In the days before Rosh Hashana, days of introspection and forgiveness, I am reminded that by virtue of my identity as an Israeli citizen I am responsible for the disaster and tragedy befalling the people of Gaza. Introspection begins with opening one’s eyes and recognizing one’s sins, and only then trying to repair them. There is no more Jewish act than that. If everything goes according to plan, on Monday, September 26 an all-woman flotilla will set sail for Gaza. If everything goes according to plan, I will be on that flotilla. Naturally, the decision to join the flotilla was preceded by…Read More... | 16 Comments
The Israeli bodies responsible for investigating the events of Operation Protective Edge are engaged primarily in creating the false impression of a functioning system that ostensibly seeks to discover the truth. In the meantime, those actually responsible for violations are not even questioned, and the investigations have been confined to superficial inspections of a number of isolated incidents, divorced from any context. This is the conclusion reached by the human rights organization B'Tselem in a new report. Entitled The Whitewashing Procedure: The Ostensible Investigation of the Events of Operation Protective Edge, the report summarizes a period of over two years…Read More...
A new project uses heartbreaking photos, text and video to tell the stories of the Palestinian families who lost more than three members in the 2014 Gaza war, the stories of their lives, their deaths and the survival of those left behind. There is no shortage of numbers and statistics that are cited in telling, reporting on and remembering periods of war and violence. Often times certain wars come to be represented by numbers. The number of killed, wounded displaced. The number of homes damaged or destroyed. The number of days that the bombs fell, the number of days since…Read More... | 2 Comments
Israelis who live along Gaza border suffer more than anybody in Israel whenever war breaks out. A group of local residents recently marched on the Erez military crossing into the Strip, demanding that leaders from Israel, Hamas, and the world, find a solution to the violence and hope for a normal life. Read more: Palestinian groups present 'war crimes' evidence to the ICC The casualties of the next Gaza warRead More... | 2 Comments
Until the Israeli LGBTQ community truly begins caring about Palestinian oppression, Palestinian queers will have to keep checking our identity at the door. Fady Khoury (translated by Tal Haran) This past March I took part in a panel as part of Washington D.C.'s Independent Film Festival, where Jake Weisfeld's new documentary, "Oriented," was screened. The film, which was also screened this week as part of Tel Aviv's LGBTQ film festival, TLVFest, tells the story of three gay Palestinian men living in Tel Aviv. I assume that plenty has and will be said about the movie itself, but the point I wanted to…Read More... | 10 Comments
The candor and critical tone with which the Democratic presidential candidate discusses Israel and the occupation points to the start of a new era. Can the Palestinian struggle for justice find an ally in the American people? By Jamal Zahalka Bernie Sanders remarks on the last Israel attack on Gaza raised controversy and led to a series of angry responses by both the Zionist lobby in the United States and the Israeli public. His opponents took advantage of the fact that he mistakenly told the New York Daily News that 10,000 innocent Palestinian civilians were killed in the attack (despite…Read More... | 1 Comment
Only 16 percent of destroyed or severely damaged households have been made habitable, a new UN survey finds. Some 75,000 Palestinians, including an estimated 44,000 children, remain internally displaced in the Gaza Strip almost two years after the devastating war with Israel that killed over 2,000 people, according to a United Nations survey of the situation published Tuesday. An estimated 18,000 housing units (16,965 households) in Gaza were either destroyed or severely damaged during the war. Only 3,000 of those housing units, or 16 percent, have since been rebuilt or otherwise rendered habitable, according to the UN’s Office for the…Read More...
Our collective moral compass has become so fundamentally twisted that even the most decent of people, those who are not considered extremists, believe that there is nothing wrong with shooting a man as he lies dying on the ground. One of the more dangerous and frustrating aspects of the fascism taking over the Jewish-Israeli public, led by its elected officials, is the way it is fed by every single thing that happens here. Nearly every piece of news pushes this process forward — even events that should serve as a warning sign. [tmwinpost] Take, for example, Netanyahu's comments on the Mufti.…Read More... | 7 Comments
When Shefaa was granted permission to leave Gaza for a four-day visit to Israel to meet with a group of Jewish and Palestinian women, it was nothing short of a miracle. There she could tell her story and dispel the myths about life in Gaza. All at once the activities marking International Women's Day came to an end. Conferences, lectures, and ceremonies alongside commercials for spas, malls, and Botox — which were supposed to cause women joy for one day, while making the credit card companies extremely happy. [tmwinpost] But before I allow capitalism to take over this article the…Read More... | 2 Comments
A new book examines the ways in which Israel's policies of displacement in the Negev are also drastically changing the environment where hundreds of thousands live. By Tom Pessah What do you think of when you think of a desert? An area with little precipitation, mostly uninhabited except perhaps by nomads? An empty place with no history, waiting to be filled with people and vegetation? A new book by professor of architecture Eyal Weizman and photographer Fazal Sheikh unpacks these assumptions, and exposes how they are being used by Israel in displacing its Bedouin citizens in the Negev. The…Read More... | 5 Comments
Tair Kaminer sentenced to 30 days in military prison. She has served a total of 45 days after refusing to enlist in the IDF due to her opposition to the occupation. Israeli conscientious objector Tair Kaminer was sentenced on Monday to another 30 days in military prison for refusing to enlist in the IDF. This is Kaminer's third sentence; she has sat a total of 45 days in jail. [tmwinpost] In early January, she informed the army that she would refuse to serve because of her opposition to the occupation, and was sentenced to 20 days in the women’s military…Read More... | 9 Comments
Read the previous chapters of The Long Road to Bethlehem here. Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” begins in Gaza. I am consumed by the news. I scroll through Twitter with the television on, flipping between Al Jazeera and CNN. Horrifying images stream out of the Strip. Rubble. Bodies. Crowds around hospitals. People running, carrying limp loved ones. Shujaiyah. When I can’t take it anymore, I turn off the TV, leave my phone inside, and go to the garden. I realize how fortunate I am to be able to “take a break” from the war — even if that break is somewhat…Read More... | 3 Comments
Tair Kaminer is expected to be sentenced to a month in military jail for refusing to enlist in the IDF. Kaminer: 'Military jail frightens me less than our society losing its humanity.' Approximately 40 demonstrators accompanied Israeli conscientious objector Tair Kaminer to the Tel Hashomer induction base on Sunday, where she is expected to be sentenced for her refusal to enlist in the Israeli army. [tmwinpost] The demonstrators held signs chanted against the occupation at the entrance to the base. Some of them organized a short performance, in which they wore IDF uniforms and pledged their loyalty to the state…Read More... | 1 Comment
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