Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

For the IDF, marriage isn't a 'humanitarian need'

What kind of future is Israel offering Palestinian women when they can’t even obtain permits to leave the country in search of a better life?

Amira Hass published an article in Haaretz last week about the Israel government rejecting a request by a young woman from Gaza to travel to Turkey in order to get married and live there. The young woman turned to Israel’s District Coordination and Liaison Office through the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee for permission to exit through the Erez Crossing into the West Bank. From there should would first travel to Jordan before taking off for Turkey.

According to the government’s response, weddings simply do not meet the criteria for humanitarian needs. Of course, under Israel’s policy of siege and blockade, only those with real humanitarian needs — at least as defined by Israel — can exit the Gaza Strip. After all, why should we let a young bride marry if she isn’t bringing down the Hamas government?

Meanwhile, Ma’an News Agency published an article last Monday about the number of babies born to long-serving Palestinian prisoners (through smuggled sperm) rising to 35. Rula Matar, the wife of Palestinian prisoner Fadi Matar (no familial relation – H.M.), who was sentenced to 10.5 years in Israel jail, gave birth to twins using sperm smuggled from prison to a fertility clinic in Nablus.

As opposed to the treatment of Israeli prisoners — including Yigal Amir, who assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 — the state prevents Palestinian prisoners from conjugal visits, and refuses to recognize their right to bring children into the world. This only leads to an increase in sperm smuggling.

These two women have not been accused of anything. They do not endanger the security of the region. They are neither members of the Islamic State nor nuclear engineers in Iran. All they want to do is lead normal lives. The woman from Gaza wants to get married and leave Gaza — to live her life far away from here. Rula Matar gave birth eight years ago, she wanted another boy or girl (and in the end got both). Meanwhile, Israel can arbitrarily prevent these women from enjoying the most basic aspects of a normalcy.

These are small, day-to-day examples of Israel’s control over the West Bank and Gaza. There are many others. What can we say to these women? What can Israeli...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Who really profits from Israel's permit regime?

The number of work permits the Israeli army gives to Palestinian workers nearly tripled, a new Bank of Israel report reveals. Did all those people suddenly become less dangerous, or do the permits serve interests other than security?

The normative framework for viewing Israel’s permit regime is that it stems purely from the state’s security needs — a tool that allows the state to differentiate between those Palestinians who threaten Israel’s security, and those who do not.

This notion remains largely unchallenged despite the fact that, time after time, its arbitrariness is made clear: during every Jewish holiday the permits are canceled and a full closure is imposed on the occupied territories. People who are otherwise considered non-threatening workers are jailed for a few days in the West Bank. During every major Muslim holiday, and especially during Eid el-Fitr, all of a sudden the checkpoint gates swing open, allowing thousands of Palestinians to enjoy one day at Al-Aqsa Mosque or at the beach in Tel Aviv. And then they return to their previous classification as “dangerous,” as if they didn’t pose a threat during the holiday. And all that is without even getting into how work permits and medical procedures as a way to extort Palestinians as collaborators — to use Palestinian society against itself.

On Tuesday, the Bank of Israel published statistics on the increasing number of Palestinian workers in Israel. Over the last seven years, the number of workers with permits nearly tripled, while the number of workers who entered the country without permits nearly doubled. What led to the rise in permits? According to the Bank of Israel, the reason is the Israeli government’s decision to increase the size of the construction and agriculture workforce, as well the “relative quiet” in the West Bank.

While “relative quiet” is a security determination, it applies exclusively to the collective, rather than individuals. It is a political determination that punishes Palestinians for “disturbing the peace,” rewards them for “keeping the peace,” but has nothing to do with any individual person. The fact that there were 21,000 Palestinian workers with permits in 2007, and 59,000 Palestinian workers with permits in 2015 does not mean that there were 38,000 very dangerous Palestinian workers seven years ago, who have since rehabilitated their dangerous ways.

Furthermore, the fact that Israel has 33,000 Palestinian workers without permits — who likely pass through...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

No, Arab MKs don't 'care too much' about the occupation

Israel’s Arab politicians are often attacked for ‘dealing too much’ with the Palestinian issue. But if they don’t speak up for a people who lack even the most basic civil rights, who will?

One of the most-repeated criticism of Israel’s Palestinian members of Knesset, which always come up around election time, is that they “deal too much” with issues relating to Palestinians in the occupied territories, yet they neglect their voters — the Arab public in Israel.

