Professor fired after Israel lobby smear campaign Asa Winstanley EI 01/10/2021
More than 300 academics and public intellectuals pushed back, signing an open letter to the university in support of Miller and his work Signatories included Noam Chomsky, Palestinian scholar and activist Sami al-Arian, dissident Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, filmmaker Ken Loach and comedian Alexi Sayle.“We feel duty-bound to express our solidarity with Professor Miller and to oppose such efforts to crush academic freedom,” the letter stated. It says that Miller is the target of “well-orchestrated efforts” to misrepresent his views “as evidence of anti-Semitism.” In February, Miller wrote in a piece for The Electronic Intifada that “Britain is in the grip of an assault on its public sphere by the state of Israel and its advocates.” “Meaningful conversations about anti-Black racism and Islamophobia have been drowned out by a concerted lobbying campaign targeting universities, political parties, the equalities regulator and public institutions all over the country.”
Arab-Israelis split on Shin Bet’s role Afif Abu Much almonitor 06/10/21
Shin Bet activity in Arab-Israeli towns could feed the perception that the police work on behalf of Jews, while the Shin Bet focuses on Arabs. Those who object to the move argue that only the police should deal with civilian matters. Many of them ask why the police can rein in crime and violence in the Jewish sector, but fails when it comes to the Arab society. Also, Arab-Israelis fear that the recent decision will formally turn them into a “security threat” in the eyes of the state and the Jewish society. It brands the entire Arab population as an enemy, to be handled by official bodies like the IDF and the Shin Bet. Those who object argue that only the police should deal with civilian matters.
Sweden moves to criminalize support for Palestine Ali Abunimah EI 13/10/21
“Organized racism and support for organized racism will be criminalized,” the Swedish government asserts.What should raise particular alarm about these pledges is that Sweden’s approach to anti-Semitism will be based on the IHRA definition – opening the way to criminalization of support for Palestinian rights by falsely defining it as “hate.”
While that may sound extreme, dozens of international anti-Semitism scholars, many of them Jewish or Israeli, have issued what they call a “stark warning against the political instrumentalization of the fight against anti-Semitism.” “We notice coordination with and reliance on lobby organizations shielding the Israeli government,” the scholars state. Their statement has been published in Swedish and other European media. The scholars say that the IHRA definition is being “weaponized against human rights organizations and solidarity activists who denounce Israel’s occupation and human rights violations” and is used to “legitimize wrongful accusations of anti-Semitism.”
. . . . . . The scholars are particularly scathing about recent moves by the European Union, including its recently issued “handbook” for applying the IHRA definition and its new “strategy” to combat anti-Semitism.
Israel tries to whitewash its bloody legacy in Lebanon Tamara Nassar EI 7/7/21
Israel is once again trying to whitewash its crimes against Lebanon by offering the country “humanitarian aid.” Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz said Israel was “ready to act” and that he made his offer via UNIFIL, the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon, through Israeli army liaisons. . . . . . “My heart aches seeing the images of people going hungry on the streets of Lebanon,” Gantz tweeted on Tuesday.
He added that he had made similar comments at a Sunday ceremony honoring former members of the South Lebanon Army.The SLA was a collaborator militia that aided Israel during its 22-year occupation of southern Lebanon.That occupation ended in 2000 when Lebanese resistance fighters led by Hizballah drove Israeli forces out of the country. Many of the SLA members then fled to Israel.
The hypocrisy in Gantz’s offer is breathtaking.
Despite its withdrawal, Israel still violates Lebanese airspace and sovereignty almost daily, flying unmanned aircraft and fighter jets over the country. But it was only last month that Gantz was directing threats at Lebanon. “Lebanon needs to know that what Gaza experienced a few weeks ago is only the tip of the iceberg,” Gantz said in June.
Religious MK regrets Ben-Gurion didn’t “finish the job” Michael Brown EI 15/10/2021
“You’re here by mistake, it’s a mistake that Ben-Gurion didn’t finish the job and didn’t throw you out in 1948,” Smotrich, who heads the Religious Zionist Party, yelled at Palestinian members of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament on Wednesday. . . . . . . In 2015, he claimed God commanded Jews not to sell homes to Arabs. . . . . Three years later, Smotrich called for young Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi to be shot or at least kneecapped.
Netflix’s launch of Palestinian movies Micharl Arria Mondoweiss 18/10/2021
“The diversification of our content sits close to my heart as Netflix works to become the home of Arabic Cinema, a place where anyone in the world can access great Arab stories,” said Director of Content Acquisitions for Netflix MENAT Nuha El Tayeb in a statement on the company’s website. “We believe that great stories travel beyond their place of origin, are told in different languages and enjoyed by people from all walks of life and, with the Palestinian Stories collection, we hope to amplify these beautiful stories to a global audience. While these stories are distinctly and authentically Arab, the themes are quintessentially human, and will resonate with audiences across the world. That is the true beauty of storytelling.”
