If settling Jews beyond the Green Line in Palestinian East Jerusalem is legitimate, why are organizations sneaking in settlers in the middle of the night? Nine Jewish Israeli families took over two empty buildings in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem overnight Sunday. According to the NGO Ir Amim, the families took control over 10 housing units in two buildings in the heart of Silwan. They moved in under the auspices of Ateret Cohanim, a settler organization based in the Muslim quarter of the Old City that works to create a Jewish demographic majority in East Jerusalem. This latest takeover comes…Read More... | 70 Comments
No poll is perfect, but this one happens to be an accurate reflection of the Israeli government's policies, much of its rhetoric, and the reality on the ground. A large majority of Jewish Israeli citizens (74 percent) oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 borders, according to a new poll conducted by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a right-wing think tank. The organization also found that 76 percent oppose a Palestinian state if it means dividing Jerusalem. The poll surveyed 505 Jewish Israelis, dividing them along their personal political orientation. Three hundred and four identified themselves as right wing,…Read More... | 39 Comments
Attacks against Arabs in Jerusalem became routine this past summer and in Tel Aviv left-wing activists faced violence from the Right. ‘We don't want to attack Baruch Marzel's headquarters or anything, but we believe the victimhood of the Left must end here,’ one activists explains. Thursday and Saturday nights in downtown Jerusalem have become terrifying. On those days, a group of youth gathers in West Jerusalem’s Zion Square, often next to a permanent pop-up stand manned by members of anti-miscegenation group Lehava. The youth meet there and then take to the streets chanting “Death to Arabs,” harassing and assaulting Arab cab drivers, women…Read More... | 15 Comments
Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin of the centrist think tank is among the signatories of an ad praising the Jewish settlers who entered 25 apartments in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan last week. 'By your act of settlement you make us all stand taller,' the ad reads. Yadlin and Wiesel serve on the public council of Elad, the organization behind the settlement in Silwan. One of the most dramatic settlement efforts in decades took place a couple of weeks ago, when 25 apartments in the Palestinian neighborhood Silwan, in East Jerusalem, were occupied by Jewish settlers. Silwan is the prize trophy…Read More... | 26 Comments
The only thing odder than Netanyahu's "un-American" comment is the White House's response. Although the latest Israeli announcement of settlement expansion in East Jerusalem drew the usual verbal slap on the wrist from the U.S., the media didn’t make much of it – until, that is, when Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to call that criticism un-American on American TV. The White House of course felt compelled to respond. On Monday Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest called Netanyahu’s choice of words “odd” – another in a series of adjectives that U.S. government spokespersons pull from their thesaurus to show their dismay…Read More... | 16 Comments
In the past week or so, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated a couple of talking points that diverged from the truth, but few people called him out on it. 1. In a meeting with the Jewish Federations of North America in New York last Tuesday, the prime minister fielded a question regarding the state's practice of sending asylum seekers to detention facilities in the desert, sometimes for unlimited periods of time. This has been the first time the prime minister commented since a recent ruling by the High Court that ordered the detainees to be released. "There is no asylum…Read More... | 26 Comments
Seven years of struggle and Silwan’s residents can’t claim even one tangible and clear victory. Not one home has been returned to its original residents, not one settler has left and the police and Israeli authorities continue to target Palestinian residents. By Yonathan Mizrachi The East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan got its first-ever community center, Madaa, in October 2007. At the same time, a diverse group of activists, primarily Jerusalemites, began a number of types of actions and struggles for the future of the village of Silwan and, it must be said, for the future of the entire region. Among…Read More... | 26 Comments
‘Settlers say that they bought the house, but they haven’t shown us any documents,’ says one Palestinian woman whose home settlers took over Tuesday morning. ‘Now they’re sleeping in my bed; all of our clothes and furniture is still inside.’ By Orly Noy Israeli settlers took over seven homes in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem Tuesday morning, primarily in Wadi Hilwe, the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare. According to residents, the settlers arrived at around 2 a.m., escorted by large numbers of riot police. “I was still awake, here in the store,” said neighborhood resident Ahmed Qareen, the owner of a…Read More... | 53 Comments
Official Israel loves to boast of the complete freedom of worship it grants to members of all religions. In reality, however, it’s just another deception brought to you by your local 'hasbara' dealer. By Orly Noy One of the main tools in the Israeli hasbara toolbox is the ‘religious freedom’ discourse. As subscribers of the “villa in the jungle” worldview, Israel advocates never miss an opportunity to emphasize the religious freedoms that Israel supposedly gives to believers of all faiths, unlike its Arab neighbors. Prime Minister Netanyahu, especially, loves to make this claim -- and he repeats it ad nauseam.…Read More... | 8 Comments
There is a shortage of 738 classrooms in East Jerusalem – only 38 percent of Palestinian children are registered in the municipal education system. The problem is not lack of funds, but a planning policy designed to prevent development in Palestinian neighborhoods of the city. By Aviv Tatarsky As the Israeli school year begins, let's do a little math. There is a shortage of 408 regular classrooms and 330 kindergarten classrooms in East Jerusalem. This does not include replacing the 681 classrooms currently not up to code. In addition, there is a shortage of 1,636 classrooms in the official, public…Read More... | 2 Comments
Israel files assault charges against a police officer filmed beating the 15-year-old American teenager; Tariq and his family demand two other Israeli police officers face justice for their involvement in the beating earlier this summer. The Israeli police officer who was filmed beating unconscious a 15-year-old Palestinian-American boy in Jerusalem in July has been charged with assaulting a minor. An internal police investigation found evidence "supporting the guilt of the police officer suspected of severe violent crimes," according to Israel's Justice Ministry. The teen, Tariq Abu Khdeir, said at a press conference in Florida yesterday, he thinks two more Israeli officers should be facing charges in…Read More... | 12 Comments
Sixteen-year-old Mohammad Sunuqrut died Sunday, a week after being shot by police. Following his funeral procession, clashes broke out throughout East Jerusalem between Palestinian youths and Israeli police. Hundreds of Palestinians took part in the funeral Monday evening of Mohammad Sunuqrut, who died on Sunday, a week after being shot by Israeli police during a protest in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz. Sunuqrut, 16, was allegedly shot with a new type of sponge-tipped bullet, which caused his injury and him to collapse. Police admit to shooting at him but claim that his death was caused when he fell and hit his head.…Read More... | 1 Comment
Clashes and riots break out over the death of another Palestinian teen shot by Israel police. Israel Police on Sunday threatened to destroy a memorial for murdered Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was burned alive by several Israeli Jews on July 2, according to Tamar Fleishman, an Israeli activist who met with the Abu Khdeir family on Sunday. Mohammed's father, Hussein, reportedly said police instructed him to dismantle it or they would. According to Fleishman, Hussein told police that if they destroyed the memorial the entire family would return in the middle of the night and build a larger one in the…Read More... | 3 Comments
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