Israeli Politics

How many times have I heard Israelis try to shut down their critics with an argument that preserves for Israelis the right to criticize Israel? The argument is of the following general form: “until you’ve lived in Israel, you can’t criticize it”. Another permutation is that you can’t criticize Israel unless you’ve served (read: been […]

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A series of recent discussions in my life (with very well intentioned people) have focused on whether cultural boycott of Israel is perhaps a bit too extreme of a position. Doesn’t it just run the risk of alienating Israelis and making them less likely to make sacrifices for peace and justice? The problem with this […]

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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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Understanding nothing and learning nothing, FM Lieberman and his buddies stoke the fires of political violence with their fascist rhetoric designed to eliminate political opposition. FM Evet Lieberman: “It is the public’s right to know, these [Israeli human rights] organizations are terror supporters whose only goal is to weaken the IDF.” MK Ben-Ari: Leftist organizations […]

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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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Another morning coffee and another news item about Israelis murdering Palestinians. Just yesterday the IDF spokesperson confirmed a very telling statistic: like the year 2009 before it, the year 2010 is shaping up to be the quietest year for Israelis in a decade (note: this is exclusively in terms of Palestinian attacks on Israelis; there […]

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After nearly six months of pleading with Abbas and the PA to talk to the Israelis while they continue the settler colonization of their future state… After months of pressuring the Arab League to provide a way for Abbas to sit down to said talks without losing the final shred of credibility he (arguably) has […]

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Ha’aretz runs today a stunning and thoughtful article about how Israel must learn the language of human rights. Written by a media consultant and former adviser to the Interior Ministry, Gilad Heimann, the article manages to cut through Israeli social psychology and government hasbara efforts with admirable efficiency. The core argument is this: Israel doesn’t […]

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From a few thousand miles away, or even from the relative safety of a television image in Tel Aviv living room, it can seem as though the spiral of violence in the Middle East spins ruthlessly with no end and no beginning. In this confusing situation, people then insert their own ideological perspectives: each suicide […]

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It is a truism that the US and Israel have had an extraordinarily close relationship since the 1960s. This fact makes Israel’s right-wing government’s gloating over Obama’s political troubles all the more. . . . well, troubling. The Republican upset in the race for the U.S. Senate seat held for nearly half a century by […]

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