Analysis News

Kafr Kanna isn't Ferguson, it's much worse

Imagine that at the peak of the Ferguson protests, President Obama — or any other American official — had issued a formal statement threatening to revoke the citizenship of African Americans who chose not to keep their mouths shut.

By Seraj Assi and Lawrence McMahon

Arab youth clash with Israeli riot police in Kafr Kanna, Israel, November 8, 2014. The protests took place after an Arab man from the village was shot and killed by Israeli policemen. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Arab youth clash with Israeli riot police in Kafr Kanna, Israel, November 8, 2014. The protests took place after an Arab man from the village was shot and killed by Israeli policemen. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli police shot dead a young Arab citizen in the town of Kafr Kanna in the lower Galilee this past week. Numerous reports have suggested that the victim, Kheir Hamdan, was shot simply because he was an Arab. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemingly conceded the same conclusion when, prior to any investigation whatsoever into the incident, he issued a statement scolding Arab youth.

In the meantime, local journalists rushed to compare Kafr Kanna to Ferguson, Missouri, invoking the shooting of African-American teenager Michael Brown as a parallel example of a racial divide. Kafr Kanna, however, is not Ferguson, and here is why:

The conflict between the Arab minority of Israel and the State is not truly an American-style “civil rights” struggle. Arabs in Israel cannot be classified as second-class citizens when senior Israeli officials, including Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, continue to portray them as enemies from within, a demographic time bomb, and a fifth column population. While the Arabs in Israel experience exclusion and brutality just as African Americans do, they also face — to use a popular phrase — an existential threat.

Read also: The difference between Israel’s racist cops and America’s

The so-called Liberman Plan, named after the foreign minister, proposes transferring territory in Israel populated by Arabs to the Palestinian Authority in exchange for territory in the West Bank populated by Israeli settlers. Liberman grumbles that it makes no sense to create a Palestinian state devoid of Jews while Israel has turned into a bi-national state with over 20 percent Arabs.

In other words, the Israeli foreign minister wants...

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Hundreds of Palestinians, Israelis protest collective punishment in East Jerusalem

Over 800 people marched in the streets of Issawiya to call for an end to the mayor’s policies of road closures, petty fines and home demolitions.

By Moriel Rothman-Zecher

In the midst of the heightened tension gripping much of Jerusalem over the past few weeks, over 800 people marched peacefully through the village of Issawiya Wednesday, calling for an end to collective punishment of East Jerusalem residents and protesting the occupation. The majority of marchers were Palestinians from the neighborhood, along with a sizable contingent of outside activists, both Palestinian and Israeli, coming from the nearby Hebrew University campus and elsewhere to show solidarity with the people of the Issawiya. The march, organized by an ad-hoc coalition of Palestinian and Israeli activists, was intended to highlight the ways in which residents of East Jerusalem, and Issawiya in particular, have faced severe collective punishment over the past few weeks.

The demonstration yesterday began at 4:00 p.m., and was guarded by dozens of Border Police officers dressed in riot gear and armed with tear gas, rubber bullets and other crowd dispersal measures. Some of the officers were mounted on horseback, and behind them a “skunk” vehicle loomed.

Palestinian protesters and Israeli activists demonstrate against new concrete blockades put in place by Israeli police restricting access to the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya, November 12, 2014. Israeli police had blocked off three of the four entrances leading to Issawiya due to recent clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli police. (Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Activestills.org)

Palestinian protesters and Israeli activists demonstrate against new concrete blockades put in place by Israeli police restricting access to the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya, November 12, 2014. Israeli police had blocked off three of the four entrances leading to Issawiya due to recent clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli police. (Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Activestills.org)

Haithem Mahmoud, a resident of Issawiya who attended the march, explained to me that for the past two weeks, two of the three main access roads into Issawiya have been blocked off. I asked him what the explanation was for these blockades, and he said that police had informed them that the roads were blocked in order to “stop stone throwing by youth.”

“They’re treating the whole village like trash,” he continued, “It’s harder to get food, harder to get medicine. Students are late for...

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My afternoon with Yasser Arafat

Ten years after Arafat’s death, an Arab citizen of Israel reflects on a solidarity visit to the father of Palestinian nationalism in his besieged Ramallah compound.

