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.
The reactions to Marc Lamont Hill, the Quakers and Airbnb reveal that in practice there is no criticism of Israel that will be treated as legitimate – and that when it comes to the suffering of Palestinians, the only acceptable stance is silence.
Israel is waging a quiet campaign of attrition designed to wear down Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents. The hope is that they will eventually despair and relocate to the city’s distant suburbs outside the wall or into the West Bank.
What distinguishes Netanyahu from his cabinet is not his moderation, but that he has a cooler head than his far-right rivals. He believes there are better ways than lashing out at Gaza to achieve his core political aim: the undermining of the Palestinian national project.
In cosying up to Brazilian president-elect Jair Bolsonaro, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not simply placating the latest in a new wave of white-nationalist and neo-fascist leaders. He is demonstrating Israel’s deep-rooted ideological sympathy with them.
An American student of Palestinian descent detained in Israel’s airport for nearly a fortnight has become an unexpected cause celebre. Usually those held at the border are swiftly deported, but Lara Alqasem appealed against the decision, becoming in the process an improbable “prisoner of conscience” for the boycott cause.
Ido Even-Paz switched on his body camera as his tour group decamped from the bus in Hebron. The former Israeli soldier wanted to document any trouble we might encounter in this, the largest Palestinian city in the occupied West Bank, but it was not Hebron’s Palestinian residents who concerned him.
Mass protests along Gaza’s perimeter fence have been revived and expanded after a summer lull. On Friday, seven Palestinian demonstrators, including two children, were killed by Israeli sniper fire. Nonetheless, the political will to remedy the situation looks as atrophied as ever. No one is prepared to take meaningful responsibility for the time-bomb that is Gaza.
The Palestinians are the most troublesome legacy of a post-war, rules-based international order the US is now committed to sweeping away. Amputate the Palestinian cause, an injustice festering for more than seven decades, and America’s hand will be freer elsewhere. Might will again be right.
‘The Palestinians became a charity case, seeking handouts from the Arab world so that the PA could help maintain the occupation rather than lead the resistance. Thanks to Oslo, Israel became normalised in the region, while paradoxically the Palestinians found themselves transformed into the foreign object.’