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

There is nothing 'natural' about police racism

Israel’s police chief angered Israelis when he claimed it is ‘natural’ to suspect Ethiopians. But his remarks are simply a reflection of where Israeli society is at today.

By Galia Boneh

Police Chief Roni Alsheikh’s recent comments, according to which it is “natural” for police to be suspicious of Ethiopian Israelis, stirred much controversy. They also lead to an important public discussion, exemplifying how structural racism works, and how racist acts in the name of public service gain legitimacy from the top echelon.

In parallel, however, they also allowed the public to characterize Alsheikh as a racist, to renounce him while absolving ourselves of responsibility. In his book Between the World and Me, African-American journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates writes the following:

Although Coates is writing about the situation in the United States, his words resonate here as well. It is easy to be outraged and shirk responsibility for the police chief’s remarks. It is less comfortable to think about how they reflect and represent us, and to remember that all the injustices carried out by Israel’s police against Ethiopians — was well as against Arabs, asylum seekers, and other persecuted groups — are the result of our desires as a society.

Coates continues:

Natural law. It is no coincidence that the police chief enlisted natural law to justify the police’s racist conduct. “Nature” is the ultimate justification — one cannot become angry over something natural. Like an earthquake or a tsunami, one can feel a deep pain over loss, but the forces of nature are not something we can judge; there is no one to get angry at, since they are out of our control. Thus the attempt to change natural law is doomed to failure, despite the fact that any attempt to do so is greatly appreciated. At least someone is trying.

But Alsheikh is not the only one who says racism is natural. This was the most common argument I heard over the past year, during which I analyzed the issue of racism as part of my studies at the Mandel School for Educational Leadership. For example, at a conference toted “Are We Racist?” at Hebrew University in April, one of the speakers said that skin color is a symbol that naturally distinguishes between groups, and that a group’s natural proclivity is to despise and deny “the other.” Thus, it was said, without constant intervention...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

What Palestinian athletes can learn from Colin Kaepernick

Palestinian athletes can learn a thing or two from the football star’s refusal to stand during his country’s national anthem.

By Abed Abu Shehadeh

One can say many things about American politics, but boring they are not. We are seeing this with the presidential race and the rise of the American Right, which views the world as a reality show where anything can be said — regardless of logic or factual basis — as long as it is stated in the most provocative and blatant manner. On the other hand we cannot ignore the Black Lives Matter movement, which challenges structural racism in the United States — especially among the police.

The American football player Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers is refusing to stand during “The Star- Spangled Banner,” setting an admirable example of social responsibility. The quarterback explained his brave choice: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color… to me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” His stance is thoroughly explained and undoubtedly brave, providing us food for thought in our local context vis-à-vis the responsibilities of Arab athletes. Those who are well aware of the crimes committed against them and their people, yet who choose to continue to compete with Israeli groups and organizations — where a large number of athletes served in an army that occupies their fellow Palestinians.

I do not have many expectations of athletes nor do I discount the extremely difficult path they took to get to where they are today. But I believe that their silence on public political discussions is shameful, whether they are athletes who choose to represent Israel abroad under the occupier’s flag or whether they are soccer players on a team with racist supporters, such as Maccabi Tel Aviv (which Rami Younis called “the most racist team in the state.”)

Arab athletes are aware of these injustices, yet choose to remain silent. And when they do take a stand, their position is framed in such a way that it does not offend the Israeli public. But this is not what is needed. We need these athletes to show...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Israel's culture minister is no friend of cultural equality

Culture Minister Miri Regev may be right in wanting to change the unbalanced distribution of Israel’s resources, but she’s going about it all wrong.

By Yossi Dahan

Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev is right to speak about the need for “social justice” in Israel, and she is correct when she says that the distribution of resources vis-a-vis cultural institutions is skewed and discriminates against different groups in Israeli society.

Yes, state funds dedicated to culture often go directly to institutions and art based in Tel Aviv, while communities in the social and geographical periphery are not properly allocated resources that will allow them to develop and enjoy culture that they can identify with. She is also correct when she states that there is a dearth of Mizrahim who get to make decisions regarding resource allocation for culture.

