The Electronic Intifada

Don't take right to education for granted

In your article “A model for EU-Israel integration” published in the English online version of Haaretz (17 January 2007), you argue that a closer relationship between the EU and Israel in the field of scientific and academic exchange would be of mutual interest for EU and Israeli citizens, as well as for its research communities and consumers. Building on the successful European experience of encouraging research collaboration and financially supporting those who want to study or research abroad, you are inviting Israeli researchers to apply for and participate in the new Seventh Framework Programme that will be funded with 55 billion Euros. 

The Answers Have Changed


It is said of Albert Einstein that he gave a particular exam to a class that had already been given that exam. Alarmed at what he saw and thinking it to be the result of the professor’s absent-mindedness, an assistant warned Einstein of what he was about to do. The Professor just smiled and said: It’s alright the answers have changed. The same thing goes for the Israeli Palestinian conflict, the questions remain the same but now sixty years after the establishment of the Jewish State, the answers have changed. 

Children without a Country: Maryam Remains in Texas Jail


“A man without a country,” is what Judge Maryanne Trump Barry called the hapless stowaway, Salim Yassir, who was born in Palestine, exiled to Libya, and jailed in the USA. Four years after foiling Yassir’s 2000 attempt to enter the USA, immigration authorities were still claiming they should keep him in jail while they looked for a country that would take him. But Judge Barry (Donald Trump’s older sister) put an end to that legal purgatory in 2004 when she ruled that a man without a country has rights, too. Yassir could just as easily live outside jail while authorities pursued their executive agendas. 

Avocados, Diamonds at Core of Israel Boycott Trade Campaign


JOHANNESBURG, Jan 26 (IPS) - A call from a South African trade unionist for national supermarket chains to stop importing avocado from Israel could ultimately lead to the banning of all imports from the Jewish state, if unions and human rights activists have their way. Katishi Masemola, secretary general of the Food and Allied Workers’ Union (FAWU), told South Africa’s supermarket chains earlier this week that Israel produces avocado under “slave-type conditions”. He says the International Labour Organisation (ILO) forbids the use of child labour which, he claims, Israel is employing on avocado farms. 

The hidden cost of free congressional trips to Israel


Democrats in Congress have moved quickly — and commendably — to strengthen ethics rules. But truly groundbreaking reform was prevented, in part, because of the efforts of the pro-Israel lobby to preserve one of its most critical functions: taking members of Congress on free “educational” trips to Israel. The pro-Israel lobby does most of its work without publicity. But every member of Congress and every would-be candidate for Congress comes to quickly understand a basic lesson. Money needed to run for office can come with great ease from supporters of Israel, provided that the candidate makes certain promises, in writing, to vote favorably on issues considered important to Israel. 

Taken for a Ride by the Israeli Left


It may seem odd that many people working hard for a stable peace in Israel-Palestine find veteran Israeli activist Uri Avnery so immensely irritating. The reason stems from his moral contradictions, all too common to liberal Zionism: that is, while taking an unflinching moral stand against racist abuses of Palestinians, he somehow drops the same principles in assuming that Israel itself has a right to preserve its “Jewish character” at the expense of Palestinian rights. 

EI EXCLUSIVE: Leaked Israeli document gives frightening glimpse of apartheid


President Jimmy Carter angered Israel and its friends by describing “the abominable oppression and persecution in the occupied Palestinian territories, with a rigid system of required passes and strict segregation between Palestine’s citizens and Jewish settlers in the West Bank.” Now, The Electronic Intifada has obtained an Israeli Ministry of Defense Powerpoint presentation which provides a frightening glimpse into the mindset of the bureaucracy of apartheid. The first page of the document bears the name “Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories” as well as the acronym “COGAT” at the bottom of each page. 

A rebuttal to the Carter Center Board of Councilors resignation letter


Fourteen members of the Carter Center Board of Councilors resigned on 11 January to express their dismay over President Jimmy Carter’s book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid. Their criticisms are petty and inaccurate and say much more about them than about President Carter. They fail to grapple in the letter with Israel’s subjugation of the Palestinians and with President Carter’s call for substantive peacemaking. EI contributor Michael F. Brown responds with the following point-by-point rebuttal to the resignation letter. 

Mockery and deception continue


When Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas flew to Damascus last weekend to meet with Khaled Mishaal, the head of the Hamas politburo, he took with him many expectations. It was hoped that this meeting could put an end to the political infighting that has been going on ever since Abbas’ Fatah movement refused, with Western-backing, to accept the result of the elections one year ago that gave Hamas a sweeping majority of seats and the right to form a Cabinet. With both parties nominally committed to a “national unity government”, it was also hoped that an agreement would put an end to the US-Israeli-EU siege and boycott of the Palestinian Authority that has brought an occupied people to unprecedented levels of suffering and misery. 

Palestine and the long arm of the Occupation


In the past, the media have habitually reported Palestinian attacks against Israelis, so it is not strange today for news-consumers that the Palestinians, just like the Iraqis, have tipped over into civil war, as if this were the most natural thing in the world, the logical, inevitable consequence of the politics and, as likely as not, the character of Arabs and Muslims — that is to say, backward, when compared with Western politics and culture, which, by definition, are advanced and democratic. What these reports habitually fail to report is the role of those Western governments in the political situation of the Middle East.