Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Blind faith: American Jews and Israel's far right/Jewish settlers blamed for West Bank mosque fire

Israel and its policies toward Palestinians are in the news in the educational community in San Diego these days. I thought this article seemed pertinent.

Wikipedia: Peter Beinart in 2007
Blind faith: American Jews and Israel's far right
Former New Republic editor Peter Beinart warns American Jewish leaders that they must face reality in Israel
By Joe Conason
May 17, 2010

Not too many years ago, the Washington establishment welcomed Peter Beinart as one of those journalists who could be relied upon to fashion liberal arguments for conservative policy -- notably the invasion of Iraq, a fiasco that forced him to think again. That personal history, however regrettable, clearly equipped the former New Republic columnist, who now writes for the Daily Beast, with an acute ability to detect bad faith among those with whom he once made common cause.

Now he has published a courageous and carefully reported essay for the New York Review of Books on the relationship between American Jews and the state of Israel, questioning the mythology that now sustains those ties as the Jewish state veers further and further rightward. As an Orthodox Jew and a committed democrat, Beinart asks how long the American Jewish leadership will continue to deceive itself about the nature of the Netanyahu government, the ideology of the settler movement, and above all, the alienation of young American Jews from the Zionist project. He sharply identifies the contradictions between the traditional liberal rhetoric of Israel’s friends and supporters in the United States and the actual policies and platforms of the Israelis in power.

He musters the evidence that the Jewish leadership here is tacitly encouraging the likes of Knesset member Effi Eitam, who said in 2008 that "we'll have to expel the overwhelming majority of West Bank Arabs from here and remove Israeli Arabs from political system," and Avigdor Lieberman, Netanyahu’s extremist foreign minister...

Jewish settlers blamed for West Bank mosque fire
Mohammed Assadi
May 4, 2010

LIBBAN AL-SHARQIA, West Bank (Reuters) - Palestinians accused Jewish settlers of setting fire to a mosque in the occupied West Bank Tuesday, an incident that raised tensions as a U.S. envoy began a mission to get peace talks going.

Israeli security officers were at the scene investigating the fire but have not determined its cause. Evidence was taken for forensic examination, an Israeli police spokesman said.

The mosque in the village of Libban al-Sharqia, near the Palestinian city of Nablus, was gutted overnight by the blaze that also burned holy books.

There were no witnesses to what Palestinian locals and officials assumed was another attack by Jewish settlers in the Nablus area. Settlers have also been suspected of vandalizing two other mosques and a cemetery in the last six months...

No comments: