Times Online Book Review and History of Zionism

Posted on Fri, Feb 22, 2008 @ 03:18 PM

Founder of Zionism's right wing casts long shadow

In a lengthy review of six recent books on Palestine and Israel , Geoffrey Wheatcroft, author of The Controversy of Zion: Jewish Nationalism, the Jewish State, and the Unresolved Jewish Dilemma, points up some surprising facts about current Israeli leaders and their antecedents.

Of particular interest is their connection with Vladimir Jabotinsky. The urbane, literary, charismatic leader of an early break in Zionism that became today's Likud and Kadima parties is the subject of a section in Identity,Ideology, and the Future of Jerusalem.

The books reviewed by Wheatcroft are:

Jacqueline Rose
256pp. Verso. £16.99 (US $29.95).
978 1 84467 124 3

Colin Shindler
Nationalism and the origins of the Israeli Right
272pp. Tauris. £39.50 (US $85).
978 1 84511 030 7

David Goldberg
Israel and the Jewish psyche today
256pp. Tauris. £19.50 (US $35).
978 1 84511 054 3

Victoria Clark
The rise of Christian Zionism
331pp. Yale University Press. £18.99 (US $28).
978 0 300 11698 4

Yakov M. Rabkin
A century of Jewish opposition to Zionism
224pp. Zed Books. Paperback, £18.99 (US $34).
978 1 84277 699 5

Jimmy Carter
Peace not apartheid
288pp. Simon and Schuster. Paperback, £8.99 (US $15).
978 1 84739 154 4

Tags: Ben-Gurion, Olmert, Palestine, carter clark goldberg israel, jabotinsky, livni, rabkin rose schindler wheatcroft zionism

Israel and Palestinian Authority Lower Expectations For Peace Treaty by End of 2008

Posted on Wed, Feb 20, 2008 @ 03:22 PM

Tuesday's meeting of Abbas and Olmert Seems to Confirm Rumors of Slow Down
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Details: Israel and Palestinian  Authority Lower Expectations For Peace Treaty by End of 2008
Shas Party
The two leaders have met twice a month since Annapolis with little apparent forward movement. The New York Times reported today that PM Olmert's coalition problems mean that if Jerusalem appears on the agenda at this point, he will lose an essential conservative partner, the religious Shas Party.

Tags: jerusalem, Olmert, peace process, israel, annapolis, Palestine, abbas

Jerusalem On and Off the Agenda

Posted on Tue, Feb 19, 2008 @ 03:24 PM

Palestinian president denies agreement to forestall discussion of Jerusalem.
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Details:  Jerusalem On and Off the Agenda
Dividing Jerusalem

President Mahmoud Abbas has denied coming to any agreement with Israeli PM Ehud Olmert to delay discussing Jerusalem in the current round of meetings.

As we have noted many times on this blog, Jerusalem is a major, if not the, sticking point.

I came across the following statement from Israel's long-time UN ambassador, the late Abba Eban. Although it's addressing the idea of the internationalization of the city, it captures the issue well when it comes to the identities and ideologies of Jerusalem's people:

“The idea of a separate international regime for Jerusalem has always been a fantasy, and its bizarre anomalies have been exposed in every attempt to put it into effect. It rests on a false picture both of Jerusalem and of the United Nations. Jerusalem is not an ethereal abstraction revolving in a vacuum of history. It is a city of living men and women with sharply defined national allegiances and identities. It cannot be anything that the majority of its citizens do not want it to be.” (Personal Witness, 206) 

Tags: jerusalem, Ehud Olmert, israel, west bank, mahmoud abbas, Palestine, abba eban

Israeli Newspaper Haaretz Reports FM Livni's Opposition to Olmert's Go Slow on Jerusalem

Posted on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 @ 03:27 PM

Israeli foreign minister opposes her prime minister's delay of Jerusalem issue
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Details: Israeli Newspaper 
Haaretz Reports FM Livni's Opposition to Olmert's Go Slow on Jerusalem
Jerusalem negotiations
Tzipi Livni agreed with her PA counterpart, Ahmed Qurei, that without Jerusalem on the table negotiations would go nowhere. Annapolis was an agreement to discuss all issues, she said. Haaretz commented, "This means that the order of debates on the core issues is insignificant, as without an understanding on Jerusalem, any understandings reached on other issues, like borders and refugees, are meaningless."

Tags: jerusalem, mid east conflict, middle east, Olmert, israel, annapolis, Palestine, livni, borders, qurei

Palestinian Prime Minister Says Israel Making Little Effort

Posted on Wed, Feb 13, 2008 @ 03:30 PM

Salam Fayyad claims little progress on the ground in peace process
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Details: Palestinian Prime Minister Says Israel Making  Little Effort
Palestinian progress security issues

Speaking in the U.S. at the Aspen Institute, Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad said that three months after the Annapolis meetings little has changed on the ground as far as Israel's efforts are concerned.

While, according to Tony Blair, the Palestinians have made progress on security issues, Fayyad said that with respect to road blocks and settlements, "You see no change in the way that Israel operates."

Tags: tony blair, Salam Fayyad, peace process, israel, annapolis, Middle East Conflict, Palestine, mid-east, aspen institute

Building in Northern Israel and East Jerusalem

Posted on Tue, Feb 12, 2008 @ 03:32 PM

A site in Northern Israel for a new Arab city and more Israeli settlement activity in East Jerusalem
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East Jerusalem Building Permits
It's almost give with one hand, take back with the other. At the same time that the Israeli interior minister announced that he would like to see a plan this year for a new Arab city in Northern Israel, others said that Israel would issue building permits for parts of disputed East Jerusalem.