This criticism was raised, yet again, in Haaretz’s poll [Hebrew] published last week, which raised both these issues, as if they contradict each other. A plethora of articles published in the Hebrew press have repeatedly raised this issue over the past week. Asking what the Arab MKs do for their public is a legitimate and important question, and it has good answers, which are not all reflected in legislation and presence in Knesset committees. But I would like to focus on the second half of the equation.

Arab members of Knesset are often criticized for making hollow gestures or, at worst, being traitors. The general assumption is that the Palestinian population is “external” to Israel, and that its struggle — from its day-to-day protection against the violence of both the military and the settlers to its struggle for independence — has nothing to do with Israel’s parliament. This is where the typical Israeli conversation starts.

And that is precisely where the problem lies. Israel has ruled the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea for nearly 50 years. There are certain areas where Israel has delegated responsibility (though rarely authority) to others, but Israeli sovereignty is bar none. Whether a Palestinian in Gaza can build his home or leave the Strip to study is up to government officials in Jerusalem and members of the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv. A resident of the West Bank who wants to travel abroad for work or drive to East Jerusalem for medical purposes — and sometimes simply wants to work his land — needs the approval of the Israeli government. Tax collection, control over electricity and water, currency, the population registry, natural resources, movement of people and goods — all of it remains in the hands of the Israeli government.

Democracy for beginners

These people, nearly four million of them, have no representation in the government...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

PHOTOS: Pepper spray and arrests as Bil'in marks decade of struggle

Text by Haggai Matar
Photos by Yotam Ronen, Shiraz Grinbaum, Miki Kratsman / Activestills.org

Nearly 1,000 protesters — Palestinians, Israelis and internationals — marched to celebrate 10 years of popular struggle in the West Bank village Bil’in. Soldiers responded with tear gas, pepper spray and arrests. One Palestinian was badly wounded. Meanwhile, activists marked 21 years since the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre, and called to open Shuhada Street to Palestinians.

Approximately 1,000 protesters, most of them Palestinian, 100 Israelis and dozens of international activists took part in a large protest in Bil’in on Friday, marking ten years of popular struggle against the wall, the settlements and the occupation. Meanwhile, hundreds marched in Hebron to mark 21 years since the Cave of the Patriarchs Massacre, and demanded that the Israeli army open Shuhada Street to Palestinian traffic.

Over the last ten years, Bil’in has become an international symbol of popular, nonviolent resistance to the occupation, the settlements and the separation barrier. The village’s main road was decorated with photographs taken by Activestills, who have accompanied the struggle since day one. Decorations made of spent tear gas canisters were also hung. By 10 a.m., members of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee — who lead the struggle in Bil’in — were joined by committee members from other villages; Israeli activists; journalists; members of the Joint Arab List MK Dov Khenin and Aida Touma-Sliman; and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Mustafa Barghouti.

The march to the separation wall began shortly after noon, using the same route the residents have taken week after week for the past decade. The original separation fence kept some 1,950 dunams (480 acres) of Bil’in’s land on the Israeli side, for the purpose of expanding the Modi’in Illit settlement. The High Court, however, ruled that the fence must be moved, and after four years of waiting, the Israeli government built a new wall that only swallows some 1,300 dunams (320 acres) of the village’s land.

Friday’s protest was lead by a group of Palestinian scouts, who carried Palestinian flags and drums. They were followed by the demonstrators, who sang songs and chanted against the wall, the settlements and the occupation. As opposed to previous weeks, when Israeli soldiers greeted the protesters and tried to put down the demonstration at the site of the old route of the fence, this time soldiers waited behind...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

'A consciousness free of occupation': Bil'in marks 10 years of popular struggle

The village that managed to unite the world behind the spirit of nonviolent Palestinian protest marks not only a decade of tear gas, night raids and tragedy, but also of co-resistance and victories in its struggle against settlements, the separation barrier and the occupation.

Anyone who has visited the West Bank village of Bil’in on a recent Friday might think, just for a second, that they were back in 2005. At first glance, it seems like nothing has changed since the days of the first protests, which began 10 years ago this month.

