Liberal Zionism has had 65 years to prove Israel can indeed be both a Jewish state and a liberal democracy. Given its track record, is it time to put the ideology to rest? By David Sheen Imagine if you would, for a minute, that Liberal Zionists have been proven correct: that it is totally possible for a state that accords privileges to members of one specific ethnic group only - Jews, in this case - to be a flourishing democracy. Imagine that Israel is indeed a Light Unto the Nations, and that people from all the other nations who see the…Read More... | 17 Comments
The fact that Israel chooses to base its nursing sector on migrant workers and turn the patients into employers does not mean that migrant workers must pay the price. That is, unless one listens to the rulings of the High Court of Justice. Those who do not appear before the High Court of Justice may mistakenly believe that legal proceedings are conducted there. The sides make claims, at length, and prove their statements. The judges press them, requesting additional evidence. While we inherited the High Court of Justice from the British, this is no House of Lords. Legal proceedings are…Read More... | 7 Comments
In my third post about publishing--or, rather, not publishing--my book about migrant workers and African refugees in Israel, I examine the role of violence in the media and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And then there was a ray of light. In the wake of the May 2012 race riot in Tel Aviv, the mainstream media was suddenly paying attention to African refugees in the Jewish state. My agent called to say that we might be able to ride the wave of violence to sell my book about migrants in Israel. There’s something wrong with an industry that only sits up and takes…Read More... | 10 Comments
In the second post of my three-part series about media and publishing, I examine some misconceptions about the Israeli-Palestinian 'conflict,' and the ways in which the media feeds into a binary that leaves non-Jews and non-Palestinians out of the spotlight. When my agent and I shopped my book about Israel’s migrant workers and African refugees around, we got a lot of those “We love it but it’s not right for us” and “This is an important book that needs to be published. But there’s no audience for this” kind of responses. But perhaps the most common response was, “Where are…Read More... | 18 Comments
We wrote in January [Hebrew] about Supreme Court Justice Yoram Denzinger permitting the deportation of an Israeli boy and his Polish mother. Yesterday at 5 a.m., the mother and her son were arrested ahead of their deportation. This time again, Justice Denzinger refused to get involved. The boy was born in Israel in 2005 to a Polish women and an Israeli man. The boy has no connection to his father, received Israeli citizenship, and grew up in Israel from birth. In August 2010, the mother submitted a request for status on the basis of a government decision stating that children…Read More... | 12 Comments
Israeli officials will authorize 5,000 new work permits for Palestinian laborers. The move comes in the wake of the West Bank protests against the Palestinian Authority and the rising cost of living, and is meant to prop up the PA. The move is also a symptom of Israel’s hysterical reaction to foreign workers and African refugees. July saw the Israeli government grant permits to 5,000 Palestinian construction workers, including those who work in illegal West Bank settlements. The cynical move harnessed a captive labor market whose own economy has been crushed by the occupation—the very occupation it is being recruited…Read More... | 28 Comments
Angie Robles, a 52-year-old migrant worker from the Philippines, recently caught her 15-year-old grandson M. smoking. While it seems like a normal act of teenage rebellion—and a small one at that—Robles says it was a sign that her grandson has lost all hope. When Robles confronted M. about his smoking, she explained to him that she felt it was a step down the wrong path. His answer, according to Robles: “What future will I have with this situation, with the deportation?” Robles left Laguna, a province next to Manila, in 1987 for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. Her sister…Read More... | 1 Comment
While Israel’s current campaign to deport some 700-1500 South Sudanese asylum seekers made headlines around the world, the mainstream media has neglected another ongoing expulsion. Originally published in The Daily Beast's Open Zion. Since March of 2011, the state has been arresting and deporting the Israeli-born children of migrant laborers along with their parents. In the past 16 months, over 90 families have been expelled. Many arrived on state-issued work visas and lost their legal status due to a policy that forbade foreign workers from having and keeping babies in the country—a policy that was struck down by the Israeli Supreme Court…Read More... | 4 Comments
MK Miri Regev, Likud (Video): The Sudanese are a cancer in our body. MK Yulia Shamalov Berkovitch, Kadima (Ynet): All human rights activists [who protect the Africans] should be imprisoned and transported to camps we are building. Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Shas (Maariv): Muslims that arrive here do not even believe that this country belongs to us, to the white man. (...) Do you know that many women in Tel Aviv were raped and are now afraid to report [it to the police] so that won't be seen as AIDS carriers? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: The breach of our borders by…Read More... | 7 Comments
An unexpected bright spot in south Tel Aviv yesterday, less than a week after the race riots: Israelis celebrated Shavuot with the children of African asylum seekers in Levinsky Park, the public space next to the Central Bus Station that has become a hub for the migrant community. As I have done countless times over the past four years that I have been covering and researching migrant workers and African asylum seekers in Israel, I spent most of yesterday hanging out in south Tel Aviv, conducting man-on-the-street interviews. After last week's race riots, the mood in the area is dark,…Read More... | 9 Comments
As Interior Minister Eli Yishai incites against African asylum seekers--leading to outbreaks of violence against Africans--his ministry issues visas to foreigners who pay tremendous amounts of money to come to Israel. Interior Minister Eli Yishai has called African asylum seekers "infiltrators" who threaten “the Zionist dream,” adding, “Jobs will root them here.” But if foreigners are such a threat and jobs will root them here, then why does Yishai’s ministry continue to issue work visas to migrants? It could have something to do with the fact that the manpower agencies—the companies that turn huge profits by importing foreign workers—have a…Read More... | 16 Comments
Just a week after an Israeli threw Molotov cocktails at four apartments that are home to African refugees and an African kindergarten in the Shapira neighborhood of South Tel Aviv, another residence has been attacked with firebombs. Two Molotov cocktails were hurled at the home of Nigerian immigrants in the HaTikva neighborhood in South Tel Aviv on Saturday night, according to Maariv (Hebrew). The firebombs did not penetrate the structure, which is located near the HaTikva market. No injuries were reported and no arrests have been made in connection with the incident. The 20-year-old Israeli who was arrested in connection…Read More... | 7 Comments
The assassination of Zuhair al-Qaissi, which sparked the escalation in the south, points to Israel's weak Supreme Court, a lack of transparency and accountability, and the state's flip attitude towards its judicial branch--as do some street signs in Tel Aviv The recent escalation between Israel and Gaza began after Israeli forces assassinated Zuhair al-Qaissi, a leader of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), a militant group composed of members of various Palestinian parties. Haaretz noted that the PRC was "the organisation that captured Gilad Shalit", the Israeli soldier who was freed in October 2011. The army says that al-Qaissi was behind the August 2011…Read More... | 51 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
#Amnesty's annual report: #Israel, #Hamas committed war crimes in #Gaza assault http://t.co/IDSUbqLiLv, via @MaanNewsAgency
New on +972: Us and Them: Breeding racism in the #Jewish Establishment http://t.co/wfrnjCTHXq
New on +972: From a hole in the Wall to home demolitions in the #Negev: A week in photos May 16-22 @activestills http://t.co/3rPmO7eVWW
'Wars on Gaza have become part of Israel's system of governance': An interview with filmmaker Yotam Feldman http://t.co/7dMiksBo9t
Israel officially drank the Kool Aid on the al-Dura affair http://t.co/MF3x14NKe4