On Sunday, as Israeli security forces were rounding up activists who were trying to enter Palestine, a racist conference was held in Ramle and a middle-aged woman was beaten for protesting racism. Welcome to a frightening Israel, where being non-racist is dangerous Even though almost all of the “Welcome to Palestine” participants were prevented from reaching the West Bank, the campaign was a success. As the international and local media watched, 79 internationals were refused entry to Israel. But they weren’t trying to enter Israel. They were trying to get to Bethlehem, in Palestinian Authority-controlled Area A. And they brought…Read More... | 52 Comments
Advocates for Israel often claim that the Palestinians run their own life. Yet again and again it appears that the West Bank has become their prison. Last week I posted here a criticism of Ambassador Michal Oren's Foreign Policy piece, titled "Israel's Resilient Democracy." One of Ambassador Oren's claims was that the fact that Palestinians in the West Bank are deprived of voting rights is not enough to question the nature of Israel as a democracy. The existence of partially democratic enclaves within a democratic system does not necessarily discredit it. Residents of Washington, D.C., are taxed without representation, while…Read More... | 64 Comments
Listen my children, and you shall hear Of the midnight ride of Bibi Revere, On the fifteenth of April, 2012 (but meanwhile don’t take your hand off your helve) Who remembers that famous day and year. He said to his friend, “If the leftists march By land or air from Ben Gurion airport Put a policeman aloft in the arrival hall arch of Terminal 3 as an attempt to abort, One if by land, and hundreds if by air And I in my office will continue to scare. Ready to ride and spread the alarm, through every Jewish village and…Read More... | 19 Comments
I'm writing this from somewhere in Europe. Sunday morning, I will board a plane* bound for Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport. Organizers of the “Welcome to Palestine” campaign tell me that more than half the passengers on my flight will be international activists. UPDATE: According to reports in international and Israeli media, hundreds of flights scheduled to land in Israel Sunday have already been cancelled. According to Haaretz, 60 percent of the 1,500 activists who planned to fly to via Lufthansa, Jet2 and Air France have received notice from the airlines of their flights being cancelled. Hundreds are still expected to…Read More... | 48 Comments
When we allow non-violence to be distorted as illegitimate, we fail to uphold our most cherished principles. It is not a strange phenomenon for morality to be the object of contestation. Competing groups often battle for the moral high ground when presenting their case to the outside world in a customary appeal for support. Far from being an exception to this rule, Israelis and Palestinians are its standard bearers, constantly providing their accounts for the entire world to see, hear, and sympathize. The tragedy is that this game has been played for so long, with arguments crafted in such minute…Read More... | 23 Comments
Activists seek to reenact the US civil rights movement's campaign in order to highlight Israel's segregation policy in the West Bank Palestinian activists are increasing their efforts to expose Israel's segregation policy in the West Bank, as well as violations on their civil and human rights. In a message to the press, the Popular Struggle Committee announced that on November 15, Palestinian activists "will reenact the US Civil Rights Movement's Freedom Rides to the American South by boarding segregated Israeli public buses in the West Bank to travel to occupied East Jerusalem." Palestinians in the West Bank have lived under…Read More... | 46 Comments
In a 2009 cable, American diplomats complain that Israel is not issuing work visas for Palestinian companies' foreign employees While most people who follow the news from Israel and the Palestinian territories know well enough that Israel blocks travel to and from Gaza, it is always surprising how few are aware that all exists and entries to the West Bank are also controlled by Israel. In fact, while Gaza has a land border with Egypt, which allows a certain flow of people and goods, the Israeli blocked on the West Bank is absolute. Palestinians who wish to travel outside the…Read More...
Have international solidarity mobilizations drowned out Palestinian voices? Over the last few weeks, media in this region was filled with images of people from all over the Western world holding up Palestinian flags and chanting “Free Palestine.” We’ve heard from the likes of Americans, like prize-winning author Alice Walker and former CIA official Ray McGovern (both passengers on the US boat to Gaza) about the importance of standing up for Palestinians in Gaza; we’ve heard about hunger strikes by Spanish and American citizens stuck in Greece after their boats were not allowed to sail; and we’ve seen videos of activists landing…Read More... | 10 Comments
Israel responded to the "flytilla" with a wildly disproportionate deployment of police and extraordinary security checks. But Palestinian citizens of Israel are discriminated at the Ben Gurion Airport on an hourly basis - and are now able to racially profile themselves, using a specially provided form to warn the airport authorities of their arrival. In the see-saw of travel-craving and homesickness preceding any trip abroad, there's one moment when you can feel the balance finally shifting and you becoming glad to be leaving Israel: When you arrive in your car or taxi to the airport gates and a burly, submachine…Read More... | 42 Comments
Journalist Larry Derfner came to Tel Aviv airport to cover the arrival of international activists. Once in the reception hall, a small Israeli mob turned on him. In a matter of seconds, he found himself in a police van by Larry Derfner Anybody who believes the platitude that the people want peace, it’s just the leaders who want war, should have been at Ben-Gurion Airport today. It’s a good thing those Free Palestine activists got arrested; otherwise, the little mob that formed spontaneously would have punched them up pretty good. Only minutes after I got to the Arrivals hall, a…Read More... | 69 Comments
Israeli authorities deployed hundreds of police officers to arrest and deport pro-Palestinian visitors. The Minister of Tourism announced that "good tourists" will be greeted with flowers Panic. There is no other way to describe the Israeli reaction to a plan organized by a few activists—no more than a thousand, according to the most generous estimates—to try and travel to the West Bank via Ben Gurion International Airport. A handful of those visitors arrived (five of them have already been deported), and it seems that the whole country has gone mad. Haaretz has reported a special deployment of hundreds of police…Read More... | 31 Comments
The Israeli authorities are determined not to let any visitor who would declare his desire to come to the West Bank enter the country this Friday. In a statement made yesterday, PM Netanyahu's office called the planned attempt by hundreds of activists to conduct a solidarity visit in the Palestinian Territories "an effort to undermine Israel's right to exist". "Everyone here is in hysterics," sources in Jerusalem told media This post was updated. As we have reported here on Sunday, A coalition of organizations has made public its intention to have hundreds of international activists land at Ben-Gurion airport this…Read More... | 17 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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