Now, as then, the protesters — mostly villagers, some supportive Israelis and internationals — gather in the heart of the village following the Friday noon prayers. We march and chant until we passed built-up part of the village. Now, just like then, the soldiers are waiting on the hill across the valley. They don’t waste any time shooting large volleys of tear gas in order to disperse the protest. Some of the protesters quietly break away, while village youth respond to the soldiers by throwing stones; the soldiers continue with the gas, charging toward the village in their jeeps in order to chase away the protesters. Within two hours it is all over.

But in reality, much has changed in Bil’in. Over the course of the past 10 years, hundreds of protesters have been to the village. The Israeli Defense Ministry cleared olive trees from entire tracts of land and erected the separation barrier. A petition the villagers filed in Israel’s High Court of Justice succeeded in moving the fence — and to some degree, the soldiers. Only recently did they return to the previous route of the fence — the same one the court ruled against. Hundreds have been wounded, two protesters were killed, hundreds have been arrested and imprisoned for years at a time.

Over the past 10 years the struggle has seen ups and downs. Its biggest achievement was winning back hundreds of dunams of agricultural land, a victory which made Bil’in a symbol of popular resistance to the separation fence, settlements, and military rule in the Occupied Territories across the world. A film made by one of the villagers was nominated for an Oscar. Former presidents and prime ministers from far away lands journeyed to the village. Deep friendships developed among the activists. Those who were small children at...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Palestinian activist explains the Israeli elections

Bil’in protest leader Abdullah Abu-Rahme: If Israelis must decide between Labor and Likud, they might as well just vote for Liberman instead.

The residents of the West Bank village Bil’in are in close contact with the Israeli state. For the past ten years, they have been waging a popular struggle against the separation barrier that has cut them off from most of their land, while withstanding heavy oppression from the army, including arrests, tear gas, raids on the village, and more. As non-Jewish subjects of military rule in the occupied territories, the residents of Bil’in have no right to vote in the elections, and thus cannot decide who will make the up the next government that will decide their fate. However, some of them know very well who they would like to see in the Knesset.

“We hope that the Joint List succeeds, and that it will be the third largest party in the Knesset. It is simply wonderful that the Arab factions are running together,” Abdullah Abu Rahmah, a central organizer of Bil’in’s nonviolent protests, told +972. “I also hope that Meretz succeeds, despite the fact that they are losing their strength. I hope that the Palestinians on the ‘inside’ [Palestinian citizens of Israel, H.M.] go out and vote, because anyone who does not vote only strengthens the right.”

Abu Rahmah, who was recognized by the European Union as a Human Rights Defender, was recently levied a fine and a suspended sentence after being convicted last October of interfering with the work of a soldier for an incident in May 2012, when he stood in front of a bulldozer that was clearing land to build the separation barrier near Ramallah.

“Today there are over 600,000 settlers, and their influence on Israeli politics is only growing,” says Abu Rahmah, “The answer to this is the Joint List and Meretz, who I hope will get seven seats so that Gaby Lasky is elected.” Lasky is a human rights attorney who has worked on many cases pertaining to Palestinian and Israeli anti-occupation activists, including that of Abu Rahmah. “It is true that Lasky supports us as an attorney, but we need her in the Knesset alongside Dov Khenin.”

“It is necessary to have a large bloc of leftists and Arabs. And yet, if Labor wins… it won’t be so good. There is no real difference between Labor...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Do Israelis have any idea how bad it is in Gaza?

Nearly two million Gazans are living in a state of poverty and shortages, with few options of leaving and even fewer options for work. Nearly two million people who live in a giant prison, and Israelis cannot even begin to fathom how terrible their situation is.

“I’m extremely concerned that if you leave Gaza in the state it’s currently in, you’ll have another eruption, and violence, and then we’re back in a further catastrophe, so we’ve got to stop that,” warned Quartet envoy Tony Blair during a visit to the Gaza Strip on Sunday. It was his first trip to the Gaza since the last war, and Blair spent his time meeting with ministers and surveying the progress – or lack thereof – toward rehabilitating the Strip.

The scope of destruction in Gaza remains enormous. According to the UN, over 96,000 homes were either damaged or destroyed by Israeli air strikes. The donor states that have pledged to transfer money have yet to do so, re-building is going nowhere, many are still seeking refuge in UNRWA schools and the winter storms have only increased the damage to the homes and neighborhoods that survived.

