Posts Tagged ‘Hebron’


An edited version of this article appeared at LobeLogGaza_house_destroyed

The moral high ground is always a tenuous piece of property. It is difficult to obtain and is easily lost. It is seen, however, as crucial because most people, all over the world, cannot accommodate the notion that life is composed of shades of grey; they desperately need to see black and white, good guys and bad guys, heroes and villains, in every situation. Nowhere is this truer than in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

It has become even more important for Israel to fight this rhetorical battle because, while it can always count on mindless support from Washington and from the most radically nationalistic and zealous Zionists around the world, the current escalation and ugliness is going to be very difficult to defend to even mainstream pro-Israel liberals, let alone the rest of the world. The hasbara (propaganda) has been flowing at a rapid pace, even more so than usual, as Israel struggles to maintain the treasured hold on the “moral high ground” that its own actions have increasingly undermined. (more…)

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My analysis of today’s events and where they might go. At Lobelog.

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This article originally appeared at LobeLog.

It’s a busy week for Secretary of State John Kerry. On Monday, he received Israel’s top two negotiators, Tzipi Livni and Isaac

John Kerry boarding a plane for Switzerland for the bug meetings in Geneva and Davos.

John Kerry boarding a plane for Switzerland for the bug meetings in Geneva and Davos.

Molho. Then he packed his bags and headed off to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Kerry will have any number of important tasks in Davos, but perhaps the highest profile of them will be a sideline meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. These meetings, it is said, are meant to “bridge the gaps between Israel and the Palestinians.”

If anyone was holding out hope that these talks were anything more than a sham, those words should end such hopes. The framing of the United States bridging the gap between Israel and the Palestinians belies the reality of Israeli anger and Palestinian disappointment bordering on feelings of betrayal in terms of the US’ relationship with both sides. Let’s just look at where things stand. (more…)

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This review was published by Inter Press Service, under the title, “How Israel Sank into the Quagmire of Apartheidgoliath

WASHINGTON, Dec 20 2013 (IPS) – When one writes a book about Israel, one must expect that it will be analysed not for its quality but for its ideological bent.

The critique will generally be based on whether or not the work is “balanced,” which usually means whether the reviewer feels their own point of view was given a fair hearing in the book. On this basis, Max Blumenthal’s new book, “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel”, was doomed to failure before it was ever published.

But that expectation, which seems so especially prevalent for any book about Israel, is bound to fail because Blumenthal’s book is not an attempt to ask what Israel is. Rather, it is an effort by a journalist to answer the question of why Israel is what it is today.

The bulk of Blumenthal’s research was done simply by being in Israel and talking to the people there. He offers us a series of snapshots that don’t reveal new and hidden facts about the issues that made headlines in Israel, and often beyond, during his four years of research for this book.

Rather, they sum up and coalesce into a picture of an Israel drifting increasingly to the right, descending into fascism and with an opposition that is increasingly being boxed in and weakened. (more…)

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In my weekly piece at Souciant, I do a post-mortem on the PC(USA) divestment initiative, which failed by a 333-331 margin with two abstentions. I conclude that the defeat still shows a growing intolerance for Israel’s trampling of Palestinian rights.

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Jessica Montell and I co-wrote an op-ed which appeared in the New York Jewish Week online last week. Click here to read it.

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Last week, B’Tselem caused quite a stir when it released a video showing an attack by four masked men on Palestinian farmers in the South Hebron hills. The attack was recorded by a Palestinian woman who was later injured in the attack herself.

The farmers near the settlement of Susya live an extremely meager existence. I visited that area myself just six weeks ago. These are very simple people, not connected to much beyond the next village. They live in a tent city and subsist, barely, off farming a very small plot of land not far from the settlement, though well beyond the range where anyone could possibly pose a threat to the inhabitants of Susya.

The response to the release of the video shows the grave disconnect between reality and the perceptions of people around the world.

In various “talkback” sections in online newspapers, the comments were replete with accusations, egged on by comments from Israeli police, that the incident had been “staged.” Although very few such incidents have ever been corroborated in the slightest, a conspiracy theory, entitled “Pallywood” which purports a vast operation by Palestinians to drum up false charges against Israel and Israelis is flourishing.

Of course, false charges occur. In a recent appeal over the issue of the shooting of young Muhammad al-Dura, a boy killed in crossfire at the beginning of the second intifada who became a symbol for Israeli brutality and murderousness, a French court found that there was sufficient evidence to call into question the veracity of a French report of that incident. (more…)

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