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The Israel Project

  • Why Netanyahu can’t just wish Palestine away: Analysis of a failed policy

    Instead of earnestly pursuing peace, consecutive Israeli governments have attempted three policies: separating the Palestinians, erasing borders and boundaries, and attempting to change the world's perception of reality. All three have failed. Since Benjamin Netanyahu began his second term as prime minister in 2009, he has resisted reaching a two-state solution but he also claims not to want a single state, with or without a Jewish hegemony. Nobody seems to be willing to simply ask the prime minister: what do you intend for Israel and the Palestinians in five or 10 years from now? In lieu of a vision, Netanyahu…

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  • Scarlett Johansson is new poster girl for 'pro-Israel' advocacy

    Scarlett Johansson is apparently the new poster girl for Israel - or more accurately, for those who blindly cheer for it and have no criticism of the myriad human rights violations that come with its occupation. The over-exuberantly American "pro-Israel" advocacy group, The Israel Project, has appropriated the actress in its effort to advocate for Israel and combat any kind of boycott, BDS or not. As everyone must know by now, Johansson is no longer the global ambassador of Oxfam, choosing instead to stick with her new contract as the face of SodaStream, an Israeli company with a factory in…

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  • What do 'pro-Israel' image-mongers actually stand for?

    A lengthy Forward article by Nathan Guttman describes the makeover of The Israel Project (TIP) following the replacement of its founder and leader, with erstwhile AIPAC killer-shark Josh Block. The breathless description of his battering-ram personality almost had me swept along – almost. And when I say swept along, I mean that it is tempting to jump into the ring and do battle – fight fire with fire, stake out the liberal ground in the professional ring of image-peddlers for Israel (IPFI?). Just what we need. What really grates is the author’s description of Block’s self-image as a defender not…

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  • Hasbara: Why does the world fail to understand us?

    A short discussion of the Israeli term used to describe the ongoing, ever-growing, national propaganda effort I have used the word "Hasbara" pretty freely recently, and so do more and more people, without stopping to explain what it actually means. The use of this term has been widespread in Israeli Hebrew for many years now, usually with a positive meaning, though not always in a positive context – there is a never-ending debate on "the failure of Hasabra" – yet I often wonder how many people outside Israel actually know it, let alone understand what it stands for. So here…

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  • AIPAC, a voice for the Israeli Right (updated)

    Some thoughts on the destructive role AIPAC and other "pro-Israeli" organizations play in Israeli politics (the post was updated) New York, NY – Recently, I met a friend who works with the US office of an Israeli NGO. He told me of a conversation he once had with a top AIPAC official (since it was a private conversation, I won't disclose the name of the official here). "We appreciate the work that you are doing in Israel," the AIPAC guy told my friend. "We often give it as an example of the fact that Israel is indeed a thriving democracy.…

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