The Battle for Justice in Palestine by Ali Abunimah is the March pick for The Atlantic’s Twitter book club, #1book140. I picked it up from Skylight Books yesterday, and my highlighter game is already strong! Abunimah is a co-founder of Electronic Intifada, a digital clearinghouse for news, information, analysis, and activism focusing on the issue of Palestine. I’ll be biting off large chunks of his work daily to prepare myself for the discussion. In the spirit of Abunimah’s work, the inaugural post of this new series focuses on Israel and Palestine. The Israelis go to the polls today, in another bid to reaffirm its identity as a Jewish, “democratic” state. Haaretz ran an interesting opinion piece by Amira Hass that places today’s election in the context of the millions of disenfranchised Palestinians that will remain silenced. The New York Times covered Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s last ditch appeal to the far-right by declaring Palestinian statehood would be verboten during a fourth term. Bibi’s declaration is stunning only in the sense that his earlier attempts to block real reform were veiled in talk of a difficult “peace process”. I’m quite sure the American response to Netanyahu’s stance will be canned criticism followed by absolutely no substantial change in the status quo ante. The Atlantic published a quick primer on the Israeli elections for those of us that demand a little more context with our news. Finally, Foreign Policy ran a piece that really weakens the “terror network” narrative often deployed when discussing violence in Gaza and the West Bank. According to the magazine, “lone wolf attacks” have risen in the wake of the failures of recent peace negotiations. Individuals are carrying out violent attacks in a bid to exorcise the raging despair of life under occupation. Violence as a form of resistance can be debated. However, what’s unassailable is the fact that the hyper-aggressive, militaristic, ethnocentric Israeli misadventure will never lead to anything approaching peaceful.
The Struggle Continues.