Israel’s Major Arab Party Boycotts Volodymyr Zelensky

Yesterday, the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the Knesset by video. Members of the Joint List, a parliamentary alliance of majority-Arab parties, decided as a group not to attend. The editors of the Jerusalem Post comment:

The only Jewish member in the faction, the Ḥadash MK Ofer Kassif, explained his position on Saturday night,: . . . “we hear in the Western media, and also here, day and night, that this war is the like war of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness. . . . But it isn’t. For years there were crimes against the Russian minority in Ukraine.”

Hadash is the current form of the Israeli Communist party. It is the biggest and most popular among Arab-Israelis. . . . In October 2020, the party officially voted against the approval of the Abraham Accords—the peace agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. In October 2016, the party boycotted the funeral of Israel’s former president Shimon Peres, who won a Nobel Peace Prize and was one of the initiators of the Oslo Accords.

In December [2017], while Syrian President Bashar Assad was using chemical gas against his own people during the war in Syria, Ḥadash put out a statement supporting him and commending him for regaining control over the city of Aleppo. [In short], the Israeli Communist party sees the U.S. and its actions as the source of all evil as if the cold war is still going on.

Luckily, it seems that Israeli Arabs have an alternative—Ra’am—a party that wishes to advance their interests even at the cost of partnering with Israeli Zionist parties

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Communism, Israeli Arabs, Knesset, Volodomyr Zelensky


Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict