organization:israeli government

  • Ilhan Omar has sparked panic in AIPAC

    Rep. Ilhan Omar has apologized for her inexcusably insensitive tweet. But the core issue behind her comment - whether the U.S. should continue to reflexively embrace the views of the Israeli government - won’t go away
    David Rothkopf
    Feb 13, 2019 2:37 PM

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-ilhan-omar-has-sparked-panic-in-aipac-1.6935041

    U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota has apologized for her offensive tweet that suggested Israeli influence in the U.S. Congress was “all about the Benjamins.” But that does not mean that the core issue underlying the controversy surrounding the tweet, Representative Ilhan and new voices critical of Israel in U.S. politics, is likely to fade away.

    I’m not going to defend Omar.Her own apology was unequivocal and the tweet itself was, at best, inexcusably insensitive. But it is vitally important we distinguish between criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism. And, as importantly, we also must recognize the massive response against Rep. Omar for what it is - a spasm of fear about our changing times.

    >> Aaron David Miller: No, Israel and America Aren’t Breaking Up. Don’t Believe the Hype

    The entire infrastructure that has been built over the years to advance the interests of Israel in the U.S. is quaking in its boots - not because of the badly developed arguments of a rookie Congresswoman - but because of the coming generational change in U.S. views of Israel and because support for the Israeli government has been damaged among Democrats by the choice of the Netanyahu administration to so closely tie itself to Donald Trump and the Republican right wing in America.
    Supporters of US President Donald Trump cheer during a rally in El Paso, Texas on February 11, 2019
    Supporters of US President Donald Trump cheer during a rally in El Paso, Texas on February 11, 2019.AFP

    Rep. Omar damaged her own credibility by embracing an old anti-Semitic trope. There is no place for that in American politics. But even as she should be condemned, her views of Israel need to be heard. There is no reason all American views on a foreign government should be in lockstep.

    Quite the contrary, Americans who seek to protect and advance our interests should no more reflexively embrace the views of the Israeli government than they do those of a pro-Brexit UK government or an anti-refugee Italian government.

    Israel’s defenders would like the relationship to be deemed so important that it must not be criticized. This echoes the position, say, of the Saudis in the wake of the Khashoggi murder. And it is just as indefensible.

    A growing number of Americans realize that. Further, a growing number of American Jews feel the positions of the Netanyahu government are contrary to both U.S. interests and the values of Judaism, and thus the rationale for a Jewish state. In other words, they see Netanyahu’s actions as undermining the reasons Israel might have a special claim on their support.

    Indeed, no one, in fact, has done more to damage the standing of Israel than a Netanyahu government that has actively waged war on the Palestinian people, denied them their rights, responded disproportionately to threats and refused to acknowledge its own wrong-doing.

    Anti-Semites, with their stale and discredited attacks, can never do the kind of damage to the U.S.-Israel relationship that rampant Israeli wrong-doing can (especially when the Israeli government weakens the arguments against anti-Semites by embracing them, as in the case of Victor Orban in Hungary, or hugging those like Donald Trump who promote anti-Semites and anti-Semitic ideas about “globalists” or George Soros.)
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban share a light moment during the reception ceremony in front of the Parliament building in Budapest, Hungary, July 18, 2017.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban in front of the Parliament building in Budapest, Hungary, July 18, 2017Balazs Mohai/AP

    None of this is to diminish the real and ever-present threat of anti-Semitism. Which is why, of course, it is essential that we are careful to distinguish between it and legitimate criticism of the government of Israel.

    In fact, if we in the U.S. stand for what is best about America and hope for the best for Israel, then we must welcome those who would criticize Israel’s government not as our enemies but as the true defenders of the idea of Israel, and of America’s deep investment in the promise of that country.

    With that in mind, we must be careful that we do not allow the justifiable aspects of the critique against Rep. Omar to lead to a reflexive position where we silence active criticism of the Israeli government, or the worst actions of the State of Israel.

    Judging from comments in the media about her that pre-dated these statements, and comments about Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and comments about the “left” becoming anti-Israel, in my view we are in the midst of a pre-emptive push to combat the coming rethinking of the U.S.- Israel relationship.
    Feb. 5, 2019, photo, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., left, joined at right by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., listens to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech, at the Capitol in Washington
    Feb. 5, 2019, photo, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., left, joined at right by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., listens to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech, at the Capitol in Washington.J. Scott Applewhite,AP

    It will seize upon the fact that some elements who offer the critique of Israel are in fact anti-Semitic or tap into anti-Semitic rhetoric and traditions, in order to tar with the same brush those who legitimately disapprove of the behavior of the Israeli government.

    That would be a mistake. Because it would not only silence a debate we need to and deserve to have, but it would undermine the ability of the U.S. to be a force for positive change in Israeli policies - change that is necessary to the future of Israel and to U.S. interests in that region.

    We must combat anti-Semitism. But we should also combat those who have no tolerance for democratic processes, or who would seek a political purity test for politicians based on narrowly-defined, traditionalist, outdated guidelines.

    The future of the U.S.- Israel relationship - and the future of Israel, the Palestinian people and peace in the region - depends on our willingness to look past biases of all sorts to the facts on the ground, to the justice that is required and to our interests going forward.

    David Rothkopf is a foreign policy expert and author, host of the Deep State Radio podcast and CEO of The Rothkopf Group, LLC a media and advisory firm. His next book, on the national security threat posed by the Trump administration, is due out later this year. Twitter: @djrothkopf


  • Anti-BDS bill passed Senate, but trouble awaits in House
    Some Democrats are convinced the decision to tie the controversial bill together with motions on aid to Israel and Jordan and sanctions on Syria was designed to spark intra-Democratic fighting
    Amir Tibon Washington
    Feb 10, 2019 11:52 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-anti-bds-bill-passed-senate-but-trouble-awaits-in-house-1.6920012

    WASHINGTON – The Senate passed a bill last week that encourages state governments across the U.S. not to sign contracts with supporters of boycotts against Israel and its settlements in the occupied West Bank. The bill has since been introduced in the House of Representatives, but Congressional sources from both parties told Haaretz in recent days they doubt it will pass the House any time soon.

    The bill in question is called the Combating BDS Act. It passed the Senate as part of a “package” of Middle East-related bills after being introduced by Republican Senator Marco Rubio. The other bills in the package deal with non-controversial, consensus issues such as military aid to Israel and Jordan, and sanctions on the Assad regime in Syria.

    Rubio and Senate Republicans added the anti-BDS bill into the package, setting the stage for an intense fight about it on Capitol Hill. The reason is that civil rights organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union are concerned that the Combating BDS Act is unconstitutional and harms American citizens’ freedom of speech.

    The bill encourages the implementation of local legislation passed in recent years by half of the states in the U.S., putting limits on state governments’ abilities to sign contracts with supporters of boycotts against Israel or the settlements. Two such laws have been frozen by federal courts in Arizona and Kansas, following lawsuits by state contractors who said the laws harmed their freedom of speech. Similar lawsuits have recently been filed in Texas and Arkansas.

    When the package bill came up for a vote last week, 23 senators voted against it, including one Republican, Rand Paul of Kentucky. Many of those who voted against it clarified that if every aspect of the bill had been voted on separately, they probably would have supported the bills on assistance to Israel and Jordan and on sanctioning Assad, and would have only objected to the BDS bill, mainly because of concerns surrounding freedom of speech.

    Such a vote could take place in the Senate, where Republicans hold the majority, but not in the House, according to the Congressional sources who spoke with Haaretz. Democrats are convinced that the entire purpose of the Republican decision to add the anti-BDS bill into the broader Middle East package was to orchestrate an intra-Democratic fight over the issue, and force many Democrats to choose between their position on the free speech criticism of the bill, and their general opposition to BDS.

    The Democratic leadership in the House, which has a majority ever since the midterm elections, will most likely break up the package into a number of separate bills. That will allow the House to approve the non-controversial bills on security aid to Israel and sanctions on Syria, without immediately setting the stage for a new round of internal party tensions on the “constitutional right to boycott” question.

    While the other bills are probably going to see quick and easy approval, the anti-BDS bill could be up for a lengthy period of debate in the relevant House committees. There could also be an amendment process. In the Senate, for example, one Democratic senator, Gary Peters of Michigan, offered an amendment that would make it absolutely clear that the bill only refers to large companies, not to small businesses or sole proprietors. Another amendment offered to distinguish in the bill’s language between Israel proper and the settlements in the occupied West Bank.

    Lara Friedman of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, one of the most vocal opponents of the legislation, told Haaretz last week that Democrats in the House “can see what happened in the Senate and take a good guess that it will be even more controversial” in their chamber. “The only ones who benefit from seeing Democrats fight amongst themselves on this issue are the GOP and folks in the U.S. and Israel who want to see Israel turned into a weapon for partisan gain,” she added.

    AIPAC, the powerful lobby that supports the Israeli government, is urging Congress to pass the legislation. The organization wrote in its monthly publication, the Near East Report, that “Congress should take up and pass the Combating BDS Act as quickly as possible. This important bipartisan bill seeks both to protect states against claims they are preempting federal authority, and to demonstrate Congress’ strong support for state measures consistent with Congress’ historic commitment to oppose boycotts of Israel.”

    #BDS

    • En complément : attaquer Omar, Tlaib et Ocasio-Cortez, par imputation d’antisémitisme, pour explicitement diviser les Démocrates : McCarthy pressures Democrats to rebuke two Muslim lawmakers over alleged anti-Semitism
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/mccarthy-gop-challenge-house-democrats-to-denounce-alleged-anti-semitism/2019/02/08/aef28514-2bae-11e9-b2fc-721718903bfc_story.html

      Republicans are focusing their ire at the two Muslim women in Congress, accusing them of anti-Semitism and pressuring Democratic leaders to rebuke the lawmakers as attitudes in the party toward Israel shift from unquestioned support.

      The pressure on Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) is part of a larger GOP effort to drive a partisan wedge into the traditionally nonpartisan relationship between the United States and Israel. Republicans are casting themselves as the more resolute defender of Israel, heightening the party’s appeal to traditionally Democratic Jewish voters.

      […]

      Ralph Reed, the head of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and an ally of the Trump White House, said Republicans are working to “change the center of gravity in the American electorate on the issue of Israel.”

      “The leftward drift of the grass roots of the Democrat Party, away from wholehearted and robust support of Israel, means you have people in that party who see Israel through the prism of apartheid and occupation,” he said. “That’s an opportunity for Republicans to say, ‘That’s not how we see Israel.’ ”

      Some Republicans have pointed to a recent phone call between Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the high-profile young leader of her party’s hard-left wing, to British lawmaker Jeremy Corbyn, the head of the Labour Party who has come under intense criticism for tolerating anti-Semitism in his ranks.

