Saturday, May 22, 2021


"Jewish groups that aid Israel’s war crimes can’t deny all responsibility for those crimes" (Cook): 

"Revealingly, it seems that when Jewish community leaders watch TV screens showing demonstrators chant “Free Palestine”, they feel it as a personal attack – as though they themselves are being accosted in the street.

One doesn’t need to be a Freudian analyst to wonder whether this reveals something troubling about their inner emotional life: they identify so completely with Israel that even when someone calls for Palestinians to have equal rights with Israelis they perceive as a collective attack on Jews, as antisemitism.

Then Korski gets to the crux of the argument: “As Jews we are proud of our heritage and at the same time in no way responsible for the actions of a government thousands of miles away, no matter our feelings or connection to it.”

But the logic of that position is simply untenable. You cannot tie your identity intimately to a state that systematically commits war crimes, you cannot classify demonstrations against those war crimes as antisemitism, you cannot use your position as a “Jewish community leader” to make such allegations more credible, and you cannot exploit your influence with world leaders to try to silence protests against Israel and then say you are “in no way responsible” for the actions of that government.

If you use your position to prevent Israel from being subjected to scrutiny over allegations of war crimes, if you seek to manipulate the public discourse with claims of antisemitism to create a more favourable environment in which those war crimes can be committed, then some of the blame for those war crimes rubs off on you.

That is how responsibility works in every other sphere of life. What Israel’s apologists are demanding is an exception for Israel and for themselves."

"If you are lobbying to get special favours for Israel, particularly favours to help it commit war crimes, you don’t also get to wash your hands of those war crimes. You are directly implicated in them. 

David Hirsch, an academic at the University of London who has been closely connected to efforts to weaponise antisemitism against critics of Israel, especially in the Labour party under its previous leader Jeremy Corbyn, also tries to play this trick.

He tells Haaretz that antisemitism is supposedly “getting worse” because Palestinian solidarity activists have been giving up on a two-state solution. “There used to be a struggle in Palestine solidarity between a politics of peace – two states living side by side – and a politics of denouncing one side as essentially evil and hoping for its total defeat.”

But what Hirsch is doing is pure projection: he is suggesting Palestinian solidarity activists are “antisemites” – his idea of evil – because they have been forced by Israel to abandon their long-favoured cause of a two-state solution. That is only because successive Israeli governments have refused to negotiate any kind of peace deal with the most moderate Palestinian leadership imaginable under Mahmoud Abbas – one that has eagerly telegraphed its desire to collaborate with Israel, even calling “security coordination” with the Israeli army “sacred”.

A two-state solution is dead because Israel made it dead not because Palestinian solidarity activists are more extreme or more antisemitic.

In calling to “Free Palestine”, activists are not demanding Israel’s “total defeat” – unless Hirsch and Jewish community organisations themselves believe that Palestinians can never be free from Israeli oppression and occupation until Israel suffers such a “total defeat”. Hirsch’s claim tells us nothing about Palestinian solidarity activists, but it does tell us a lot about what is really motivating these Jewish community organisations.

It is these pro-Israel lobbyists, it seems, more than Palestinian solidarity activists, who cannot imagine Palestinians living in dignity under Israeli rule. Is that because they understand only too well what Israel and its political ideology of Zionism truly represent, and that what is required of Palestinians for “peace” is absolute and permanent submission?"
Tweet (Mondoweiss):
"It's almost like Bari isn't really interested in protecting free speech and instead is using it as a weapon to silencer criticism of Israel?"
"MSNBC: Rise of Anti-Semitic Attacks In U.S. Amid Middle East Violence" ('Hunter Wallace').  I always liked the way Nosferatu rose from his coffin each night as if his heels were on hinges.

"Revealed: Third of British cabinet, including Boris Johnson, has been funded by Israel or pro-Israel lobby groups" (Kennard).  Not including the bribes or blackmail.

"CNN anchor flies into rage after Pakistani FM says Israelis control media".

"Tear it all up" (Karmi):
"To start with, Palestinian leaders need to take steps to dislodge a status quo that suits only Israel while irrevocably serving notice to the “international community” that times have changed.

They could start by disbanding all Palestinian Authority departments and security services not engaged in civil administrative work like education and health and the civil police, to assert that the PA will no longer serve any function to aid Israel’s occupation.

Elections to the PA were always a bit of a panacea, but the popular will needs to be expressed as comprehensively as possible. Hold a vote for the Palestine National Council, the Legislative Council of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, expanded to include all factions, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and others currently excluded, as well as representatives of Palestinians in the diaspora.

The PNC will in turn decide the make-up of the next Palestinian leadership. All Palestinians everywhere should be offered a chance to vote. Practical obstacles can be overcome with technological solutions. 
Finally, formally reject and repudiate the Oslo accords, all agreements with Israel subsequent to them, and make it clear that an emerging Palestinian leadership will not negotiate basic rights."
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