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Regarding 'The Question of Zion' - Jacqueline Rose interviewed

...This is one of the reasons why I am convinced that Zionism should not simply be dismissed. Hans Kohn turned away from Zionism, but Martin Buber and Ahad Ha'am definitely did not. If Zionism can produce voices such as these, this is evidence of a fermentation of rare value. Discovering thinkers like Martin Buber and Hannah Arendt and Ahad Ha'am was like encountering pieces of coral from a deep pool. I had read Arendt and indeed some of Buber's work before, but I did not anticipate the sheer prescience of their critique of Zionism. For example, Arendt predicted that the Jewish state would become utterly reliant on American force, and live 'surrounded by an entirely hostile Arab population' in which all 'development would be determined exclusively by the need of war'; this is so accurate, it sends a shudder down your back. Then there was the romantic, semi-mystical discourse of Buber and Ahad Ha'am, posing the question of who we are at its most profound. Their vocabulary revolves around spirituality, selfhood, self-knowledge, truth, understanding, denial. In order to put into words the perils of Zionism, these thinkers had to explore why people can desire identities that become ultimately destructive...

from an interview with Jacqueline Rose, who wrote The Question of Zion via Open Democracy
posted by y2karl on Aug 25, 2005 - 30 comments

Grossman on the pullout

Vergangenheitsbewältigung, Israeli style? Amidst overwhelming public approval for the Gaza pullout, noted author David Grossman writes about the need for all Israelis to mourn today, in this Ha-Aretz editorial.
posted by ori on Aug 15, 2005 - 44 comments

Disengaging in game form

Disengagement: The Game The debate in Israel over the withdrawal from Gaza has found its way into, of all things, dueling cartoony Flash games. The first, the Wild West Bank, by proponents of withdrawal, has you removing settlers from the West Bank before they can establish settlements. The second, the "Disengagement Game" (click the square yellow button beside the picture), has you take the role of Ariel Sharon, whose political nickname is the "Bulldozer," as he uses his namesake (plus a club and a gaggle of pigs) to remove children protesting his policies. According to the creators of each, the first is supposed to be enlightening, the second purely entertaining. [Instructions inside]
posted by blahblahblah on Aug 10, 2005 - 4 comments

Banksy and barrier

Banksy and the barrier
posted by srboisvert on Aug 5, 2005 - 44 comments

Jerusalem Barrier Approved

Israel's Cabinet has approved final details of a barrier to surround Jerusalem "redrawing the disputed city's boundary and shifting its demographic balance in favor of Jews." The Jerusalem Post declares this to be "most dramatic change [in Jerusalem's borders] since 1967." The decision means Israel is taking lands claimed by the Palestinians for a future state, including traditionally Arab east Jerusalem, the intended Palestinian capital. In addition, the UNRWA (pdf) reported that other negative impacts on the Palestinain population include "logistical problems of access, proximity of schools" for Palestinians and that "access of refugees to secondary and tertiary care in Jerusalem hospitals will be severely hampered." Dr. Gerson Baskin of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information wrote in 2003 "It is time for honesty – the security barrier may have started in its conceptual phase as a security barrier, but in its translation into reality it has been manipulated to be a political border." Is this another nail in the coffin of the peace process, a necessary and constructive step towards a solution, or an encouraging development in the ultimate conversion of Jews to Christianity and the second coming of Christ?
posted by three blind mice on Jul 11, 2005 - 65 comments

AIPAC rules Ok?

The New Yorker has an article about AIPAC ( the American Israel Public Affairs Commision ) and the ongoing spy investigation into Larry Franklin and his passing of classified information to AIPAC who then passed it on to Israel. The article points to the question of whether AIPAC should be forced to register as the agent of a foreign power and whether there is undue influence over American policy by Israel's Likud party.
posted by sien on Jun 30, 2005 - 14 comments

Beyond chutzpah...

Dershowitz and The Governator. Long time sparring partners Alan Dershowitz and Norman Finkelstein are at it again, arguing over the publication of the latter's new book. Only this time, Dershowitz tried to call in the big guns.
posted by greatgefilte on Jun 29, 2005 - 6 comments

A Spreading Treason

A Spreading Treason The vagaries of U.S. involvement in the Middle East were surely brought home to First Lady Laura Bush on her recent trip to Israel, on a tour of Jerusalem's holiest sites. At the Wailing Wall, where she placed a note in the Western Wall – as is the custom – she faced surly throngs of protesters shouting "Free Pollard Now!" The Pollardites also showed up earlier that morning, as Mrs. Bush paid a visit to the home of Israeli President Moshe Katsav: "Pollard, the people are with you!" they chanted.
posted by mk1gti on May 25, 2005 - 23 comments

Queen of Sheba

The Queen of Sheba was a legendary beauty from the 10th century BC. She travelled to see Israel's King Solomon, bearing his son, Menelik (said to have transported the Ark of the Covenant to Auxum, Ethiopia), is mentioned in the Bible and Koran, is a muse to poets and artists through the ages and is "viewed as the embodiment of Divine Wisdom and a foreteller of the cult of the Holy Cross". Little is known about her origins although stories are common through Persian, Ethiopian, Arabian & Israeli traditions. Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia claimed direct descent from her. She is said to have possibly lived in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Sudan or Somalia. But recent archaeological work suggests she may be from further away than the legends describe.
via [much, much more here]
posted by peacay on May 19, 2005 - 11 comments

Q & A with former Israeli Mossad chief Efraim Halevy.

Q & A with former Israeli Mossad chief Efraim Halevy. Halevy fields questions from readers around the world. See also his article "The coming Pax Americana".
posted by ori on May 16, 2005 - 19 comments

Happy Passover

How to make matzah. Not the square Manischewitz stuff, mind you, but the real deal! Sure beats buying it for $15-30 a pound. And don't forget to give some to your gorilla.
posted by greatgefilte on Apr 24, 2005 - 43 comments

Can Jewish settlers live as Palestinians?

Can Jewish settlers live as Palestinians? A series of essays from Bitterlemons, which regularly features Israeli and Palestinian commentary on the significant issues of the conflict, with the goal of maintaining a constructive dialogue.
posted by Ty Webb on Apr 18, 2005 - 5 comments

the politics of handshakes

Handshakes are an important: They've signaled new eras in international relations, but this week they reaffirmed the sad realities of our time.
posted by trinarian on Apr 9, 2005 - 15 comments

The return of the Bnei menashe

The return of the Bnei menashe : Israel's Chief Rabbi has decided to recognize the members of India's Bnei Menashe community as descendants of the ancient Israelites. Previous discussion.
posted by dhruva on Apr 8, 2005 - 5 comments

The Story and Stories of Bruno Schulz

"For ordinary books are like meteors. Each of them has only one moment, a moment when it soars screaming like the phoenix, all its pages aflame. For that single moment we love them ever after, although they soon turn to ashes. With bitter resignation we sometimes wander late at night through the extinct pages that tell their stone dead messages like wooden rosary beads."
posted by felix betachat on Apr 8, 2005 - 6 comments

Hooray for freedom fighters

After decades of denial, official honors for terror bombers of Lavon Affair infamy. See also Liberty, USS.
posted by greatgefilte on Apr 5, 2005 - 36 comments

Kosher Beef.

Kosher Beef. The story of two Israeli rappers and the political views that divide them and their music.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Mar 11, 2005 - 16 comments

At least the scientists can get along

Bridging the rift. A joint Israeli/Jordanian biological research centre straddling the border between the two nations is set to become operational in the near future. Scientists from Cornell and Stanford are involved as well. See what it'll look like (big PDF), and learn why studies of biosalinity and other forms of extreme biology are important.
posted by greatgefilte on Mar 4, 2005 - 9 comments

Mobile Porn Ban?

