The Electronic Intifada

Dennis Ross' curious maps problem

Dennis Ross’s [“Don’t Play With Maps,” 9 January 2007, The New York Times] concern over President Carter’s use of maps in Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid is curious. The first of the maps on page 148 does indeed resemble an Israeli map — one presented at Eilat in May 2000. The Palestinians rejected it categorically then. Perhaps it was also presented in July 2000 at Camp David. That Israel should have presented it at all shows audacity — and little Israeli interest in peace. That it might have been presented again boggles the mind. 

Israel's purging of Palestinian Christians

For tourists and pilgrims, getting in or out of Bethlehem has been made reasonably straightforward, presumably to conceal from international visitors the realities of Palestinian life. I was even offered a festive chocolate Santa Claus by the Israeli soldiers who control access to the city where Jesus was supposedly born. Foreign visitors can leave, while Bethlehem’s Palestinians are now sealed into their ghetto. As long as these Palestinian cities are not turned into death camps, the West appears ready to turn a blind eye. Mere concentration camps, it seems, are acceptable. Today the only mild rebukes come from Christian leaders around Christmas time. 

Blind "New York Times" Continues Attacks on Jimmy Carter

The assault on Jimmy Carter and his new book which criticizes Israeli policy, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, has been led by many of the usual, uncritical, knee-jerk Israel supporters - Alan Dershowitz, Martin Peretz and Abraham Foxman. However, the campaign to discredit Carter among more thoughtful, less partisan Americans is led by powerful, mainstream institutions like The New York Times, that are respected for their seeming objectivity and balance. Despite a facade of balance and moderate positions, Ethan Bonner’s review of Jimmy Carter’s book represents yet another example of the mainstream US media’s willful blindness on Israel/Palestine. 

Be consistent, Dr. Pedersen!

Veolia Environnement affiliated Veolia Transport is a partner in the Israeli project to build a tramway that will run on occupied Palestinian territory. This is a violation of international law. Veolia received a lot of criticism since it first announced its intentions to become involved in the illegal project. Institut Veolia is an academic institute of Veolia Environnement, aimed at creating prestige and respectability to Veolia’s operations. Dr Freddy Karup Pedersen has been involved in activities of Institute Veolia and is thus indirectly involved in this violation of international law. Pederson is also a member of the Standing Committee of the International Committee of the Red Cross. 

Why an academic boycott of Israel is necessary

Let me begin by stating that any successful academic boycott imposed upon Israeli institutions of higher education will assuredly have an impact on the academic freedom of Israeli scholars and teachers, at least in terms of its expression beyond their national borders. Is this acceptable? After all, other teachers and scholars who obviously have a stake in academic freedom, will have to cooperate with the boycott if it is to have an impact. As one of those academics, my answer to this question is that it is not only acceptable but absolutely necessary. 

Support a Palestinian Civil Rights Movement

Sometime in 2003, Condoleezza Rice declared to Reuters: “One of the really bad actors in the Middle East has just been deposed, and the president is not going to miss this opportunity” - meaning the opportunity to broker peace between the Palestinians and Israelis. But, as it turned out, not only did this promise remain unfulfilled, the “opportunity” of which Rice spoke did not even exist. The really bad actor has now been hanged and hastily buried in what appears like Wild West justice to many in the Arab world. All that was missing from the spectacle was the picnicking rabble come to watch the hanging for entertainment. 

With the New Year, will Ha'aretz's op-ed page be any different?

On New Year’s Day, notions of resolve, reform, or reflection come as no surprise on newspaper editorial pages. Similarly unsurprising are the op-eders that carry on with business as usual. Things were no different on Ha’aretz’s opinion page, which kept an even keel of New Yearisms. Rather untypical, however, was the limited role that honesty played in the mix. The most curious example was the lead editorial, — often viewed as any paper’s mouthpiece — entitled, “Our obligation to refugees, as refugees.” 

Truth at last, while breaking a U.S. taboo of criticizing Israel

Americans owe a debt to former President Jimmy Carter for speaking long hidden but vital truths. His book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid breaks the taboo barring criticism in the United States of Israel’s discriminatory treatment of Palestinians. Our government’s tacit acceptance of Israel’s unfair policies causes global hostility against us. Israel’s friends have attacked Carter, a Nobel laureate who has worked tirelessly for Middle East peace, even raising the specter of anti-Semitism. 

Illegal Settlements and Constructive Naturalization

Approaching forty years, the Israeli Occupation of the Palestinian Territory has become an indelible stain, creating conditions for violence and significantly reducing the credibility of Israeli assertions of democracy. Recently, former United States President Jimmy Carter was has been widely chastised by so-called “friends of Israel” for associating the word apartheid with Israel’s Occupation regime in the Palestinian Territory (the West Bank and Gaza). The underlying and long term effects…of the Occupation have been to separate Palestinians from their homeland and to divide them internally while disinvesting them of any and all political and cultural rights. 

EI 2006: Year in Review

It was the year of the first Palestinian parliamentary elections in a decade, humanitarian crisis, on top of an aid boycott, large scale military attacks on civilians in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon and, of course, the occupation. A year of often forgotten but unforgiving places like Beit Hanoun, Nablus, Rafah, Jenin and Qana, and those buzzowords “retaliation”, “ceasefire”, and “recognition”. Above all, it was three-hundred-and-sixty-five days on which every one of us will look back in our own special way. Remembering the highlights and low points of our own personal 2006, while perhaps pondering for a few minutes at least to consider the troubled world and times we live in.