After 25 years of assisting Palestinian victims of Israeli military violence file complaints with the IDF’s investigative bodies, human rights group B’Tselem decides to stop cooperating with the army’s investigations. ‘The experience we have gained, on which we base the conclusions presented in this report, has brought us to the realization that there is no longer any point in pursuing justice and defending human rights by working with a system whose real function is measured by its ability to continue to successfully cover up unlawful acts and protect perpetrators.’ Read more here about how and why B’Tselem’s decided to stop…Read More...
Even when they had reached the borders of the Promised Land, after 40 years in the desert, all the Children of Israel wanted was to go back to Egypt. In Erez Biton's poem, the immigrant from Algeria and his son fail to build a home in Israel. Independence Day is also the tale of the rift in our identity, created by immigrating here. By Mati Shemoelof "And the children of Israel said unto them: ‘Would that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh-pots, when we did eat bread…Read More...
Like many Palestinian citizens before him, Israeli police insist on holding Maysam Abu Alqian responsible for the beating he took in broad daylight. The beating of 19-year-old Maysam Abu Alqian by plainclothes Border Police officers in central Tel Aviv on Sunday was depressingly familiar, both in the incident itself and its aftermath. Alqian, a Bedouin resident of Hura in the Negev Desert who works at a Tel Aviv supermarket, had stepped out of the store to take out the trash, when he was asked by the two plainclothes officers to present his ID. According to eyewitnesses, when he didn't, they assaulted…Read More... | 4 Comments
Plainclothes police officers are filmed beating an Arab man in the middle of Tel Aviv in broad daylight. What would you have done if you were there? How would Jewish Israelis react if they saw a group of men starting to beat an Arab man to a pulp, breaking his bones right next to us? How many of us would rush over to help him, just as some of Maysam Abu-Alqiyan's friends did in central Tel Aviv Sunday — friends who paid the price after they too found themselves on the receiving end of police brutality, returning to the supermarket…Read More...
My dear leftists, there's really no reason to ask the last person to leave Israel to turn out the lights, as many of you have done over the last 48 hours. Most chances are that things will remain just as bad as they are – which is, in itself, hardly a reason to rejoice. By Gilad Halpern The pioneering 1970s rock band Kaveret (Hebrew for beehive) was groundbreaking in many respects. Other than their huge musical contribution, the band's repertoire included comical, sometimes nonsensical songs that stood in stark contrast to the earnest, stuffy folk songs that had hitherto characterized…Read More...
Behind all the pretty words, Bennett's speech at the Israel Prize ceremony reveals exactly what he's after: a Jewish nationalist theocracy. By Gil Gertel During last Thursday's annual Israel Prize ceremony, Education Minister Naftali Bennett gave a speech laying out his vision. He called for the establishment of a national, Jewish state, and in order to justify his outlook he used a history that doesn't even exist in the bible, scorned diaspora Jews, and promised equality for all through Jewish supremacy. "This is the only way," he summarized his speech in support of Jewish theocracy, to the applause of those…Read More... | 8 Comments
The state's attempt to bring down one of Israel's most important anti-occupation organizations may backfire in a big way. An Israeli court is set to decide next week whether the Israeli anti-occupation organization Breaking the Silence will be forced to reveal the identity of a soldier whose anonymous testimony raised suspicions of war crimes. By trying to expose the identity of Breaking the Silence sources, the state attorney — who is leading the move — is not trying to prevent soldiers from exposing more information on the violation of Palestinian rights in the occupied territories. Rather it is trying to…Read More... | 3 Comments
A recent article in 'The Washington Post' praises efforts by the Israeli government to bring in cheap labor from Jordan as a sign of growing peace. The problem? It all comes at the expense of Palestinian workers. By Hagar Shezaf A Washington Post article published earlier this week praised a new pilot project between the governments of Jordan and Israel as a “little peace” in the Middle East. To support the argument, the article applauded the fact that room cleaners named Ahmad and dishwashers named Mohammad are being brought in from Jordan to work in Israel’s southern city of Eilat.…Read More... | 2 Comments
Netanyahu may have found an opportunity to take revenge on the old IDF elites, but in doing so has put one of Israel's most hawkish politicians in charge of the occupation. Avigdor Liberman's appointment as defense minister is, in my eyes, one of Netanyahu's most surprising moves (in fact, on Wednesday I argued that it wouldn't happen; two hours later I was proven wrong). Netanyahu is a careful politician that does not like big egos surrounding him, and Liberman is Liberman — a person who deliberately chooses to be unexpected and undisciplined — even when it doesn't serve his interests…Read More... | 2 Comments
The fact that the head of Israel's opposition could soon join forces with Netanyahu may actually bode well for the Israeli Left and Palestinian citizens alike. The Israeli media has been beside itself this week with the possibility that the head of the opposition Isaac Herzog, leader of the Labor Party cum Zionist Union, may join Prime Minister Netanyahu’s governing coalition, the executive branch of the Israeli government. Roughly two weeks of chatterbuzz about Herzog-Netanyahu negotiations have yielded the usual five stages of rumors: from denial (“there are no negotiations”); to low expectations (“they’re just talks, they won’t lead to…Read More... | 1 Comment
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