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  • The Year in Photos: Palestine and Israel in 2015

    Activestills selects the most powerful, important and moving images of 2015 — in chronological order. Photos by: Oren Ziv, Ahmad al-Bazz, Yotam Ronen, Faiz Abu-Rmeleh, Keren Manor, Hosam Salem, Ezz Zanoun, Anne Paq, Shiraz Grinbaum Editing: Anka Mirkin, Merieke Lauken / Activestills.org                                        

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  • Knesset passes dangerous settlement funding law — without a hitch

    A new law formalizes the outsourcing of rural settlement activity in the West Bank. A boon to the settlements, a blow to democracy — and the taxpayer. While Israeli society has been busy with incitement against human rights workers, a baby-killing celebration, and legislation attacking civil society, the Knesset quietly approved a new law last week formalizing the status of the notorious Settlement Division of World Zionist Organization (WZO). The law authorizes the Israeli government to delegate its policies in the settlements to this outside, private body. Despite an opposition filibuster, the law for legalized policy outsourcing passed in the…

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  • Israeli gov't votes to support bill targeting left-wing NGOs

    Proposed law would force human rights NGOs to sport special labels and badges indicating that they receive foreign funding. The bill still needs to go through committee, pass a full Knesset vote. The Israeli government on Sunday voted to support a law targeting human rights and left-wing organizations, which European countries and human rights activists have said resemble less-than-democratic regimes [tmwinpost] The bill, should it become law, would require NGOs that receive 50 percent or more of their funding from foreign governments to detail those sources of funding in any public reports or documents, meetings with state officials, and to…

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  • Right-wing campaign portrays human rights leaders as foreign agents

    Israeli human rights leaders are now being portrayed as back-stabbing foreign implants. One minute and nine seconds. That's the length of the inciting video published this morning by right-wing activist Ronen Shoval. In less than a minute-and-a-half, Shoval manages to sum up all the reasons why an Israeli court deemed it okay to call "Im Tirzu" — an organization he founded — a "fascist" group. [tmwinpost] The video is part of a campaign by the group against foreign governments "planting" activists and groups belonging to Israeli civil society. It begins with a clip of a Palestinian man moving his knife…

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  • 'Jews can’t be terrorists,' Jewish Home MK says

    'When you push an entire population up against the wall, when you demonize them and trample their rights, [the situation] will explode in the end,' the Israeli parliamentarian writes with no sense of irony. Jewish Home MK Bezalel Smotrich, a member of Israel's ruling coalition, penned an oped on Wednesday arguing that Jews cannot be terrorists. The two labels are mutually exclusive, he argued. “Terrorism is only violence carried out by our enemies in the framework of a war against us,” Smotrich wrote in settler news outlet Arutz 7, "us" referring to Jews. (Hebrew) “Anything else is a serious crime,…

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  • 'We don't need a constitution—we have the Bible'

    Chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee says every piece of legislation should be 'compatible with Jewish law.' From the moment Israel's founding fathers declared the independence of their state, Israeli politicians have been unable to agree on a formal constitution. Although the Declaration of Independence stipulated that a constitution be written by October 1, 1948, the 1948 war—as well as the inability of different groups in Israeli society to agree on the purpose and identity of the state—prevented that from happening. Every so often the idea of a formal constitution is floated by politicians and civil society,…

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  • Knesset deputy speaker accused of pimping, meth abuse

    Junior MK Oren Hazan, who rose in the ranks at breathtaking speed to become the country's deputy speaker of the Knesset, is now being accused of running a gambling operation, procuring call girls and using crystal meth. Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Oren Hazan (Likud) was suspended from chairing parliamentary sessions Tuesday morning after a Channel 2 exposé alleged he was involved in running a gambling operation; procuring and paying for call girls for his clients; and even using crystal meth — all as recently as last summer. The suspension puts a looming question mark over the most rapid and…

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  • Suspending bus segregation won't solve a thing

    The bus segregation plan is but one policy in a massive system of occupation, which is growing not only geographically but also institutionally, politically and conceptually.  On Tuesday night the plan to segregate Palestinians and Israelis on buses in the West Bank was put into effect, reported Haaretz. On Wednesday morning the Prime Minister decided to suspend the program, following criticism. [tmwinpost] When each development is more awful than the last, perhaps there are no more wise arguments to be made. Instead, I have documented the cycle of attitudes around this week’s example, which reflects, in broad strokes, the deadlocked mentality of…

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  • Bennett as education minister: Less science, more Judaism

    Bennett's party website lists promoting 'love for land and [Jewish] people' as a top priority; the Education Ministry already announced that fewer classroom hours will be devoted to core subjects like math, language and history. Along with the announcement that Netanyahu finally formed a governing coalition Wednesday night came the anticipated news that Israel's next education minister will be Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home party. Bennett, who already had his eye on inculcating religious-Zionist values in the nation's youth, is expected to make changes to the state curriculum in order to bring it further in line with his party's…

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  • Israeli Right renews its fight on funding for human rights orgs

    Legislative attacks on EU funding of human rights activities could backfire by forcing the Europeans to revisit the basis for its entire economic relationship with Israel — something that not even BDS has succeeded at accomplishing. The Israeli Right is once again seeking to introduce legislation that would limit the ability of human rights and anti-occupation organizations to seek funding abroad. As part of coalition negotiations with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Naftali Bennett's Jewish Home party is demanding that foreign-government funding of local institutions require approval by the Defense Ministry and the Knesset’s powerful Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. The next…

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  • With friends like these: How Netanyahu walked all over his closest ally

    Netanyahu's crushing victory wasn't so much over the Left, which never stood much of a chance to begin with. His true and ruthless triumph was over the Right, and especially over one man — his closest ally, Naftali Bennett.  It is difficult to describe Netanyahu’s victory in Tuesday’s elections as anything other than stunning. Stunning not so much for the fact that he had won — this much was reluctantly accepted among most observers throughout the election season. The true shock came as the sheer scope of Netanyahu’s victory was revealed - 30 seats to Herzog’s 24, dramatically strengthening the…

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  • How the 'selfie campaign' failed Israeli voters

    Digital media has dictated the agenda of this election campaign. The parties flooded the web with funny videos, hoping to go viral. Media strategists know how to make their audience laugh, but they failed to establish a meaningful discourse with the electorate. By Angela Gruber Noy Alooshe is a sought-after man these days. His Youtube remixes mash up short bits of politicians' speeches with catchy beats, creating viral music videos that make sport of the featured candidates, crossing all party lines. But instead of hating Alooshe for mocking them, he has politicians calling him up after their speeches, suggesting sound…

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  • Israeli Black Panther: Mizrahim must boycott the elections

    Since its establishment and until today, not a single election has fundamentally changed the status of Mizrahim in the 'only democracy in the Middle East.' Now we must use the only tool we have left at our disposal and refuse to participate in the game altogether.  By Reuven Abergel For Palestinian citizens of Israel, the upcoming elections represent something new. The establishment of the Joint List is the result of the utter failure of the establishment to divide the rule different Palestinian political currents. In the wake of Avigdor Liberman's racist attacks, the oppressed Palestinian public forced its representatives to unite.…

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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