Did you post the word 'demonstration' in Hebrew on Facebook? The army is keeping an eye on you. Did you use the word 'Al Quds' in Arabic in a WhatsApp conversation? You may have just been flagged as a terrorist. How the IDF contracts private tech companies to monitor Israeli citizens on social media. By John Brown* and Noam Rotem / Local Call Several years ago, a group of uniformed Israeli military officers walked into a conference room of an Israeli company that tracks and monitors discussions on the Internet for commercial purposes. The company looks at what social media…Read More... | 18 Comments
Racist and inciting Facebook statuses by Israeli Jews have become commonplace on the Internet. Yet not a single Israeli has ever been sent to prison for publishing a status on social media. By John Brown* and Noam Rotem We do not live in a state where people are equal before the law. This is a fact that shouldn't surprise anyone. The Internet, on the other hand, has maintained a kind of facade where freedom and equality are set in stone. But no more. This week, 23-year-old Uday Biyumi from Jerusalem was sentenced to 17 months in prison for publishing Facebook…Read More... | 13 Comments
COGAT’s new Facebook page will not hide the fact that with every 'like' it receives, the occupation becomes more permanent in our minds. A few weeks ago, the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit launched its own Facebook page. COGAT, which operates under Israel’s Ministry of Defense, controls the blockade of the Gaza Strip through the land crossings; it allocates land and resources to the Jewish settlements in the West Bank; it prevents Palestinian development in Area C and oversees demolitions against Palestinian homes; it accepts or rejects Palestinian permits to enter Israel; and it facilitates the…Read More... | 17 Comments
Israeli army decries video showing soldiers taunting and setting dogs on Palestinian, despite it being IDF policy. A leaked video showing a 16-year old Palestinian being attacked by two canines, while being held by two IDF soldiers, was posted on Facebook on Monday by former Knesset member and far-rightist Michael Ben-Ari (who later removed it). It quickly spread around the web and made headlines in Israel. WARNING: Footage may be disturbing to some The incident itself took place last December 23 in between the Karmei Tzur settlement and Beit Ummar, a Palestinian village in the southern West Bank. The video…Read More... | 12 Comments
Hundreds of Arab citizens of Israel have been detained in recent weeks, including dozens of minors. Abusive interrogations and preemptive arrests suggest that many of the tactics of occupation have crossed the Green Line. By Hagar Sheizaf (Translated by Ofer Neiman) The murder of Muhammed Abu Khdeir and the military onslaught in Gaza have brought about a wave of protest among Arab citizens of Israel. Reports on that wave should be supplemented by unprecedented data: more than 410 Arab citizens of Israel have been arrested on various grounds related to their participation in demonstrations since July 5, according to data provided…Read More... | 16 Comments
No amount of Tweeting, tagging, posting or liking will save Gazans from an Israeli ground invasion. So why bother? By Corey Sherman Recent political upheavals in the Middle East tend to have a social media subplot, whether it's how savvy youth use it to subvert harsh authority, or how states manipulate access to it so as to stop such subversion. There’s the story about how State-Department-Official-cum-Google-Ideas-Chief, Jared Cohen, requested that Twitter delay a scheduled maintenance of their network to enable Iranians to continue to use the platform to organize during the harsh crackdown on post-election protests in 2009. Or how…Read More... | 10 Comments
In the latest case of Israeli police detaining Palestinian activists for social media activity, a Lod man is placed under house arrest and has equipment confiscated for openly opposing the enlistment of Christian Arabs on his Facebook page. Israel Police placed Lod resident and Palestinian citizen of Israel Ghassan Munair, 44, under house arrest this week for posting a Facebook status that decried the government's attempts to enlist Christian Arabs into the Israeli army. According to Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Munair was summoned to the local police station, where he was interrogated for…Read More... | 15 Comments
Scores of racist commenters rejoice at the sight of a news item about the tragic death of four young girls in the Hebron area. So why doesn't anyone do anything about it? By Tomer Zeigerman This past Thursday, Israel's Channel 2 News posted on a news item on its Facebook page about a tragedy in Hebron: four Palestinians girls had died after they were forgotten in a car (actually, the girls accidentally locked themselves while playing, and this did not happen in Hebron but in a nearby town, Taqumiya). Scores of Israelis responded with appalling comments. Here's a small…Read More... | 12 Comments
Police detained and held Razi Nabulsi, a young Palestinian from Haifa for a week for statuses he posted to Facebook and Twitter, claiming they constituted incitement. The catch? Even though the statuses were posted publicly on the Internet, police declared them to be secret evidence and refused to publicly say in court what he was accused of writing. By Yoav Haifawi Razi Nabulsi, a 23-year-old activist and student in Haifa, spent the last week in jail for statuses he publicly posted on Facebook and Twitter. His detention was extended twice. In four different court hearings during the week (two remand extension…Read More... | 34 Comments
A female IDF soldier who is often stationed at checkpoints is apparently very disturbed by the fact that some Jews and Palestinians actually hang out. The soldier turned anonymously (on Facebook) to Yad La'achim a religious organization whose mandate is to "save Jews from assimilation," in the hopes they can help her prevent this from happening in the future by talking some sense into these young women. As she wrote to them: Hi, I speak with true pain, as a soldier working at checkpoints and every Friday night Jewish girls pass through in minority cars [common euphemism for Arabs]. I would…Read More... | 64 Comments
Adi Koll, a relatively unknown Knesset member from Yair Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid party, posted this picture along with an uncharacteristically long and emotional status on Facebook, the day after she paid a visit to the home of a Palestinian friend in Ramallah. (Translated in full below) Warning! This post will be long, controversial and without color photos, even though I have plenty of photos. I made sure to take pictures throughout the day with the intention posting them to Facebook so I can show what we would all rather forget. But now it feels pointless. No picture can describe…Read More... | 44 Comments
The 'Prisoner X' affair was sensitive enough for Israel to use all of its censorship tools at once: the military censor, gag orders and the 'editors committee.' But was the effort by the Prime Minister's Office entirely about national security, or did it have to do with protecting those responsible for the mess? And what should the affair teach us about the ability to keep information from the public in this technological age? The affair known as the death of "Prisoner X" is becoming an interesting test case for the effect of new media on state secrets and the relations between…Read More... | 2 Comments
It’s one thing to have a cold relationship between Netanyahu and Obama, but I really don’t think Israel should get on J-Lo’s bad side. Unfortunately, this might happen. A few weeks ago I watched the third episode of the Israeli version of "The Voice" featuring a contestant from Los Angeles, an Israeli called Michael Alhadif, whose stage name is Michael Jade. Now, apparently Jade has been on American Idol, and even got so far as the top 40 (wow!). Personally, I don’t know how he got so far - but I digress. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2t_Ltq0bd0 In an interview segment that was shown…Read More... | 10 Comments
OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTERSubmit
Full coverage of the BDS movement, international pressure on Israel to end the occupation.
The Beaten Path
Travel writer and tour guide Yuval Ben-Ami deconstructs the Holy Land's tourist trail.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
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