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Analysis

  • A slightly ‘less crazy’ Israel

    A few thoughts on the decision to shut down Israel's detention facility for African asylum seekers, what the High Court ruling says about the gratuitous and political arrests of Palestinian protesters in Israel, and the assassination that only took place if you read Hebrew.   1. A slightly ‘less crazy’ Israel Following the Israeli High Court decision on Monday to shut down Holot and cancel the piece of legislation that permitted the indefinite detention of African asylum seekers (the way the law was written, non-African asylum seekers were never in danger of indefinite detention), Darfuri refugee Mutasim Ali wrote in…

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  • Another Israeli act of military madness in Syria

    On Tuesday morning the Air Force shot down a Syrian fighter jet for no good reason on earth. For the first time in 30 years, a Syrian fighter jet on Tuesday morning strayed over the border with Israel – or rather, over the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, which rightfully belongs to Syria. Israeli military officials reportedly think it was an accident. They also think the Syrian jet was on its way to bomb Al-Nusra jihadists on the Syrian side of the border. The incursion of the Syrian plane lasted two seconds. It got about 800 meters onto the…

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  • 'A new page in human history': Darfuri refugee on landmark court ruling

    Mutasim Ali is happy but he is not celebrating the landmark court ruling that will set him and thousands of other African asylum seekers free by the end of the year. There is a long, bumpy road ahead, he says, but 'Israel will be a better place and it is our responsibility to make it so.' By Mutasim Ali A new dawn has come. A tremendous success has been achieved by everyone who believes in justice and equal rights for mankind. I wasn’t surprised by the resolution of High Court of Justice. No smart person would think differently. The reason why…

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  • Space for perpetuating the conflict: Tunnels, deterrence and profits

    Israeli leaders cannot escape the idea that Palestinians must be controlled, all the time and in all areas of life. Indeed, if controlling the Palestinians is everything we want, then the separation wall and the ‘Iron Dome’ are excellent solutions. The longer this snowball rolls, however, any non-military option is ruled out more aggressively, and even relatively moderate military options become irrelevant. By Idan Landau It became official this summer: tunnels are the new centrifuges. For years, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been waving the Iranian threat in front of us, and one morning we woke up and… poof!…

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  • Resource: Privatizating law enforcement in, around settlements

    'The Lawless Zone' is a report by Yesh Din on the transfer of policing and security powers to the Civilian Security Coordinators (CSC) in Israel’s West Bank settlements and outposts. The report presents an analysis of the institution of the CSCs as an inherent aspect of the biased and chaotic state of Israeli law enforcement in the occupied Palestinian territories. The report demonstrates how the regime of civilian security coordinators undermines the rule of law in the West Bank to the point of stripping it of all meaning. It constitutes another layer in Israel’s dereliction of its duty to protect…

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  • How the IDF abdicates its monopoly on violence in the West Bank

    The IDF grants arrest and other powers to civilians in West Bank settlements and outposts but fails to ensure they are held accountable. In essence, the army has privatized law enforcement. By Yossi Gurvitz, for Yesh Din Privatizing the state's use of force should be a source of concern to us all. Such a process – and particularly when the powers are transferred to a body with a clear political agenda – creates uncontrolled militias. This is the process that has occurred in the West Bank due to the army’s policy of delegating some of its law enforcement powers to…

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  • The U.S. is also guilty in Palestine

    When an indigenous, stateless population is blocked access to opportunities for justice by superpowers like the U.S., something is wrong – deadly wrong. By Sam Bahour The U.S. is not a neutral mediator in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; it is an active participant and is guilty of the crimes being committed by Israel against Palestinians, most recently, the mass killings and destruction Israel wrought on the Gaza Strip during the summer. The reality that the U.S. is an active supporter of unimaginable suffering may very well be the motivating force behind the U.S.’s adamant attempts to block the Palestinians from using…

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  • All Israelis are implicated in the occupation

    Rather than an army secret, the systems supporting the occupation include such normal institutions as taxation, infrastructure projects, the education system and, of course, army service. The debate over refuseniks from IDF intelligence unit 8200 unleashed acrimonious debates all week. While I have already observed some of them, here are a few more that stand out. Carolina Landsmann has one of the most powerful opinion pieces I’ve read in a long time, in Haaretz. It may yet appear in English, but for now the excerpts here are my translation. Like one former member of Unit 8200 who spoke to me,…

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  • Contradicting its own ruling, Israel’s Supreme Court legalizes segregated communities

    The Israeli Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed various petitions against the Admissions Committees Law, which allows admissions committees in hundreds of communities in Israel to reject housing applicants based on their “social suitability.” By Amjad Iraqi March 8, 2000 marked a unique moment in Israeli history. In a major decision, the Supreme Court of Israel ruled that the town of Katzir, which was established on state land by the Jewish Agency, could not deny the right of the Arab Ka’adan family to live in the town simply on the basis that they were not Jewish. This was the first time that Palestinian citizens of Israel…

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  • Against spy revelations, Israel doth protest too much

    The nation’s establishment has called the whistle-blowers of Unit 8200 every bad name, but it has no answer to their charge that information deliberately gathered on innocent Palestinians is used to blackmail them into collaborating. The 43 refuseniks in Unit 8200, Israel’s legendary high-tech snoops, are this week’s Gideon Levys, this week’s Haneen Zoabis – the focus of patriotic hatred in the land. “Baseless slander” is what Netanyahu called their letter, published Friday in Yedioth Ahronoth, in which they declared they would no longer spy for the occupation. Aside from being called traitors, the 43 reservists have been called cowards,…

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  • There's nothing static about the West Bank 'status quo'

    Israel is already carrying out Bennett’s annexation plan, only without the formal annexation part. The West Bank is a very different place than it was 10 years ago. It will be even more different five or 10 years from now. The indispensable Amira Hass reported this morning about an Israeli plan to push thousands of Palestinian-Bedouin into a new town it plans to build in the Jordan Valley. The Jordan Valley is one of three areas in which Israel is trying to relocate Bedouin into designated areas or towns; the others are south of Hebron and east of Jerusalem. Netanyahu’s government treats…

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  • A most determined occupation and its cursed victory

    It is not momentum or errors or personality quirks which have sustained the occupation, but a clear determination by Israel’s elite to maintain control of the West Bank and Gaza. Those who are willing to openly examine how Israel – and the pre-state Zionist Jewish community in the Holy Land – conducted itself prior to 1967, can only view the occupation as part of a natural continuum. Cursed Victory: A History of Israel and the Occupied Territories. By Ahron Bregman. Allen Lane; 416 pages; £25. I received my copy of Cursed Victory – Ahron Bregman's history of the occupation – on the…

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  • Kitsch, death and god at Israel's Education Ministry

    The Israeli education minister’s letter to the graduating class of 2014 is evidence of the fact that Israeli education is little more than an ongoing IDF preparatory course. By Avner Ben-Amos (translated from Hebrew by Miriam Erez) A letter to the high school class of 2014 published by Israeli Education Minister Shai Piron in the July 24, 2014 issue of Israel Hayom is a worrying wakeup call. A wakeup call because the education minister presents a worldview that rests on distorted, revisionist history. Worrying because this minister determines, directly or indirectly, how our schoolchildren perceive their reality. Even if only…

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