      (Accessoirement donc : internationalisation de la manipulation anti-Corbyn…)


  • » Palestinian Detainee Dies From Medical Neglect In Israeli Prison
    IMEMC News - February 7, 2019 6:50 AM
    http://imemc.org/article/palestinian-detainee-dies-from-medical-neglect-in-israeli-prison

    The Palestinian Detainees Committee has reported, on Wednesday evening, that a Palestinian detainee from Gaza, who has been held by Israel since 1991, died from serious complications resulting from being denied required specialized medical attention.

    The Committee stated that the detainee, Fares Mohammad Baroud , 51, from the Shati’ refugee camp, west of Gaza city, died shortly after being moved to Soroka Israeli medical center.

    It added that, although the details of his death remain unclear, Baroud has been facing several health conditions for many years and was not granted urgently needed professional medical treatment.

    On November 18, 2018, the detainee, who was also suffering from a psychological condition, suffered an internal hemorrhage and was moved to Soroka after losing consciousness.

    He later underwent a surgery where the doctors removed a part of his liver and a blood vessel leading to it.

    The Detainees Committee held the Ramon Prison administration and the Israeli government responsible for Baroud’s death, as it is just one example of the numerous and ongoing serious violations against the Palestinian detainees, depriving them from basic life-saving medical attention.

    Baroud was taken prisoner on March 23, 1991 and was sentenced to a life-term after being convicted of killing an Israeli colonialist settler.

    He has been denied visits since the year 2000, and was supposed to be released as part of the fourth phase of a prisoner release agreement reached in late 2013, but Israel cancelled the deal.

    As part of that agreement, Israel was supposed to release all long-term detainees who had spent many years in prison, in four phases, in order to facilitate the resumption of direct “peace talks”. But the Israeli government backed out of the deal before implementing the final phase, which included 30 detainees.

    His death brings the number of detainees who died in Israeli prisons since the year 1967 to 218, including 63 who died after being denied the required essential medical treatment.

    #Palestine_assassinée


  • Forget Tlaib and Omar, Democratic 2020 front-runners should worry Israel more

    While the new generation of pro-BDS lawmakers are making news, Democratic presidential contenders’ opposition to ’pro-Israel’ legislation signals a much deeper shift
    Amir Tibon Washington
    Feb 04, 2019
    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-forget-tlaib-and-omar-democratic-2020-front-runners-worry-israel-m

    WASHINGTON – Two newly elected congresswomen may be generating a lot of headlines, but Israeli officials are most concerned about the heated Senate debate about Israel in the past month than the pro-boycott statements of Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.

    While Israeli officials are worried about the media attention Tlaib and Omar are receiving – which is seen as helping to advance their views and possibly creating more support for them – they are not perceived as having the potential to weaken or delay pro-Israel legislation in Congress. The representatives’ ability to pass laws that would harm or upset the Israeli government is seen as even more limited.
    Haaretz Weekly Ep. 13Haaretz

    But talking with Haaretz, Israeli officials admit greater concern that close to half of all Democratic senators voted against the anti-boycott, divestment and sanctions legislation proposed by Sen. Marco Rubio (Republican of Florida) last week.

    Almost all of the Democratic senators who are potential 2020 presidential nominees – from Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders (an independent who caucuses with the Democrats) to Sherrod Brown, Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand – opposed the legislation, citing concerns over freedom of speech. The senators said that although they oppose BDS, they also oppose legislation that would force state contractors to sign a declaration saying they don’t boycott Israel or its settlements in the occupied territories.
    Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar smiling during a news conference with Nancy Pelosi on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 30, 2018.
    Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar smiling during a news conference with Nancy Pelosi on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 30, 2018.Bloomberg

    The anti-BDS legislation being opposed by high-ranking Democratic senators and presidential hopefuls has been a flagship project of the pro-Israel lobby in the United States for the past decade. It has also received strong support and encouragement from senior officials in the Israeli government. The pushback on the Democratic side to the legislation, which is coming from the mainstream of the party, is more consequential in the long-term than the provocative statements of freshman members of the House of Representatives, according to Israeli officials.


  • CAF rejects tender for Jerusalem’s railway as it traverses ’67 border
    Feb. 1, 2019 2:46 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 1, 2019 4:07 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=782418

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Spanish rail equipment manufacturer CAF announced, on Friday, that it had refused to participate in a tender to build a section of the railway in occupied East Jerusalem as it violates international law.

    An international tender to build and operate Jerusalem’s second light rail line has many companies rejecting to participate as they are fearful of arousing political opposition, since the proposed “Green Line” runs into parts of the city occupied by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967.

    The proposed Green Line, a project that could cost as much as 5 billion shekels ($1.4 billion) and stretch along 22 kilometers, proved to be problematic as it reaches Mount Scopus and Gilo.

    The company, which is one of the most important Spanish companies in the field of railways, said it “refuses to build a section of the railway in Jerusalem because the Israeli government included in the section a Palestinian land that will be confiscated in violation of the resolutions of international legitimacy.”

    #BDS


  • Israel/OPT : Tourism companies driving settlement expansion, profiting from war crimes

    Online booking giants #Airbnb, #Booking.com, #Expedia and #TripAdvisor are fuelling human rights violations against Palestinians by listing hundreds of rooms and activities in Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land, including East Jerusalem, Amnesty International said today. In a new report, ‘Destination: Occupation’, the organization documents how online booking companies are driving tourism to illegal Israeli settlements and contributing to their existence and expansion.

    Israel’s settling of Israeli civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) violates international humanitarian law and is a war crime. Despite this, the four companies continue to operate in the settlements, and profit from this illegal situation.

    One of the settlements included in Amnesty International’s report is #Kfar_Adumim, a growing tourism hub located less than two kilometres from the Bedouin village of #Khan_al-Ahmar, whose imminent and complete demolition by Israeli forces has been given a green light by Israel’s Supreme Court. The expansion of Kfar Adumim and other surrounding settlements is a key driver of human rights violations against the local Bedouin community.

    “Israel’s unlawful seizure of Palestinian land and expansion of settlements perpetuates immense suffering, pushing Palestinians out of their homes, destroying their livelihoods and depriving them of basics like drinking water. Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia and TripAdvisor model themselves on the idea of sharing and mutual trust, yet they are contributing to these human rights violations by doing business in the settlements,” said Seema Joshi, Amnesty International’s Director of Global Thematic Issues.

    “The Israeli government uses the growing tourism industry in the settlements as a way of legitimizing their existence and expansion, and online booking companies are playing along with this agenda. It’s time for these companies to stand up for human rights by withdrawing all of their listings in illegal settlements on occupied land. War crimes are not a tourist attraction.”

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/01/israel-opt-tourism-companies-driving-settlement-expansion-profiting-from-wa
    #Israël #territoires_occupés #tourisme #Palestine #droits_humains #démolition #destruction #industrie_touristique
    ping @reka


  • » Israeli Minister Calls for Expulsion of International Observers from Hebron
    IMEMC News - January 22, 2019 4:16 AM
    http://imemc.org/article/israeli-minister-calls-for-expulsion-of-international-observers-from-hebron

    Israel’s Minister of Internal Security, Gilad Erdan, has called for international observers to be expelled from Hebron, claiming the mission is “hostile to Israel rather than a neutral force, and harmful to both the Israeli soldiers stationed in Hebron and the Jewish settlers that live there”.

    Erdan sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, demanding that he end the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), sending him a secret police report “with data to back up his assertion”.

    The letter read:

    “It is no wonder that a force, composed of policemen from a hostile Islamic state such as Turkey and pro-Palestinian countries that sponsor boycotts [of Israel] such as Sweden and Norway, interferes with IDF soldiers and police, creates friction with the settlers, cooperates with radical organizations and promotes the delegitimization of Israel.”

    Erdan continued: “It is [therefore] right and proper for the Israeli government to prevent the continued activity of this ‘temporary’ force acting to harm Israel.”

    In November, Netanyahu said he would review the mission’s status in December.

    The TIPH – a civilian observer mission which has been present in Hebron since 1997 – has a mandate which is renewed every six months by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel. The mission’s current mandate ends in 14 days, which likely explains the timing of Erdan’s appeal. In doing so, he joins the right-wing campaign led by Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely, to pressure Netanyahu to end the mission’s mandate. It was formed in the aftermath of a massacre committed by Jewish extremist rabbi, Baruch Goldstein, who killed 30 Palestinian worshippers during their morning prayers at the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.


  • Palestinian Authority tells U.S. it will stop taking aid to avoid multi-million dollar lawsuits - U.S. News - Haaretz.com

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-pa-informs-u-s-it-will-stop-receiving-aid-to-avoid-multi-million-d

    WASHINGTON – The Palestinian Authority informed the Trump administration that it will stop taking any form of government assistance from the United States at the end of the month, as a result of legislation passed last year by Congress.

    The law that led the PA to make this decision is the “Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act”, known as ATCA, which makes it possible for U.S. citizens to sue foreign entities that receive U.S. assistance for past acts of terrorism.

    The Palestinian decision could lead to the end of the U.S. support for the PA’s security forces. These forces work regularly with the Israeli military to thwart terror attacks. In his last appearance before the Israeli government last week, outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot said that the security coordination between Israel and the PA’s forces helps save lives and maintain stability in the region.

    >> Trump’s ’Arab NATO’ push against Iran comes to a head, and he’s the biggest obstacle | Analysis

    During 2018, the Trump administration cut all forms of U.S. civil assistance to the Palestinians, but it did not touch the security assistance, stating that the security coordination between the PA and Israel serves American foreign policy interests. Now, however, U.S. support for the PA security forces could end at the end of January, putting at risk the continuation of efficient security coordination.

    The ATCA bill, which the PA blamed for its decision, was promoted last year in Congress in response to rulings by U.S. courts that rejected multi-million dollar lawsuits against the PA. These lawsuits were filed by American citizens who were injured or lost loved ones in terror attacks committed by Palestinians, mostly during the Second Intifada. The Supreme Court in Washington affirmed a ruling by a lower court that the American legal system does not have jurisdiction to deal with such lawsuits.

