Some more news and commentary on Israel and Palestine

Natalie Rothschild is worth reading on the Nakba law: Israel’s catastrophic bill, a very UN-helpful report on the Gaza war, Palestine – occupied by Western intellectuals and a piece on Palestinian architect Suad Amiry’s most recent book on Palestinian men seeking work in Israel.

Construction on Israel’s first solar field, the gas lowdown from Green Prophet, and Israel Green Movement has a new co-chair, Racheli Tidhar Caner.

In The Guardian, comedian Mark Thomas walks the security barrier, and Gary Yonge writes on the intimidation, humiliation and harassment which are central to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Many prominent Israelis sign their support for a Palestinian state. Benny Morris, one of the earliest of Israel’s revisionist historians, responds with a theory about the imminent Palestinian declaration of independence, that in gaining a state without recognising, let alone making any pledges to, Israel, that state will become a launch pad for further assault on Israel. He ends,

“And Israel, let me sadly add, will have done a great deal to have helped us reach this unhappy pass—an Israel, under Netanyahu, that has offered the Palestinians nothing that any Arab or the international community, including the US, could accept as a reasonable minimum the Palestinians should agree to.”

Whether Benny Morris’ predictions become actuality also depends, I think, on whether or not the region’s secularists prevail, and whether Israel becomes cast as the enemy in any renewed attempt to rally Arab nationalism.

Finally, the Israel Democracy Institute hosted an illuminating-sounding Symposium on the Arab Minority in the Jewish Nation State. If there are any Hebrew speakers willing and able to translate and digest from the video recordings, that would be something. Also from the IDI, Professor Yuval Shany cautions the Israeli government not to consider Richard Goldstone’s reassessment of Israel’s intentions in Operation Cast Lead as an exemption from pushing on with its own investigations. See also Shany’s Terror and Democracy Newsletter, a window into Israeli preoccupations and responsibilities.

And returning to where we began, the IDI makes a last blistering (but ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to prevent the passage of the modified Nakba Bill. Meanwhile Mohammad Darawshe and Amnon Be’eri Sulitzeanu of Israel’s The Abraham Fund respond positively to Israel’s Education Ministry’s decision to add a compulsory Holocaust question to Arab matriculation exams, but “stressed that the education system should also teach about the Palestinian Nakba (the ”cataclysm” of 1948 for Palestinian Arabs) as well as the Land Day events of 1976, and on the significance of these events to the Arab citizens of Israel.”

Update: just been alerted to Amnon Be’eri Sulitzeanu’s analysis in Ha’aretz to apparent Holocaust denial on the part of Israel’s Arab citizens:

“In a correct reading of the situation of Arab citizens, the “denial” of the Holocaust should not be understood as a lack of knowledge of the subject or as a failure to recognize its importance for the Jewish people, but as simple defiance: “If you don’t recognize us and our pain, we will retaliate by not recognizing your pain.” Paradoxically, the painful use of “denial” by the Arabs polled in the survey actually implies recognition of the Holocaust and of the depth of the pain it represents for the Jews.

This complexity assumes an additional current and tragic dimension, because the decision of the Education Ministry regarding the matriculation exam is being made parallel to a series of steps by the government, including legislation, whose objective is to forbid Arab citizens and groups from teaching or commemorating − even in a low-key manner − the historical story of the Palestinian tragedy that took place with the establishment of the State of Israel, the Nakba, and to persecute and punish those who do so. In that sense, we can assume that if the above-mentioned survey were to be conducted now, the percentage of Arab “Holocaust deniers” would skyrocket.”

Recommended reading. Nevertheless, if people are going to play this game of holding acknowledgment of historical catastrophes to ransom, they should realise that their children may well grow up confused about the truth, or believing a falsehood.

1 thought on “Some more news and commentary on Israel and Palestine

  1. Pingback: Variousness 36 « Anti-National Translation

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