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Posts Tagged ‘MAIRAV ZONSZEIN

When the Devil in the details?

When the occupation forces are comfortable in the situation?

Israelis diverge on details of a Palestinian State

Would Israeli support for a Palestinian state (60%) be dramatically lower when they are presented with specific details rather than being asked to support the basic idea?
Right Wing think-tank jumped at the occasion with a biased poll to confirms the argument that Israelis who support theory of two-state solution recoil from concrete details.
 in Jerusalem in The Guardian, Monday 20 October
 Jerusalem
The Jordan Valley
The Jordan Valley, which Israel considers to be its eastern border. Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

poll has found that 75% of Israeli Jews oppose the creation of a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders if it means withdrawing Israeli troops from the Jordan Valley.

The survey, conducted by a right wing think tank headed by a political ally of the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, makes for stark reading, contradicting previous polls showing up to 60% of Israelis in favour of a two-state solution.

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, is making a concerted diplomatic push for a UN security council resolution seeking an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories by November 2016.

Of the 60% of those polled who described themselves as right wing, opposition to a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 lines rose to almost 92%, while 72% of those who identified as left wing would support it.

That opposition rises further still if the issue of dividing Jerusalem is included, with 40% of left wingers opposing the division of Jerusalem.

The poll was commissioned by a think-tank run by a former policy advisor to Netanyahu and initially published in the free newspaper owned by the Las Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson, one of the Israeli prime minister’s biggest backers.

Left Wing commentators suggested the polling was likely to be an accurate reflection of Israeli public opinion.

“The poll published in Israel Hayom is obviously meant to serve Netanyahu’s agenda,” said Mairav Zonszeinwriting for the +972 website.

“And while it is dangerous to rely solely on a single poll to backup any claim, this specific poll – no matter how flawed or skewed – happens to be an accurate reflection of the Israeli government’s policies, much of its rhetoric, and the reality on the ground.”

Although historical polling has suggested solid Israeli support for a two-state solution, Zonszein argues that the latest poll more truly reflects both how Israelis vote for political parties – and those parties’ agendas – and how they talk about the peace process.

Even though many polls over the years have shown and still show that a majority of Jewish Israelis support a two-state solution based more or less along the 1967 border with land swaps, such sentiment is reflected less and less in the way Israelis vote and talk. This new poll seems to provide a much more honest assessment of the reality on the ground and the reality in the halls of government,” she said.

The latest poll reflects what appears to be an ever-diminishing appetite for a two-state solution on both sides. (Yes, right. And study done by a US think-tank?)

Two sets of polls earlier this year – one of Palestinians for the right-leaning US think tank Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a Pew Research poll in the spring – both identified growing pessimism that a peace deal could be done.

Note: But the details are known if you are interested, though we are under the belief that all the details are secrets because that’s what Israel wants you to believe. The two-State status is a preliminary condition for any sustainable and serious peace negotiation in the Middle-East

Why San Fran Jewish Federation is bankrolling hate groups? Like Canary Mission

Not just Canary Mission: SF Jewish Federation bankrolls these hate groups

The Federation’s tax filings reveal a litany of radical-right and anti-Muslim groups that have received its support for years.

The Federation says its review process has recently been strengthened but refuses to account for its funding of notorious Islamophobic hate groups.

File photo of an advertisement on a San Francisco public bus accusing the city of enforcing Sharia law, paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which received funding from the SF Jewish Federation. (Steve Rhodes/CC 2.0)

File photo of an advertisement on a San Francisco public bus accusing the city of enforcing Sharia law, paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which received funding from the SF Jewish Federation. (Steve Rhodes/CC 2.0)

Following the revelation last week in The Forward that the San Francisco Jewish Federation gave $100,000 to Canary Mission, the shadowy website that blacklists and intimidates students and professors who criticize Israel, the Federation assured its constituents that it was a “one-time grant” that would never happen again. But Canary Mission is just the tip of the iceberg.

An extensive review by +972 of the Federation’s tax filings shows that the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco and the Helen Diller Family Foundation, which the former controls and which it used to fund Canary Mission, have bankrolled an extensive list of extremist, far-right, anti-Muslim organizations in recent years.

