• Germany,  Israel,  The Right

    Vincent Harris, AfD and Netanyahu

    Would it surprise anyone that Vincent Harris, a Texas-based political consultant who helped the far-right Alternative für Deutschland party (AfD) achieve 12 percent of the vote and 94 seats in the Bundestag in the recent German election, has also consulted for the campaigns of US Senator Ted Cruz, (briefly) Donald Trump– and Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party in Israel. It really shouldn’t. Christopher Hooks writes at The Texas Observer: Like a lot of the new right movements, the AfD is sometimes able to present a face of respectability, and it maintains a certain level of plausible deniability regarding its connection to neo-Nazi groups and their ilk in Germany. The party’s main…

  • Israel,  The Left

    DSA endorses BDS

    The Democratic Socialists of America has seen a surge in membership and attention following the failed campaign of Bernie Sanders. It is, without a doubt, the largest socialist organization in American politics (sorry Social Democrats USA). Last week, they held their largest conference to date in Chicago, debating and passing their current manifesto. During my radical days, the DSA always seemed like a marginal afterthought in political organizing; most of its members were boomers from the Michael Harrington era and not young activists. That has changed with a massive insertion of youth into its ranks. I fancy myself a type of social democrat, so I decided to reassess the group…

  • History,  Israel

    May Day in Tel Aviv: 70 years ago

    To mark International Workers Day, here are some photos from the 1947 May Day Parade in Tel Aviv– the year before the State of Israel was declared. Many of the participants in that parade– including deluded Stalinists– went on to fight (and some to die) in Israel’s war of independence the following year. More photos here.

  • Human Rights,  Israel

    All US senators call for fair treatment of Israel at UN

    Given the general absence of bipartisanship and political consensus in the US these days, this is worthy of note: every member of the Senate– from Bernie Sanders to Ted Cruz– signed a letter to United Nations Secretary General António Guterres denouncing the UN’s bias against Israel: The United States co-founded the United Nations with the intention of saving future generations from war and reaffirming fundamental human rights. While much good is being done and has been done by the body, many of its member states and agencies are using the U.N.’s privileged platform to advance an anti-Israel agenda. Too often, the U.N. is exploited as a vehicle for targeting Israel…

  • Israel

    An Israel-themed trio

    First, a report of what sounds like a gruesome experience for David Collier in Cork – he’s attending the conference on Israel and international law.  Here’s an excerpt. I have little doubt now that the Falk/Tilley report was timed to coincide with this Cork conference. Almost every speaker at Cork referenced it, and each in turn described it as an important  ‘UN’ report. This in itself is enough to discredit every academic involved. What we know is that a UN agency consisting almost entirely of enemies of Israel commissioned a notorious anti-Israel activist to write a report suggesting Israel is an Apartheid state. When it became clear upon the report being…

  • History,  Israel

    Interview with Colin Shindler

    Karl Pfeifer interviewed Colin Shindler, Emeritus Professor at SOAS University of London and author of Israel and the European Left In November, we will mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour opposition, said that this declaration was a mistake. How will he react this time? It was in 2013 that he offered his opinion on the Balfour Declaration. It arises from his lack of understanding of both the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict and of Jewish history itself. He reduces everything to a very simplistic approach. He sees everything in terms of British colonialism and western imperialism. However, the conflict is far…

  • Israel

    Al Jazeera ‘Lobby’: Voyeurism For Antisemites

    This is a guest post by Jonathan Hoffman Of course the Al Jazeera series ‘The Lobby’ found nothing untoward in Israel activism in the UK. These programmes never do.  Andrew Billen in The Times on Thursday put it well: “For the life of me I could not see what Israel was doing wrong here. The Lobby sensationally exposed the existence of, well, a lobby.” But ‘finding something wrong’ was not the intent of this series.  The real intent was something almost as offensive as The Protocols of the Elders of Zion – to fuel the antisemitic trope about Jewish power and conspiracy and to turn the allegation of antisemitism back…

  • Israel

    The Israeli occupation, Emily Hilton and the eternal privilege of the spotless mind

    This is a cross-post by Adam Levick In the minds of most editors, journalists and contributors at The Independent, the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is a straight-forward story of the weak against the powerful, the privleged against the unprivileged, the oppressed and their oppressors. The fundamental ‘progressive’ principle to which they seem wedded as professional purveyors of news and opinion – to comfort the afflicted and afflict the powerful – is channeled to reveal Israeli culpability, examine the body politic’s darkest inclinations and expose the atavism of heart of modern Zionism.  Palestinians, within this ideological framing, are to be championed, comforted, pitied and humanised – but certainly never critically examined nor taken seriously as…

  • Israel,  Obituary

    Shimon Peres z”l

    Shimon Peres, who made aliyah with his family to pre-state Palestine in 1934 and whose life in many ways embodied the history of modern Israel, has died at the age of 93. After the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, Peres became acting prime minister of Israel. The following year, in the one and only Israeli election with separate voting for prime minister, I was proud to vote for Peres. But he very narrowly lost to Benjamin Netanyahu. Peres’s loss can probably be traced to the dashing of hopes for peace with the Palestinians in the months leading up to the election. Ironically it may have been Peres’s approval of…