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im tirtzu

  • The soldiers' stories that Israel lacks the courage to hear

    Testimonies from former Israeli soldiers have failed to touch the Israeli public or change the state's policies.  The IDF gives an 'explanation' for why it ignores these and all  other occupation stories told by the men and women of Breaking the Silence. I used to think that Breaking the Silence, which publishes testimonies of IDF soldiers about what they see and do on occupation duty, would really strike a blow against the empire. Who could doubt the word of soldiers – by now over 900 – coming forward to, essentially, confess; who wouldn’t at least show them respect and give them…

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  • No, democracy isn't the right of the majority to squelch dissent

    By Naomi Paiss To some, the controversy over the firing of Adar Cohen, the Education Ministry bureaucrat in charge of civics education, may be no more than a footnote in the cultural and political wars roiling Israel. In my professional position, running communications for the New Israel Fund, I might agree. My job requires me to sort through the multiple threats to democracy, civil rights and pluralism in Israel. So if someone asked me to advocate for one man who lost his job, I’d be dubious. But a confluence of the professional and personal leads me to confront the issues…

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  • Is Israeli annexation of Area C of the West Bank imminent?

    I started to think that a formal, unilateral annexation of Israeli-controlled Area C is imminent in May, when I saw this video (Hebrew) advocating the move. A public relations ploy designed to convince Israelis that annexing Area C is good for their future—and that giving the Palestinians who live in the area citizenship or residency won’t disturb Israel’s demographic balance—the video was put on YouTube by settler leader Naftali Bennett. After he made a fortune in high-tech, Bennett served as Benjamin Netanyahu’s chief of staff from 2006 to 2008 (before Netanyahu was Prime Minister). He went on to become the Director…

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  • Ultra-nationalist leader invokes Assad's victims to defend Israel

    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…

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  • Professor bullied for criticizing nationalist group Im Tirtzu

    Im Tirtzu - the movement behind the ongoing intimidation of progressive lecturers in Israel provided us this week with a textbook example of political bullying, after taking offence at disparaging comments made in their address by  Tel Aviv University's Yehouda Shenhav. It should be noted the comments were made in the classroom and the video clip referred to in the letter is password-protected; someone in the class must've snitched to the bully squad. The letter is a document of its time - Israel, 2012. But the self-righteous violence, indolence and pig-headed dogmatism make it sound like a memento from the…

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  • Following protest, bank freezes support for anti-democratic group

    Im Tirtzu, the nasty little organization that has ushered in some of the more dangerous trends in Israel – policing academic thought, turning Zionism into a sort of raison d’état – has suffered a powerful blow issued with swift and impressive precision by an apparently lethal force: consumers. Bank Leumi, one of the country’s oldest banks, was forced to freeze a new charity program on Sunday when customers discovered that money they raised could have gone to Im Tirtzu, along with other social welfare organizations.  It probably took the enterprising folks no more than a few minutes to check the…

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  • Leaked BGU report: Part of broader assault on academic freedom

    Read excerpts from the report obtained by +972 Magazine. The leaked report of a committee appointed by Israel’s Council for Higher Education (CHE), assessing Ben Gurion University’s Department of Politics and Government, is an anomaly compared to other reports, if not an outright, government-sponsored politicized mission against an academic department that has no precedent. I repeat my full disclosure that I teach as an adjunct lecturer at this department. Although the process of evaluation is an established routine (which I explain below), this report must be seen in a dire context of academic persecution that has been led largely by two…

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  • Im Tirtzu and the eternal fire of damnation

    Im Tirtzu's acceptance of funds from Pastor John Hagee is just one example of the questionable and dangerous alliance Israel has made with Christians who are far from being "friends of Israel." While Im Tirtzu's Ronen Shoval continues to rant self righteously about how "leftwing" organizations need to be probed about their foreign funding, he forgot to mention a little donor his movement once benefited from called JHM (John Hagee Ministries). Pastor Hagee founded Christians United for Israel, an evangelical group that declares itself Zionist and believes Jews must rule the "Land of Israel" to enable the Second Coming, when…

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  • Scrutinizing the Guardians of Zion, Part II (Louis Frankenthaler)

    The following is the second part of a two-part essay. Click here to read part one. Scrutinizing the Monitor This essay is a response to the granddaddy of the GOZ’s Professor Gerald Steinberg (head of NGO Monitor and a professor of conflict resolution) who, in his recent Jerusalem Post article, "NGO transparency will protect democracy", August 19, 2010 continues to perfect his thesis that Israeli human rights NGOs are engaged in an unfair attack on an innocent and righteous Israel that must be thwarted by any means that the GOZ community deems appropriate.  Professor Steinberg leads this charge and is…

  • An artist visualizes Israel as a non-democratic state (I)

    For her senior project in visual communications at the Holon Institute of Technology (HIT), artist Sivan Hurvitz exhibited a series of illustrations called "Turn right at the end: the future of a country that gave up on democracy." In her strikingly realistic, detailed illustrations -  six in all - Sivan imagines "an apocalyptic, harshly exaggerated, imaginary, future scenario" in an Israel that is no longer a democracy. Her purpose, she writes, is "to provoke and raise questions among Israelis about the direction the country is going in and to think if this is the country we want to become in…

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Illustrations: Eran Mendel