Analysis News

WATCH: When refusing army service is a privileged position

A group of 50 Israeli high school seniors recently sent letters to the prime minister declaring that they will refuse to serve in the army on ideological grounds. But refusing to serve the occupation can be a privileged position, one that is not afforded to various groups of Israelis of certain socioeconomic and religious backgrounds. 

Read more on Israel’s latest class of refusers:
Israeli teens tell Netanyahu: We will not take part in occupation


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WATCH: Druze draft refuser sentenced to 6th prison term

Omar Sa’ad, an 18-year-old Druze citizen of Israel, was sentenced a sixth, 20-day prison term last week for refusing to be drafted into the Israeli army as a conscientious objector.

Before his sixth sentencing, Sa’ad had already served 100 days in the Israeli army’s “Prison 6.”

Dozens of supporters gathered on a hillside overlooking the prison to show their support and solidarity with Sa’ad earlier this month. Members of a new group of Jewish refusers also joined the protest and described Sa’ad as a role model who gave them strength in their own struggle against military conscription.

Related:
Israeli teens tell Netanyahu: We will not take part in occupation
Druze teen to Netanyahu: ‘I will not be a soldier in your army’



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WATCH: Could the Knesset's Arab parties unite?

The Knesset raised the election threshold earlier this month, which will have an adverse effect on the ability of most Arab parties to win seats in Israel’s parliament. What would happen if, in response, all of the Arab and non-Zionist parties unite and run on a joint list?

Related:
Knesset raises threshold to four seats, putting Arab parties at risk
Knesset approves bill that could push Arab parties out



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The customer isn't right: Criminalizing prostitution in Israel

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.

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WATCH: Anti-occupation activists bring Hebron to Tel Aviv

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.

+972′s full coverage marking 20 years since the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre

Related:
A city of devastation: Hebron 20 years after the massacre
In Hebron, terror begets a reign of terror
PHOTOS: 20 years since Cave of the Patriarchs Massacre




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WATCH: Separation wall engulfs village of Al-Walaja

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.

Related:
WATCH: Al Walaja – The story of a shrinking Palestinian village
PHOTOS: In fight against the wall, does Cremisan have a prayer?
A letter from al-Walaja: Wars, walls and now roads




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WATCH: 20 years since the Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre in Hebron

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:

Related:
The market square is empty in Hebron
WATCH: A ‘Jews only’ street and a Palestinian dirt path in Hebron
Activists arrested in Hebron: ‘Segregation isn’t our Judaism’




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WATCH: Environmental groups fear firing zone will fall prey to developers

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.

Related:
1,500 Palestinians face expulsion to make way for IDF ‘Firing Zone 918′


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WATCH: Who is the mayor of Nazareth?

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.

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WATCH: Rapper Jasiri X visits African refugees in south Tel Aviv

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.

Read also:
The origins and politics of Israel’s refugee debate
Portraits: Detained African asylum seekers in Israel



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WATCH: Nabi Samuel - a village in a cage

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.

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WATCH: Where kids are arrested for not having a mailbox

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.

Read +972′s special coverage: ‘Children Under Occupation’

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WATCH: Is the IDF the 'great equalizer' of Israeli society?

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.

Related:
Poverty in the IDF: Thousands jailed for economically motivated desertion
Druze teen to Netanyahu: ‘I will not be a soldier in your army’



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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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