Weekend long read

1) At the INSS, Ali al-Awar and Yohanan Tzoreff discuss ‘The Rift in Fatah’.

“The decision by Abu Mazen to cancel the elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council and the presidency, scheduled for May 2021, may one day prove to be a turning point in the history of the Palestinian national movement and Hamas in the Palestinian territories. The decision was taken against the backdrop of increasing Hamas power in universities, trade unions, and local authorities. It deepened the crisis of trust between the public and the Palestinian Authority (PA), further eroded the PA’s legitimacy and made it increasingly irrelevant, and heightened the calls for reform in Fatah, the largest of the organizations that comprise the PLO. Decisions by the PLO’s Central Council and subsequent appointments by Abu Mazen outraged the public in general and Fatah in particular.”

2) Shany Mor gives his view of Operation Breaking Dawn at Mosaic magazine.

“This week’s spate of violence in and around the Gaza Strip mostly resembles the previous rounds—in 2021, 2019, 2014, 2012, and 2009—in the weapons used by both sides, the lopsided death tolls, and the selectively pious outrage of the self-appointed guardians of global probity.

But there were a few slight changes this time, and they reveal a great deal. The Iran-backed militant group which initiated the crisis last week by threatening an attack on Israel unless a long list of demands were met greatly overestimated its own tactical capabilities and greatly underestimated the operational and intelligence capabilities of its Israeli adversary. It also misread the domestic political situation in Israel and the regional diplomatic situation in the Middle East.”

3) At the JCPA, Alan Baker provides a guide to ‘False and Malicious Catchphrases and Buzzwords in the Israeli-Palestinian Context’.

“Over the years, states, leaders, international organizations, and the international and Israeli media have developed a tendency to endlessly repeat certain internationally recognizable catchphrases and buzzwords with the aim of dictating and influencing a distinct, partisan political narrative against Israel.

This tendency is becoming a permanent phenomenon and increasingly obstructs any genuine attempt to achieve reconciliation between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.”

4) UKLFI is holding a webinar with Professor Jesse Fried next week titled ‘The Ben & Jerry’s Saga’.

“Last year Ben & Jerry’s, a subsidiary of Unilever, decided its ice cream should no longer be sold in the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” (East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria), claiming this to be “inconsistent with our values”, and to terminate its longstanding Israeli licensee who could not accept this policy.  Following this decision, Unilever’s share price fell sharply, several US states divested, leading investors criticised Unilever’s Board, and legal actions ensued.

For almost a year Unilever claimed that it could not override the decision of its subsidiary’s independent Board, but then recently did just that: as part of a settlement of a case brought by Ben & Jerry’s Israel licensee, Unilever sold the Ben & Jerry’s brand in Israel to the licensee, enabling the licensee to continue distributing the ice cream in Israel and its territories. The latest twist is that Ben & Jerry’s board has now sought to block the sale in court, claiming that its parent Unilever is breaching the merger agreement between the two companies.

Professor Fried will discuss the various legal claims and issues, what may happen next, and the implications for BDS.”

Registration here.

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