By Seraj Assi

PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat in Davos, Switzerland, January 28, 2001. (UN Photo/Evan Schneider)

PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat in Davos, Switzerland, January 28, 2001. (UN Photo/Evan Schneider)

Ten years ago, on November 11, 2004, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died in mysterious circumstances in Paris.

Theories ranged from natural causes to assassination. The French, Russian and Swiss teams that investigated the cause all agreed to disagree. In a sense, Arafat was made in the image of Palestine: the mystery of his life and death remains largely unsolved.

I met Arafat three years before his death. That was in late December 2001, nearly one year into the Second Intifada. The country was touching off a new spasm of violence. Israeli tanks and troops had already moved in force and put Palestinian cities under curfew. In the wake of three suicide bombings inside Israel, Arafat was grounded and confined to his headquarters in Ramallah. He claimed to have orchestrated the uprising.

Those who witnessed the failure at Camp David were hardly surprised. To steal a line from Alexis Tocqueville, no other event in Palestinian history was so inevitable yet so completely unforeseen. In this view, Arafat, the usual scapegoat who was widely blamed for the collapse of the talks, did orchestrate the uprising.

By that time, I was attending the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The visit was an act of solidarity organized by a group of fellow Arab students. The idea was to remind the Israelis that Arafat was our leader too. Having witnessed Israel’s brutality against Palestinians on both sides of the border, we sensed that our destinies were now intertwined.

I remember travelling for two hours to cross the 10 miles separating Jerusalem from Ramallah. Roads were partly destroyed, partly blocked with concrete blocks, piles of dirt, and deep trenches. For us, as for many Palestinians across the border, this unbearable interruption in time and space was yet another consequence of the Oslo Accords.

After an extra hour in the line, we finally passed the last checkpoint and walked all the way to the Mukataa, aka, the Arafat Compound. We were greeted by the guards and guided to an office complex with...

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How police lied about the deadly shooting of Khir Hamdan

I was sure that with all of their past experience, Israeli police would finally learn how to tell a decent lie. It turns out that the boys in blue could stand to learn a thing or two.

By Rami Younis

I spent the last week in Amsterdam, where I hoped to disconnect and forget about the racism and the violence of Zionism, to see Ajax — my favorite soccer team since childhood — defeat a formidable opponent in its home stadium like in the good old days, and for a bit of nostalgia.

The first goal was achieved. The second one? Not so much: Messi destroyed us fairly easily. On game day I witnessed an arrest in real time: three Dutch police officers jumped on a suspect mid-crime at the central station. How strange it was to see a quiet arrest — no batons, tasers or pistols drawn. The arrest was so non-violent that the handcuffed suspect didn’t utter a sound — as if he was an equal party to the arrest.

This kind of thing is so far from the reality in Israel that I found myself making an effort to tie it into our everyday experience. “Look at that,” I said to my friend. “And now imagine this kind of thing happening where we come from, and that the suspect is Arab.”

Lying with spelling mistakes

It took me 15 minutes after landing to get caught up on the events of the past week. Between all the violent incidents only one thing managed to (still) surprise me: Israeli police are such terrible liars that is simply embarrassing. I was sure that with all of their past experience, the boys in blue would finally learn how to tell a decent lie. How disappointing.

The site Arabs48 gathered all the press releases to the Arab media after the shooting death of 22-year-old Khir Hamdan (Arabic). The statements, which were given by police spokesperson Luba Samri in terrible Arabic (as expected), reflect the police’s pathetic attempts at whitewashing the killing. In its first message released at 2:23 a.m., police announced that the “22-year-old who was killed attacked the police with a knife, and after they shot several warning shots in the air, police were forced to shoot him.” In the second statement, released at 3:27 a.m., the police stated that they were bringing in reinforcements “due to high tensions...

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Ashkenazis, it is time to acknowledge our racism

The easiest way to avoid being called racist is to only hang out with Ashkenazis. But I hate this, and need to admit that I treat Mizrahis differently. Now all that is left is to start making a change.

By Ruth Stern

When my friend and poet Shlomi Hatuka asked me to write something about Ashkenazis and Mizrahis, I became a bit worried. How will I write without people seeing my own racism?