Read also: The casualties of the next Gaza war

The Israeli blockade, which prevents exports, economic development and importing building materials not previously approved by Israel, and which includes firing at fishermen, continues to choke the Strip. Furthermore, the Egyptian government has only tightened the blockade on its end over the past months. Egypt has destroyed all the tunnels into Sinai, keeps the Rafah crossing closed on a regular basis, and has destroyed large parts of Rafah in order to create buffer zone between the city and its Gaza counterpart. And all this after the Egyptian government banned Hamas’ military wing, calling it a “terrorist organization.”

Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, which killed over 2,000 people, including hundreds of children and entire families, lead not only to destruction, but also to a breakdown in Palestinian reconciliation. Fatah and Hamas continue to find reasons not to make reconciliation a reality: Fatah refuses to pay the salaries of Hamas members (partially because Israel has frozen the tax revenues it owes the Palestinian Authority), Hamas is blaming the situation in Gaza on the unity government and attacks on members of Fatah are becoming routine.

According to...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Knesset candidates plant olive trees with Palestinian farmers

Palestinian activists build new protest camp near Jerusalem to protest displacement of West Bank Bedouin, settlement expansion; the Israeli army dismantles the camp.

Over 100 Israeli activists, among them four Knesset candidates in the upcoming elections, joined Palestinian farmers in from the West Bank village of Kfar Yassuf to plant olive saplings to mark the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shevat. The activists planted the trees near the Israeli settlement of Tapuach, an area where olive trees have been uprooted time and again, allegedly by settlers. Israeli soldiers prevented the farmers and activists from reaching the area in which they had planned to carry out the action.

The action was planned by the “Olive Harvest Coalition” and Rabbis for Human Rights. Also taking part were Hadash members MK Dov Khenin, head of the Arab Joint List Iman Odeh and Aida Touma-Suliman, as well as Meretz candidate and former MK Mosi Raz.

“We came to Kfar Yassuf because it suffers from a relatively large number of incidents of uprooting trees, and we wanted to bring a message of peace in response to the messages of hate, said Rabbi Kobi Weiss of Rabbis for Human Rights.

“Olive trees are the main source of income of the village, and they are a symbol of peace,” MK Khenin wrote on his Facebook page, adding that the tree planting was the first such action by Hadash list for the next Knessset. “With these seeds we planted more seeds of joint struggle, seeds of peace and a normal life, for a future of independence and justice for the two peoples in this land.”

Under the pretext of lack of coordination, Israeli soldiers refused to allow the activists and Palestinian farmers from entering the area designated for planting, according to a statement from Rabbis for Human Rights. The land is privately owned by the Palestinian villagers.

New protest camp against displacement of West Bank Bedouin

Palestinian activists have been struggling for a small peace of land outside of Jerusalem. Activists belonging to the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee showed up on the piece of land near Abu Dis on Tuesday and erected an encampment called the “Jerusalem Gate.”

The action follows a similar project two years ago, at “Bab a-Shams,” in which Palestinian activists reclaimed a plot of land near Mishor Adumim. Around 100 activists took part and dozens remained until the Israeli army cleared the...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

High Court: State can continue restricting Mordechai Vanunu's freedoms

Nearly 11 years after he was released from an 18-year prison sentence for leaking information on Israel’s top-secret nuclear program, Mordechai Vanunu is still prevented from doing just about anything an average citizen can. 

Three High Court justices ruled earlier this week that Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu will able allowed extremely limited contact with foreign nationals, despite allowing the Israeli government to continue and limit almost all of his freedoms.

Nearly a decade after his release from prison, where he sat for 18 years for leaking secrets about Israel’s nuclear weapons program, Vanunu is still unable to leave the country; enter the West Bank; approach border crossings, ports or airports; and is heavily restricted from communicating with foreign nationals. Vanunu is also required to obtain special permission from the Shin Bet in order to meet with a foreigner, which according to several sources is his partner.

Vanunu was employed as a radiation technician at the Negev Nuclear Research Center in Dimona, which according to foreign sources is a facility used to develop and manufacture nuclear weapons. Vanunu was fired in 1985 due to his left-wing political activism. In 1986 he provided extensive details regarding the Negev facility to British Sunday Times reporter Peter Hounam, along with pictures he took without authorization. The Mossad later lured Vanunu to Rome where Israeli agents kidnapped and renditioned him back to Israel. He was convicted of treason and espionage, and sentenced to 18 years in prison – 11 of which were spent in solitary confinement.

