Civil rights organizations argue the 'anti-boycott law' has created a chilling effect, stifling debate on one of the most divisive issues facing Israeli society. If that's the case, the state counters, then how has BDS grown so much in recent years? In a hearing that felt at times like the political boycott itself was on trial, an extended panel of nine justices from Israel’s High Court of Justice heard arguments for and against legislation targeting calls to boycott Israel on Sunday. It was the second such session following petitions by civil rights groups asking the court to strike down the…Read More... | 16 Comments
High Court of Justice
After more than two years of vigils by Palestinian Christians that gained widespread international attention, the Israeli High Court issued a preliminary order questioning the path of the separation barrier that would further divide West Bank land, cutting off the Cremisan monastery and a valley of olive groves. Photos and text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org “What do we do? We pray,” said Father Ibrahim Shomali to the crowd assembled in an olive grove in the West Bank town of Beit Jala. “Because we believe in God and we believe that one day he will hear our prayer and he will…Read More... | 29 Comments
Between the years 1948 and 1952, thousands of Yemenite babies, children of immigrants to the newly-founded State of Israel were allegedly taken away from their parents and given up for adoption to Ashkenazi families. Now, poet and activist Shlomi Hatuka goes back and speaks to the adoptees about one of the most painful, covered-up stories in the history of the state. By Shlomi Hatuka (translated by Miriam Erez) Dedicated to my grandmother, who gave birth to twins in a hospital, and came home with only one of them. May her memory be a blessing. In Tsipi Talmor’s documentary film, Down…Read More... | 4 Comments
The state told the High Court of Justice that it has no intention of enforcing demolition orders in the settlement of Ofra 'due to its special condition.' History tells us that if this dangerous precedent is accepted, it won't be the last time this happens. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz If one had to choose a musical theme for this High Court of Justice hearing, it would have to be the famous whistle of "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." If one had to choose a movie theme, he/she should consider settling on tumbleweed rolling in the wind…Read More... | 1 Comment
By: Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills & Physicians For Human Rights-Israel, special thanks to Hiba Amara One of the fundamental rights to which a citizen is entitled is the right to marry and build a family in her or his own state. In practice, any person who marries an Israeli citizen is entitled to begin a procedure that will eventually lead to their recognition as a resident or a citizen of the state. This right was honored, in general, until just over a decade ago. In May 2002, at the height of the Second Intifada, the Israeli government decided to freeze this procedure for…Read More... | 6 Comments
When the State defends illegal outposts in the High Court, it tends to mislead – since it prefers the interests of the government over those of the public. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz Last week, a new low was reached in the relationship between the State and the courts. In a judgment of a High Court of Justice petition filed by Peace Now and dealing with the non-evacuation of six outposts, Deputy Chief Justice Miriam Naor wrote the following: “I am sorry we have reached this point. I am sorry that promises made by the State to the Court…Read More... | 1 Comment
Monday's High Court ruling provided a major blow to the state's attempt to hold asylum seekers in detention. However, despite the decision, asylum seekers are still not entitled to basic benefits such as health insurance, social services, housing and the freedom to work. By Elizabeth Tsurkov Refugees in Israel reacted with delight to the news of the nixing of the Anti-Infiltration Law by the High Court of Justice. Under the law, nearly 1,700 asylum-seekers, most of them Eritreans, are currently detained under the law in either the Saharonim or Ktziot internment camps in the Negev. All asylum seekers who entered Israel…Read More... | 1 Comment
The IDF insists on not indicting the security officer who killed Bassem Abu Rahme during a demonstration in the West Bank village of Bil'in, despite being provided with enough details to find him. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz In April 2009, during the weekly demonstration in the West Bank village of Bil'in, a uniformed Israeli officer fired a gas canister into the chest of demonstrator Bassem Abu Rahme, killing him. The killing was carried out in the presence of senior officers. Firing a canister at a direct trajectory is contrary to the orders of the IDF itself, not to…Read More... | 6 Comments
We're pleased to introduce Col. Pinto, Commander of the IDF’s Binyamin Brigade, who holds a practical veto over decisions of the High Court of Justice. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz Last month we reported that after a three-year sisyphean legal struggle, the IDF finally implemented a High Court of Justice order that Ali Shabana be allowed to access his land; and that the son of the owner, accompanied by a Yesh Din team, ploughed the land. All's well that ends well? Proof that a dim legal dawn finally breaks through the mist? Not quite. The settlers, as we reported,…Read More... | 4 Comments
Monday, the Israeli High Court of Justice heard the case of eight Palestinian villages that the Israeli government plans to displace in favor of a live-fire military training area known as "Firing Zone 918". Some 1,000 people live in these villages in the South Hebron Hills, which include Jinba, Khirbet al Majaz, Khirbet at Taban, Khirbet a Safai, Khirbet al Fakheit, Khirbet al Halawah, Khirbet al Markez, and Khilet a Dabe’. The families living in these communities have eked out their existence on their barren and rocky hills for generations. For the past 14 years, this has meant living under…Read More... | 1 Comment
Israeli authorities aren't merely incompetent when it comes to defending the rights of Palestinians in Area C - they are part and parcel of a process dedicated to the area's annexation. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz Last week, IDF forces removed, with hardly any noise, settlers from the lands of Muhammad Ibrahim 'Ali Shabana, a resident of the village of Sinjil in the West Bank. The removal took place after the invasion by settlers Yonathan Rothschild and Yehuda Elitzur. Thus ended a long legal saga which proves, yet again, the incompetence of the Israeli authorities when it comes…Read More... | 3 Comments
Contrary to a High Court ruling, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has ordered the government to refrain from removing 30 structures from the Amona outpost. One hopes that this time, the court will put Weinstein in his place for a change. By Yesh Din (written by Yossi Gurvitz) When a government office issues a press release on a Thursday evening, it means it wants to bury the news it is forced to publish. Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein had good reason to hope no one would notice the message he published last Thursday. However, as it usually goes with Weinstein, he botched…Read More... | 1 Comment
Israel's High Court of Justice will hear a petition demanding simply that an investigation into the wounding of a foreign citizen also investigate the real suspects. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz On March 13, 2009, Tristan Anderson was standing in the forecourt of the mosque in the village of Ni'lin. Anderson, an American citizen, came to Ni'lin to document the weekly protests there. The demonstration was winding down, and the Border Police were conducting their usual chase after stone throwers on a nearby hill, nicknamed "Antenna Hill." Without any warning, a tear gas canister smashed into Anderson's brow.…Read More... | 3 Comments
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