In honor of International Women's Day, Activestills pays tribute to more than a quarter century of anti-occupation activism by the 'Women in Black' group in Israel. Every Friday since 1988, the women have stood in the main squares of cities or at highway junctions with signs calling to end the Israeli occupation. Often spat at, cursed or violently harassed by passersby, they have become, for us, a symbol of persistence. Project by: Keren Manor & Shiraz Grinbaum / Activestills.org Dafna Kaminer: It was the time of the First Intifada, and we wanted to support the Palestinian struggle. So we decided that we…Read More... | 8 Comments
The president's high-profile interview with Jeffrey Goldberg will make it extremely hard for the administration to blame the Palestinians for the expected failure of Kerry's peace initiative. Obama’s interview with the Bloomberg news agency on Sunday, in which he basically blamed Netanyahu and exonerated Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for the intractability of the occupation, is a very important event, and very good news. With Netanyahu and Abbas jockeying to avoid the blame for the likely impending failure of Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace initiative, the Obama interview with Jeffrey Goldberg will make it very hard for the administration…Read More... | 49 Comments
Can Gazans boycott Israel while also studying Hebrew at university? One Palestinian believes in the power of understanding Israeli culture and people in their own words. By Abeer Ayyoub “It is 6:30 a.m. Jerusalem time, this is the broadcast from Voice of Israel.” This is how my mornings have always started since I was six years old, or at least on days when I had to wake up for school. Not because I was always interested in the news, but because my father, who gets up for the Fajr morning prayer, can never start his day without listening to the "local"…Read More... | 15 Comments
When you believe your enemies hate you more than they love their children, as Golda Meir put it, there's no real deterrence against them; you have to keep bombing. Most people in the West, I’d say, think that if Israel gives up the occupation, it will be healed. It will no longer be a danger to others and itself. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and additional proof of this came Monday night when Israeli jet bombers again struck Hezbollah in Lebanon. The attack was another reminder that even if Israel were to get out of the West Bank and adopt…Read More... | 56 Comments
An in-depth article on Palestinian refugees and their attitudes toward return and peace had some in the liberal Zionist camp up in arms. In a response published last week, Danny Orbach accused Paula Schmitt of doing a disservice to the refugees by nurturing their 'disastrous, futile fantasies' and distorting the events of 1948. Now, Schmitt responds to the allegations. By Paula Schmitt Debating Zionists or staunchly religious people is like playing a board game where your pieces must move like chess while your opponent's pieces can move like checkers. Only one side of this battle follows rules and abides by…Read More... | 28 Comments
Well-intentioned American Jewish liberals backing this latest U.S.-led peace process appear to be riding for a fall. What is J Street going to say if, after urging American Jews to support the Kerry peace mission, that mission wins the support of the right-wing Netanyahu government – but not that of the Palestinians, who view it as the terms of their surrender? And what will J Street say if Western liberal opinion, and even much of Israeli liberal opinion, decides that the Palestinians are right? This is a question that J Street and all American Jewish liberals supporting U.S. Secretary of…Read More... | 11 Comments
He's dealt a blow to Israel's prospects in the all-important blame game. By making Israel look like the rejectionist side in the peace process, and by doing so in a spectacularly galling way, Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon’s verbal attack on John Kerry has helped the cause of ending the occupation. It’s no mystery that the overriding goal of both Israel and the Palestinians in Kerry’s peace talks has been to avoid getting blamed for their inevitable failure. Now, after Ya’alon dissed Kerry and his diplomatic baby so thoroughly and contemptuously – and, even more to the point, without…Read More... | 3 Comments
The American Studies Association may be singling out Israel for boycott, but if you look at the serious, painful punishments the world metes out to oppressor nations, Israel is not being singled out, it’s being let off the hook. As of Friday at noon, a Google search of “human rights sanctions” turns up over 40 million results. There are human rights sanctions and other punishments against China, Russia, Iran, Syria, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Yemen, Belarus, Cuba, North Korea and lots of other countries. And these sanctions weren’t put in place by some minor academic group like the American Studies Association, but…Read More... | 46 Comments
Mandela's statements about Begin on the one hand and Arafat on the other should make just about everyone uncomfortable. In Chapter 42 of his autobiography "Long Walk to Freedom," Nelson Mandela describes how, in 1961, he began forming the African National Congress' (ANC) military wing to launch guerrilla attacks on the apartheid regime. "I, who had never been a soldier, who had never fought in battle, who had never fired a gun at an enemy, had been given the task of starting an army. ... I began in the only way I knew how, by reading and talking to experts." Mandela…Read More... | 16 Comments
Bibi says it's the expense, Peres says it's a flu he can't kick. More likely it's two other reasons: Israel's past and present. Nelson Mandela’s death brought up some inconvenient memories for Israel and the Diaspora Jewish establishment: Israel’s extremely fruitful alliance with apartheid South Africa until the very, very end; the anti-Mandela stance of right-wing Zionists because of his support for Arafat and the PLO (as well as for Gadhafi); and mainstream South African Jewry’s comfort with the apartheid regime (notwithstanding the brave opposition by a greatly disproportionate number of the country’s Jews). Then there’s the present-day, ongoing…Read More... | 16 Comments
Once again, the Obama administration hangs Abbas and the Palestinian Authority out to dry. Halfway through the scheduled nine-month Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, there's been a break in the action, or rather the inaction: the Obama administration, once again, has sought to end the deadlock by backing Netanyahu's illegitimate demands and hanging the Palestinians out to dry. Last Friday the Americans presented a "security plan" ("security" in the American lexicon means security for Israelis, not Palestinians) that calls for Israeli troops to remain in the Jordan Valley - in the West Bank, in a future Palestine, on the Palestinian side of their…Read More... | 12 Comments
How can an entire army battalion pass through a village without disrupting its inhabitants? How can soldiers train with live bullets while ensuring that no one will be injured? A former IDF soldier describes the ways in which soldiers are taught to make their presence known, always at the expense of the local Palestinian population. By Shay Davidovich Just like every other year since I completed my IDF service, in the summer of 2011 I was called up for reserve duty. For a few weeks every year, no matter whether my soldiers and I are needed for training or to perform military operations,…Read More... | 10 Comments
Disruptions in Israeli water supplies often earns bold headlines in the Israeli media. But when Palestinian communities are cut off from the water supply for days or weeks on end, it doesn't make the news. And while the Israeli government often supplies Israeli settlements with an infrastructure that guarantees water access, Palestinians must store their water in large containers, due to frequent shortages. This is the story of Al-Ma'asara, a village near Bethlehem that sees its water supply cut off sporadically for extended periods of time, and the inability of the Palestinian Authority to do anything about it. .Read More... | 7 Comments
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Meet the women leading struggles across Israel/Palestine, by @activestills http://t.co/n21Lt4cXAt http://t.co/BUPFLhUMW4
For 26 years, Women in Black haven't given up on ending the occupation. Here is their story: http://t.co/6gqhfVUalz http://t.co/twnWEiGZm8
RT @activestills: [PIC] Today in Qalandiya checkpoint: Women's demo dispersed with tear gas and shock grenades. http://t.co/SL18wUeYd1
Women behind the lens: #Palestinians filming the occupation http://t.co/pX0xbFAXOt @btselem #WomensDay2014 http://t.co/8eqIwQYwpe
Women behind the lens: Palestinians filming the occupation http://t.co/4TqwSRcPSq #WomensDay2014