The systematic pattern of financially supporting hate groups appears to also violate the SF Federation’s own guidelines, which specify that it will not fund organizations that “endorse or promote anti-Semitism, other forms of bigotry, violence or other extremist views.”

Among the extremist, radical right-wing, and anti-Muslim groups that received funds from the SF Federation, both directly and through the Diller Foundation, and some of which have received substantial and repeated grants over the years, include:

Project Veritas, The AMCHA Initiative, The American Freedom Law Center, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, The David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the work of Islamophobic Dutch politician Geert Wilders (through the International Freedom Alliance Foundation). Others include the Clarion Fund, the Center for Security Policy (Frank Gaffney), the Middle East Forum (Daniel Pipes), the Tea Party Patriots Foundation, and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

Project Veritas, which the Federation gave $100,000 in 2016, is responsible for falsifying sexual misconduct allegations against Roy Moore last year to The Washington Post in hopes of entrapping the liberal mainstream media

The AMCHA Initiative, which received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the SF Federation and the Diller Foundation in recent years, operates similarly to Canary Mission, except that it primarily goes after faculty, not students.

The David Horowitz Freedom Center, which has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years, has been condemned by the Southern Poverty Law Center as promoting anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant attitudes.

The American Freedom Law Center and Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative both target Islam as a threat to Western civilization.

The former advances “anti-Sharia” legislation and filed an amicus brief in support of Trump’s Muslim ban.

The latter, which has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-Muslim hate group, was responsible for Islamophobic bus campaigns in several cities, and has been represented by the American Freedom Law Center.

+972 Magazine asked the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation about these grants and others that appear to violate its own guidelines against promoting bigotry, violence, and extremist views.

The SF Federation’s senior director of communications, Kerry Philp, responded by email:

We review each grant recommendation at the time that it is submitted to the Federation, to determine if the organization adheres to the Federation’s granting guidelines. This applies to organizations across the political spectrum.

We aim to make the best decisions with the information that we have at the time. Because organizations are dynamic, an organization that previously received a grant from the Federation may not be in compliance with the Federation’s grant-making guidelines today, and vice versa.

Also, per our statement, we strengthened the implementation of our review process in 2017 and continue to be committed to executing our grant review with a standard of care in regard to our guidelines.

Philp added that the Federation does indeed deny grants when they violate its guidelines but would not address any of the grants to the organizations listed in this article or why they were approved.

The San Francisco Jewish Community Federation is one of the largest Jewish charities in the United States with a budget of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars.

Furthermore, it is located in, and presumably represents, one of the most progressive cities and communities in the United States. Whether the SF Federation’s financial support of radical, right-wing, Islamophobic, bigoted, and McCarthyite groups aligns with that community’s values is ultimately up to its members.

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Non, l’antisionisme n’est pas un antisémitisme réinventé

SYLVAIN CYPEL > 19 JUILLET 2017

« Nous ne céderons rien aux messages de haine, à l’antisionisme parce qu’il est la forme réinventée de l’antisémitisme ». (The ultra sionist French President Emmanuel Macron)

On ne sait si, par ces mots, le président Emmanuel Macron a simplement espéré gagner opportunément les faveurs de Benyamin Nétanyahou, qu’il accueillait aux cérémonies de commémoration de la déportation des juifs parisiens en juillet 1942, ou s’il a énoncé une conviction plus profonde.

Mais dans les deux cas, il a eu tort.

Espérer séduire Nétanyahou en cédant à son verbe n’est qu’un leurre — demandez à Barack Obama ce qu’il en pense.

Quant au fond, l’assimilation de l’antisionisme à une nouvelle mouture de l’antisémitisme est une erreur funeste.

Cette assertion est l’une des clefs de voûte depuis des décennies de la hasbara, la communication israélienne. Et plus Israël s’enfonce dans la domination coloniale d’un autre peuple, les Palestiniens, plus l’assertion « antisionisme égal antisémitisme » est répétée pour stigmatiser quiconque critique cette domination.

En soi, la méthode consistant à délégitimer la critique en démonisant son auteur est vieille comme la politique.