Before submitting his previous appeal, Vanunu was completely forbidden from communicating with any foreign nationals. In the appeal, Attorney Michael Sfard claimed that these decade-long restrictions are akin to Vanunu’s social exclusion, since he claims that the vast majority of Israeli citizens do not want to communicate with him. Furthermore, Sfard stated that East Jerusalem (where Vanunu resides) is full of foreign nationals, and Vanunu cannot ascertain whether every person he meets is a citizen or not.

Sfard further claimed that 30 years after the end of Vanunu’s tenure at the Negev Nuclear Research Center, and since the time he passed on classified information to Hounam, his client poses no security threat.

However, in the wake of an appeal hearing in September, the state decided to slightly lessen the restrictions on Vanunu’s communication with foreign nationals:

Vanunu and Sfard claimed that this is a harsh measure that...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Risking jobs, Palestinian workers in West Bank settlement unionize

When the Palestinian workers at a West Bank aluminum factory tried to unionize, the management responded with a resounding no.

Nearly half of the 65 workers at the MS Aluminum Ltd. factory, located in the Israeli-run Mishor Adumim industrial zone in the West Bank, unionized last week after joining the Workers Advice Center (WAC-MAAN). According to Israeli law, at least one-third of all workers in the factory must join the union in order to be considered their representative organization. WAC-MAAN told the factory management last week that they had passed the necessary threshold  - 31 workers – and are expecting to begin negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement.

The workers claim that the management imposes arbitrary fines, illegally deducts hours from their pay stubs, doesn’t properly compensate them for transportation and owes workers large sums of money in pension contributions. Some of the more skilled workers have been at the factory for many years, yet they claim that most make just above minimum wage, and are demanding a wage increase to match that of the most senior workers in the factory.

Attorney Yaron Eliran, who represents MS Aluminum’s management, rejected WAC-MAAN’s status as representative of the factory workers, adding that the workers will receive an official, detailed letter when the management returns from a trip abroad. The company told +972 that the issue is currently being dealt with legally, and that they have no intention of publicly discussing the matter.

MS Aluminum’s employees are not the first Palestinian workers in the Mishor Adumim industrial zone, located in the Ma’ale Adumim settlement, to unionize. Last year, WAC-MAAN organized workers at the Y. Tzarfati garage, protesting against their low wages and other problems in their employment. In response, the management fired the nascent union’s chairman, Hatem Abu Zeida. WAC-MAAN appealed the decision, and the case is currently being heard in the National Labor Court.

Palestinian workers employed in the settlements and industrial zones frequently suffer from poor working conditions. Furthermore, striking or unionizing runs the risk of having their work permits rescinded by the army.

This article was first published on +972′s Hebrew-language sister site, Local Call. Read it in Hebrew here.

Related:
How does SodaStream treat its Palestinian workers when the media isn’t looking?
The cynical use of Palestinian workers in the SodaStream controversy

Read More

View article: AAA
Share article

Report details IDF 'double tap' bombings that hit first responders in Gaza

Using human shields, attacking medical teams and hospitals, shooting at civilians waving white flags. A new report by Physicians for Human Rights authored by a team of international medical experts documents shocking testimonies of victims and presents new evidence from Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

The thing that shocked me most in a new report on Gaza by international experts was the IDF’s “double tap” attacks. Other findings in the report have already been written about, some of them during the war, “Operation Protective Edge,” here on +972. We reported about the shooting at civilians in the Khuza’a neighborhood, the use of human shields, destroying hospitals, how Gazans felt they had no safe place to run to, the dozens of families that were simply eliminated, and more. But the “double taps” — that is entirely new.

The team of medical experts that authored the report visited Gaza three times as a delegation of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR). They collected testimonies from dozens of wounded and from medical teams, documented the army’s terrifying actions during the war. At least 15 people testified about and described incidents in which the army bombed a target, and then — after a short pause or immediately after — bombed it again. The result was especially deadly: family members, neighbors, passersby and/or medical and emergency teams that arrived to help the wounded and extract bodies from the rubble, were bombed themselves, were killed or wounded.

Read the full report here

“This is a separate phenomenon from that of the so- called ‘roof-tap[s],” explain the authors of the report, which in a separate section addresses the “roof tap” warning strikes — which are small bombs that aren’t supposed to fell buildings. The “double tap” is something else. For Israelis it is reminiscent of our own traumas, like the Beit Lid double suicide bombing and other terror attacks that used the same tactic. According to the team of experts, that is how the Israeli army operated in Gaza.

