Yonatan Mendel

Yonatan Mendel teaches in the Middle East Department at Ben-Gurion University.

From The Blog
19 January 2021

In the last six months of 2020 – the death spiral of the Trump presidency – a series of peace deals and normalisation agreements were signed between Israel and Arab countries: the UAE and Bahrain came first, in September, followed by Sudan and Morocco. Rumours are that Oman will be next. In November, Netanyahu went to Saudi Arabia to meet the crown prince, Muhammad Bin Salman. Apparently, while most countries were counting the minutes till Trump’s term would be over, Israel and a few monarchies and dictatorships in the Arab world were squeezing the most out of his last weeks in office. Each delegation asked Trump, as if he were the Wizard of Oz, for what it most wanted in return for normalising relations: to be taken off the list of state sponsors of terrorism (Sudan); to have its illegal occupation of other people’s land recognised (Morocco); to buy a few squadrons of F-35s (UAE); to put the Palestinian cause to sleep (Israel); possibly along with other promises we will never hear about.

Benjamin​ Netanyahu’s trial for corruption was supposed to begin on 17 March. He had been charged on three separate counts: the first indictment, for fraud and breach of trust, has to do with the alleged receipt of ‘gifts’ – cigars, champagne – with a total value of $200,000 from the Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan and the Australian billionaire James Packer. The...

Diary: A Palestinian Day Out

Yonatan Mendel, 15 August 2019

It happens​ twice a year. The beach between Tel Aviv and Jaffa fills with Palestinians from the West Bank. For many children this is the only time they get to visit the seaside, even though their homes in the Occupied Territories may be no more than twenty or thirty kilometres away. There are draconian restrictions on the movement of Palestinians living in the West Bank (the residents of...

Short Cuts: Uri Avnery

Yonatan Mendel, 13 September 2018

Uri​ (pronounced Oori, not Yuri) is a modern Hebrew name. Not a Jewish name, and definitely not diasporic, but Hebrew-Israeli: it is part of the Hebrew culture that emerged in historical Palestine at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. The protagonist of He Walked through the Fields, a classic novel in Zionist thought, written in 1947 by Moshe Shamir and later a play and...

Activestills: Activestills shoots back

Yonatan Mendel, 2 February 2017

The​ Israeli government says there is no occupation; the documentary group Activestills shoots back with images of Palestinians living under constant military threat. The Israeli army says Palestinians who protest against soldiers are terrorists; Activestills shoots back with photographs of Palestinian civilians standing in silent resistance. Israeli media refuse to name Palestinians killed...

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