Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Why Are Jews Being Drawn To Europe's Right Wing Parties?

One of Netanyahu's undeniable successes as Prime Minister of Israel is his ability to increase the circle of Israel's friends. Part of his agenda to improve Israel's ties with other countries is his outreach to Eastern Europe. For example, he has extended Israel's friendship to Viktor Orban, the far right Prime Minister of Hungary. More than pursuing some vague, abstract goal, Netanyahu's actions can be seen as an attempt to weaken the EU's hostile strategy against Israel.

For example, last December, Hungary abstained when the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly rejected the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Hungary also joined the Czech Republic and Romania to block an EU statement criticizing the US for moving its embassy to Jerusalem.

For their part, right-wing Eastern European leaders get a hechsher, "kosher certification" from Netanyahu that protects them from accusations of being Antisemitic racists.

Now it appears that this wooing of Israel manifests itself not only on a global level but on a local level as well.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Rashida Tlaib Swears In on Thomas Jefferson's Koran -- But Why Did He Have One?

This week, Rashida Tlaib will be one of our first 2 Muslim congresswomen. Ilhan Omar is the other. Tlaib's swearing-in will be noteworthy because she will be sworn in using Thomas Jefferson's own copy of the Koran.

Tlaib, of course, will not be the first to use Jefferson's Koran for the swearing-in -- Keith Ellison used it, amidst all kinds of discussion and debate back in 2007. At the time, Ellison said his use of Jefferson's Koran
demonstrates that from the very beginning of our country, we had people who were visionary, who were religiously tolerant, who believed that knowledge and wisdom could be gleaned from any number of sources, including the Koran.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Just How Do You Measure The Level Of Democracy In A Terrorist State?

In my last post, I wrote about the Democracy Index for 2017, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Looking at its evaluation of Israel gave an opportunity to contrast 2 very different views of what the index revealed about Israel.

But the Democracy Index also evaluates "Palestine" and Iran, for example

Which raises the question: How do those two jive with this description of "democracy," from the report?

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Israeli Democracy Defies Being Pigeonholed

With the passing of its Nation-State Law this year, the issue of Israel as a democracy continues to be a topic of debate, and at times becomes even more pointed.

But last week we were reminded that for all the debate and the claims that Israel was revealing its fascist colors, Israeli democracy is alive and well:



Has UNIFIL Forgotten What Its Mandate Is?

Last month, UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti was interviewed on an i24NEWS program called The Rundown. At one point, starting at 3:33 and extending to 4:40, Tenenti described just what UNIFIL's mandate is:



So, according to Tenenti:

  • UNIFIL's job is limited to monitoring
  • UNIFIL has no mandate to disarm Hezbollah
  • UNIFIL is not allowed to search private property
video screengrab
UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti. Video screengrab


At first glance, Tenenti seems to be right.

Ken Roth Is Not An Expert In International Law - But He Plays One On Twitter

Ken Roth is entitled to his opinion.

And Ken Roth thinks the Israeli settlements are illegal.

So far, so good.

But Ken Roth is also the executive director of Human Rights Watch