Statistics on the matter appeared in a document published by a coalition of Mizrahi organizations tht examined the distribution of cultural allocations between the years 2001-2008, according to different populations groups in Israel. This unjust allocation, which has continued for years, goes against a law passed by the Knesset in 2002, which calls for “fully expressing the cultural diversity of Israeli society and their different world views.”

Many people, among them Mizrahi cultural figures and activists who struggle for cultural pluralism and against historical cultural discrimination and oppression, support Regev’s stance.

It is difficult not to feel sympathy toward Regev’s position in the face of the staunch opposition by the perennial executive directors of theaters and cultural institutions, not to mention the often racist attacks against her by those who enjoy the fruits of the current status quo. However, it would behoove those who support Regev’s struggle to pay attention to her minimalistic definition of the term “social justice,” which actually turns her into one of the most dangerous enemies of that very ideal. For Regev, social justice is reduced to equal distribution of resources among Israel’s Jewish population. She has no intention of fixing discrimination against the Arab population.

It is important to note that the term “social justice” cannot simply be reduced to fair distribution of resources — it also includes the right of individuals and cultural groups to freely create and enjoy culture. Social justice includes, among other things, the right of individuals and groups to artistic freedom of speech — a freedom that Regev tramples when she tries to defund the Arabic...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Why the struggle for LGBT rights in Israel is far from over

Recent homophobic comments by Israel’s religious leaders are a reminder that the struggle for a pluralistic society will only grow more intense in the years to come.

By Yossi Dahan

The recent remarks by Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, head of the distinguished IDF preparatory yeshiva in the West Bank settlement Eli, who called the LGBT community “perverts” and accused Reform Judaism of being an “offshoot of Christianity” — are not a coincidence. Not only do they express a moral opposition to what is happening within the army, they are part of a political attempt to signal to the IDF chief of staff and the army’s chief education officer that Levinstein and other top rabbis do not intend to forgo their influence and power in molding IDF soldiers’ lifestyle and principles.

Professor Yagil Levy uses the term “theocratization of the army” to describe the influence of national-religious rabbis — some of them heads of army preparatory programs, others heads of preparatory yeshiva (which combine religious studying with IDF service) — on the army. Levy describes a process by which religious authorities begin to take precedent over state authorities. In the eyes of rabbis such as Levinstein, there is a limit to the legitimacy of state laws. As they see it, in the struggle between state law and religious law, the latter wins out.

Newly-appointed IDF Chief Rabbi Eyal Karim shares Levinstein’s worldview in everything having to do with women, LGBTs, and religious rules of warfare — which justifies acts such as killing wounded enemy combatants, along with innocent civilians. According to international law, these acts are considered war crimes and are a blatant violation of both military and state law.

The process of subjugating soldiers’ personal lives to religious principles is characterized, according to Levy, by attempts to pressure the army to implement religious practices, as well as through a gradual takeover of the IDF from the inside, so as to directly influence what happens in the army. The co-founder of the Eli preparatory yeshiva, Rabbi Eli Sadan, who was awarded the Israel Prize last year (and who had reservations about Levinstein’s remarks) has previously stated: “We must find our way into all the establishments — the army, the Shin Bet, the legal system — in order to mold the perfect state.” Similar remarks were made by Rabbi Shlomo Aviner: “Our army is holy… sometimes there are a few unfavorable changes, but they won’t succeed. We must not fall asleep at the wheel, but...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Israelis don't understand Palestinian fears over Jerusalem

For Israelis, Jerusalem is an archaeological treasure. For Palestinians, it is a city whose heritage and identity are constantly under threat.

By Yonathan Mizrachi

It turns out that issues of identity, religion and recognition are far more critical to East Jerusalem Palestinians than what the Israeli Right and center would have us believe. A new survey shows that East Jerusalemites are more concerned with Jewish pilgrimage to the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif and archaeological excavations than issues such as lack of infrastructure and the denial of construction permits.

The survey, commissioned by Israeli NGO Emek Shaveh, an organization of archaeologists and community activists focusing on the role of archaeology in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, asked East Jerusalem residents what issue concerns them the most in heir home city.

The survey was carried out by the Smith Institute, and included 500 individuals representing Israel’s adult population (Jews and Muslims, ages 18 and older).

