Why German state racism is now directed at the Palestinians

germany-pro palestine protest-2021-afp
A demonstrator displays a placard reading: “Palestinian Lives Matter” during a pro-Palestinian protest in Berlin on 19 May 2021 (credit: AFP)
How has support for the Palestinian cause of BDS – for boycotts of those directly involved in Israel’s decades-long oppression and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians – come to be reinterpreted as racism against Jews?

By Jonathan Cook | Middle East Eye | Nov 23, 2022

Caryl Churchill has been stripped of her award because state-sponsored racism still lies at the heart of the European project.

There are troubling insights to be gained into modern European racism from the German arts community’s decision to revoke a lifetime achievement award to the respected British playwright Caryl Churchill over her trenchant support for the Palestinians.

On 31 October, Churchill was stripped of the European Drama Prize she had been given in April in recognition of her life’s work. The decision was backed by Petra Olschowski, the arts minister of the state of Baden-Wurttemberg, who said: “We as a country take a clear and non-negotiable stance against any form of antisemitism. This is all the more reason why a prize funded by the state cannot be awarded under the given circumstances.”

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Settler pogroms against Palestinians will become the norm under new Israeli government

Settlers are seen assaulting a woman near the West Bank town of Kisan, October 18, 2022. (credit: WAFA)

By Miko Peled | MintPress News | Nov 21, 2022

The military is there to assist the settlers, not protect the Palestinian civilians who they are constantly terrorizing.

Saturday, November 19, 2022, was according to Jewish tradition Shabat Chayei Sarah – the Shabbos, or Saturday commemorating the death and burial of the biblical matriarch Sarah. In the biblical story, her husband Abraham purchased her burial plot in the ancient city of Al-Khalil. According to Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro, the “commemoration” events that Al-Khalil has been subjected to over the last few decades have nothing to do with Jewish tradition, only, “Zionist Embellishments.”

Al-Khalil, or Hebron in Hebrew, is the largest city in the West Bank, with close to a quarter of a million residents. The Old City part of Al-Khalil, also known as H-2, is a beautiful place, with narrow alleyways and architecture that bears witness to the centuries of grandeur it enjoys, the fourth-holiest city in Islamic tradition. Around 25,000 Palestinians and close to 800 Jewish settlers live in the old city. The settlers are vile, racist and violent to a point where 800 of them are able to terrorize thousands of their Palestinian neighbors.

Continue reading “Settler pogroms against Palestinians will become the norm under new Israeli government”

Israel lobby’s realignment over Ben-Gvir is giving Biden room to criticize

Netanyahu’s elevation of the racist messianic politicians Ben-Gvir and Smotrich despite calls by Israel’s friends in the U.S. to ostracize them has caused an earthquake in the Israel lobby.

By Philip Weiss | Mondoweiss | Nov 21, 2022

The FBI is reportedly starting an investigation into Israel’s killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh way back on May 11…

The shocking success of the racist-fascist party Religious Zionism in the Israel election three weeks ago has caused an earthquake inside the pro-Israel lobby in the United States. And that earthquake has allowed Joe Biden to take unprecedented –for him– baby-steps to confront the Israeli government.

In fact, the Biden administration appears to be scripted by J Street, which is trying to replace AIPAC in the Israel lobby as the true representative of American Jews.

There’s a lot to unpack there. Let’s review the sequence.

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United States and Israel: Election contradiction

Itamar Ben-Gvir (L), Benjamin Netanyahu (C) and Bezalel Smotrich. (credit: The Palestine Chronicle)
Continued support for Israel clearly contradicts the supposed US commitment to human rights, dignity, and justice.

By Alice Rothchild | The Palestine Chronicle | Nov 17, 2022

The recent election in Israel has resulted in historically the most racist, ultranationalist, homophobic, religiously fundamentalist parties joining in a coalition to govern.

The predicted Republican tsunami now turned red puddle revealed that despite gerrymandering, voter suppression, and massive amounts of right-wing billionaire money and disinformation, US voters have major qualms about a MAGA universe engulfing the country.

