Dont normalise Hate!

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70.5% of the 193 UN member nations recognise the State of Palestine

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India’s High Court Favors Nationalism Over Democracy – Noah Feldman

India’s constitutional democracy has always struggled to tame the country’s religious and caste divisions, especially during elections. The Supreme Court of India has now issued an important ruling that makes things worse, not better.

On the surface, the court struck a blow for religious neutrality, holding that referring to religion or caste in a race for office will disqualify the results. In reality, the decision delivered a gift to the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party at the expense of India’s minority faiths and castes. That’s especially worrisome in our present historical moment, when nationalist parties are challenging free democratic speech around the world. Continue reading

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Palestinian child detainee has leg amputation after being hit by an Israeli jeep

16-year-old Palestinian detainee Sharif Khanfar is being held in Afula’s Ha’emek Hospital and has had a below-knee amputation, due to an injury sustained after being hit by an Israeli jeep near a flying checkpoint in Jenin on 3 January 2017. According to Addameer’s attorney legally representing the child, the 16-year-old was with three friends riding a Vespa motorcycle, when Israeli forces apprehended them for allegedly planning a ramming attack. Sharif and his family members are shocked by the incident which resulted in the loss of a leg, and deny the claims of the Israeli army that the boys intended to carry out an attack.

Sharif was arrested on the day of the incident and then transferred to Ha’emek Hospital, where he was visited by Addameer’s attorney yesterday (9 January 2017). Sharif’s next court hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, 12 January 2017 in Salem Military Court.


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White saviours must stop speaking over Arab women

One of the first viral videos to come out of the Middle East and North Africa region this year was from Saudi Arabia. It was a song sung in a local Saudi dialect that expressed female frustration at the patriarchal system rooted in Saudi and called for the end to male guardianship. The controversial lyrics, which called for the “extinction of men”, automatically drew a significant amount of attention and within a week of it being uploaded took the internet by storm. As with all women’s rights social media campaigns that come out of the region, the video was met with an array of reactions. The video elicited anger at the controversial lyrics. Many accused the Western media of targeting the Kingdom. Many others, especially women, were excited about the song and, as always, Western commentators were quick to jump on the analytical bandwagon, discussing the socio-political and religious implications of this song. Continue reading

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Why Jews Must Fight for the Civil Rights of Muslims – Marc Schneier

(JTA) — As we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., American Jews should reflect anew upon the epic struggle he led to free African-Americans from the shackles of bigotry and take pride in the singular role played by the Jewish community in support of King and African-Americans.

As we await the advent of the new Trump administration, it is more important than ever for our community to reconnect with that uplifting chapter in American history half a century ago. We should do so not for the purpose of self-congratulatory platitudes, but rather because we face a similar moment of moral testing now. Just as many Jews risked their very lives to go to the South in the 1960s in support of our African-Americans brothers and sisters, we must show similar courage and fortitude today and stand up for American Muslims, whose civil and human rights are under attack. Continue reading

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Terrorism: How the Israeli state was won – Tom Suarez

Initial reports on King David Hotel bombing said 50 dead; the blast killed 91. But as Suárez explains in State of Terror (p 146), the King David bombing was not, as is commonly believed, the most deadly terror attack of the pre-state period.

On December 14, Tom Suárez spoke at The House of Lords, London, at the invitation of Baroness Jenny Tonge. Drawing from his recently published book State of Terror, he addressed the centennial of the Balfour Declaration and his views on the way toward ending today’s Israel-Palestine “conflict”. The following are Suárez’s remarks. The book was reviewed here by David Gerald Fincham.

Good evening, thank you so much for taking time out of what I know are your busy schedules to be here now. My thanks to Jenny Tonge for making this meeting possible; and I would like to thank three people without whom the book would not exist: Karl Sabbagh, my publisher; Ghada Karmi, who inspired the book; and my partner, Nancy Elan, who was my constant alter-ego during my research and without whom I surely would have given up.

My work is based principally on declassified source documents in the National Archives in Kew. When I have had to rely on published works, I have trusted established historians who cite first-hand sources. Everything I will say here tonight is based on such source material.

Our topic is of course the so-called “conflict” in Israel-Palestine, a tragedy that has dragged on for so long that it feels static, indeed almost normalised. But unlike other deadly conflicts, this one is wholly in our power to stop—“our” meaning the United States and Europe. It is in our power to stop it, because we are the ones empowering it.

We are now approaching the centennial of the British Original Sin in this tragedy, the Balfour Declaration. The British role in Palestine was a case of ‘hit & run’: The Balfour Declaration, in which the British gave away other people’s land, was the hit; and thirty years later, Resolution 181—Partition—was the run, leaving the Palestinians abandoned in a ditch. Continue reading

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