By choosing to avoid the Presidential Conference - an annual meeting of Israeli generals, politicians and business elites with their international fans, Prof. Hawking reminds that the occupation cannot be forgotten or avoided. A response to Haaretz's Carlo Strenger. The British Guardian on Wednesday reported that Prof. Stephen Hawking has cancelled his appearance at the fifth Presidential Conference due to take place this June, in protest of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. The report was later confirmed by Cambridge University. A spokeperson for the Jerusalem-based conference called Hawking’s decision “outrageous and improper." One of Haaretz’s leading lefty columnists, Carlo Strenger, wrote an open letter to Hawking echoing…Read More... | 71 Comments
Although many critics claim the J14 movement failed by not challenging the occupation or achieving sufficient results for Israeli workers and the middle class, a wave of revived labor organizing indicates new potential for worker power -- a May Day update. One thing is certain: personally, it's been a hell of a ride. About 18 months ago the new Union of Journalists in Israel (UJI) was set up and I quickly joined. It took us a couple of months of hard work until April 22, 2012 when the UJI announced it was officially representing journalists in 10 media organizations; I…Read More... | 2 Comments
One Palestinian journalist's meditation on being forced to pay for Haaretz, the only paper he can rely on, but one that also espouses a nationalist ideology he cannot accept. 'I'm fated to be a reluctant reader -- and a reluctant citizen.' By Hakim Bishara It’s morning and I desperately need the news. Where I live, one needs to know what awful things to expect outdoors before leaving the house. I often think of those people who have a favorite newspaper of choice. They develop an easy kinship to the paper: “Have you seen my newspaper?”, they ask around the house;…Read More... | 18 Comments
Amira Hass, who drew heavy criticism from Israeli media about her op-ed in Haaretz last week defending the right of Palestinians to throw stones, and was accused of incitement to violence by the Yesha Council (of West Bank settlements), appeared on Democracy Now this week to discuss her article. I have embedded the interview below, which is in two parts, and highly recommend watching it. Hass speaks so directly and cooly about the situation as she sees it - saying plainly that Israel has become a foreign ruler in this place and cannot expect to survive this way. You can understand from her…Read More... | 17 Comments
The fallout from Amira Hass' Haaretz article in which she stated that "throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule" continues. There are many responses in the Hebrew media and blogesphere, and some interesting debates, mostly on Facebook. As some readers noted in the comments to my previous posts, there were several UN resolutions (not all of them having to do with Israel/Palestine) that affirmed this right, but there wasn't much legal writing on the issue. However, John Locke, an English philosopher and one of the fathers of Liberal thinking, had very clear words to say (Second…Read More... | 47 Comments
Fallout from Amira Hass’s article on Palestinian stone-throwing shows that as far as Israelis are concerned, any and every form of resistance against the occupation is illegitimate. The Yesha Council – the regional council for West Bank settlements, which operates also as the settlers’ political and lobbying arm – filed a complaint with the Jerusalem Police against the Haaretz daily newspaper and its reporter in the occupied territories, Amira Hass. Hass this morning published a piece discussing the logic of stone-throwing and persecution in the occupied territories. Quotes: Throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule. Throwing stones…Read More... | 74 Comments
The third generation of the displaced community of Iqrit decided that they'd had enough of waiting for authorities to allow them to return to their village lands, taking matters into their own hands. Last August, they set up their base in a room adjacent to the old church and haven't left since. In 1948, the Christian Orthodox village of Iqrit surrendered to the IDF without a fight. When soldiers ordered residents to leave for two weeks for security reasons, considering the village is extremely close to the Lebanese boarder, nobody thought twice about it. Three years later, in July 1951,…Read More... | 8 Comments
If Yair Lapid's party takes over the Education Ministry, it could bring an end to the Greater-Israelization of the country's schools and universities. After 45 years of occupation and no end in sight, it would be better for Israel to have a completely right-wing/ultra-Orthodox government than a right-wing/centrist one with Yair Lapid, Kadima and possible other fig leaves. A purely hardline government would attract more opposition, especially abroad, while a right/center amalgam will fool a lot of people into thinking things aren't so bad. In short, a Bibi/Lapid government is more beneficial to the occupation than a Bibi/Yishai government -…Read More... | 13 Comments
Earlier today I posted a short Item regarding today's Haaretz's editorial - urging Arabs to participate in the Israeli elections - which was printed in Arabic as well. I received a lot of responses (most of them negative), so I am posting here a translation of a longer explanation which I posted in Hebrew on my Facebook wall. Even if the best of intentions were behind this editorial, it seems to me like a patronizing act which reflects many of the problems of the Israeli left. First, there is something absurd about making a plea to the Palestinians only when something…Read More... | 7 Comments
Tuesday's Haaretz editorial calls on Arab citizens to vote in the Israeli elections, despite the feelings of failure and disappointment they may have toward the Israeli parliament. The piece (accurately) states that voting numbers are relatively low among Palestinian citizens of Israel, resulting in a Kensset representation that is roughly half of their share in the populations. Quote: Therefore, the Arab public has no better alternative than the civic struggle, which demands patience. Despair and abstention are the worst enemies of such a struggle, and they are luxuries that Israel’s citizens can’t afford. Massive Arab turnout in this election would…Read More... | 17 Comments
Haaretz's journalists decided this afternoon to cancel the printing of the newspaper tomorrow, for both the Hebrew and the English editions. The internet sites of Haaretz Group (Haaretz.co.il, Haaretz.com and TheMarker.com) have not been updated since the early afternoon. UPDATE: The sites will go back to work at midnight local time. Workers at Haaretz are protesting massive layoffs that are to be implemented right after the Jewish holidays. The journalists recently unionized, and held a two-hour protest several weeks ago. Since then, negotiations between the union and the paper's publisher, Amos Schocken, have failed. This afternoon, a strike was announced, effective immediately.…Read More... | 9 Comments
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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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