A page has emerged from Haaretz's daily op-ed pages, printed before the murder but never distributed; strangely enough, the coverage of GOP-Likud relations in a piece in the page remains as relevant as ever. Yesterday was the 17th anniversary of the murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Rabin's right-wing assassin, a law student from Bar-Ilan University named Yigal Amir, shot him at close range following a peace rally in Tel Aviv. It was Saturday night, at 9:42 p.m. Papers print many of their pages in the afternoon and early evening, as did Haaretz that day. Naturally, when news of the…Read More... | 5 Comments
By Amer Zahr We Palestinians have been struggling for a long time. I am not speaking of the struggle to be recognized as an independent state, or the struggle to be recognized in the United Nations, or even the struggle to be recognized in international courts. I am speaking, rather, of the struggle to be recognized as human beings. I am a comedian, and I travel to Israel and Palestine often to perform, visit, and conduct workshops. I have, until this point, done all of my work for Palestinian audiences and participants. My first job is to be funny. But I also hope to show…Read More... | 30 Comments
Over the years, Israeli politicians have used various disparaging remarks to describe Palestinians. During this U.S. election, it looks like American politicians have adopted the same tactic, as recently shown during Mitt Romney's visit to Israel. By Amer Zahr Look, as a Palestinian, I’m used to hearing racist epithets thrown my way. I’ve heard Abba Eban say that Palestinians “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” I’ve heard Menachem Begin call us “beasts.” Ehud Barak called us “crocodiles.” Ariel Sharon once said he would “kill as many Arabs as necessary.” Benjamin Netanyahu labels us a “demographic threat.” Famously, Golda…Read More... | 16 Comments
For Sheldon Adelson, Newt Gingrich and Binyamin Netanyahu, the political is the personal, and vice versa. I make it a point not to judge people's personalities on the basis of their politics; I've known, and known of, too many humble right-wingers and superior-acting left-wingers for that. But not infrequently, the personal and the political line up: the good guy (of either gender) has what I would call good political ideals, the bad guy has rotten ones. At this rather fateful time for Israel, its three greatest champions - Bibi Netanyahu at home, Sheldon Adelson among American Jewry, and Newt Gingrich among American gentiles - are politically all Arab-bashers and personally all insufferable egomaniacs. I think this says something about Israel's sphere of influence…Read More... | 12 Comments
The answer: Not necessarily. In a side note to my post on Newt Gingrich yesterday, I wrote that as far as the Israeli-Palestinian issue is concerned, I don't see a big difference between a second Obama term and a Romney presidency. This remark got more attention than my comments on Gingrich, which were at the center of the post, so I'd like to elaborate on them a bit. If I were an American citizen, I would probably vote for Barack Obama in 2012, mainly due to his positions on domestic issues. While far from being perfect – especially on personal…Read More... | 20 Comments
There won't be a real difference between another Obama term and a possible Romney presidency. But Gingrich - with his ties to the Israeli right, destructive track record from the 1990s and very personal connection to Netanyahu - could turn out to be a real nightmare Watching the American primaries makes for a mix of fun and moments of deep anxiety. Most of the time it's like a good sports match, but every now and then you are reminded that the identity of the winner might have a real and clear impact on your life. After all, Israel has stopped…Read More... | 14 Comments
Republican candidates in the 2012 primary race have topped each other in inflammatory remarks regarding Palestinians. Ever so often I am bombarded by so many words that almost none come at all and I pass up the opportunity to tackle a certain subject. This was the case recently with a spate of utterly ridiculous—almost comical—statements from candidates for the Republican primary race in the United States about Palestine and Palestinians, but in the end I had to say something. First there was Mike Huckabee, who came out in support of the building of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank.…Read More... | 55 Comments
In an op-ed published by the pro-Netanyahu tabloid Yisrael Hayom, Republican Newt Gingrich calls upon the United States to stop supporting the United Nations if it votes for Palestinian independence. "We don’t need to fund a corrupt institution to beat up on our allies," says Gingrich. Washington should make immediately clear that it has no tolerance for dangerous stunts that threaten Israel’s survival. When the U.N. is set to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state and Israel is the only country in the world not even permitted to determine its own capital city, something is very wrong. The time to stop…Read More... | 10 Comments
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