Palestine

An open letter to Nick Cave

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Acclaimed rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds played two shows in Tel Aviv in November in contravention of the international cultural boycott of Israel. Arts journalist and BDS activist Mark Brown has written the following open letter to Cave.

Dear Nick,
“Some people say it’s just rock and roll. Oh, but it gets you right down to your soul.” This lyric from your song “Push the Sky Away” could function as a shorthand expression of the relationship I have had with your work for much of my adult life.

As a theatre critic and arts journalist, I spend much of my professional life trying to find art works that transcend the banalities of everyday life and touch something profound in the human experience. Rarely am I as affected by the work I review as I am by your music.

Palestine and the Arab street

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Trump’s announcement that the US embassy will move to Jerusalem ignited protests across the world in solidarity with the Palestinians. On the steps of the Journalists’ Union building in Cairo demonstrators burned the American flag and brandished posters condemning Trump and his partner in crime, Egypt’s dictator Abdelfattah al-Sisi, while thousands took to the streets in Jordan, Lebanon, Algeria, Morocco, Iraq, Yemen and Syria.

Once more on Zionism and antisemitism (2)

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“Out of the Ashes”, the last chapter of my book The Myths of Zionism, explored prospects for alliances between the Palestinian liberation movement and Jews, both in Europe and America, but also in Israel. I looked at a number of key Jewish individuals, including Avraham Burg, a religious Jew, a long standing senior Israel Labour politician and former speaker of Israel’s Knesset, parliament.

Once more on Zionism and antisemitism (1)

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The heart of John Rose’s argument (“Antisemitism and anti-Zionism today”, January SR) seems to me to be twofold: firstly, his emphasis on the need for dialogue between Israeli Jews and Palestinians as a precondition for resolution of the conflict. But secondly, it also raises the issue of the nature of Jewish cultural identity in a post-Zionist state of Palestine.

Oslo

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The Berlin Wall has fallen, offering the chance to do what has so far proved impossible. That is how Norwegian sociologist Terje Rod-Larsen (played by Toby Stephens) argues the case to go ahead with the secret talks that resulted in the Oslo Accord of 1993 and the famous handshake between Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin at the White House.

BDS victory in Brighton

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In a landmark victory for Palestinian rights campaigners SodaStream’s flagship Brighton EcoStream store was forced to close its doors.

The Israeli firm announced it had ceased trading on 1 July following two years of protests. The company is a target for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) for its links to illegal settlements in the West Bank.

The Legacy of the Holocaust

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Victims of the Holocaust

As the Zionists’ use of the Holocaust to defend Israel’s racism and military aggression begins to falter, the need to insist on its universal lessons has become greater than ever.

The war crimes, terror and deliberate targeting of civilians by Israel in Gaza has raised a question: how could those marked by the worst genocide in modern history show such inhumanity to others? How could a people whose suffering has been subject to the worst form of historical denial in their turn deny the history, dispossession or even the “existence” of another people?

Palestine, Arab Revolutions and Global Solidarity

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Gaza demo London

Israel's punishing war on the Palestinians has left the Gaza Strip in ruins. But the Israeli military failed in its main objective, to break the spirit of resistance and cow the population.

The carnage and scorched earth policy unleashed by the Israeli war machine on the Gaza Strip over the summer marked a grim end to the era of hope that began with the Tunisian and Egyptian Revolutions in 2011. Yet despite its brutal military superiority, Benjamin Netanyahu’s government failed to defeat the Palestinian resistance.

Can Arab and Jews live together?

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Jerusalem, 2001

This question might seem absurd in the light of the appalling slaughter of Palestinian civilians by Israel in the past months. Indeed hasn’t the entire history of the Israeli state since its foundation in 1948, and of the British sponsored Zionist colonial project in the earlier part of the 20th century, been all about the forced dispossession of the Palestinian people from their own land — what the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe called the “ethnic cleansing of Palestine”?

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