While Obama's speech was biased, antiquated and problematic, it did include a handful of statements, ideas and words that provide even the slightest bit of hope. By Moriel Rothman So. Huh. President Barack Obama just finished his speech here in Jerusalem, a few blocks away from where I am sitting. I want to get some thoughts out, initial reactions before I delve into others’ analyses, interpretations, et cetera. The speech was, as we all knew that it would be, filled with strategic gloop designed to make Israelis feel good. Most of it was vague, theoretical, and not substantially or symbolically different than…Read More... | 14 Comments
It is not considered racist in Israel to discriminate against 20 percent of the population and the millions more living in the occupied West Bank. It is considered the self-determination of the Jewish people. The few words Yair Lapid said to the press the day after the election that made his Yesh Atid party the second largest in Israel, are still troubling me. Ami Kaufman mentioned it in his post, but I think it merits a bit more attention, since while we in Israel may be desensitized and no longer shocked, it really is quite disturbing. Those following news here…Read More... | 122 Comments
The question is no longer about whether one state should be considered, as there is only one state which governs over two people. The question is which kind of state it will be: the left or the right-wing version. The protests a few weeks ago in the West Bank against Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, once the hope for an institutional and economic state-builder for Palestine, look like one more sign of failure for the emergence of a de facto if not de jure Palestinian state. In the lead-up to September 2011, the Palestinian state appeared poised to advance towards greater general legitimacy. Internationally, the political zeitgeist was…Read More... | 38 Comments
A review of the year of social protests - just hours before the demonstration planned against the government's budget - yields bad news: The government has offered shallow solutions and deepened the roots of economic inequality. Last year's social paradox During last summer's social protests, outsiders and curious journalists repeatedly asked me how to explain that Israel has such excellent economic indicators, but so much discontent. Not being much of an economist, but knowing something about public opinion, I looked at how people experienced their lives here – micro versus macroeconomics. Despite apparently excellent macro indicators, most individual families weren't…Read More... | 5 Comments
It's not often that I feel inspired to write about the aspects of the Jewish state that I really truly like, considering how much damage is done in the name of that state. So I am listing a few such aspects that I noticed this weekend, wondering if they add up to a different notion of what a "Jewish state" might mean. Here they are: AM/PM 24/7 convenience stores. While the experience of shopping for a standardized list of packaged and processed goods under ghastly fluorescent lights is an assault on my senses, I am grateful for the 24-hour convenience…Read More... | 17 Comments
The storm about Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran's refusal to sing the national anthem shows us just what a 'Jewish State' means. A political storm broke out last week, when it turned out Supreme Justice Salim Joubran declines to sing the Israeli national anthem, "Hatikvah" (The Hope). Many Jewish Brotherhood MKs suffered from an unusually farcical attack of national erection. This was indeed another occasion to note that there is no practical (or even ideological) difference between Kahane's representative in the Knesset, Michael Ben Ari, or Yisrael Beitenu's David Rotem, or the Likud's Danny Danon and Moshe Feiglin. But that…Read More... | 34 Comments
Any democratic process must start by admitting two unbearable atrocities: first, the exclusiveness that Jews have over political power in a shared space, and second, the Judaizing system that uses state resources to maintain a brutal colonizing process. By Muhammad Jabali Asking the Palestinians to accept the creation of a Jewish state back in the 1940s was unfair, insulting and even dehumanizing. It meant asking almost 40 percent of the population of this Jewish state to accept being underprivileged until the end of time. To accept living with fewer political rights than the ruling population, which in modern times means…Read More... | 60 Comments
Israel is playing a regular bait and switch: Now it is the State of the Jews, the next moment Jews have nothing to do with it The scandal du jour is the fact that the US ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman, told a Jewish conference last week that Islamic anti-Semitism is the result of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian. This common sense statement caused a hue and cry, and it became the biggest news to come out of the land of chocolate and pederasts, drowning even the fact it finally managed to cobble together a government. The grand inquisitor of…Read More... | 67 Comments
An alternative understanding of Zionism sees no contradiction between liberalism and Zionism, and makes possible various political arrangements, which do not place the national aspirations of Jews ahead of those of Palestinians. By Jerry Haber Can one be a liberal (or: progressive) and a Zionist? The debate has been going on for some time now, and recent entries in the debate on +972 by Joseph Dana, Larry Derfner, and Abir Kopty, are worth reading. What’s interesting is that both the advocates and detractors of liberal Zionism agree that there is an inherent contradiction between being liberal and being Zionist. Derfner considers…Read More... | 69 Comments
This is what an Israeli newspaper claimed. The truth is more nuanced, and sheds light on how difficult it is for international actors to accept Israel's demands According to the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, the Spanish foreign minister outlined a new policy in her speech to the UN General Assembly last week. The headline chosen by the newspaper was "Spain recognizes Israel as Jewish homeland". According to the article's text, the Spanish minister also argued that "the issue of Palestinian refugees should be solved in such a way that it does not compromise Israel’s current demographic makeup of a Jewish majority."…Read More... | 8 Comments
The international mediators scrapped plans to endorse a Jewish state. That was probably a wise choice. Right now, the threat to dissolve the PA, if credible, could be much more significant than moves on Palestinian statehood The Middle East International Quartet – composed of the US, EU, UN and Russia – issued a statement yesterday, following the Palestinian application for statehood. Initial plans to affirm the 1967 lines as a basis for final borders, and to endorse Israel's identity as a Jewish state, were scrapped, in a favor of a more process-oriented text. This was probably a wise choice. The support…Read More... | 4 Comments
According to Alquds newspaper, on September 14, President Mahmoud Abbas had a confrontational meeting with Tony Blair, the current Quartet envoy. During the meeting, which took place in Amman, Abbas presented Blair with a possible plan B should the Palestinian UN bid fails Alquds quoted Abbas as saying, "I will return to the Palestinian leadership, which will make a decision on whether the time has come for Israel to re-assume its responsibility as an occupying authority." He also said, "We will not keep the Palestinian Authority as a name." Yesterday, the Palestinian Authority president called upon the international community to recognize…Read More... | 26 Comments
Abbas and Netanyahu are speaking about the same thing, but refusing to understand one another's narrative When I sat down and interviewed the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Amman, Jordan earlier this year, one of the questions I asked him was if he would ever consider recognizing Israel as a Jewish State. He answered in two parts. First, he argued that such considerations go beyond the four principles agreed upon in Oslo, and he accused Netanyahu of adding more qualifications for negotiations. Second, he said that the Palestinians already recognized the State of Israel in Oslo, and that if that…Read More... | 39 Comments
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Reports, maps, infographics and other documents on human rights and democracy.
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The effects of occupation on minors.
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New on +972: Silence is no longer an option: A call to action from an #Israeli professor http://t.co/mmZvVhWwmb
via @_Jpost_: Enraged by kidnapping, #Egypt police keep #Gaza border closed http://t.co/zqdLNyRLHu
New on +972: Lessons for a fruitful #peace process from Northern #Ireland http://t.co/r5HoyKfq4F #NorthernIreland #Israel #Palestinian
New on +972 Stream: PHOTO: #Palestinians break hole in separation wall in East #Jerusalem http://t.co/pePOxjiNmz http://t.co/uppNwhEOby
Hundreds protest against impending eviction of family in Sheikh Jarrah http://t.co/I0AV0GI4mA