The Electronic Intifada

Important Lessons: Integrated Education in the State of Israel

The current public education system in Israel mirrors the wider divisions in society. It is divided into separate sectors: religious Jewish, secular Jewish, Orthodox Jewish and Arab. Although roughly one quarter of Israel’s 1.6 million schoolchildren are Arab, their parallel education system reveals fundamental inequality. The 2001 Human Rights Watch report “Second Class: Discrimination against Palestinian Arab Children in Israel’s Schools” details the extent of the inequalities in funding, facilities, teacher-student ratios. Integrated schools represent a glimmer of light in this picture of a discriminatory and segregated education system. 

Jewish Like Me

Like most kids growing up Jewish, I loved Israel. I identified with the country and saw my Jewish identity expressed in it. Maybe it was because I found inspiration in an Israeli culture that seemed to focus on youth. I liked how David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, referred to the “New Israeli Jew” — strong, committed and independent — as opposed to the idea of a “European Jew” — weak, emasculated, and dependent. The Israeli myth allowed me to reject the stuffiness of North American Jewish culture while keeping a sense of an imagined community that was still accepted, and even encouraged, by my family and community. As I explored this more, I began to realize that Zionism was synonymous with a violent colonization and occupation of another people. 

Carter and Camp David, where it all began

Now it’s on. The debate over President Jimmy Carter’s Palestine: Peace not Apartheid has become a mainstream staple. Turn on Fox News and see resigned Carter aid Steve Berman bullied into saying that Carter is not only anti-Semitic, but supports terror. Open the New York Times,, Washington Post and find outraged columnists, petitioning consumers, D-Rep. Lady Macbeth washing her hands of that dreaded a-word. But like most things Israeli and Palestinian, few are taking note of history and what it might mean to an ex-president. 

Hebron Occupied, And Deserted

HEBRON, Jan. 22 (IPS) - As the illegal Israeli occupation grinds on, the daily situation for Palestinians worsens by the day. Hebron presents a vivid picture of the cumulative face of this colonial project. Hebron, about 35km south of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank, has historically existed as a mixed Muslim-Jewish city, but over the last few decades the Israeli authorities have been choking its 150,000 Palestinians while supporting the settler movement. Approximately 650 radical right-wing settlers have taken over parts of the old city, destroyed Palestinian neighbourhoods and the economic infrastructure, and are free to terrorise Palestinians at whim. 

Appeal to Oppose Canadian Foreign Minister's Visit to the Middle East

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter MacKay, who recently traveled to Afghanistan, is planning a larger visit to the Middle East region, with the stated aim of promoting “peace and dialogue”. Conservative Party Foreign Minister MacKay will arrive in Lebanon and Palestine in the coming days. Tadamon! Montreal issues this appeal in an effort to highlight the Conservative government’s role and position as an imperialist player in the Middle East. Canadian intervention in the region is best illustrated by the Conservative government’s open support for Israel’s brutal assault on Lebanon in the summer of 2006 and by Canada’s ongoing military presence in Afghanistan. 

Israel's Dark Future

When I published my book Blood and Religion last year, I sought not only to explain what lay behind Israeli policies since the failed Camp David negotiations nearly seven years ago, including the disengagement from Gaza and the building of a wall across the West Bank, but I also offered a few suggestions about where Israel might head next. Making predictions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict might be considered a particularly dangerous form of hubris, but I could hardly have guessed how soon my fears would be realized. 

Democracy Languishes, but Neo-Con Strategy Lives

WASHINGTON, Jan 18 (IPS) - The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) may have effectively closed up shop two years ago and its key neo-conservative allies in the administration, such as Scooter Libby and Douglas Feith, may be long gone, but the group’s five-year-old Middle East strategy remains very much alive. This is not the “Wilsonian” strategy of transforming Iraq into a model of democracy and pluralism that will then spread domino-like across the entire benighted region of autocrats, monarchs and theocrats whose oppression and backwardness have, in the neo-con narrative, been the main cause of anti-U.S. Islamic extremism. 

Offering an Alternative Vision: "One Country" Reviewed

For years the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been mired by a series of failed peace negotiation, enmeshing Israeli Jews and Palestinians in a seemingly intractable struggle. Even 59 years after the creation of the state of Israel the quest for Jewish security has not been realized, while Palestinians – those dispossessed in 1948, 1967, and the 3.8 million living under Israeli occupation – have not seen a just resolution to a conflict that has marred their history and shaped their identity. The international community, including many Israeli and Palestinians, still subscribe to the notion that the two-state solution is the only way to settle the conflict. 

From the Mouth of the Lion's Den

On Saturday evening Barbara and Grant invited me to a prayer meeting. Before going there we drove over into Israel to pick up an American woman, Joanne. On the way back we passed a group of Palestinians standing at the side of the road. ‘Stop!’ Joanne cried. ‘I want to witness. Stop! Stop!’ Barbara rammed on the brakes. ‘I’ve got some leaflets with me,’ Joanne explained. ‘Whenever I see Palestinians I give them leaflets so that they can learn about the word of the Lord.’ She brought a sheaf of papers out of her bag and opened the door. I jumped out after her, keen to witness this ‘witnessing’. Joanne was thrusting her leaflets into the hands of the Palestinians, speaking to them in English about the love of Jesus. 

Debate? What debate?

There is a misperception in various world locales of Washington’s debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Namely, that substantive debate exists at all. In fact, the debate in the power corridors of Washington is highly constrained, almost non-existent. Should we engage with President Mahmoud Abbas now or require him to leap through several more hoops — including civil war — first? Serious argument on the injustice of Israel’s long-running occupation simply does not take place other than at the margins. The reason for the silence has become increasingly clear with the publication of President Carter’s courageous book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid