Posted in Gaza, Holocaust, tagged Anti-Zionism, Avigdor Lieberman, Elie Wiesel, Fascism, Four-year old Israeli boy killed, Gaza, Holocaust, Josef Goebbels, Naftali Bennett, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on August 23, 2014 |
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Like many Jews of my generation and subsequent ones, I read Elie Wiesel’s book “Night” when I was very young. I was moved,
Elie Wiesel doesn’t want to hear about human rights when it comes to Israel
frightened and terribly saddened by the horrors Wiesel and millions of others suffered at the hands of the Nazis.
But Wiesel has failed to learn the lessons of his own experience. Rather than universalizing the call to end the oppression of people regardless of the race, religion or beliefs of either the oppressed or the oppressor, Wiesel has made a special exception for Israel.
For decades, Wiesel was notably silent when it came to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. But in recent years, he has broken that silence not to defend millions of people suffering under occupation but to be an apologist and even defender of some of Israel’s worst excesses. That state of affairs reached something of a zenith recently when Wiesel, along with the crazed fanatical “rabbi” Smuley Boteach, placed ads defending Israel’s murderous onslaught on Gaza. The terminology they used would have made Goebbels proud.
In short, Elie Wiesel has become a monster, in a very real sense.
I’m gratified to say that not every Holocaust survivor has dealt with their trauma by cowering in tribalism and spewing the kind of venom Wiesel does. Some of them have organized an open letter condemning Wiesel, Israel’s assault on Gaza and the international community for supporting it. (more…)
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Posted in Democracy, Gaza, human rights, Israel, tagged Avigdor Lieberman, Gaza, Gaza War, GazaUnderAttack, Ha'aretz, Israel, Israel Democracy Institute, Israeli Peace Index, Jim Crow Laws, media, Muslim-Jewish Wedding, Naftali Bennett, Palestine, Palestinian rights, pro-Israel protests, right-wing Israel protests, Sheldon Adelson, slavery, What do Israelis think of Netanyahu?, Yair Lapid on August 21, 2014 |
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This article originally appeared in an edited form at LobeLog.
At what point is it legitimate and even necessary to dismiss the will of the people in the interest of peace and justice? This is a vexing question when it comes to Israel.
The latest edition of the Peace Index, produced by the Israel Democracy Institute, reflects some disturbing findings about the extent to which any effort to change Israel’s policies and actions in the Gaza Strip specifically, and in the Occupied Territories more broadly, is not merely a matter of changing the government’s actions. It necessitates rejecting the will of the Israeli people. Given the vast dichotomy between the respective weights carried by the wills of the Palestinian and Israeli peoples, this is a real problem.
For much of the world, the Israel-Palestine conflict is not viewed as a struggle by an occupied and dispossessed people against their occupation. Rather, it is seen as a conflict between two peoples over a piece of land. The two formulations are important; one frames the conflict in terms of an imbalance of power, the other does not. Perhaps this is not so among the general global populace, but in the offices in Washington, Brussels and even the United Nations, it is. (more…)
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Posted in Terrorism, West Bank, tagged Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Avigdor Lieberman, Benjamin Netanyahu, Bring Back Our Boys, Fatah, Germany, Hamas, Israel, Kidnapped Israelis, Mahmoud Abbas, Naftali Bennett, Palestine, Palestinian Unity Government, Peace process, Russia, United Kingdom, United Nations Security Council, United States, West Bank on June 24, 2014 |
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What we’re seeing now in Israel-Palestine is what this looks like when the US-led peace process is removed and nothing replaces it. Maybe it’s better than an institutionalized process that serves only to sustain the occupation while Israel gobbles up more land for settlements, maybe it’s even worse. That is for Israelis and Palestinians especially to decide. What is certain, however, is that it is a more overtly violent and volatile situation and a fertile ground for the plans of annexationists in Israel. I explore today at LobeLog.
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Posted in Israel, tagged Abbas Milani, Avigdor Lieberman, Benjamin Netanayhu, Benny Begin, Dan Meridor, democracy, Iran, Israel, Israel Waismel-Manor, Israeli domestic politics, Jewish Home, Knesset, Menachem Begin, Miri Regev, Naftali Bennett, New York Times, Shas, Tablet Magazine, theocracy, Tzipi Hotovely, UTJ, Yair Rosenberg, Yesh Atid, Yisrael Beiteinu, Ze'ev Elkin on April 21, 2014 |
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An edited version of this article appeared first at LobeLog.
They were dueling op-eds, one in the New York Times and the other in the Jewish communal magazine, Tablet. The question being
Nationalistic signs at Salute to Israel Day in New York, July 2006
Photo by Rabih/Public Domain
bandied between them was whether Israel is becoming a theocracy. Not surprisingly, both pieces missed the mark. It’s not theocracy but unbridled nationalism that is the threat in Israel.
The Times piece was authored by Abbas Milani, who heads the Iranian Studies program at Stanford University and Israel Waismel-Manor, a lecturer at Haifa University who is currently a visiting associate professor of Political Science at Stanford. Their thesis is that Iran and Israel are moving in opposite directions on a democratic-theocratic scale, and that they might at some point in the future pass each other. Milani and Waismel-Manor are certainly correct about the strengthening forces of secularism and democracy in Iran, along with a good dose of disillusionment and frustration with the revolutionary, Islamic government that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ushered in thirty-five years ago. But on Israel, they miss the mark by a pretty wide margin.
Waismel-Manor and MIlani posit that the thirty seats currently held in Israel’s Knesset by religious parties shows growing religious influence on Israeli policies. But, as Yair Rosenberg at Tablet correctly points out, not all the religious parties have the same attitude about separation of religion and the state. Where Rosenberg, unsurprisingly, goes way off course is his complete eliding of the fact that the threat is not Israel’s tilt toward religion, but it’s increasingly radical shift toward right-wing policies, which are often severely discriminatory and militant. (more…)
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