Civil Rights

I just watched Max Blumenthal’s excellent set of recorded interviews and comments from participants at AIPAC 2011.  As a Jew—nay, as a human being—it is heart-wrenching to watch other ostensibly sentient creatures diminish their critical faculties in such obvious, degrading ways in order to advance a 21st century colonial project.  “You constantly reject peace,” in […]

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I can appreciate that arguments for cultural boycott might require a little more intellectual sophistication and awareness than, say, being (verbally) against Jewish-only colonies on stolen land. Every self-identified Jewish or Israeli “liberal” loves to blame the settlers for everything (when they aren’t trying to blame Hamas), but the notion of boycotting cultural icons seems […]

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In an op-ed today, Aluf Benn argues that Israel cannot stop Palestinian independence except through the “terrible” options of bombing Iran, calling early elections (like this is equivalently “terrible”), or taking retaliatory action against the Palestinian Authority for daring to seek international support for a state.  “Terrible” is the one adjective Benn manages to produce […]

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My dear aunt (of letter fame) loves to think of me as biased (against Israel).  I have devoted a decade or two to the patient explanation of why this opinion is false—and demonstrably so.  But in her mind, my stubborn focus on human and civil rights means that I care more about Palestinians than Jews, […]

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Israelis love to think about themselves as little ‘d’ democrats, but they have a very peculiar way of understanding democratic principles. A new poll released today by the Israel Democracy Institute brings into full, awkward view the contradictory, mutually inconsistent definitions of democracy that cohabit the Israeli psyche. First the (semi) flattering news. 51% of […]

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Israel’s ever-dwindling defenders frequently cite the country’s judicial system as evidence of the robustness of Israeli democracy. They point, for example, to the fact that the court has prohibited the Israeli military from using civilians as human shields or has ordered the segregation wall being built in the West Bank to be rerouted in a […]

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There are seven reasons why Ari Shavit’s seven reasons to recognize Israel as a Jewish state form the primary basis for conflict rather than offer any solution. Here I address his hyper-nationalistic detritus one point at a time. An (Exclusivist) National Home The first argument he makes is that “the supreme goal of Zionism is […]

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The big story at the moment is the forthcoming law that would require all non-Jews, who want to become Israeli citizens, to make a loyalty oath to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic” state. Although revealing in the insecurity of identity and purpose that motivates it, it really is just one more law (among at […]

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Israel’s Moldovan FM Evet Lieberman took the stage at the UN this week to advocate for a “peace” settlement based on “population exchanges”, by which he meant settlers remaining on stolen Palestinian land in “exchange” for Palestinian citizens of Israel having their citizenship stripped of them and giving them instead citizenship in the nascent Palestinian […]

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The only thing that distinguished this event from an endless stream of similar incidents was the fact it was recorded on video. Thankfully, a Palestinian held in hand one of B’Tselem’s video cameras and thereby managed to generate a massive quantity of evidence, which yielded an infinitesimal amount of accountability. To make a long story […]

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