April 17, 2014

HOW THE UNITED STATES HAS BENEFITED FROM ITS ALLIANCE WITH ISRAEL

  Amidst a budding nuclear arms race in the Middle East, the Obama administration is seen by many as “resetting” the relationship between the United States and its long-time ally, Israel.  This recalibration of the U.S.-Israel alliance is occurring while Israel is facing the first genuine threat to its existence since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.  The threat emanates from the Islamic Republic of Iran.  The Iranian quest for nuclear arms production capability is … [Read more...]

ABU DHABI’S NUCLEAR POWER PLANT FOLLY

  THE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT   On December 28, 2009, Abu Dhabi awarded a contract [1] to build, operate, and transfer a 5,600 MW nuclear power plant composed of four reactors of 1,400 megawatt (MW) each to a consortium of South Korean firms.[2] The firms are led by Korea Electric Power Corporation and include Hyundai Engineering and Construction as well as Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction Company. The project is to be completed in three phases between 2017 and 2020. Its … [Read more...]

THE ROAD TO UTOPIA: THE ORIGINS OF ANTI-ZIONISM ON THE BRITISH LEFT

  THE OLD LEFT AND THE NEW LEFT Since the end of the peace process in the 1990s and the beginning of the al-Aqsa Intifada, an important feature in the debate on the Israel-Palestine imbroglio has been a questioning of the legitimacy of Israel as a nation-state by sections of the political Left and the liberal and cultural intelligentsia in Britain. Such opinion has broadly moved from passionately supporting the right of the Jews to national self-determination in 1948 by figures such as … [Read more...]

ANTI-ZIONIST AND ANTISEMITIC DISCOURSE ON THE GUARDIAN’S COMMENT IS FREE WEBSITE

  The Guardian is Britain’s third most read newspaper after the Daily Telegraph and the Times. As is the case with many newspapers, the sales of its print edition are declining: In January 2009, its daily circulation was 358,844 (a drop of 5.17 percent from January 2008) and by March 2010, its daily circulation had fallen further to 283,063.  However, this trend has been offset by the Guardian’s decision to expand the publication of all its material, together with that of … [Read more...]

FROM BLOCKADE TO BOYCOTT: THE IMPACT ON UK JEWRY OF REACTIONS TO GAZA

Britain is a country that favors the underdog and likes to see itself as the custodian of the basic principles of fair play. As such, the Gaza War of December 2008-January 2009 and the ongoing blockade, as viewed through media coverage in Britain, has damaged Israel’s image for many British people. There are many reasons for this: the disparity in firepower, higher Gazan casualties; the daily news pictures during the Gaza War of Israeli planes being able to overfly the area and drop bombs … [Read more...]

BRITISH-ISRAEL RELATIONS SEEN THROUGH VISITING ELITE OPINIONMAKER DELEGATIONS

INTRODUCTION   It might look like an unjustifiably expensive and time-intensive undertaking. Bringing British journalists, students, academics, and politicians to Israel in the hope of moderating increasingly negative popular perceptions can feel Sisyphean; and with more immediate and more significant threats to Israel's national security, "lunching for Israel" may appear indulgent. In fact, it is none of these. There should be no doubt about the relevance of the objective. … [Read more...]

THE MEANING OF THE UK CAMPAIGN FOR AN ACADEMIC BOYCOTT OF ISRAEL

INTRODUCTION What does the academic boycott of Israel by trade unions representing British academics tell about British attitudes to Israel and the Middle East?Many Israelis and American Jews tend to view it as classical antisemitism. Sometimes they generalize, assuming that this was a reflection of a general disposition in Britain toward antisemitism. Others tend to dismiss the boycott campaign as the ranting of a small and insignificant minority; while the boycott campaigners and their … [Read more...]

UK ATTITUDES TOWARD THE MIDDLE EAST: THE BRITISH TRADE UNION MOVEMENT

  The 2009 decision by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to campaign for a consumer boycott of goods from the Israeli settlements in the West Bank has been hailed by the British boycott movement as a watershed moment in Britain in the battle for the hearts and minds of the uncommitted in the Middle East conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Now, they say, with TUC support, the Palestinians can go on and win the battle to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land in a similar … [Read more...]

HOW THE UK ARRIVED AT THE PRESENT SITUATION REGARDING ISRAEL AND MIDDLE EAST ISSUES

A few days in March 2010 gave a good flavor of the present standing of Israel in the United Kingdom. On March 23, then British Foreign Secretary David Miliband announced to the House of Commons that the government was expelling an Israeli diplomat.  The expulsion, thought to be of the London Mossad chief, came after forged British passports were used to kill a Hamas terrorist in Dubai (an incident which Israel denies any involvement in). The following Monday, March 29, the Jerusalem String … [Read more...]

THE UK, THE MIDDLE EAST, AND ISRAEL: A SYMPOSIUM

jonathan-spyer

INTRODUCTION In this symposium, several experts report and analyze attitudes within the United Kingdom’s civil society regarding the Middle East and Arab-Israeli conflict. One of the most widely noted developments has been the rise there of grassroots activism and intellectual ferment on behalf of the Palestinian cause and against Israel. In 2005, an attempt to use professional associations to initiate a boycott of Israeli academia was launched in Britain.  While this was … [Read more...]