Posts Tagged ‘al jazeera’
Opinion piece on Al Jazeera by Joseph Massad, Associate Professor of Modern Arab Politics and Intellectual History at Columbia University:
As Palestinian children endure lives of suffering, Obama’s love for their Israeli counterparts knows no limit.
What is it about Jewish and Arab children that privileges the first and spurns the second in the speeches of President Barack Obama, let alone in the Western media more generally? Are Jewish children smarter, prettier, whiter? Are they deserving of sympathy and solidarity, denied to Arab children, because they are innocent and unsullied by the guilt of their parents, themselves often referred to as “the children of Israel”? Or, is it that Arab children are dangerous, threatening, guilty, even dark and ugly, a situation that can only lead to Arabopaedophobia – the Western fear of Arab children?
Innocence and childhood are common themes in Western political discourse, official and unofficial. While it is a truism to state that since the end of European colonialism the US and Europe have been, at the official and unofficial levels, friendly to and supportive of the Zionist colonial project and hostile to Palestinians and Arabs in their resistance to Zionism, the expectation would be that a West that insists rhetorically on the “universalism” of its values would show at least a rhetorical commitment to the equality of Arab and Jewish children as victims of the violence visited on the region by Zionist colonialism and the resistance to it. Yet, the only Western sympathy manifest is to Jewish children as symbols of Zionist and Israeli innocence. This Western sympathy is deployed primarily to denounce Arab guilt, including the guilt of Arab children.
Indeed, the only time Arab children received any sympathy at all in the West was a few years ago when Israeli and US propaganda outlets, official and unofficial alike, mounted a major propaganda campaign to save these children from their barbaric Arab and Palestinian parents, who allegedly trained them to commit violent acts, or who unlovingly placed them in the middle of danger, sacrificing them for their violent political goals. It was not Israel who was to blame for killing Palestinian children, but the children’s own uncaring and cruel parents who placed them in the path of Israeli Jewish bullets, which left Israeli Jews no choice but to kill them. This of course is an old Israeli casuistry used to justify Israel’s carnage of Palestinians. Golda Meir had famously articulated the workings of Israel’s Jewish conscience thus: “We can forgive you for killing our sons. But we will never forgive you for making us kill yours.”
In the official discourse of post-World War II US power, Jewish children have been often invoked to illustrate the innocence of Israel, a tradition carried faithfully by Barack Obama’s rhetoric. Refusing to even acknowledge Arab children as victims of Israel, on June 4, 2009, Obama told Arabs in his Cairo speech: “It is a sign of neither courage nor power to shoot rockets at sleeping children, or to blow up old women on a bus. That is not how moral authority is claimed; that is how it is surrendered.” He reiterated this in his May 19, 2011 “winds of change” speech, declaring: “For decades, the conflict between Israelis and Arabs has cast a shadow over the region. For Israelis, it has meant living with the fear that their children could get blown up on a bus or by rockets fired at their homes, as well as the pain of knowing that other children in the region are taught to hate them.”
AJE’s Frost Over the World – Posturing in Palestine:
The story of the week has been the release, by Al Jazeera, of leaked documents showing the inside story of the Middle East negotiations.
The Palestine Papers controversially revealed the Palestinian position in negotiations with Israel.
Sir David is joined by Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator at the talks.
Some surprising facts from AJE’s Fault Lines:
Seen as an honest-broker in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Canada has become one of Israel’s most fervent supporters.
In Canada, a high-stakes battle is being waged between a powerful pro-Israel lobby close to the conservative government, and a growing Palestinian solidarity movement that calls Israel an apartheid state that should be subject to boycott, divestment and sanctions.
But there is one point on which both sides agree: over the past five or six years, Canada has become one of Israel’s most fervent supporters on the world stage.
What are the implications for a country that has traditionally been seen as more of an honest-broker in the Israel-Palestinian conflict than the US, its more powerful neighbour to the south?
On this episode of Fault Lines, Avi Lewis opens a window into the debate over Canada-Israel: The other special relationship.
Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported on Monday that “witnesses and various other people who have spoken to Eiland say that his report will be very critical of the army’s conduct in the affair”.
The daily said the navy is to be “the main target of Eiland’s critique of the operation, although his assessment will apparently be tempered by consideration for the navy’s success in several operations in recent years under Major-General Eliezer Marom”.
The Israeli media reports said that the military commission’s report pointed to “flaws” in the preparations for the raid.
The Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said that their were problems with the “battle guidelines” issued to commandoes and the intelligence gathered prior to the military boarding the Mavi Marmara.
The Jerusalem Post said that the report focused “on the relationship between the military and political echelons as well as the apparent intelligence failure, under which the navy commandos boarded the ship without knowing that a group of passengers, apparently mercenaries, had laid an ambush”.
from Al Jazeera’s Inside Story:
Striving to make the European Union relevant to the Middle East peace process, Catherine Ashton, the new EU foreign policy chief, visits the region.
Beginning her trip in Egypt on Monday, she is scheduled to visit Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and the Palestinian territories over the course of the week.
It underscores the European Union’s efforts to better engage in the Middle East.
With an ambitious plan to meet key players in six countries, can the Europeans succeed in what the Americans have failed to achieve over decades? Will the current tension between the US and Israel help or hinder a real European role in Middle East peace process?
Inside Story is joined by Mustafa Barghouti, the general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, Richard Youngs, the director general of Fride, a think tank focusing on EU policy. He was previously an analyst at the UK Foreign Office.
Also joining the programme is David Mack, a scholar at the Middle East Institute and a former US ambassador to the UAE.
UPDATE It looks like AJE removed the video from YouTube, here’s the promo until it returns…
A year on from Israel’s offensive in Gaza, another battle is still being played out. The war of words between Israel and opponents of last year’s war continues, with the latest flare up centred on the UN’s Goldstone report. But while everyone is busy apportioning blame, there is little chance of developments to the peace process and hopes for justice are fading. Gaza: The War of Words explores the various claims and counter-claims against Israel and Hamas that have been made in the past year and looks at the international community’s rol in that war of words.
From Al Jazeera’s The Arab Street:
The Arab Street goes to the heart of the city to find out, bypassing the politicians and pundits to get the views of ordinary men and women. In this episode we visit Ramallah, home to 125,000 people, as well as the Palestinian Authority.
Penned in by Israel’s separation wall and with freedom to travel limited by road blocks, what is everyday life like for Ramallah’s citizens? Like most of occupied Palestine, Ramallah struggles economically. Its people enjoy the moral support of the wider Arab world, but do other Middle Eastern governments provide sufficient financial support?
What is life like behind Israel’s wall and will a freeze on Jewish settlements lead to peace?
From Al Jazeera’s Inside Story:
EU foreign ministers are hoping Europe can “forge a high-profile role” in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Twenty-seven foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels this week to discuss a Swedish proposal to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of both Israel and Palestine, the future of the region and how Europe can aid the ‘peace process’.
Last week, the EU issued a previously classified report on Jerusalem. It accuses the Israeli government of working deliberately to change the city’s demographic balance by issuing Palestinians with substantially fewer building permits than they require. An Israeli human rights group has said that over 4,500 Arabs had their residency rights removed last year alone - that is about half of the total number since Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967.
Can the EU play a role in peace making after being marginalised for so long? Or is the battle for Jerusalem already over?