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  • How the very concept of human rights has failed Palestinians

    Certain rights should be inalienable — yet Israel refuses to grant them to Palestinians and the world continues to treat the country as a rights-based democracy. What does this absurdity say about human rights as a political tool, and about the powers, entities and institutions that speak in their name? Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman MK David Rotem laid out some of his beliefs and world views in an extensive interview with Israeli financial daily Globes a few weeks ago. One of Rotem’s statements – which made the headline of the piece - was that “human rights are [reserved]…

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  • Israel’s High Court chooses occupation over international law

    In at least two major decisions, Israel’s top court has shown it is prepared to uphold grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention amounting to war crimes, and to give its implicit endorsement to unlawful discrimination. By Gerard Horton Sitting as the High Court of Justice, Israel’s Supreme Court has heard thousands of petitions submitted on behalf of Palestinians living under military occupation since 1967. This gives rise to an unusual situation whereby the highest civilian court in Israel permits individuals, who could be considered as enemy aliens, to submit petitions challenging the actions of Israel’s military in occupied territory.…

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  • PHOTOS: Protesters compare High Court to ISIS at anti-refugee rally

    Far-right protest against High Court decision to close Holot detention center greeted by flower-bearing asylum seekers. Around 100 people, including far-right activists and residents of south Tel Aviv, protested Sunday night against asylum seekers and against the High Court decision to close the Holot detention center within 90 days. Some protesters, among them former extremist Knesset member Michael Ben-Ari and radical anti-miscegenation group Lehava's chairman Benzi Gupstein, waved black flags that said "High Court" on them, drawing the comparison between Israel's highest legal body and the Islamic State, or ISIS. Protestors marched to Levinsky Park, where several refugees awaited them with flowers in hand.…

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  • A couple of Netanyahu's not-so-white lies to Americans

    In the past week or so, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated a couple of talking points that diverged from the truth, but few people called him out on it. 1. In a meeting with the Jewish Federations of North America in New York last Tuesday,  the prime minister fielded a question regarding the state's practice of sending asylum seekers to detention facilities in the desert, sometimes for unlimited periods of time. This has been the first time the prime minister commented since a recent ruling by the High Court that ordered the detainees to be released. "There is no asylum…

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  • Israel's High Court orders closure of 'Holot' refugee detention facility

    Asylum seekers imprisoned in Holot celebrate the ruling but warn that it's not clear what will happen next. Israel’s High Court of Justice on Monday struck down key parts of a law that allows the indefinite detention of African asylum seekers in Israel's ‘Holot’ detention facility, also striking down a section that permits the automatic year-long detention of newcomers. The court ordered the state to shutter Holot within 90 days. Almost exactly a year ago, the court struck down a previous version of the law that authorized the detention of asylum seekers, prompting lawmakers to quickly draft a replacement —…

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  • Israel's AG is not representing the public interest

    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…

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  • Israel's High Court nixes law allowing detention of asylum seekers without trial

    Court orders the state to begin releasing more than 1,700 prisoners immediately. In a landmark ruling, a special nine-justice panel of the High Court of Justice decided to strike down the amendment to Israel’s infamous anti-infiltration bill, which allowed the state to hold African asylum seekers in custody, without trial, for three years (and in some cases – indefinitely). The court’s unanimous decision was that the bill contradicts Israel’s Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. The amendment in the bill allowing the state to hold without trial any person who entered the country illegally was deemed “disproportionate” to the challenge…

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  • When it comes to migrant workers, Israel's High Court is all High-Level Babble

    The fact that Israel chooses to base its nursing sector on migrant workers and turn the patients into employers does not mean that migrant workers must pay the price. That is, unless one listens to the rulings of the High Court of Justice. Those who do not appear before the High Court of Justice may mistakenly believe that legal proceedings are conducted there. The sides make claims, at length, and prove their statements. The judges press them, requesting additional evidence. While we inherited the High Court of Justice from the British, this is no House of Lords. Legal proceedings are…

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  • WATCH: IDF does not want you to see what occupation looks like

    According to Guy, an Israeli Ta'ayush activist and documentarian of occupation in the South Hebron Hills area of the West Bank - there has been an increase in incidents over the last month in which Israel Defense Forces soldiers have been preventing him and other Israelis from filming what goes on. In this 7-minute video, edited together from footage taken just over the last few weeks, between February 23 and March 9, IDF soldiers - as well as high-ranking officers - are seen blocking camera lenses over and over by shoving their own smart phones in front of them. This…

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  • Demolition of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem delayed at last minute

    With East Jerusalem back in headlines, and despite a court order delaying the pending demolitions, police arrived in the neighborhood of A-Tur set to oversee the destruction of three homes. By Moriel Rothman Early Tuesday morning, scores of heavily armed, black-clad Israeli police officers arrived in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of A-Tur to oversee the demolition of three Palestinian houses. Some were mounted on horseback, others held muzzled dogs on short leashes. The owners of the houses were ordered to move their belongings outside. In an ensuing scuffle, at least two residents of the neighborhood were injured by the police,…

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  • House demolitions exploit the powerless in Area C

    There is no possibility that Israel's Civil Administration will fairly and properly plan for Palestinians in Area C if they are not at the table when their fate is decided. By Rabbi Arik Ascherman Last Thursday, the bulldozers demolished Beit Arabiya, for the sixth time. On Wednesday, two homes were demolished in Dirat, a village that is appealing with Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) to the High Court against discriminatory planning in Area C. Additional homes and structures were demolished over the past week in Al-Waya, A-Tur, Ein al Hilwe, Ibziq, Nabi Samuel, Hares and more. The only crime of…

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  • National unity gov't splits; PM likely to call, win early elections

    After only 70 days, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's mega-coalition shrank back to 66 members of Knesset yesterday. Kadima, the Knesset's biggest party, decided to leave the government over the failure to reach an agreement on national draft reform. A few takeaways: 1.    The entire maneuver that resulted in the national unity government was a mistake by the prime minister, who had been about to announce elections on September 4, and win them easily. Currently, elections are scheduled to take place in October 2013, but common wisdom says they will happen six to nine months from now, in the winter or spring…

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  • Palestinian from Area C on a life in constant need of rebuilding

    By Nasser Nawaj'ah I am Nasser Nawaj'ah. I am 30 years old. My mother gave birth to me in a cave in Susya El-Kadis. You know of Susya as a Jewish settlement in the South Hebron Hills, but Susya is first of all a Palestinian village that existed before the establishment of the State of Israel. I was named after my grandfather, who was still alive at the time. In 1948, he was displaced from his village near Arad, now in southern Israel. When they were expelled, my father was just a little boy and my grandfather carried him in…

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