I wish there was a kinder, gentler way than acts of ostracism to get Israel to end the occupation, but those ways have failed terribly. I would not join a BDS protest; I'm a "two-stater" who believes Israel should remain a Jewish state because the alternatives would be worse, who believes Israel's "original sin" is the occupation, not Zionism, and so I don't think I'd really feel at home at your average BDS demonstration. There seems to be way too much loathing for everything about Israel in the movement - which is not to say everyone in the movement…Read More... | 53 Comments
How long can Israel's luck hold out? How many more times can it attack Syria without Assad or Hezbollah hitting back? People in this country have been worried that the fighting in Syria is going to "spill over the border," and now Israel, unprovoked, unattacked, has gone and bombed Syria twice in the last 72 hours. Is anyone in this vibrant democracy protesting? I haven't heard it. That's because the missiles from Syria and/or Hezbollah haven't started falling here. So far so good, people figure. As long as we get away with it, hooray. If, however, our neighbors to…Read More... | 38 Comments
While it will be a long wait for a safe consensus about this issue to emerge in Israel or in America, we need to treat the prospect of the end of the two-state solution as the five-alarm fire that it is. The question is whether the American administration has the political will to engage in muscular diplomacy. By Ken Winikur and Ben Avishai Addressing young Israelis in Jerusalem on March 21, 2013, President Obama discussed the imperative to reach a just peace with the Palestinians. Speaking like a community organizer, Obama laid out the challenge: “Political leaders will never take…Read More... | 7 Comments
Jonathan Pollard, the U.S. Naval Intelligence officer who betrayed his country, has served a long time in prison for his crime. Instead of continuing to rely on the failed strategy of presidential clemency in seeking early release, the convicted spy should do something he has never tried: apply for parole. Jonathan Pollard betrayed his country and he continues paying the price for doing so. Whether or not he has fully paid his debt to society, the claim by Pollard’s supporters that his release can only be secured by a presidential clemency request is deeply flawed. U.S. President Obama was flooded…Read More... | 2 Comments
In remarks to Haaretz today, 'senior Israeli official' shows Netanyahu to be the rejectionist, making it easier for Abbas to take 'unilateral' steps soon. Well, that was quick. No sooner does John Kerry wind up his first trip to Israel-Palestine to restart the peace process than the Netanyahu government publicly trashes his plans. Haaretz diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid reported today that a "senior Israeli official" said Kerry asked Netanyahu to free prisoners, transfer weapons to the Palestinian Authority and give up control of certain parts of the West Bank for the sake of Palestinian economic projects. Netanyahu, however, won't consider…Read More... | 50 Comments
Until its forcible eviction Saturday night, Palestinian activists built and maintained a new protest camp in E1 to protest Israeli occupation and settlement expansion, directing their message to visiting U.S. President Barack Obama. Photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler, Anne Paq, Yotam Ronen, and Oren Ziv As U.S. President Barack Obama's plane was landing at Ben Gurion Airport on Wednesday, Palestinian activists returned to the E1 area to establish yet another protest village in the tradition of Bab Al-Shams and other similar actions in recent months. Organizers named the new camp "Ahfad Younis" after the main character in the novel Bab Al-Shams ("Gate of the Sun") which…Read More... | 9 Comments
The speech Barack Obama gave this evening in Jerusalem was supposed to be the pinnacle of his visit. But actually, things worked out a bit differently. The most important comments the president made were just a few hours before the Jerusalem speech, while he was still in Ramallah talking with Palestinian officials. Everyone was wondering just how much tough love the president was going to show his friend, Israel, during his Jerusalem speech. And indeed, there were a few moments. Condemning settlement violence was a first, for example. And although his criticizing the settlements and the occupation on the whole…Read More... | 19 Comments
The crowd in Jerusalem Thursday was a stark reminder that many Israelis simply do not live and breathe politics, the conflict, or other issues that are breathing down Obama's neck. But the real question was posed by one youngster who on the bus ride back to Tel Aviv kept shaking his head, saying, "I wonder what will come of it." President Obama gave a master speech at the convention center in Jerusalem Thursday night. Gone was the stammering, glancing-around insecurity he showed in his interview with Israeli Channel 2 prior to the visit, or the cautious pauses on display in…Read More... | 43 Comments
Some initial thoughts on President Barack Obama's speech in Jerusalem (full text here): Measuring the value or effect of a speech on its own is futile. Words matter in a political context, power relations and the actions that they accompany. Just as nobody seriously thinks that a good speech can make health care reform pass in the House, Obama's speech needs to be evaluated within the politics that surrounded his first term and his current visit to Israel and the Occupied Territories. On the level of words and rhetoric, there was a mixture of "good" and "bad" in Obama's speech. The worst parts,…Read More... | 29 Comments
An examination of Israeli public opinion toward U.S. President Obama and the two-state solution. The picture isn't as bleak as the mainstream media might lead you to believe. As President Obama continues his meetings in the region today, making the rounds to Ramallah and then back to Jerusalem, it is useful to keep in mind some trends regarding public opinion. Here are two specific themes that are relevant for this trip - attitudes towards the two-state solution to which he and his main interlocutors are so committed, and attitudes towards him. Regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the Joint Israeli Palestinian Polls…Read More... | 10 Comments
Mr. President, you are welcome in Bethlehem in occupied Palestine, with open arms, in the hope that you are devoted to justice and a positive peace. By Antwan I. Saca BETHLEHEM – Just like the many other visitors that we receive here in this land, we would do our best to overwhelm you with our cultural hospitality and traditions. Mr. President, I would seize this opportunity to not only welcome you to visit Bethlehem, but also to welcome all U.S. citizens to visit my small city. I invite you, Mr. President, to be in my city and among the nation…Read More... | 6 Comments
Dani Dayan, the straight-talking former head of the Yesha Council (the municipal council of the settlements, who also operates as the settlers' lobbying arm) just posted this tweet on President Obama's visit: .Read More...
It doesn't seem like the president's visit to Israel is generating much excitement, but even if it did – political changes are unlikely to follow. It’s anyone’s guess why President Obama arrived on an official visit to Israel with no important event attached to it, no major meetings and no issues that require his presence. Obama, Netanyahu and President Abbas could have met anywhere in the world, and since no negotiations are taking place, there is not much for the three leaders to discuss. The same probably goes for the coordination on the Iranian and Syrian issues – those take place on…Read More... | 4 Comments
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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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via @AP: #Israel military chief warns #Syria against further attacks, says #Assad will 'bear consequences'
New on +972: Investigating #Gaza #flotilla deaths would sacrifice International Criminal Court's legitimacy http://t.co/Mg4yy5A6MG #ICC
New on +972 Stream: #Hamas: #Gaza security forces must uphold 'standard of manliness' http://t.co/g770cAUi7Z
WATCH: Activists interrupt Bennett at Diaspora event, denounce occupation http://t.co/tmVLxXg5zI
Lapid and Netanyahu aren't the problem, their voters are http://t.co/xedgTDQ0Zi by @nsheizaf