Archive for the ‘Israel’ tag

#  The Legal Case of Israeli Settlements →

January 29th, 2012 at 16:45 // In Worth Reading 

Eyal Press’s review of a new film that premiered at Sundance is very good, but also stands alone as a story of how Israel came to support the interests of overzealous ultra-Zionists instead of international law.

The Ottomans, who had controlled Palestine until World War I, had used the term to designate land far enough from any neighboring village that a crowing rooster perched on its edge could not be heard. Under Ottoman law, if such land was not cultivated for three years it was “mawat”—dead —and reverted to the empire. “With or without your rooster, be at my office at 8:00 in the morning,” Sharon told Ramati, who was soon crisscrossing the West Bank in the cockpit of a helicopter, identifying tens of thousands of uninhabited acres that could be labeled “state land” and made available to settlers, notwithstanding the Geneva Convention’s prohibition on moving civilians into occupied territory.

(The fact that the film premiered and Sundance and probably won’t be available for normal people for over a year makes yesterday’s point all over again.)

#  Inequality in Israel →

November 8th, 2011 at 16:15 // In Worth Knowing 

I’m not sure whether to blame myself, or America’s Zionist or nothing relationship to Israel (non-Zionists only really care about Israeli-Palestinian relations, not Israel itself), but I learned a lot about modern Israeli society from this story about the summer housing protests there. (Like for example, the fact that there were widespread protests.)

#  Palestine After the Arab Spring →

July 17th, 2011 at 20:01 // In Worth Knowing 

You remember that thing I said about how much I love those deep, long country profiles in the book reviews? Still do.

Adam Shatz’s piece on Palestine is not short, but it’s a better portrait of what it’s like there now than you’d get from decades of news-watching.

#  Israel’s Pathology →

July 14th, 2011 at 19:35 // In Worth Knowing 

This is the second piece I’ve read this week from The Browser (first; via) essentially making the same reasonable-sounding point about that most broken of “first world” countries.

There is a mental disorder called “paranoia vera”. Patients adopt a crazy assumption – e.g. “everybody hates me” – and then build an elaborate structure around it. Every bit of information which seems to support it is eagerly absorbed, every item that contradicts it is suppressed. Everything is interpreted so as to reinforce the initial assumption. The pattern is strictly logical – indeed, the more complete and the more logical the structure, the more serious is the disease.

(The typesetting on this page is atrocious. I recommend Readable if you don’t have a good system in place to deal with this problem.)

#  The Gaza War on Al-Jazeera →

January 18th, 2009 at 13:12 // In Worth Reading 

Eric Calderwood thinks that while the network’s coverage is unquestionably biased, it’s not without merit.

But in a larger sense, Al-Jazeera’s graphic response to CNN-style “bloodless war journalism” is a stinging rebuke to the way we now see and talk about war in the United States. It suggests that bloodless coverage of war is the privilege of a country far from conflict. Al-Jazeera’s brand of news - you could call it “blood journalism” - takes war for what it is: a brutal loss of human life. The images they show put you in visceral contact with the violence of war in a way statistics never could.

#  The Gaza Situation →

December 28th, 2008 at 18:56 // In Worth Knowing 

If only to establish my present ignorance of current events, I was until today largely unaware of the widening problem of Gaza. One could trace the beginning to the complete Israeli blockade — as Sara Roy does — but the widely reported cause is an Israeli desire to lessen the rocket attacks.

#  The Republican Canada →

October 10th, 2008 at 16:42 // In Worth Distraction 

While Democrats can always threaten to flee to Canada in the event of an election loss, where can conservatives flee to?

#  The Feta Precedent →

October 8th, 2008 at 18:07 // In Worth Knowing 

Lebanon has announced plans to sue Israel over the food copyright for tabouleh, kubbeh, hummus, falafel and fattoush. The suit relies on the absurdly named feta precedent; as David Kenner describes:

Six years ago, Greece was able to win a monopoly on the production of feta cheese from the European Parliament by proving that the cheese and had been produced in Greece under that name for several millennia.

#  Who Was Behind 9/11? →

September 10th, 2008 at 18:50 // In Worth Knowing 

World opinion diverges enough to shock Blake Houshnell. While the greatest number of people appear to believe that it was Al Qaeda, Israel and America also won big votes. Israel was most often blamed by Arabs, with Egypt showing 43%, Jordon 31, and Palestine a (mere) 19.

Curiously, Mexicans were the second most likely — at 30% of those polled — to blame the United States. Turkey (36%) was the first, Palestine third at 27, and Germany fourth at 23.

#  Yesterday in Diplomacy →

May 22nd, 2008 at 11:22 // In Worth Knowing 

You probably missed it — I nearly did — but Joshua Keating points out that three important things happened yesterday:

Israel and Syria, technically at war since 1967, are holding historic peace talks in Turkey that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert described as a “national obligation.” The Lebanese government negotiated a compromise with Hezbollah, ending 18 months of violence and political deadlock. And Pakistan’s government defied the U.S. by agreeing to withdraw from Taliban-controlled territory in exchange for security guarantees.

They also make the point that this is clear sign of the current irrelevance of the United States to world politics.