Liz Rose reflects on Rosh Hashanah: “We made the desert bloom,” my mother said when I was ten years old. “How did we do this,” I asked, “from the other side of the world?” My mother pointed to the blue JNF box full of loose change. “That’s how.” And then I felt a selflessness in me, learning to give to others who required help, like Israel, who I believed–because my mother believed–needed money to help make the empty forest grow.
In a far-ranging interview, Palestinian author Raja Shehadeh relates how annoyed he is when American media read from the Zionist script and demand that he defend Hamas. He also talks about how difficult it is to maintain human relationships with Israelis when Israelis cannot confront the past of ethnic cleansing. And how the late Amos Oz patronized him…
Google Maps has turned Palestinian towns and cities into ghosts. They appear, yet according to the technology Goliath they do not exist as places one can actually get to. If you want to go between major West Bank cities such as Jericho, Bethlehem, or Hebron, Google will reply Sorry, we could not calculate driving directions… But if West Bank settlers want to visit other West Bank settlements, Google is at their service.
Israeli historian Benny Morris tells Gideon Levy that one state means a future of genocide and ethnic cleansing for Israeli Jews, thereby dehumanizing Palestinians as murderous, wild animals, when history tells us Palestinians are angry over ethnic cleansing and discrimination and when those conditions end, we can struggle toward one state with equality.
The BDS campaign doesn’t want to destroy Israel but to end its Zionist regime, Yossi Gurvitz explains. No people have the right to self-determination in another people’s homeland. Yet this is precisely what happened in Israel, and this is precisely what Zionists are defending: a country based on denial of the rights of others.
Benny Morris, the Israeli historian who has documented Israeli-Palestinian history so meticulously, is again bemoaning that a full ethnic cleansing was not completed in 1948. In a new interview with Haaretz, the schism between Morris the historian and Morris the political pundit is on full display.
While apartheid, military occupation, and even ethnic cleansing, have at times surfaced in mainstream discussions, these phenomena are not Israel’s ultimate crimes. They are means to control Palestinian lives and, as such, symptoms of the ongoing Nakba. But they are effectively part of a structure that is rarely verbalized: Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian population.
The policy of ethnic cleansing ever since 1948, and in particular since 1967, is a consensual issue in Israel and thus leaves very little hope for peace and reconciliation. This strategy is marketed differently domestically and externally: It is based on the need to ‘preserve Jewish identity’ to the Israeli public and abroad as ‘Israel’s need for security’. These concepts are used widely across the political spectrum in Israel and provide the ambiguous framework for the Israeli ‘national consensus’. They also underpin the political instruments which deny the rights of the indigenous people of Palestine and to bring about its goal of maintaining a Jewish majority. The problem with Israel thus is not a policy here or there, but its overall strategy that has not changed.
1974 novel, hokum or visionary? I recently stumbled across “The Texas-Israeli War: 1999,” pulp fiction…