A fundamental plank of any peace plan has to be universal rights and full equality for all, and that is true whether the solution is one state, two states, twelve states or no states in Israel-Palestine. I elaborate at Souciant.
In my latest piece for Alternet, I take a broad look at the increasing civilian violence within the Green Line, inside Israel “proper,” even though that phrase has lost a lot of meaning now that the settlers have won. I’ll get into that more in another article soon, but for now, I look at how economic policies that were embraced years ago by Netanyahu but have roots that go much farther than him actually have sown the seeds of the violent xenophobia that has mushroomed in Israel, making headlines with a lynching in Jerusalem and riots in Tel Aviv in recent months.
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.
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.
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.
In my latest piece for Souciant, I look at the very wide gap between Israel’s collective stance on the Palestinian Nakba and the understanding of events most Israelis have of that piece of history. It has been my experience that, while the average American, Jewish or not, is quite ignorant of the facts surrounding the departure of the majority of Palestine’s Arab population from 1947-1949, the average Israeli is not, and this was so even before the so-called New Historians blew the cover off the narrative that Israel continues to cling to publicly.