The surest way to not demonstrate one’s racism is by avoiding. If I do not find myself around Mizrahis, black people or Arabs then I won’t be racist. I know this strategy well. When I came out of the closet as a lesbian, many of my closest friends became distant. It was easy for me to believe that they acted that way because they couldn’t stand the fact that I am a lesbian, but I believe that what they really couldn’t stand were their own feelings. They, of course, do not see themselves as homophobes. So where do such strong feelings come from? And what will happen should someone recognize them for what they are? So they took a few steps back – anything so that they don’t have to deal with that terrible feeling. But when they went away, I was left alone. I don’t want to do the same thing to Mizrahis.

My most immediate connection with what is happening today with the Mizrahis of Ars Poetica (a monthly poetry and music event, which features many up-and-coming Mizrahi poets) is that instead of erasing themselves, they are standing out. Instead of accepting integration they are speaking out. Just like I do not accept the idea of being the quiet lesbian who just wants to live a quiet life, and instead insists on kissing in public, making noise and not tolerating homophobia.

Mizrahi activists protest outside Finance Minister Yair Lapid's house, north Tel Aviv. (photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Mizrahi activists protest outside Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s house, north Tel Aviv. (photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

That question of “why are you raising such a stink?” comes up again and again for me as well as for Mizrahis. They tell us that we are all the same – straight, gay, Mizrahi, Ashkenazi. Only you are making distinctions, they say, not us. But when you are part of the dominant...

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What Palestinian media is saying about the Jerusalem violence

From the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir to unrelenting settlement expansion and police harassment, the sources of anger in East Jerusalem are many. But the aspirations and provocations of right-wing Israeli Jews to change the status quo in the Aqsa Mosque compound seems to the driving force. A survey of major Palestinian newspapers.

By Henriette Chacar

Palestinian youth take cover behind a door as they shoot fireworks toward Israeli Border Police during clashes at a checkpoint between the Shuafat refugee camp and the rest of Jerusalem, November 6, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinian youth take cover behind a door as they shoot fireworks toward Israeli Border Police during clashes at a checkpoint between the Shuafat refugee camp and the rest of Jerusalem, November 6, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Many Palestinians are calling it the “Car Intifada.” In the span of just a couple of weeks, three Palestinian residents of east Jerusalem made their vehicles into weapons and ran over pedestrians, killing four Israelis and wounding dozens more. This is hardly a new terror tactic, but the proximity of the attacks on top of intensifying tensions in Jerusalem all contributed to it its name — to it even being given a name.

So what’s going on in Jerusalem? Why is this happening now? And what is the Palestinian media’s narrative of the latest events in Jerusalem?

Since Israel seized control of Jerusalem’s Old City in 1967, during the Six Day War, Israel has vowed to maintain the status quo at the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif. That arrangement stipulates that non-Muslim visitors may visit but may not pray at the site. Over the years Israeli authorities have largely enforced those rules, although a series of recent events has made Palestinians increasingly suspicious of Israel’s intentions.

Photos of the month: The holy city nears its boiling point

Palestinian media was reporting perceived Israeli challenges toward the status quo on the Noble Sanctuary since early June, even before the war in Gaza broke about. The June 3rd headline in Palestine’s most widely read broadsheet, Al-Quds, read: “Israel bans Muslims, allows Jews to enter al-Aqsa Mosque.” Citing local sources, the news item mentioned that, “more than 60 extremist settlers stormed the mosque courtyards on Tuesday and performed Talmudic rituals under police protection. Meanwhile, Palestinian worshipers were prohibited from entering al-Aqsa...

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Censorship in the American Jewish community

Support for groups like JVP has grown significantly since the latest war against Gaza. Disenfranchising this ever-growing segment of concerned American Jews will only escalate the decline in our community.

By Seth Morrison

A protest condemning the Israeli assault on Gaza outside the Israeli consulate in downtown Chicago, July 16, 2014. (Photo by Tess Scheflan/Activestills.org)

A protest condemning the Israeli assault on Gaza outside the Israeli consulate in downtown Chicago, July 16, 2014. (Photo by Tess Scheflan/Activestills.org)

The past year has seen increasing efforts within the American Jewish community to censor anybody who believes that boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) are the way to end the occupation — censorship that is most often targeted at Jewish Voice for Peace. And yet, JVP continues to grow.

