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This link recently saved by shanucore on February 17, 2016
Writing in 2003, at a time of high Euro-optimism, Tony Judt described Israel as a ‘characteristically late 19th-century separatist project’ in ‘a world that has moved on, a world of individual rights, open frontiers and international law … Israel, in short, is an anachronism.’ Today, it is Judt’s cheerfully Hegelian description of ‘a world that has moved on’ that seems out of step with the neo-tribal spirit of the times. Israel does not seem like such an outlier in a world reshaped by the drive towards ethnic and religious separatism, the militarised policing of frontiers, and the emergence of authoritarian populist governments. For a country of its size, it has made a handsome contribution to the creation of this world, through its occupation and its wars – and through its high-profile involvement in the arms trade and the ‘security’ industry.
This link recently saved by shanucore on February 01, 2016
It was a remarkable admission of the state’s historic wrongs. But it was never going to change the minds of the authorities. Like Israel’s military control in the Occupied Territories, police violence and discrimination against the Palestinian minority has always been designed to deliver a clear political message: Palestinians will always be viewed as suspects, enemies who don’t belong, regardless of their citizenship or where they were born. Even if they have the same fears, do the same jobs and live in the same cities, Palestinian citizens will be expected to suspend their rights in order to make Jewish citizens feel safer. Any opposition to that hierarchy – whether expressed on the streets, in the Knesset, or on social media – is viewed as a subversive act, which will be dealt with by intimidation, collective punishment, even summary execution.
This link recently saved by shanucore on November 07, 2015
Israel is now confronted by the greatest unrest it has faced since the second intifada ended more than ten years ago. Palestinian protests and clashes with Israeli forces have spread from East Jerusalem to the rest of the West Bank, as well as to Gaza and Palestinian towns inside Israel. In the first three weeks of October, ten Israelis were killed and more than a hundred injured in stabbings and shootings, and by drivers ramming cars into pedestrians. Over the same period, Israeli forces killed 53 Palestinians and injured around two thousand. Compared to the second intifada, the protests this month have been smaller, the influence of Palestinian political factions weaker, and the attacks far less lethal. But they have been coming more frequently, with several of them, unco-ordinated, on most days.
This link recently saved by shanucore on May 04, 2015
The Israeli group Breaking the Silence issued a report this morning containing testimony from Israeli soldiers about the savagery and criminality committed by the Israeli military during the attack on Gaza last summer. The Independent has a good article describing the report’s findings: “The Israeli military deliberately pounded civilian areas in the Gaza Strip with incessant fire of inaccurate ordinance” and “was at best indifferent about casualties among the Palestinian population.”
This link recently saved by shanucore on March 30, 2015
What else can be said about a country whose electoral options run from bad to worse, from xenophobia to all-out racism? There are, I believe, three main blocs. The first wishes to maintain the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in its current form, preferably with no negotiations, in a liminal situation between cold and open war. The second wishes to dance with the conflict – to negotiate and negotiate as if there were no tomorrow. For the third bloc, there is no conflict at all: the elections are about VAT, the middle class and ‘what it means to be Israeli’.
This link recently saved by shanucore on January 27, 2015
The United States Agency for International Development provided funds for many years to the committees named in the indictment, while itself scrupulously avoiding contact with Hamas. This funding continued after the government closed the HLF in 2001, until at least 2004, when the indictments against the HLF five were laid. The prosecution was unable to prove that the money raised by the HLF actually went to Hamas: it asked the jury to infer it, on the basis of other evidence. Shukri Abu Baker’s attorney, Nancy Hollander, says that ‘the government traced every penny from the Holy Land Foundation directly to charity. No guns, no suicide belts, no explosives. Yet, because this charity went to families in Palestine, it was a crime.’
This link recently saved by shanucore on December 29, 2014
What the government of Israel calls its eternal, undivided capital is among the most precarious, divided cities in the world. When it conquered the eastern part of Jerusalem and the West Bank – both administered by Jordan – in 1967, Israel expanded the city’s municipal boundaries threefold. As a result, approximately 37 per cent of Jerusalem’s current residents are Palestinian. They have separate buses, schools, health facilities, commercial centres, and speak a different language. In their neighbourhoods, Israeli settlers and border police are frequently pelted with stones, while Palestinians have on several occasions recently been beaten by Jewish nationalist youths in the western half of the city. Balloons equipped with cameras hover above East Jerusalem, maintaining surveillance over the Palestinian population. Most Israelis have never visited and don’t even know the names of the Palestinian areas their government insists on calling its own. Municipal workers come to these neighbourhoods with police escorts.
This link recently saved by shanucore on December 19, 2014
96,000 Palestine refugee dwellings – more than twice as many homes in Gaza as initially estimated – were damaged or destroyed during this summer’s conflict, according to the technical assessment completed by UNRWA on 15 December. Whilst the technical assessment is completed, the Agency is extending a one week window between 21-25 December, for those refugee families who were not visited by a social worker but who consider themselves eligible, to apply for an assessment.
This link recently saved by shanucore on November 02, 2014
Capping a series of victories by a modest band of pro-Palestinian activists, an Israel-based shipping company has re-routed a container ship from the Port of Oakland, where protestors had vowed to keep the ship from unloading, to an alternate destination in Russia. The company, Zim Integrated Shipping Services is one of the largest cargo shipping outfits in the world, but of late it has seen its operations seriously disrupted by a small group of activists motivated by the global Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement (BDS), which targets companies implicated in Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territories. Zim is an Israel-based company, and the “Block the Boat” movement – a combined effort of labor activists and Palestinian solidarity groups – has successfully stopped its ships from docking at Oakland ports several times since this summer.
This link recently saved by shanucore on October 27, 2014
In general, countries become indignant when other nations kill their own citizens. But all of the normal rules are inapplicable when the countries in question are the U.S. and Israel. Thus, when a Palestinian runs his car into an American child, this is instantly declared a “despicable act” of “terrorism” which is condemned in “the strongest possible terms”: no investigation needed. But when an Israeli occupying soldier shoots and kills an American child, the most tepid, nonjudgmental and careful language is used to politely call for an “investigation” by the very occupying military responsible for the killing.