As top rabbis declare that attempts to draft ultra-Orthodox men into the army constitute a 'religious war,' masses turned out for an anti-draft rally in Jerusalem. Violent confrontations broke out between a few demonstrators and police. Thirteen were injured and 10 arrested. Around 30,000 ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) demonstrators, many more than anticipated, showed up for a mass rally against the planned induction of Yeshiva students outside the Israeli army's recruiting offices in Jerusalem Thursday night. The government plans to revoke a special exemption given to these ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students, part of plan to "equalize of the national burden" orchestrated by Yair…Read More... | 21 Comments
Over 12,000 Israelis took to the streets in Tel Aviv and other cities to protest against proposed tax hikes and spending cuts in the state's new budget. But will the latest iteration of Israel's social justice protest movement continue? The anger in the streets Saturday may be an indication that the movement will continue and possibly grow. Back on the streets. It was probably the largest demonstration for social justice and against austerity in the past year, if not since the Israeli 'Summer of 2011.' More than 12,000 protestors blocked the streets of central Tel Aviv Saturday night to protest against…Read More... | 7 Comments
Will Israeli masses return to the streets for social justice? After nearly a month of weekly protests outside the house of Yair Lapid, the new finance minister - numbering about 400 people each and organized by post-#J14 groups for public housing - a much bigger demonstration is planned for Saturday night with more than 10,000 people declaring they will attend on the Facebook event page. The protests are erupting as Lapid promotes a new budget, which looks much like the one planned by the previous government. It was ultimately public pressure that led the government to scrap the budget and call…Read More... | 11 Comments
Roughly 200 demonstrators gathered last night (Saturday) in front of new Finance Minister Yair Lapid's north Tel Aviv home in protest of planned cuts to social services and benefits. The protesters demanded that the finance minister cover budget deficits by taxing the highest-earning Israelis, rather than cutting benefits to the poor and unemployed, as Lapid hinted he would do. The protest was organized by public housing activists and the "Ma'abarah"' and "Not Nice" groups. Lapid came under fire last week after he posted a Facebook status promising to help "the average Israeli,"' but gave as an example an imaginary woman from Hadera whose household earnings are almost…Read More... | 8 Comments
Recently the editors of TahrirSquared.com, a new Egyptian digital magazine in English, asked me to write an article about how Israelis see the Arab uprisings on their second anniversary. They were particularly interested in hearing from Israel's Palestinian-Arab minority. This is the article I wrote for the magazine. In February 2011, when it was clear Hosni Mubarak's 30-year authoritarian rule over Egypt would not survive the popular uprising that had begun on January 25, the Israeli media’s reporting was characterized primarily by a combination of confusion and unease about the big issue that concerns the country above all others –…Read More... | 5 Comments
Although the tent protests of 2011 succeeded in changing the public discourse about housing, the country's policies regarding availability, affordability, and recognition of Bedouin villages in the Negev have not changed. By Gil Gan Mor Last month, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) published its annual report on the state of human rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories. The document reviews the events of the past year by focusing on the how the government's policies have affected peoples' civil, political, and economic rights. The summer of 2011 will be remembered in Israel for the massive social protests that…Read More... | 2 Comments
Did the revolution lose its sex appeal? Did the J14 leaders enable politicians to ignore them? Whatever the reason, it is clear that the main benefactor of this state of affairs is Prime Minister Netanyahu. By Ilan Manor With the elections just two weeks away, it has become apparent that the 2013 elections are no different than the ones held in Israel since the late 1980s. Once again, the debate revolves around a flailing peace process, a possible solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the security challenges facing the State of Israel. The line between the Israeli left and right…Read More... | 24 Comments
J14 leader Daphni Leef has been charged with rioting, more than half a year after she was violently arrested during an attempt to reignite the protest movement of the summer of 2011. Her trial will begin on January 23. By Leehee Rothschild Look at this photo of Daphni Leef. Look at her, thrown at the floor, crushed under uniformed men - uniforms which define them as the guardians of law and order and give them the authority and power to use reasonable strength, allowing them to define what's reasonable. Look at them triding on her, pulling her, dragging her, beating…Read More... | 7 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
Last summer's tent encampments were dismantled, but the spirit of the protest lives on. Citizens are taking matters into their own hands, promoting public interests through growing numbers of cooperatives. By Yifat Solel The summer of 2011 was the summer of social protest in Israel. Tent encampments emerged all over the country and one call was heard from every corner – "the people demand social justice." But the summer ended, the court enabled the dismantling of the tents and the only government response was in the form of an economic panel that produced a frail report. The protesters needed a…Read More... | 9 Comments
No sooner than arriving at the grand "storm the Congress" demonstration in Madrid did we begin making comparisons to demos back home. The cause, after all, is similar if not the same, and Israel's J14 movement took much inspiration from Spain's M15. These days, anger is reawakening on Spain's streets, with a major difference: here, in Madrid, there's a huge demonstration, the third in a single week. There, in Tel Aviv, there isn't. This was not, however, an altogether peaceful summer, not at all. This is the summer in which Israeli police turned extra violent against social justice protesters, arresting…Read More... | 2 Comments
On my walk home from work this afternoon, I happened to pass by Dizengoff Center. There was a mass of people, which steadily grew during the time I spent watching, as police officers attempted to calm the scene. Eight young people stood, as if in some kind of eerie performance, on the bridge connected the two concrete buildings of the shopping mall. They had apparently all written farewell letters, demanding social justice and are currently threatening to jump to their deaths. All traffic was quickly stopped by passersby, and concurrently by police forces. Ambulances swiftly drove in with stretchers, ready…Read More... | 1 Comment
Since Rachel Corrie's death, the Israeli establishment has been losing patience with activists of any kind. (This op-ed was originally published in The Guardian on August 29 here and in the print edition here) The state of Israel is not to blame for the death of Rachel Corrie – this is the decision an Israeli court reached yesterday. The ruling, made by Judge Oded Gershon of the Haifa district court, may have come as a shock to some, but anyone following Israel's path on a slippery slope, particularly over the past decade, could hardly be surprised when the court literally blamed the victim…Read More... | 12 Comments
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTERSubmit
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
#Israel Extends Zone for Fishing Off #Gaza http://t.co/aQkRdGvs60 via @nytimes
New on +972: Tel Aviv's #mayoral race: Time for a #Mizrahi candidate http://t.co/DcuR4X4dRX #TelAviv #Meretz #Huldai
Does referring the #Gaza #flotilla incident to #ICC only serve to compromise the court's legitimacy? http://t.co/Mg4yy5A6MG
#Bedouin #Israeli wounded in Be'er Sheva bank shooting taken handcuffed to hospital, via @haaretzcom http://t.co/BySL6U6neR
RT @ckoettl: US Military shuts down internet, blocks #socialmedia in #Guantanamo Bay over online hacking threats http://t.co/MY3XdW3QYI #gi…
via @AP: #Israel military chief warns #Syria against further attacks, says #Assad will 'bear consequences'
New on +972: Investigating #Gaza #flotilla deaths would sacrifice International Criminal Court's legitimacy http://t.co/Mg4yy5A6MG #ICC