Ha’aretz‘s Aluf Ben on NPR‘s All Things Considered: Israeli government’s biggest worry regarding Egypt is the rise of an Islamic government along the lines of Iran.
Probably is Israel’s biggest worry, but the interviewer did not ask the most relevant (IMO) question: is this a likely scenario and therefore a reasonable concern?
President Hosni Mubarak just spoke, announcing that he will ask the government to resign tomorrow and will appoint a new one. Translation: He’s not going anywhere.
.html”>Mubarak spoke around midnight saying that he sympathizes with the grievances of the people (ha) and respects their right to voice those grievances, but condemns the violence in the streets. This is all very ironic, as his regime is known for jailing dissidents, journalists, and political opponents, and as the country has been under an Emergency Law
for over 30 years. Continue reading
We’re following the developments in Egypt very closely. Early this morning, the Egyptian government shut down the internet and cell service (<a href="ht
tp://blogs.wsj.com/dispatch/2011/01/28/vodafone-ceo-explains-egypt-phone-cutoff/”>confirmed by Vodaphone). It appears that only land lines are working, though people have found ways to use technology to get around the government blockage. Still, the government’s actions are an attempt to create a media blackout so the world can’t watch their brutal crackdown on the protesters calling for democracy in Egypt. Continue reading
Al Araqib was demolished again last week, this time with some drastic and awful differences.
First: the authorities fired rubber bullets on the
villagers, injuring over a dozen people, five of whom were hospitalized. They were teenagers, ages 16-
Second: Bulldozers returned the next morning to clear away the rubble. Usually the rubble is left, and the villagers rebuild on top of their ruined homes. This time, they were left nothing to rebuild with, and the ground was cleared as if for planting. The JNF has been planting a forest, paid for by GOD-TV, an American Evangelical channel, all around the village and plans to plant over it. Rumors are that they wanted to plant trees on the Araqib lands before the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shvat, which ironically is the “New Year of Trees.”
Third: Activists were not allowed on the land, and 11 were arrested. Continue reading
I have about 5 tabs open right now to read up on this latest leak. But once I do that I’ll inevitably have less clarity than I do now, so first I’ll just offer some initial reactions based on a quick perusal of online media (and of course NPR).
strong>Is Israel finally losing the image game?
Maybe. The propaganda machine of the Israeli government has thus far been incredibly successful in rallying mass global support for Israeli policies, mostly citing security concerns as justifications for violence and occupation. Continue reading
My initial interest in an op-ed column about Tunisia actually appearing in the NYT (after having ignored the entire debacle for weeks on end) was quickly tempered by the first sentence, and turned to outrage and ranting at anyone who would listen about the blatant – and disgraceful – orientalist-imperialist perspective from which Robert Kaplan writes.
Twitter is blowing up about the Palestine Papers.
Not a part of Wikileaks, but along similar vein, a set of document leaked to Al Jazeera and shared with the Guardian.
We’ll start reading, and stay posted. Interesting immediate reactions/analyses going on on Twitter, though, if you’re interested.
Recently, I went to a talk by a policy maker who has worked in politics in both Israel and the United States. He was discussing the need for US involvement in pushing through a two state solution, using the terms Palestinian state and a democratic homeland for the Jewish people-the increasingly accepted phrase that has replaced Jewish state among the “left wing” or moderate crowd.
This new terminology makes no sense to me, so I asked the speaker what it actually means, how homeland is different from Jewish state, and, if it is different, how it would manifest itself on the ground. His response did nothing to clarify the difference, by essentially re-explaining the myth of a “Jewish and democratic state” as homeland for the Jews with equal rights for all other religious, ethnic and minority groups. He continued, “I understand though, that after being in Israel now, you would think that this is a very difficult goal to achieve.”
His last sentence confirms my reason for concern: how do these words realistically apply in the current context?
I love love love the movie The Syrian Bride. But today it happened in reverse … for realsies.
So cool. So interesting. Golan Druze communities are super-fascinating. But films like The Syrian Bride and Shout effectively de-romanticize the cross-border communal bonds. Syrian Druze who are permitted to go between Syria and Israel will all ultimately face an impossible decision: permanence. It’s not just exile; it’s opt-in exile. Today’s young bride will never again see her family (unless by some unlikely miracle Syria and Israel forge a treaty, but I won’t waste my breath). Druze students from the Golan who study in Damascus must ultimately choose a life in Syria, away from their families, or a life in Israel, stateless, isolated, and neglected. How do you make the choice? How can you be expected to make a decision with such weighty permanence? What if she doesn’t like her husband? She has no recourse. What if her mother, brother, father, or sister dies? She can’t go back. And what of her children? Her freedom?
And let’s not fool ourselves; she will never, ever become an Israeli citizen. From Syria to statelessness.
I can’t even imagine.
Wow, it’s been a while. Sorry! I just returned to the States, Ariel’s been traveling, and Linda’s back stateside, so I think we’re all pretty busy. If you’ve been reading Mondoweiss in the last few weeks, though, you’ll have seen some posts from myself and Shiri. Yay!
I have a proposition and request for the readership: I want to write an open letter to George Mitchell addressing his neglect of the Palestinians in Israel in his (useless) diplomatic dealings in the Middle East. I need help; ideas, perspectives, quotes, statistics, comments, whatever. Especially some sort of proof that he’s never met with a Palestinian citizen, that would be extremely helpful. Common knowledge, but I’d like a factual basis.
If you want to help write, or sign such a letter, let us know!