    This led members of Congress to promote the ATCA bill, which states that U.S. courts will have jurisdiction to hear terrorism-related lawsuits against any foreign entity reviving U.S. government assistance. This means that if the PA will receive even one dollar of U.S. funding, it could face lawsuits asking for hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation. The law has also created concern in other countries in the Middle East that rely on U.S. assistance. It would not apply to Israel, however, because of the specific sources of funding through which Israel receives U.S. security assistance.
    Get our daily election roundup in your inbox
    Email*

    Only after the bill passed Congress and was signed into law by President Trump, senior administration officials became aware of its possible impact on security coordination. In recent months, the administration tried to negotiate a “fix” to the law together with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. As reported in Haaretz two weeks ago, these efforts have stalled because of the ongoing government shutdown.

    The PA’s letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which was first reported over the weekend by NPR, could create a sense of urgency in Washington to solve the security assistance question.

    Two sources who are involved in the negotiations on the subject told Haaretz that a possible solution could emerge with the involvement of the CIA or the Pentagon, but its exact mechanism hasn’t yet been drawn in full. “Everyone wants a fix, but it’s still not clear how we can get it,” explained one of the sources, who asked not to be named in order to discuss politicallly-sensitive negotiations.


  • Expanding the limits of Jewish sovereignty: A brief history of Israeli settlements - Israel News
    Gideon Levy and Alex Levac Jan 11, 2019 – Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-expanding-the-limits-of-jewish-sovereignty-a-brief-history-of-isra

    At the end of the day, we stood above the ditch that holds the road designated for Palestinians who want to travel from an enclave of three West Bank villages – Biddu, Beit Surik and Qatannah – to Ramallah. Above that road, Israeli vehicles sped smoothly along Highway 443, the high road to the capital, without the drivers even seeing the segregation road below, which is hemmed in by iron fencing and barbed wire. The Israelis on the expressway above, the Palestinians on the subterranean route below: a picture that’s worth a thousand words. Israel dubs these separation routes “fabric-of-life roads.” It sounds promising but in reality these byways are just another, monstrous product of the apartheid system.

    A few hundred meters away, in Givon Hahadasha (New Givon) – and like the settlement, enclosed on all sides by iron fencing and spiky wire, and complete with electronic cameras and an electric gate – is the home of the Agrayeb family. Here the occupation looms at its most grotesque: a Palestinian family cut off from its village (Beit Ijza) in the quasi-prison of the enclave and left to live in this house-cage in the heart of a settlement, a situation that the High Court of Justice of the region’s sole democracy has termed acceptably “proportional harm.” At the conclusion of an instructive tour, the tunnel and the cage, Highway 443 and New Givon, the “proportional harm” and the “fabric-of-life roads” all spark grim, utterly depressing thoughts here in the realm of apartheid. The thoughts that arose in late afternoon on a cold, stormy winter day will long haunt us.

    Since the anti-occupation organization Breaking the Silence was founded in 2004, it has led hundreds of study tours to Hebron and to the South Hebron Hills, in which tens of thousands of Israelis and others have taken part. The tours, which draw about 5,000 participants a year, are aimed at the gut, and no one returns indifferent from the ghostly population-transfer quarter in Hebron or from the land of the caves whose inhabitants have been dispossessed, in the South Hebron Hills. Now the NGO is launching a new tour, analytical and insightful, of the central West Bank, which focuses on the history of the occupation from its inception down to our time.

    Yehuda Shaul, 36, one of the founders of Breaking the Silence, a former Haredi and an ex-combat soldier, worked for about a year and a half planning the tour, writing the texts and preparing the maps, drawing on some 40 books about the settlements and other materials found while burrowing in archives. Shaul is a superb guide along the trails of the occupation – businesslike and brimming with knowledge, not given to sloganizing. He is committed and determined but also bound by the facts, and he is articulate in Hebrew and English. His tour is currently in the pilot stage, before its official launch in a few months.

    A day in the Ramallah subdistrict, from the Haredi settlement of Modi’in Ilit to the home of the young Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi, in the village of Nabi Saleh, from the region of the Allon Plan to the fabric-of-life scheme – during this seven-hour journey, an unvarnished picture emerges: The goals of the occupation were determined immediately after the 1967 war. Every Israeli government since, without exception, has worked to realize them. The aim: to prevent the establishment of any Palestinian entity between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, by carving up the West Bank and shattering it into shards of territory. The methods have varied, but the goal remains unwavering: eternal Israeli rule.

    #apartheid



  • The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI)’s decision to rescind an honor previously extended to Angela Davis is only the latest incident in a well-documented nationwide campaign to censor and punish critics of Israel.

    Davis joins a long list of scholars and activists who have been censored, fired, de-funded, defamed, harassed and targeted with frivolous litigation because of concerted efforts by the Israeli government and anti-Palestinian organizations in the U.S. to silence debate. Marc Lamont Hill was not alone. Neither is Angela Davis.
    https://palestinelegal.org/news/angela-davis-statement


  • American Exceptionalism Is a Dangerous Myth
    http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/01/american-exceptionalism-is-a-dangerous-myth.html

    Having a global hegemon that preaches human rights — while propping up dictators and incinerating schoolchildren — is bad. But having one that does those things while preaching nihilism is worse; not least because even a nominal commitment to liberal values can function as a constraint against their violation. Trump’s distaste for the whole “shining city on a hill” shtick has, among other things, enabled the Pentagon to tolerate higher levels of civilian casualties in the Middle East, the Israeli government to accelerate settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, and the Saudi crown prince to take a bonesaw to international law.

    #etats-unis


  • Yad Vashem teaches the Holocaust like totalitarian countries teach history

    Yad Vashem is now paying the price of the many years in which it nurtured a one-dimensional, simplistic message that there’s only one way to explain the Holocaust

    Daniel Blatman SendSend me email alerts
    Dec 18, 2018
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-what-happened-to-yad-vashem-1.6759139

    The Warsaw Ghetto Museum, which the Polish government decided to establish eight months ago, is now at the center of a debate.
    This debate has political elements, but it’s mainly a clash between two views of what should be stressed when researching and remembering the Holocaust, and above all of what educational messages should be sent – what Israelis like to call “the lessons of the Holocaust.”
    Haaretz’s Ofer Aderet, in his article about the Warsaw museum, mainly discussed the political perspective, giving considerable space to the criticisms by Prof. Hava Dreifuss, a Yad Vashem historian. Dreifuss assailed the Warsaw museum and those who decided, despite all the problems, to take on a project whose importance is hard to overstate. This criticism deserves a response.

    First, the political context. There’s no more appropriate response to Dreifuss’ criticism than the old saying that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
    >> Budapest Holocaust museum: Orban’s grand gesture or a whitewashing of Hungarian history?
    Dreifuss works for an institution that in recent years has functioned as a hard-working laundromat, striving to bleach out the sins of every anti-Semitic, fascist, racist or simply murderously thuggish leader or politician like Hungary’s Viktor Orban, the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte and Italy’s Matteo Salvini.
    My heart breaks when I see my colleagues, honest and faithful researchers of the Holocaust, giving tours of this historic museum, apparently under compulsion, to the evildoers the Israeli government sends to Yad Vashem to receive absolution in the name of Holocaust victims in exchange for adding a pro-Israel vote at international institutions. For some reason, Dreifuss has no criticism about this.
    Keep updated: Sign up to our newsletter
    Email* Sign up

    But for the Polish government (every Polish government, both the current one headed by the nationalist Law and Justice party and the previous one headed by a liberal centrist coalition), which is spending tens of millions of zlotys every year to preserve historical Jewish sites, Jewish graveyards and countless memorials, she has scathing criticism.
    Fear and demoralization
    A week and a half ago, Matti Friedman published an opinion piece in The New York Times about what’s happening at Yad Vashem, and it made for difficult reading. When you read his conclusions, your hair stands on end. He doesn’t quote a single Yad Vashem employee by name, because no one wanted to be identified. After all, they have to earn a living.
    Friedman described a mood of frustration, fear and demoralization among the employees because the current extremist, nationalist government has turned Yad Vashem into a political tool reminiscent of history museums in totalitarian countries.
    But the most astonishing thing Friedman reported is that the institution’s chairman, Avner Shalev – who turned the museum into an international remembrance empire, and who for years has viciously fought every attempt to present a different conceptual or research approach than that of Yad Vashem – is reluctant to retire, despite having reached the age of 80.
    >> How a Nazi sympathizer helped found one of Sweden’s most powerful parties
    The reason for his reluctance is that many people at the institute fear that when he leaves, his place will be taken by someone nominated by the relevant minister, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who will turn Yad Vashem into a remembrance institute in the spirit of Bennett’s Habayit Hayehudi party. It would be interesting to know what Dreifuss thinks about that.
    Yad Vashem is now paying the price of the many years in which it nurtured a one-dimensional, simplistic message that there’s only one way to explain the Holocaust. Today, the institution is apparently willing to place its reputation for Holocaust research, which it has built over many years, at the service of a government that has recruited it to accuse anyone who criticizes Israel of anti-Semitism. So it’s no wonder that its researchers have become partisan explainers of the Holocaust.
    It’s one thing when, at dubious conferences with political leaders whose governments include former neo-Nazis, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tries to pass resolutions calling criticism of Israel the new anti-Semitism. It’s another when a research and remembrance institute doesn’t stand courageously against all such attempts.
    Thus Yad Vashem would do better not to look for evidence that other governments are attempting to distort history and dictate nationalist content – not to mention engaging in Holocaust denial, as Dreifuss charges.
    The Polish angle
    Does any of the above justify the current Polish government’s position on the Holocaust? Obviously not. The Polish government has a problematic agenda in explaining the past, which we aren’t obligated to accept and in fact should even criticize.
    But Poland’s government hasn’t interfered with the work of the museum’s employees, who have now started working, and certainly not with the development of the museum’s narrative. Had Dreifuss and her colleagues gotten involved in this effort, as they were invited to do, they would have been welcomed. Had Yad Vashem offered its help and support instead of giving the project the cold shoulder, nobody would have been happier than we at the museum.
    >> Opening Italy’s ‘closet of shame’
    And now we come to the historical issue. To take part in the effort to establish the Warsaw Ghetto Museum, one has to agree that the Holocaust can be presented and explained from perspectives other than an ethnocentric Jewish, Zionist and nationalist one.
    One has to accept that the Holocaust can be studied in a way that sees Jewish history during this period as an integral part of Poland’s history under the Nazi occupation. One has to agree that the horrific Jewish tragedy that occurred during World War II can and should be understood in part by simultaneously examining – while noting both the differences and the common elements – what befell Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners of war and others who were murdered alongside Jews in the vast genocidal expanse that occupied Poland became.
    To set up a museum with a humanist, universal and inclusive message about the Holocaust, one has to accept an approach that sees the Warsaw Ghetto – a horrific terror zone that caused the deaths and physical and spiritual collapse of hundreds of thousands of Jews – as one element of a much bigger terror zone in which hundreds of thousands of other people suffered and fought for their existence: the Poles who lived on the other side of the wall.
    The obvious differences between the fates of these two peoples don’t absolve the research historian, or a museum depicting the history of this period, from presenting this complex message and demanding that visitors to the museum grapple with its lessons.
    Therefore, the new Warsaw Ghetto Museum won’t be Yad Vashem. It will be a Holocaust museum in the heart of the Polish capital that remembers the fate of the 450,000 Jews, Warsaw residents and refugees brought to the ghetto.
    After all, the vast majority of them were Jewish citizens of Poland. That’s how they lived, that’s how they suffered, and that’s how they should be remembered after being murdered by the Nazis.
    Prof. Daniel Blatman is a historian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the chief historian for the Warsaw Ghetto Museum.


