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human rights

  • Peace process: Only four options left

    Resolutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be reached either by agreement or evolution. As the peace talks stumble toward their formal end point, there are essentially four scenarios for political developments between the river and the sea, excluding resurgent violence: two states by agreement, two states by evolution, one state by agreement, or one sovereign entity by evolution. Policymakers should acknowledge these scenarios openly to assess what each one will mean for the future of the region. I recently proposed using basic values as a guideline to assess the desirability of such scenarios: reducing violence, realizing human and civil rights,…

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  • The peace process needs a whole new outlook

    Instead of using the talks as a replacement for progress, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators would do well to define guiding values that should be the basis of both process and solutions. One of the problems with the flagging Kerry negotiations is that they are heavy on ‘process,’ and not much about ‘peace.’ That could be due to the fairly accurate cliché that the outlines of the two-state solution are “largely known.” Negotiations and civil initiatives from 2000 onwards – Camp David to the Arab Peace Initiative –  overlap on the core issues, with differences of details. On the other hand,…

  • Ten reasons why the anti-Apartheid movement is immoral, hinders peace

    Alan Dershowitz published an op-ed in Haaretz on Wednesday giving his top 10 reasons why boycotting Israel is immoral. What if he wrote the same article in 1974 about the anti-Apartheid movement? It might look something like this. By Sol Salbe Ten reasons why the anti-Apartheid movement is immoral and hinders peace The anti-South African movement threatens the reconciliation process by promoting extortion rather than negotiation, and discourages blacks from agreeing to any reasonable peace offer. By Alan M. Dershowitz | Feb. 12, 1974 | 4:00 PM 1. The anti-Apartheid movement immorally imposes the entire blame for the continuing Apartheid and…

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  • The top five most hypocritical Mandela eulogies by Israeli politicians

    Israeli politicians have begun updating their Facebook pages with eulogies for the late Nelson Mandela. What do statesmen of the Jewish state - one of the last western countries to support the South African apartheid state and which today practices apartheid-like policies between the river and the sea - have to say about the man who brought racism to its knees? Here's your definitive list (which may expand - I'll update as the day goes on) 1) Naftali Bennett - Leader of the Jewish Home settler party "Nelson Mandela ** With his willpower he changed the world. May his memory…

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  • Remembering Dina Goor, graceful human rights revolutionary

    Few people can say that they changed direction later in life and started an influential human rights organization. Dina Goor didn’t stop at just one. She believed in her ability to change and influence and called on everyone in her world to join her. By Alma Biblash and Libby Lenkinski (Excerpts from Dina's interview with Just Vision in 2008. Filmed by Mickey Elkeles. Interviewed by Julia Bacha.) When we watch this video, our hearts fill with the heartbreak of missing her. Dina Goor was an elegant woman made of fire. When most people think about retirement, they start planning…

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  • 'They're all named Mohammad nowadays'

    Mya Guarnieri confronts discrimination, identity politics -- and the occupation -- as she searches for an apartment in Bethlehem. Read her previous post, 'Reflections on one state from the West Bank.' Not knowing much about my background, the elderly landlord who doesn’t rent to Jews called and asked me to come sign a lease. Despite my reservations, I agreed. The landlord ushered me in and we sat on a couch on her large, enclosed balcony. “First, I must ask you,” she began. “What is your religion?” “I don’t see how that’s really relevant.” While I understand that she and her family have…

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  • ‘The occupation has no future’

    +972 speaks with Shawan Jabarin, general director of Palestinian human rights NGO Al-Haq, about how and why the organization decided to start using the term Apartheid, and what role accountability and international intervention could play in guaranteeing human rights. Sitting on a green leather couch in his Ramallah office not far from Al-Manara Square, Shawan Jabarin talks about his hopes and beliefs – primarily, a belief that oppressive regimes have no future. “I have no hope for the short-term. But I have more than hope for the long-term,” explains Jabarin, the general director of Al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights NGO.…

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  • ‘The peace process has become a major enemy of human rights’

    +972 speaks with Michael Sfard, human rights attorney and legal counsel and co-founder of Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights, about litigating key human rights cases, past and pending, and the ‘mighty price to be paid’ when advocating Palestinian rights from within the Israeli legal system. With Palestinians and Israelis expected to restart negotiations in the coming days, most people are talking about the peace talks’ chances of success or failure and the details of what topics are on the table. Sitting in front of a small legal library in his Bauhaus Tel Aviv law office, Attorney Michael Sfard…

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  • ‘Settlements ignite a chain reaction of human rights violations’

    +972 speaks with Jessica Montell, of B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, about the settlements and occupation staring the Israeli public in the face, and communicating the human rights message effectively, at home and abroad. From her fourth floor office window in Jerusalem, Jessica Montell can see the red-tiled roofs of Israeli homes inside the settlement of Gilo, east of the Green Line, in annexed East Jerusalem. She can also see Givat HaMatos, another West Bank community, where Israel is planning a new settlement. “It’s not an ivory tower,” she says of her office…

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  • Applying runners' wisdom to the fight for human rights

    +972 speaks with Gisha’s executive director Sari Bashi about changing the Israeli policy of restricting Palestinian freedom of movement, one legal victory at a time, and transforming Israeli public perceptions of Palestinians in Gaza. Behind her desk in her Tel Aviv office, Sari Bashi has two things hanging on her wall. On the left is a small, framed memento from her staff that includes a photo of her running, a map outlining the ultra-marathon she completed last year, setting a record for running the longest distance – 215 kilometers (134 miles) – of any Israeli woman, and a breakdown of…

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  • 'Occupation will never be consistent with human rights'

    +972 speaks with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel’s executive director Hagai El-Ad, discussing bittersweet legal victories, the downward trajectory of civil rights in Israel and how ACRI is facing its greatest challenge, winning over the Israeli public.  Hagai El-Ad’s change in career paths came from a self-realization that his destiny was not in some distant galaxy, but very much grounded on Earth, specifically, in Israel’s civil rights arena. The executive director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), El-Ad, 43, earned a master’s degree in astrophysics before moving to the nonprofit sector. In 2000, he became…

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  • After marathon is cancelled, will Gaza's women speak out?

    On March 5, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which works with Palestinian refugees, announced it was cancelling its third international marathon in Gaza in mid-April. The race was called off due to the decision of the Hamas leaders in Gaza not to allow women to participate. The woman in me was deeply relieved at UNRWA’s decision – as a statement to Hamas that such chauvinism cannot be supported by international bodies. The marathon runner in me was crushed, for all those who registered and trained. Roughly one month before, most runners would have been completing their 25-30km…

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  • EU diplomats to Brussels: Put your money where your mouth is

    Written in between the lines of the EU heads of mission report on Israeli settlements is a sense of frustration with the EU's inaction against Israel. The EU makes regular statements against Israel's illegal settlement enterprise, but takes no action despite the existing tools it has at its disposal. At face value, the European Union heads of mission report on the Israeli settlement enterprise is a scathing indictment and call to action against Israel’s illegal settlement activities. In between the lines, however, the report reflects a frustration by European diplomats and bureaucrats at their own governments’ inaction. They are not…

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