After writing my article today, which dealt with the ongoing race riots in Tel Aviv, I saw a couple of things that spurred some further thoughts, perhaps in a different vein from the piece up at Souciant.
Sign on the right: “What country are we living in? Sudan? Eritrea? Al-Qaeda in the midst of the state!!!”
One was a tweet that pointed to the riots and sarcastically added “the only democracy in the Middle East.”
Now, Israel’s democracy has serious problems, and they include both social and bureaucratic methods (though as the hasbaraniks are always quick to point out, generally not legal ones anymore) of depriving its Arab citizens of full equality with Jews. It is also under attack from the right, as embodied in the words and deeds of leaders from Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu, Shas and other, smaller rightist parties (including Kadima, which can only be called “centrist” in a country that has tilted absurdly to the right).
But this still stands as a perfect example of Israel being held to a different standard than other countries. There are many criticisms to level against Israeli democracy, even before we consider the West Bank; but as ugly as these riots are, they are not one of them. Continue reading
In this week’s column at Souciant you can see the second entry in my series on the causes and effects of the 1967 war and beginning of the occupation, as we near the 45th anniversary of those events. In this piece, I look as well at the recent race riots in south Tel Aviv and how the xenophobia of the rioters and, perhaps more importantly, the political leaders who inspire that hate, is connected to a culture of occupation.
As the likelihood of an attack on Iran continues to diminish, and on the 45th anniversary of Egypt’s closing the Straits of Tiran to Israeli traffic, I use my weekly column at Souciant to look at some parallels and differences between the lead-up to the 1967 war and the current situation with Iran. It’s a history we need to remember, even re-learn, lest history repeat itself with consequences that, as we’ve seen with the ’67 war, can evolve over decades into things we can’t imagine at the time.
This week’s piece at Souciant deals with the anniversary of Israel’s independence and the Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe). It takes off from the shameful op-ed the Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, placed two days ago in the Wall Street Journal, wherein he whines about the world not loving Israel while it holds millions of people under a regime of occupation that denies their basic rights.
It is focused in the need for Israel to acknowledge the Nakba, to recognize it for what it is, and to stop seeing it as mourning Israel’s creation, but as Palestinians mourning their own dispossession. Recognizing that, perhaps Israel can start taking responsibility for that dispossession, a necessary prerequisite for peace, no matter what form an eventual resolution takes.
In that same spirit, I’d also like to recommend two pieces from +972 Magazine. This one, by Lisa Goldman and this one by Larry Derfner.
For my International Law class (for those who don’t know, I’m working on my Master’s Degree at University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy), I was asked to write a UN resolution and a strategy for getting it adopted. I thought folks here might be interested in seeing what i came up with, as sort of a thought experiment.
The UN General Assembly Hall
Keep in mind, the idea here was to be realistic and come up with a resolution that made sense to present. I am in the role of an adviser to Mahmoud Abbas, and the time was supposed to be mid-2011, so I could focus on the real possibility, at the time, of going to the UN that coming September. The scope is narrow, so I’m not trying to get him to rethink his entire approach to the occupation.
So, of course, I’m recommending a General Assembly, rather than a Security Council approach.
Comments are welcome. The resolution I wrote is pasted below. The longer strategy paper (in an MS Word document) is at this link. Continue reading
In this week’s article for Souciant, I analyze the new unity government in Israel–why it happened, what it means and how it affects various aspects of Israel’s current situation. Particularly, I look at some potential implications for the Palestinians, a point which seems largely overlooked in analysis of this week’s events.
My latest piece at Souciant examines the complete disconnect of Mahmoud Abbas from the reality of the situation the Palestinians are in. I ask why Israel should even be expected, by purely self-interest standards, to end its control over millions of Palestinians and examine how that calculus might be changed.