Category Uncategorized

PICK YOUR FRIENDS WISELY

. . . friends . . . – Jeremy Corbyn, referring to representatives from Hamas and Hezbollah. Context: a meeting called by Corbyn to advance the prospects for Middle East peace through dialogue with often excluded but nevertheless politically influential actors. Corbyn has expressed regret for the slip, explaining it as an effort to use ‘inclusive […]

RIP Renen Raz

Israeli peace and justice activist Renen Raz has passed away. Renen was a dedicated anti-Zionist, an activist with Boycott From Within and a participant in Palestinian popular struggle, particularly in Nabi Saleh. He stood for principles – anti-racism, democracy, equality before the law – which his society overwhelmingly disdained, and he suffered considerably for his commitments. He was politically uncompromising, […]

Fact-checking Newsnight on Labour’s ‘antisemitism problem’

Last night’s Newsnight gave top billing to the suspension of Labour MP Naz Shah for allegedly antisemitic comments. Presenter Evan Davis opened proceedings as follows: ‘Labour is struggling to deal with the charge that it has an “antisemitic streak”.  Does it? This is a good question.  As I showed in a recent openDemocracy piece on […]

THE AERIAL COIN OF PRAISE

[T]he great Recompence in view, for which the most exalted Minds have with so much Alacrity sacrificed their Quiet, Health, sensual Pleasures, and every Inch of themselves, has never been any thing else but the Breath of Man, the Aerial Coin of Praise. – Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees vol. I (1988 [1732]), pp. 54-55. (Not […]

SEARCHING FOR LIFE

Now it is evening, and a soft breeze is blowing from above through my dormer window into the cell causing my green lampshade to stir slightly, and gently blowing the pages of the Schiller volume that lies open before me. Outdoors a horse is being led slowly past the prison on its way home and […]

ELEMENTARY, MY DEAR WATSON. NO REALLY

Thomas Friedman in the NYT:   What struck me most was what I’d call an ‘Obama doctrine’ embedded in the president’s remarks.   Hold the phone: that’s a discovery of major historical and political significance. How did Friedman piece together this tacit doctrine? Did he disorient the president with interrogatory techniques honed over decades at the pinnacle of his craft? […]