Ainsi Joseph Staline et ses émules assimilaient-ils toute critique du communisme soviétique à du « fascisme ». Si les fascistes étaient viscéralement anticommunistes, cela ne faisait pas de tous les contempteurs du régime soviétique des fascistes.

Mais les staliniens continuaient à vilipender leurs adversaires, sans distinction, sous ce vocable infamant.

Aujourd’hui, un Robert Mugabe, au Zimbabwe, qualifie régulièrement ses adversaires de « défenseurs de l’apartheid ». Que des racistes patentés figurent parmi les dénonciateurs de l’autocrate zimbabwéen est évident. Mais que tous soient des nostalgiques de la ségrégation raciale est une accusation dérisoire. On pourrait multiplier les exemples.

Il en va de même de l’idée selon laquelle l’antisionisme serait la version moderne de l’antisémitisme.

D’abord parce que l’antisionisme n’est pas une idéologie très définie. Historiquement, il a consisté à récuser l’idée d’une solution nationaliste à la question juive.

Aujourd’hui, il y a en Israël des gens qui se disent antisionistes par simple hostilité à une occupation des Palestiniens menée au nom même du sionisme.

D’autres se disent « post-sionistes » parce qu’à leurs yeux, l’ambition du sionisme étant la constitution d’un État juif, son existence annule d’autorité la nécessité du sionisme.

Je connais enfin des Israéliens tout à fait sionistes qui sont si révulsés par la politique de Nétanyahou qu’ils se disent honorés d’être traités d’« antisionistes » par un gouvernement d’extrême droite raciste et colonialiste.

Ces derniers remplissent par exemple les rangs d’une ONG comme Breaking the Silence, qui regroupe des soldats dénonçant les crimes commis par leur armée contre des Palestiniens et dont plusieurs des dirigeants sont des officiers et aussi des juifs pieux. Ils ne sont pas antisémites. Ils sont même l’honneur d’Israël.

Quant à moi, je considère le sionisme comme une question philosophiquement désuète. En revanche, si le sionisme, comme le prône Nétanyahou, consiste à exiger la reconnaissance d’Israël pour mieux empêcher le droit des Palestiniens à l’autodétermination, alors je suis antisioniste. Serais-je donc antisémite ?

Bref, que l’on trouve parmi les antisionistes d’aujourd’hui des gens projetant sur Israël leur antisémitisme atavique ou récent ne fait aucun doute. Mais que l’antisionisme soit en tant que tel une idéologie antisémite est une idée infamante et erronée.

Et puis, il y a plus grave. Il y a chez Nétanyahou non seulement cette utilisation abusive de l’accusation d’antisémitisme, mais aussi cette sidérante propension à s’entendre avec de vrais antisémites lorsque ça l’arrange. Au moment où vous-même, M. le Président, cautionniez sa thèse, le New York Times publiait un article d’opinion d’une journaliste et traductrice israélienne, Mairav Zonszein, accusant ouvertement son premier ministre de collusion avec celui de la Hongrie, Viktor Orban, un homme qui laisse proliférer l’antisémitisme parmi ses partisans.

Et de fait, de Paris, Nétanyahou a rejoint Budapest.

Depuis des années, le gouvernement israélien raffermit ses relations avec les gouvernements les plus réactionnaires d’Europe centrale.

Il a soutenu avec une grande compréhension l’attitude du régime hongrois dans la récente crise des réfugiés syriens. Nétanyahou soutient aussi la campagne lancée par Orban contre le financier américain George Soros, dont la fondation favorise les initiatives démocratiques.

Cette campagne est menée à l’aide d’arguments fleurant l’antisémitisme : Orban accuse Soros d’user de « l’argent étranger » pour nuire à son pays. Quant aux graffitis hostiles qui prolifèrent en Hongrie contre le magnat américain, beaucoup sont sans équivoque antisémites.

Ce lien entre la droite coloniale israélienne que Nétanyahou incarne — même si désormais on trouve plus radical que lui en Israël — et des organisations exsudant un antisémitisme plus ou moins manifeste n’est pas neuf.

Aux États-Unis, un polémiste d’extrême droite comme Glenn Beck, qui avait lui aussi insulté George Soros avec des relents antisémites, était venu se refaire une virginité en 2011 en visitant des colonies religieuses israéliennes extrémistes. Il y fut accueilli en héros (Beck est avant tout islamophobe).

