Sabby Sagall

Zionism and Anti-Semitism: The Jewish Question

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To be anti-Zionist does not mean you are anti-Semitic.

Alarm bells have been ringing in recent months about a resurgence of anti-Semitism, particularly in Western Europe and the Middle East. Zionists have always dismissed criticisms of Zionism or of Israel with the claim that such criticisms represent anti-Semitism masquerading as anti-Zionism. So we need to disentangle the phony label of anti-Semitism--justifiable criticisms of Israel and Zionism--from the genuine article.

Middle East: State of Denial

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Discrimination against Palestinians runs through the state of Israel. Sabby Sagall traces its origins.

Apologists for Israel frequently boast that it is a cut above all other states in the Middle East on the grounds that it is a democracy. By this they mean that the Palestinian minority (nearly 20 percent of the total population) have the right to vote, unlike the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories or, indeed, the Arabs in the rest of the region. Moreover, since the late 1970s they have enjoyed the right to form political parties.

The Oslo Frauds

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There was nothing generous in Israel's last offer to the Palestinians.

The second Intifada began in September 2000 following Sharon's provocative visit to the holy Muslim site of Harim-Al Sharif. This can only be understood because of the complete failure of the 'peace process' to deliver any reforms to the Palestinian people, let alone a state.

Divided Loyalties

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Review of 'A Masked Ball' by Giuseppe Verdi, English National Opera, London

The new production of Verdi's 'A Masked Ball' (1859) by Spanish director Calixto Bieito has unleashed a wave of media hysteria. Not only has Bieito transferred the setting from 18th century Sweden to post-Franco Spain, but he seems almost to have invited controversy--the opera opens with a row of 14 conspirators sitting on the toilet.

Fight or Flight

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Review of 'The Invincible', director Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog's 'The Invincible' is set in 1932 in a Polish stetl (Jewish village), and Berlin just before Hitler's victory. It tells the story of Zishe Breitbart (Jouka Ahola), the son of a Jewish blacksmith with phenomenal physical strength, who is lured to Berlin with the promise of fame and fortune. There he meets Hanussen (Tim Roth), 'king of the occult', who runs a cabaret specialising in the supernatural that is popular with Nazis and wealthy Berliners, at a time when the Nazi movement is on the edge of power.

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