Beyond an unprecedented degree of destruction in Gaza, Israel's latest offensive on the Strip brought with it unrivaled levels of racism and incitement back home. By Elizabeth Tsurkov The war between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza would appear as the latest round of fighting between Israel and Hamas; however, this war was different from previous rounds of fighting on both sides. The level of destruction in Gaza was unprecedented, while in Israel anti-democratic and racist forces gained much more prominence and influence compared to previous wars. As in all other nations during times of war, the Israeli public rallies…Read More... | 6 Comments
The Zionist left doesn't oppose Zoabi because of her controversial comments or her participation in the Gaza flotilla. It opposes her because she calls for full equality. (Translated by Sol Salbe) Last week Haaretz columnist Ravit Hecht wrote that any true leftist ought to oppose Haneen Zoabi. True, Hecht did concede that the question "is not a legal question but a moral one"; that is, she recognizes Zoabi's right to continue serving in the Knesset (truly magnanimous of you, Ravit!). However, later on in the piece she falls squarely in line with all the right-wing accusations against Zoabi, from support for terrorism…Read More... | 28 Comments
Despite institutionalized discrimination, in recent years Palestinian citizens of Israel have increasingly integrated into the economy, political life, academia and general society. The nature of the current assault on Israeli-Arabs launched from both the Knesset and the street is, in fact, a reaction to this integration. By Ron Gerlitz About a month ago I wrote here that the fabric of relations between Palestinian and Jewish citizens of Israel was worsening, and that this was not just an escalation but a frightening new era of Jewish-Arab relations in Israel. In retrospect, we were just at the start of the deterioration and…Read More... | 24 Comments
Israeli air strikes kill 120 Palestinians in single day; Hamas refuses truce without end to blockade
Over 120 Palestinians were killed by Israeli airstrikes on Tuesday. as both Israel and Hamas evaluated a proposed humanitarian ceasefire. A top PLO official said that Palestinian factions in Gaza had agreed to a day-long humanitarian truce, a claim that was quickly refuted by Hamas. Israeli airstrikes also destroyed Gaza's only power station Tuesday morning. Amnesty International condemned the strike, saying it amounted to "collective punishment of Palestinians." The strike on the plant is liable worsen severe problems with Gaza's water supply, sewage treatment and power supplies to medical facilities. Meanwhile, the head of Hamas' military wing, Mohammed Deif, stated that…Read More... | 13 Comments
When establishing the Knesset’s Palestinian democratic party, the founders of Balad had to shift their discourse and terminology: from the liberation of Palestine and the establishment of one inclusive democratic state, to the reinvention of Israel as a democratic state, the party's secretary general writes. But has such a shift paid off? By Awad Abdelfattah On the eve of the 2009 Knesset elections, as I stepped off a platform following a political debate, an Israeli journalist approached me. "Is it true that you don’t vote,” she asked, “even though you are secretary general of a party that takes part in elections?”…Read More... | 45 Comments
It appears not much has changed since Operation Cast Lead, when opposition leader Haim Oron tragically decided to support the military offensive. Rather than apologizing and giving evasive answers to the media, the Left, led by the failed opposition leader, should be standing up to yell 'enough!' By Elinor Davidov It took seven days of "Operation Brother's Keeper" for the leaders of the Israeli Left in the opposition to say, sofly, that there is a problem with the current military operation, with its goals and with its implementation. For the first time, a week of collective punishment, a closure on the…Read More... | 10 Comments
In a now-infamous radio interview, the nation’s Public Enemy No. 1 made it clear she disagreed with the kidnapping of the three Israeli boys. But that part has been edited out of the story by every major news medium except 'Haaretz.' Once again, Knesset member Haneen Zoabi, a Palestinian from Nazareth, is Public Enemy No. 1 in Israel. The Knesset just gave her a bodyguard because of all the death threats she's been getting, and she's being investigated for incitement. Everyone is convinced she endorsed the kidnappings of the three Israeli teenagers. I was convinced, too, after I heard the…Read More... | 48 Comments