Quant à l’invité d’honneur du dernier diner de la Zionist Organisation of America (ZOA), une formation américaine qui regroupe les soutiens à la droite israélienne radicale, il se nommait Steve Bannon, proche conseiller de Donald Trump accusé entre autres par son ex-femme de propos antisémites.

Le tollé fut tel dans la communauté juive américaine qu’il renonça à venir. Mais la ZOA afficha sa solidarité avec lui.

On assiste aujourd’hui à un phénomène ahurissant dans cette dérive israélienne.

À double détente, l’accusation d’antisémitisme y est désormais soumise aux intérêts contingents.

Un : les antisionistes sont tous des antisémites.

Deux : les prosionistes sont tous bienvenus, y compris quand ils sont antisémites.

Si vous défendez les droits humains en Palestine, vous êtes antisémite. Si vous êtes islamophobe, que vous soyez aussi antisémite revêt peu d’importance.

Le prix à payer à l’avenir pour cette folie risque d’être très élevé. Et l’avaliser aura été, selon l’adage, plus qu’une erreur : une faute.

Devil in the details: Israelis diverge on details of a Palestinian State

Would Israeli support for a Palestinian state (60%) be dramatically lower when they are presented with specific details rather than being asked to support the basic idea?
Rightwing think-tank jumped at the occasion with a biased poll to confirms the argument that Israelis who support theory of two-state solution recoil from concrete details.
in Jerusalem in The Guardian, Monday 20 October
 Jerusalem
The Jordan Valley
The Jordan Valley, which Israel considers to be its eastern border. Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

A poll has found that 75% of Israeli Jews oppose the creation of a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders if it means withdrawing Israeli troops from the Jordan Valley.

The survey, conducted by a rightwing thinktank headed by a political ally of the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, makes for stark reading, contradicting previous polls showing up to 60% of Israelis in favour of a two-state solution.

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, is making a concerted diplomatic push for a UN security council resolution seeking an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories by November 2016.

Of the 60% of those polled who described themselves as rightwing, opposition to a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 lines rose to almost 92%, while 72% of those who identified as leftwing would support it.

That opposition rises further still if the issue of dividing Jerusalem is included, with 40% of leftwingers opposing the division of Jerusalem.

The poll was commissioned by a think-tank run by a former policy advisor to Netanyahu and initially published in the free newspaper owned by the Las Vegas casino owner Sheldon Adelson, one of the Israeli prime minister’s biggest backers.

Leftwing commentators suggested the polling was likely to be an accurate reflection of Israeli public opinion.

“The poll published in Israel Hayom is obviously meant to serve Netanyahu’s agenda,” said Mairav Zonszein, writing for the +972 website.

“And while it is dangerous to rely solely on a single poll to back up any claim, this specific poll – no matter how flawed or skewed – happens to be an accurate reflection of the Israeli government’s policies, much of its rhetoric, and the reality on the ground.”

Although historical polling has suggested solid Israeli support for a two-state solution, Zonszein argues that the latest poll more truly reflects both how Israelis vote for political parties – and those parties’ agendas – and how they talk about the peace process.

Even though many polls over the years have shown and still show that a majority of Jewish Israelis support a two-state solution based more or less along the 1967 border with land swaps, such sentiment is reflected less and less in the way Israelis vote and talk. This new poll seems to provide a much more honest assessment of the reality on the ground and the reality in the halls of government,” she said.

The latest poll reflects what appears to be an ever-diminishing appetite for a two-state solution on both sides. (Yes, right. And study done by a US think-tank?)

Two sets of polls earlier this year – one of Palestinians for the right-leaning US thinktank Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a Pew Research poll in the spring – both identified growing pessimism that a peace deal could be done.

Note: But the details are known if you are interested, though we are under the belief that all the details are secrets because that’s what Israel wants you to believe.

 

JAFFA, Israel . The injuries suffered in Tel Aviv that night stemmed not from rocket fire but from a premeditated assault by a group of extremist Israeli Jews.

Chanting “Death to Arabs” and “Death to leftists,” they attacked protesters with clubs.