According to the findings, 67 percent chose Jewish pilgrimage to the Temple Mount, while 44 percent responded that archaeological excavations concern them most. Forty-one percent of respondents say the denial of construction permits is most important to them, while 30 percent believe the lack of infrastructure is of top priority.

Contrary to the view that providing a higher standard of living and better housing for East Jerusalem’s residents will resolve the tensions in the city — a position that both rightists and centrists seek to advance — the results of the survey suggest the threat to Palestinian identity and the violation of Jerusalem’s symbolic status are of greater concern.

The survey further shows that Israeli Jews and Palestinians in Jerusalem hold completely different attitudes toward the city’s archaeology. The participants were asked their opinion about the purpose of archaeological excavations in the Old City, to which they were able to choose from up to two responses. Eighty percent of Israeli Jews believe that the objectives of archaeological excavations in the Old City and the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan are purely scientific — that is, to find historical evidence of life in the city throughout history.

Among East Jerusalem Palestinians, on the other hand, the most notable responses were to strengthen the Jewish hold on Jerusalem (53 percent), and to erase all remnants of Muslim history from the city (57 percent). Another 21 percent believe that the purpose of the excavations is to erase all of the city’s non-Jewish historical remnants. Only 14...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Turning entire Palestinian villages invisible

Israeli signs in the West Bank not only ignore destroyed Palestinian villages, they also erase those in plain sight.

By Umar al-Ghubari

The destruction and emptying of the Latrun villages took place 49 years ago this month. The Israeli army had occupied Imwas, Yalo and Beit Nuba on June 5, 1967, expelled the residents of all three villages to the Ramallah district and prevented them from returning after the war, which lasted only six days. Bulldozers and soldiers began demolishing the homes, and razed the three villages. The State of Israel erased the names of the villages from its maps, and of course from traffic signs, as was its practice since 1948.

Years later, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) created “Canada Park” on top of the Latrun villages. There are many signs up inside the park, but none them mentions the names of those villages — except for one, which Israeli organization Zochrot compelled the JNF to erect to avoid legal proceedings. About a year ago the JNF put up new signs throughout the park, which erase Palestinian-Arab history altogether. It goes without saying that the entire park is located in an area occupied in 1967, that is, in the West Bank, but not one sign mentions this.

Erasing any textual remnant of the Palestinians is a familiar means of also eradicating them from the Israeli collective consciousness. Signs have the power to shape knowledge, to make an imprint on one’s awareness, to consolidate the name and identity of a place. The sign controls the kind of information that reaches the public, and the kind made inaccessible.

In the Palestinian context, the information and names conveyed in Israeli signs are of critical significance. One of the signs in Canada Park demonstrates that in addition to the past, the present reality can also be erased from the text and from public awareness. Both are absent from the text, though they straddle the hills across from it. And even if past and present do exist, they do not deserve mention.

To those wishing to better understand what it is to be “transparent,” I recommend visiting a specific hill in Canada Park, inside the occupied, destroyed and ethnically cleansed village of Yalo, to understand the way in which the transparent is made (in)visible, and to witness first-hand the brainwashing and efficiency of this powerful stance.

As mentioned in the heading of the sign...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

The state must come clean about the fate of the Yemenite children

Between 1948 and 1952, thousands of Yemenite babies, children of immigrants to the newly-founded State of Israel were reportedly taken from their parents by Israel’s nascent medical establishment and disappeared. Now it is time for the state to come clean about what really happened.

By Tom Mehager

Yemenite children's affair.

In all our innocence we believed that if we bring forth testimonies from families on the ways their children were kidnapped, we could begin a process of social healing, collective truth telling, and in the far-off future, reconciliation. But the response of many Ashkenazi Israelis to the Day of Remembrance and Awareness for the Yemenite, Balkan and Mizrahi Children Affair was one of distortions and victimization. Thus, it is important to reiterate a number of basic facts.

The three separate investigative commissions were flooded with over one thousand testimonies by families whose children were taken from them. Those testimonies were most often consistent: medical personnel told the families that the child was sick, the child was taken from the family and after a number of days was reported dead. The families were neither handed a death certificate nor told where the child had been buried. Today hundreds of families are providing testimonies to Amram, an NGO dedicated to researching the disappearance and trafficking of Jewish children from Yemen, the Balkans and Arab countries, while hundreds of others took part in last week’s events across the country to mark the day of remembrance. Those who refuse to believe these testimonies should, by the same token, refuse to believe testimonies of Holocaust survivors.

