News and Politics

Israel Cracks Down on Free Speech

January 14, 2010

The Jewish state has frequently been cited for its toleration of debate about Israel’s failings. In recent months, however, both the government and security forces have grown increasingly uneasy with this environment. Mya Guarnieri on Tuesday’s arrest of Ma’an editor Jared Malsin.

A Policy of Failure

January 8, 2010

All Israel’s siege of Gaza accomplishes is to further diminish the Jewish state’s damaged reputation, harm its relations with its remaining Muslim allies, increase the difficulty of returning to talks with the Palestinians and, of course, greatly magnify the suffering of its civilian victims.

The Sophistry of Daniel Ayalon

January 3, 2010

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister is well-known for his extremist views. Most recently, Minister Ayalon has reintroduced the term “Disputed Territories” in order to undermine the commonality of Diaspora usage of the term “Occupied Territories.” Moshe Yaroni explains why this campaign has been undertaken, and what its real objectives are.

On the 'Right' to Be a Settler

December 29, 2009

Jewish settlers are increasingly resorting to the use of civil rights discourses to legitimate their illegal occupation of Palestinian lands. An Israeli activist draws our attention to the phenomenon, contending that its purpose is to conceal the denial of basic human rights to Palestinians.

A Most Unlikely Source of Hope

December 26, 2009

It was about as likely as Daniel Pipes converting to Islam, and taking up residence in Gaza. Under intense US pressure, Benjamin Netanyahu, it appears, is throwing his weight behind the two-state solution. The source of this revelation: Steven Rosen, the controversial ex-AIPAC staffer, indicted for espionage by the Justice Department.

Saving Peace from the Peace Activists

December 18, 2009

Activism cannot be guided solely by passion. Activism without a serious political analysis can be just as damaging. Examining the British government’s decision this week to exempt Tzipi Livni from the threat of war crimes prosecution, Moshe Yaroni bemoans the damage caused to the principle of universal jurisdiction.

Why I Agree with Nasrallah (Well, Sort of...)

December 16, 2009

Israel would do well to look at the reflection before us, in Lebanon, and to listen to the Hezbollah leader’s call for unity, as though it were a warning from our future. But we shouldn’t follow his suggestion of uniting for the sake of confronting an enemy. Israelis—Jewish, Muslim, and Christian—must join hands in order to build a better country and a stronger Middle East.

Reclaiming Hanukah From the Occupation

December 14, 2009

This Hanukah, there is a fork in Israel’s road ahead. Is it going to confront the fundamentalists who threaten to turn the state into a theocracy, as its Justice Minister advocated last week? Or is it going to strive to find peace in secure borders, with a shared Jerusalem and good relations with the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab world?


December 1, 2009

After sixty years of conflict, our neighbors are still angry. The average Palestinian does not want war or death — but some of the fringe groups do. My guess is that they’ve not given up. The calm Israel is experiencing right now is deceptive. Something terrible is on the horizon.

Freeze Means Ruse in Hebrew

November 30, 2009

The so-called “freeze” is nothing of the kind. It will not lead to a suspension of settlement construction and it will not restart talks with the Palestinians. Is it only for show then? No. Netanyahu’s goal is to put the peace process on ice once and for all.

The New Aliya

November 17, 2009

The heroic age of Zionism is over. Organizations like Nefesh B’Nefesh and Birthright Israel have taken the meaning out of making aliya. If you lack a sense of purpose at home, you can always pick up and move to the Holy Land. There’s no shortage of organizations that will help you get there.

Goldstone's Merits

November 13, 2009

Israel has not carried out an investigation of its own culpability for war crimes since 1983, when the Kahan Commission submitted the results of its investigation of the massacre of Palestinian civilians in Beirut’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. Despite its flaws, the Goldstone Report provides compelling evidence as to why Israel must conduct a similarly credible investigation of Operation Cast Lead.

America as Spectator

November 12, 2009

The next phase of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is about to begin. The question before Barack Obama is how much of a hand he wants to have in directing it. If Washington wants to take part, it must do so now, before facts on the ground render it completely ineffective.

The End of the Abbas Era?

November 6, 2009

Abu Mazen’s announcement that he would not seek reelection should not come as a surprise. Initially buoyed by President Obama’s attempts to reinvigorate the peace process, the Palestinian leader has been increasingly pressured by the US to unconditionally cooperate with Israel. His resignation is not only a protest. It is a last-ditched attempt to keep alive the possibility of a two-state solution.

When is War Justified? Afghanistan

November 5, 2009

Rabbi Arthur Waskow and journalist Greg Palast on the conflict in Afghanistan.

“Justify My Love": J-Street’s Obsession with "Loving Israel"

November 3, 2009

A vignette: in a discussion session defining what it means to be pro-Israel, one woman courageously stood and said, “I don’t love Israel.” It was like a wave rushed over the room. Silence. No one seemed to know what she meant. Sitting there, I felt she held up a mirror to everyone in the room–everyone at the conference–as if to say, “You say you love Israel. Do you know what you mean?”

Elie Wiesel Needs New Friends

November 2, 2009

Christian Zionists speak in an Orwellian vernacular. On the one hand, they claim Scripture to support the State of Israel. On the other, they pray for the destruction of the Jewish people. Rachel Tabachnick takes to task novelist Elie Wiesel for his befriending America’s best-known proponent of this doublespeak, Pastor John Hagee.

What Has He Done? Obama, Israel and the Palestinians

October 28, 2009

Barack Obama’s detractors have branded the president an outright failure, hopelessly outflanked by his right wing opponents in his quest to restart the Mideast peace process. According to Moshe Yaroni, the reality of the situation is in fact far more complex and, quite possibly, hopeful.


October 27, 2009

Israeli-American relations are at a crisis point. Some might even say a breaking point. Despite endless US demands to freeze settlement construction, and to reinvigorate the peace process, Israel refuses to cooperate. The Americans have yet to understand their responsibility for this situation.

Harvey Milk Was Here

October 25, 2009

The cold blooded killings at a queer youth center in Tel Aviv last August put into stark relief the plight of gay Israelis. How can the most sexually liberated state in the Mideast sincerely proclaim the singularity of its freedoms when its GLBT citizenry live in fear of being murdered?

ZEEK is presented by The Jewish Daily Forward | Maintained by