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b'tselem

  • Jerusalem court slams police over arrests of left-wing activists

    Jerusalem Magistate's Court frees Israeli left-wing activists Ezra Nawi and Guy Butavia from house arrest, chastises police for not substantiating their suspicions against the pair. The Jerusalem Magistate's Court freed Israeli left-wing activists Ezra Nawi and Guy Butavia from house arrest on Thursday, with Judge David Shaul Gabai Richter chastising police for not substantiating their suspicions against the pair. Nawi and Butavia, activists with anti-occupation direct-action group Ta'ayush, were arrested following the broadcast of a right-wing hidden camera "sting," on suspicion of making contact with a foreign agent (Palestinian security services) and accessory to manslaughter (a Palestinian man who died, presumably…

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  • It's open season on anyone opposing the occupation

    There is a campaign being carried out against anyone actively opposing the occupation in Israel, and it doesn’t matter if you’re an activist in the field, a human rights attorney or a former soldier talking about what you were ordered to do. "Activists from the shady organization, "Ta'ayush," who we tracked from within and outside, behind closed doors and during clashes on Saturdays, are going to fall one by one. Don't worry friends. We will finish off Ezra Nawi and move on to Guy Butavia… and many others." That message was published and quickly spread on Facebook following the arrest…

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  • These are the anti-occupation activists jailed under gag order

    Israeli authorities arrest prominent activists Ezra Nawi, Guy Butavia, and Nasser Nawajah. At least one of them was barred from meeting with his attorney for days. In court, one activist says his interrogators used materials taken directly from a right-wing organization. Photos and video by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org The three anti-occupation activists in Israeli custody whose identities were under gag order until Thursday are Ezra Nawi, Guy Butavia, and Nasser Nawajah. The three were arrested over the past week and half in the wake of a "sting operation" by Israeli right-wing group, Ad Kan, which accused them of collaborating with the Palestinian…

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  • The Israeli Left's challenge: Defeating ideology with facts

    Left-wing and anti-occupation groups in Israel are finally hitting back, but the task seems Sisyphean: how do you win over people who don't even acknowledge the same sets of facts. Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem published a cynical ad in Haaretz Tuesday, in which the veteran watchdog group invited right-wingers on a tour of the West Bank's South Hebron Hills. Right-wing groups have published a number of hidden-camera reports in recent weeks in which their "moles" infiltrate left-wing groups in hopes of catching left-wingers saying and doing embarrassing ,and possibly illegal, things. Thus far, the undercover "sting operations" appear to have netted…

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  • Time to break the silence: An open letter to American Jews

    The American Jewish establishment, from the Federations to synagogues, must take a look in the mirror and decide whether this is the Israel it identifies with. If it isn't, it should speak up. Urgently.  Dear American Jewish community, I should start off with a full disclosure: I am only tangentially a part of you. I have been living in Israel for the past five years, and before that I was an Israeli-American living in the Bay Area (with a brief stint in Los Angeles), where us Israelis viewed ourselves as a semi-autonomous cultural group. For the most part, we were not…

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  • When every fire is a potential arson attack

    As incitement against the Israeli Left grows, it is no surprise so many people believed right-wing arsonists were behind the fire at the offices of Israel's oldest human rights organization. Preliminary investigations by Israeli Police and Israel Fire and Rescue Services indicated that the fire that erupted Sunday night in the Jerusalem offices of Israeli human rights group B'Tselem was not the result of arson. The police and fire department published detailed explanations on their findings, according to which the fire was a result of a short circuit in the office's acoustic ceiling. The fire reportedly burned the entire ceiling…

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  • Amid right-wing attacks, suspected arson at B'Tselem offices

    Headquarters of Israel's oldest human rights organization sustain heavy damage. Spokesperson says if fire turns out to be arson, 'it must be seen in the context of the wave of government incitement and smear campaigns against Israel's human rights groups, and B'Tselem in particular.' A fire broke out at Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem’s offices in Jerusalem Sunday night. Police said they suspect arson. [Update, January 11, 2016, 11 a.m.: The preliminary results of the fire inspector's investigation indicate that the fire the result of an electrical shortage and not arson.] Right-wing organizations, government ministers and the media have launched…

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  • Human rights groups smeared over actions of one man

    Ezra Nawi, a prominent figure in direct-action anti-occupation group Ta'ayush, was secretly recorded talking about having a Palestinian man killed for selling land to Israeli settlers. In response, the prime minister, defense minister and education minister take aim at the entire Israeli Left.  A damning investigative report has Israel's human rights community in the crosshairs once again. Channel 2's flagship investigative report show, "Uvda" ("Fact" in Hebrew) aired a 35-minute segment Thursday night featuring the work of a clandestine right-wing group that tries to infiltrate the ranks of Israel's left-wing NGOs. [tmwinpost] The group, named "Ad Kan" (loosely translated to…

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  • Israeli gov't votes to support bill targeting left-wing NGOs

    Proposed law would force human rights NGOs to sport special labels and badges indicating that they receive foreign funding. The bill still needs to go through committee, pass a full Knesset vote. The Israeli government on Sunday voted to support a law targeting human rights and left-wing organizations, which European countries and human rights activists have said resemble less-than-democratic regimes [tmwinpost] The bill, should it become law, would require NGOs that receive 50 percent or more of their funding from foreign governments to detail those sources of funding in any public reports or documents, meetings with state officials, and to…

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  • When Israel tortures Jewish terror suspects

    The Right is furious over the alleged use of torture against the suspects in the murder of a Palestinian family. But is it any surprise that the tools used against Palestinians would eventually be used against Jews too? "Torture in Israel? The Shin Bet's actions in the Duma case may turn out to be the secret service's new 'Bus 300 Affair,' wrote Yehuda Yifrach, the legal expert for the right-wing newspaper Makor Rishon and the NRG news site, on his personal Facebook page. Well, of course there is torture in Israel — it has been used here on a regular…

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  • WATCH: Incitement against the Israeli Left just got a lot scarier

    Four Israelis who work for leading human rights organizations woke up to a new, frightening reality after a video accused each one of them of being a foreign agent working to defend Palestinian terrorists. A new video entitled "Foreign Agents - Revealed!" was released on Tuesday by Im Tirtzu, a neo-Mccarthyite, extreme right-wing group notorious for its public attacks against left-wing academics and organizations. In 2013 an Israeli court ruled that the group bears similarities to a fascist movement. Its leadership enjoys ties with Likud and Yisrael Beitenu politicians. [tmwinpost] The video plasters the faces of the heads of four Israeli human…

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  • In five-year high, Israel demolishes 143 Palestinian structures in single month

    Israel demolished 143 Palestinian structures in August, the highest such total in five years. The wave of demolitions came amid severe heat waves and has left children homeless as they start the new school year. Israel demolished 143 Palestinian structures in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the month of August, the highest such total in five years, according to statistics released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Occupied Palestinian Territory (OCHA-oPt). The wave of demolitions has displaced nearly 200 Palestinians, many of them children. Some of the highest concentrations of demolitions occurred during a record-breaking heatwave…

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  • Administrative detention: 'Because I said so' ruling

    Administrative detention does not allow the accused to learn the charges against him, and therefore cannot defend himself against it. It’s a sort of parallel universe where due process doesn’t exist, and you go to jail simply because someone said so. By Talal Jabari In February, a viral video showed an Israeli passenger on an Israeli airline who really wanted to purchase duty-free chocolate and who felt that she was being neglected by the flight attendant. That feeling of neglect quickly turned into anger, and she began shouting, “What am I, an Arab?” to the support of at least one…

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