A new bill allowing discrimination against Israelis who don't serve in the army contradicts some of Israel's Basic Laws, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein wrote in an opinion published Sunday evening. The bill, he added, will hurt population groups which are already discriminated against. According to the draft legislation, favoring people who served in the IDF will not be considered discrimination nor will it be challengeable in court. Since Palestinian citizens of Israel are not required to serve in the military and most ultra-Orthodox are exempted from doing so, the new bill will give employers and real-estate owners a legal way…Read More...
The Israeli government's Ministerial Committee for Legislation decided today (Sunday) to back a bill by MK Yariv Levin (Likud) which will allow discrimination against Arabs and ultra-Orthodox in employment and real-estate rights. According for the suggested legislation, favoring people who served in the IDF will not be considered discrimination nor will it be challengeable in court. Since Palestinian citizens of Israel are not required to serve in the military and most ultra-Orthodox are exempted from doing so, the new bill will give employers and real-estate owners a legal way to reject Palestinian applicants. Palestinians are underrepresented in almost all areas…Read More... | 14 Comments
Imagine that the 'New York Times' published an op-ed defending the segregation of white and black schoolchildren at an American amusement park. That's more or less what happened in Israel recently. By Mairav Zonszein and Lisa Goldman This article was originally published on the Daily Beast's Open Zion blog on June 14, 2013. Imagine that Six Flags Great Adventure, a New Jersey adventure park, quietly instituted separate days for black and white schoolchildren. Exposed by the media, the management claimed they had acted in response to complaints from some white parents about the behavior of the black children, saying they behaved badly and…Read More... | 12 Comments
An Israeli amusement park found itself in hot water after being caught segregating Jewish and Arab school groups. But instead of being an aberration, the incident is reflective of the dominant culture of segregation and discrimination that permeates Israeli society from the bottom up. "Superland" - the Israeli amusement park exposed for segregating Arab and Jewish citizens this week - is the most fittingly tragic and ironic title for how I see the current Israeli zeitgeist. No screenwriter or playwright could have come up with a better concept for a tragic comedy about this place. It captures the two most dominant concepts…Read More... | 63 Comments
Israeli police's failure to stop the murder of two young Bedouin sisters highlights the arbitrariness of citizenship and discrimination for Palestinians under occupation - regardless of whether they are citizens. Abir Dandis, the mother of the two girls found dead in an unrecognized Bedouin village in southern Israel last Tuesday, is not an Israeli citizen. In a more perfect world, her citizenship status wouldn't matter, considering she is in an abusive relationship and her daughters' lives were in imminent danger. But the Israel Police were well aware of her citizenship status when she went to alert them of her concerns for…Read More... | 11 Comments
A profile of one of the most influential people in the struggle for social justice in Israel. Although he was kept out of academia, perhaps it was for the better. Who knows how much we would have lost had he wasted his days trying to sneak an article into the American Journal of Sociology. By Yossi Dahan (Translated from Hebrew by Aviel Lewis, edited by: Ami Asher) My first encounter with the name Shlomo Swirski was in the early 1980s as a student reading his book, Not Backward but Made Backward (1981). The rumor about the underground, green-covered book travelled by…Read More... | 1 Comment
Demolitions of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem are part and parcel of Israel's publicly stated plans to reduce and control the demography of Palestinians and non-Jews in Jerusalem. With little chance of receiving building permits, Palestinian families often decide to build anyway, hoping that maybe their home will be spared. On Wednesday April 24, Israeli authorities demolished three Palestinian houses in the At Tur neighborhood on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem. The pretext, as usual, was that the owner had built illegally, though he had spent months applying for permits from the Jerusalem Municipality and provided all requested…Read More... | 5 Comments
Israeli airlines stopped flying this morning in an open-ended strike opposing the country's Open Skies agreement with the EU. The issue is complicated and there are no easy ways to resolve it. On the one hand, there is no question that opening Israeli airport(s) to more flights is good for consumers: it will bring more tourists, create new jobs and lower prices, making it cheaper for Israelis to fly. But the way Israeli airlines are structured at the moment, it would drive the three companies out of business. As Gideon Afek writes in the Times of Israel: El Al today…Read More... | 1 Comment
It’s easy to disagree with Israelis about many things. But two new polls show that on key current issues, the public is at least thinking rationally and seeing clearly: *On Gaza, the majority know that Israel is no better off after the war in Gaza, and that the ceasefire won’t hold. *On the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the majority supports negotiations, supports the basic outlines of the Arab peace initiative and knows that the Palestinians cannot simply be beaten. *The majority acknowledges discrimination against Arabs in Israel, and a strong majority believes democracy is either more important than Jewishness of the state,…Read More... | 20 Comments
Photos by: Oren Ziv, Yotam Ronen, and Keren Manor/Activestills.org Al-Araqib is one of the 45 “unrecognized” Bedouin villages in the Negev desert of southern Israel. Since July 27, 2010, the village has been demolished 39 times. Despite daily harassment, ongoing house demolitions and the Israeli government's determination to forcefully transfer the Bedouin population out of their historical land, the residents of Al-Araqib continue to struggle. Following the 1948 War, the Bedouin population in the Negev (Naqab) Desert, in southern Israel, was forced to change its way of life. Prior to that time, Bedouins wandered freely in the deserts which are…Read More... | 6 Comments
The Israeli Airports Authority has withdrawn a directive ordering cab companies servicing Ben Gurion Airport employees to refrain from hiring Arab taxi drivers. Dimi Reider reported on Sunday that the airport’s transportation manager sent a letter prohibiting a cab company contracted by the Airport Authority from employing of “minorities” – a term used in Hebrew to refer to Arab citizens. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel last week sent a complaint (Hebrew) to the Airport Authority, calling the directive a violation of constitutional principles of equality and freedom of occupation, particularly grave coming from a public institution. The Airports…Read More... | 3 Comments
In a piece recently published, Israel's Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren rejected claims regarding anti-democratic trends in his country, and compared the legal status of Palestinians in the West Bank to that of American citizens in Washington DC and the U.S. territories. A response. When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appointed Professor Michael Oren - a historian and researcher at the conservative Shalem institute, author of a popular book on the 1967 war - as his ambassador to Washington, he was probably hoping to capitalize on the latter's name-recognition and credibility, especially with the political establishment and the Jewish elites. And indeed,…Read More... | 32 Comments
Druze soldiers used to think their uniform will exempt them from the racism prevalent in Jewish Israeli society. They ought to seriously rethink this assumption. During Seder night last week, a group of Jewish soldiers refused to share the same table with Druze soldiers in training base Camp 80. An officer ordered the soldiers to eat at the same table, and one of the Jewish soldiers said he has no intention of dining with Arabs. Instead handcuffing the fanatic and throwing him into the brig until his court-martial, the other officers gave in to the Jewish fanatic, ordering the Druze…Read More... | 22 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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