I wish there was a kinder, gentler way than acts of ostracism to get Israel to end the occupation, but those ways have failed terribly. I would not join a BDS protest; I'm a "two-stater" who believes Israel should remain a Jewish state because the alternatives would be worse, who believes Israel's "original sin" is the occupation, not Zionism, and so I don't think I'd really feel at home at your average BDS demonstration. There seems to be way too much loathing for everything about Israel in the movement - which is not to say everyone in the movement…Read More... | 53 Comments
Every once in a while I get a comment on one of my posts along the lines of: 'Why don’t you do anything about Syria, huh? If you’re such a human rights activist, why don’t you care about places where people are suffering much more right in your neighborhood? Huh??' or 'You know, the Arabs have it much better in Israel than anywhere else! They should count their blessings!' And it makes me wonder... Ring, ring! Ring, ring! Operator: Atrocities Unlimited, how can I help you? Palestine: Hello, my name is Palestine. Operator: Hello Mr. Palestine, what can I do…Read More... | 60 Comments
In remarks to Haaretz today, 'senior Israeli official' shows Netanyahu to be the rejectionist, making it easier for Abbas to take 'unilateral' steps soon. Well, that was quick. No sooner does John Kerry wind up his first trip to Israel-Palestine to restart the peace process than the Netanyahu government publicly trashes his plans. Haaretz diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid reported today that a "senior Israeli official" said Kerry asked Netanyahu to free prisoners, transfer weapons to the Palestinian Authority and give up control of certain parts of the West Bank for the sake of Palestinian economic projects. Netanyahu, however, won't consider…Read More... | 50 Comments
'New York Times' reporter and columnist Anthony Lewis died today at the age of 85. Although we never met, he changed my life. Well, that may be an exaggeration, but still... If there’s one thing I hate, it’s a long blog post. I just have no patience for them. So, bearing that in mind, I’ll totally understand if you skip this one. New York Times reporter and columnist Anthony Lewis died today, at the age of 85. I didn’t know his writings very well. The only few op-eds I did read were all Israel/Palestine related. Despite this very superficial “relationship”…Read More... | 8 Comments
Given the likely options, I'm glad Obama is coming here tomorrow to do nothing rather than to try to revive the peace process. Today, reviving the peace process, Obama-style, would mean coercing Mahmoud Abbas to enter negotiations with Netanyahu in return for nothing, or next to nothing, such as a token prisoner release, some musical chairs with a few checkpoints and a vague statement of good intentions. And for that, Netanyahu would get what he very much wants: "peace negotiations" with no end, which would provide diplomatic cover for his terribly right-wing, settlement-crazy new government. At the same time, Abbas…Read More... | 23 Comments
Threat of Palestinian Authority's collapse forces Netanyahu, who has humiliated Abbas and his people as often as possible, to try to placate them. At the beginning of this week, when Palestinian riots threatened to get out of hand, especially if one of the hunger-striking prisoners died, what did Netanyahu do? He gave in. He announced on Sunday he was giving the Palestinian Authority its customs taxes for January, which he'd held back to punish Mahmoud Abbas for winning recognition for Palestinian statehood at the UN last November. Palestinians throw stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers, PA security troops do…Read More... | 7 Comments
Both Oscar-nominated documentaries from this region are important documents of Israeli occupation and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in their own right. But if 'The Gatekeepers' wins, it will whitewash occupation by presenting Israeli guilt in a redeeming light. If 'Five Broken Cameras' wins, it will go beyond the message that what Israel is doing is wrong and show the world exactly what wrong looks like – and just how ugly it is. The Gatekeepers and 5 Broken Cameras have already succeeded in breaking one of Israel’s biggest taboos: airing out its dirty laundry on the big screen, for the whole world to see. Now…Read More... | 10 Comments
New Year's resolutions offer us a glimpse into the hopes of the children who live under Israeli occupation. A colleague of mine, a fellow journalist and writer, teaches English to Palestinian children in Hebron. I visited her recently in the West Bank and she generously shared her teenage students' New Year's resolutions. They are published here, sans names, with the students' permission. From a teenage boy: *Study hard *Be lovely *Don't hurt others *Work better *Keep your mouth closed *Imagine well *Never give up *Eat healthy food *Hate injustice *Like to help others *Smile *Fight bad insects The next one…Read More... | 16 Comments
Our post-election depression comes from being reminded that an end to tyranny and inevitable war is as distant as ever. It's time for new ideas - or old ideas that haven't been tried. Well, that was fun. And now it's over, and who really cares whether Yair Lapid becomes minister of this or minister of that; the twin elephants of tyranny over the Palestinians and the inevitability of war are still in the living room, and if anything, the country seems more determined than before to pretend they aren't there. For those who do see those elephants, there's a sense…Read More... | 39 Comments
The absence of the occupation - the single most important issue which dominates life of Jews and Palestinians in this country - from the Israeli election campaigns, reflects a national existential crisis, and could render the entire democratic process meaningless. Israelis will go to the polls in four days to determine their future, along with that of several million Palestinians who are under Israeli control. This is the inherent paradox in the Israeli system: a majority voting again and again not to allow a very large minority to participate in its political system. One can view Israel as a democracy…Read More... | 17 Comments
The party's new proposal effectively says the unsayable: that on the occupation, Israel is wrong and the Arabs are right. There are so many people out there, in Israel and overseas, who know that this country has gone wrong and that Netanyahu and the right are leading it to hell. Yet they end up giving their tacit support to the worsening status quo because they don't have the courage to follow their thoughts to their logical conclusion: that Israel is at fault for the occupation, and that the occupation is at fault for the conflict with the Palestinians. Not Israel…Read More... | 36 Comments
I'd be very surprised if any of you recall a post I published here last December. I was showing off my version of an Irish protest song from the 1980. The original refrain, penned by Irish songsmith John Maguire runs as such: "Hey Ronnie Reagan / I'm black and I'm pagan / I'm gay and I'm left and I'm free." My girlfriend Ruthie and I applied the tune to a local politician, our staunchly anti-democratic, openly racist Foreign Minister Avigdor "Ivet" Lieberman, and were stunned to see it go viral on YouTube. Since then, another protest tune recorded in our living…Read More... | 6 Comments
There is a proven road to security for the people of the Negev: a total end to Israeli rule over the people who are shooting at them. Here is my suggestion for how Israel can bring peace and quiet to the people living within rocket range of Gaza: lift the blockade of the Strip entirely (they get all the weaponry and fighters they want through the tunnels anyway); announce that in one year Israel will have no military or governmental presence whatsoever beyond the security barrier ("the wall") in the West Bank (the settlers will then leave of their…Read More... | 33 Comments
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Reports, maps, infographics and other documents on human rights and democracy.
Children under occupation
The effects of occupation on minors.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
A series of striking infographics.
- MOST READMOST COMMENTED24 HOURS|WEEK|MONTH
RT @haaretzcom: #Israeli minister apologizes for accusing #UK of 'disguised anti-Semitism' http://t.co/IwPl27D0fi #BDS
New on +972: #Palestinian hospitalized after being handcuffed, abandoned at #checkpoint http://t.co/zEgDZ7Nkfb
Why are children over 8 in #Gaza prevented from visiting their fathers in #Israeli prisons? @nsheizaf http://t.co/hKq92yXcOr
#Palestinian hunger-striker signs deal with #Israel, agrees to #Gaza deportation for 10 years http://t.co/zrg2FP7uMw via @MaanNewsAgency
New on +972: Why does the #IDF hold #Gaza fishermen responsible for rocket launching? http://t.co/BJVhJMwxzT