The Red Crescent described the “double tap” practice as one of the central factors behind the deaths and injuries of their medical teams. A total of 23 medical personnel, 16 of them on duty, were killed during the war; another 83 were wounded. According to the team of experts, 45 ambulances were damaged by army attacks, including an ambulance station, 17 hospitals and 56 clinics that...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Israel's broken promises to curb administrative detention

In response to Palestinian hunger strikes, Israel has made — and subsequently broken — all sorts of promises, both in individual cases and regarding the practice of administrative detention itself.

Palestinian administrative detainee Khader Adnan announced last week that he would begin a week-long hunger strike to protest the renewal of his administrative detention. Adnan made headlines in 2012 when he went on a hunger strike over his administrative detention. He was released after his health greatly deteriorated. Adnan was arrested once again last July during the IDF’s “Operation Brother’s Keeper,” which came in the wake of the kidnapping of three Israeli yeshiva students. He has been in administrative detention ever since.

The army recently extended Adnan’s detention by six months, along with dozens of other detainees who were arrested in the beginning of July. The army claims that Adnan is the spokesperson for Islamic Jihad, but hasn’t provided any evidence to support that claim, nor has it charged him with a crime. Adnan was previously convicted of belonging to a terrorist organization, served his time, and was released.

Administrative detention: Months or years without due process

The administrative detention of another Palestinian man, Ayman Tabish, was also extended once again. Tabish’s hunger strike led to his hospitalization, at which point the state promised not to extend his detention if he ended his strike. (Administrative detention orders can be issued for no more than six months at a time, after which they must either be renewed, the detainee must released or charged with a crime.) The military court of appeals did not extend his detention, and ruled that the state must uphold its promise barring new, incriminating intelligence. Should new evidence come to light, the state would be able to extend his detention.

Tabish launched a hunger strike again in 2014 for a period of three months. Once more he was hospitalized while handcuffed to his hospital bed, and once more ended his strike in exchange for an additional promise: that his detention would not last be extended past January 2015. Two weeks ago, the state reneged on its promise and extended his detention for three months. His appeal will be heard on January 21. In response, the IDF Spokesperson stated that Tabish is a member of Islamic Jihad and that his detention is necessary for maintaining the security of the region. No evidence...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

The storm that only affects Jews

The Israeli media’s storm coverage is a constant reminder of the reality in the occupied territories: two peoples sharing the same land – but only one is worth talking about.

If you’ve been paying attention to the Israeli media over the past few days, you may have noticed its superb coverage of the damage caused by the recent storm. Newspapers, nightly news broadcasts and radio stations haven’t missed a beat - from roads being shut down due to ice, to the thousands of homes currently without electricity to students who are forced to stay home from school. Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, Haifa, Gush Etzion, Yitzhar. The media has it covered. That is, unless you are a Palestinian in the occupied territories.

This isn’t the first time the coverage looks like this. During last year’s harsh storm, every media outlet reported on the storm’s effect on West Bank settlements. Everyone talked about the outposts that were stuck without electricity, and how the army helped save the residents there. No one asked what was happening in the nearby villages, which were also stuck with no electricity and are under the rule of the same army. No one thought that they, too, might need help.

This storm is no different. Not a single media outlet has reported on the fate of the Ka’abna family, who lived in a tent in the Jordan Valley until New Year’s Day, when the army came destroyed their tent in its attempts to ethnically cleanse the Valley. Today they are entirely homeless, living in freezing temperatures under nylons and stitched pieces of cloth donated by friends and the Red Cross. And that’s just one example.

The focus on the storm is an excellent example that reflects how the media perpetuates Israeli society’s split consciousness vis-a-vis the occupation. As opposed to other stories in the West Bank, the storm is not seen as “security issue,” but rather one related to citizenship, blue ID cards and elections that only Jews in the West Bank can participate in. This is one storm: the same clouds, the same rain, the same snow falling on the same ground, the same electricity lines, the same floods in the same low areas. And yet the media separates the populations that share this land on the basis of ethnicity and nationality.

I cannot forget how even the left-leaning Haaretz, which dedicated a short article on page...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article
© 2010 - 2015 +972 Magazine
Follow Us
Credits

+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.

Website powered by RSVP

Illustrations: Eran Mendel