Several members of Knesset join protests against heightened restrictions on Muslim access to the holy site while Jewish visits by right-wing activists increase due to Jewish holy days. Text and photos by Oren Ziv / Activestills.org Hundreds of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem and northern Israel demonstrated outside the Old City’s Lions’ Gate early Wednesday morning. Police prevented them from entering Al Aqsa compound. The protest was against right-wing Jewish activists entering the Aqsa Compound/Temple Mount at the same time that Israeli police are preventing Muslim men from entering the compound to pray. Police have stopped male worshipers under the…Read More... | 6 Comments
Legal advocates decry Israeli policies toward migrant workers as inhumane and claim that they violate the laborers’ human right to family. Maris Delusong, a 36-year-old caregiver from the Philippines, is alone at Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station. She stops at a sale rack outside a clothing store. She looks at the baby clothes, pulls a pink onesie off the rack and runs her fingers over the soft fabric. Her face is sad as she puts the outfit back and moves along. “It’s hard to be alone,” Delusong says. She found herself drawn to the baby clothes, she says, because “I…Read More... | 16 Comments
A week of encouraging signs augurs revival of anti-occupation cause. My view of the chances that the occupation will end someday fluctuates between pessimistic and despairing. Since the war in Gaza, I’ve felt the cause was effectively lost; I figured that if the monstrous devastation that Israel visited on the Strip and its people did not light a fire under the world’s ass, then the anti-occupation movement was on a slow boat to nowhere. But just in the last week there have been a number of delayed international reactions (and even one from Israel) to the Gaza war, and they add…Read More... | 61 Comments
Attacks against Arabs in Jerusalem became routine this past summer and in Tel Aviv left-wing activists faced violence from the Right. ‘We don't want to attack Baruch Marzel's headquarters or anything, but we believe the victimhood of the Left must end here,’ one activists explains. Thursday and Saturday nights in downtown Jerusalem have become terrifying. On those days, a group of youth gathers in West Jerusalem’s Zion Square, often next to a permanent pop-up stand manned by members of anti-miscegenation group Lehava. The youth meet there and then take to the streets chanting “Death to Arabs,” harassing and assaulting Arab cab drivers, women…Read More... | 15 Comments
The olive harvest is historically a period when settler violence against Palestinians and their trees increase. The name of a local settlement from which two youths were arrested last week is spray painted onto the mosque's wall. A West Bank mosque was set on fire and vandalized early Tuesday morning in what on the surface appeared to be a hate crime attack by Jewish settlers. A local Palestinian official, Hamza Dereya, said that Israeli settlers entered the village of Aqraba before dawn, according to official Palestinian news agency WAFA. The vandals set fire to the village’s mosque and spray painted…Read More... | 7 Comments
The British lower house of Parliament passed a non-binding resolution recognizing the State of Palestine late Monday night. The measure passed 274 to 12, with most Tories abstaining. A spokesperson for British Prime Minister David Cameron clarified ahead of the vote on Monday that the resolution would not change the country’s diplomatic stance. Cameron stated his intention to abstain ahead of the vote. Ahead of the vote, Israel’s Labor party attempted to sway votes in the UK Labour party against the resolution, bringing allegations that the Israeli opposition was serving as Netanyahu’s unofficial foreign office. Read more on the vote…Read More... | 19 Comments
One government inherits the siege from another, the prime minister admits it’s more harmful than helpful, the cabinet never formulates or even discusses a policy, and one minister goes as far as admitting that the only driving force behind Israel’s Gaza policy is inertia. By Itamar Sha’altiel There is something tempting about trying to connect all the dots, which show that every decision made by successive Israeli governments have just been part of one giant, logical process. It doesn't matter whether the final outcome is cold and cruel — at least we can find solace knowing that all the pain and…Read More... | 10 Comments
Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On criticizes Israeli Labor party for opposing the motion: 'Labor is conducting itself like another foreign office for Netanyahu's government.' Hundreds of Israeli public figures, academics, former ministers and Israel Prize laureates (the state's official civil decoration) signed a public letter calling British MPs to support Palestinians statehood in a symbolic motion set to face a vote in the UK's parliament on Monday. Among those who added their names to the letter are Nobel Prize laureate Prof. Daniel Kahneman, former Meretz ministers Ran Cohen and Yossi Sarid, four former MKs (including Naomi Chazan, the former head of…Read More... | 9 Comments
It is a shameful lie to make opposition to 47-year military rule an issue of supporters or traitors of Israel. The war in Gaza yielded a large crop of articles about Liberal Zionism. Suddenly numerous authors felt an urgent need to reject, redefine, defend or deconstruct a term that the vast majority of Israelis have never heard of. However, Israelis are familiar with the same basic concept, except they call it the “Zionist Left,” or national left. They embrace the label “Zionism,” but unlike diaspora-based writers, don’t spend too much time trying to define it. I can’t recall anything like…Read More... | 9 Comments
In an appeal that demonstrates the complete bankruptcy of the peace camp, the Israeli Labor Party is calling on its British counterparts to oppose the motion on Palestinian statehood Monday, 'in the name of peace.' Netanyahu couldn't have put it better. The British Parliament will vote Monday on a motion supporting the Palestinian Authority’s request to recognize it as a state. The vote is mostly symbolic, and the British government will still be able to take any form of action it wants. The big drama is taking place within the ranks of Labour. The opposition party is supporting the motion,…Read More... | 86 Comments
After seven years of siege, the defense establishment has suddenly discovered that the blockade on Gaza is not helpful. It's no coincidence, of course, that this realization comes after a war that devastated the Strip and has the Palestinians focused on reconstruction. "Israel now admits that the almost-airtight blockade of Gaza has done more harm than good." I am always amazed at the ease with which these sentences are written by this or that analyst. Written so nonchalantly to the point that it feels like the writer might as well just shrug and say, "Well that didn't work, let's try…Read More... | 9 Comments
When it comes to getting its way, the Finance Ministry will go to no end to force other governmental bodies to bend to its will. By Hagai Kalai Like public authorities in Israel, the Ministry of Finance aims to promote public interest to the best of its understanding. However, like all public authorities, the ministry suffers from a narrow perspective: it gives higher value to its own policies, while undervaluing the importance of proper administrative process. Yet, while most public authorities try and promote their agenda through the standard legitimate government mechanisms, the Ministry of Finance has developed a long…Read More... | 6 Comments
The occupation is violence: costly to the occupied, cheap for the occupiers. Only a credible, independent and effective inquiry into IDF actions can begin to make that violence costly to its perpetrators. By Hagai El-Ad (translated by Keren T Rubinstein) Recently it was announced that the IDF had already begun looking into 99 incidents that took place during Operation Defensive Shield. Of these, a criminal inquiry was initiated in five cases, while seven other cases have already been closed. Seemingly, this is commendable news. Alas, experience proves otherwise. Time after time, official and quite ceremonious promises to establish the truth after…Read More... | 3 Comments
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How the very concept of human rights has failed Palestinians http://t.co/tSFP3abtuh by @nsheizaf http://t.co/y4CUOk8r2I
For near identical crimes, an Israeli and a Palestinian’s fate couldn’t be more different http://t.co/LF4YKkJFjp
RT @MairavZ: Nine more Jewish families take over #Silwan homes in dead of night http://t.co/u8uz0lyUW2 #EastJerusalem My report http://t.c…
Nine more Jewish families take over Silwan homes in dead of night http://t.co/ZiGgYYywc0 by @MairavZ
For near identical crimes, an Israeli and a Palestinian’s fate couldn’t be more different http://t.co/cTxeGpmPoA http://t.co/YpuYnkR8bu