Whereas America’s solicitous concern for Israel and its disregard for the Palestinians were once cloaked behind evenhandedness, under Trump we are set to see a more complete convergence between America’s political leadership and the most chauvinistic, religious, and right-wing government in Israel’s history. It will be this Israeli government and its new American soul mates who will call the tune in Palestine for at least the next several years.
Is there a Hebrew nation and how should it be defined? Moshé Machover proposes a strategy envisaging the defeat of Zionism
In view of its multiple anomalies, the conflict created by Zionist colonization defies appeal to precedent: there simply is none that can usefully be invoked as to its evolution and eventual resolution.
You cannot explain why Israel is continuing with a [colonization] policy that is not winning it any friends without mentioning Zionism. On the contrary, I think what we should do is not apologize… but instead go onto the offensive and be aggressive: directly attack Zionism. And you can also attack Zionism precisely because of its collusion and collaboration with anti-Semitism.
What is Zionism? What is the meaning of the claim that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people? Is the BDS campaign anti-Semitic? Moshé Machover in an interview with the Croatian website Slobodni Filozofski -- “Zionism is what it has been from its beginning, more than 100 years ago: in its essence it is a political project, the project of colonizing Palestine by Jews and turning it into a nation-state with an overwhelming Jewish majority. Israel is both a product of this project and an instrument for its further continuation.”
Jeff Halper’s new book is a must-read, a major contribution to the subject. I cannot recommend it too highly. It is a devastatingly effective antidote to the silly ‘Israeli tail wags American dog’ theories, according to which the US slavishly supports and protects Israel, although this damages true American ‘national interests’.
Nobody can deny that the American pro-Israeli lobby has immense political influence in the United States – it is an observable fact. The question is, why is it allowed to have this influence? Is it beyond the power of the real engines of American capitalism to mobilize, if they wanted to, enough funds to counteract this lobby?
The [US] Supreme Court in its 1982 NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co. decision recognized boycotts as a First Amendment-protected form of political speech. This means that if it would be wrong for the State of New Jersey to penalize people for engaging in political speech (whether the legislature approves of that speech or not) then it would be equally wrong for the State of New Jersey to penalize people for engaging in a boycott (whether the legislature approves of that boycott or not).
The Balfour Declaration of 1917 launched what amounts to a hundred years of war against the Palestinians. This war had a unique nature – it was formally sanctioned and authorized by the great powers of the day at different times during this century, and via different fora, such as the League of Nations and the United Nations, but it was mainly waged by other actors. A much distorted and maligned feature of this long war has been the Palestinians’ continuing resistance, against heavy odds, to what amounts to one of the last ongoing attempts at colonial subjugation in the modern world.
Unlike the first and second intifadas, this wave of Palestinian resistance is characterized by individual acts of violence mainly targeting the Israeli military occupation, such as soldiers at checkpoints. The attacks are largely uncoordinated, unorganized, and politically unclaimed. The majority are solitary acts, atomized expressions of anger and frustration.
Irene L. Gendzier presents incontrovertible evidence that oil politics played a significant role in the founding of Israel, the policy then adopted by the United States toward Palestinians, and subsequent U.S. involvement in the region. Consulting declassified U.S. government sources, as well as papers in the H.S. Truman Library, she uncovers little-known features of U.S. involvement in the region, including significant exchanges in the winter and spring of 1948 between the director of the Oil and Gas Division of the Interior Department and the representative of the Jewish Agency in the United States, months before Israel's independence and recognition by President Truman.
[T]here was also “straight talk” among US military and intelligence officials about the comparative strength of Israeli as opposed to Palestinian and Arab forces, the first of which they regarded as superior from the vantage point of training and equipment. US officials concluded that Israel had become the number two power in the Middle East after Turkey, and could be useful in contributing to US strategy in the Middle East.
Irene Gendzier paints contrasting images of Tel Aviv and Gaza that "deserve to be extended as they frequently apply to coverage of Israel and Gaza, as well as the West Bank, where Israeli policies of dehumanization and destruction are a constant feature of occupation. Turning away from its consequences, such as the burning of an infant and family in the Palestinian village of Duma on the West Bank in early August, is not an example of detachment but complicity."
“Can there be peace after the elections in Israel?”. Obviously ... “peace” ... [is] between the state of Israel and the phantom-state of Palestine; or perhaps between the Israeli Hebrews and the Palestinian Arabs. But the moment you spell it out, you begin to sense that there is something not quite right with this way of putting it. Talk of “peace” has a connotation of symmetry: two sides – states or nations – are at war with each other, and to end the war they must make peace. But the Israeli–Palestinian conflict is not really like this: it is highly asymmetric. At bottom it is about colonization: a conflict between the Zionist colonizing project, of which the Israeli settler state is both product and instrument, and the indigenous people of the country undergoing century-long and still ongoing colonization.
[I]n order to understand Israel’s behavior as a state in relation to the Palestinians, we must see Israel as a settler-colonial project. It is a continuation of late nineteenth century colonization. And its main feature lies in wanting to expel rather than exploit the native population. In contrast to South Africa, for example, where black labor was crucial for state building, expulsion in Israel was key to state formation. For the Israeli state, Palestinians are basically dispensable.
Netanyahu was not forced to call the election - he did it by choice because he had calculated that a new government, which he is now going to get, would be desirable. So if you want to know what his new government is going to do, you have to ask why the elections were called.
The March visit of the Israeli PM to Washington has aroused rapid opposition among Israel’s supporters in Congress as well as Democratic Party activists. At issue is the matter of protocol, not to say, principle. But there is something else afoot, namely, the realization that Netanyahu’s action risks alienating a political base that is increasingly skeptical of Israeli claims, including those about Iran’s nuclear arms that were exposed as false by Israel’s Intelligence agency. Then there was the PM’s analogy between his leadership of Israel in 2015 and that of David Ben-Gurion in 1948, that was rapidly written off by Israeli critics. At bottom, however, is the threat of blowing open the taboo on plain talk about Washington’s relations with Israel, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Netanyahu has abandoned Israel’s traditional strategy of accommodating American presidential pretence of managing an Israeli–Palestinian ‘peace process’ aimed at a ‘two state solution’. Whereas more cautious Israeli leaders kept up the charade and made sure that the sham process would go on and on but lead nowhere, Netanyahu brazenly burst the hot-air balloon in the face of the exasperated secretary of state John Kerry.