Tags: mid east conflict, east jerusalem, middle east, israel, palestine settlements

Reuters Reports Lack of Optimism on Part of Israeli and Palestinian Leaders

Posted on Mon, Feb 11, 2008 @ 03:34 PM

The "Annapolis Process" seems to be foundering in the eyes of both Israeli and Palestinian officials
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Details: Reuters Reports Lack of Optimism on  Part of Israeli and Palestinian Leaders
Final settlement in Mid East

Israel's vice premier, Haim Ramon and the Palestinian Authority's prime minister, Salam Fayyad have recently expressed their doubts that a final settlement will be reached this year, though a month ago in Ramallah President Bush said he thought it could happen. The sticking point is once again Jerusalem. Acknowledging the current weakness of his party, Ramon said, "Sooner or later, we will deal with Jerusalem and then we will have problems."

Tags: jerusalem, mid east conflict, bush, fayyad, haim ramon, palestine peace process, israel, annapolis

Latest Palestinian Census Figures

Posted on Sun, Feb 10, 2008 @ 04:37 PM

AP reports that Palestinian population has grown, but questions East Jerusalem numbers
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Details: Latest  Palestinian Census Figures
Palestinian Population Growth
The Associated Press reported on the latest Palestinian population figures in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. The International Herald Tribune carried the account February 9.

Tags: mid east conflict, gaza, east jerusalem, palestinian population, palestinians, west bank, census

In Mid-East, Tony Blair Presses Israelis on Road Map Commitments

Posted on Sun, Feb 10, 2008 @ 03:39 PM
Quartet Mid-East Envoy Acknowledges Positive Palestinian Actions
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Details: In Mid-East, Tony Blair Presses Israelis on  Road Map Commitments
Blair visits Ramallah
On Thursday, Reuters reported on Tony Blair's visit to Nablus and Ramallah, where he agreed that the Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas has made progress on meeting Road Map security conditions. He pressed Israel to similarly meet its commitments

Tags: middle east, tony blair, israel, mahmoud abbas

Massacre of Palestinians at Deir Yassin Named Black Stain by Jewish Thinkers

Posted on Wed, Feb 06, 2008 @ 04:43 PM
Martin Buber and one of the seminal events in the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1948

Deir Yassin todayIt was Jewish philosopher Martin Buber who, with three other Jewish thinkers, wrote to Ben-Gurion that the massacre of over 100 men, women and children by Jewish forces at Deir Yassin is "a black stain on the honour of the Jewish nation" and "a warning to our people that no practical military needs may ever justify such acts of murder."

Ben-Gurion never replied despite being sent several copies of the letter.

Two Jewish underground groups are traditionally associated with the events at Deir Yassin: IZL (Irgun Z'vai Leumi) and LHI (Lehame Herut Israel [Stern Group]). But as Israeli historian Benny Morris has pointed out in Righteous Victims (1990, p.207), there was a third supporting group, comprised of Palmach and Haganah elements (there with the approval of the Haganah command in Jerusalem).

Jewish theologian Marc Ellis notes that Martin Buber also wrote in his letter to Ben-Gurion, "The time will come when it will be possible to conceive of some act in Deir Yassin, an act which will symbolize our people's desire for justice and brotherhood with the Arab people."

Speed the day.

Deir Yassin: From Both Sides

Tags: middle east, arab-israeli conflict, israeli-palestinian conflict, 1948, Ben-Gurion, Marc Ellis, Martin Buber, Benny Morris, Deir Yassin

Deir Yassin, the Black Stain at Israel's Founding

Posted on Mon, Feb 04, 2008 @ 04:05 PM

In Palestine 60 years ago: Operation Nachshon and the awful events at the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin—a turning point in the First Arab-Israeli War

Deir Yassin Remembered

During the Jewish campaign to open up the corridor between the coast and Jerusalem in April 1948 (Operation Nachshon), the most significant event was the massacre of 100-110 Palestinian villagers at Deir Yassin on the city's western edge on April 9. The attack on the village was carried out by two Jewish underground organizations, IZL (Irgun Z'vai Leumi) and LHI (Lehame Herut Israel [Stern Gang]), with the apparent agreement of the Haganah in Jerusalem. As the attack progressed, it was met with fierce and unexpected resistance. Though the villagers had been friendly toward the Jews, not allowing Palestinian resistance fighters to stay there, they had understandably armed themselves against possible attack.

Now they resisted. The fighting went so badly for the Jewish attackers that they resorted to dynamiting houses, killing men, women and children.

The details are found in many sources, including Benny Morris's 1999 book, Righteous Victims. The web site for Deir Yassin contains much helpful information as does the memorial documentary.

The immediate result of the massacre was to galvanize Arab hatred, but also to create fear to such a degree that a Palestinian refugee exodus was set in motion. It was indeed a turning point that made the Jewish successes in the days ahead much easier. But it also set the pattern for reprisal. On April 13, the Palestinians launched a six hour attack on a ten-vehicle convoy bound for the Hadassah Hospital-Hebrew University campus on Mount Scopus. In a brutal end to the confrontation, two armored buses were torched and more than 70 mostly unarmed Jewish doctors, nurses and lecturers lost their lives.

Tags: arab-israeli conflict, 1948 war, Benny Morris, Deir Yassin, operation nachshon