A senior employee at right-wing organization NGO Monitor penned an interesting op-ed in Israeli daily Yisrael Hayom this morning (Sunday). NGO Monitor, which targets organizations and people who actively oppose the occupation, is obsessed with use of the term Apartheid. The piece by NGO Monitor's deputy director of communications, Lena Abayev, is a longwinded attack on those who compare the situation in the West Bank to that of Apartheid South Africa. Interestingly enough, there are only two sentences in which the author actually addresses reality on the ground in the West Bank. Sadly, they work against her argument: Israel is…Read More... | 30 Comments
Following the murder of a settler from Yitzhar on Tuesday, dozens of Israeli settlers from the region attacked several Palestinian villages. They threw stones at Palestinians, at cars and buses, smashed windows and burned houses. These videos, taken by B'Tselem photographers from the villages Asira al-Qibliya and Urif, show how IDF forces allow the riots against the Palestinian farmers to take place. In several cases the soldiers talk to the rioters or try to shove them away. In others, they simply provide escorts for them as they throw stones or storm the villages. Video from Asira al-Qibliya: Video from Urif: Video from Asira al-Qibliya (An officer…Read More... | 13 Comments
Survey finds that majority of Jewish Israelis think the country should unilaterally determine its borders along the route of the West Bank separation barrier. One-third support either annexing the West Bank without giving Palestinians civil rights, or perpetuating the status quo -- both of which are apartheid. According to a poll* released Sunday, a majority of Jewish Israelis (57 percent) believe Israel should determine its borders unilaterally according to the current route of the separation wall, which cuts deep into the West Bank, winding through Palestinian land well east of the 1949 Armistice Lines (Green Line). This confirms that 1) Israelis…Read More... | 31 Comments
An Israeli decision to continue the occupation is illegitimate, even if it was reached through a democratic process. Democracy has no meaning when the population at hand is not allowed to take part in it. This is a slightly modified translation of my weekly op-ed in the Israeli daily Maariv. "Occupation denial" is the latest trend in the Israeli (and American) conversation regarding the conflict. Conservative scholars are presenting a revisionist reading of the Fourth Geneva Convention, claiming that it never applied to the West Bank and Gaza, while politicians are claiming that the term "occupation" is biased. Yet all those…Read More... | 33 Comments
For two student activists in Washington D.C., Israel Apartheid Week – and using the term 'apartheid' – is an opportunity to alter perceptions and the discourse surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Whereas 'occupation' defines Israel/Palestine as a military struggle with ambiguous moral implications, 'apartheid' describes a civil rights struggle with a clear moral imperative. By Joshua B. Michaels and Benjamin L. Mandel This month, cities and campuses across the U.S. participated in the 9th Annual Israeli Apartheid Week. As the apartheid paradigm becomes more and more pervasive throughout American political discourse when discussing Israel, it is fair to ask: what is meant by "apartheid?"…Read More... | 56 Comments
If it had happened anywhere other than Hebron, one would have been justified in assuming that the scene unfolding was coordinated for a not-too-sophisticated film about "the conflict". Surely somewhere out of sight there is an entire movie crew ready for the director to yell "cut!", so that all actors on this bizarre and horrific set can trade the severity on their faces for laughter and ease during their coffee break. But this is Hebron, and the dramatic horror is very much real. In front of us is a small landing at the top of a hill overlooking the old…Read More... | 49 Comments
The word “apartheid” is slowly seeping more and more into mainstream discourse on the occupation. Yet I recently came across two cases in which, how to say, the usage of the word was a bit surprising. The first came in the official Yesha Council newsletter, which posted an item on the Palestinian-only buses recently “inaugurated” for Palestinian workers who enter Israel on a daily basis. You can read more about these bus lines here. Besides pointing to Chaim Levinson’s (Haaretz) piece claiming Palestinians are happy with the new arrangement, the Yesha Council - who went with the headline "Apartheid, nice…Read More... | 29 Comments
Al-Jazeera's Inside Story covers the segregated bus debate and the question of apartheid in Israel. Al Jazeera's Mike Hanna is joined by Ben White, Mustafa Barghouti and Gregg Roman in what turns out to be probably the biggest shellacking of an Israeli spokesperson I have ever seen on a mainstream news network. To be fair, Roman does say some absurd things, such as: "Actually I do know what I am talking about because I worked side by side with Palestinians for three years while I was a member of the Civil Administration in Ramallah (note: Israel's occupation government in the…Read More... | 74 Comments
Unlike Prisoner X, there is no public outrage in Israel over the way the legal system is preventing Samer Issawi from receiving a fair trial. But then again, Issawi is Palestinian. Samer Issawi, the Palestinian prisoner who has been on an intermittent hunger strike for over 200 days, had his day in court on Thursday. According to the sentence handed down by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, one might ostensibly believe that Issawi would be released on March 6, when his prison term is completed. But Samer Issawi is Palestinian, and therefore subject to a multi-layered legal system in which his…Read More... | 10 Comments
The settler media outlet Arutz Sheva reported (Hebrew) a highly "irregular" occurrence on Wednesday morning, in which a Palestinian stood next to Jewish Israelis at a hitchhiking stop near the West Bank settlement of Beit El. Avigdor Shatz, the Binyamin Regional Council's chief security officer in the area, was quoted as saying: Palestinians are not supposed to stand next to Jews at the same hitchhiking stop, certainly not in Beit El. Shatz admitted that the law does not actually bar Palestinians from standing at the Givat Asaf hitchhiking stop, named after the illegal outpost nearby. "It is not defined as Israeli…Read More... | 59 Comments
Bus lines created exclusively for Palestinians is another step in the fortification of the de facto system of segregation imposed by the Israeli government between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. Thousands of Palestinians travel from the West Bank to work in Israel every day using Israeli public transportation. The buses are overcrowded. At times there are tensions and confrontations between Israelis and Palestinians. Israeli settlers can't stand the sight of Palestinians anyway. So why not create a separate bus line for them? This is the logic behind a new proposal being considered by the Ministry of Transportation: Additional bus lines exclusively…Read More... | 18 Comments
A majority of the public wants the state to discriminate against Palestinians, says a poll published in Haaretz. The findings don't reflect a failure in education, as some might argue, but rather the inherently discriminatory nature of the state and the result of decades-long occupation. Gideon Levy reports in Haaretz today the findings of a survey that reveals deeply-rooted racism in Israeli society, and a desire of most of the Jewish public to practice ethnic segregation between Arabs and Jews. This is the front page story of Haaretz today. The poll was conducted by Prof. Camil Fuchs, one of the…Read More... | 78 Comments
How much longer before all of us accept it? How many more years of suffering will Palestinians endure before we get it? How many more Palestinian and Israeli lives will perish before the hardest word of them all sinks in? The word “apartheid” is applied more and more these days when discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What it does mostly is make people angry, on both sides of the Jewish political map. Even left-wingers will say something along the lines of “sure, there’s an occupation. But apartheid? Come on. No need to exaggerate.” I myself am using the word more in…Read More... | 30 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.
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