  • Un intéressant éditorial du New York Times contre les tentatives du Sénat américain de criminaliser BDS

    Opinion | Curbing Speech in the Name of Helping Israel - The New York Times

    A Senate bill aims to punish those who boycott Israel over its settlement policy. There are better solutions.

    By The Editorial Board
    The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/18/opinion/editorials/israel-bds.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

    One of the more contentious issues involving Israel in recent years is now before Congress, testing America’s bedrock principles of freedom of speech and political dissent.

    It is a legislative proposal that would impose civil and criminal penalties on American companies and organizations that participate in boycotts supporting Palestinian rights and opposing Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

    The aim is to cripple the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement known as B.D.S., which has gathered steam in recent years despite bitter opposition from the Israeli government and its supporters around the world.

    The proposal’s chief sponsors, Senator Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, and Senator Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, want to attach it to the package of spending bills that Congress needs to pass before midnight Friday to keep the government fully funded.
    ADVERTISEMENT
    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a leading pro-Israel lobby group, strongly favors the measure.

    J Street, a progressive American pro-Israel group that is often at odds with Aipac and that supports a two-state peace solution, fears that the legislation could have a harmful effect, in part by implicitly treating the settlements and Israel the same, instead of as distinct entities. Much of the world considers the settlements, built on land that Israel captured in the 1967 war, to be a violation of international law.

    Although the Senate sponsors vigorously disagree, the legislation, known as the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, is clearly part of a widening attempt to silence one side of the debate. That is not in the interests of Israel, the United States or their shared democratic traditions.

    Critics of the legislation, including the American Civil Liberties Union and several Palestinian rights organizations, say the bill would violate the First Amendment and penalize political speech.

    The hard-line policies of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, including expanding settlements and an obvious unwillingness to seriously pursue a peace solution that would allow Palestinians their own state, have provoked a backlash and are fueling the boycott movement.
    Editors’ Picks

    How to Buy a Gun in 15 Countries

    Opinion
    In Praise of Mediocrity

    Ellen DeGeneres Is Not as Nice as You Think

    ADVERTISEMENT
    It’s not just Israel’s adversaries who find the movement appealing. Many devoted supporters of Israel, including many American Jews, oppose the occupation of the West Bank and refuse to buy products of the settlements in occupied territories. Their right to protest in this way must be vigorously defended.

    The same is true of Palestinians. They are criticized when they resort to violence, and rightly so. Should they be deprived of nonviolent economic protest as well? The United States frequently employs sanctions as a political tool, including against North Korea, Iran and Russia.

    Mr. Cardin and Mr. Portman say their legislation merely builds on an existing law, the Export Control Reform Act, which bars participation in the Arab League boycott of Israel, and is needed to protect American companies from “unsanctioned foreign boycotts.”

    They are especially concerned that the United Nations Human Rights Council is compiling a database of companies doing business in the occupied territories and East Jerusalem, a tactic Senate aides say parallels the Arab League boycott.

    But there are problems with their arguments, critics say. The existing law aimed to protect American companies from the Arab League boycott because it was coercive, requiring companies to boycott Israel as a condition of doing business with Arab League member states. A company’s motivation for engaging in that boycott was economic — continued trade relations — not exercising free speech rights.

    By contrast, the Cardin-Portman legislation would extend the existing prohibition to cover boycotts against Israel and other countries friendly to the United States when the boycotts are called for by an international government organization, like the United Nations or the European Union.

    Neither of those organizations has called for a boycott, but supporters of Israel apparently fear that the Human Rights Council database is a step in that direction.
    Get our weekly newsletter and never miss an Op-Doc
    Watch Oscar-nominated short documentaries from around the world made for you.

    SIGN UP
    ADVERTISEMENT
    Civil rights advocates, on the other hand, say that anyone who joins a boycott would be acting voluntarily — neither the United Nations nor the European Union has the authority to compel such action — and the decision would be an exercise of political expression in opposition to Israeli policies.

    Responding to criticism, the senators amended their original proposal to explicitly state that none of the provisions shall infringe upon any First Amendment right and to penalize violators with fines rather than jail time.

    But the American Civil Liberties Union says the First Amendment wording is nonbinding and “leaves intact key provisions which would impose civil and criminal penalties on companies, small business owners, nonprofits and even people acting on their behalf who engage in or otherwise support certain political boycotts.”

    While the sponsors say their bill is narrowly targeted at commercial activity, “such assurances ring hollow in light of the bill’s intended purpose, which is to suppress voluntary participation in disfavored political boycotts,” the A.C.L.U. said in a letter to lawmakers.

    Even the Anti-Defamation League, which has lobbied for the proposal, seems to agree. A 2016 internal ADL memo, disclosed by The Forward last week, calls anti-B.D.S. laws “ineffective, unworkable, unconstitutional and bad for the Jewish community.”

    In a properly functioning Congress, a matter of such moment would be openly debated. Instead, Mr. Cardin and Mr. Portman are trying to tack the B.D.S. provision onto the lame-duck spending bill, meaning it could by enacted into law in the 11th-hour crush to keep the government fully open.

    The anti-B.D.S. initiative began in 2014 at the state level before shifting to Congress and is part of a larger, ominous trend in which the political space for opposing Israel is shrinking. After ignoring the B.D.S. movement, Israel is now aggressively pushing against it, including branding it anti-Semitic and adopting a law barring foreigners who support it from entering that country.
    ADVERTISEMENT
    One United States case shows how counterproductive the effort is. It involves Bahia Amawi, an American citizen of Palestinian descent who was told she could no longer work as an elementary school speech pathologist in Austin, Tex., because she refused to sign a state-imposed oath that she “does not” and “will not” engage in a boycott of Israel. She filed a lawsuit this week in federal court, arguing that the Texas law “chills constitutionally protected political advocacy in support of Palestine.”

    Any anti-boycott legislation enacted by Congress is also likely to face a court challenge. It would be more constructive if political leaders would focus on the injustice and finding viable solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict rather than reinforcing divisions between the two parties and promoting legislation that raises free speech concerns.


  • Americans Are Increasingly Critical of Israel – Foreign Policy
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/11/americans-are-increasingly-critical-of-israel

    The firing of Professor Marc Lamont Hill as a CNN contributor after his speech at a United Nations event commemorating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People has generated considerable debate about free speech that goes beyond the case itself—what is legitimate criticism of Israel, and what constitutes anti-Semitism. A recent University of Maryland public-opinion poll indicates that many aspects of Hill’s views are widely shared among the American public—and that these views are not reflective of anti-Semitic attitudes, or even of hostility toward Israel as such. On these issues, there is a gap between the mainstream media and U.S. politicians on the one hand, and the American public on the other.

    While many issues were raised about Hill, the part of his speech that received the most criticism was his call for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea,” which was seen by some as calling for the end of Israel. Hill himself clarified almost immediately that “my reference to ‘river to the sea’ was not a call to destroy anything or anyone. It was a call for justice, both in Israel and in the West Bank/Gaza.” In an op-ed he penned later, he acknowledged that the language he chose may have contributed to the misperception that he was advocating violence against Jewish people—and apologized for that.

    Trending Articles

    It’s Macron’s Destiny to Be Hated
    The French president can make all the concessions he wants, but he can’t make the public like him.
     
    Powered By
    But, perceptions aside, are Professor Hill’s views exceptional?

    The first issue to consider is advocacy for a one-state solution, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, with equal citizenship for all, which would in effect threaten Israel’s status as a Jewish-majority state, as Arabs might soon outnumber Jews on that territory. In fact, this solution has considerable support among the American public, as revealed in a University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll, fielded by Nielson Scarborough, which was conducted in September and October among a nationally representative sample of 2,352 Americans, with a 2 percent margin of error. When asked what outcome they want U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to seek in mediating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Americans are split between one state with equal citizenship and two states coexisting side by side: 35 percent say they want a one-state solution outright, while 36 percent advocate a two-state solution, 11 percent support maintaining the occupation, and 8 percent back annexation without equal citizenship. Among those between 18 and 34 years old, support for one state climbs to 42 percent.

    Furthermore, most of those who advocate a two-state solution tend to choose one state with equal citizenship if the two-state solution were no longer possible; the last time the survey asked this question, in November 2017, 55 percent of two-state solution backers said they would switch to one state in such circumstances. Bolstering this result is Americans’ views on the Jewishness and democracy of Israel: If the two-state solution were no longer possible, 64 percent of Americans would choose the democracy of Israel, even if it meant that Israel would cease to be a politically Jewish state, over the Jewishness of Israel, if the latter meant that Palestinians would not be fully equal.

    When one considers that many Israelis and Palestinians, as well as many Middle East experts, already believe that a two-state solution is no longer possible, especially given the large expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, it’s not hard to see why more people would be drawn to a one-state solution—or see the advocacy for two states as legitimizing the unjust status quo through the promise of something unattainable.

    Second, while most Americans have probably never heard of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement that Hill backs, our poll shows that a large number of Americans support imposing sanctions or more serious measures if Israeli settlements in the West Bank continue to expand: 40 percent of Americans support such measures, including a majority of Democrats (56 percent). This comes as senators, including Democrats, are proposing, despite continued ACLU opposition, to delegitimize and criminalize voluntary boycotts of Israel or settlements through the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, while not differentiating between Israeli settlements in the West Bank from those in Israel proper.

    Third, there is a growing sense that the Israeli government has “too much influence” on U.S. politics and policies: 38 percent of all Americans (including 55 percent of Democrats, and 44 percent of those under 35 years old), say the Israeli government has too much influence on the U.S. government, compared with 9 percent who say it has “too little influence” and 48 percent who say it has “about the right level of influence.” While the number of Jewish participants in the sample (115) is too small to generalize with confidence, it is notable that their views fall along the same lines of the national trend: 37 percent say Israel has too much influence, 54 percent say it has the right level, and 7 percent say it has too little influence.

