Arab flotillas versus Jewish flotillas

Flotilla frenzy is at a peak. The Israeli army is leaking reports of ships loaded with sulphur and god knows what else.  Ehud “Mad Dog” Barak and our plank of a chief of staff labelled the flotilla a “provocation,” as if that was the first cousin of a pogrom.

Of course it’s a fucking provocation. To provoke is to incite, anger or irritate and that’s exactly what the organizers of the flotilla want to do. To provoke the world into remembering Gaza. Because what Israel wants is for the world to forget it. As if Israel never indulged in provocation itself. Continue reading

Israel and the apartheid mindset

Arthur Goldreich died in Israel a few weeks ago. I only met him a couple of times over the years, but he was a formative figure when I was growing up, as the Rivonia detainee who, along with Harold Wolpe,escaped from detention in Marshal Square (I think) and miraculously managed to get out of South Africa.

The Pimpernel-like escape of Goldreich and Wolpe was one of the few rays of light during a very dark period for the opposition to apartheid. The Nationalist regime was rampant, and its inability to catch the two (Jewish) escapees was a vicarious victory for those of us who hated the Nats. That, at any rate, is how I remember it. Continue reading

When fact is narrative and narrative is fact

There’s a surprisingly simplistic and confused article by Shlomo Avineri in today’s Ha’aretz. I’ve never been a big fan of Avineri’s middle-of-the-road politics, but I always thought him to be smart. Not any more.

I assume it’s the ravages of age – and far be it for an old fart like me to hold that against anyone. Avineri was a professor at the Hebrew U when I was a student there (or was that the period he was DG of the Foreign Ministry?) My fucking memory is shot. Either way, the dude has got to be pretty ancient.  But that doesn’t excuse his writing crap. Continue reading