Palestinian rights groups designated as “terrorists” Ali Abunimah and Maureen Clare Murphy EI 22/10/2021
Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz declared six prominent Palestinian human rights groups to be “terrorist organizations” on Friday. The defense ministry order accuses the groups of serving “as an arm of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine,” a leftist political party banned by Israel, the US and the European Union due to its opposition to normalization with Israel. Some of the six targeted groups – Al-Haq, Addameer, Defense for Children International Palestine, the Union of Palestinian Women Committees, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees and the Bisan Center for Research and Development – have cooperated closely with the International Criminal Court in its war crimes probe in the West Bank and Gaza.
Gantz’s conduct may come under ICC scrutiny as he twice perpetrated major massacres of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, as army chief of staff in 2014, and as defense minister earlier this year, when he vowed that “no person, area or neighborhood in Gaza is immune. The targeted groups include “key partners” of the UN Human Rights Office in the West Bank and Gaza.
Why Israel calls human rights ‘Terrorism’ Raja Shehadeh The New York Review 27/10/2021
In a widely condemned move, the Israeli government has banned the group I founded. This is how it enforces impunity for its illegal policies of occupation. . . . . “My Ramallah world, with its proximity to the hills, was being transformed inexorably in a manner that mystified and frightened me,” he said. “The changes taking place through the Israeli army’s takeover of the land using various spurious legal ploys and replacing the names of the various land features, towns, and villages with Hebrew names, as well as the changes in the narrative that accompanied the process, were all preceded by the alterations that were taking place in the local laws. . . . The literal meaning is clear: All resistance to the occupation is terror. Israel is undermining the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate struggle.
Palestinian educational equity in Israeli schools – the case of Nazareth Dr Reem Khamis-Dakwar Mondoweiss 27/10/2021
I cannot help but wonder whether municipality leaders and administrators have failed to act on these concerning statistics because they reflect their ideal vision for Nof Hagalil; one devoid of an Arab population whatsoever. After all, their name change and rebranding efforts were aimed at directly disassociating from the Arab Nazareth down below. How better to achieve that goal than to systemically remind Arab children that these are not their streets? What more effective tactic is there to erase Palestinians’ language from a community than to assure that their children are unable to learn there or develop using it?
Labour intensifies purge Asa Winstanley EI 19/08/2021
Two of the most high-profile targets came in recent days with the expulsion of veteran socialist filmmaker Ken Loach and a threat to expel Jewish anti-Zionist Graham Bash. Left-wing group Jewish Voice for Labour says many of its leaders and members are being kicked out and as a result, “Labour is purging Jews from the party.” Award-winning director Ken Loach announced on Saturday that he had been expelled.
A small price to pay for smearing Corbyn and the left Jonathan Cook RI&A 02/09/2021
It culminated in the McCarthyite claim – now being enforced by Corbyn’s successor as Labour leader, Keir Starmer – that to deny Labour has some especial antisemitism problem, separate from that found more generally in British society, is itself proof of antisemitism. Once accused of antisemitism, as the Labour left endlessly is, one is guilty by definition – the choice is either to confess to antisemitism or be proven an antisemite by denying the accusation. Like a victim caught in quicksand, the more vigorously the Labour left has rejected claims that the party is riddled with antisemitism the more it has sunk into the mire created by the Jewish Chronicle and others.
Ban on PSC speaker reversed Asa Winstanley EI 03/09/2021
Labour has apologized for telling its youth wing that it could not speak alongside the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) at the UK party’s annual conference later this month. Young Labour had been told by a party official “that they could not invite PSC to address one of their events at conference,” the campaign said in a statement on Thursday. “When pressed for a reason, they were informed that PSC’s positions were ‘controversial,’” the campaign explained. After discussions with party officials on Wednesday night, PSC and Young Labour were informed there “had been a mistake” and that PSC could be invited after all, “and an apology was given.”
Spectacular defeat for Israel lobby Ali Abunimah EI 27/09/2021
“We welcome this important and historic motion which represents a significant step for the Labour Party in acknowledging the reality of the system of apartheid imposed by Israel on Palestinians,” said Kamel Hawwash, chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. “Despite huge pressure imposed on Labour to reverse policy commitments made at conference in 2018 and 2019, this demonstrates the strength of solidarity with the Palestinian people amongst Labour’s grassroots members and within the trade union movement,” Hawwash added. “It is time impunity ended and accountability started.”
The resolution backs the International Criminal Court investigation into war crimes in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.It endorses other “effective measures” as “called for by Palestinian civil society” – an affirmation of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement that aims to end Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights and international law. It also explicitly affirms “the right of Palestinian people, as enshrined in international law, to return to their homes.”
Jackson Carlaw – the Green Party and the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism Stuart Littlewood RI&A 23/09/2021
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon admitted she hadn’t raised the issue with her new junior ministers. Carlaw had written to Sturgeon after Jewish groups expressed their concerns that the Scottish Green Party refuses to endorse the IHRA definition and had voted in favour of a motion describing Israel as a “racist state“ based on “Jewish supremacy” and calling Zionism a “racist endeavour”.
“If the Green Party won’t sign up to a globally recognised position on anti-Semitism, backed by every other party in Scotland,” said Carlaw, “they’re not fit to serve in the Scottish government. The Greens, especially their government ministers, must endorse this mainstream position or be removed from office. Their views are beyond radical. They are downright dangerous. Nicola Sturgeon cannot turn a blind eye to this extreme view held by her new coalition partners.
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