Jonathan Cook

Following Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson’s appointment as British Prime Minister, commentators are predicting a general election, possibly as early as October.

While a victory for Labour is far from certain, as it drops in the polls, Jonathan Cook writes that powerful forces are at work to ensure that Jeremy Corbyn — still the most popular Labour politician — never gets the chance to govern.

The Israeli parliament has voted overwhelmingly to suspend Haneen Zoabi, a legislator representing the state’s large Palestinian minority, for six months as a campaign to silence political dissent intensified. The Israeli parliament, or Knesset, voted by 68 to 16 to endorse a decision in late July by its ethics committee to bar Zoabi from the chamber for what it termed “incitement”. It is the longest suspension in the Knesset’s history and the maximum punishment allowed under Israeli law. At a press conference, Zoabi denounced her treatment as “political persecution”.
For much of the past two years, Israel stood sphinx-like on the sidelines of Syria’s civil war. Did it want Bashar al-Assad’s regime toppled? Did it favour military intervention to help opposition forces? And what did it think of the increasing visibility of Islamist groups in Syria? It was difficult to guess.
It was a Palestinian legislator who made the most telling comment to the Israeli parliament last week as it passed the boycott law, which outlaws calls to boycott Israel or its settlements in the occupied territories. Ahmed Tibi asked: “What is a peace activist or Palestinian allowed to do to oppose the occupation? Is there anything you agree to?”
Moshe Dayan, Israel’s most celebrated general, famously outlined the strategy he believed would keep Israel’s enemies at bay: “Israel must be a like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother.” Until now, most observers assumed Dayan was referring to Israeli military or possibly nuclear strategy, an expression in his typically blunt fashion of the country’s familiar doctrine of deterrence.
An Israeli journalist who went into hiding after writing a series of reports showing lawbreaking approved by Israeli army commanders faces a lengthy jail term for espionage if caught, as Israeli security services warned at the weekend they would “remove the gloves” to track him down.
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