    These results indicate neither a rise in anti-Semitism nor even a rise in hostility toward Israel as such. As analysis of previous polls has shown, many who espouse these opinions base them on a principled worldview that emphasizes human rights and international law.

    Keep in mind that, in a polarized America with deep political antagonism, it’s hardly surprising that Americans would have sharply divided views on Israelis and Palestinians. What many read as a rising anti-Israeli sentiment among Democrats is mischaracterized; it reflects anger toward Israeli policies—and increasingly, with the values projected by the current Israeli government.

    On the question of whether Americans want the Trump administration to lean toward Israel, toward the Palestinians, or toward neither side, there is a vast difference between Republicans and Democrats in the new poll: While a majority of Republicans want Washington to lean toward Israel outright (57 percent), a substantial majority of Democrats (82 percent) want it to lean toward neither side, with 8 percent wanting it to lean toward the Palestinians and 7 percent toward Israel. Still, it’s inaccurate to label the Democrats’ even-handedness as “anti-Israel.”


  • Israeli Government Sends Letter to German Chancellor Requesting the Country Cut Funding to Jewish Museum in Berlin
    https://hyperallergic.com/475315/israeli-government-sends-letter-to-german-chancellor-requesting-the-c

    Earlier this year, the Israeli government sent an official letter to the office of Chancellor Angela Merkel demanding Germany cut its funding of the Jewish Museum in Berlin over an ongoing exhibition, Welcome to Jerusalem, which is said to probe Jerusalem’s “extraordinary political tensions, claimed as the capital city by both Israelis and Palestinians.”

    i24NEWS - #Israël exhorte l’Allemagne à cesser de financer le musée juif de Berlin
    https://www.i24news.tv/fr/actu/israel/diplomatie-defense/190653-181210-israel-exhorte-l-allemagne-a-cesser-de-financer-le-musee-juif-

    De son côté, le Musée juif de Berlin a déclaré dans un communiqué qu’il estimait « qu’un dialogue ouvert sur des questions controversées est crucial pour permettre aux visiteurs (du musée) de se faire leur propre idée sur la question et de la juger par eux-mêmes".


  • How Hamas sold out Gaza for cash from Qatar and collaboration with Israel

    Israel’s botched military incursion saved Hamas from the nightmare of being branded as ’sell-outs’. Now feted as resistance heroes, it won’t be long before Hamas’ betrayal of the Palestinian national movement is exposed again

    Muhammad Shehada
    Nov 22, 2018 7:04 PM

    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/.premium-how-hamas-sold-out-gaza-for-cash-from-qatar-and-collaboration-with

    Earlier this month, Hamas was confronted by one of its worst nightmares. The Palestinian mainstream began to brand Hamas with the same slurs that Hamas itself uses to delegitimize the Palestinian Authority. 
    "They sold us out!” Gazans began to whisper, after Hamas reached a limited set of understandings with Israel in early November. Its conditions required Hamas to distance Gazan protesters hundreds of meters away from the separation fence with Israel and actively prevent the weekly tire-burning and incendiary kite-flying associated with what have become weekly protests.
    In return for this calm, Israel allowed a restoration of the status quo ante – an inherently unstable and destabilizing situation that had led to the outbreak of popular rage in the first place. 

    Other “benefits” of the agreement included a meaningless expansion of the fishing zone for few months, restoring the heavily-restricted entry of relief aid and commercial merchandise to Gaza, instead of the full-on closure of previous months, and a tentative six-month supply of Qatari fuel and money to pay Hamas’ government employees. Basically, a return to square one. 
    skip - Qatari ambassador has stones thrown at him in Gaza
    Qatari ambassador has stones thrown at him in Gaza - דלג

    The disaffected whispers quickly became a popular current, which took overt form when the Qatari ambassador visited Gaza. He was met with angry cries of “collaborator,” as young Gazans threw stones at his vehicle after the ambassador was seen instructing a senior Hamas leader with the words: “We want calm today...we want calm.”
    Keep updated: Sign up to our newsletter

    Hamas leaders didn’t dare show their faces to the people for several days following, and the movement’s popular base had a very hard time arguing that the agreement with Israel - which offered no fundamental improvement of condition – and sweetened by Qatari cash wasn’t a complete sell-out by Hamas. 
    Inside Hamas, there was evident anxiety about public outrage, not least in the form of social media activism, using Arabic hashtags equivalents to #sell-outs. One typical message reads: “[Suddenly] burning tires have became ‘unhealthy’ and [approaching] the electronic fence is suicide! #sell-outs.”

    Social media is clearly less easy to police than street protests. Even so, there was a small protest by young Gazans in Khan Younis where this “sell-out” hashtag became a shouted slogan; the demonstrators accused Hamas of betrayal.
    But relief for Hamas was at hand – and it was Israel who handed the movement an easy victory on a gold plate last week. That was the botched operation by Israel thwarted by Hamas’ military wing, the al-Qassam brigade, which cost the life of a lieutenant colonel from an IDF elite unit.
    The ensuing retaliation for Israel’s incursion, led by the Islamic Jihad (prodded into action by Iran), who launched 400 improvised rockets into Israel, was intended to draw a bold red line of deterrence, signaling that the Israeli army cannot do as it pleases in Gaza. 
    For days after this last escalation, Hamas leaders rejoiced: that exhibition of muscle power proved their moral superiority over the “collaborationist” Palestinian Authority. Boasting about its heroic engagement in the last escalation, Hamas easily managed to silence its critics by showing that the “armed resistance” is still working actively to keep Gaza safe and victorious. Those are of course mostly nominal “victories.”

    But their campaign was effective in terms of changing the political atmosphere. Now that the apparatus of the Muqawama had “restored our dignity,” further criticism of Hamas’ political and administrative conduct in Gaza was delegitimized again. Criticism of Hamas became equivalent to undermining the overall Palestinian national struggle for liberation.

    Unsurprisingly that silenced the popular outrage about Hamas’ initial agreement of trading Gaza’s sacrifices over the last seven months for a meager supply of aid and money. The few who continued to accuse Hamas of selling out were promptly showered by footage of the resistance’s attacks on Israel, or reports about Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s resignation, for which Hamas claimed credit, coming as it did a day after a Hamas leader demanded he resigned. 
    Mission accomplished, a piece of cake. Now it was time for Hamas to return to business, strengthened by a renewed shield of resistance-immunity that branded criticism as betrayal.
    Although Hamas leaders have admitted the reality: no more fundamental cease-fire is being negotiated, and so no fundamental improvements for Gaza can be expected - it continues to sell Gazans the delusion that their decade of endurance is finally bearing fruit and soon, more prosperity, employment and hope will trickle down to the masses.
    What has actually trickled down so far are temporary and symbolic painkillers, not an actual end to Gaza’s pain.

    Hamas agreed to give a small share of the Qatari spoils to 50,000 poor Gazan families; $100 for each household. They agreed to creating temporary employment programs for 5,000 young university graduates with the aspirational title of Tomoh (“Ambition”). They promised to keep up the fight until Gaza is no longer unlivable, and Hamas leaders pledged with their honor to continue the Gaza Great Return March until the protests’ main goal - lifting the blockade - was achieved.
    But does that really mean anything when the protests are kept at hundreds of meters’ distance from the fence, essentially providing the “Gazan silence” Netanyahu wants? When no pressure is applied anymore on the Israeli government to create a sense of urgency for action to end the disastrous situation in Gaza? And when Hamas continues to avoid any compromises about administering the Gaza Strip to the PA in order to conclude a decade of Palestinian division, and consecutive failures?
    That Hamas is desperately avoiding war is indeed both notable and worthy, as well as its keenness to prevent further causalities amongst protesters, having already suffered 200 deaths and more than 20,000 wounded by the IDF. That genuine motivation though is mixed with more cynical ones – the protests are now politically more inconvenient for Hamas, and the casualty rate is becoming too expensive to sustain.
    Yet one must think, at what price is Hamas doing this? And for what purpose? If the price of Gaza’s sacrifices is solely to maintain Hamas’ rule, and the motive of working to alleviate pressure on Gaza is to consolidate its authority, then every Gazan has been sold out, and in broad daylight.

    Only if Hamas resumes the process of Palestinian reconciliation and a democratic process in Gaza would those actions be meaningful. Otherwise, demanding that the world accepts Hamas’ rule over Gaza as a fait accompli – while what a Hamas-controlled Gaza cannot achieve, most critically lifting the blockade, is a blunt betrayal of Palestinian martyrdom.
    It means compromising Palestinian statehood in return for creating an autonomous non-sovereign enclave in which Hamas could freely exercise its autocratic rule indefinitely over an immiserated and starving population.
    Which, according to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, is what Hamas has always wanted since rising to power in 2009: an interim Palestinian state in Gaza under permanent Hamas rule, not solving the wider conflict but rather obliterating in practice the prospect of a two state solution.
    It remains to be seen if the calls of “sell-outs” will return to Gaza’s social networks and streets, not least if Hamas’ obduracy and appetite for power end up selling out any prospect of a formally recognized State of Palestine.
    Muhammad Shehada is a writer and civil society activist from the Gaza Strip and a student of Development Studies at Lund University, Sweden. He was the PR officer for the Gaza office of the Euro-Med Monitor for Human Rights. Twitter: @muhammadshehad2

    Muhammad Shehada


  • » Israel Confiscates Thousands Of Dunams To Expand Colonialist Road
    IMEMC News - October 24, 2018 12:51 PM
    http://imemc.org/article/israel-confiscates-thousands-of-dunams-to-expand-colonialist-road

    The Israeli government has approved, Wednesday, the expansion of Road #60, used by illegal colonialist settlers, between Hebron and Jerusalem, in the occupied West Bank.

    Hasan Breijiyya, the head of the National Committee against the Wall and Colonies in Bethlehem, has reported that Israeli Transportation Minister, Yisrael Katz, has authorized the illegal annexation of thousand of Dunams of Palestinian lands, to expand the colonialist road.

    He added that the road would be expanded to include four lanes, with a width of approximately 100 meters, and would lead to the annexation of thousands of Dunams from the towns of al-Khader, Beit Jala and al-Ma’sara, in Bethlehem governorate, in addition to Beit Ummar, north of Hebron.

    Breijiyya stated that the decision is part of Israel’s illegal policies to confiscate lands in large areas of lands in Bethlehem, to be part of “Greater Jerusalem.”

