On Friday 23rd December the UN passed a resolution demanding a stop to Israeli settlement in the occupied territories as, in a shock move, the US refused to veto the resolution. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exploded, calling it a 'declaration of war' (having recently been granted a $38 billion military aid package by the US), and Secretary of State John Kerry criticised Israel's approach to the peace process. But with Trump tweeting that Israel should 'stay strong' until his inauguration, progress still seems unlikely.
Verso presents a list of books from Israeli, Palestinian, and anti-imperialist authors, to explain the conflict and provide some perspectives on the future.
Yitzhak Laor is an Israeli poet, journalist and author of The Myths of Liberal Zionism. In this article, he comments on European refusal to acknowledge Israel as a colonial power and on allegations of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party.
The concept of Israel has become a hidden cornerstone within political consensus in Western European states. This is not unrelated to the disappearing differences between the traditional Left and Right. Within the current political climate, not only Germany but also all other western states are ‘friends of Israel’. This amicable relationship with Israel means that an imaginary differentiation is assumed between the State of Israel and its constitution, its laws of citizenship, its inbuilt discrimination of non-Jews, as well as its occupied territories.
In the latest issue of New Left Review:
Lena Lavinas: 21st Century Welfare
Latin America as laboratory for conditional cash transfers, fast becoming the hegemonic social-protection paradigm for the Global South. In a comparative survey, Lena Lavinas reveals the CCT model as a strategy for the financialization—not abolition—of poverty.
Slavoj Žižek argues in the New Statesman for a binational state in Israel & Palestine - the "simplest and most obvious solution" to the conflict.
Highlighting some disturbing instances of racism (and sexism) in Israeli society (such as the 2007 poll that showed that over half of Israeli Jews believe intermarriage is akin to "national treason"), Žižek makes the key point that:
What makes these campaigns so depressing is that they are flourishing at a time of relative calm, at least in the West Bank. Any party interested in peace should welcome the socialising of Palestinian and Jewish youth.