Although several demonstrators were beaten and required medical attention, the police made no arrests.

The same thing happened at another antiwar protest in Haifa a week later.  This time, the victims included the city’s deputy mayor, Suhail Assad, and his son. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made no statement condemning the violence, even though he had previously stated his primary concern was the safety of Israeli citizens.

The vilification of the few Israelis who don’t subscribe to right-wing doctrine is not new.

Similar acts of incitement occurred before the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. But now they have multiplied, escalated and spread.

On July 10, the veteran Israeli actress Gila Almagor did not show up to perform at Tel Aviv’s Habima Theater; she had received threats that she would be murdered on stage. In an interview in the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot a few days earlier, she had expressed feeling ashamed after a 16-year old Palestinian, Muhammad Abu Khdeir, was kidnapped and burned alive by Jewish extremists.

In an interview during the Gaza war, the popular comedian Orna Banai said she felt terrible that Palestinian women and children were being killed — she was subsequently fired from her position as spokeswoman for an Israeli cruise ship operator.

And Haaretz hired bodyguards for its columnist Gideon Levy after he wrote an article criticizing Israeli Air Force pilots.

The aggressive silencing of anyone who voices disapproval of Israeli policies or expresses empathy with Palestinians is the latest manifestation of an us-versus-them mentality that has been simmering for decades.

It is based on the narrative that Palestinians are enemies who threaten Jewish sovereignty and are solely to blame for the failure to achieve peace. The Israeli peace camp — which remains obsessively focused on stopping settlement expansion and pursuing the ever-elusive two-state solution while ignoring Israel’s failure to separate religion and state and guarantee equal rights for Arab citizens — has been incapable of challenging this mentality.

Israeli society has been unable and unwilling to overcome an exclusivist ethno-religious nationalism that privileges Jewish citizens and is represented politically by the religious settler movement and the increasingly conservative secular right.

Israel’s liberal, progressive forces remain weak in the face of a robust economy that profits from occupation while international inaction reinforces the status quo. In their attempt to juggle being both Jewish and democratic, most Israelis are choosing the former at the expense of the latter.

Israel has never, for example, genuinely addressed the fact that non-Jewish Arabs who generally identify as Palestinian account for about 20% of the population (this excludes the approximately three million Palestinians living under Israel’s control in East Jerusalem and the West Bank).

Israel has also never clearly defined its borders, preferring to keep them vague and porous. Nor has it defined what it means to be “Israeli,” as distinct from being “Jewish,” leaving a vacuum that has been filled by nationalist and religious ideologues.

This has allowed the us-versus-them mentality to bleed into Israeli Jewish society. “Us” no longer refers to any Jewish citizen, and “them” to any Palestinian.

Now, “us” means all those who defend the status quo of occupation and settlement expansion, including many Christian evangelicals and Republicans in America. And “them” means anyone who tries to challenge that status quo, whether a rabbi, a dissenting Israeli soldier or the president of the United States.

Perhaps this shouldn’t come as a shock.

For most of Israel’s existence, the majority of Israelis have allowed the state, in the name of Jewish sovereignty and security, to violate Palestinians’ basic human rights — including access to water and the freedom of movement and assembly.

The state has killed unarmed protesters and then failed to carry out investigations; it has allowed settlers and soldiers to act with impunity; and it has systematically discriminated against non-Jewish citizens. After so many years of repressing those who stand in the way, the transition to targeting “one of your own” isn’t so difficult.

Now it is the few Jewish Israelis who speak the language of human rights who are branded as enemies.

Zeev Sternhell, a political scientist and an expert on fascism, believes that “radical nationalism” and the “erosion of Enlightenment values” have reached new heights in Israel. “To grieve for the loss of life on both sides is already a subversive act, treason,” he told Haaretz. Mr. Sternhell has experienced Jewish extremist violence firsthand; in 2008, a settler planted a bomb in his home that wounded him.

Israelis increasingly seem unwilling to listen to criticism, even when it comes from within their own family. Not only are they not willing to listen, they are trying to silence it before it can even be voiced. With a family like that, I would rather be considered one of “them.”

Mairav Zonszein, an Israeli-American writer, translator and editor, blogs at +972 Magazine.


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