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Ungar-Sargon’s Bard College fiction is widely repudiated

Jonathan Ofir on
Batya Ungar-Sargon reads speech at Bard College, Oct. 11, 2019. Screenshot from video.

Batya Ungar-Sargon asked students not to protest Ruth Wisse at Bard because she’s a Holocaust survivor, giving her a pass for anti-Arab racism. The panel she did want the students to protest featured Ungar-Sargon and a black Jew, Shahanna McKinney-Baldon, who now seeks an apology for Ungar-Sargon’s error-laden account of the event.

Congress should impeach David Friedman, too

Josh Ruebner on

US Ambassador David Friedman blatantly lied to Congress when he said he would oppose Israel’s annexation of West Bank lands and support a Palestinian state. He should be impeached for those misrepresentations, as well as for helping to block the visit to Palestine of Congress members Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.

Prime Minister Chickenshit

Yossi Gurvitz on

Benjamin Netanyahu called off his idea for a snap Likud Party primary after Gideon Sa’ar, a rival, tweeted two words: “I’m ready.” That moment reveals Netanyahu’s essential political character: he operates out of fear and paranoia.

The Africa-Palestine conference: why South Africa must lead the way 

Ramzy Baroud on
Palestinians gather at a candle memorial for late South African President Nelson Mandela in the African quarter of Jerusalem's Old City, 07 December 2013. (Photo: Saeed Qaq/APA Images)

On a recent trip to South Africa Ramzy Baroud found many South Africans are always ready to take their solidarity with Palestine to a whole new level. However, there is a general feeling that decisive political moves can prove costly for the country.

Why Israel is struggling to end its political deadlock

Jonathan Cook on
Benjamin Netanyahu next to the former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and then Chief of Staff General Benny Gantz (R) on 27 August 2014.

It would be a mistake to assume the political deadlock in Israel is evidence of a ideological divide. The reality is that there is strong unity – over shared racist attitudes towards Palestinians.

The fall of Netanyahu is not meaningless 

Asaf Calderon on
Palestinian protesters deface posters depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a protest near the Israel-Gaza border, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on November 16, 2018. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

Asaf Calderon writes, “Netanyahu’s carefully cultivated stagnation can only be disrupted by his removal. The change will not come from a Gantz administration, but by the end of the Netanyahu administration.”

Israel can no longer ignore Arab voters

Naim Mousa on
Ayman Odeh and Ahmad Tibi celebrate their Taal-Hadash list, splitting off from the Joint List

Naim Mousa writes, “There are two candidates for prime minister, one incites violence against Arabs and constantly carries out racist policies, and the other does the exact same but is called Gantz.” Yet Palestinian voters have shown their growing power through the Joint List’s endorsement of Gantz to lead the government.

The illusion of electoral politics from Palestine to Black America

Devyn Springer on
The results of the exit polls are shown on a screen at Benny Gantz's Blue and White party headquarters, following Israel's parliamentary election, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sept. 17, 2019. (Photo: Reuters)

Devyn Springer reflects that as a Black person in the United States, Palestinian cynicism towards Israeli elections feels all too familiar. “So-called important national elections seem to always be at the expense of my community’s existing oppression,” Springer writes.

Democrats will continue to abandon Israel, no matter who is next P.M.

James Zogby on

What’s clear from Israel’s election is that the country has moved so far right, no one should expect any change in Israeli policy toward the occupation or Palestinian human rights, no matter who wins. And because Israeli policy is driving the U.S.’s deep partisan divide toward Israel, that will only deepen, James Zogby writes.

How Israel could prevent a war with Iran

Ted Snider on
Benjamin Netanyahu claiming Iran was expanding its nuclear capability in violation of the Iran Deal in April 2018.

While Israel wants the world to see Iran behind every conflict and want to see it ostracized and isolated, they may not want Iran defeated because that would eliminate the special role Israel plays for the United States.

Palestine’s economy is more than meets the eye

Layla A. Kaiksow and Reema AbuShaheen on
Palestinians work at wood factory during a field tour of the Ministries of Economy and Finance, in Gaza city on September 19, 2019. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour/APA Images)

Layla Kaiksow and Reema AbuShaheen explain no amount of investment dollars can change the painful Israeli-made facts on the ground for Palestinian manufacturers and entrepreneurs. “Economic development without statehood has gotten us to this point, and that point is nowhere.” 

