Why won’t Israel recognize the Armenian genocide?

There’s been growing attention given to Israel’s policy on the Armenian genocide over the last two decades. Scholars, practitioners, journalists, activists and the general public are trying to map the different reasons and grievances framing Israel’s firm position: not to recognize the Armenian genocide.

Conventional wisdom points to dictums such as “Israeli relations with Turkey are too important” or that “Israel prefers Azerbaijan to the Armenians.” However, those reasons are too sweeping to explain a more complex phenomenon: which of Israel’s state institutions refuse recognition, and why.

I would argue that it is quite understandable why both consecutive Israeli governments, and the wider political and cultural spectrum represented in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, hold what appears to be a wholly pragmatic stance despite it being counter-intuitive to normative and liberal democratic considerations, including the specific historical experience of the Jewish people.

Why does the Knesset fail to pass the Armenian genocide bill time and time again, and how static or fluid is this stance for the future?

— source Jews For Justice For Palestinians | Eldad Ben Aharon | 21 Apr 2021

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‘Operators in India Hacked’ UK Foreign Office Phones Using Pegasus

Two days before Boris Johnson’s first visit as prime minister to India, it has been revealed that ‘operators’ in India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Cyprus and Jordan used the Israeli spyware Pegasus to target phones of United Kingdom (UK) government officials between July 2020 and June 2021.

According to an analysis by Toronto-based Internet watchdog Citizen Lab—which has exposed the use of the NSO Group’s Pegasus by various governments, including India, several times—and reported by The New Yorker for the first time, the malware was also found on a device connected to 10 Downing Street.

A UK official confirmed to The New Yorker that the network was compromised. UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, a branch of British intelligence, tested several phones at Downing Street, including Johnson’s. “It’s a bloody hard job,” the official said adding that the agency was unable to locate the infected device. Therefore, the quality and quantity of data that could have been compromised were never determined.

“When we found the No. 10 case, my jaw dropped,” John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at the Citizen Lab told the American weekly magazine. Another senior researcher Bill

— source newsclick.in | 19 Apr 2022

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The worker objected to Google’s Israel military contract got transfer

Google told her to move to Brazil. More than 500 Google workers have rallied behind a colleague who alleges she is being pushed out of her job because of her activism within the company, the latest flare-up between the tech giant and employees who speak out against its business practices and workplace conditions. The workers have signed a petition accusing Google leadership of “unjustly retaliating” against Ariel Koren, a product marketing manager at Google for Education, for voicing criticism of Project Nimbus, a $1.2-billion contract Google and Amazon Web Services entered into with the Israeli military and government.

— source latimes.com | Mar 15, 2022

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Why looting was central to the Nakba

These gushing lines from a letter don’t describe shopping items, but bounty: an Israeli soldier’s private profits from the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the city of Safed during the war of 1948.

Alongside the massacres, expulsions, and expropriations of that war, Israelis — combatants and civilians alike — stole and looted an astonishing range of Palestinian belongings: personal items, musical instruments, livestock, agricultural produce, agricultural machinery, antiquities, and the contents of entire stores and libraries. The full scale and value of private plunder has never been established conclusively, as only items expropriated by or handed over to the state were documented in detail.

This mass theft is the subject of “Looting of Arab Property in the War of Independence,” a new book by historian Adam Raz, who works as a researcher at the Israeli archival group Akevot. The book concentrates specifically on the looting of movable assets belonging to Palestinians who were expelled from their land in 1948 and never permitted to return.

Raz separates this particular practice from the expropriation of Palestinian land by the nascent Israeli state, in a bid to trace acts initiated not from the top “by political decree,” but rather “from the bottom up” — by neighbors who cohabited in a shared space until the very eve of war. This experience, Raz believes, proved formative in shaping the

— source 972mag.com | Avi-ram Tzoreff | Mar 24, 2022

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Israelis are in denial at parallels between their occupation and Putin’s

The shockwaves from the Russia-Ukraine war quickly reached Israel, revealing some embarrassing truths and challenging Israelis to see their country as it actually is – so very different than what they like to imagine.

It began with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s declaration, shortly after the war began, that Russia’s invasion was “a grave violation of the international order”. Under other circumstances, this might almost have been amusing, highlighting Israel’s longstanding lack of self-awareness of its own less attractive attributes – like a camel that can’t see its own hump.

Russia is severely flouting the international order. But what of Israel? Has any other country so blatantly and arrogantly transgressed against the international order for so many years? Is there a single decision by major international institutions concerning its affairs that Israel has not ignored or boldly violated?

How was Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982, or its subsequent military occupation, any different than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? How are Israel’s frequent incursions into

— source middleeasteye.net | Gideon Levy | 14 Mar 2022

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Mossad Members Dropped By NSO Officers To Run Off-The-Books Phone Hacks

Oh, NSO Group, is there anything you won’t do? (And then clumsily deny later?). If I were the type to sigh about such things, I surely would. But that would indicate something between exasperation and surprise, which are emotions I don’t actually feel when bringing you this latest revelation about the NSO’s shady dealings.

The Mossad used NSO’s Pegasus spyware to hack cellphones unofficially under the agency’s previous director, Yossi Cohen, several NSO Group employees said.

The employees, who asked to remain anonymous because of their confidentiality agreements with the company, said that Mossad officials asked NSO on several occasions to hack certain phones for them. The employees didn’t know why these hacks were requested.

There’s plenty that will shock no one about these allegations. First off, NSO Group has an extremely close relationship with the Israeli government. Top-level officials have paved the way for sales to countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE, leveraging powerful spyware to obtain diplomatic concessions.

Second, NSO — like other Israeli malware merchants — recruits heavily from the Israeli government, approaching military members and analysts from intelligence agencies Shin Bet a

— source techdirt.com | Tim Cushing | Feb 24 2022

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What I Didn’t See as a Jewish Israeli

After 59 years in Israel, visiting the Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah shook my identity.

“I was born in Romania during the Second World War,” writes Tzvia Thier. In the wake of the Holocaust, her family immigrated to Israel, where she grew up in Tel Aviv. She spent years on a kibbutz, served in the army, and worked as a teacher and principal. Yet despite her identity as a liberal Zionist who was against racism and discrimination, Thier writes that her own education as a Jewish Israeli meant that “I did not know that I lived behind an invisible wall. I did not know how much I did not know.”

In this excerpt from “Seeing Zionism at Last,” her essay in A Land With a People: Palestinians and Jews Confront Zionism, Thier describes a pivotal moment that opened her eyes to the fundamental injustice of the Nakba, the violent dispossession of Palestinians from their land.

The 1967 war pushed me into thinking more about my political stand. The West Bank occupation, the settlements, and the right-wing settlers were for me the main political wrongdoing. It was not that I ignored the Nakba; I did not know this term at all, and 1948 remained holy in my mind. In this piece of land, Israel–Palestine, the population is divided about half and half between Jews and Palestinians. When Israelis say Palestinians, they can be referring to the Palestinian citizens of Israel—the so-called “1948

— source yesmagazine.org | Tzvia Thier | Mar 7, 2022

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