JVP is not anti-Israel, it is anti-occupation. Our belief that that the people living in Israel-Palestine are the ones who must decide on their own political formulations does not negate that we are committed Jews acting according to Jewish teachings of how to treat your neighbors. We support any solution that fully recognizes and respects the human rights and aspirations of both peoples — and that includes people with varying political visions for the end of the conflict.

Within JVP I have met many people who like me think that a two-state solution is best, many who believe in a single state with strong guarantees for all, and an increasing number who would like to see a two-state solution but believe that Israel has closed that door in the last few years.

Read also: ‘As U.S. Jews, we need to figure out what leverage we have in ending the occupation’

Whenever I have expressed my support for a two-state solution to JVP members, responses have always been respectful. I have never been shut down, accused of being anti-Palestinian or called names. Yet some of my Jewish friends have totally cut me off, refuse to interact with me online or in person and have called me a traitor, accused me of ignoring the Holocaust or called me names that I won’t repeat. I expected some pushback and honest debate, but censorship and alienation are dangerous to the future of the American Jewish community.

JVP Boston activists protest the Veolia transportation company for operating bus lines...</img></div><a href=Read More
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Who will put an end to the murder of Arab women in Israel?

Ten women from the same family have been murdered since 2000. In failing to protect them, we have failed in coming to terms with the fact that women are independent, free human beings who have exclusive ownership over their bodies.

By Samah Salaime Egbariya (translated by Sol Salbe)

The first documented murder of a woman in Palestine occurred in 1930. A young Christian woman returned to her village on horseback while being held by one of the Arab fighters. He claimed that he gave her a ride to the village when a deluge of rain caught her in the fields. Someone from the village concluded that an act of forbidden love was involved. The next day that young woman’s body was found in a cave near the village. Her virgin body was buried in the cave; her tomb became a pilgrimage site because she was pure when she was murdered. The warrior, of course, continued to fight for occupied Palestinian land, and lost the battle as we know.

Women shout slogans during the International Women's Day march in Qalandiya, West Bank on March 8th, 2014. Around 400 women and supporters marched to the Israeli checkpoint holding signs and shouting slogans against the occupation, calling to boycott Israel. The demonstration was dispersed by Israeli forces with tear gas and shock grenades.

Women shout slogans during the International Women’s Day march in Qalandiya, West Bank on March 8th, 2014. (Activestills.org)

Eighty years have passed. In the meantime the State of Israel was founded, and the Palestinian minority within it is still fighting for its civil rights and its Palestinian Arab identity. Since then many women have been murdered by men in their family who were angry about something that didn’t seem quite right in their behavior as women. Somehow the honor killing of that Christian girl has become Islamized, yet Muslim sheikhs rush to absolve Islam after each murder. The “heroic” men have been transformed into anonymous masked men who are paid in advance by other men for the murders. The rage and the irrepressible wrath has been transformed into a carefully crafted deed carried out by a criminal gang armed with illegal weapons. It determines who is going to be killed, when and how. The very same men who appoint themselves “the honor guard” of the family...

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How Likud became the Almighty's contractor at the Temple Mount

For Israel’s ruling party, Zionism was first and foremost about settlements and security rather than religious salvation. The growing interest in the Temple Mount, however, reflects a complete transformation of Israeli politics as we know it. Welcome to the end times.

By Tomer Persico

The attempted assassination of Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick, to whom I wish a speedy recovery, comes at the height of a growing trend among the Israeli public. It is a trend that finds clear expression amongst the ruling Likud party, and one that Glick was a leading advocate of. In recent years the Temple Mount movements have acted intensively to increase the number of visits by Jews, while concurrently raising awareness about the situation at the Mount. This situation includes a de-facto ban on public Jewish prayer, and an increase in violence (mostly verbal) by Palestinian Muslims toward Jewish visitors. Among the most prominent achievements of the Temple Mount proponents has been obtaining the explicit support of nearly half of Likud’s Knesset members for their struggle.