Those who bother to read materials on the subject will discover that there are testimonies by members of the Israeli establishment that reinforce those of the families. Take, for instance, the testimony given by Ahuva Goldfarb, the national supervisor of the Jewish Agency’s social services, to the national commission of inquiry: “Children were sent unregistered outside of the [transit] camps, it was systematic as could be.” Goldfarb admits that the answer given to parents who asked about their child’s fate was “He is no longer alive.” Roja Kushinsky, a nurse at the Ein Shemer transit camp, recalls a similar pattern: “I would...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

For Netanyahu, every peace initiative is an anti-Zionist plot

What kind of hope does the prime minister offer us when every attempt to bring about peace is rejected as a plot to destroy Israel?

By Yossi Dahan

Less than a year ago, in a rare moment of honesty, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented his vision for Israeli citizens, in present and future tense. It happened during a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, which came together to mark the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. “These days there is talk about what would have happened if someone or other would have remained. This is not relevant… we will forever live by the sword.” From Netanyahu’s blood-soaked vision, as opposed to, say, Rabin’s vision of hope, we can tease out his worldview and political behavior. In fact, his remarks summarize his continual refusal to respond to every single initiative that attempts to bring about the end of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians through negotiations.

In Netanyahu’s eyes, every peace initiative is nothing more than a plot intended to put an end to the State of Israel — a death trap that we must escape using every trick in the book. This thinking also explains Israel’s behavior over the past few weeks, including Netanyahu’s upcoming trip to Europe, where he will try to block every opportunity that may bring about negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, while seeking to soften the tone of an upcoming Quartet report on the frozen peace process, which will likely include harsh language regarding Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories.

Netanyahu stridently rejects all peace initiatives. During a Likud party meeting several weeks ago, he sent the Saudis, who proposed the Arab Peace Initiative back in 2002, to update their plan according to Israeli demands. Then he rejected the Paris Peace Initiative, which was accepted by foreign ministers of 28 EU member states. The main goal of the initiative was to assemble an international peace conference by the end of the year, in order to cause the Israelis and Palestinians to renew negotiations.

The French plan includes putting together economic incentive packages for Israel and the Palestinians, and creating steps to build trust between the two sides. The Foreign Ministry spokesperson, who reports directly to Netanyahu (the prime minister is also Israel’s foreign minister), rejected the initiative outright when he declared that, “peace with the Palestinians will...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Conscientious objection is yet another Ashkenazi privilege

Praise for IDF refusenik Tair Kaminer’s “ethics” obscures the fact that an illustrious military service is the Mizrahim’s litmus test for social acceptance and allows the Left to bask in its own self-proclaimed enlightenment.

By Tom Mehager

The public debate regarding Tair Kaminer’s refusal to serve in the army illustrates, yet again, the color-blindness of the Israeli Left. Time after time the Left ignores the Ashkenazi-Mizrahi elephant in the room, effectively alienating themselves from the majority of Israeli society. However, it doesn’t prevent the Left’s representatives from praising themselves as the standard bearers of “enlightenment.”

For instance, Haaretz columnist Uri Misgav recently praised Kaminer thus: “Kaminer is a young, ethical person who is politically and socially aware. She spent a year as a volunteer after high school, working with traumatized children in Sderot.” Similar things have been written about Kaminer elsewhere.

It’s interesting to dwell on the meeting between “a young person with values” and the predominantly Mizrahi periphery, in this case the town of Sderot. How do Israeli youths such as Kaminer gain “ethical values”? What is the process that youths in Israel undergo, in which a separation and a hierarchy between an “ethical youth” and the kids who recently disrupted a TV interview and were roundly denounced as “arsim” (a derogatory Hebrew word for riffraff primarily used against Mizrahim), are created?

