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Israel - No Reason for Optimism

Noah Kulwin Jewish Currents
It would be safe to call Israel’s Knesset elections on Tuesday a disaster. Initially depressed Arab voter turnout, a failed opposition campaign, typical right-wing Election Day shenanigans all point to the continuation of an unacceptable status quo.

books

The Sea is the Same Sea: A Biography of Netanyahu

Adam Shatz London Review of Books
Biography of a world-class reactionary fixer who has thus far immobilized the Israeli left, won over Sunni Arab states paralyzed by fear of Shia Iran and is poised to become the longest serving prime minister is Israeli history.

Israel Adopts Controversial Jewish 'Nation State' Law

Reuters; Jewish Voice for Peace The Guardian
Israel passed a law on today to declare that only Jews have the right of self-determination in the country, something members of the Arab minority called racist and verging on apartheid. Racist and discriminatory practices against non-Jews are legal.

Israel Publishes BDS Blacklist: These Are the 20 Groups Whose Members Will Be Denied Entry - and their responses (long)

Noa Landau; Philip Weiss; Joyce Ajlouny; Rebecca Vilkomerson; Ariel Gold Portside
Leaders and members from twenty organizations will be barred entry into Israel. This also further isolates Palestine, since entry to Palestine is via Israel. One group, AFSC said: Our response to the Palestinian BDS call is in line with our similar support for divestment from apartheid South Africa and boycotts during the civil rights era." Here are statements from the banned groups: Joyce Ajlouny, Rebecca Vilkomerson and Ariel Gold.

Netanyahu’s Son Removes Anti-Semitic Meme From Facebook Following Outcry

Ruth Eglash Washington Post
Yair Netanyahu, the son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, removed an anti-Semitic meme from his Facebook page on Sunday after an outcry from Israeli politicians and Jewish community leaders in the United States. The image, posted by Yair Netanyahu on Friday, appeared to be a local take on a classic anti-Semitic cartoon suggesting that Jews control the United States. It has appeared widely on extreme alt-right websites.

Reflections on the Victorious Hunger Strike - In first statement since end of hunger strike, Marwan Barghouti celebrates ‘the victory of the strike of freedom and dignity’

Marwan Barghouti; Allison Deger Mondoweiss
Barghouti’s statement, posted to social media around noon EST in Arabic. The letter lauds gains from the strike, including increased family visits, more clothing, special unnamed services for female and child prisoners, expedited transfers and, most importantly, the establishment of a collective bargaining committee where Israeli prison authorities will 'dialogue with the prisoners’ representatives in the forthcoming few days to discuss all issues without exception.'*

Major American Jewish Leader Changes His Mind About Israel

David Gordis Tikkun
An amazing turn for a major leader of the American Jewish mainstream - David Gordis rethinking view of Israel. He writes: Present day Israel has discarded the rational, the universal and the visionary. These values have been subordinated to a cruel and oppressive occupation, an emphatic materialism, severe inequalities...and distorted by a fanatic, obscurantist and fundamentalist religion which encourages the worst behaviors rather than the best.
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