The Bigger Picture: The City in the Global Village


A Recommended Reading List

The present Israeli government is not serious about peace, because peace risks civil war in Israel because Jewish fundamentalists and Zionist ultra-nationalists do not want peace, and they are powerful voices in Israeli society including in the present government. Rather they want "the Land of Israel for the People of Israel according to the Torah of Israel". By the Land of Israel they mean the whole of Israel/Palestine. By the people of Israel they mean the Jews of Israel. And by the Torah of Israel they mean Jewish religious law, the Jewish equivalent of Sharia - the secular ultra-nationalists might object to this last.

Unfortunately, the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians will not be resolved any time soon. Given the policy stance of the Bush administration, it can only get worse.

So here's my reading list for informing yourself about Israeli democracy:

Shlaim, Avi (2000) The Iron Wall Israel and the Arab World, Penguin.

Lustick, Ian (1988) For the Land and the Lord: Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel, commissioned by the US Council on Foreign Relations, available online

Cook, Jonathan (2006) Blood and Religion: The Unmasking of the Jewish and Democratic State, Pluto Press

There are those who are working for peace between Israelis and Palestinians and who can see how peace be agreed. One important example is the Israel / Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI)

Prof Avi Shlaim is a British Jew of Israeli origin. Prof Ian Lustick is an American Jew. Jonathan Cook is a British journalist married to an Israeli Arab. And the IPCRI is a joint endeavour between Israeli and Palestinian policy analysts.

Sept. 2006


Anti-Semitism, "Self-Loathing Jews", Critics of Israel, and the Campaign for a Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions, etc.

Those who oppose a boycott ask, Why is Israel singled out? Why not China, why not Egypt, why not Saudi Arabia? and allege or imply that anti-semitism must be the reason. I suspect it is because Israel claims so loudly to be a western-style liberal democracy in the heart of the undemocratic Muslim world. China, for example, makes no claims to be a western liberal democracy.

Below are links to some interesting articles from The Guardian newspaper:

'Why depict Israel as a chamber of horrors like no other in the world?' (Feb 06)

Silence means a boycott is justified (May 07)

This will do Palestinians no good (June 07)

The time is now (June 07)

University denies tenure to outspoken Holocaust academic (June 07)

The Brighton connection, from the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz:

Israeli, U.K. academics meet to discuss proposed academic boycott (May 07)

From the Israeli magazine, Israelinsider:

British Boycott Backlash Builds (June 07)

From UN Observer:

Yousef Alhelou: UK academics back proposal to boycott Israeli universities by 158 to 99 + UPDATE (June 07)

Tom Hickey, the Brighton University lecturer, who moved the resolution at the conference of the University and Colleges Union calling for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, writing in the city's local newspaper, The Argus:

Lecturer Speaks Out...(June 07)

Peter Beaumont in The Observer:

To boycott or not - the new Israeli question (June 07)