For the past 25 years or so I have had a running debate with Jewish friends, Is anti-Semitism over? I’ve argued that it is, given the incredible Jewish inclusion. I was wrong. Anti-semitism remains an abiding hatred, and Poway shows it’s recurrent.
Category Archives: Opinion
On a trip to a kibbutz where he was born, Jonathan Ofir reflects on the utter denial of the Palestinian presence in Israel. He moves on to the wondrous village of Lifta, a monument to Palestinian life that Israel doesn’t want visitors to see.
Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump administration was focused on Russian interference in U.S. politics, but his findings highlight some highly questionable contacts that people close to Trump’s transition team had with representatives of another government that has intervened massively in U.S. policymaking in recent years: the United Arab Emirates.
Alice Rothchild visits a church in Amman that has gained a regional reputation for caring for refugees from Syria and Iraq, many of whom fled ISIS atrocities and are afraid to return. “Forty percent of the women are widows and many refugees have experienced unimaginably severe and chronic trauma from abuse.”
James Zogby writes a Netanyahu victory is good: “we will now finally be able to have an honest debate about the dreadful situation created by American complicity in enabling Israel’s continued oppression of Palestinians. This debate might have been aborted for a time had Gantz won.”
Jonathan Cook writes that while there are signs politicians in the U.S. are finally ready to shine a light onto the pro-Israel lobby, the opposite is taking place in United Kingdom. He says this is due to the way the Israel lobby has recently emerged in British politics – hurriedly, and in a mix of panic and damage limitation mode due to the rise of Jeremy Corbyn, and the end of the international two-state consensus.
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.”
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!”
It is time that Americans recognize the true nature of the Israeli Jewish polity, Mohamed Mohamed of the Jerusalem Fund writes. Regardless who wins Israeli elections, the daily lives and political situation of Palestinians are unlikely to improve. As for the two-state solution, a tiny minority of Israeli Jews actually support real Palestinian sovereignty.
The Jewish left in Israel “received the fewest votes that it’s ever received and shows real signs of potentially going extinct,” says Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street. While other liberal Zionists call for leadership to build a liberal partnership with Palestinian voters. There is only one way to do so. Liberal Zionists must drop the Zionism, which is obnoxious to Palestinians, based on 100 years of exposure to the ideology.
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.
The polls from Israel are dispiriting. Netanyahu is the most popular leader, the young adore him; and even if the opposition wins, its government will be rightwing. And the occupation will not end. So the election will challenge Americans to stand up at last for Palestinian rights.
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.”
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.