On state and national levels, voters mostly rejected takeovers by election deniers and conspiracy promoters, and voiced support for abortion rights, increased wages, marijuana legalization, and candidates who have some degree of experience and qualifications rather than celebrity status and allegiance to the former president.

This election can be contrasted with one of the US’s most important allies, a country Biden and numerous elected officials have repeatedly pledged almost total allegiance to and billions in military and political support.

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The burden Western liberals impose only on Palestinians

Billionaires Sheldon Adelson (left) and Haim Saban (right), pictured in 2014, are among the wealthy pro-Zionist Jews who have financed Israeli colonization. Their role is comparable to the European Christian businesses and states that funded colonization in Algeria, South Africa, Kenya, New Zealand or even Israel. (credit: Shahar AzranPolaris/Newscom
Israel’s victims are required to defend their oppressors as well as themselves, or be accused of “anti-Semitism.”

By Joseph Massad | The Electronic Intifada | Nov 9, 2022

No other colonized people has been forced to carry such a double burden.

Since the beginning of Zionist Jewish colonization of their country in the 1880s, Palestinians have faced demands that they carry a double burden: to fight off the Jewish racist colonists while having to defend their colonizers against anti-Jewish European Christian racism.

No other colonized people has been forced to carry such a double burden. Not even the Indigenous African peoples of Liberia were asked to defend their own Black American racist colonizers who despised them against European and US anti-Black racism that targeted the Black colonists.

Neither were Black South Africans ever asked to defend their Afrikaner oppressors against the British who oppressed the Afrikaners, even placing them in concentration camps.

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The Joint List is dead. Who will lead the fight for Palestinian citizens?

Members of the Arab Joint list seen during a vote on a bill to dissolve the parliament, at the Knesset, in Jerusalem, December 12, 2019. (Credit: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
The re-fragmentation of Palestinian parties in Israel exemplifies the lack of a political compass to guide their struggle, with the public divided on how to confront both a far-right government and a broken liberation movement.

By Amjad Iraqi | +972 Magazine | Nov 7, 2022

The total disintegration of the Joint List, by cruel historical timing, is a critical piece of the far right’s momentous victory.

The triumph of Kahanism and the impending return of Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister have, quite rightly, dominated headlines in the wake of Israel’s dramatic general election last Tuesday. With a solid majority of 64 Knesset seats, Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc, which includes the extremist Religious Zionism slate led by Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir, is preparing to embark on an aggressive and radical program of action on both sides of the Green Line, with the incoming premier already receiving warm words of welcome from far-right and authoritarian leaders from India to Hungary to the United States.

On the other side of the political spectrum, an opposing development may prove to be just as pivotal — and no less dangerous. A few weeks before voters headed to the polls, the four Palestinian-led parties in Israel, which had been united under the “Joint List” just two years ago, affirmed that they would be running as three competing slates in this year’s election. Although they attained a combined total of 10 seats — the same as in the previous Knesset — with a 53 percent Arab voter turnout, these figures conceal a deep rupture that now exists between the parties and within the wider Palestinian community in Israel, the effects of which have destroyed a contentious yet vital engine of their politics.

Continue reading “The Joint List is dead. Who will lead the fight for Palestinian citizens?”

AIPAC spent a lot on these midterms, but it didn’t work

Democratic House candidate Summer Lee in Pittsburgh last May. (Credit: Rebecca Droke/AP)

By Ben Samuels| Haaretz | Nov 9, 2022

The biggest highlight from an American-Jewish perspective was perhaps in Pennsylvania…

WASHINGTON – Irrespective of whether they ultimately control the House and/or the Senate, Tuesday’s midterms turned out to be a major disappointment for the Republican Party. The anticipated red wave became a trickle, with extremist GOP candidates embroiled in antisemitism controversies soundly defeated across the country.

The biggest highlight from an American-Jewish perspective was perhaps in Pennsylvania, where Jewish Democrat Josh Shapiro triumphed over Donald Trump-endorsed Doug Mastriano in the state’s much-publicized gubernatorial race.