Right-wing activist Yehuda Glick holding a book depicting the Jewish Temple while standing in front of the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, May 21, 2009. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Right-wing activist Yehuda Glick holding a book depicting the Jewish Temple while standing in front of the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, May 21, 2009. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The Likud movement has always had a fondness for national myths, but even among its members, Zionism was first and foremost about settlements and security rather than religious salvation. The growing interest in the Temple Mount among Likud members embodies the change that has taken place in Israeli political discourse – one that if not properly understood, will render our view of the current tensions and violence in Jerusalem incomplete. At that very same convention where Glick (who ran for Knesset on the Likud ticket two years ago) was shot, under the title “Israel Returns to the Temple Mount,” Chair of the Interior Committee of the Knesset, MK Miri Regev, and the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Moshe Feiglin, both of Likud, called for a return of Jews en masse to the Mount. Regev tied “our right to pray on the Mount” together with “our right to the land,” demonstrating in clear fashion the mythical coating that covers the...

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A pretense of progress for children in Israel's military courts

A new amendment requiring military authorities to videotape interrogations of Palestinian minors may seem like a step in the right direction. That is, until you read the fine print.

By Gerard Horton

Youth from Aida Refugee Camp rest during a lull in clashes with Israeli forces near the separation wall in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, November 16, 2013. The wall, which divides Bethlehem's land is a frequent entry point for incursions by Israeli forces into Aida Refugee Camp, and often a site of clashes with camp youth. (Photo by Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Youth from Aida Refugee Camp rest during a lull in clashes with Israeli forces near the separation wall in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, November 16, 2013. The wall, which divides Bethlehem’s land is a frequent entry point for incursions by Israeli forces into Aida Refugee Camp, and often a site of clashes with camp youth. (Photo by Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org)

Change has been afoot since UNICEF published a report finding that the ill treatment of children held in Israeli military detention “appears to be widespread, systematic and institutionalized.” Most recently that change has come in the form of a new military order (Military Order 1745), which requires Israeli police in the West Bank to audio-visually record interrogations of minors.

The order also stipulates that interrogations should be conducted and documented in the language of the accused.

Up until now the recording and documentation of interrogations of Palestinian minors by Israeli authorities in the West Bank has been unsatisfactory to say the least. While according to the authorities nearly one-third of minors detained in 2013 had at least part of their interrogation audio-visually recorded, none of the tapes were handed over to defense lawyers at an early stage in proceedings.

In other cases where the interrogations were only audio recorded, defense lawyers report significant discrepancies between the tapes and the statements ultimately signed by the minors.

And perhaps most disturbingly, in a recent report released by Military Court Watch, 69 per cent of Palestinian children reported that they were shown, or made to sign, documentation written in Hebrew, a language they do not understand, at the conclusion of their interrogation.

Read +972′s full coverage of children under occupation

The use of audio-visual recording during the investigative process is...

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Solitary confinement: A common denominator in Jerusalem attacks

Israel held over 3,000 prisoners — in over 5,000 incidents — in solitary confinement over the course of last year. Over 200 minors were sent to solitary. Experts call the practice cruel and inhuman treatment, and agree that it causes severe psychiatric problems. With two attacks in Jerusalem within the span of a week committed by men who spent significant period of time in solitary, it merits a closer look.

By Noam Rotem (translated from Hebrew by Einat Adar)

Illustrative photo of Palestinian prisoners in an Israeli military prison (By ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com)

Illustrative photo of Palestinian prisoners in an Israeli military prison (By ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com)

On Wednesday night, October 29, a man arrived on a motorcycle to a conference organized by a Jewish right-wing movement to promote the building of a new temple on the Temple Mount and shot three bullets at Yehuda Glick, a central figure in the movement. A few hours later, Shin Bet forces invaded the Abu Tor neighborhood in Jerusalem and shot and killed Muataz Hejazi, a Palestinian recently released from jail, who they claimed was responsible for shooting Glick. But the story is more complicated than that.

Hejazi, a resident of Abu Tor, was sent to prison in December 2000 — during the Second Intifada — after being convicted of an attempt to set fire to an electrical box in a settlers’ house. His acquaintances claim that he was not a member of the Islamic Jihad organization, as claimed by the state, but admitted to being a member after he was tortured by Israeli investigators. During his time in jail – and, according to the same sources, after he and family members visiting him were humiliated in prison — he attacked a prison officer with a razor and beat up an investigator who, according to his family, was among those who tortured him.

In response to these incidents the jail authorities decided to hold him in solitary confinement. According to the Palestinian Prisoners Club, a Palestinian NGO that supports prisoners and their families, Hejazi spent 11 years in Israeli prison, 10 of which were in solitary confinement.

