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... | 42 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
Alan Dershowitz published an op-ed in Haaretz on Wednesday giving his top 10 reasons why boycotting Israel is immoral. What if he wrote the same article in 1974 about the anti-Apartheid movement? It might look something like this. By Sol Salbe Ten reasons why the anti-Apartheid movement is immoral and hinders peace The anti-South African movement threatens the reconciliation process by promoting extortion rather than negotiation, and discourages blacks from agreeing to any reasonable peace offer. By Alan M. Dershowitz | Feb. 12, 1974 | 4:00 PM 1. The anti-Apartheid movement immorally imposes the entire blame for the continuing Apartheid and…Read More... | 14 Comments
The Prawer-Begin Plan was shelved. But the idea that you can forcefully transfer an indigenous population and determine where it can legally reside -- looks and smells like a plan pulled from the dusty drawer of Hendrik Verwoerd, architect of Apartheid South Africa. And that didn’t work out so well. By Hilla Dayan Sadly, it was too early to celebrate the downfall of the Prawer-Begin Plan. The victory of suspending the Knesset vote following the the “day of rage” protests on November 30 was short lived. The dark threatening cloud of ethnic cleansing still hovers over the Negev's Bedouin population. Nevertheless,…Read More... | 13 Comments
It is not the least bit surprising to see Israeli political leaders praising Mandela’s memory, with some even going so far as to declare him an Israeli hero. Some of these will surely be cynical, conscious attempts to whitewash his legacy and escape criticism. Many, however, believe every word they say. By Sean O’Neill Working in Palestine from late 2006 to late 2009, mostly in the Yatta/Hebron area, I have had the distinct (and often surreal) privilege of meeting a number of Israeli settlers who had emigrated from South Africa. One such man was G., the security guard for the settlement of…Read More... | 5 Comments
While Palestinians and their leaders historically took their cues from anti-colonial resistance in Vietnam, Cuba and Algeria, their struggle has, over time, become similar to the fight against apartheid in South Africa. With the failure of the Oslo Accords, new, often overlapping approaches have proliferated, leading Ran Greenstein to find out what a genuine anti-apartheid model would look like in our time. By Ran Greenstein How can we define and understand the essence of the struggle against political oppression in Israel/Palestine? On the face of it the answer is simple: the target is the Israeli regime and its practices. But, is…Read More... | 16 Comments
Mandela's statements about Begin on the one hand and Arafat on the other should make just about everyone uncomfortable. In Chapter 42 of his autobiography "Long Walk to Freedom," Nelson Mandela describes how, in 1961, he began forming the African National Congress' (ANC) military wing to launch guerrilla attacks on the apartheid regime. "I, who had never been a soldier, who had never fought in battle, who had never fired a gun at an enemy, had been given the task of starting an army. ... I began in the only way I knew how, by reading and talking to experts." Mandela…Read More... | 16 Comments
Bibi says it's the expense, Peres says it's a flu he can't kick. More likely it's two other reasons: Israel's past and present. Nelson Mandela’s death brought up some inconvenient memories for Israel and the Diaspora Jewish establishment: Israel’s extremely fruitful alliance with apartheid South Africa until the very, very end; the anti-Mandela stance of right-wing Zionists because of his support for Arafat and the PLO (as well as for Gadhafi); and mainstream South African Jewry’s comfort with the apartheid regime (notwithstanding the brave opposition by a greatly disproportionate number of the country’s Jews). Then there’s the present-day, ongoing…Read More... | 16 Comments
This piece was originally published as 'Coming home from the land of miracles' in the Jerusalem Post, April 11, 2007, after a family trip I took to South Africa. I think it says something about the difference between that country and Israel, and is also a description of the new society that Mandela and his comrades wrought. I was watching my seven-year-old boy and some black kids chasing each other around a jumping castle at a family restaurant in Johannesburg, a sight that could not have been seen a generation ago. After the joy of it passed, I got a…Read More... | 8 Comments
Israeli politicians have begun updating their Facebook pages with eulogies for the late Nelson Mandela. What do statesmen of the Jewish state - one of the last western countries to support the South African apartheid state and which today practices apartheid-like policies between the river and the sea - have to say about the man who brought racism to its knees? Here's your definitive list (which may expand - I'll update as the day goes on) 1) Naftali Bennett - Leader of the Jewish Home settler party "Nelson Mandela ** With his willpower he changed the world. May his memory…Read More... | 35 Comments
Although there is room within the legal definition of apartheid for Israel/Palestine, that does not mean it fits the South African model, both in its characteristics and in resistance against it. Only by fully understanding those core differences can Israel/Palestine draw valuable and useful lessons from South Africa's anti-apartheid struggle. By Ran Greenstein In a previous post I argued that the Israeli regime between the River and the Sea is a form of apartheid as defined in international law (“an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group”). This refers to the…Read More... | 58 Comments
We do not need to find identical practices to those prevailing in pre-1994 South Africa in order to determine whether apartheid exists elsewhere. By Ran Greenstein For a few years now, opinion pieces and articles in the South African and Israeli press have shown confusion regarding the meaning of the comparison between Israel and apartheid South Africa. How can we sort out the conceptual mess that afflicts the debates around the issue? First, let us examine the meaning of apartheid. The term defines the race-based regime of political domination and social marginalisation that ruled South Africa from 1948 to 1994. Alongside…Read More... | 37 Comments
A couple of West Bank incidents from the last few days, and one final thought: 1. Israeli singer Ehud Banai, who was due to perform in the archaeological, Jews-only site of Susya in the south Hebron Hills, cancelled his gig following left-wing protests, then canceled the cancelation, stating that his decision (not to perform) “fanned the flames of hatred for nothing.” His performance is due to begin as I write this post. In his statement, Banai used the Jewish expression of Sinat Hinam (שנאת חינם, “hatred for nothing”), which in Jewish tradition refers to the internal quarrels that brought about…Read More... | 8 Comments
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Aussie Jewish MPs take cue from Israeli Arab MKs and form a joint Jewish list [satire] http://t.co/V4K4dq3yXl
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'For some people, even speaking their native tongue is a form of resistance' http://t.co/vyPJk3pKnd
Welcome to the era of the single-ethnic party http://t.co/V4K4dq3yXl
PHOTO: Israeli soldiers fire live ammo during Bethlehem clashes, by @activestills http://t.co/aHhSQIfwnI http://t.co/KNxtQE9FDL
Inspired by Israel's Arab parties, Australia's Jewish MPs to form joint Jewish party. Just cause they can. [satire]: http://t.co/V4K4dq3yXl
Legislation will force Israel's Arab parties to unite to stay relevant in a Knesset that never really wanted them: http://t.co/4Wzan8vOqg