If the debate about the pro-Israel lobby in the US is for the first time making a nod to truth, the conversation about the pro-Israel lobby in the UK is becoming more and more divorced from reality. Part of the reason is the way the Israel lobby has recently emerged in the UK – hurriedly, and in a mix of panic and damage limitation mode.
With the election in the bag, Benjamin Netanyahu’s only problem is that he faces imminent indictment for corruption. But he has a plan: extract an ‘immunity from prosecution’ law from his far-right coalition partners in return for annexing much of the West Bank
Benjamin Netanyahu now enjoys the luxury of choosing between a narrow government of far-right parties, and a right-wing national unity government embracing his rival Benny Gantz. Either way, this election demonstrates that opposition to Netanyahu and the right has been well and truly crushed.
Whether Netanyahu or Gantz wins Israel’s election this week, more legislation will be drafted to advance institutional discrimination against the country’s Palestinian minority, and the abusive treatment of Palestinians in the occupied territories will intensify.
Armed with Donald Trump’s blessing after he moved the US embassy to Jerusalem nearly a year ago, experts say Israel is now working more quickly, more confidently and more intensively to expel Palestinians from the city of their birth.
US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights will prove a boon for Israel’s right, which has been clamouring to annex vast areas of the West Bank and thereby drive a final nail into the coffin of the two-state solution.
Were he alive today, Meir Kahane, whose party was outlawed in Israel as a Jewish terror group, would be delighted at his influence over the subsequent 30 years – not only on popular discourse, but on the strategic aims of Netanyahu’s government
As long as Israel and the US prevent publication of the UN blacklist of firms profiting from Israel’s settlements, the settlers will be free to sink their roots even deeper into the West Bank. Israel’s occupation will become ever more irreversible, and the prospect of a Palestinian state ever more distant.
A civil war is raging in the UK Labour party over Israel as the party is dragged, kicking and screaming, into the modern era – and finally forced to confront its long-running indulgence of anti-Palestinian racism.
In France, the US and Britain, centrists are seeking to reassert their authority by smearing opponents as anti-semites. The smear industry isn’t really interested in safeguards on antisemitism, it wants a return to a political culture in which its power is left unchallenged and unscrutinised.
There was something richly ironic about Mr Netanyahu penalising the Palestinian Authority for rewarding Palestinian “terrorists” in the same week he negotiated a deal to assist bringing into the Israeli parliament the Jewish Power party, a reinvention of the outlawed Kach that was led by Meir Kahane.
Anti-semitism provided the cover story as eight MPs broke away from the Labour party this week. They, and those waiting to follow them, hope smearing Jeremy Corbyn will obscure the fact that they are the dying remnants of the old political order.
Largely ignored by critics have been Israel’s increasing theocratic tendencies. This hasn’t simply proved regressive for Israel’s Jewish population. It also has alarming implications for Palestinians as a national conflict with familiar colonial origins is transformed into a holy war.
Palestinians rightly suspect that the expulsion of the TIPH observer force from Hebron is the latest move in efforts by Israel and the United States to weaken established mechanisms for protecting Palestinian human rights.
Benny Gantz, the former general hoping to lead the government, and Aviv Kochavi, the general leading its army, are symptoms of just how complete the militaristic logic that has overtaken Israel really is. An Israel determined to become a modern-day Sparta.
Long-simmering ideological and personal tensions within the Joint List have erupted into a split over who should dominate the faction. The divisions threaten to alienate Palestinian voters in Israel, potentially weakening their representation in the parliament and strengthening the right-wing bloc under Netanyahu.
Analysts widely expect this election to be the dirtiest in Israel’s history. But, although they worry about Netanyahu’s demagoguery, they still overlook its grubbiest aspect. Palestinians under occupation have been effectively disappeared from the campaign.
In a political climate where European nativists are on the rise, the stark choice facing Europe’s Jews is to double-down on their traditional left-liberal worldview or abandon it entirely and throw their hat in with Israel’s own nativists. Corbyn represents the first choice, Netanyahu’s hardline Zionism the second.
British street artist Banksy made headlines in October when his $1.4 million artwork Girl with Balloon self-destructed at a London auction moments after it had been bought. But in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem, a much larger Banksy art project – a hotel boasting “the worst view in the world” – appears to be unexpectedly saving itself from similar, planned destruction.
The American public is now evenly split between those who want a two-state solution and those who prefer a single state, shared by Israelis and Palestinians, according to a new survey. All of this is occurring even though US politicians and the media express no support for a one-state solution. In fact, quite the reverse.