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  • High Court upholds controversial 'boycott law'

    High Court rejects petition against the law, gives grounds to allows individuals who want to sue anyone calling for a boycott of Israel, or 'areas under its control.' The High Court rejected a petition by human rights organizations, upholding the controversial "boycott law" on Wednesday. The law give grounds for individuals to sue anyone who calls for a boycott of Israel, or areas under its control. The court struck down only one section of the law, which establishes that one may seek punitive damages for a deliberate call to boycott without needing to prove actual damages. It appears that one…

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  • Bill aims to strip citizenship, curb speech — a bellwether of Israel's Right

    A senior Likud MK is proposing to suspend much of Israeli democracy. His bill has zero chance of passing muster, but it does show where the Israeli Right thinks the future of the conflict lies.  MK Yariv Levin (Likud), chairman of the House Parliamentary Committee, is pushing a new directive — temporary legislation — to "combat terrorism" that amounts to perhaps the most sweepingly anti-democratic legislative project in recent years, whether implemented or proposed. The directive is extraordinarily harsh even by Israeli measure, and is almost certainly unconstitutional on several levels. It is meant to apply both to the occupied Palestinian territories and…

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  • An invitation to Israel's thought police: Haul me in

    A Palestinian man from East Jerusalem is summoned by Israeli police for a Facebook status describing his city as occupied. It has been a month since I last visited Occupied Jerusalem. By writing those words, I may be hastening my return to the city, albeit involuntarily. This week, a Palestinian resident of Occupied East Jerusalem was summoned by Israeli police for describing the city’s mayor, Nir Barkat, as the “mayor of the occupation,” Haaretz reported. East Jerusalem was occupied by Israeli forces on June 7, 1967. Later that month, some 70 square kilometers of Palestinian East Jerusalem and the West…

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  • Hundreds gather to support politically 'persecuted' teacher

    Some 500 high school students and teachers demonstrated at the entrance to the town of Kiryat Tivon Saturday night to show their support for Adam Verete, a local teacher who is facing possible sacking over proclaiming his left-wing political views in class. The usually tranquil town of Kiryat Tivon, just outside of Haifa, was rattled this past week over the local ORT high school's attempts to fire philosophy teacher Adam Verete following a student's accusations that he made derogatory remarks against the IDF and the State of Israel. The story was all over the national news with Verete's students and colleagues…

  • Why Israel will continue trying to keep 'Prisoner X' a secret

    If the reports -- and unraveling details -- about Ben Zygier's work with the Mossad are true, Israel has every reason to try and keep his existence and identity a secret, however superflous those efforts may be. As details about the life, work and untimely demise of ‘Prisoner X’ unravel, the most intriguing unanswered questions remain: why did Israel secretly imprison him and why he is dead? But the details of the story appear to be making one thing clear; Israel’s security services likely had every reason in the world to (try to) keep the affair and Ben Zygier’s identity…

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  • Disappearing articles and the dead prisoner affair ('Mr. X'): A timeline

    UPDATE, Wednesday 9.00 AM: The censorship ban on the ABC report regarding the arrest and death of Australian born Ben Zygier was lifted, and this morning the Israeli media is publishing the details in Hebrew. Here is the ABC report: In June 2010 Ynet, Israel’s largest online news site, posted a story on an unknown prisoner held in confinement in Ayalon Prison. The story was then removed from the site, but the account is still available in the Israeli blogosphere. In December 2010 American blogger Richard Silverstein claimed that the prisoner was an Iranian general named Ali-Reza Asgari, supposedly abducted by the Mossad. A…

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  • A week in photos: August 22-29

    Demolitions and arrests in the West Bank, solidarity with Rachel Corrie's family, preparing for war, and more. Activestills images tell the stories of the week. Activestills is a collective of Israeli, international and Palestinian photographers, united by a conviction that photography is a vehicle for political and social change. To stay updated on our latest images, like Activestills on Facebook  or follow @activestills on Twitter. You can also visit our flickr photostream.

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  • Facebook censors cartoons against racism, capitalism

    The comic artist Mysh is one of my favorites in Israel. His work is not only conscious and critical, but also brilliantly drawn and at times, extremely funny. Last year I posted here his "Israeli Machine" video, which captured the hope I saw in the J14 movement more than any 1000-word essay I have written on this issue. Mysh's drawings have since turned more critical and dark, reflecting the change in the national mood as the summer of hope turned into an Israeli winter. Yet some of those recent works have been incredibly popular on Facebook, shared and liked by…

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  • Right-wing group, Jerusalem Post launch public attack on +972

    NGO Monitor tries to silence us by going after our donors. Supporting +972 is the best response!  By Noam Sheizaf   Dear Readers, +972 Magazine is at the center of a negative piece published today in the Jerusalem Post. According to the piece, a right-wing watchdog group called NGO Monitor has launched a public attack on the German Heinrich Böll Foundation for supporting the site with a grant of 6,000 euros, received last year. In recent years, NGO Monitor has systematically targeted human right organizations, academics and progressive groups in Israel. A recent piece in Haaretz reported that right-wing groups…

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  • Why Nazi comparisons are (almost) completely useless

    Activists and journalists are up at arms about a Knesset attempt to outlaw comparisons to Nazism. The law is an atrocious attack on freedom of speech, but Nazi comparisons in any political debate are both counterproductive and morally flawed. Maybe with one exception.  The Knesset, in a preposterously self-conscious move (one hopes), is planning to ban all comparisons of contemporary individuals and policies to Nazism. Beyond the fact even Hipster Hitler could not have planned it better, our lawmakers charitably provide us with an opportunity to reflect on how useful the comparison in the first place. Make no mistake -…

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  • Professor bullied for criticizing nationalist group Im Tirtzu

    Im Tirtzu - the movement behind the ongoing intimidation of progressive lecturers in Israel provided us this week with a textbook example of political bullying, after taking offence at disparaging comments made in their address by  Tel Aviv University's Yehouda Shenhav. It should be noted the comments were made in the classroom and the video clip referred to in the letter is password-protected; someone in the class must've snitched to the bully squad. The letter is a document of its time - Israel, 2012. But the self-righteous violence, indolence and pig-headed dogmatism make it sound like a memento from the…

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  • What is +972's stance on BDS?

    The simple answer is that we don't have one. The website is a collective of authors, each of whom have their own opinions about BDS. Some oppose it, some support it; some, like yours truly, support the D but are not particularly fond of the BS. But unfortunately, our ability to freely discuss this key aspect of the fight against the occupation has been severely and deliberately crippled by recent legislation. We may still carry opinions on BDS; but outright calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions hold far too great a risk for our site - a risk we are…

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  • IDF censors Defence Minister, Chief of Staff's sexist joke

    Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of Staff Benny Gantz shared a joke about female soldiers participating in a military exercise "to sing during break time," with Barak tipping Gantz about a ministry employee who can "sing without her uniform". The IDF then tried to block reports of the joke. Censorship and limitations on freedom of speech have spiked in Israel over the past year, but this appears to be a new record: The Defence Ministry and IDF Spokesman intervened to censor reports of a sexist joke shard by Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of Staff Benny Gantz. The…

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+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.

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