The Israeli establishment never saw the Mizrahi youth as having the potential to acquire “ethical values,” or a “political and social awareness,” as Misgav put it. Quite the opposite. The Israeli education system, from its founding to the present day, operates on the assumption that Mizrahi youths are less capable than their Ashkenazi peers. In his much-touted series of reports, “The True Face of the Ethnic Demon,” journalist Amnon Levy asked Mizrahi youths what they’ll be when they grow up. Some answered that they’d become soccer players or policemen. Others spoke of the option of serving in the army in a combat unit, which would, maybe, make people “look at them differently.” They were well-aware of the establishment’s racist gaze, directed towards them simply by virtue of being Mizrahim.

This helps explain the high rates of middle- and lower-class Mizrahim enlisting to combat units. They need military service in order to attain a sense of self-esteem and social acceptance. The stark contrast between the military service of most Mizrahim and conscientious...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

Israel's Arab community and its contempt for its youth

I have zero expectations from racist Jews, but I’d expect the Arabs, my own community, to be less judgmental of young people. You have no idea what it’s like to walk down the street fearing the police and criminals, as well as your judgment.

By Abed Abu Shehadeh

Every time a young Arab is killed in our society, social media is flooded with condemnations and expressions of shock for about a week until their authors go back to their arrogant, standoffish selves thanking god, deep down, that some night clubs in our community don’t let young Arabs in.

One of the most formative moments in my life came when I was 17. I went to a have a passport photo taken at a shop on Jaffa’s Jerusalem Boulevard with two friend. An Arab woman in her 40s stood before us in line and the minute she saw us she clung to her handbag assuming, probably, that we were about to rob her.

I have no words to describe the humiliation I felt because at the time my friend and I were ready to do whatever favor she might have asked us. But since that was her attitude, we decided to reciprocate. We came closer and suggested menacingly that she be very mindful of her handbag. We later found out she was a famous local politician.

The problem is endemic to the Arab society. We stereotype and stigmatize our youth only to be taken aback when the sky-high crime rate comes back to haunt us. How about just being straightforward with our youth and saying that we have nothing but contempt for them? Every young Arab is a potential menace – unless he is educated, enlightened, rich or, better still, a hipster.

No sector in our society is immune to that kind of prejudice. The religious moan that we’re not religious enough, and the secularists moan that we’re too religious. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t. When demonstrations take place everybody wants to know why we don’t show up, but in the day-to-day routine nobody gives a toss about us. Only when we stand up to the establishment we get some sympathy, but usually from people who want to recruit us to their political ends.

I used to think it’s unique to Arabs within Israel, but I was once humiliated in the same way in Ramallah, where portraits of...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

GOP candidates are sounding a lot like Israel's leaders

Remarks by the most outlandish Republican candidates represent, in the best case scenario, the more moderate positions of Israel’s prime ministers since the state’s founding.

By Abed Abu Shehada

Let’s imagine for a second that Donald Trump gets up on stage at a rally and demands that maternity wards across the U.S. begin segregating black and white women, justifying his demand through stereotypes: blacks love throwing loud post-birth parties, whereas white women are more simply more cultured prefer to rest after giving birth. His remarks would surely be widely condemned. In fact, I doubt that Trump himself is stupid or racist enough to say such things.

But in Israeli politics, racism espoused by members of the government are part of the view, and pro-democracy activists find ourselves writing opinion pieces on why remarks like those by Betzalel Smotrich (“It is natural for my wife to not want to lie next to somebody who just gave birth to a baby that might want to murder her baby in 20 years. That’s the most natural, normal thing in the world”) are unacceptable, explaining why they are so problematic to the Israeli public.

When looking at the election campaign in the United States, it is not a stretch to say that remarks by the most outlandish Republican candidates represent, in the best case scenario, the more moderate positions of Israel’s prime ministers since the state’s founding.

Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich seen in Jerusalem's Old City, October 7, 2015. (photo: Faiz Abu-Rmeleh/Activestills.org)
Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich seen in Jerusalem’s Old City, October 7, 2015. (photo: Faiz Abu-Rmeleh/Activestills.org)

Two weeks ago I met with activists from the Black Lives Matter movement. I expressed my positions as an activist with the Balad party about solutions to the situation in Israel and our struggle for a society based on civic equality — a state that respects its citizens and sees them as equals. I told them that Balad is widely hated and viewed as a radical group in Israel. They looked at me in shock, grasping to understand what could be possibly...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

What would we say about the Hebron shooter were he Ashkenazi?