From up close, a wall can seem smooth, unbreakable and infinite – it is the only thing in sight. The wall, a wall of despair or a wall of separation, is real. But by taking a few steps back, either physically or spiritually, cracks in the wall can come into sight. By Moriel Rothman I’ve been in the U.S. for almost two weeks now, and I’ve begun to see cracks in the "Despair-Wall" that I wasn’t seeing – or wasn’t able to see – 14 days ago. When I boarded the plane departing from Ben Gurion International Airport, it was with feelings of darkness, of…Read More... | 4 Comments
It is not considered racist in Israel to discriminate against 20 percent of the population and the millions more living in the occupied West Bank. It is considered the self-determination of the Jewish people. The few words Yair Lapid said to the press the day after the election that made his Yesh Atid party the second largest in Israel, are still troubling me. Ami Kaufman mentioned it in his post, but I think it merits a bit more attention, since while we in Israel may be desensitized and no longer shocked, it really is quite disturbing. Those following news here…Read More... | 122 Comments
UPDATE: Scroll to bottom for corrections. New York -- For Yael Berda, the unexpectedly strong showing of Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party in Israel's recent national elections is no reason for centrists or liberals to celebrate. Lapid's party labels itself centrist, she says, but its domestic and security policies are so similar to the right wing parties' that it will only serve to bolster their agenda. The neophyte politician is from Israel's wealthy Ashkenazi elite, which identifies with Europe and the United States. "In that cultural sense," she said, "You can call Lapid a…Read More... | 17 Comments
It's not what the Jewish majority likes to believe. A common Jewish Israeli criticism of Arab Knesset members is that they do a disservice to their constituents by focusing on high politics, mainly the Palestinian issue, instead of dealing with bread-and-butter economic issues that would really help them. (There may be something self-serving about this line of criticism, but who knows?) Last week I went to Jedeida-Makker, an Israeli Arab village a couple of miles inland from Acre, to hear Balad MK Haneen Zoabi give a campaign speech. The residents, including the local council head, indeed told her that she…Read More... | 42 Comments
The televised spots sponsored by Israel's different political parties will begin airing tonight (Tuesday). Yesterday, the Central Election Committee banned Balad's clip (below) for "mocking the national anthem." The clip shows right-wing legislators (Avigdor Lieberman, Michael-Ben Ari, Danny Danon and Aryeh Eldad) singing the Israeli anthem to an Arabic tune. Recently, the Central Election Committee, the governmental body full of representatives of various Knesset parties, disqualified Balad MK Haneen Zoabi from participating in the elections. The decision was recently reversed by the Supreme Court. According to Israeli election law, parties cannot buy television spots, and air time is allocated for free in…Read More... | 17 Comments
Israel has gone to great lengths to remove mention of the Nakba - the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948 - from textbooks, public discourse, and the public space. But as state efforts to ban Nakba commemorations increase, so does interest in the issue, with more and more Israelis believing that dealing with the matter is a prerequisite to ending the conflict. This short clip surveys this year's particularly dramatic Nakba Day events. This video was produced by Israel Social TV, an independent media NGO working to promote social change, human rights, social justice and equality, and to mobilize its viewers towards activism.Read More... | 44 Comments
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Assault on Gaza
+972 bloggers report on a region under fire during Israel's operation 'Protective Edge.'
The murders that preceded the war in Gaza.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
Reports, maps, infographics and other documents on human rights and democracy.
- MOST READMOST COMMENTED24 HOURS|WEEK|MONTH
Have the Palestinians delivered an ultimatum to end the occupation? http://t.co/4nHlk8ToRN. +972's @nsheizaf and @dahliasc saw it coming.
Everyone lost in the Gaza war, but some lost more than others http://t.co/mmWEp1UqyK - by @TalalJabari
War is the new system of governance: http://t.co/PJVREtJAu3 by @nsheizaf
The Palestinians deliver a diplomatic surprise to Israel: http://t.co/wCrSxfmhbH by @dahliasc
Israel’s latest offensive on Gaza brought with it unrivaled levels of racism and incitement back home: http://t.co/yyfFwBQ6DL by @Elizrael
What was different about this war? http://t.co/yyfFwBQ6DL by @Elizrael
The Palestinians threaten Israel: Withdraw to the 1967 borders, or face the ICC http://t.co/4nHlk8ToRN by @dahliasc