A Hamas-Fatah deal can’t square this circle

Palestinian political factions Hamas and Fatah have signed another unity deal. Hopes have, once again, been expressed that the deal brokered by Egypt could end the political impasse and restore some sense of national unity between the two major movements. It has also been said that the deal could help to end the crippling Israeli-Egyptian siege on the Gaza Strip, which is now more than a decade old. In all of the media coverage of the deal, though, it is generally forgotten that, as my colleague at The Electronic Intifada Omar Karmi put it, there have been four previous such deals, “all of which eventually dissipated in mutual recriminations.” Although this deal appears to have more detail than previous agreements, […]

Israel’s Labour Party has never been a progressive movement

The new leader of Israel’s Labour Party made it clear once again earlier this month that the supposedly progressive and left-wing of Zionism is as racist as its right-wing version. This will come as no surprise to anyone who has the least bit of familiarity with the movement’s history. Avi Gabbay, a former telecoms executive, said that Labour would never enter a coalition with the Joint List, a predominantly Palestinian Arab bloc in Israel’s Knesset (parliament). At the same time he indicated that he would have no problem with entering a coalition alongside Yisrael Beiteinu, the ultra-right party led by Israel’s notoriously anti-Arab “defence” minister, Avigdor Lieberman. Aping Lieberman’s belligerent war rhetoric, Gabbay promised that “the Arabs have to be […]

Overthrow the Balfour Declaration

One of the most common recurring themes in modern Israeli propaganda, especially in the West, is the idea that the “conflict” is a “complicated” one. This idea is promoted by some of the “Friends of Israel” type groups, especially Labour Friends of Israel and other groups on the liberal side of Zionism. The idea underlying this myth is to confuse and disengage people, in order to turn them away from the situation, so that Israel can be allowed to get away with its occupation, apartheid and war crimes without worrying about political and popular pressure for them to cease. Polls have shown in the past that this has had some effect – although highly limited. A major survey recently released […]

Palestinian protesters receive harsher sentences than Israeli murderers

Elor Azaria, an Israeli solider who murdered a Palestinian in cold blood, just had his already-derisory sentence reduced by the army chief of staff. Azaria become a hero to many in Israel after the incident last year at an illegal Israeli checkpoint in Hebron, a city in the occupied West Bank. Abd al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif and Ramzi Aziz al-Qasrawi, both 21, were shot dead by Israeli soldiers in March last year. The Israeli government accused them stabbing and moderately wounding a soldier in the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood of Hebron’s Old City. Azaria was caught on camera as he calmly and deliberately shot al-Sharif in the head as the youth lay badly wounded and completely subdued on the ground. During the […]

Israel is censoring Palestinians, and the social media giants are complicit

There is a relatively-new “Cyber Unit” within the Israeli government which is censoring Palestinians on social media. Its existence was publicised earlier this month by Adalah, the legal centre for Arab minority rights in Israel. The unit is part of the Attorney General’s office and is putting pressure on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets to purge their platforms of content critical of Israel, especially that which is posted by Palestinians. According to the unit’s own figures, 69 per cent of its requests to remove content were agreed to by the social media giants in question. The Attorney General’s office claims that 1,554 cases of “incitement” were removed as a result of the unit’s operations, out of 2,241 such […]

Netanyahu is the Israeli Trump

The Zionist white supremacist alliance continues apace. It is quite hard to keep track of the increasing connections, both in the US and in Israel. The increasing scandal over US President Donald Trump’s white supremacist advisers has finally resulted in some change. Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka are both out. This is to be welcomed, but it should not be forgotten that Stephen Miller is still in place as a senior advisor. Miller was the key architect of the failed “Muslim ban”. It should also be recalled that Miller has long-standing links to Richard Spencer, who is a key leader in the so-called alt-right, a group which can more accurately be understood as modern-day neo-Nazis. The alt-right was a key […]

Israel’s war against the United Nations

In Israel’s propaganda narrative, the apartheid state attempts to portray itself as upholding law and order in the “rough neighbourhood” that is the Middle East. In explicitly racist terminology, Israeli leaders talk about themselves as the “villa in the jungle,” as Ehud Barak once put it. But a simple look at the reality of what Israel has done and continues to do to the indigenous peoples of the Middle East shows the very opposite of law and order: death, destruction and disorder are the reign of the day. Israel has meant nothing but bad news for the Palestinian people. In 1948, Israel was established on the ruins of an already existing society, in a country which was very much with […]

Israeli propaganda and the alliance with Islamic extremists

Probably the most common Israeli propaganda tactic is the smear: an attempt to discredit enemies by making spurious associations and linkages, as well as outright fabrication of allegations of impropriety. In Victor Ostrovsky’s By Way of Deception, an old book by a disgruntled Mossad agent, he recounts that the Mossad often tried to do this to Palestinian leaders, with mixed results. It usually aimed to outright murder them. But when it was unable to, or it was thought politically inopportune to do so, it instead tried character assassination. Ostrovsky says that because the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was well supported by the Palestinian population, and was known by everyone to not be personally corrupt, living a frugal lifestyle, they […]

Arab collaborators not exempt from Israeli racism

As long as there have been national liberation struggles and resistance movements, there have been collaborators. The phenomenon is an old one. The oldest strategy in the proverbial Book of Imperialism is divide and rule: recruiting a sector of the population of the oppressed into the fold of the oppressor. In some cases, this sector will be an elite one, a comprador class, persuaded they have more in common with the imperial or occupying entity than with their own people. In other cases, religious or ethnic differences are emphasised in an attempt to instigate, invent or stoke sectarian or racial tensions. The Nazis in France had Philippe Pétain, the leader of the collaborating Vichy puppet regime. In Norway they had […]

Zionism’s ongoing love-in with neo-Nazis

While most right-thinking people were condemning Donald Trump’s coddling of the American neo-Nazi movement in Charlottesville, the son of the Israeli Prime Minister was backing him all the way. Even more alarming than the fact that Trump took two days to issue a statement condemning “both sides” when it came to Nazis and anti-fascists, was that soon after he backed down and basically disowned what he had said. There were, claimed Trump, “very fine people” among all the protesters. That was the President of the United States, remember, calling fascists “very fine people.” Not all of them are Nazis, he said as he blamed the “alt-left” for the violence. This is truly alarming stuff. In reality, the white supremacist protesters […]