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 of an illusion. No, I’m not in Gaza, but rockets are…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
The idea of Israel has long been an integral part of Jewish-American identity. But with a generational change among American Jews and increasingly stark political differences with Israel's leadership, could this be the dawn of a new era? Last summer Michael Oren, who served as Israel’s ambassador to the United States from 2009-13, blithely offended virtually the entire policy, journalism and government elite in New York City and Washington, D.C. with a series of accusations directed at President Obama and liberal Jewish Americans. In a nutshell, Oren accused Obama of deliberately sabotaging relations with Israel in order to achieve the goals…Read More... | 51 Comments
We often hear that that Israeli democracy is being 'hijacked' by a group of right-wing extremists. Too bad the alternatives aren't any more appealing. Labor MK Stav Shaffir, darling of the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” crowd, recently implored progressive American Jews to do what liberal Zionists have been attempting for the better half of the past decade: reclaim the “real” Zionism from the extreme right wing’s ideological bastardizations. [tmwinpost] Speaking to a conference of the Union for Reform Judaism in Florida last week, Shaffir tasked liberal American Jewry with explaining the “complexity" of Israel’s political map, namely that Benjamin Netanyahu and his proxies…Read More... | 2 Comments
Unlike previous films made about gay Palestinians in Israel, 'Oriented' is not about Jewish saviors trying to protect Palestinians from political or social repercussions. Three men in their mid-twenties are gathered at a Tel Aviv apartment, preparing to go out to a dance party at a popular Jaffa bar called Anna Loulou. Speaking in Arabic laced with Hebrew expressions and the occasional English phrase, they warm up with vodka and grapefruit juice as they sprawl on the couches, talking and listening to music . Will there be Jews at the party? asks one of the young men. Yes, answers another.…Read More... | 2 Comments
As a result of the latest round of violence, Arab workers are becoming subject to harassment, boycotts, and arbitrary dismissals. By Maha Shehade Switat These are days when calling for the boycott Arab workers and "expelling" them from their workplace is received with open arms. These are days when cities refuse Arab workers entry into schools during school hours. Days when Arab workers go through security checks on their way to work for the sake of public safety. These are days when we understand that morality, not to mention the rule of law, doesn't exist in the workplace. This is…Read More... | 4 Comments
The recent escalation in violence has caused many in Gaza to support renewing armed struggle against Israel. Hamas, however, is wary of firing rockets, preferring to cheer on Palestinians from the sidelines. By Abeer Ayyoub GAZA CITY — While usually considered one of the most volatile places in Palestine, the Gaza Strip seems to be taking a “let’s wait and see’’ approach to the most recent round of violence with Israel. Since the start of the escalation earlier of this month, the besieged, Hamas-ruled enclave has not immediately reacted to the events at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Only on Friday, October 9…Read More...
By stalling while deepening the occupation, successive Israeli leaders — of whom Netanyahu is only the most recent — have dragged Israelis and Palestinians into a dance of death. Ingmar Bergman's classic 1957 film The Seventh Seal tells of a medieval knight who returns to Sweden from the Crusades, only to find that the plague has swept his country. At this point, Death (personified as a tall, pale figure in a black cowl) appears to the knight, informing him that his time on earth is up. Not wanting to face up to the inevitable, the knight challenges Death to a…Read More... | 1 Comment
A year after the devastating war on Gaza, an activist visits human rights defenders still working among piles of rubble and roiling from trauma. By Jen Marlowe I crouched on the floor of the beat-up Mercedes yellow cab, so that I could film Yaser Abed Alkhafor at a better angle. We were driving slowly through Khuza’a, a town near the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younes. “We can see that the destruction in Khuza'a didn't target only one place, but it is mass destruction targeting the whole area,” Alkhafor said, pointing to the destroyed homes lining the road. Alkhafor,…Read More...
Wafaa takes me back to the pile of rubble, but this time, not to show me the destruction. She points to a small shrub at the rubble’s edge, battered, but clearly alive. ‘Ibrahim’s tree,’ she says of the living reminder of her son. By Jen Marlowe Wafaa Awajah’s family had scarcely taken their seats in a circle of plastic chairs when her brother hitched up his pants to show me the scars on his leg from where he had been injured by an Israeli soldier. Another brother had also sustained injuries from the army; he, too, showed me his wounds. As…Read More... | 13 Comments
One year after Operation Protective Edge, a group of 30 women are fasting for the next month to pressure Prime Minister Netanyahu to return to negotiations. By Michael Salisbury-Corech At the entrance to the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem, nearly 30 women are sitting on mattresses, surrounded by banners calling for peace negotiations. One of their shirts reads "Women waging peace and stopping the next war." Some of them hold signs that read: "Fasting!" Despite the uniform dress, the women come from different backgrounds: some are Arab, some religious, some Mizrahi, others Ashkenazi. On Thursday, a year after Operation Protective…Read More... | 5 Comments
There were 142 so-called 'obliterated families' in Gaza last summer — families that lost three or more members in Israeli attacks during the military offensive. Marking one year since the war, the Activestills photography collective wants your help to launch an international street exhibition to bring their faces and names to public spaces in cities around the world. One year on, the Activestills photography collective is launching an international street campaign to the Israeli offensive in Gaza last summer. Activestills is calling on activists — with a downloadable street exhibition kit — to bring the faces and names of Gaza families…Read More... | 9 Comments
Nobody really noticed the deliberate shelling of a Palestinian medical clinic, even when it was reported in real time during Israel's war in Gaza last summer. Now, because of reporting by an independent journalist, there is a chance that somebody will be held accountable for what a rights group says is a clear-cut war crime. How does an apparent war crime, recorded and reported in real time disappear from the public realm and the radar of military investigators for almost a year? The fog of war? Hiding in plain sight? It’s not quite clear. [tmwinpost] The story begins in the…Read More... | 6 Comments
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