    #colonialisme_de_peuplement


  • The BDS Monster
    A legitimate and nonviolent Palestinian protest movement has been turned into an anti-Semitic plot through sweeping propaganda and abundant resources

    Yuli Novak
    Sep 27, 2018 3:40 AM

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-the-bds-monster-1.6511566

    The problem with monsters is that as long as you don’t peek under the bed they’re very scary. The BDS monster is one of the glorious creations of the government of Israel. By means of a propaganda machine with abundant resources and frightening messages, a legitimate and nonviolent Palestinian protest movement has been turned into an anti-Semitic plot. How were we so quick to bite the bait that serves only those who want to preserve the regime of occupation and apartheid in Israel?
    Like the governments of certain other countries, the Israeli government is carrying out a regime change that is dismantling and destroying democratic spaces – both physical and ideological – in which the opposition can act in order to come to power.
    >>BDS success stories | Opinion 
    The prevention of civil protest is one of the methods of operation. In recent years the government has portrayed every demonstration of opposition to its policy as treason. Just as every expression of support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is portrayed as anti-Semitism.
    The model for the BDS struggle is based on the boycott movement against the apartheid regime in South Africa. There too, the activity was led by South African citizens, but it took place in various places worldwide and in various spheres. Like in Israel today, in apartheid South Africa too, an absolute majority of the Afrikaners (the whites) believed their government’s lies and saw these boycotts, and the groups that led them, as an existential threat to the country and an expression of racism against Afrikaners.
    Keep updated: Sign up to our newsletter
    Email* Sign up

    The boycott movement against South Africa had a decisive influence on the dismantling of apartheid and the adoption of an egalitarian and democratic constitution. The global political situation has changed significantly since then, and in any case, Israel isn’t South Africa. But there as here, the boycott movement represents a form of non-violent struggle by a people that is being oppressed, against the regime that is oppressing it.

    A political group that is under attack, like the Israeli opposition, is forced into survival mode, which makes it difficult to observe and become familiar with political developments and to formulate up-to-date, relevant and courageous positions. The attitude of the Israeli left toward BDS is an excellent example of this. When Israelis who oppose the government and the occupation are asked what they think of BDS, the amazing success of the government propaganda becomes evident in the answers: “It’s an anti-Semitic movement,” “They want to destroy Israel.”
    The way to oppose this brainwashing begins with knowing the truth, even if it’s complicated. And the truth about BDS is simply stated on the movement’s website: It’s a protest movement that was established in 2005 by Palestinian organizations, in order to conduct a nonviolent struggle for equality and freedom for the Palestinian people. The movement has three demands – all of which the Palestinians have presented during negotiations with Israel over the years: an end to the occupation in the territories, complete equality for Israel’s Arab citizens and implementation of UN General Assembly Resolution 194 concerning the right of return of the Palestinian refugees. That’s it.
    Not the destruction of Israel, not anti-Semitism, but a political stance based on a Palestinian narrative. It’s hard to hear a narrative that presents Israel as a colonialist and racist country and demands recognition of the injustices perpetrated against the Palestinian people during the past 70 years. That can’t be expected to be easy, and nobody has to adopt this narrative. But we do have an obligation to overcome the fear and to understand that these are legitimate demands of a people that has been under military oppression for decades, and is fighting against a violent and racist regime.
    The Israeli government doesn’t want opposition or criticism regarding the policy of occupation – neither internal nor external, neither violent nor non-violent. And the easiest way to prevent support for this opposition is to single out every criticism as a tentacle of the anti-Semitic monster. And it’s true that, as in every broad-based political movement, in BDS as well there are racist margins and anti-Semitic statements.
    A racist mentality is dangerous, and not only for Jews, but I’m not familiar with any political movement that is immune from extremist marginal phenomena. The question that should be asked is what the official policy of the movement is, and to what extent it succeeds in maintaining the centrality of that policy, and opposing those phenomena within it. The official BDS positions, like most of the public positions voiced by members of the movement, declare that opposition to racism, including anti-Semitism, is basic and a matter of principle in the struggle.
    No Israeli has to agree with or support BDS or its strategy, which was chosen by its Palestinian leadership. But we do have to know what it is. And out of this knowledge to understand that as people with democratic awareness, we must under no circumstances surrender to government policy and to agree to place this movement, and the values it represents, outside the legitimate discourse.
    It’s also worthwhile to stop for a moment and to ask ourselves what we would prefer the Palestinians to do: Join an armed struggle? Or perhaps, simply accept the situation and allow us to continue to occupy, steal, oppress and kill without interference?



  • Good new report on Googlemaps and mapping Israeli apartheid: “The report reveals new insights about how Google Maps’ mapping process in the occupied Palestinian territories serves the interests of the Israeli government and contradicts Google’s commitment to international human rights frameworks.” http://7amleh.org/2018/09/18/google-maps-endangering-palestinian-human-rights


  • The State of Israel vs. the Jewish people -
    Israel has aligned itself with one nationalist, even anti-Semitic, regime after another. Where does that leave world Jewry?
    By Eva Illouz Sep 13, 2018
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-the-state-of-israel-vs-the-jewish-people-1.6470108

    Orban, left, and Netanyahu, in Jerusalem in July 2018. DEBBIE HILL / AFP

    An earthquake is quietly rocking the Jewish world.

    In the 18th century, Jews began playing a decisive role in the promotion of universalism, because universalism promised them redemption from their political subjection. Through universalism, Jews could, in principle, be free and equal to those who had dominated them. This is why, in the centuries that followed, Jews participated in disproportionate numbers in communist and socialist causes. This is also why Jews were model citizens of countries, such as France or the United States, with universalist constitutions.

    The history of Jews as promoters of Enlightenment and universalist values, however, is drawing to a close. We are the stunned witnesses of new alliances between Israel, Orthodox factions of Judaism throughout the world, and the new global populism in which ethnocentrism and even racism hold an undeniable place.

    When Prime Minister Netanyahu chose to align himself politically with Donald Trump before and after the U.S. presidential election of 2016, some people could still give him the benefit of doubt. Admittedly, Trump was surrounded by people like Steve Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News, who reeked of racism and anti-Semitism, but no one was sure of the direction the new presidency would take. Even if Trump refused to condemn the anti-Semitic elements of his electoral base or the Ku Klux Klan, which had enthusiastically backed him, and even if it took him a long time to dissociate himself from David Duke – we were not yet certain of the presence of anti-Semitism in Trump’s discourse and strategies (especially since his daughter Ivanka was a convert to Judaism).

    But the events in Charlottesville in August 2017 no longer allowed for doubt. The neo-Nazi demonstrators committed violent acts against peaceful counter-protesters, killing one woman by plowing through a crowd with a car (an act reminiscent in its technique of terrorist attacks in Europe). Trump reacted to the events by condemning both the neo-Nazis and white supremacists and their opponents. The world was shocked by his conflation of the two groups, but Jerusalem did not object. Once again, the indulgent (or cynical) observer could have interpreted this silence as the reluctant obeisance of a vassal toward his overlord (of all the countries in the world, Israel receives the most military aid from the United States). One was entitled to think that Israel had no choice but to collaborate, despite the American leader’s outward signs of anti-Semitism.

    This interpretation, however, is no longer tenable. Before and since Charlottesville, Netanyahu has courted other leaders who are either unbothered by anti-Semitism or straightforwardly sympathetic to it, and upon whom Israel is not economically dependent. His concessions go as far as participating in a partial form of Holocaust denial.

    Take the case of Hungary. Under the government of Viktor Orban, the country shows troubling signs of legitimizing anti-Semitism. In 2015, for example, the Hungarian government announced its intention to erect a statue to commemorate Balint Homan, a Holocaust-era minister who played a decisive role in the murder or deportation of nearly 600,000 Hungarian Jews. Far from being an isolated incident, just a few months later, in 2016, another statue was erected in tribute to Gyorgy Donáth, one of the architects of anti-Jewish legislation during World War II. It was thus unsurprising to hear Orban employing anti-Semitic tropes during his reelection campaign in 2017, especially against Georges Soros, the Jewish, Hungarian-American billionaire-philanthropist who supports liberal causes, including that of open borders and immigration. Reanimating the anti-Semitic cliché about the power of Jews, Orban accused Soros of harboring intentions to undermine Hungary.

    Whom did Netanyahu choose to support? Not the anxious Hungarian Jewish community that protested bitterly against the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Orban’s government; nor did he choose to support the liberal Jew Soros, who defends humanitarian causes. Instead, the prime minister created new fault lines, preferring political allies to members of the tribe. He backed Orban, the same person who resurrects the memory of dark anti-Semites. When the Israeli ambassador in Budapest protested the erection of the infamous statue, he was publicly contradicted by none other than Netanyahu.

    To my knowledge, the Israeli government has never officially protested Orban’s anti-Semitic inclinations and affinities. In fact, when the Israeli ambassador in Budapest did try to do so, he was quieted down by Jerusalem. Not long before the Hungarian election, Netanyahu went to the trouble of visiting Hungary, thus giving a “kosher certificate” to Orban and exonerating him of the opprobrium attached to anti-Semitism and to an endorsement of figures active in the Shoah. When Netanyahu visited Budapest, he was given a glacial reception by the Federation of the Jewish Communities, while Orban gave him a warm welcome. To further reinforce their touching friendship, Netanyahu invited Orban to pay a reciprocal visit to Israel this past July, receiving him in a way usually reserved for the most devoted national allies.

    The relationship with Poland is just as puzzling. As a reminder, Poland is governed by the nationalist Law and Justice party, which has an uncompromising policy against refugees and appears to want to eliminate the independence of the courts by means of a series of reforms that would allow the government to control the judiciary branch. In 2016 the Law and Justice-led government eliminated the official body whose mission was to deal with problems of racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance, arguing that the organization had become “useless.”

    An illustration depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shaking hands with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Auschwitz. Eran Wolkowski

    Encouraged by this and other governmental declarations and policies, signs of nationalism multiplied within Polish society. In February 2018, president Andrzej Duda declared that he would sign a law making it illegal to accuse the Polish nation of having collaborated with the Nazis. Accusing Poland of collusion in the Holocaust and other Nazi atrocities would be from now prosecutable. Israel initially protested the proposed legislation, but then in June, Benjamin Netanyahu and the Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, signed an agreement exonerating Poland of any and all crimes against the Jews during the time of the German occupation. Israel also acceded to Poland’s move to outlaw the expression “Polish concentration camp.” Moreover, Netanyahu even signed a statement stipulating that anti-Semitism is identical to anti-Polonism, and that only a handful of sad Polish individuals were responsible for persecuting Jews – not the nation as a whole.