The climate emergency makes Zionism obsolete (but Judaism could help save the planet)

Robert Cohen on
A Palestinian girl passes through flooding water in the village of Ein Qiniya near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Jan. 9, 2013. Extreme weather, including torrential rains and heavy winds, killed four people in Israel and the Palestinian territories on January 8, 2013, as widespread flooding swept the Middle East. (Photo: Issam Rimawi/APA Images)

Robert Cohen writes, with the global climate emergency upon us, “Zionism is one of many obsolete ideologies which needs to be ditched if we’re to build a sustainable future for all of us. In contrast, Judaism itself, shorn of its Zionist overlay, has plenty to offer as we look for radically different ways to relate to each other and the planet.”

The mirage of Benny Gantz

Jonathan Ofir on

The recent Israeli election has been a win for the Zionist right-center. The Joint List which mostly represents Palestinians has endorsed Benny Gantz, but that stance divided the List. That’s understandable because a unity government headed by Gantz would back policies toward Palestinians that are not different from those of a Likud government.

Blue and White is Right all over

Jonathan Ofir on

The Blue White party gave Israelis who used to vote left the option of voting Likud-light with the pretense of being centrist. Blue White is essentially a rightwing party. And there was only one winner in this election, and it’s the one that has always won: Zionism.

Israel’s Snap Election: The view from Gaza

Haidar Eid on
The results of the exit polls are shown on a screen at Benny Gantz's Blue and White party headquarters, following Israel's parliamentary election, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Sept. 17, 2019. (Photo: Reuters)

Haidar Eid says there is nothing for Palestinians to celebrate about the Israeli elections. “Only secular democracy under the rule of law and in which ALL citizens are treated equally regardless of ethnic and religious origin is what should be celebrated,” Eid writes. “Anything short of that is a recycling of 19th century ethnic nationalism disguised in slogans that mean absolutely nothing to us Palestinians.”

The crumbled throne

Yossi Gurvitz on
Benjamin Netanyahu

The last decade in Israeli politics was all Netanyahu, all the time. The Israeli left twisted itself into a pretzel trying to get rid of Netanyahu and forgot about trying to end apartheid. Now it looks like the great hate monger is gone and the issues that matter may matter again.

If there is one place in the world where Trump is popular it is Israel

Monti Datta on
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gives a speech before the newly-unveiled sign for the new settlement of "Ramat Trump", or "Trump Heights" in the Golan Heights on June 16, 2019.

Most of the world might hate Donald Trump, but in some places, based largely on his policies, there is hope and even admiration. Political scientist Monti Datta says the data shows Trump is more popular than Barack Obama among people in authoritarian nations, and the one place in the world where Trump’s policies seem to be enjoying the most public support is Israel.

Israel’s election will show: the ‘Jewish democracy’ gets more rightwing every year

Philip Weiss on

The Israeli election challenges Americans to recognize what “Jewish democracy” has produced: a rightwing society in which all the politicking has been on the far right, and even the center-left Blue White calls for expanding the illegal occupation and pounding Gaza. Palestinian parties are a sign of real democracy, but leading Jewish parties want nothing to do with them.

An Israeli election that will decide nothing at all

James Zogby on
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz

After the Israeli election, there will be no end to occupation, no two-state solution. Israeli politics have moved so far to the right, that it is hard to understand why the US media continues to refer to Netanyahu’s opposition as a “center-left” coalition. American liberals have themselves to blame, for their passive opposition to expansive settlements and apartheid.

With friends like Israel, who needs enemies?

Mohamed Mohamed on

Israel was responsible for a 2018 effort to spy on cell phones near the White House, Politico reports. The espionage reminds us that Israel is not a good American ally. It routinely denies entry to American citizens, it murdered American peace activist Rachel Corrie with a bulldozer, and in 1967 it killed 34 American sailors in an attack on the USS Liberty while it was in international waters.

Netanyahu and the two-state derision

Nizar Mohamad on
Netanyahu calls for annexing Jordan Valley and Jewish West Bank settlements, Sept. 10, 2019.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex the Jordan Valley has simply made obvious what Palestinians have known for generations: Israel is uninterested in affording them their right to self-determination.

Israel’s repeat elections and the Arab vote 

Suheir Abu Oksa Daoud on
Ayman Odeh and Ahmad Tibi celebrate their Taal-Hadash list, splitting off from the Joint List

Suheir Abu Oksa Daoud says Israel’s repeat national elections grants the Palestinian leadership a golden opportunity to seek lessons from last April’s results where they dropped four seats and lost their standing as the third-largest party in the legislature.