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…Read More... | 20 Comments
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…Read More... | 12 Comments
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) has released its annual assessment of the state of human rights in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian Territories. The 2012 report includes chapters on house demolitions in Palestinian and Bedouin villages, the occupation of the West Bank and the regime of discrimination, the persecution of asylum seekers, the lack of affordable housing, and the privatization of the police and the judiciary. Established in 1972, ACRI is Israel’s oldest and largest human rights organization and the only one dealing with the entire spectrum of rights and civil liberties issues in Israel and the Occupied Territories. Read more about…Read More... | 2 Comments
A female Bahraini officer has been acquitted by a court in Manama on charges of torturing a local journalist working for a French TV and radio station. As the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) notes, reporter Nazeeha Saeed claimed: ...during her 13-hour detention, al-Moussa and the other officers blindfolded her, beat her repeatedly with a hose, pulled her hair, slapped her in the face, dunked her head in a toilet, kicked her, and forced her to sign papers she was not allowed to read. The journalist, who was later examined by a doctor, submitted several medical reports to the court…Read More... | 2 Comments
A new Human Rights Watch report details severe human rights violations in the criminal justice system of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, including arbitrary detention and torture. Several cases detail executions based on confessions obtained through torture. Prisoners are often refused access to a lawyer, abusive security officials are said to enjoy impunity, and families of prisoners often don't know of their relatives' whereabouts. The 43-page report includes testimonies from victims, families, representative of the criminal justice system, and Palestinian human rights organizations. Abusive System: Failures of Criminal Justice in Gaza (Human Rights Watch) Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting…Read More... | 2 Comments
The international community is highly unlikely to pressure Israel to end the occupation. Both the U.S. and Europe are expanding cooperation and aid, and refuse to use bilateral ties as leverage to change Israeli policy. A solution must come from Israelis or Palestinians or both; the outside world has an auxiliary role, at best One of the growing signs of pessimism regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the belief of many activists that only external pressure on Israel can lead to a just solution. This is the premise of a wide spectrum of efforts, from those calling for mild pressure and…Read More... | 7 Comments
In the U.S. slavery was an accepted, normal institution for the first 140 years of the country's existence. While American universities are now trying to come to terms with their historical corroboration with slavery, Israel is just beginning to institutionalize its system of oppression through accreditation of the Ariel settlement college. By Louis Frankenthaler Universities are meant to be institutions of higher learning and safe places for students to challenge the system, or support it as they see fit. In a democratic society we must accept and promote these principles zealously. In Israel, these principles are constantly threatened, most recently by the…Read More... | 9 Comments
With the butchery of children and the massacre of over 100 more civilians in one town alone, the Syrian government has reached a new peak in its gruesome list of achievements. For over a year, the world has witnessed people being slaughtered, day after day. These words will have little if any effect, and still they must be said: The actions of the Assad government, or any other forces involved in the unbearable killing of civilians is deplorable, contemptible, and inhuman. This is nothing short of a war crime and a crime against humanity. All of humanity. I say this…Read More... | 46 Comments
By Hagai El-Ad There is no factual basis for listing Israel alongside countries like Zimbabwe or Venezuela, but that is not thanks to the government's efforts – which have fully pushed legislation against human rights NGOs; if the government actually had its way, then the recent condemnation of Israel by UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay would have been quite accurate. The Foreign Ministry was quick to characterize as "absurd" the recent statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, who grouped Israel together with the likes of Belarus, Zimbabwe, Venezuela and other countries in the dubious club of…Read More... | 14 Comments
Will the anti-democratic legislation underway in Israel soon make progressive advocacy redundant? Is it an exaggeration to say Israel is on the high road to fascism? And what can the Left do to reverse the process? An interview with Israel's pre-eminent human rights lawyer, Michael Sfard. It's no longer a secret to anyone Israel is facing a rising tide of anti-democratic legislation - from new restrictions on free speech to the chipping away at the separation of powers between the legislature and the judiciary. Earlier this month I took a broad look at these trends in a piece published two…Read More... | 59 Comments
Im Tirtzu, the ultra-nationalist organization whose main activity has involved witch-hunt campaigns against Israeli civil society and academia, has hit upon a new angle that it believes will save Israel, which one of its leaders unveiled in an op ed in Haaretz on Monday (Hebrew): expose human rights violations in the Arab and Muslim world! The first sign of the latest campaign was a surreal invitation to Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) to join Im Tirtzu in a demonstration against the horrific massacres in Syria. PHR was disgusted, and wrote back: It's very clear that you have no intention of…Read More... | 21 Comments
This letter is to you. You know who you are, but I can’t say your names. You don’t want to say what you think in public, in the United States of America, home of free speech. You are an American Jew, you are liberal, you believe in universal equality, minority, human and civil rights. You support those principles with your voices, your money and definitely your vote - except when it comes to Israel. After two weeks in America visiting family (particularly, my new nephew) and friends, two observations struck me powerfully. First, the understanding that Israel is committing terrible…Read More... | 61 Comments
A couple of months ago, the New York Times run an op-ed titled "Israel and ‘Pinkwashing,’" which accused Israel of using the issue of gay rights to whitewash its deteriorating human rights record. Quote: In Israel, gay soldiers and the relative openness of Tel Aviv are incomplete indicators of human rights — just as in America, the expansion of gay rights in some states does not offset human rights violations like mass incarceration. The long-sought realization of some rights for some gays should not blind us to the struggles against racism in Europe and the United States, or to the…Read More... | 3 Comments
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The effects of occupation on minors.
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- MOST READMOST COMMENTED24 HOURS|WEEK|MONTH
Israeli man kills four at bank, reportedly after being denied credit http://t.co/EH6gIG7WUW
Israeli Finance Minister Lapid: No to settlement freeze, no to compromise on Jerusalem http://t.co/sNu260Sacs
PIC: Women of the Wall member is targeted in 'Torah tag' attack http://t.co/hm5hWZo975
WATCH: Supporters stage prison vigil for conscientious objector Natan Blanc http://t.co/yrn6csEID9 @IsraelSocialTV
WATCH: 'My Neighbourhood' - the human impact of settlements in Sheikh Jarrah http://t.co/ujJjKgqr2B
Smug, bourgeois masses are the base of Israeli 'social protest' http://t.co/TSMqgcrWX7 (by Larry Derfner)
+972 Stream: Israel: Muhammad al-Durrah wasn't killed in infamous televised incident http://t.co/dzilqgedMJ