The sex industry in Israel generates nearly NIS 2 billion a year. Thousands of women find themselves trapped in a cycle of prostitution due to factors ranging from sexual abuse in childhood to severe social and economic circumstances. A new draft law that would take legal action against clients of prostitution services passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset recently. Social organizations are now trying to push for final passage.
Dozens of Tel Aviv storeowners woke up Tuesday morning to find that anti-occupation activists had posted fake military orders on their storefronts. The pseudo army notices ordered the stores to shut down for the entire day, in commemoration of the 20 years since the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre in Hebron, and to give Tel Aviv residents a glimpse of the Palestinian reality of segregation in the city.
Between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, Israel is building the separation wall on land confiscated from residents and village of Al Walaja. The village’s farmers are not willing to give up on the little land they have left but the state is planning to build a national park on the site. Social TV joins a group of activists who went to work the land in solidarity with Al Walaja’s residents.
Twenty years ago, on February 25, 1994, Israeli-American Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 people in the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, the Muslim holy site at the Cave of the Patriarchs. Goldstein’s attack with an automatic assault rifle left 125 wounded.
In the wake of the massacre, its victims, the Palestinian residents of Hebron, were the ones to suffer. Once one of the city’s major thoroughfares and commercial centers, Shuhada Street was closed to Palestinian vehicle and foot traffic as part of the Israeli army’s attempt to create “sterile” buffer zones between Jewish settlers and Palestinian residents in the city.
SocialTV accompanied “Breaking the Silence” to the segregated city of Hebron to hear how the Palestinian population of Hebron has been affected by Israeli policies since the Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre.
More on the Palestinian reality in Hebron:
For 60 years, the Israeli army has held onto six sought-after kilometers of some of the country’s most beautiful coastline. As some of the area is returned to the public in the coming years, local authorities will be burdened the heavy cost of cleaning up a wasteland of munitions. Environmental groups are gearing up for a fight against real estate developers in order to keep the sand dunes and beaches public and hope to protect the delicate ecosystems.
The question of who will be mayor of Nazareth, the “political capital” of Arabs citizens of Israel, remains undecided. Unlike national elections where Arab turnout lower than the national average, turnout in local races often reaches 90 percent in Arab cities and councils. Israel’s Hebrew-language media, however, does not cover those elections.
This is the story of the closely contested Nazareth mayoral race.
At the same time that a group of prominent African-American journalists and artists was touring Israel and Palestine earlier this month, African asylum seekers in Tel Aviv were taking to the streets to demand basic rights and refugee status.
For rapper-activist Jasiri X, being so close to the refugee protests compelled him to come and see their struggle with his own eyes, he explained.
“It’s been heartbreaking,” JasiriX told Israel Social TV at Levinski Park in south Tel Aviv. Media reports on Israel/Palestine are often whitewashed versions of the real story, he added, “so to come here and see and hear these stories – it’s so much worse.”
The group of artists and journalists also visited Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah during the tour, where participants recorded a spoken-word video with Mohammad El Kurd of My Neighbourhood. Jasiri X recently released a music video about Israeli military checkpoints in the West Bank.
Residents of the village of Nabi Samuel live in a place where they do not have authorization to be. Relatives and friends cannot visit because of checkpoints and walls, residents must to spend hours at checkpoints to go to work, they need permission from the courts to plant a tree, not to mention building rights.
The village of Nabi Samuel was occupied by Israel in 1967. Four years later residents were deported to an area nearby and their homes destroyed. The village area was declared a national park and last year the Civil Administration began to promote a plan to establish an archaeological site around the mosque and cemetery. This is their story.
The occupation doesn’t only takes its toll on Palestinian adults; in even more ways, it affects Palestinian children. In occupied East Jerusalem, children as young as six are snatched from their beds or on their way to or from school in order to give testimony or be questioned.
Why don’t the police simply send summonses to the children’s homes instead of arresting them in the middle of the night? Because the Israel Postal Service doesn’t operate in East Jerusalem. The logic of occupation.
One of the foundational myths of the State of Israel is that regardless of one’s ethnic or socio-economic background, recruitment into the army was the way to create social mobility that would place everyone on an equal playing field.
Today, minority groups such as Ethiopian, Bedouin and Druze continue trying to integrate into society through military service. But it turns out that exclusion in Israeli society is more powerful than the military ethos, leaving many minorities asking why they should die for a state that excludes them from its culture, economy and educational system.
Earlier this month, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the preparation of and support for a new ‘NGO law.’ The law would impose a 45 percent tax on donations to NGOs calling for a boycott of Israel, the prosecution IDF soldiers, that deny Israel’s state symbols. The NGO law is the latest of some 30 anti-democratic laws that have been put forth under Netanyahu’s last two terms.
Israel’s ‘Ayalon Canada Park,’ in the West Bank but abutting the Green Line, is full of cyclists and hikers enjoying the scenery and weather on any given Saturday. A visit to the park shows that few of the Israelis enjoying the trails and picnic sites know the story of the three Palestinian villages that were demolished in 1967, on whose land the park is located.
How can it be that settlements have a constant supply of fresh, clean water, while adjacent Palestinian villages suffer from severe droughts? In the Jordan Valley, settlement agriculture remains prosperous, while critically undercutting water and land resources belonging to the Palestinian villages.
Many of these villages exist on just 40% of the World Health Organization’s recommended minimum for water consumption, while in some Bedouin communities, that number falls to 20%. And yet, Israeli settlements continue to farm water-intensive species and use advanced technology to draw water that would otherwise go to Palestinian villages.