Showing posts from January, 2023

Ashton praises the Palestinian sense of identity fostered by UNRWA

  Posted on   March 23, 2012   | The widespread criticism of a recent speech by the European Union’s (EU) foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton was perhaps not entirely deserved, because the impression that she was drawing a parallel between the deadly shooting attack on the Jewish school in Toulouse and IDF operations in Gaza was at least partly due to a faulty transcript of her speech, which left out her mention of Sderot – the city that is most affected by the rockets from Gaza. But there was arguably a reason why many Israeli politicians and commentators reacted so angrily – and why one Hamas official rushed to Ashton’s defense, arguing that she “deserves thanks, appreciation, and support in the face of Zionist attempts to terrorize and pressure her.” As a report in the  EU Observer  points out: “The Ashton controversy comes at a difficult time in EU-Israeli relations. A series of recently leaked internal EU reports has depicted Israel as stealing Palestinian land and water, trampl

A professor holds forth on Israeli paranoia

Posted on   May 23, 2012   Peter Beinart, author of the widely discussed – but apparently less widely read – book “ The Crisis of Zionism ,” can’t be held responsible for what his admirers write in their reviews. However, if an author tweets a review and highlights its complimentary character, I think it’s fair to conclude that he welcomes this review. The review in question is published in the June issue of  The New York Review of Books  ( NYRB ) under the title “Israel in Peril.” It is written by David Shulman, Professor of Humanistic Studies at the Hebrew University;  as Shulman’s biographical note at  NYRB  adds, he is also “an activist in Ta’ayush,” a group that describes itself as “a grassroots movement of Arabs and Jews working to break down the walls of racism and segregation by constructing a true Arab-Jewish partnership.” Shulman begins his review by ridiculing Israel’s response to a planned “Air Flotilla”  organized by various supposedly “pro-Palestinian” groups adamantly op

There’s nothing moral about Peter Beinart’s ‘Cancel Israel’ project

  2 years ago It’s been just two weeks since the fairly well-known Israel critic Peter Beinart published his call to do away with the world’s only Jewish state for the sake of the Palestinians. Unsurprisingly, he has gotten a lot of attention, helped by the praise of influential pundits like former Obama administration official Ben Rhodes who told his almost half million Twitter followers: “Peter Beinart is brave, thoughtful, and capable of evolving views. Which is why we should read this carefully and remember that most of Peter’s critics are working off talking points that are dishonest and decades old.” It’s of course not surprising that the (far-) left would eagerly applaud Beinart’s shoddy effort to present Israel as an intolerable evil that must be eliminated to make the world a better place. But as I’ve already said on Twitter, I was rather disappointed to see that Damir Marusic  and Shadi Hamid – two writers whose work I respect, not least because they usually have little use f

Fans of Friedman

  Posted on   December 16, 2011   New York Times  columnist Thomas Friedman may shrug off the criticism of his recent article coming from conservative quarters, but the new fans he has won definitely support the conclusion that he is on a “slippery slope from legitimate criticism of Israeli policies […] to a position indistinguishable from the anti-Semitic smears of  Israel Lobby  authors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer.” So Philip Weiss of  Mondoweiss  is ecstatically celebrating that after six years, we can finally (!!!) have a proper “debate” about the “Israel lobby”. After quoting Friedman’s astonishing claim that “the standing ovation he [Netanyahu] got in Congress this year […] was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby,” Weiss notes with apparent satisfaction: By echoing Walt and Mearsheimer’s title, he [Friedman] upped the ante on his statement of a few weeks back that a ‘powerful pro-Israel lobby’ holds Obama ‘hostage’ on settlements. Weiss goes on and on at considerable le

The terror-supporting, Jew-hating Tamimis and their enablers (summary and links)

  Posted on   October 11, 2016   |   As my regular readers will know, the American writer Ben Ehrenreich recently published a book that portrays the Tamimis of Nabi Saleh as a lovely family of non-violent activists who suffer greatly from Israel’s relentless and wantonly cruel oppression. It was not the first time Ehrenreich paid tribute to the Tamimis and their supposedly noble struggle: already in spring 2013, his story about the Tamimis’ ambition to start a “Third Intifada” was featured on the cover of the  New York Times (NYT) Magazine  – and Israel-haters noted with great satisfaction that Ehrenreich’s piece “contains an implicit argument for violent resistance.” The same could be said about Ehrenreich’s new book; yet, reviewers for highbrow outlets like the  NYT  and  The Economist  were hardly able to contain their heartfelt sympathy for Ehrenreich’s terror-loving Jew-hating protagonists – which presumably means that none of them noticed or was bothered by the fact that Ehrenrei

Cheering Assad for Palestine

  Posted on   June 15, 2012   | The English version of  Al Akhbar  – a site that has been aptly described as the “Lebanese address for the red-green alliance of leftists and Islamists” – published this week a post that provides an excellent example of the delusions induced by full-fledged Palestine derangement syndrome. The author of the post is Amal Saad-Ghorayeb, a former assistant professor of political science at the Lebanese American University and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center (CMEC), where she was billed as a “leading expert on Hizbollah.”  She now has a blog named “Counter-hegemony unit: A propagandist-in-chief’s war on intellectual imperialism and pursuit of a resistance episteme.” Yes, it sounds promising – and her post in  Al Akhbar  doesn’t disappoint. She begins by arguing that the divisions caused by the Syrian uprisings have led to the formation of an “anti-interventionist ‘third-way’ camp,” and she then explains why this is a most dreadful develo

Defending Judith Butler in the Ivory Tower

  Posted on   September 15, 2012   |   The controversy that erupted when it became known that the prominent American post-structuralist philosopher Judith Butler will be awarded Frankfurt’s prestigious Theodor Adorno Prize has already resulted in a large volume of writings. The website of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East provides a long list of critical commentaries; if you’re looking for voices defending Butler, one place to go to is  Mondoweiss  – a site that, for good reason, has often been criticized for publishing antisemitic material and views. Yet, Judith Butler chose  Mondoweiss  to publish her first response to the critics of her Adorno award, and since then, the blog has been quoted by highly respected sites, including the publisher of Butler’s recent book, Columbia University Press (CUP). This illustrates in a nutshell some of the major problems that the defenders of Butler – prominently among them her fellow-academics – are trying to ignore or downplay. Imagine for a m