When he was released in June 2012 he suffered severe psychiatric disorders which, according to sources close to him, were caused by his long stretch of solitary confinement. Hejazi was...

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Who is really fanning the flames in Jerusalem?

By publishing false news stories that perfectly align with the government’s agenda, the Israeli media is guilty of sowing violence in a city already on the edge.

By Yael Arava

“Trying to fan the flames? The Palestinian prime minister went to visit the grave of the terrorist from the [Jerusalem light rail] attack, and then entered a mosque in order to strengthen the ties between the Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the Arabs of Ramallah.”

These words were published by NRG, a website owned by the right-wing, religious Makor Rishon newspaper, which was recently bought out by Sheldon Adelson, earlier this week. The question in NRG’s headline remains unanswered. Who exactly is trying to fan the flames? Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah never even visited the grave of the terrorist behind the attack.

Israeli policemen arrest a Palestinian protester during a protest outside Jerusalem's old city against the Israeli authorities' policy in resent weeks to limit access for Muslim worshippers to the al-Aqsa mosque compound, October 15, 2014. At least four protesters were arrested after Israeli police dispersed the protest. Muslim men and women over 50 are allowed to enter the compound in recent weeks, as Jewish right-wing activists enter al-Aqsa mosque compound with police escort. (Activestills.org)

Israeli policemen arrest a Palestinian protester during a protest outside Jerusalem’s old city against the Israeli authorities’ policy in resent weeks to limit access for Muslim worshippers to the al-Aqsa mosque compound, October 15, 2014. At least four protesters were arrested after Israeli police dispersed the protest. Muslim men and women over 50 are allowed to enter the compound in recent weeks, as Jewish right-wing activists enter al-Aqsa mosque compound with police escort. (Activestills.org)

But fanning the flames becomes very easy when public opinion is influenced by disinformation. On Thursday Mahmoud Abbas said that Israel is doing just that through incitement, while the Israelis continue to blame the Palestinians for fanning the flames. So who is really responsible?

The balance between the government and the press is what lies at the heart of democracy. When there is a breach in that balance, the reader can be influenced by certain political agendas. In these cases, one does not receive information which allows him or her to draw conclusions based on the reality on the ground. When disinformation blatantly becomes the headline of a...

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Jailed Israeli conscientious objector starts hunger strike

Udi Segal, who refuses to enlist in the IDF due to its human rights violations in the occupied territories, declares he will go on hunger strike until his release from military prison.

By Yael Marom

Udi Segal (right) arrives with supporters to Tel Hashomer army base. (photo: סרבניות נגד הכיבוש)

Udi Segal (right) arrives with a supporter at Tel Hashomer army base. The sign reads: ‘Refuseniks against the occupation.’  (photo: Refusenik’s Against Enlistment)

Israeli conscientious objector Udi Segal, who announced his refusal to join the Israeli army three months ago, was sentenced to his fifth prison term on Thursday. Prior to his sentencing, Segal announced that he would begin a hunger strike until he is released from the IDF. Segal released a statement explaining the motivation behind his strike:

Three months ago, on my conscription date, I announced that I am unwilling to serve in the army for ideological reasons. Since then I was imprisoned four times. I sat 50 days in prison.

Tomorrow I will be sentenced for the fifth time and sent to prison again. Because of my repeated imprisonment, the continuing deprivation of my freedom, I decided to start a hunger strike until I am released from the army.

I refused because serving in the army contributes to an oppressive system, to which the army is an executive branch. I will not take part in the denial of the liberties of Palestinians.

I will not contribute to a situation in which four million Palestinians live in territories under a regime they did not elect, a regime which is oppressing me too. I consider my refusal as an act of solidarity with all those the Israeli regime hurt, both in Israel and the Occupied Territories.

I went to a Jewish-Arab school for eight years. Towards my conscription date, I realized that if I join the army I am throwing away everything I was taught in school, this whole attempt to create coexistence. Coexistence and occupation are things that can’t go together.

Segal arrived at the Tel Hashomer base in central Israel on Friday morning, where he once again declared his hunger strike, as well as his refusal to serve in the army. Segal was sentenced to 10 days in military jail.

Hunger striking is the only tool of nonviolent protest allowed for prisoners....

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