’ homes. As Bedouin resident Ibrahim Abu Dawoud observed: “For us, leaving the desert is death.”
Israel’s resort to any force against Gaza demonstrators cannot be legally justified, despite efforts by Sari Bashi of Human Rights Watch. If Israel wants to protect its border, it must lift its siege of Gaza, Norman Finkelstein explains. Its refusal to take this preliminary peaceful step puts it in double breach of international law: imposition of an illegal blockade and unlawful resort to armed force when peaceful means have not been exhausted.
Jonathan Ofir interviews Eitan Bronstein Aparicio, co-author of the book ‘Nakba in Hebrew’, about how the Israeli government tried, and failed, to ban an event discussing the book.
Isaac Herzog’s belief that intermarriage is a “plague” reflects Zionism’s inability to imagine a Judaism apart from Orthodoxy. Palestinians have already paid the price for Zionism. Israeli women are likely to be next. If Israelis want a way out of this labyrinth, they would have to dismantle the Zionist state.
After 28 years gone from the World Cup, Egypt came back and flared out quickly. Then Ahmad Saad was let down by Nigeria and Senegal. But there’s always Mexico! And what a way to piss off Donald Trump!
Nickolay Mladenov, the UN coordinator for the Middle East peace process, was briefly a moral leader against Israeli violence. “Stop shooting children,” he tweeted. But in a recapitulation of the Goldstone farce, Norman Finkelstein relates, Mladenov has now collapsed under pressure, and turned on Palestinian incitement and provocation as matters for condemnation.
“To tear down a school is possibly worse even than breaking a home into pieces and burying the pieces in the sand,” David Shulman writes on a visit to Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village slated for demolition by the Israeli government, in a post for Margaret Olin’s site, Touching Photographs.
On June 21, Jon Lansman, chair of Momentum (UK) and senior member of the UK Labour Party, will deliver a lecture in Tel Aviv on ‘Corbyn, Labour and Israel-Palestine’. Ofer Neiman writes: “Jon Lansman works hard to police the debate on Palestine, for the privileged few rather than the many. The policy which Lansman wants to impose on the UK Labour Party is the epitome of ‘Progressive Except Palestine’. Supporters of the Palestinian cause – a struggle for justice and full equality – would do well to challenge Lansman and his partners instead of viewing them as allies.”
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.””
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 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.
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.
Hussein Samih on how repressive regimes attempt to harness the popularity of sports to gain international legitimacy. However, it doesn’t always work: “Governments understand all too well the political power of football; and it seems that this time, Israel has breached a red line that neither its political allies nor their footballers are willing to cross.”
Israa M. Khater on her visit to the Shatila refugee camp in Lebanon: “My nation has been reduced to human trash. We are simply meant to be sustained, contained, but never returned. So comes the international aid, a humanitarian initiative by no other than those who stripped us of everything we owned. It comes preconditioned on our admission of defeat, on our acceptance of what cannot be logically accepted. Can one be grateful to what amounts to nothing compared to what has been lost?”
This article is a plea not to forget Jaffa on the “Disappearing Palestine” maps illustrating the Palestinian loss of land from 1946 to the present. Jaffa was a gem of Palestinian urban life, with a population of 120,000, and assigned as territory of a Palestinian state under the UN partition plan that the Zionists soon overrode, ethnically cleansing the city.
The US Immigration Act of 1924 limited acceptance of European refugees, and caused many Jews fleeing oppression to go to Palestine, thus fostering the establishment of Israel. If the US had not barred refugees, we might have saved a lot of trouble in the Middle East, something Donald Trump should consider today.
Mara Ahmed attended a lecture by Amos Oz in late April and was interested to see how the liberal Zionist icon would frame his presentation in the context of the weekly Israeli attacks on defenseless protestors in Gaza: “He held up Jews as consummate rebels, whose anarchist gene forces them to doubt, argue, and perpetually reexamine the truth. Yet when I looked around the room, that’s hardly what I saw.”
Shahd Abusalama writes, “Being a Palestinian means that you wake up daily to more dehumanisation and oppression. Whenever I have a panic attack and a friend asks what started it, I realise they have no clue about how we experience violence. It’s ongoing. It’s constant.”
Many are puzzled why Gaza citizens would risk death by confronting the Israeli military at the borderline. Tom Helman, Joshua Grossman, and Peter Klutz-Chamberlin report on a recent meeting with Palestinian youth from Gaza that helps make the answer to this question clear.