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Posts tagged ‘racism’

This week a world leader much worse than Donald Trump is visiting the UK – but I don’t see any protest from MPs

That US President Donald Trump has not yet made an official visit to the UK is down to the entirely justifiable opposition such a prospect provokes.

Here is a man who ran a racist election campaign and brought hard-right nationalists into the corridors of power, who has open contempt for treaties and bodies like the United Nations.

Yet this week, Theresa May will welcome to London another world leader about whom the exact same – and much more – can be said: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Read more

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Don’t believe the hype about Israel’s Labour Party being progressive – it’s just proven that it’s decidedly not

The leader of Israel’s main opposition party, Labour chair Avi Gabbay, is currently making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Yesterday, Gabbay told Israeli television that he opposed discussing the removal of even the most isolated illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The remarks came a day after Gabbay told a meeting of party activists that “the Arabs have to be afraid of us”. He added: “They fire one missile – you fire 20. That’s all they understand in the Middle East”. Read more

Israeli incitement, rejectionism & anti-Palestinian racism – fact sheet

Anti-Palestinian incitement and racism can be found throughout Israeli society, from football matches and op-ed pages, to universities and the highest levels of elected office. The dehumanisation of Palestinians and rejection of their basic rights flows from, and has provided justification for, decades of settler-colonialism and occupation.

Palestinians are portrayed routinely by Israeli politicians, academics and religious leaders as barbaric, a “demographic threat” and a “problem” to be managed. This affects public attitudes; according to one study, 60,000 active Israeli social media users posted at least one racist item against Arabs in 2016, at a rate of one post every 46 seconds.

This factsheet is just the tip of the iceberg, with a focus on the rhetoric of government ministers and officials – from various political parties – in recent years. Read more

Liberals must accept responsibility for creating both Trump and Brexit

There are dark clouds gathering across England. The tabloid press attacks the judiciary as “enemies of the people”. The prime minister berates “activist left-wing human rights lawyers” for pursuing legal cases against British soldiers accused of war crimes. Right-wing demagogues contrast the “political elite” with “the will of the people”. Read more

With Trump USA, big troubles ahead for ‘Brand Israel’

The warm congratulations extended by Israeli politicians to Donald Trump after his election victory was unsurprising. Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is a coalition of right-to-far-right parties, including ministers with a penchant for authoritarian, nationalist legislation, and anti-Palestinian, Islamophobic rhetoric. Read more

A century after Balfour, the UK should face uncomfortable home truths

This month marks the 99th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration and the beginning in earnest of preparations for next year’s centenary.

Israel and its supporters are gearing up for a celebration of what they see as an historic document that underpins the state’s legitimacy. Palestinians and their allies, meanwhile, are seeking an apology from Britain for an injustice whose impact is still felt today. Read more

Pro-Israel activists smear student solidarity with Palestine

Israel advocacy groups and individuals are seeking to undermine Palestine solidarity activism on British campuses, using Islamophobic abuse and false accusations of antisemitism.

Last Thursday, former Israeli army officer Hen Mazzig, who served in the occupied West Bank as part of the Israeli occupation authorities’ forces, was invited to speak at University College London (UCL) by the Friends of Israel student society. Read more

How Israeli hawks and doves alike see Palestinians as a problem

Israeli newspaper Haaretz this week published minutes of a secret meeting between then-Israeli premier Menachem Begin and Shimon Peres, who was head of the opposition at the time. The discussions took place on 31 August 1978, ahead of Begin’s talks with Egypt’s leader Anwar Sadat at Camp David, the US presidential retreat.

For Haaretz, the minutes “lay bare the hawk that peacemaker Peres once was”. In fact, the document gives a valuable insight into what shaped Peres’s world view to the very end: settler colonial racism. Read more

Israel’s latest propaganda video is offensive – it paints a dark picture of the government’s views

A new video published by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has prompted ridicule and accusations of distorted history and racism. The clip, presented by officials as a short history of the Jewish people, was made by an Israeli production company on behalf of the Israeli government, as part of the latter’s PR efforts. Read more

Shifty antisemitism wars

In 2005, a draft, working definition of antisemitism was circulated by the European Union’s Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC). To the dismay of its critics, the document confused genuine antisemitism with criticism of Israel, and was repeatedly, and erroneously, promoted by Israel advocacy groups as the EU definition of antisemitism.

By 2013, the EUMC’s successor body, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), had abandoned the politicised definition as unfit for purpose. Just this week, in response to a motion passed at NUS conference, the FRA explicitly denied having ever adopted the definition. Yet on March 30, Eric Pickles, UK Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust issues and chair of Conservative Friends of Israel, revived the discredited definition by publishing it on the government’s website. Why? Read more