Jonathan Cook: the Blog from Nazareth - www.jonathan-cook.net

Anti-Arab mayor speaks for Israel

The saga of the virulently anti-Arab mayor of Upper Nazareth, Shimon Gapso, continues. Gapso, if you recall, recently rejected a request to set up a school for Palestinian children in his city, even though 20% of the population are now Palestinian citizens (mostly refugees from neighbouring Nazareth, forced out of their original city by a [...]

The racism of anti-semitism scrutineers

My recent post on the Scarfe cartoon has provoked a lot of interesting debate from readers. Here is another perspective, one I strongly disagree with, from Rachel Shabi, someone I respect and who usually writes very well about Israel and the Palestinians. The key line in her piece that reveals her (and many others') problematic [...]

Israel draws on cartoon to silence critics

As Holocaust Day comes round again, Israel has taken advantage of the occasion to teach the world a lesson. Not, of course, a lesson about the Holocaust's universal message but one that Israel can exploit to shut up its critics. Israel and its lobbies have pounced on the cartoonist Gerald Scarfe over one of his [...]

The fascist enforcers of Zionism

There's something deeply creepy about Ronen Shoval of Im Tirtzu proudly declaring in court that he paid private investigators to break into the offices of human rights groups to spy on them - but that he's not the one in the dock, he's the one bringing the court action. Shoval is suing a Facebook group [...]

Mayor continues ethnic cleansing tradition

The far-right mayor of Upper Nazareth, Shimon Gapso, rides to the rescue again against the "Arab enemy" living in the midst of his Jewish city. Despite at least 20% of the population of Upper Nazareth (next to Nazareth) being Palestinian, he's banned Christmas trees in public places, the building of a mosque and now even [...]

Dark underbelly of Upper Nazareth politics

On the tours I lead of Nazareth and Upper Nazareth, I explain the strange - in fact, unique - problem Israel faces in these two cities. Upper Nazareth was built to "Judaise" Nazareth: swallow it up and leave it a poor Arab ghetto suburb of a modern vibrant Jewish city. In fact, the task failed [...]

Israel’s enduring fear of intermarriage

The Israeli political parties started running their campaign ads on TV this week. One that has caused a minor upset is this one by Shas, the large religious fundamentalist party that sits in most coalitions and is usually put in charge of the Interior Ministry. The ad shows a Jewish man at his wedding to [...]

The ‘doves’ who designed the occupation

We seem to be entering a period of acute reflection from Israeli documentary makers, presumably prompted by their belated realisation that no Israeli leader is contemplating a peace agreement with the Palestinians. So now along comes The Gatekeepers, trailing awards and in the running for an Oscar nomination. It interviews six former heads of Israel's [...]

Will Al-Jazeera hold its nerve in the US?

The cabal that is the mainstream media in the US was exposed a few years back when Al-Jazeera English launched. There are millions of Arab Americans, as well as many other Americans, desperate for a different take on the Middle East than that offered by their current media. And yet AJE could not find a proper [...]

Britain’s very own Thomas Friedman

If the UK press has a Thomas Friedman, it's Jonathan Freedland of the Guardian. Freedland's chief role has been to dissipate British readers' rightful anger about the Israeli occupation, and the UK's role in sanctioning it, and reinforce the sanctity of the state's Jewishness. He uses various techniques: he blows up out of all proportion [...]

Israel belatedly takes honour out of killing

For years Palestinian women's groups have been arguing that so-called honour killings - that is, murder of women by their families - were not, as Israeli Jews liked to believe, proof of "Arab" backwardness but rather largely a consequence of racism in Israeli society that refused to tackle the social causes of these women's deaths [...]

Israeli army starts doing its own dirty work

I accidentally drove right into the clashes between the Israeli army and Palestinian youths in Jenin this morning on my way from Nazareth into the Jordan Valley. The ambulance that tooted its horn when I parked in front of it was the first warning (unheeded) that all was not normal. Moving a little further up [...]

Worthless passports for Palestinians

Israel is trying to sneak back a policy that had to be dropped a few years ago after the US belatedly opposed it. Israel wants to bar "foreigners" in the West Bank - read: Palestinians with US or other foreign passports, and humanitarian aid workers - from accessing Israel or, more significantly, occupied East Jerusalem. [...]

Israeli racial profiling at an airport near you

Oh the irony! An Israeli Jewish soldier suffers humiliation, some of his property is taken (stolen?), and he is held in isolation by Israeli security staff at a foreign airport, Brussels to be precise, because his name "sounds Arab". He and his family are outraged, but from the report it appears their anger derives only [...]

‘Jewish gene’ myth finally exploded

Bravo to the Israeli geneticist Eran Elhaik, who has finally exploded the racist consensus created by "Jewish geneticists" (read: hasbara scientists) that there is a unique Jewish gene. He also apparently finds conclusive evidence showing that European / Ashkenazi Jews are not descended from the Middle East, as the "Jewish geneticists" have long claimed. He [...]

Full video of Hebron killing surfaces

The unedited video of an Israeli soldier shooting dead 17-year-old Muhammad Awad Salaymeh at a Hebron checkpoint earlier this month has finally surfaced, thanks to what looks to have been a misjudgment by an Israeli journalist. It shows conclusively, as I and others argued even based on the edited footage, that the soldiers executed the [...]

Kafka at Israeli airports and courts

A wonderful example of the Kafkaesque legal system in Israel. The Nazareth district court (which is actually in the Jewish city of Upper Nazareth, not Nazareth) found against three Palestinian citizens of Israel who brought a class-action suit against the Israeli airport authorities and national airlines for routine discrimination in carrying out invasive and humiliating [...]