Will mobile phone porn be banned before reaching the mainstream? Startup Companies as well as established veterans alike have been itching to make a buck from the mobile market. Will they ever get the chance? Not in Israel.
posted by analogue on Mar 3, 2005 - 30 comments

Palestine, Israel, and lemons.

"In politics, the impossible is the immoral." A surprisingly thoughtful essay on the "uniqueness of Palestinian terror" from, of all places, Tech Central Station. I found much with which to both agree and disagree in this article - and on such contentious issues, that's no doubt the case for all readers - but, I found that, in reading this piece, my neurons never stopped firing, which is a rare and unusual sensation these days. 'Tis interesting. Also attempting to deal across boundaries in the Mideast conflict: Bitter Lemons, which features two themed columns apiece by Palestinian and Israeli writers each day.
posted by Sticherbeast on Feb 28, 2005 - 8 comments

See my vest! See my vest!

One fashion trend that I wish would go away is the suicide vest.
posted by furtive on Feb 4, 2005 - 45 comments

Why Rebels Must Be Middle Class

Israeli Pro-Palestinian activist Tali Fahima to remain in custody. Tali Fahima grew up in a conservative desert town in Israel and voted Likud for years. As the second intifada erupted she read about the brutality of the occupation on the Internet and eventually travelled to Jenin refugee camp where she met Zakariyeh Zbeideh, a local leader of the terrorist organization and Fatah offshoot, Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade. She was arrested and jailed in Israel, accused of translating a document for Zbeideh into Arabic. that allowed him to warn fighters marked for Israeli assassination.

Fahima has been under arrest nearly six months. Her case has gained prominence not just because she is an Israeli Jew supporting Palestinian resistance but because she is a Mizrahi, a Sephardic or "Arab" Jew. This group has historically formed a solid bloc of support for aggressive policies against the Palestinians. [MI]
posted by By The Grace of God on Jan 30, 2005 - 30 comments

Lehitraot, Ephraim.

Author and satirist Ephraim Kishon dies, aged 80.
posted by ori on Jan 30, 2005 - 7 comments

Kurds are the Closest Relatives of Jews

Kurds are the Closest Relatives of Jews Funny, They don't look Jewish:"Research has just begun into the ancient ties between Kurds and Jews. It would be interesting to see if the various Jewish groups have as strong a family tie to Kurds in the maternal lineages as they do in the paternal lineages. Preliminary studies indicate that Jewish populations in eastern Europe and Yemen have maternal origins that contain much more non-Israelite ancestry than their paternal origins. Despite this admixture with other groups, the Jewish Judean people ultimately began their existence in an area within or nearby Kurdistan, prior to migrating southwest to Israel. This exciting research showing that Kurds and Jews may have shared common fathers several millennia ago should, hopefully, encourage both Kurds and Jews to explore each others' cultures and to maintain the friendship that Kurds and Jews enjoyed in northern Iraq in recent times (as chronicled in Michael Rubin's recent article "The Other Iraq"). As Rubin indicates, the Kurdish leader Mullah Mustafa Barzani once visited Israel and met with Israeli government officials. Rubin refers to the Iraqi Kurds' "special affinity for Israel" and writes that "In the safe haven of Iraqi Kurdistan, the Jews and Israel are remembered fondly, if increasingly vaguely." Let us hope that this relationship can be renewed and strengthened."
posted by Postroad on Dec 29, 2004 - 51 comments

Palestinan opinions

Palestinian opinions. A poll conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center indicates a dramatic decline in Palestinian support for acts of violence targeting Israelis. For the first time since the outbreak of the intifada in September 2000, a majority of Palestinians, some 52%, oppose violence against Israel. Palestinian opposition to attacks on Israelis is up 25% since last June. Original report is here in pdf. Is the intifada finished? If so should Arafat be awarded a second Nobel Peace Prize for dying?
posted by Ugandan Discussions on Dec 8, 2004 - 25 comments

Not the Boreworms!!!

