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Posts tagged ‘occupation’

Even if Benjamin Netanyahu is dethroned, the alternative is just as bleak for Palestinians

With just over two months to go before the second Israeli election this year, and with the latest polls predicting prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu will struggle to meet the 61 seats needed to form a governing coalition, former Israeli minister and current Yisrael Beiteinu party chair Avigdor Lieberman has emerged as the kingmaker. Last month the veteran politician expressed his desire for a unity government between Likud and the opposition Blue and White list. Mr Lieberman, whose refusal to form a coalition with Likud triggered the dissolution of the Knesset in May, told Israeli radio: “We will aim for a government with Likud and with [the Blue and White party] and that will be an emergency government, a national liberal government. We will do everything to limit the haredim [ultra-Orthodox] so that they won’t enter government.” Read more

Gaza: Isolation and control

This summer marks an important but often overlooked anniversary in the history of the Gaza Strip. Thirty years ago, in June 1989, Israel imposed for the first time a magnetic-card system to restrict the exit of Palestinian residents. Anyone denied a card would be prevented from leaving.

While Israel‘s blockade of Gaza is often seen to have originated in 2006-2007 as a response to Hamas’s rise to power, the isolation of the enclave in fact goes back three decades – and for many analysts, this historical perspective is essential for understanding today’s developments. Read more

Israel’s ethnic cleansing in Palestine is not history – it’s still happening

Speculation over the White House’s “Middle East peace plan” continues to dominate media coverage of Israel and the Palestinians, the latest example coming with the announcement of a Bahrain-hosted “workshop” in June to encourage investment in the Palestinian economy.

With the exception of the Gaza Strip, however – and then only partially and selectively – minimal attention is being paid to developments on the ground in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the paradigm of military occupation alone is insufficient to understanding what is taking place – namely, ethnic cleansing. Read more

Netanyahu has triumphed again – here’s what that means for Palestinians

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has done it again. Facing serious corruption allegations, and challenged by a “dream team” ticket including three former military chiefs of staff, Likud’s leader is now poised to form a new coalition government.

Although the Blue and White list headed by Benny Gantz secured 35 seats in the next Knesset, a majority of Israelis have voted for the so-called “right-wing” bloc headed by Likud (also on 35 seats), along with United Torah Judaism, Shas, Yisrael Beiteinu, Right-wing Union and Kulanu. Read more

Israeli occupation: More of the same in 2019

On 13 December, shortly after two Israeli soldiers had been shot dead outside an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, Yaakov Katz, editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post tweeted the following: “They celebrate death and we celebrate life. That is the core of this conflict.”

Katz’s tweet encapsulated the dehumanisation of Palestinians, and utter denial about the reality of occupation and colonialism, that is unfortunately all too common amongst Jewish Israelis. Read more

For Israel, the peace process has always been about demography

The 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords has been marked with unsurprisingly downbeat coverage and talk of broken promises. Marginalised or neglected in much of the analysis, however, has been an honest appraisal of Israel’s own strategic considerations at the time.

First, from Israel’s point of view, Oslo was not about Palestinian statehood. Read more

Palestinian violence isn’t ‘antisemitic’, it’s a response to occupation

On September 16, Khalil Jabarin – a 17-year-old Palestinian from Yatta in the southern West Bank – left his family home and headed north, to the Israeli settler-managed Gush Etzion Junction. There, the teenager fatally stabbed American-Israeli Ari Fuld, before being shot and arrested.

Following the killing of Fuld, a well-known far-right activist who lived in the nearby Efrat settlement, some Israelis vociferously objected to the reporting of his death, and in particular, to Fuld being described in various international news reports – quite accurately – as a settler. Read more

How Israel upholds ‘security’ of apartheid

Three thousand, seven hundred and four. That’s how many live ammunition gunshot injuries were inflicted by Israeli snipers on Palestinian demonstrators inside the Gaza Strip over a seven-week period beginning on 30 March. 3,704. In addition to 130 Palestinians killed during the same time frame.

One million, three hundred thousand. That’s how many bullets were fired by Israeli soldiers in the occupied Palestinian territory during the first few days of the Second Intifada. 1.3 million.  Read more

Fauda brings Israel’s ‘shoots and cries’ genre to the Netflix generation

There is a phrase in Hebrew which literally translates as ‘shoots and cries’ (or ‘shooting and crying’). As explained by literature scholar Karen Grumberg, “the Zionist solider, a man with a conscience, loathes violence but realises he must act violently to survive; the dilemma causes him to weep while pulling the trigger. Looking inward, he despairs at the violence he feels compelled to enact primarily because he fears his own moral corruption”. This ‘shoots and cries’ culture has not been limited to literature – it can also be found in critically-acclaimed Israeli films like “Waltz with Bashir”, or even Hollywood productions like “Munich”.And now, there is a ‘shoots and cries’ creation for the Netflix era: “Fauda”. Read more

Why is Trump moving on Jerusalem now?

In comparison to the focus on opposition to the move and its possible ramifications, relatively little has been said about why Donald Trump’s administration has decided to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and signal its intent to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv.

For example, one widely-shared piece of analysis does not really answer the question in its title, namely, “Why is Trump undoing decades of US policy on Jerusalem?”

I believe there are three main reasons, none of which are mutually exclusive. Read more