Those who care about ending the occupation, in Israel and outside it, are faced with real, difficult choices. I believe these choices matter. That is why I oppose BDS. Larry Derfner's recent article in support of BDS is well-written, passionately argued and compelling. Nonetheless, I find myself in strong disagreement with its key assertions and conclusions. As I see it, the article rests on the following argument: first, the evacuation of settlements necessary to end the occupation would be very difficult for Israel. Second, Israelis do not currently incur any significant cost for the continuation of the occupation. Third,…Read More... | 66 Comments
What is it that is making Israeli leaders (Netanyahu and Barak among them), think tanks and pundits talk more about a 'unilateral solution,' and what would such a plan look like? Details below. I published the following post on my Hebrew blog earlier this week. Yesterday, in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “it’s true that the idea of taking unilateral steps is gaining ground, from the center-left to the center-right. Many Israelis are asking themselves if there are certain unilateral steps that could theoretically make sense.” While don't I think that Netanyahu is planning such a move…Read More... | 62 Comments
From the Qibya massacre, to Sabra and Shatila and the dirty tricks, lies and deceptions that made the West Bank settlements what they are today, Ariel Sharon has caused unimaginable damage to Israel, its army, morality, and political life. (Translated by Sol Salbe) On Saturday night, as soon as Ariel Sharon's death became known, our hyperactive education minister, Shai Piron, rushed to announce that teachers would devote part of the following day's lesson to Sharon's legacy. These classes would be based on prepared outlines which were supposed to be distributed in the morning. You can get a really good idea of what…Read More... | 18 Comments
If Israel ever does take down the occupation and make peace with the Palestinians, Ariel Sharon’s disengagement from Gaza will stand as a crucial stepping stone on the way. The single greatest demonstration of political leadership I’ve ever witnessed in my 62 years in America and Israel was Ariel Sharon’s disengagement from Gaza. No other Israeli politician could have done it – nobody else could have defeated the settler movement and its hardcore allies. Anyone from the left would have had the entire right wing, moderates and radicals, against him, which would have scared the Israeli mainstream stiff, and a…Read More... | 22 Comments
Israel's former prime minister Ariel Sharon, who spent the last eight years comatose after a series of strokes, died on Saturday, January 11. He was 85 years old. A general, politician, statesman, and to many a notorious war criminal, Ariel Sharon was known to combine dogged personal ambition with strategic acumen and ruthlessness, which together shaped one of the most controversial and remarkable careers in Israeli political history. Born in the community of Kfar Malal in 1928, Sharon joined the Haganah in the mid 1940s, and first saw action in the run-up to the 1948 War, when his unit staged…Read More... | 11 Comments
Benjamin Netanyahu kicked off his campaign this weekend with interviews to the major TV channels. In the following segment, taken from the interview aired this evening on Channel 1, he tells reporter Ayala Hasson that he did not vote in favor of the disengagement plan from Gaza, when in fact he did. He indeed resigned later on, but only after the disengagement was a done deal, as Channel 10 journalist Raviv Drucker reminds us [Heb].Read More... | 17 Comments
The High Court of Justice re-validated a law defining the demolition of settlements as "traumatic" – and denying claims that demolition of Palestinian houses is just as bad. A couple of years ago I was asked to participate in a televised debate (Hebrew) with a right-wing conscientious objector, Avi Biber, who became famous when he dramatically abandoned his unit while dismantling settlements in the Gaza Strip as part of the Disengagement Plan. One of the less obvious disagreements we had revolved around the question of how to define our separate acts: While I argued that we both have in common a belief…Read More... | 11 Comments
A new YouTube video from the settler movement suggests that without Gaza, Israel can annex the West Bank and still maintain a Jewish majority. Only recently, Gaza was sacred land to the same movement. Does this indicate a strategic shift? By Eyal Clyne || Translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman. || Co-posted with Jnews. A. Is the annexation of the West Bank imminent? “Yesha Council” and "My Israel" have recently circulated a propaganda video clip as part of a campaign addressing the old Israeli-left argument, that "if a two-state solution is not established soon, Israel will lose its Jewish demographic…Read More... | 11 Comments
Gori will forever remain in my memory, like an image from some strange dream. I don't necessarily mean a bad dream, there's something very delightfully bewitching about this city, as there is about everywhere in Georgia, but it's spooky nonetheless, especially on a cold winter's day. Gori is famously spooky for being Stalin's hometown and featuring both a statue of the man and a shrine-like museum dedicated to his life, but the spookiness begins already in the suburbs. They are treeless, streetless, made up of thousands of cookie-cutter abodes set in exact rows. These are no suburbs. These are refugee camps set up…Read More... | 1 Comment
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Anyone who speaks for Palestine & condones anti-semitism should not be speaking for Palestinians, says @YasmeenSerhan http://t.co/fBXTB86Xmo
3 Israelis, 73 Palestinians killed; Kerry departs Israel with no ceasefire breakthrough http://t.co/7AWQmHgy7h
Even with the relatively high number of soldier casualties, the Israeli public isn't opposing this war. http://t.co/0D1Sp8ASFH
Anti-Semitism has no place in Palestine advocacy, says @YasmeenSerhan http://t.co/O6QUx8rehz
'Gaza’s earth was parched long before Israel took a match to it.' Talking to a friend in #Gaza http://t.co/1Pe7bqIoch by @samwithaner
Reports of journalists barred from entering/existing Gaza, as Kerry arrives in Tel Aviv to push for ceasefire http://t.co/pTYs84WRtG
'Thank you for asking about us. It seems the rest of the world only cares when the bombs are falling' http://t.co/1Pe7bqIoch by @samwithaner