An interview with Michael Koubi. Koubi was an interrogator with the Israeli security services for 21 years, and its chief interrogator for 6 years. He claims he can make anyone talk.
posted by biffa on Nov 18, 2004 - 31 comments

Killing [Palestinian] children is no longer a big deal

Killing children is no longer a big deal  More than 30 Palestinian children were killed in the first two weeks of Operation Days of Penitence in the Gaza Strip. It's no wonder that many people term such wholesale killing of children "terror." Whereas in the overall count of all the victims of the intifada the ratio is three Palestinians killed for every Israeli killed, when it comes to children the ratio is 5:1. According to B'Tselem, the human rights organization, even before the current operation in Gaza, 557 Palestinian minors (below the age of 18) were killed, compared to 110 Israeli minors... Who would have believed that Israeli soldiers would kill hundreds of children and that the majority of Israelis would remain silent? Even the Palestinian children have become part of the dehumanization campaign: killing hundreds of them is no longer a big deal.
posted by y2karl on Oct 17, 2004 - 46 comments

Terrorism against tourists

Terrorists strike tourists in Egypt...again. At least 30 people have been killed, 114 injured today when a truck bomb blew up the Hilton hotel in Taba, Egypt, a resort town in the Sinai. A concurrent explosion occurred nearby in Nuweiba, Egypt, and early casualty reports there are 4 dead, 40 wounded. The apparent target? The many Israeli families who were vacationing in the area, celebrating Simchas Torah. The less-apparent target? The $4 billion/year 7 million people/year Egyptian tourism industry, a crucial part of that country's economy. While this is not the first time that tourists from Israel have been singled out worldwide, it's also part of a decade-long pattern of mass-casualty terrorist attacks against tourists from multiple countries within Egypt. Keeping in mind that one of the most devastating economic after-effects of 9/11 was the blow it dealt to air travel and tourism worldwide, not to mention close calls and tragic events at famed tourist destinations, is tourism-terrorism going to become the wave of the future?
posted by Asparagirl on Oct 7, 2004 - 27 comments

What are the US and Israel really afraid of in Iran?

What are the US and Israel really afraid of in Iran?
From Political Theory Daily Review
posted by y2karl on Oct 6, 2004 - 11 comments

Iraqi Indicted for Proposal to Open Talks With Israel

Iraqi Indicted for Proposal to Open Talks With Israel Bringing democracy to the Middle East--let freedom ring. "A court of Iraq's interim government has brought criminal charges against a prominent politician for attending an antiterrorism conference in Israel and publicly suggesting that Iraq should open talks with Israel. The indictment and arrest warrant, based on a 1969 law promulgated by the Baath Party that bars Iraqis from having contacts with enemy states, are likely to anger the United States government, which has sponsored Iraq's new courts and is a close ally of Israel." So it goes...
posted by Postroad on Oct 6, 2004 - 10 comments

Israel and Palestine, Choosing Sides

Pressure Groups and Censorship in Israel/Palestine. "I suspect that the causes are complicated and multi-factorial. I suspect that I and others like me – who remained ignorant and negligent on this issue for so long – bear much of the guilt. I suspect that others whose emotional ties to Israel served as blinders on this subject share in our culpability. I suspect that still others who knew the truth and refused to speak of it, or who participated in its cover-up, bear a significant portion of this awful responsibility. I suspect that the career damage and death threats that often result when one begins to speak out on this issue played a part."
posted by acrobat on Sep 24, 2004 - 33 comments

.....................................................

The Likudization of the World "....he has cast the United States in the very same role in which Israel casts itself, facing the very same threat. In this narrative, the U.S. is fighting a never ending battle for its very survival against utterly irrational forces that seek nothing less than its total extermination. "
posted by troutfishing on Sep 12, 2004 - 42 comments

Israeli Offshore Radio

Israeli offshore radio. Read up on the unique situation of pirate radio in Israel, following in the footsteps of Radio Caroline. Until only a few years ago, they were still broadcasting from aboard a ship, the King David, but now last offshore radio ship has been broken up, there are only land-based pirates.
posted by Jimbob on Sep 4, 2004 - 2 comments

