On this edition of Parallax Views, Richard Silverstein of the Tikun Olam blog returns to discuss the latest eruptions of violence in Israel/Palestine starting with the massacre in the Palestinian Jenin refugee and then the deadly attack on Israelis outside a Synagogue in East Jerusalem shortly thereafter. In addition to this, we talk about the anti-government protests in Israel against Netanyahu’s government and the fears within Israel over Netanyahu’s judicial reforms which some are arguing would be a fascistic judicial coup by the Israeli far-right. Moreover, Richard and I discuss President Joe Biden and U.S. foreign policy with regards to Israel and specifically Secretary of State Antony Blinken visit to Israel and meeting with the deeply dysfunctional and corrupt Palestinian Authority’s President Mahmoud Abbas.
Additionally Richard and I will delve into Netanyahu’s cozying up with America’s evangelical Christian right, background on Richard’s own evolution of thought in regards to Israel/Palestine, Israeli messianism and the end times, the potential for a Third Intifada to erupt, the Israeli economy and big tech start-up companies in Israel, the former Shin Bet (domestic Israeli intelligence chief) calling for a General Strike in Israel, Rabbi Meier Kahane and the Israeli far-right, Israeli ministerial position figures Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir, Itamar Ben Gvir’s vision for Israel and the Temple Mount, the “toxic brew” that is effecting Israeli politics right now, religious violence and conflict escalation, cycles of violence in Israel/Palestine, secular politics and conflict resolution/compromise, the permanent banning of the anti-Zionist/non-Zionist Mondoweiss media outlet from TikTok, the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition of antisemitism, the attacks on UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese’s and her work on the situation of human rights in the occupied territories, and more!
In the second half of the program (about an hour into the show), Grant F. Smith of the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy returns to the program to discuss his critique of New York Times op-ed columnist Thomas Friedman’s reporting on Israel/Palestine over the years. Grant recently penned a piece at irMEP on the subject entitled “Thomas L. Friedman’s Israel: The krytron and the cholent heater”.
In a recent conversation with Peter Beinart, Friedman expressed fear that the two-state solution is dead and has also written an op-ed imploring Joe Biden to save Israel from becoming “illiberal bastion of zealotry”. In other words, Friedman has been critical of Israel as of late. Grant, however, believes the criticism is mild and undermined by his previous writings especially in regards to Israeli spy and movie mogul Arnon Milchan, nuclear weapons and smuggling operations, and Benjamin Netanyahu in the 1980s.
Among the topics covered in the course of our conversation:
– Nuclear smuggling and Israel’s “Project Pinto”
– Saudi Arabia, the Abraham Accords, Israel’s WeWork boondogle, and the private Israeli salmon farming Project Jonah that funded by large sums of taxpayer dollars/government funding
– The NUMEC Affair and Israeli nuclear weapons smuggling
– Critiques of Thomas Friedman’s writings on globalization (see: The World is Flat and The Lexus and the Oliver Tree) and his “Golden Arches Theory of War” (ie: no two countries with a McDonald’s would go to war with each other)
– And more!