    A billboard displaying George Soros urges Hungarians to take part in a national consultation about what it calls a plan by the Hungarian-born financier to settle migrants in Europe, in Budapest. ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP

    Like the American, Hungarian and Polish alt-right, Israel wants to restore national pride unstained by “self-hating” critics. Like the Poles, for two decades now, Israel has been waging a war over the official narrative of the nation, trying to expunge school textbooks of inconvenient facts (such as the fact that Arabs were actively chased out of Israel in 1948). In order to quash criticism, Israel’s Culture Ministry now predicates funding to creative institutions on loyalty to the state. As in Hungary, the Israeli government persecutes NGOs like Breaking the Silence, a group whose only sin has been to give soldiers a forum for reporting their army experiences and to oppose Israeli settlers’ violence against Palestinians or the expropriation of land, in violation of international law. Purging critics from public life (as expressed in barring the entry into the country of BDS supporters, denying funding to theater companies or films critical of Israel, etc.) is an expression of direct state power.

    When it comes to refugees, Israel, like Hungary and Poland, refuses to comply with international law. For almost a decade now, Israel has not respected international conventions on the rights of refugees even though it is a signatory of said conventions: The state has detained refugees in camps, and imprisoned and deported them. Like Poland, Israel is trying to do away with the independence of its judiciary. Israel feels comfortable with the anti-democratic extreme right of European states in the same way that one feels comfortable with a family member who belches and gossips, losing any sense of self-control or table manners.

    More generally, these countries today share a deep common political core: fear of foreigners at the borders (it must be specified, however, that Israelis’ fears are less imaginary than those of Hungarians or Polish); references to the nation’s pride untainted by a dubious past, casting critics as traitors to the nation; and outlawing human rights organizations and contesting global norms based on moral principles. The Netanyahu-Trump-Putin triumvirate has a definite shared vision and strategy: to create a political bloc that would undermine the current liberal international order and its key players.

    In a recent article about Trump for Project Syndicate, legal scholar Mark S. Weiner suggested that Trump’s political vision and practice follow (albeit, unknowingly) the precepts of Carl Schmitt, the German legal scholar who joined the Nazi Party in 1933.

    “In place of normativity and universalism, Schmitt offers a theory of political identity based on a principle that Trump doubtless appreciates deeply from his pre-political career: land,” wrote Weiner. “For Schmitt, a political community forms when a group of people recognizes that they share some distinctive cultural trait that they believe is worth defending with their lives. This cultural basis of sovereignty is ultimately rooted in the distinctive geography… that a people inhabit. At stake here are opposing positions about the relation between national identity and law. According to Schmitt, the community’s nomos [the Greek word for “law”] or sense of itself that grows from its geography, is the philosophical precondition for its law. For liberals, by contrast, the nation is defined first and foremost by its legal commitments.”

    Netanyahu and his ilk subscribe to this Schmittian vision of the political, making legal commitments subordinate to geography and race. Land and race are the covert and overt motives of Netanyahu’s politics. He and his coalition have, for example, waged a politics of slow annexation in the West Bank, either in the hope of expelling or subjugating the 2.5 million Palestinians living there, or of controlling them.

    They have also radicalized the country’s Jewishness with the highly controversial nation-state law. Playing footsie with anti-Semitic leaders may seem to contradict the nation-state law, but it is motivated by the same statist and Schmittian logic whereby the state no longer views itself as committed to representing all of its citizens, but rather aims to expand territory; increase its power by designating enemies; define who belongs and who doesn’t; narrow the definition of citizenship; harden the boundaries of the body collective; and undermine the international liberal order. The line connecting Orban to the nationality law is the sheer and raw expansion of state power.

    Courting Orban or Morawiecki means having allies in the European Council and Commission, which would help Israel block unwanted votes, weaken Palestinian international strategies and create a political bloc that could impose a new international order. Netanyahu and his buddies have a strategy and are trying to reshape the international order to meet their own domestic goals. They are counting on the ultimate victory of reactionary forces to have a free hand to do what they please inside the state.

    But what is most startling is the fact that in order to promote his illiberal policies, Netanyahu is willing to snub and dismiss the greatest part of the Jewish people, its most accepted rabbis and intellectuals, and the vast number of Jews who have supported, through money or political action, the State of Israel. This suggests a clear and undeniable shift from a politics based on the people to a politics based on the land.

    For the majority of Jews outside Israel, human rights and the struggle against anti-Semitism are core values. Netanyahu’s enthusiastic support for authoritarian, anti-Semitic leaders is an expression of a profound shift in the state’s identity as a representative of the Jewish people to a state that aims to advance its own expansion through seizure of land, violation of international law, exclusion and discrimination. This is not fascism per se, but certainly one of its most distinctive features.

    This state of affairs is worrisome but it is also likely to have two interesting and even positive developments. The first is that in the same way that Israel has freed itself from its “Jewish complex” – abandoning its role as leader and center of the Jewish people as a whole – many or most Jews will now likely free themselves from their Israel complex, finally understanding that Israel’s values and their own are deeply at odds. World Jewish Congress head Ron Lauder’s August 13, 2018, op-ed in The New York Times, which was close to disowning Israel, is a powerful testimony to this. Lauder was very clear: Israel’s loss of moral status means it won’t be able to demand the unconditional loyalty of world Jewry. What was in the past experienced by many Jews as an inner conflict is now slowly being resolved: Many or most members of Jewish communities will give preference to their commitment to the constitutions of their countries – that is to universalist human rights.

    Israel has already stopped being the center of gravity of the Jewish world, and as such, it will be able to count only on the support of a handful of billionaires and the ultra-Orthodox. This means that for the foreseeable future, Israel’s leverage in American politics will be considerably weakened.

    Trumpism is a passing phase in American politics. Latinos and left-wing Democrats will become increasingly involved in the country’s politics, and as they do, these politicians will find it increasingly difficult to justify continued American support of Israeli policies that are abhorrent to liberal democracies. Unlike in the past, however, Jews will no longer pressure them to look the other way.

    The second interesting development concerns Europe. The European Union no longer knows what its mission was. But the Netanyahus, Trumps, Orbans and Morawieckis will help Europe reinvent its vocation: The social-democrat bloc of the EU will be entrusted with the mission of opposing state-sanctioned anti-Semitism and all forms of racism, and above all defending Europe’s liberal values that we, Jews and non-Jews, Zionists and anti-Zionists, have all fought so hard for. Israel, alas, is no longer among those fighting that fight.

    A shorter version of this article has originally appeared in Le Monde.

    • Eva Illouz : « Orban, Trump et Nétanyahou semblent affectionner barrières et murs »
      https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2018/08/08/eva-illouz-israel-contre-les-juifs_5340351_3232.html?xtor=RSS-3208
      Dans une tribune au « Monde », l’universitaire franco-israélienne estime que l’alliance du gouvernement israélien avec les régimes « illibéraux » d’Europe de l’Est crée une brèche au sein du peuple juif, pour qui la lutte contre l’antisémitisme et la mémoire de la Shoah ne sont pas négociables.

      LE MONDE | 08.08.2018 à 06h39 • Mis à jour le 08.08.2018 à 19h18 | Par Eva Illouz (directrice d’études à l’Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales)

      Tribune. Un tremblement de terre est tranquillement en train de secouer le monde juif. Lorsque le premier ministre israélien, Benyamin Nétanyahou, choisit de soutenir Donald Trump avant et après l’élection présidentielle américaine de 2016, certains pouvaient encore donner à ce dernier le bénéfice du doute. Certes, Trump s’était entouré de gens comme Steve Bannon dont émanaient des relents antisémites, certes, il refusait aussi de condamner sa base électorale sympathisante du Ku Klux Klan, mais personne n’était encore sûr de la direction que prendrait sa nouvelle présidence.

      Les événements de Charlottesville, en août 2017, n’ont plus permis le doute. Les manifestants néonazis commirent des actes de violence contre des contre-manifestants pacifiques (tuant une personne en fonçant dans la foule avec une voiture), mais Trump condamna de la même façon opposants modérés et manifestants néonazis.

      Le monde entier fut choqué de cette mise en équivalence, mais Jérusalem ne protesta pas. L’observateur indulgent (ou cynique) aurait pu interpréter ce silence comme l’acquiescement forcé du vassal vis-à-vis de son suzerain : de tous les pays du monde, Israël est celui qui reçoit la plus grande aide militaire des Etats-Unis.

      Cette interprétation n’est désormais plus possible. Il est devenu clair que Nétanyahou a de fortes sympathies pour d’autres dirigeants qui, comme Trump, front preuve d’une grande indulgence vis-à-vis de l’antisémitisme et dont il ne dépend ni militairement ni économiquement.
      Une statue à Budapest

      Prenons l’exemple de la Hongrie. En 2015, le gouvernement y annonça son intention de dresser une statue à la mémoire de Balint Homan, ministre qui joua un rôle décisif dans la déportation de 600 000 juifs hongrois. Quelques mois plus tard, en 2016, il fut question d’ériger à Budapest une statue à la mémoire d’un des architectes de la législation antijuive durant la seconde guerre mondiale, György Donáth....


  • Documentary on #Israel #Lobby Reveal Attacks on US Activists
    https://therealnews.com/stories/leaked-clips-from-censored-documentary-on-israel-lobby-reveal-attacks-o

    Excerpts of the censored Al Jazeera undercover film on the Israel lobby in the US have started to be leaked. The Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah and the Grayzone Project’s Max Blumenthal explain how these clips show the Israeli government backing attacks on American pro-Palestinian activists and Black Lives Matter

    #etats-unis


  • BDS success stories - Opinion - Israel News | Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-bds-success-stories-1.6455621

    More than the achievements of the economic, academic and cultural boycott, BDS has succeeded in undermining the greatest asset of Israeli public diplomacy: Israel’s liberal and democratic image in the world.