B'Tselem's Map of Jewish Settlements in the West Bank

B'Tselem's Map of Jewish Settlements in the West Bank is an incredible graphic. It'sa 612 KB jpeg but the PDF, which is 1,609 KB has even more amazing detail. Here is the directory for all their images and maps. As you can see, it is quite comprehensive. Here is the Full Fence Mag in English, for instance. Again, the PDF is even more detailed. Here is the summary of B'Tselem's May 2002 report Land Grab: Israel's Settlement Policy in the West Bank. The report is to the summary as the PDF is to the jpeg.
B'Tselem is The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.   Warning: While the pages linked are in English, the site itself is bi-lingual, so expect many a prompt for a Hebrew text download.
posted by y2karl on Sep 3, 2004 - 20 comments

neo-conned

neo-conned
"FBI espionage probe goes beyond Israeli allegations, sources say ... The linkage, if any, between the two leak investigations, remains unclear. But they both center on the office of Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith, the Pentagon's No. 3 official."

Juan Cole pulls back the curtains on the neo-cons and Franklin here ... if you have friends or family in the US military is this the guy(s) you want calling the shots??
posted by specialk420 on Aug 29, 2004 - 61 comments

FBI Probes Pentagon Spy Case

FBI Probes Pentagon Spy Case - Interesting how bad news about the Bush Administration seems to always come out on Fridays - "the FBI has a full-fledged espionage investigation under way and is about to -- in FBI terminology -- "roll up" someone agents believe has been spying not for an enemy, but for Israel from within the office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon."
posted by jackspace on Aug 27, 2004 - 37 comments

Fear itself

Fear Itself: an american journalist wants to put the threat of terrorism into perspective, and elects to ride on a bus line in Jerusalem, the train line through Madrid, and a British Airways flight said to be a bombing target. He comes away with it unscathed but the stories he tells about the history of terror, especially in Israel, is chilling and daily life in some parts of Jerusalem sounds like scenes lifted straight out of Brazil. [via the big K]
posted by mathowie on Aug 22, 2004 - 27 comments

Israeli soldiers get cannabis

At last, some fun quirky news about Israeli soldiers.
posted by Tlogmer on Aug 5, 2004 - 0 comments

Googling for Holocaust survivors

High school students in Israel are harnessing the community-building power of weblogs to locate survivors of the Holocaust.
posted by arco on Jul 8, 2004 - 21 comments

Israeli civil war?

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said yesterday that Israel is on the verge of a civil war. The Israeli Knesset held an emergency session on Tuesday to discuss the growing threat of violence and anti-government assassinations--but this time, the anti-Sharon and anti-Likud threats are from the Israeli Right, not Left.

Angry settlers (who are about to become ex-settlers), egged on by a few extremist rabbis, oppose Israel's disengagement and pullout plan from Gaza (which is already underway) and the West Bank: "The General Security Service (GSS) believes that the next assassin of an Israeli Prime Minister is already here and is looking for an opportunity to strike. "This is not an academic possibility anymore. The danger is clear and present. A small core of settlers believes that Sharon is disengagement, and disengagement is Sharon, and they want to stop him," a GSS official told Channel 1 TV. "There are people who have already taken the decision that, come the day they are going to 'save Eretz Israel, that they are going to kill the PM or a minister, a defense official or a policeman." Ironically, the only people who oppose the pullout/disengagement plan even more than the settlers are Palestinians, who oppose it 65% to 34% in a new poll, down from a previous support of 73% in February. [more inside]
posted by Asparagirl on Jul 6, 2004 - 46 comments

Straight from the horse's mouth!

