Israel’s Purging of Palestinian Christians

There is an absurd scene in Palestinian writer Suad Amiry’s recent book Sharon and My Mother-in-Law that is revealing about Israeli Jews’ attitude to the two other monotheistic religions. In 1992, long before Israel turned Amiry’s home city of Ramallah into a permanent ghetto behind checkpoints and walls, it was still possible for West Bank … Continue reading “Israel’s Purging of Palestinian Christians”

End of the Strongmen

The era of the Middle East strongman, propped up by and enforcing Western policy, appears well and truly over. His power is being replaced with rule by civil war, apparently now the American administration’s favored model across the region. Fratricidal fighting is threatening to engulf, or already engulfing, the occupied Palestinian territories, Lebanon, and Iraq. … Continue reading “End of the Strongmen”

The Trap of Recognizing Israel

The problem facing the Palestinian leadership, as they strive to bring the millions living in the occupied territories some small relief from their collective suffering, reduces to a matter of a few words. Like a naughty child who has only to say “sorry” to be released from his room, the Hamas government need only say … Continue reading “The Trap of Recognizing Israel”

Syria: Convenient but Unlikely Fall Guy for Gemayel’s Death

Commentators and columnists are agreed. Pierre Gemayel’s assassination must have been the handiwork of Syria because his Christian Phalangists have been long-time allies of Israel and because, as industry minister, he was one of the leading figures in the Lebanese government’s anti-Syria faction. President Bush thinks so too. Case, apparently, settled. Unlike my colleagues, I … Continue reading “Syria: Convenient but Unlikely Fall Guy for Gemayel’s Death”

Hollow Visions of Palestine’s Future

David Grossman’s widely publicized speech at the annual memorial rally for Yitzhak Rabin earlier this month has prompted some fine deconstruction of his "words of peace" from critics. Grossman, one of Israel’s foremost writers and a figurehead for its main peace movement, Peace Now, personifies the caring, tortured face of Zionism that so many of … Continue reading “Hollow Visions of Palestine’s Future”

The Struggle for Palestine’s Soul

The message delivered to Condoleezza Rice this week by Israeli officials is that the humanitarian and economic disaster befalling Gaza has a single, reversible cause: the capture by Palestinian fighters of an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, in late June from a perimeter artillery position that had been shelling Gaza. When Shalit is returned, negotiations can … Continue reading “The Struggle for Palestine’s Soul”

Bad Faith and the Destruction of Palestine

A mistake too often made by those examining Israel’s behavior in the occupied territories – or when analyzing its treatment of Arabs in general, or interpreting its view of Iran – is to assume that Israel is acting in good faith. Even its most trenchant critics can fall into this trap. Such a reluctance to … Continue reading “Bad Faith and the Destruction of Palestine”

The ‘New Anti-Semitism’ and Nuclear War

The trajectory of a long-running campaign that gave birth this month to the preposterous all-party British parliamentary report into anti-Semitism in the UK can be traced back to intensive lobbying by the Israeli government that began more than four years ago, in early 2002. At that time, as Ariel Sharon was shredding the tattered remains … Continue reading “The ‘New Anti-Semitism’ and Nuclear War”

How Human Rights Watch Lost Its Way in Lebanon

The measure of a human rights organization is to be found not just in the strides it takes to seek justice for the oppressed and victimized but also in the compromises it makes to keep itself out of trouble. Because of the business that human rights defenders are in, they must be held to a … Continue reading “How Human Rights Watch Lost Its Way in Lebanon”

Israel’s Deceptions
a Way of Life

In a state established on a founding myth – that the native Palestinian population left of their own accord rather than being ethnically cleansed – and one that seeks its legitimacy through a host of other lies, such as that the occupation of the West Bank is benign and that Gaza’s has ended, deception becomes … Continue reading “Israel’s Deceptions
a Way of Life”