Israel denies Bedouin citizens basic services in life but claims them as civilians when they die. Over 400 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began its current military operation in Gaza. According to the United Nations, approximately three-quarters of Gaza’s dead are civilians; many are children. In Israel, two civilians have been killed. One was a Bedouin, the 32-year-old Oudi Lafi al-Waj, who lived in an unrecognized village in the Negev (Naqab) desert, near Dimona. Several Bedouin children have also been injured by rocket fire since Israel began “Operation Protective Edge.” Bedouin villages do not have air raid sirens, nor…Read More... | 9 Comments
The following is a collection of facts and figures about Jerusalem, compiled and published on the occasion of “Jerusalem Day.” Nationalist Israelis mark Jerusalem Day on Wednesday to mark the anniversary of the conquest of East Jerusalem and the Old City in 1967. The celebrations include the “march of the flags,” where flag-bearing Jewish revelers march through the Palestinian neighborhoods of the Old City, often times while chanting racist, violent and ultra-nationalistic slogans. Any counter protest by Palestinian residents of the neighborhoods is rarely tolerated by police. While Jewish Israelis celebrate the "reunification" of Jerusalem, data shows that the city…Read More... | 3 Comments
Over the past several years, Israel’s Ministry of Justice has found itself a new angle for engaging in public diplomacy: defending some of the worst pieces of Knesset legislation, while celebrating whatever outcome the court hands down when they are challenged. By Hagai El-Ad Human rights are neither a theoretical concept nor a distant vision: for human beings, human rights are either a foundation for a just life – or, more often, humans are deprived of them. In such realities, the enumeration of rights becomes an enumeration of grievances. For human rights organizations, that enumeration of grievances becomes a workplan.…Read More... | 8 Comments
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In areas where nearly 80 percent live under the poverty line, residents are being forced to buy bottled water for drinking, cooking, showering and cleaning. Palestinian East Jerusalem residents turned to Israel’s High Court on Tuesday demanding that running water be restored to their homes, after suffering for three weeks without it. The petition was filed on their behalf by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). The East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ras Shehada, Ras Khamis, Dahyat A’salam and the Shuafat refugee camp, which are cut off from the rest of the city by the separation wall, have gone…Read More... | 7 Comments
Civil rights organizations argue the 'anti-boycott law' has created a chilling effect, stifling debate on one of the most divisive issues facing Israeli society. If that's the case, the state counters, then how has BDS grown so much in recent years? In a hearing that felt at times like the political boycott itself was on trial, an extended panel of nine justices from Israel’s High Court of Justice heard arguments for and against legislation targeting calls to boycott Israel on Sunday. It was the second such session following petitions by civil rights groups asking the court to strike down the…Read More... | 16 Comments
An expanded panel of nine justices of the Israeli High Court of Justice will hear a petition against the "anti-boycott law" Sunday morning, which several NGOs are arguing silences debate on one of the most important and divisive issues in Israeli society. Passed by the Knesset in 2011, the law, formally known as the "Law for Prevention of Damage to State of Israel through Boycott," allows those who feel they have been harmed by a boycott - whether against Israel or an Israeli institution or territory (i.e. the settlements in the West Bank) - to sue the person or organization who…Read More... | 13 Comments
New report by Israeli and international rights groups demand more protection for the right to protest. But even as the report shines a light on the West Bank, how can you protect a right you don't have? If freedom of expression is the grievance system of democracies, the right to protest and peaceful assembly is democracy’s megaphone. It is the tool of the poor and the marginalized – those who do not have ready access to the levers of power and influence, those who need to take to the streets to make their voices heard. ('Take back the streets: Repression…Read More...
With the start of the new school year, today (2.9.2013) The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and Ir Amim published an annual update on the dire state of education in East Jerusalem, revealing deep gaps between the two parts of the city. The report concludes that the Jerusalem Municipality and state authorities are failing to meet a High Court ruling that ordered the completion of all missing classrooms in East Jerusalem by 2016. Faced with a shortage of 2,200 missing classrooms in the official Arab school system in Jerusalem, the authorities are doing too little to close this…Read More...
The number of classrooms, the availability of counselors and the numbers of dropout prevention programs constitute a grievous violation of the right to education for tens of thousands of Palestinian schoolchildren in Jerusalem. By Betty Herschman In cities around the world, most parents agonize about their kids’ first day of school. They worry about whether their kids will connect with their teachers. They worry about bullying. Mostly they anguish over the quality of education their child will receive and whether it will prepare them for a productive life beyond their school years. In East Jerusalem, mothers and fathers worry about…Read More... | 7 Comments
The High Court of Justice declines to make a ruling on the evictions of over 1,000 Palestinian villagers from what Israel calls 'Firing Zone 918.' Villagers' attorneys say referral to mediation process is a sign the court wasn't satisfied with the state's arguments. International writers sign petition against evictions. Israel's High Court of Justice referred to mediation a petition against the eviction of dozens of West Bank Palestinian families to make room for a military training area in the West Bank on Monday, pending the State's acquiescence to the suggestion. The courtroom was packed with representatives of the Palestinian villagers,…Read More... | 3 Comments
+972 speaks with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel’s executive director Hagai El-Ad, discussing bittersweet legal victories, the downward trajectory of civil rights in Israel and how ACRI is facing its greatest challenge, winning over the Israeli public. Hagai El-Ad’s change in career paths came from a self-realization that his destiny was not in some distant galaxy, but very much grounded on Earth, specifically, in Israel’s civil rights arena. The executive director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), El-Ad, 43, earned a master’s degree in astrophysics before moving to the nonprofit sector. In 2000, he became…Read More... | 7 Comments
Anyone who’s been to a checkpoint or a protest in the West Bank knows how arbitrary military rule can be. For the activist on the ground, some specific knowledge of the occupation’s byzantine legal framework can make a real difference. By Raghad Jaraisy Youtube is rife with videos of daily life in the West Bank – home demolitions, violent suppression of protests, unchecked settler violence, arbitrary arrests, etc. But this video, from the organization Ta'ayush, is a little different. If other videos play out like action films, this one is more of a drama. No fisticuffs, no bulldozers, no tear gas or rubber bullets.…Read More... | 2 Comments
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Assault on Gaza
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When Mustafa returned to Gaza after his Seeds of Peace summer camp, he wasn't prepared for what he found: http://t.co/FsMSAcgnxi
Israeli politicians openly denounce IDF veterans' refusal to serve as unacceptable politicization of army service: http://t.co/Zpc8oNlL7E
Refusal by elite IDF reservists angrily dismissed as 'political' http://t.co/Zpc8oNlL7E by @dahliasc
Returning to Gaza's devastation after summer peace camp: http://t.co/FsMSAcgnxi
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