Students for Justice in Palestine Crosses over to Pure Anti-Semitism

While those who loathe the Jewish state are often quick to insist that they are “anti-Zionists” rather than anti-Semites, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a prominent campus anti-Israel group, seems to have dropped all pretenses by condemning a radical ultra-Orthodox group for settling in Central America. Lev Tahor, a fiercely anti-Zionist group—whose practices are considered extreme even by ḥaredi standards—relocated to Guatemala after running afoul of the law in the U.S., Israel, and Canada. Jonathan Marks writes:

National SJP urges its followers to “sign [a petition] to support the community of Xe’ Kuku’ Aab’aj as they resist colonial/Zionist land occupation and exploitation!” What does the community of Xe’ Kuku’ Aab’aj (San Juan La Laguna) in Guatemala have to do with Zionists? Nothing. But it is engaged in a dispute with Jews, and that is all that seems to matter to SJP. . . .

These “settler-colonialists” first attempted to “colonize” Israel, Canada, and the United States, leaving each of these places amid allegations of child abuse. They have not been in San Juan la Laguna since 2014, when they were forced out by local authorities. SJP is evidently bringing this up now because the former mayor of the town has been jailed for his part in the expulsion. That expulsion may, in fact, have been motivated as much by what the mayor himself called a “clash of cultures” and what others would call religious discrimination as by whatever allegations the elders of Xe’ Kuku’ Aab’aj may have caught wind of. . . .

[T]he petition actually ties itself in knots trying to explain why Lev Tahor, though anti-Zionist, is actually Zionist. “Any and all anti-Zionist work,” it states, must also be anti-colonial, and the community of Lev Tahor cannot be anti-Zionist, due to their “threatening of and lack of respect for indigenous peoples.” Not ignorance, then, but malice, is behind the petition. . . .

Students for Justice in Palestine has thrown its weight behind a petition that blames Jewish nationalism for the ills of all indigenous peoples and includes even anti-Zionist Jews among the Zionists. There is no definition of anti-Semitism so narrow as not to include this repulsive petition.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Israel & Zionism, Students for Justice in Palestine, Ultra-Orthodox

 

The Military Perils of Ceding Israeli Control of the West Bank

April 24 2019

In the years since the second intifada ended, no small number of retired high-ranking IDF officers and intelligence officials have argued that complete separation from the Palestinians is a strategic necessity for Israel. Gershon Hacohen, analyzing the geography, the changes in warfare—and Middle Eastern warfare in particular—since the 1990s, and recent history, argues that they are wrong:

The withdrawal of IDF forces from the West Bank and the establishment of a Palestinian state in these territories will constitute an existential threat to Israel. The absence of an Israeli military presence in the West Bank, especially along the Jordan River, will enable the creation of a terrorist entity, à la the Gaza Strip, a stone’s throw from the Israeli hinterland. This withdrawal will box Israel into indefensible borders, especially in light of the major changes in the nature of war in recent decades that have made the astounding achievements of 1967 impossible to replicate, not to mention the stark international response [that would follow Israel’s] takeover of a sovereign state.

The deployment of international forces in the West Bank will not, [contrary to what some have argued], ensure the demilitarization of the prospective Palestinian state, let alone prevent the entry of Arab forces into its territory (with or without its consent) and/or its transformation into a springboard for terrorist attacks against Israel. . . .

Israel [now] maintains control of some 60 percent of the West Bank’s territory, . . . which is mostly empty of Palestinian population but includes all of the West Bank’s Jewish communities and IDF bases, as well as main highways, vital topographic areas, and open spaces descending eastward to the Jordan Valley. The retention of this territory constitutes the absolute minimum required for the preservation of defensible borders and meets two conditions necessary for Israel’s security: the Jordan Valley buffer zone, without which it will be impossible to prevent the rapid arming of Palestinian terrorist groups throughout the West Bank; and control of intersecting transportation arteries, which, together with control of strategic topographical sites, enables rapid deployment of IDF forces deep inside Palestinian areas.

It is the surrender of such conditions in Gaza that has transformed the Strip into an ineradicable terrorist entity. Uprooting the West Bank’s Jewish communities will also make it difficult for the IDF to operate in the depth of the Palestinian state, especially if it is forced to fight simultaneously on a number of fronts, [since] simultaneous fighting in Gaza, which will be an integral part of the future Palestinian state, is a foregone conclusion.

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More about: Israeli grand strategy, Israeli Security, Palestinian statehood, West Bank