• Uncategorized

    ‘I had planned to own a farm but I ended up in the Israeli political zoo’: an interview with MK Sharren Haskel

      From combat soldier to veterinary nurse to the youngest MK in the Knesset, Sharren Haskel has had an unconventional route into politics. In early October Haskel sat down with deputy editor Samuel Nurding to discuss how she believes she can change Israel for the better, her vision for the future of the West Bank and Gaza, and her long-term goals in what she calls the ‘Israeli political zoo’. Download a PDF version here.  Samuel Nurding: How and why did you get into politics? Sharren Haskel: I never thought I would end up in politics. After my military service – I served as a combat fighter in the Border Patrol…

  • Uncategorized

    Fathom 21 | This is a conflict over narratives. Israel needs to tell ours to Palestinians.

    Yossi Klein Halevi is senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem and the author of the recent New York Times bestseller, ‘Letters to my Palestinian Neighbour’. In conversation with Fathom deputy editor Calev Ben-Dor, he sets out the main themes of his book: the need for both sides need to stop the war on the legitimacy of each other’s narrative, and the need for a radically new kind of Israeli-Palestinian conversation about the conflict based on respect and deep mutual recognition.  TELLING OUR STORY My book originated in the 1990s when I undertook a year-long journey into Palestinian society, specifically into its religious life, going to mosques and monasteries looking for shared devotional language with my neighbours. I…

  • Brexit

    Ten reasons we should compromise and consider taking the Norwegian option, by Alan Johnson

    ‘Norway is not a member of the EU but it is part of the European Economic Area (EEA), and therefore the EU’s single market. Having a deal like Norway’s means joining the EEA and having almost the same level of tariff- and barrier-free trade with EU countries as we have now, plus the ability to strike our own trade deals with non-EU countries. It also means accepting a significant proportion of EU law, including the “four freedoms”— the free movement of goods, services, people and capital.’ (Full Fact, the UK’s Independent Factchecking Charity) ‘The concept of compromise is not particularly in vogue, especially among young idealists. This is because it is perceived as an…

  • Israel,  Middle East

    Fathom 21 | ‘Understanding the Jews of the Middle East and North Africa is the key to understanding the whole Middle East conflict’: an interview with Lyn Julius

    Earlier this year Fathom’s Grant Goldberg interviewed Lyn Julius about her new book, Uprooted, which documents 3,000 years of Jewish civilisation in the Arab world and explains how and why that civilisation vanished in a single generation in the middle of the 20th century. Julius describes what brought Nazi Germany, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem into an alliance and how this impacted Jews in the Middle East and the formation of the State of Israel.  Grant Goldberg: What prompted you to write the book? Lyn Julius: I have a strong connection to the region. My parents arrived in Britain in 1950 as Iraqi-Jewish refugees, and throughout my…

  • Uncategorized

    Sean Matgamna on Left Antisemitism (Fathom)

    Contemporary left-wing antisemitism is first and foremost a denial of Israel’s right to exist and, as a result, a comprehensive hostility to pro-Israel Jews, that is to most Jews alive, branding them as ‘Zionists’ and seeing that description as akin to ‘racist’ or ‘imperialist,’ writes Sean Matgamna. In this clear-sighted essay taken from his book, The Left in Disarray (Workers Liberty Press, 2017), he sets out what ‘left-wing antisemitism’ is, where is it manifested and what is to be done about it. Fathom would like to thank Sean Matgamna for permission to reprint the essay. I What is ‘left-wing antisemitism’? Where is it manifested? What is to be done about it? There are three difficulties, three confusions and…

  • antisemitism,  Labour Party

    Jeremy Corbyn and the Bad Antisemitism

    This is a guest post by @TimAllon I found myself caught off-guard by the recent revelation that Jeremy Corbyn had disparaged “Zionists” as not understanding “English irony” despite having “lived in the country for a very long time, probably all their lives”. It’s not that I did not previously believe he was antisemitic – I did, and he is. What surprised me was that, notwithstanding the slightest of “Zionist” fig leaves, it spoke to a particular middle-class, snobbish antisemitism that I have never particularly associated with the radical left. The response took me aback too. It’s easy to become inured to the bottomless barrel of meetings with and support for…

  • Uncategorized

    Denial: Norman Finkelstein and the New Antisemitism, by Alan Johnson, or as Finkelstein calls me, ‘the stupid goy’

    In recent days the US polemicist Norman Finkelstein has injected a crude claim into the debate about antisemitism in the UK Labour Party: ‘the brouhaha is a calculated hoax — dare it be said, plot?’ This kind of denialism and victim-blaming is, of course, itself an example of contemporary antisemitism, and if the UK Labour Party listens to the counsel of Norman Finkelstein about antisemitism in its ranks then it really will have lost its way, and perhaps for good. In response, Fathom is making available an extract from ‘Denial: Norman Finkelstein and the New Antisemitism’ a chapter by our editor Alan Johnson in Unity and Disunity in Contemporary Antisemitism, edited…

  • Uncategorized

    Why the Nazi Analogy and Holocaust Inversion are Antisemitic

    The following is an excerpt from ‘Antisemitism in the Guise of Anti-Nazism: Holocaust Inversion in the United Kingdom during Operation Protective Edge’, a chapter that will appear in Anti-Zionism and Antisemitism: The Dynamics of Delegitimization, ed. Alvin H. Rosenfeld (Indiana University Press, forthcoming).The editor and publisher have kindly agreed to the advance publication of this excerpt in light of its topicality. The UK Labour Party is debating whether to incorporate the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, including all its accompanying examples, into its own statutes. This part of my chapter sets out why the use of the Nazi analogy to attack Jews, Israelis and ‘Zionists’ should be…

  • Uncategorized

    Go to Bookmarks. Buy a Book, by Alan Johnson

    But what were even gold and silver, precious stones and clockwork, to the bookshops, whence a pleasant smell of paper freshly pressed came issuing forth, awakening instant recollections of some new grammar had at school, long time ago, with ‘Master Pinch, Grove House Academy’, inscribed in faultless writing on the fly-leaf! That whiff of Russia leather, too, and all those rows on rows of volumes, neatly ranged within – what happiness did they suggest! And in the window were the spick-and-span new works from London, with the title-pages, and sometimes even the first page of the first chapter, laid wide open: tempting unwary men to begin to read the book,…

  • Uncategorized

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Neturei Karta, and the Corbynization of the Democratic Party

    This is a guest post by Quizblorg After her surprise win against the establishment candidate in New York’s Democratic primary has turned Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez into the new shooting star of the Democratic Party, much emphasis has been put – both by supporters and opponents – on her association with another party, the Democratic  Socialists of America (DSA), of whose New York City chapter she is a member. Most of this attention has focused on the DSA’s domestic policies. But it is the party’s  increasingly strident anti-Zionism that seems particularly worrying. (It should be noted in passing that both this anti-Zionism and the party’s embrace of Communism are a far cry…