Weekend long read

1) Writing at the Fathom Journal, Dave Rich responds to the letter concerning the IHRA working definition of antisemitism published by the Guardian last week.

“The campaign against the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism has been running for long enough that it is now possible to identify its common themes. These include repeated misrepresentation of what the definition does, and does not, say about Israel and antisemitism; unevidenced claims about the definition’s alleged impact on free speech; confusion of its legal status and power; and an appeal to authority by quoting others from within this same campaign.

A letter in last week’s Guardian (where else?), signed by eight experienced lawyers, is a helpful example of how this works.” 

2) At the Jewish News Alan Johnson analyses an op-ed by the head of the NGO B’tselem also published by the Guardian.

“Is there “apartheid” for the 20 per cent of Israelis who are not Jewish? No. Israel is a thriving multi-ethnic democracy in which the Arab minority is guaranteed equal rights under the Basic Laws. All faiths vote and all enjoy freedom of worship. There are no legal restrictions on movement, employment, or sexual or marital relations. Universities and hospitals are integrated and discrimination is illegal. Israel’s Arab citizens hold collective rights as a national minority. Israel is the only place in the Middle East where all minorities are protected. Its parliament has the widest and most far-reaching representation of different voices. There is a thriving Arabic mass media, literature and theatre scene. And 20 per cent of the students at the elite Technion University are Arabs.”

3) Writing at the Jerusalem Post, Yoseph Haddad discusses political changes among Israeli Arabs ahead of the upcoming election.

“Instead of our leaders actively dealing with the coronavirus, the Arab sector was hit particularly hard while the Joint List was barely present in the sector. The mayor of the largest Arab city, Nazareth, has also attested to this in his statements about how severely the city was affected during this time.

Moreover, instead of taking a positive stance towards the Abraham Accords, from which the Arab sector has the most to gain from economic and financial ties and opportunities in the tourism industry, the MKs of the Joint List voted against it!

Meanwhile, the economic divide continues to compound itself, and the socio-economic crises deepen. Yet Israeli Arabs have discovered that despite a record number of Arab members of Knesset to represent them, they have been left behind.”

4) At the JCPA Yoni Ben Menachem looks at Iran’s ‘ambassador’ to the Houthis in Yemen.

“In October 2020, a senior officer of the Quds Force in the Revolutionary Guards, Hassan Irlu was appointed as Iran’s “ambassador” to the Houthi rebels in Yemen. He arrived in Sanaa, a move that has military and political significance, a kind of Iranian recognition of the “state” of Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

This is a new phase in Iranian activity after the assassination of Qassem Suleimani: Iran stepping up control of northern Yemen with the close supervision of its new “ambassador,” who specializes in manufacturing and launching ballistic and anti-aircraft missiles.” 

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One reply on “Weekend long read”
  1. says: Grimey

    Iran sponsors puppet regimes and terrorists all around the Middle East – with the full support of the EU and the BBC – and supplies them with drones, rockets and missiles to attack Saudi and eventually Israel. Problem is that the new US president is such a sucker that Israel may have to take action on her own.

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