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
One week ago, some 300 Palestinian activists established the protest village of ‘Ein Hijleh’ in a cluster of palm trees and long-abandoned houses north of the Dead Sea. Their goal was to protest Israeli government demands to retain control of the Jordan Valley as part of a U.S.-brokered peace deal. One week later, their encampment was forcibly evicted by Israeli forces in the early morning hours. Photos by: Hamde Abu Rahma, Keren Manor, Ryan Rodrick Beiler and Oren Ziv / Activestills.org In the face of pledges by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he would not “uproot any Israeli citizen” from…Read More... | 18 Comments
The Israeli media gave almost no airtime or print space to two non-violent protests this week, in the Jordan Valley and south Tel Aviv's Levinsky Park. For Haggai Matar, it's been a heartbreaking sight. So they destroyed Ein Hijleh. This small protest camp in the Jordan Valley, built by hundreds of non-violent Palestinian activists and kept alive for a week of resistance against plans to annex the valley to Israel and deprive a future Palestinian state of its eastern border, was been evicted over night by army and police forces. For Israelis – it won't be missed. The whole "Salt…Read More... | 14 Comments
This week: African immigrants and Palestinian activists occupy protest camps to demand their rights; self-demolition in East Jerusalem; solidarity with hunger striker Samer Issawi; and Israeli authorities block Negev Bedouin agriculture and dump garbage in the West Bank.Read More... | 4 Comments
The Jordan Valley village of Hadidiya is no stranger to human rights violations by Israeli authorities. This is the story of one family whose life and livelihood have been affected by home demolitions, time and time again. By Nancy Hawker “Watch out! The bulldozers and the jeeps are coming.” Shirin Salamein heard the warning from one of her neighbors as she finished milking her sheep and goats close to her home. She lives in the village of Hadidiya, behind the Israeli settlement of Ro’i in the West Bank. “I was about to start making cheese, and there was not enough…Read More... | 9 Comments
Some 300 Palestinian activists descended on a cluster of palm trees and long-abandoned houses north of the Dead Sea on Friday to establish the protest village of 'Ein Hijleh.' The aim of the action was to protest demands made by the Israeli government to retain control of the Jordan Valley and other settlements in the midst of current peace negotiations. The action is the first in a campaign of protest villages activists termed 'Melh Al-Ard' (Salt of the Earth). By: Oren Ziv, Ryan Rodrick Beiler, Keren Manor/Activestills.org Haaretz reported earlier this month that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he "did not…Read More... | 6 Comments
This week: solidarity with asylum seekers, animal rights activism, denouncing against attacks on transgender people, return of Palestinian militants' remains, tear gas in Aida Camp, military training in the Jordan Valley, Palestinian steadfastness in Khirbet Makhoul, protests against medical privatization, and weekly demonstrations against the occupation.Read More... | 2 Comments
Far-right politicians prefer it when their more outlandish proposed laws are shot down prudently from across the aisle. One party on the Left now tries to edge out of that role. Meretz chairwoman Zehava Galon on Monday declared that her party will no longer rescue Israel's ruling coalition from itself, and will not vote against an annexation bill proposed by Miri Regev (Likud). The bill, endorsed by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday, would apply Israeli law to much of the Jordan Valley - effectively negating the possibility a future Palestinian state that might share a border with any…Read More... | 12 Comments
How can it be that settlements have a constant supply of fresh, clean water, while adjacent Palestinian villages suffer from severe droughts? In the Jordan Valley, settlement agriculture remains prosperous, while critically undercutting water and land resources belonging to the Palestinian villages. Many of these villages exist on just 40% of the World Health Organization's recommended minimum for water consumption, while in some Bedouin communities, that number falls to 20%. And yet, Israeli settlements continue to farm water-intensive species and use advanced technology to draw water that would otherwise go to Palestinian villages.Read More... | 1 Comment
A recent op-ed by a former cabinet member shines light on the right wing's approach to the West Bank, or what it calls the 'formative territory' of the Land of Israel. However, according to the right's logic, Israel doesn't have a right to a good chunk of the land currently under its control. Lorenzo Kamel unpacks the contradictions. By Lorenzo Kamel In a recent article published on Al-Monitor, Israeli lawyer and former cabinet secretary in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government Zvi Hauser claims that the “territory intended for the Palestinian state was the ‘formative territory’ of the Jewish people, where the…Read More... | 13 Comments
This week: Palestinians demonstrate against the Israeli separation wall and U.S. foreign policy, construction and demolition of Palestinian homes, Afghan asylum seekers struggle in Europe, a funeral for a Palestinian who died in Israeli custody, a hearing on the Prawer-Begin Plan, animal rights activists in Tel Aviv, and Palestinians seek water access in the Jordan Valley.Read More...
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
In what might be a shot to the heart of current peace negotiations, Netanyahu is reviving plans to build a 'security fence' in the Jordan Valley. If the fence follows the original route it will enclose any future Palestinian state, cement impossible Bantustan borders and give birth to a new map of Israel's borders. Ten years after international pressure led Israel to scrap construction plans for the Jordan Valley section of the security/separation fence, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on track to revive them. Two Ma'ariv – Makor Rishon correspondents on Sunday reported that several government ministries are already making preparations for the…Read More... | 115 Comments
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