Technical problems left myself and almost 20 other women off the latest Gaza flotilla. Despite my disappointment, I wish these inspirational women nothing but a safe journey. "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." These are the words I wrote before leaving for Messina, Sicily to join the eighth Gaza flotilla. In fact there was good reason to be suspicious, since everything did not go according to plan. In fact my suspicions began even before leaving Israel. At that point…Read More... | 5 Comments
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
Netanyahu didn't need the Mufti or a bomb diagram at this year's UN General Assembly. Just a few kind words about a Palestinian victim of Jewish terror, branding Israel as an economic powerhouse, and kissing up to the Americans. 1. Stealing the president's lines "Ahmed was the victim of a horrible terrorist act perpetrated by Jews… No words can bring comfort to this boy or to his family. Still, as I stood by his bedside I told his uncle, 'This is not our people. This is not our way'." Prime Minister Netanyahu, during his speech Thursday at the United Nations General Assembly,…Read More... | 8 Comments
A new report by B'Tselem concludes that the Israeli military's investigations into its own alleged crimes are little more than a whitewash. So what comes next? Sometimes a seemingly dry bit of research can seem to rise to the level of literature, challenging the status quo in ways that, in the long run, only literature can. Take, for example, the first Arab Human Development Report. Penned by researchers from the region, the 2002 report concludes, rather boldly, that “the predominant characteristic of the current Arab reality seems to be the existence of deeply rooted shortcomings in the Arab institutional structure.”…Read More... | 8 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...
When the Israeli media talks about the latest 'wave of violence,' it leaves out the five unarmed Palestinians who were shot to death by soldiers and police officers in the past few months. The newspaper headlines over the past few days leave no room for doubt regarding what has been happening here lately. "Terror returns," read Yedioth Ahronoth's headline on Sunday, while Haaretz and Ma'ariv ran similar headlines on Tuesday morning. [tmwinpost] Indeed the last few days have been full of stabbing and vehicle-ramming attacks by Palestinians in Jerusalem and Hebron, the vast majority of them directed at soldiers and…Read More... | 8 Comments
The Israeli military's law enforcement system and its flawed investigative mechanisms appear primarily geared toward protecting the armed forces instead of civilians, thus allowing impunity to prevail. By Muna Haddad Two years after the Israeli military offensive on Gaza, dubbed "Operation Protective Edge," more than half of the civilian structures destroyed during the war have yet to be reconstructed, and Palestinian residents of the coastal strip are still finding bones amongst the ruins. And two years after that devastating offensive, Israeli authorities are again proving what previous experience with the Israeli system has long made clear: Israel is unwilling to conduct…Read More... | 3 Comments
How the Israeli media reports a story spoon fed to it by the security services. And are government officials and the courts capable of acting any differently? The story of a Gaza man indicted for diverting millions to Hamas from a major international charity for terror activities is roiling headlines in Israel. The incident is important both for how it is being portrayed, and used, and what it says about the actual situation. [tmwinpost] Mohammad el-Halabi worked for World Vision, an evangelical Christian charity that collects funds from the U.S., UK, and Australia among other countries for humanitarian projects in dozens of the world’s…Read More...
I hurt my leg, so I gave it a treat: a trip to sites across Israel/Palestine that tell of just how fragile the human body is. The doctor says my leg is fine, but I have doubts. I twisted it playing football (soccer, so be it) last autumn, tore a muscle and feared damage to the knee. I then went on to celebrate a "round" birthday. Forty is fairly young, but facing a new decade with an ache makes one ponder the human body and its weaknesses. The body feels different here in Israel/Palestine. It is a land where the…Read More...
This year's Palestine Cup, the biggest sporting event in the Palestinian territories, pits Hebron's Ahly al-Khalil against Shabab Khan Younis. Could reconciliation on the field pave the way for national reconciliation? By Yoni Mendel One of Jibril Rajoub's greatest achievements as the Chairman of the Palestinian Football Association, if not the greatest, took place a year ago. For the first time since the Second Intifada, Rajoub renewed the tradition in which the winner of the Palestine Cup in the West Bank plays against the winner in Gaza. [tmwinpost] This occurred after Palestinian representatives in FIFA threatened to vote in favor of boycotting Israel and expelling…Read More...
Most Israeli Jews know next to nothing about their Palestinian neighbors. Here are a few pro-tips for the holy month of Ramadan. And so it begins. Ramadan, the month of fasting in Islam, in which Muslims are made to fast from sunrise until sunset for 29-30 straight days, after which they celebrate three days of the Al-Fitr holiday. [tmwinpost] For those who are fasting, including myself, I wish you an easy fast and hope that it passes quickly and without unnecessary heat waves. This month is difficult enough, so I hope the weather doesn't become Islamophobic. And now for all…Read More...
A woman from Gaza is told during a visit to Israel that she must terminate her advanced pregnancy. The Israeli army and courts effectively refuse to allow her to mourn with her husband by her side. By Nomi Heger Over the last two weeks, while everyone in Israel was talking about the segregation between Palestinian and Jewish women in post-natal care, we here at Gisha (an organization that promotes the freedom of movement of Gaza residents) provided legal assistance to one pregnant woman, who just happens to be Palestinian and could not care less who was lying next to her,…Read More... | 2 Comments
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...
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