The story of the Hebron shooting is a classic case of the lowly soldier syndrome — mostly Ashkenazi political leaders give the order, yet only those at the bottom of the ladder must pay the price. 

By Adi Mazor and Tom Mehager

What is the difference between the Israeli soldier who shot 22-year-old Palestinian Abed al-Fatah Sharif in Hebron last week after a stabbing attack, and the soldiers from elite unites who shoot and kill Palestinian suspects? The difference is that the elite soldiers do behind the scenes — when no one is there to capture it on camera.

Since the Hebron shooting, much has been made of the Hebron shooter and his extreme right-wing views, the fact that he is a fan of Beitar Jerusalem (a soccer team associated with the Israeli Right) and his belonging to “La Familia,” Beitar’s far-right supporters’ group. This stems from an attempt to distinguish between the “good soldier” and the “bad soldier,” from talk about the IDF’s “code of ethics” and “purity of arms.” Let’s call a spade a spade: there are Asheknazi soldiers who go to the “right” units, where extrajudicial killings are a badge of honor. Then there are Mizrahi soldiers who go and carry out the most of the grunt work of Israel’s military control over the occupied territories. In this case, the soldier in Hebron executed an unarmed Palestinian who no longer posed a threat to anyone.

Take someone like Meir Har-Zion as an example. He and his friends from an elite paratroopers unit murdered five Bedouin as revenge of the murder of Har-Zion’s sister. They were never put on trial; Har Zion is viewed today as an Israeli hero. Or take kibbutzniks such as Ehud Barak or Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon — both of whom were in charge of the targeted assassination of Khalil Al-Wazir (known as “Abu Jihad”) in his home in Tunis in 1988. Not only were they not condemned, the assassination, along with other operations, only bolstered their image as venerated IDF officers. Even the Hebron shooter’s family said the same in an open letter to Ya’alon last week, when they wrote: “Do not forget that you were in the same position as our son when you were in Abu Jihad’s room and made sure he was dead.”

We often hear legitimate criticism of the Ashkenazi Left, which never dared look in...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article

What is Martin Luther King's name doing in the ruins of a Palestinian village?

The civil rights leader’s name mysteriously appears on a plaque dedicated to donors who contributed money to building a Jewish National Fund national park — on top of three destroyed Palestinian villages.

By Umar Al-Ghubari (translated by Richard Flantz)

Martin Luther King’s name appears on the donors wall of Ayalon Canada Park in the Latrun area, which Israel conquered in 1967 before it carried out an ethnic cleansing of the area. The site of the donors wall includes many stone panels on walls that were erected on the ruins of the Palestinian village Imwas, which Israel flattened in 1967. Imwas is identified with Roman-Byzantine town Emmaus-Nicopolis; it is believed that Jesus met two of his disciples there after his resurrection (hence why numerous Christian organizations throughout the world are named Emmaus).

Last January people around the world marked Martin Luther King Jr.’s 86th birthday. King was a fighter for human rights and against racism in the United States, who has become a international symbol and a source of inspiration for oppressed peoples throughout the world. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 at age 35, and was murdered on April 4, 1968.

The Ayalon-Canada Park is an Israeli national park that was established in 1972 on the ruins of four Palestinian villages conquered by Israel during the 1967 war, expelling all their inhabitants, demolishing their homes, and preventing them from returning to their lands. To this day they are being prevented from returning. One village, Deir Ayyoub, was occupied in 1948, while three other villages in the Latrun area — Imwas, Yalu, and Bayt Nuba — were conquered in 1967. This area is formally part of the West Bank, but in practice it has been annexed to Israel. In addition to the park, which extends over 12,000 dunams, a section of Israel’s Highway No. 1 also passes through the occupied territory. And of course there are no signs explaining that drivers or visitors are crossing the Green Line.

Immediately after conquering the Latrun area without hardly any resistance, the Israeli army instructed the 6,000 or so residents of the three villages to come out of their homes and to gather in central squares. From there the army sent them – some on foot, some in cars, some on donkeys and some in trucks – in the direction of Ramallah, some 30 kilometers away. One of the...

Read More
View article: AAA
Share article
© 2010 - 2016 +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