MEMRI adds a TV monitoring project. MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute) has added hundreds of clips from various Middle Eastern television stations (list of sources here). The archive of clips can be found here. There are amazing primary sources available, like "Saudi Sheik Sa'd Al-Breik on Human Rights in Islam and in the West", "Sheik Youssef Al-Qaradhawi in Favor of Democratic Elections in the Arab World", and "Former Dean of Humanities at Cairo's Ein Shams University: 9/11 was 100% American".
posted by loquax on Jul 1, 2004 - 40 comments

Grain farming pushed back 10000 years

Farming origins gain 10,000 years. Humans made their first tentative steps towards farming 23,000 years ago, much earlier than previously thought. Stone Age people in Israel collected the seeds of wild grasses some 10,000 years earlier than previously recognised, say experts.
posted by stbalbach on Jun 27, 2004 - 8 comments

BlueStarPR

This postcard (possible NSFW), likens Israel to a small penis in a speedo. If it's small on your monitor, there is a larger PDF version. Confused yet? It turns out blueStarPR produces several other curious pro-Israel postcards, including this one, featuring Ray Charles (who knew?). I have to give them props for being funny and slick. Some of their material is pretty extreme, though, such as this one, which likens the Jews to the Navajo, with the punchline: "Anti-Zionism is Anti-Semitism." Then there's this one, about Israel's liberal gays-in-the-military policy (I think they actually have to serve, don't they?). An interesting mix of humor, media, and politics. [warning: propaganda]
posted by scarabic on Jun 18, 2004 - 14 comments

The Apartheid Wall continues.

The Apartheid Wall continues. Haaretz reports that Israel will soon begin construction of the wall around the illegal settlement of Ariel , deep inside the West Bank, stealing thousands of acres of Palestinian farmland in the process.
posted by Ty Webb on Jun 14, 2004 - 65 comments

Balance is Good

The French Pro-Nuclear Proliferation Lobby "...I have no hesitation in saying that we must consider giving the Arab side a large enough force, including a large enough nuclear force, to persuade Israel that it cannot simply do whatever it wants. That is the policy my country (France) pursued in the 1970s when it gave Iraq a nuclear force..." -- Paul-Marie Couteaux, Member of the European Parliament
posted by kablam on May 25, 2004 - 25 comments

Rethinking Zionism

Rethinking Zionism. "Although embattled nationalistic movements are a commonplace, no nationalistic cause is as entwined with the larger issues and fault lines of global politics as modern Zionism is. Not least, the crisis of Zionism has implications for the ability of America to achieve its policy goals in the Middle East and in its wider confrontation with Islamic militancy."
posted by Ty Webb on May 3, 2004 - 22 comments

Israeli Border Police used Palestinian kid as human shield

Israeli Border Police use Palestinian kid as human shield. According to Rabbi Arik Ascherman: “The boy, crying, shaking from fear and eventually cold, was sat on the hood of a jeep and tied to the bars protecting the glass. The other three arrestees were bound and placed in front of a second jeep as human shields, to deter protestors from throwing stones at the jeep”.
posted by Ty Webb on Apr 23, 2004 - 72 comments

Sounds familiar?

With several anti-Semitic incidents in the past week or two in Toronto, why would Toronto's York University suspend its local Hillel due to clashes over Israeli-Palestinian conflict debates in a hypocritical move that fails to address demonstration and violence-related offenses by Muslim groups? Sure it's Canada and no one cares, but should Canadian Jews start being afraid? (The second article may be one-sided, but the last line presents an ominous fact.)
posted by Krrrlson on Mar 25, 2004 - 43 comments

gates of hell

Hamas said, "... Sharon has opened the gates of hell and nothing will stop us from cutting off his head.''
a. is assassination of political/spiritual leaders justified?
b. how much of setback to peace in israel/palestine, is this move?
c. did the whitehouse pre-approve this arguably major expansion in israel's war against palestinian "militants"?
ny times link
posted by specialk420 on Mar 21, 2004 - 217 comments

from kibbutz to

Private kibbutzim? The kibbutz, unique and successful socialist experiments in communal living, helped build a country. Has their time passed? Different wages for different jobs, deeding property to individual members, and privatization of production are being instituted at 100 of them, out of an estimated 270 total. In a world where selfishness and capitalism seem to rule, is there hope for communal living?
posted by amberglow on Mar 12, 2004 - 7 comments

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