The attempt to assassinate a prominent right-wing Jewish activist in Jerusalem has brought the city to a boiling point. Now is the time for responsible leadership. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called the Israel Police’s decision to temporarily close the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount to all visitors — Jewish and Muslim — “a declaration of war” on the Palestinian people and the Islamic nation, speaking in the aftermath of an attempted political murder in the already tumultuous city. Yes, the increasing and more frequent restrictions on Muslim worshipers’ access to the Aqsa Mosque is a valid and serious grievance. Those restrictions,…Read More... | 9 Comments
The rift between Washington and Jerusalem has to do with the changing American interests in the Middle East and internal Israeli politics, not with an end to the occupation. In a story in The Atlantic Tuesday, Jewish-American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg cited a White House official calling Netanyahu "chickenshit," blaming him for lack of political vision or guts. Relations between Jerusalem and Washington have reached the lowest point he can remember, Goldberg wrote. This was the top story in the Israeli media this morning. Even the pro-Netanyahu, free tabloid Israel Hayom quoted Goldberg. In his response, Netanyahu maintained the confrontational tone, saying…Read More... | 24 Comments
Israel’s tightening grip on the Temple Mount — and reactions to it — cannot be disconnected from the wider political reality. Tensions on the Temple Mount lead to unrest in the streets of East Jerusalem, many argue, not the other way around. By Yonathan Mizrachi With the escalating violence and tensions in Jerusalem in recent months, the Temple Mount has become a major item on the social and political agenda. Aspirations of apparent extremists to change the status quo on the Temple Mount / Haram al-Sharif are raising concern among many Israelis, the Arab world, and the international community — which…Read More... | 6 Comments
Elie Wiesel, who knows too well the hideousness of racist ideologies, should do better than to blindly succumb to them himself. In this conflict, he is not a messenger for mankind, but a messenger for one ethnic group’s victory over others. By Amjad Iraqi Night is one of the most memorable books I have ever read. I was 16 years old when my Jewish-Israeli high school teacher assigned it to my class, and I still remember to this day where I was as I went through its pages. It was a short but powerful story of the horrors of the…Read More... | 36 Comments
A day after an attack that took the life of a three-month-old Israeli girl, over 150 right-wing activists called for vengeance and the expulsion of Palestinians. Continued restrictions on worship lead to clashes in East Jerusalem. Photos and text by Oren Ziv, Yotam Ronen / Activestills.org Israeli police prevented Muslim worshipers under 40 from entering the Aqsa Mosque on Friday. Because of the restrictions, hundreds of Palestinians from East Jerusalem held their Friday prayers near makeshift police checkpoints at the edge of the adjacent Palestinian neighborhoods. After prayers, police pushed worshipers into the adjacent East Jerusalem neighborhoods. Palestinian youth threw…Read More... | 73 Comments
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... | 74 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
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RT @activestills: Now: two palestinian yiuth injured from live ammunition shot by israeli army in qalandyia demo http://t.co/njhNbfyhIt