When Israeli soldiers admit their past abuses of Palestinians, as they did again this week, the occupation's defenders often ask: Why didn't you report this to the army at the time? A personal illustration of why it is a disingenuous question. I was 37, a new immigrant three and half years in Israel, drafted into the IDF for a month of basic training, and I found myself dumping a truckload of garbage on the edge of a Palestinian woman's vegetable garden. She was screaming in Arabic at me and the other draftee doing the job, and the IDF driver…Read More... | 31 Comments
Why don't most of Israelis know this music that has been passed down from generation to generation? How open are we to a culture that seems so far away from us, despite the fact that it is just across the street? By Merav Livneh-Dill He dances like Madonna, dresses like Lady Gaga and has more glasses than Sir Elton John. He's Lipa Schmeltzer. Heard of him? Lipa is the outlier who proves the rule, and the rule is very simple: the non-Haredi public in Israel is almost entirely oblivious to the music that Haredim (ultra-Orthodox Jews) listen to, or as it is…Read More... | 3 Comments
The coast that allows Israelis a respite from the heat is now in danger. Israel's public beaches are about to face massive construction that will decrease their public territory and destroy their ecological balance in favor of upscale hotels and apartment buildings. Now, a new protest movement lead by environmental activists, is fighting to safeguard the beaches from what may be their demise.Read More... | 1 Comment
This week: anti-government protesters continue to clash with riot police in Gezi Park near Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, Israeli police arrest social protesters in Jerusalem and the Angry Grandmothers make a (singing) return to mark the 46th anniversary of the Israeli occupation.Read More...
Israeli society is undergoing a process by which the words 'Eritrean' and 'Sudanese' are becoming synonymous with the word 'cleaner,' while 'Filipina' has long ago become synonymous with 'caregiver.' And who else is behind the education process if not the Interior Ministry and the Justice Ministry? The job market in Israel has always been divided along nearly impenetrable national and “racial” lines; the Knesset, like the Supreme Court, is careful to maintain the divisions. In the past the divisions were primarily between Mizrahi Jews, Muslim Arabs, and Christian Arabs. These days there are different groups as well. There is a direct link…Read More... | 1 Comment
A new survey released by Ariel-which-is-now-known-as-a-University, shows, remarkably, that the majority of Israeli Jews inside the Green Line are still basically wedded to settlements and barely register that they pose a problem. -A 52 percent absolute majority agrees that settlements are “a true Zionist act,” twice as many those who disagree (26 percent). The remainder, roughly one-fifth, were in-between. Disclaimer: if I had been asked, I might also have agreed that West Bank settlement is a Zionist act, according to what Zionism has become in recent decades (some would say, always was). I don’t think either settlements or what Zionism…Read More... | 2 Comments
While a third of the Knesset joins the pro-settlement caucus, one member of the coalition warns of a 'South African' future. The Israeli political conversation has a strange sense of déjà vu these days: on Wednesday, during a panel organized by the think-tank Molad, Knesset Member Ofer Shelah of Yesh Atid warned that if Israel fails to disengage from the West Bank, it will face a similar fate to that of Apartheid South Africa. “The occupation,” said Shelah, “corrupts Israeli society. It corrupts the army, corrupts Israeli justice, Israeli media, Israeli psyche and Israeli language." Facing Shelah at the panel…Read More... | 4 Comments
After nearly two weeks of holding Istanbul's central square, Turkish police raided and took back Taksim Square from protesters Tuesday, pushing the protest camp back into Gezi Park where the demonstrations began in late May. Photos and text by Oren Ziv ISTANBUL -- Turkish police took over Taksim Square Tuesday morning, pushing the anti-government protests into Gezi Park. Despite over 30 barricades built on the roads leading to the square, police forces entered the square within minutes, firing tear gas and using water canons against protesters who tried to block their approach. The clashes continued throughout the day as protesters set up…Read More...
After a shooting at the BarNoar youth center left two dead and 11 injured four years ago, the Jerusalem Open House and other LGBTQ community centers were forced to lock their previously open doors. Now that police have arrested suspects in the case, one community leader hopes the Open House's doors can once again opened for all. By Elinor Sidi The 2009 murders at the BarNoar youth center altered the reality of life for many LGBTQ people in Israel, but it also changed reality for civil society organizations. Last week we were informed that police apprehended three suspects and the…Read More...
Two academics get into a public intellectual debate over secular national identity and the characteristics of binationalism in the future of Israel or binational state. Despite their bitter assaults against one another's ideas, they are far closer than they realize. By Jeremiah Haber It’s open season on Prof. Shlomo Sand of Tel Aviv University in the pages of Haaretz, following the publication of his latest book, How and Why I Stopped Being a Jew. The thesis of the book is that there is no such thing as secular Jewish experience (although he grants that there are people who have fashioned for themselves a…Read More... | 6 Comments
Testimonies from former Israeli soldiers have failed to touch the Israeli public or change the state's policies. The IDF gives an 'explanation' for why it ignores these and all other occupation stories told by the men and women of Breaking the Silence. I used to think that Breaking the Silence, which publishes testimonies of IDF soldiers about what they see and do on occupation duty, would really strike a blow against the empire. Who could doubt the word of soldiers – by now over 900 – coming forward to, essentially, confess; who wouldn’t at least show them respect and give them…Read More... | 34 Comments
Last month, Israel's Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a draft law to regulate Bedouin settlement in the Negev. The committee approved the Prawer Plan, which will bring about the destruction of dozens of Bedouin villages in the Negev, further dispossession of their lands and severe poverty and unemployment. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHRJn9P7L6I Related: Revisions to Prawer Plan for Negev Bedouin expose the farce of law in Israel The unequal right to water in unrecognized Bedouin villageRead More... | 1 Comment
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Ofir Akunis took Netanyahu's position that settlement construction is not an impediment to a negotiated solution with the Palestinians to a whole new level. According to a report in Haaretz Tuesday: ... [Akunis asserted] that past experience has shown that a halt to construction has only driven the Palestinians away from negotiating with Israel. "The Likud policy is very consistent. Our call to the Palestinians to enter into direct peace negotiations without precondition is in effect," he said. (Emphasis mine) Akunis, the same Likud lawmaker who in the last Knesset proposed a bill to limit all foreign…Read More... | 14 Comments
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Last Metro to Taksim
Yuval Ben-Ami reports from Istanbul.
Reports, maps, infographics and other documents on human rights and democracy.
Children under occupation
The effects of occupation on minors.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
A series of striking infographics.
- MOST READMOST COMMENTED24 HOURS|WEEK|MONTH
Is a binational identity possible in Israel? http://t.co/yFmq5vBPGV
The unwitting common ground in the debate over binationalism in Israel http://t.co/qDoWMqR8fO by Jeremiah Haber
VID: Former female Israeli soldiers break their silence http://t.co/2H7V47Cj9I by @MairavZ
Israeli MK's 'sexy' pose goes viral on Facebook http://t.co/vktM2Rk4OH by @AmiKaufman
The soldiers' stories that Israel lacks the courage to hear http://t.co/rlleFPDVVq By Larry Derfner, cc @ShovrimShtika