    Gideon Levy SendSend me email alerts
    Sep 05, 2018

    Gilad Erdan is a great success story of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, as is the Strategic Affairs Ministry that he heads. So is the anti-boycott law. Every human rights activist who is expelled from Israel or questioned at Ben-Gurion International Airport is a BDS success story. The European Broadcasting Union’s letter is another success of the global movement to boycott Israel.
    More than Lana Del Rey canceling her visit, more than SodaStream moving its factory from the West Bank to the Negev and more than the achievements of the economic, academic and cultural boycott, BDS has succeeded in a different area, effortlessly and perhaps unintentionally. It has undermined the greatest asset of Israeli public diplomacy: Israel’s liberal and democratic image in the world. It was the European Broadcasting Union, of all things, a nonpolitical organization, very far from BDS, that best described the extent of the damage to Israel: The organization compared Israel to Ukraine and Azerbaijan in the conditions it set for these countries to host the Eurovision Song Contest.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    Ukraine and Azerbaijan, which no one seriously considers to be democracies, in the same breath as Israel. This is how the Eurovision organizers see Israel.
    The song contest was held in Jerusalem twice before, and no one thought to set conditions to guarantee the civil liberties of participants. Now it is necessary to guarantee, in advance and in writing, what is self-evident in a democracy: freedom of entry and freedom of movement to everyone who comes for the competition.
    Keep updated: Sign up to our newsletter
    Email* Sign up

    In Israel, as in Ukraine and Azerbaijan, this is no longer self-evident. In the 13 years since it was founded, the BDS movement couldn’t have dreamed of a greater triumph.
    The main credit, of course, goes to the Israeli government, which in declaring war on BDS and made a great contributions to the movement. With a commander like Erdan, who is outraged over the interference with the “laws of a democratic state” and doesn’t understand how grotesque his words are, and with a ministry that is nothing but an international thought police, the government is telling the world: Israel isn’t what you thought. Did you think for years that Israel was a liberal democracy? Did you close your eyes to the goings-on in its backyard? Did you think the occupation was separate from the state, that it could be maintained in a democracy, that it was surely temporary and would be over momentarily? That at least sovereign Israel is part of the West? Well, you were wrong.


  • Eurovision’s demands should serve as wake-up call for Israel - Haaretz Editorial - Israel News | Haaretz.com

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/eurovision-s-demands-should-serve-as-wake-up-call-for-israel-1.6450815

    In a different time, the demands of the European Broadcasting Union, the organizer of the Eurovision Song Contest, would have been received in Israel with a shrug, as self-evident.
    To really understand Israel and the Palestinians - subscribe to Haaretz
    According to a report by the Israel Television News Corporation, the broadcasting union is asking for an Israeli authority, preferably the prime minister, to promise that Israel will grant entry visas for the event regardless of applicants’ political opinions; that visitors be able to tour the country regardless of their political opinions, religion or sexual orientation; that there be freedom of the press and complete freedom of expression for all participants; that there be no religious restrictions on rehearsals on Saturday; and that Israel’s public broadcasting company, Kan, be given complete independence in editing the broadcasts.

    • D’après cet article de Haaretz :
      https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-eurovision-organizers-set-conditions-for-contest-to-be-held-in-isr

      1) l’Eurovision demande qu’israel s’engage par écrit à laisser entrer tous les spectateurs, quelque soient leurs opinions (y compris s’ils soutiennent BDS), donc critique les nouvelles pratiques de sélection à l’entrée du pays sur des bases politiques

      2) l’Eurovision demande une complète liberté d’expression et de circulation pour les participants, les délégations et la presse

      3) l’Eurovision demande que les répétitions aient lieu le samedi (shabbat)

      4) plusieurs membres du gouvernement appellent Netanyahu à refuser ces conditions

      5) la télé israélienne demande une rallonge financière du ministère des finances qui pour l’instant refuse

      #Palestine #Eurovision #BDS #Boycott_culturel

    • BDS success stories
      More than the achievements of the economic, academic and cultural boycott, BDS has succeeded in undermining the greatest asset of Israeli public diplomacy: Israel’s liberal and democratic image in the world.
      Gideon Levy | Sep. 5, 2018 | 11:16 PM
      https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-bds-success-stories-1.6455621

      Gilad Erdan is a great success story of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, as is the Strategic Affairs Ministry that he heads. So is the anti-boycott law. Every human rights activist who is expelled from Israel or questioned at Ben-Gurion International Airport is a BDS success story. The European Broadcasting Union’s letter is another success of the global movement to boycott Israel.

      More than Lana Del Rey canceling her visit, more than SodaStream moving its factory from the West Bank to the Negev and more than the achievements of the economic, academic and cultural boycott, BDS has succeeded in a different area, effortlessly and perhaps unintentionally. It has undermined the greatest asset of Israeli public diplomacy: Israel’s liberal and democratic image in the world. It was the European Broadcasting Union, of all things, a nonpolitical organization, very far from BDS, that best described the extent of the damage to Israel: The organization compared Israel to Ukraine and Azerbaijan in the conditions it set for these countries to host the Eurovision Song Contest.

      Ukraine and Azerbaijan, which no one seriously considers to be democracies, in the same breath as Israel. This is how the Eurovision organizers see Israel.

      The song contest was held in Jerusalem twice before, and no one thought to set conditions to guarantee the civil liberties of participants. Now it is necessary to guarantee, in advance and in writing, what is self-evident in a democracy: freedom of entry and freedom of movement to everyone who comes for the competition.

      In Israel, as in Ukraine and Azerbaijan, this is no longer self-evident. In the 13 years since it was founded, the BDS movement couldn’t have dreamed of a greater triumph.

      The main credit, of course, goes to the Israeli government, which in declaring war on BDS and made a great contributions to the movement. With a commander like Erdan, who is outraged over the interference with the “laws of a democratic state” and doesn’t understand how grotesque his words are, and with a ministry that is nothing but an international thought police, the government is telling the world: Israel isn’t what you thought. Did you think for years that Israel was a liberal democracy? Did you close your eyes to the goings-on in its backyard? Did you think the occupation was separate from the state, that it could be maintained in a democracy, that it was surely temporary and would be over momentarily? That at least sovereign Israel is part of the West? Well, you were wrong.

      The government has torn off the mask. Not only BDS, but all supporters of human rights, should be grateful to it. The war on BDS, a legitimate, nonviolent protest movement, has dragged Israel into new territory. Omar Barghouti and his colleagues can rub their hands together in satisfaction and pride. They have begun to dismantle the regime inside Israel as well. No democracy has a strategic affairs ministry that spies on critics of the state and its government worldwide and draws up blacklists of people who are banned from entry on account of their worldview or political activities. No democracy asks its guests for their opinions at its borders, as a condition for entry. No democracy searches its visitors’ computers and their lifestyles when they enter and leave. Perhaps Ukraine and Azerbaijan do, Turkey and Russia too.

      It could have, and should have, been argued previously as well that Israel did not deserve to be seen as democracy, on account of the occupation. But now Israel has crossed the line. It hasn’t erased only the Green Line, it has begun to the task of annexation, including a gradual westward movement of the regime in the West Bank. The gap between the two regimes, in the occupied territories and in Israel, is still huge, but laws passed in recent years have narrowed it.

      The state’s fancy display window, with all the bright neon and rustling cellophane of freedom and equality; of Arab MKs and pharmacists; gay-friendly, with a vibrant night life and all the other shiny objects, is beginning to crack. The Eurovision organizers recognize this.


  • BDS: how a controversial non-violent movement has transformed the Israeli-Palestinian debate | News | The Guardian

    Israel involvment in anti-BDS activities in foreing countries

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/aug/14/bds-boycott-divestment-sanctions-movement-transformed-israeli-palestini

    The Ministry of Strategic Affairs has outsourced much of its anti-BDS activity in foreign countries, helping to establish and finance front groups and partner organisations, in an attempt to minimise the appearance of Israeli interference in the domestic politics of its allies in Europe and the US. Kuper said that anti-BDS groups were now “sprouting like mushrooms after the rain”. He and a number of other former intelligence and security officials are members of one of them, Kella Shlomo, described as a “PR commando unit” that will work with and receive tens of millions of dollars from the Ministry of Strategic Affairs. In 2016, Israel’s embassy in London sent a cable to Jerusalem complaining that the strategic affairs ministry was endangering British Jewish organisations, most of which are registered as charities and forbidden from political activity: “‘operating’ Jewish organisations directly from Jerusalem … is liable to be dangerous” and “could encounter opposition from the organisations themselves, given their legal status; Britain isn’t the US!” Last year, al-Jazeera aired undercover recordings of an Israeli official working out of the London embassy, who described being asked by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs to help establish a “private company” in the UK that would work for the Israeli government and in liaison with pro-Israel groups like Aipac.

    Advertisement


  • Activist Arrests in India Are Part of a Dangerous Global Trend to Stifle Dissent | Alternet
    https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/activist-arrests-india-are-part-dangerous-global-trend-stifle-dissent

    On Tuesday morning, the police from the Indian city of Pune (in the state of Maharashtra) raided the homes of lawyers and social activists across India and arrested five of them. Many of them are not household names around the world, since they are people who work silently on behalf of the poor and oppressed in a country where half the population does not eat sufficiently. Their names are Gautam Navlakha, Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Varavara Rao. What unites these people is their commitment to the working class and peasantry, to those who are treated as marginal to India’s state. They are also united by their opposition, which they share with millions of Indians, to the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

    The “raw numbers of this terror” are best counted from Turkey. Since the failed coup of July 15, 2016, the government has arrested, detained or dismissed about 160,000 government officials, dismissing 12,000 Kurdish teachers, destroying the livelihood of thousands of people. The editor of Cumhuriyet, Can Dündar, called this the “biggest witch-hunt in Turkey’s history.” In the name of the war on terror and in the name of sedition, the government has arrested and intimidated its political opponents. The normality of this is astounding—leaders of the opposition HDP party remain in prison on the flimsiest of charges, with little international condemnation. They suffer a fate comparable to Brazil’s Lula, also incarcerated with no evidence.

    Governments do not typically like dissent. In Bangladesh, the photographer Shahidul Alam remains in detention for his views on the massive protests in Dhaka for traffic reform and against government corruption. Condemnation of the arrest has come from all quarters, including a British Member of Parliament—Tulip Siddiq—who is the niece of Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The avalanche of criticism has not moved the government. Alam is accused of inciting violence, a charge that is equal parts of ridiculous and absurd.

    Incitement to violence is a common charge. It is what has taken the Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour to an Israeli prison. Tatour’s poem, “Resist, my people, resist them” (Qawim ya sha’abi, qawimhum), was the reason given by the Israeli government to lock her up. The Egyptian government has taken in the poet Galal El-Behairy for the lyrics he wrote for the song “Balaha”—the name a reference to a character in a 1980s film who sees the world in a topsy-turvy manner, a name now used colloquially in Egypt for President Sisi. The Ugandan government has arrested the radio show host Samuel Kyambadde, who merely allowed his talk show to become a forum for a conversation that included items labeled by the government as seditious—such as the arrest of journalists and the arrest of the opposition MP Robert Kyagulanyi (also known as Bobi Wine).

    All of them—photographers, poets, radio show hosts—are treated as voices of sedition, dangerous people who can be locked up under regulations that would make any fair-minded person wince. But there is not even any public debate in most of our societies about such measures, no genuine discussion about the slide into the worst kind of authoritarianism, little public outcry.

    #Néo_fascisme #Inde #Turquie #Liberté_expression