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Istanbul hosts ‘Our vision for liberation in Palestine’ conference


There is ‘unity of purpose’ among Palestinians, says scholar Ilan Pappe

By Riyaz ul Khaliq | Anadolu Agency | Nov 6 2022

“The occupier, Israel, is every day occupying more and more lands of Palestinians but powerful (nations) who could deliver justice to Palestinians, are not paying attention,”
— Hasan Turan, a lawmaker and chairman of the Palestine Committee at the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye

A three-day conference discussing “Our vision for liberation in Palestine” began Saturday in the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul.

Palestine is a “fundamental problem in the world,” said Hasan Turan, a lawmaker and chairman of the Palestine Committee at the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye.

“The occupier, Israel, is every day occupying more and more lands of Palestinians but powerful (nations) who could deliver justice to Palestinians, are not paying attention,” he said, addressing the conference that is hosted by the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University (IZU).

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Biden administration and Israel lobby in a panic following Netanyahu’s far-right election sweep

A campaign poster in Tel Aviv shows, from left, Itamar Ben-Gvir, Benjamin Netanyahu and Bezalel Smotrich. (credit:  Jamal Awad / Flash90)
Israel’s boosters across the political spectrum are panicking over the far-right’s victory in Israel’s election, and the reactions are telling.

By Mitchell Plitnick | Mondoweiss | Nov 3, 2022

“Ben-Gvir & fellow ultranationalist Bezalel Smotrich raise the specter of a gov’t willing to strip Israel’s Palestinian-Arab citizens of rights, weaken the judiciary, short-circuit Netanyahu’s legal charges & ratchet up intercommunal tensions and violations of Palestinian rights…”
— Jeremy Ben-Ami, leader of the liberal Zionist J Street

As the results of the election in Israel are being finalized – an election wherein millions of Palestinians living under Israeli dominance have no say—consternation outside of Israel among its supporters is ballooning. The reactions from Israel’s boosters are telling.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides, a man almost as slavishly devoted to Israel as his predecessor, David Friedman, said, “It’s too early to predict the precise makeup of the coalition until all votes are counted.” But he “intends to keep working with Israel’s government on the two countries’ shared interests and values.”

Continue reading “Biden administration and Israel lobby in a panic following Netanyahu’s far-right election sweep”

Understanding Apartheid

A billboard put up by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem ahead of Biden’s visit to Israel and the West Bank. (credit: Haidi Motola/B’Tselem)
Embracing a radical critique of Israeli apartheid is a precondition for bringing it to a just end.

By Noura Erakat and John Reynolds | Jewish Currents | Nov 1, 2022

In January 2021, the leading Israeli watchdog group, B’Tselem, deemed Israel a “regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.”

AT THE HEIGHT of the Unity Intifada in May 2021, as Palestinians demonstrated from Gaza City to Haifa to Ramallah, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian American member of Congress, demanded an end to Israel’s “apartheid government.” Two days later, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Cori Bush joined her in tweeting, in reference to Israel: “Apartheid states aren’t democracies.” The use of the “apartheid” label—and the rejection, from even a small minority of legislators, of the claim that Israel is “the only democracy in the Middle East”—signaled a break with US political orthodoxy.

These interventions were not only buoyed by the landmark Palestinian uprising but enabled by a series of recent, high-profile reports from major human rights organizations. In January 2021, the leading Israeli watchdog group, B’Tselem, deemed Israel a “regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.” A few months later, in April, the global advocacy organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) described a reality of “apartheid and persecution” maintained for the purpose of “privileging Jews over Palestinians” and involving “an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination.” These organizations aimed to consolidate an anti-apartheid analysis as common sense; their work seemed to give many people permission to speak. Throughout the spring and summer of 2021, solidarity statements and open letters referencing the reports flowed from scholarly and cultural organizations around the world. (Tlaib, too, cited both B’Tselem and HRW.) The momentum continued into 2022: In February, Amnesty International published its own extensive study of Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians, calling it a “cruel system of domination.”

Read the full article here →