Can Israel Find A Way Out of Its Corner? The Potential Lies in the Axis of Resistance

Can Israel Find A Way Out of Its Corner? The Potential Lies in the Axis of Resistance

The reemergence of violence in Israel has been a nightmare for many Israelis By Joshua Tartakovsky, October 21, 2015   Palestinians in the West Bank are accustomed to being occupied on a regular basis. For them the difference between one day or another is the difference between the degrees of heat to be found in burning flames but not in their very existence. Israelis, on the other hand, have been exposed to unexpected violent outbursts of stabbings that can come from anywhere as lone Palestinians attacked Israelis with knives.  The degree of cruelty needed to stab a civilian bystander from a close range has left many Israelis in shock and panic. So far, the youngest stabber was 13 years old.  Needless to say, Jerusalemites have been looking over their shoulder more than once and several central streets of the city have been empty for several days. The fact that many of the stabbers were Israeli Arabs who attack Israelis within Israel’s formal borders, rather than Palestinians from the West Bank, places Israel in a very difficult position. In previous uprisings, it has been all too convenient for Israel to blame Palestinian Authority President Abbas for an outbreak of violence and to demand an end to official incitement. In fact, Israel’s occupation of the West Bank has been often justified in terms of security. What is one to do, however, when Arab citizens of Israel who reside throughout the country, engage in stabbings of civilians and unleash a wave of terror? These attackers are citizens or residents of Israel proper, not Palestinians in the West Bank. How may such attacks...
Matisyahu in Spain and the BDS Inquisition

Matisyahu in Spain and the BDS Inquisition

  Picture: Sean Gallup-Getty Images Off-Guardian August 20, 2015 By Joshua Tartakovsky The decision to pressure a music festival in Spain to disinvite American-Jewish singer Matisyahu does smack of more than an iota of anti-Semitism. Supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel traditionally make several arguments. The first is that Judaism is separate from Zionism. The second is that the state can successfully be pressured via a sanctions campaign against Israeli artists as well as artists who perform in Israel. The choice of Matisyahu as an artist to boycott reveals that BDS activists do not in earnest separate Judaism from Zionism. Matisyahu is an American-Jewish singer, not a citizen of Israel. Faced with accusations of anti-Semitism in the boycott of Matisyahu, Ali Abunimah of the Electronic Intifada claims that any suggestion Matisyahu was picked out as a Jew is simply untrue. He argues, rather, that Matisyahu was chosen as a target because he performed at a Friends of the IDF and at an AIPAC event and because he also expressed support for Israel. The validity of these claims does not pass closer scrutiny. Simon Cowell also performed at a Friends of the IDF event, yet, to the best of my knowledge, there has not been a post-event campaign against him in the UK or an appeal to remove him from X-Factor. The Bright Star Church of God Ensemble performed at an AIPAC event and later in theChicago Gospel Music Festival. Yet, there has not been a request made to organizers of the festival by local BDS activists in Chicago or by Students for Justice in Palestine to boycott the group. As far...
Netanyahu Siempre: A Few Questions for the Israeli Left

Netanyahu Siempre: A Few Questions for the Israeli Left

Following Netanyahu’s expected reelection by a large margin, here are a few questions to the Labour and Mertez parties and to the racist Ashkenazi Left in general:   Did you ever consider not mocking the Mizrahi Jews for their religious beliefs? No.   Did you ever consider forming a wide social party with Arabs and Mizrahi Jews at its core (along with all other discriminated minorities) that will challenge the neoliberal Zionist establishment? No.   Did you ever consider living with Palestinians as your neighbors in the same community? No.   Did you ever consider that the West which you try to emulate is entire hypocritical? No.   Would you have ever agreed to be in a party led by Ayman Odeh or Arye Deri? No.   Do you realize that you are not in Europe and that in some traditions it is common or people to have more than one wife?  No. So, enjoy Netanyahu.   As a side note, I must give a compliment to fellow Israeli citizens: They gave the finger to external forces, from the US to Scandinavian countries, who intervened in domestic elections and tried to topple Netanyahu. As I said in the past, what made me understand the Palestinians was not forcible arguments made by northern Europeans but real contacts with Palestinians and Muslims. Any additional headache for the Empire is a good thing. Secondly, I’m quite pleased that Netanyahu will continue, and will not be replaced by the Aryan boy-scout poster boy Herzog who probably is a closet-racist far more than Bibi but will never admit it. Thirdly, the Joint List as a third largest...
Why I boycott the Zionist elections

Why I boycott the Zionist elections

Wishers for peace, outsiders, or those who fail to understand both Israel’s current state and its history, and there are many of them, are somewhat excited about various polls that predict that Netanyahu’s Likud will be replaced by the Labour Party (the Zionist Camp) as the largest party in parliament. It bothers them little that Herzog and Livni defended Israel’s atrocities in Gaza, while Livni as a foreign minister carried them out in 2009, and that the two will present a progressive face to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and blockade of Gaza while making it more difficult to criticise Israel, unlike while Netanyahu is in power. In their simplistic understanding in which a change in parliament also means a change in governance, they fail to understand the broader reality: that Israel’s occupation of the West Bank went on under both Labour and Likud, that Labour as a founder of the state was responsible for grave crimes not only against the Palestinians but also against European Jews who perished in the Holocaust and Mizrahi Jews who were heavily repressed in the new state, and that settlements only expanded during the era of Labour. In other words, whereas while Netanyahu is in power it is clear that Israel is a state that keeps under its control millions of people who do not have the right to vote, Livni and Herzog will present a progressive face, while in the next clash with Gaza, thousands more will lose their lives. Israeli companies who profit immensely from the occupation, will continue to do so under both left or right governments.  This is...
The Intifada of the Loners: Israel Finds Itself in a Bind As the Occupation Continues

The Intifada of the Loners: Israel Finds Itself in a Bind As the Occupation Continues

AntiWar.com/blog Joshua Tartakovsky, November 11, 2014 Recent Palestinian attacks against Israel suggest a new uprising (intifada) of the loners is on the making to which Israel may have no sufficient response. The stabbing of several Israeli youth near the Alon Shvut colony in the Occupied West Bank by a Palestinian man, the stabbing of an Israeli soldier on November 10 in Tel Aviv, and the running over of several Israeli citizens in Occupied East Jerusalem that resulted in the death of an infant last week, all indicate that a new intifada or uprising is well underway. Yet while similar intifadas were marked by popular uprisings throughout the West Bank that disrupted the Israeli status-quo and sense of normalcy, as was the case in the Al Aqsa Intifada of 2000, or in the first intifada of 1987, popular protests that took place in recent days in the West Bank and inside Israel (particularly in the Galilee, where a Palestinian youth was shot several days ago, and in East Jerusalem) have been contained to a significant degree by Israel forces who are well accustomed to popular protests and who fired tear gas canisters on the demonstrators. The new intifada or uprising, witnessed in recent days, seems to be characterized by its unpredictable nature: attacks can be carried out at any given moment at any location, inside Israel or the West Bank, by loners operating on the loose who are not acting on behalf of a particular Palestinian organization who are using a car or a knife as a weapon of choice. While Israel inflicted a heavy collective punishment on the Palestinians...