After South African Jewish schoolboy Josh Broomberg donned a Palestinian keffiyeh in solidarity with Gazans at the opening of the World Debating Championships, the local Jewish community exploded in a torrent of vitriol against anyone who dared to deviate from the strict communal line of full support for Israel's military operation in Gaza. By Yoni Bass When Josh Broomberg left for the World Debating Championships in Thailand last month, he left as one of the crowning products of South Africa’s Jewish community, which stands at a humble 60,000 people. He was the deputy head boy of King David Victory Park Jewish day…Read More... | 12 Comments
In South Africa's highly polarized debate on Israel-Palestine, the organized Jewish community's refusal to acknowledge the unequal treatment of Palestinians at the hands of the Israelis is seen as emblematic of all that apartheid stood for. By Heidi-Jane Esakov In what is being touted as one of the biggest demonstrations in Cape Town since Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, South Africans took to the streets last Saturday in their thousands in opposition to Israel’s ongoing assault on Gaza. Estimates vary, with some reports suggesting tens of thousands and others over 100,000 marchers taking part in the protest. A day later,…Read More... | 8 Comments
An Israeli academic makes the case for Europe to contain Israel’s settlement policy with greater determination and more concrete measures. By Nurit Peled-Elhanan Times are very tough for both Israeli and Palestinian families. The death toll in Gaza currently stands at more than 1,000, the majority of whom are civilians. The death toll in Israel stands at 43, three of whom are civilians. Three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered in the West Bank. A Palestinian youth from Jerusalem was burned alive by Jewish extremists. Dangerous and violent racism against Arab-Israeli citizens encouraged by Israeli ministers and parliament members has led…Read More... | 10 Comments
In order to avoid theocracy, apartheid and civil war, one Israeli believes it is time for her fellow Jewish citizens to start re-imagining their identity. By Dorit Naaman Fine, I am not yet a Palestinian Jew, but in 10 to 15 years - and certainly in my lifetime - this place will be called Palestine, and I will be a citizen of Jewish-Israeli heritage. By saying I am a Palestinian Jew I am being neither flippant nor provocative, as my critics would likely hasten to argue. Instead, I am analyzing the current reality and describing the future - utopian, or…Read More... | 43 Comments
Neither Israeli nor Palestinian leaders prepared their constituencies for the eventual historic change should Kerry have been successful. On the contrary, Netanyahu applied every trick up his sleeve to play the blame game, diverting maximum blame onto the Palestinians. By Ilan Baruch In his speech in Jerusalem a year ago, President Obama told us peace in the Middle East is an American interest. He also called us to generate political pressure which will motivate our government to take serious strides toward peace. Secretary Kerry launched his peace initiative, exceedingly invested time and political currency in it and tightly sealed it from…Read More... | 14 Comments
The apartheid debate is no longer restricted to referencing specific South African practices. Instead, international law is increasingly becoming the guiding framework. By Ran Greenstein Thomas Mitchell raises an important methodological point in his article “Call it colonialism, call it occupation – just don't call it 'apartheid,'” which I address here. Unfortunately, in making this point he takes us through a confusing journey that obscures the issues at stake instead of clarifying them. Take for example his notion that Fascism was a term used to refer to a specific regime in Italy from 1922 to 1945, and similar European regimes in…Read More... | 78 Comments
'Apartheid' is rapidly becoming the new political term of condemnation and delegitimization in international politics. But is it truly the best description of Israel's policies toward the Palestinians? By Thomas Mitchell Is apartheid an appropriate term to describe Israel’s occupation of the West Bank? In an article published on +972 late last year, Ran Greenstein argued that it is, relying on international law rather than historical grounds admitting that Israel’s occupation of the West Bank is different—but not better—than South Africa between 1948 and 1994. "Apartheid" is rapidly becoming the new political term of condemnation and delegitimization in international politics. It…Read More...
Short, polarizing comments about the news. ------------- Celebrate Israel Former heads of Shin Bet and Mossad say Israel could, without question, stop the runaway settler attacks on Palestinians if it wanted to, it just doesn’t want to. On Tuesday, why shouldn't we celebrate Israeli Independence Day? This is a great country if you're Jewish. --------------- The king’s speech Bibi: ‘Iran openly declares its intention to destroy the State of Israel … there will never be another Holocaust.’ Watching Netanyahu’s Yom HaShoah speech, the way he turns Iran into today’s Nazi Germany, making people believe that the Holocaust is still…Read More... | 16 Comments
Why does most coverage discussing Israel and the 'A-word' exclude the voices of black South Africans? Text and photo by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org Noticeably absent from most coverage of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's use of the term "apartheid" are the voices most qualified to make the comparison. The Daily Beast article that broke the Kerry story at least quotes the 1998 Rome Statute, the definition of apartheid under international law: "inhumane acts… committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed…Read More... | 62 Comments
Asked what word Secretary Kerry would have used in place of 'apartheid,' his use of which stirred up a small storm in the U.S. this week, the State Department is hard pressed to give an answer. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the State Department on Tuesday were scrambling to diffuse the storm that erupted following Kerry’s warning that absent a two-state solution, Israel risks becoming an apartheid state. Following the publication of that speech, Kerry put out a statement that fell far short of a retraction: I have been around long enough to also know the power of…Read More...
Kerry apologizes for speculating that theoretically, in the distant future, Israel could do something bad
It took Secretary of State John Kerry exactly 24 hours after his “apartheid” comments were revealed by The Daily Beast to issue a comprehensive apology for the remarks. Despite demands from the American right, Kerry did not resign. The New York Times reports: In the statement that Mr. Kerry issued Monday, which bore the title “On Support for Israel,” he said that he had been a staunch supporter of Israel during his years as a senator and had spent many hours since working with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials. […] Mr. Kerry added that he did not believe…Read More... | 21 Comments
Over the past three months Israel has seen a surge in European firms adjusting their business ties with the Jewish State. The knee-jerk response of its politicians is telling: the point of no return has been reached. There’s been a lot of talk lately about how the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement against Israel is gaining traction. It’s pretty much a fact no one can dispute - those three letters are seen more and more in just about every news item about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But there has also been some speculation about a certain “tipping point” concerning the campaign,…Read More... | 43 Comments
The facts of the occupation are indisputable - it is the words we use to describe those facts that are now being delegitimized. An absurd incident took place in the Knesset Wednesday when members of the Jewish Home party walked out of the plenum during a speech by European Parliament President Martin Schulz of Germany. During his visit to Israel, President Schulz did just about everything to ingratiate himself with his right-wing hosts, tirelessly reiterating his commitment to the country and promising that a boycott of Israel will never take place. Yet he did make the mistake of mentioning the occupation on…Read More... | 22 Comments
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Today, Palestinians will not accept anything less than lifting the siege and the building of an int'l port: http://t.co/I3XmYbk0I4
Former member of Zionist militia says it's time to understand why Gazans resort to violence: http://t.co/BtVXY7esXa
COMIC: Wiesel, weaponized http://t.co/VQLg0wCuvD by @elivalley http://t.co/jSn7AtokLo
A letter to the Israeli government from a retired terrorist http://t.co/BtVXY7esXa
RT @ynetnews: Israel announces it will return delegation sent to #Gaza ceasefire talks in response to rocket fire from Gaza http://t.co/Ww6…
More than 7 years of siege, a punishment for voting for Hamas, have led Gazans to rally around the party: http://t.co/I3XmYbk0I4
Why Palestinians support Hamas today: http://t.co/I3XmYbk0I4 by @Abeerayyoub