“No Country for Jewish Liberals,” by Larry Derfner, Just World Books, 260 pp., $26.95 Moving to Israel was an experiment of sorts for Larry Derfner. As a journalist, it was an attempt to advance his career. More significantly, at least with the benefit of hindsight, it was an attempt to reconcile the intoxicating appeal of muscular nationalism with the liberal values he absorbed in his Los Angeles home and by coming of age in the Vietnam-era anti-war movement. It was easier to be liberal in the United States because the real-world consequences of dovish policies rarely put you at personal…Read More... | 21 Comments
Progressive Israelis and Palestinians have a crucial task: mounting a political movement that gives us an effective voice in forging the future of our country. By Jeff Halper As we reach the 50th “anniversary” of Israel’s occupation, it is hard to discern on the horizon either a workable political program or a focused political movement beyond the vague slogan: End the Occupation. The “solution” espoused by the Israeli peace movement for the past 50 years and by the PLO/PA for the past 30 years — two states for two peoples — has become as ritualized and fossilized as it is…Read More... | 7 Comments
A New York Times op-ed argues that Israel is not the South African apartheid its author sat in jail to expose. But to make his case, Benjamin Pogrund ignores the heart of what occupation really is. In an impassioned New York Times op ed, Benjamin Pogrund lays down the best possible arguments for why Israel is not an apartheid state. He brings out the full arsenal: his personal experience as a South African. His knowledge as a reporter who investigated and exposed the horrors of the system. He even paid the enormous price of jail time. It’s hard to top that level of…Read More... | 44 Comments
An Israeli and a Palestinian are hanging out somewhere in the West Bank. Maybe they’re activists decompressing after a particularly stressful protest. Maybe they’re old friends, an employer and an employee, catching up over a cup of coffee outside one of their homes. One of them pulls out a joint and shares it with the other. Out of nowhere, an Israeli police officer shows up. He or she arrests the Palestinian. The Israeli walks free with a citation — a measly fine. [tmwinpost] That is the situation that will be created if a bill to decriminalize marijuana, currently making its…Read More... | 12 Comments
Israel's control over the West Bank has long ago morphed into a regime based on ethnic discrimination and segregation. Let's start calling it like it is. By Yariv Mohar Recently we have been seeing the resurgence of a right-wing discourse that opposes both the annexationist far-right and the left. Instead of supporting far-reaching solutions, these rightists believe that the status quo in the West Bank is preferable and must be kept up for as long as possible. In any case, say the supporters of the status quo, we have not faced any significant international pressure against Israel; thus we can continue with…Read More... | 41 Comments
Trump's recent remarks may have sparked a debate on the possibility of the one-state solution, but one thing is for sure: Israeli Jews are not in a position to decide the future of the occupied territories. The world works in strange ways sometimes. Who would have believed that just by mere words it would be President Donald Trump, of all people, who would grant legitimacy to the one-state solution during his joint press conference with Prime Minister Netanyahu this past week. More than any other fictional character, Trump reminds me of Chance the gardener, the simple-minded hero of Jerzy Kosiński's novel,…Read More... | 17 Comments
Those who want the occupation to end should make every effort to push their governments to express the illegitimacy of Israeli policy and demand the establishment of a Palestinian state. By Yuval Halperin Following the establishment of Israel in 1948, more than 100 new states were created around the world. In fact most of the sovereign states now in existence have been established in recent decades, most of them on the ruins of global empires on the basis of the principle of self-determination for all people. [tmwinpost] Israel is virtually the only country to continue maintaining colonial rule in the form of a military government over 4.7 million people who…Read More... | 8 Comments
The Secretary of State asked if they really wanted to live with the moral consequences of a one-state reality. He doesn't understand this isn't an issue that preoccupies the average Jewish citizen of Israel. Over the past three decades Israel has seen seven prime ministers (and several more elections), political assassinations, two intifadas, a peace accord, four wars and the withdrawal of the Jewish settlers from Gaza. But amidst all this upheaval, one essential fact has remained a constant: Israel has maintained complete control over the lives of the Palestinians who live in Gaza and the West Bank. [tmwinpost] On Wednesday,…Read More... | 66 Comments
A recent poll found that if there were a Brexit-style referendum over whether to maintain Israeli control over the West Bank, most Israelis would choose 'remain.' But is that up to Israelis to decide? If there were a referendum in Israel about whether to "leave" the West Bank — while holding onto most of the settlements — only 41 percent of Israelis would vote “leave.” If you narrow that down to Israel’s Jewish citizens, a mere 36 percent would vote “leave,” according to June’s Peace Index poll, published by the Israel Democracy Institute earlier this week. [tmwinpost] And who would have…Read More... | 6 Comments
Plainclothes police officers are filmed beating an Arab man in the middle of Tel Aviv in broad daylight. What would you have done if you were there? How would Jewish Israelis react if they saw a group of men starting to beat an Arab man to a pulp, breaking his bones right next to us? How many of us would rush over to help him, just as some of Maysam Abu-Alqiyan's friends did in central Tel Aviv Sunday — friends who paid the price after they too found themselves on the receiving end of police brutality, returning to the supermarket…Read More...
A recent poll finds that 72 percent of Jewish Israelis believe Israel's control over the Palestinian territories does not constitute occupation. So what do you call military rule over a captive population that didn't vote for the army to be there? Depending on who you speak to, the word "occupation" is either the most loaded or the most ignored term in Israel-Palestine. For some, it's a canard bandied about by traitorous leftists who want nothing more than to destroy the country by smearing it into oblivion; many believe that Israel cannot occupy territory that the bible says was promised by…Read More... | 8 Comments
By advancing legislation to exclude the Arab minority from the Knesset, Israel is showing the world that its political system is really only intended for one group. By Marzouq El-Halabi The so-called "suspension bill," which passed its first reading in the Knesset several weeks ago, constitutes another step by the Israeli Right to exclude Arab representatives from Israeli politics. The bill, which gives the Knesset the authority to temporarily or permanently suspend elected members, stems not from a worry over the fate of Israel's democracy, but is part of the Right's slow effort to maliciously and intentionally harm it. The ultimate…Read More...
Looking closely at Labor's plan, the logic behind it becomes clear: since it is difficult to envision a Palestinian state in the foreseeable future, Israel should no longer be ashamed of putting Palestinians in Bantustans. By Neve Gordon On Sunday night, Israel's Labor Party unanimously approved their leader's diplomatic plan. [tmwinpost] Labor's premier Isaac Herzog laid out his vision a few weeks earlier at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, telling the audience that he “wish[es] to separate from as many Palestinians as possible, as quickly as possible.” Herzog continued by explaining that “we’ll erect a big…Read More... | 58 Comments
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