Phoning it in Phriday – Must Reads for April 19-26


We got some changes to the format that we’re working on here at HQ. Until those roll out, however, enjoy my top picks from last week:

  • It’s off our beat a bit, but this Al Jazeera op-ed that places the mass media’s discussions of Chechnya over the past week in the broader history of attempts to manage whiteness in the U.S. “The Wrong Kind of Caucasian” is definitely worth the read.
  • A Knesset member from Yesh Atid decided to visit a friend in Ramallah. She was shocked by what she saw and posted this long, if still somewhat racist, Facebook status explaining her shock at the ways Palestinians are treated. Honestly, it doesn’t even sound like she saw any of the more exceptional forms of violence that characterize daily life in the West Bank: she talks about the Qalandia checkpoint and the daily harassment of the Israeli army. Is it possible that the average Israeli is truly this ignorant of what its government does in the West Bank?
  • An op-ed from Haaretz argues that the most recent extension of Israel’s Citizenship Law makes Israel and apartheid state.

[W]e do not need to replicate exactly the characteristics of South African apartheid within discriminatory practices in civil rights in Israel in order to call Israel an apartheid state. The amendment to the Citizenship Law is exactly such a practice, and it is best that we not try to evade the truth: Its existence in our law books turns Israel into an apartheid state.

  • Noam Sheizaf also takes up the citizenship law, focusing on the importance of paying attention to the 1 in 4 Israeli citizens who are not Jewish:

Palestinian citizens have many rights in Israel – especially compared with Palestinians under occupation – but they are not equal citizens. Even if Israel is forced to end the occupation, only by removing all discriminatory elements from its legal system and adopting a “state of all its citizens” model can it move toward becoming a truly democratic state, rather than a democracy of racial profiling.

  • A group of senior European Union officials released a statement, saying that the Oslo process has nothing more to offer and that by pretending it does, “the Occupation is actually being entrenched by the present Western policy.” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry disagrees, saying that the window for a two-state solution will close in 12-18 months. We’re not sure what he’s smoking, but we look forward to the United States endorsing a one-state democratic solution by October 2014. 
  • And finally, peaking of interesting U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State John Kerry said he could understand the anger of those who lost loved ones on the flotilla to Gaza, explicitly comparing what they had been through to the loss experienced by Americans who lost loved ones in the Boston bombings.
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