Unless a law to criminalize torture is passed, we cannot begin combatting the view that a human being's body and soul can be abused for punishment or to extract information. By Rachel Stroumsa Representatives of the Israeli Justice Ministry announced last week in Geneva that the ministry is working on a law criminalizing torture in Israel. A day later it became clear that these representatives were unable to address the content of the proposed law. Nor could they even venture a guess as to when it would be completed, despite the fact that the matter has been under debate for several months.…Read More...
Israel leftists should not sit around and wait for the international community to save Israel from itself. There are no quick fixes. The way to bring about a better future for Israelis and Palestinians is to gradually reduce the ails of occupation. By Yariv Mohar It seems like more and more of my leftist friends feel that the solution to the occupation won’t come from inside Israel, which is increasingly radicalizing, but as a result of something external, some kind of international pressure — a deus ex machina, a tremendous foreign power, a UN resolution, the boycott, isolation or a combination…Read More... | 5 Comments
The Right doesn't reject the concept of universal human rights because it threatens the Zionist project, they do so because it would mean seeing Palestinians as equals. By Dror Etkes There is a positive aspect to the continuing, orchestrated campaign by Israel's right-wing government and its helpers against "leftist" organizations, which many seem not to be paying attention to. As the campaign goes on, it helps create an intuitive, collective understanding for most people who have refrained from dedicating their life to understanding the inner politics of left-wing organizations in Israel, that there is no room for the artificial barrier…Read More... | 3 Comments
Amid an unprecedented wave of delegitimization and attacks on human rights groups in Israel, dozens of organizations throw a mini-festival in Tel Aviv, sending a message that they will not be deterred. Over a thousand people joined dozens of human rights organizations in Tel Aviv’s port Friday afternoon in order to send a message that silencing, shaming and blacklisting Israelis who oppose — and speak out against — the occupation of the Palestinian territories will not work. The event, titled "Blacklist," was as a direct response to a right-wing campaign claiming to “expose” Israeli artists and cultural figures who are involved…Read More... | 10 Comments
The latest campaign of incitement in Israel is so extreme even the Right has condemned it. The irony? Its message is entirely in line with that of the government. A single day after right-wing Culture Minister Miri Regev proposed cutting funding to artists and cultural institutions that are “not loyal” to the State of Israel, quasi-fascist organization Im Tirzu launched a campaign to name and shame artists who support human rights and anti-occupation groups. [tmwinpost] Several weeks ago, Im Tirzu, a hyper-nationalist organization that an Israeli court ruled resembles a fascist movement, launched another campaign accusing human rights and anti-occupation…Read More... | 37 Comments
Makarim Wibisono resigns as UN special rapporteur to the occupied Palestinian territories — because Israel never allowed him to visit Palestine. The UN special rapporteur charged with monitoring and investigating Israeli human rights violations in the occupied territories resigned Monday in protest of Israel’s consistent refusal to give him access to said occupied territories. Refusing access to human rights monitors is a tactic generally employed by non-democratic regimes. Special Rapporteur Makarim Wibisono, who previously served as Indonesia's ambassador to the United Nations, said that when he accepted the position he was assured he would have access to the Palestinian territory. He did…Read More... | 3 Comments
Save for the brief episodes of the Rabin and Barak governments, the Israeli Right has been in power since 1977, on its own or in partnership with Labor. In the 70s and 80s the right- and left-wing blocs were relatively balanced, but over the past 15 years the Likud, along with all its various off-shoot parties, has been the unchallenged, dominant force in the Israeli political system. In this process, 2015 will probably be remembered as a key year. The Right is in the driver’s seat, alone. [tmwinpost] Twelve months ago some people believed the tide had turned. The Gaza…Read More... | 34 Comments
The furor surrounding Breaking the Silence and the reflexive defense of the IDF both miss the fundamental point that any institution with violence at its core is inherently ethically compromised, and ultimately, an army is trained to fight. A raw nerve has been touched in Israel over the last few weeks. Far right-wing group Im Tirzu publicly accused Breaking the Silence members of being foreign "implants," and public outrage was directed against President Rivlin for appearing at the same conference as the anti-occupation group of IDF veterans. The result is that Breaking the Silence is being portrayed as an enemy…Read More... | 4 Comments
"The Israeli occupation used to target Palestinian human rights defenders — now they’ve moved inside Israel," Hebron-based activist with Youth Against Settlements, Issa Amro, tells +972 Magazine and Activestills. Read more on the campaign against Breaking the Silence and human rights organizations in Israel.Read More... | 2 Comments
Four Israelis who work for leading human rights organizations woke up to a new, frightening reality after a video accused each one of them of being a foreign agent working to defend Palestinian terrorists. A new video entitled "Foreign Agents - Revealed!" was released on Tuesday by Im Tirtzu, a neo-Mccarthyite, extreme right-wing group notorious for its public attacks against left-wing academics and organizations. In 2013 an Israeli court ruled that the group bears similarities to a fascist movement. Its leadership enjoys ties with Likud and Yisrael Beitenu politicians. [tmwinpost] The video plasters the faces of the heads of four Israeli human…Read More... | 15 Comments
A year after the devastating war on Gaza, an activist visits human rights defenders still working among piles of rubble and roiling from trauma. By Jen Marlowe I crouched on the floor of the beat-up Mercedes yellow cab, so that I could film Yaser Abed Alkhafor at a better angle. We were driving slowly through Khuza’a, a town near the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younes. “We can see that the destruction in Khuza'a didn't target only one place, but it is mass destruction targeting the whole area,” Alkhafor said, pointing to the destroyed homes lining the road. Alkhafor,…Read More...
Small battles can be waged against the injustices of occupation while simultaneously fighting the bigger war against the occupation itself. A response to 'The case for dismantling Israel’s human rights organizations.' By Noam Rabinovich If I had a Euro for every time I was privy to a conversation about whether Israeli human rights organizations do more harm than good, I would have been able to single-handedly fund the entire Israeli human rights community, much to the chagrin of Israel’s current government. Snark aside, this question is one of the most poignant and loaded questions faced by human rights organizations in Israel.…Read More... | 9 Comments
By doing the army’s job for it, Israeli human rights organizations enable the IDF's ongoing dereliction of its obligation to protect the occupied Palestinian population. By Noam Rotem The Israeli human rights organizations operating in the West Bank are doing noble work. There should be no argument about that. They are on the front lines of injustice every single day. With varying levels of success, they attempt to deliver a modicum of justice to the robbed and beaten Palestinian population. These organizations invest massive resources into representing and advocating for Palestinians as they face Israeli authorities. From field workers who…Read More... | 2 Comments
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