Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Zionism’

Fear of Palestinian majority drives attacks on single democratic state

For those who always saw a so-called two-state solution as a means of preserving Israel as a ‘Jewish and democratic’ ethno-state, goodbye is the hardest word to say.

As the Israeli government consolidates a de facto, single state that all its predecessors since 1967 helped forge, those urging ‘separation’ from the Palestinians are sounding desperate – especially in their attacks on calls for a single democratic state, to replace today’s apartheid status quo. Read more

Advertisements

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

Praise and protest: Reflections on how the Balfour centenary was marked

Following a year of build-up, the Balfour Declaration centenary has now come and gone. After the campaigns, events, articles and protests, I want to take a moment to make a few observations about how the centenary was marked.

To my mind, there were two main aspects to the anniversary’s significance. Read more

How The Guardian continues to exclude Palestinians from its comment pages

This time last year, I carried out an informal survey of how The Guardian was covering the issue of Palestine and Israel in its comment pages. The results were not good.

Out of 138 op-eds on the topic published by the newspaper in its ‘Comment is free’ section from October 2013 to November 2015 (including both print and online-only articles, as well as content from The Observer), just 20 were written by Palestinians – 15 per cent of the total. 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

Moves to silence critics of Israel have made the debate about Zionism unstoppable

By now, it is clear that the UK Labour Party’s so-called “crisis” of anti-Semitism is being used to delegitimise anti-Zionism by groups and individuals who see the two as one and the same thing. It is that conflation I want to address, and specifically, how it is only possible through the dehumanisation and disappearance of the Palestinians. Read more

Israeli support for two-state solution based on racism

The Guardian published a review last week by Nick Cohen of a new book called The Left’s Problem with Jews. Cohen’s review was predictable enough, and the book itself, written by Dave Rich of The Community Security Trust, is not the focus of this op-ed.

Instead, I want to draw attention to a short excerpt from Cohen’s review, which is instructive in what it illuminates about the current debate on anti-Semitism and the Left, as well as broader questions about Zionism, anti-Zionism, and the Palestinians’ ongoing struggle for self-determination. Read more

Why we must see Israeli policies as a form of settler colonialism

The so-called ‘Israeli-Palestinian conflict’ is not an ancient, tribal conflict, or millennia-old grudge match. Nor, as some propose, is it a tragic clash of competing nationalisms, or a cycle fuelled by religious extremism. The Zionist political project in Palestine has been, and is, a form of settler colonialism. Understanding it as such is important for three reasons. Read more

Nakba Day returns, but not the Palestinians

In 1995, a journalist interviewed a number of left-wing Israelis living in West Jerusalem homes whose Palestinian owners were expelled in 1948. One (unnamed) “prominent left-winger” was particularly, and directly, unapologetic. “I don’t have any problem with the fact that we threw them out, and we don’t want them back, because we want a Jewish state.” Read more

What Zionism has meant for Palestinians

“If there are other inhabitants there, they must be transferred to some other place. We must take over the land. We have a greater and nobler ideal than preserving several hundred thousands of Arab fellahin.”

Menahem Ussishkin, chair of Jewish National Fund, 1930.

There is a lot of discussion about Zionism at the moment: how to define it, what it means to be anti-Zionist and whether that equates to antisemitism, and so on. But there has been a notable, and instructive, absence in these debates: an understanding of what Zionism has meant for Palestinians. Read more