How can a community which so highly regards deliberation and dissent demand such unwavering unity on what is, perhaps, American Jewry’s most controversial issue? By Roi Bachmutsky Uproar recently broke out regarding world-renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking’s recent decision to cancel his headline appearance at the fifth annual Facing Tomorrow Presidential Conference hosted by Israeli President Shimon Peres. Gil Troy penned an opinion piece in response, in which he argued that by boycotting the conference, “[Hawking] suggested that the dynamics of the conflict are mutually exclusive… to prove he is pro-Palestinian he had to act anti-Israeli.” My Facebook newsfeed is often filled…Read More... | 8 Comments
New York Times
'New York Times' reporter and columnist Anthony Lewis died today at the age of 85. Although we never met, he changed my life. Well, that may be an exaggeration, but still... If there’s one thing I hate, it’s a long blog post. I just have no patience for them. So, bearing that in mind, I’ll totally understand if you skip this one. New York Times reporter and columnist Anthony Lewis died today, at the age of 85. I didn’t know his writings very well. The only few op-eds I did read were all Israel/Palestine related. Despite this very superficial “relationship”…Read More... | 8 Comments
While the mainstream debate over Israel in the U.S. is changing as more people challenge the traditional 'pro-Israel' paradigm, it must also be accompanied by a shift in rhetoric. Roger Cohen, one of the New York Times writers I like most, wrote an op-ed this week called "Israel's True Friends." In the piece, which is centered around the Chuck Hagel nomination, Cohen argues, as I and many have, that those opposing Obama's nomination of Hagel may consider themselves "true friends" of Israel, but in fact can only be accurately defined as friends of the Israeli right - those who, among other things, are dismissive of a two-state solution,…Read More... | 12 Comments
A recent New York Times article ran under the misleading headline, "West Bank Land, Empty but Full of Meaning", referring to the E1 area where the Israeli government recently announced new settlement building in spite of international opposition. Strangely, the photo appearing in the online edition underneath that headline pictures a Bedouin man who owns land in E1. The Times headline is especially troubling for its resonance with the Israeli national myth that the land was "empty" before the Zionists came and "made the desert bloom." Such language reinforces decades-old misconceptions to the casual reader, while the disconnect between the headline and the photo…Read More... | 27 Comments
If you follow Israeli and American mainstream logic, all it takes for the occupation to end are a few nice words from Palestinian leaders. We have been asking the wrong questions: A popular debate in the days following the military escalation between Israel and Hamas had to do with the prospect of negotiations with Hamas, and whether the organization "has moderated." In this conversation, evidence is tossed around from both sides in the forms of quotes from political figures, militants, supporters and spiritual leaders, followed by heated arguments over their meaning, context, quality of translation, status of the person…Read More... | 37 Comments
When Israeli bad taste meets Holocaust consciousness, the polite thing to do is nod your approval. When I read this week's New York Times story about Israeli grandchildren (and some children) of Holocaust survivors who have tattooed their elders' concentration camp numbers onto their forearms (and in some cases ankles), I wasn't sure what to think. Who am I to put down a memorialization of the Holocaust? These people obviously feel strongly about what they're doing; what right do I have to judge them? Mention of the Holocaust, of course, has a tendency to paralyze one's critical faculties, and it…Read More... | 14 Comments
The New York Times continues to push the myth that Israel was once liberal and democratic, and is now growing detached from these values. Now it publishes an op-ed by a former Knesset speaker, which promotes this notion and similar misconceptions about the United States and the U.S.-Israel relationship. Only a couple of weeks after its unusual editorial arguing that Israel’s democracy is in peril, the New York Times has published an op-ed in the same vein, written by a prominent Israeli public figure. Avraham Burg, a former speaker of the Israeli Knesset, who almost became leader of the Labor party in the early 2000s,…Read More... | 102 Comments
The New York Times published a laudable, bold editorial this weekend that highlights a number of creeping threats to Israeli democracy. The article is vital for reaching audiences who really care about Israel's future. After three years of onslaught on Israel's democratic foundations (which were already deeply flawed), the situation is now urgent. Every day, truly scary signs of under-the-radar McCarthyism can be seen – just this morning Haaretz reported on the attempt to oust an official (Hebrew) in the Education Ministry responsible for civics education, who has come under a right-wing witch-hunt, despite protests by both left- and right-leaning colleagues. The legitimization…Read More... | 9 Comments
Netanyahu is not hiding his commitment to expanding settlements - he is making it loud and clear. The New York Times didn't seem to hear. Given relatively sparse international coverage of the Knesset vote yesterday rejecting a bill that would have legalized West Bank settlements facing legal challenges (specifically, the Ulpana Hill of Beit El), it was particularly disappointing to see the New York Times offer one of the few editorials on the topic – and get it so completely wrong. This line from the first paragraph exemplifies the problem: There may be some glimmer of hope in Mr. Netanyahu’s…Read More... | 10 Comments
By publishing an op-ed whose sole purpose is to demonize the editor of The New Yorker, the Jerusalem Post is positioning itself in direct odds with liberal values - not to mention journalistic integrity. The Jerusalem Post ran an op-ed yesterday (Monday) by a writer and attorney from Washington, D.C. explaining why he is canceling his 50-year subscription to the New Yorker magazine. The poorly-argued and belligerent article directly implicates the magazine's editor of 14 years, David Remnick, for being "unabashedly anti-Israel," and personally attacks him as being unfit for the job and its salary since his "only previous editorial…Read More... | 17 Comments
Ambassador Oren is prolific these days. In a letter to the editor of the New York Times published on April 11, he addresses a piece that appeared a few days earlier, entitled "A friendship dating to 1976 resonates in 2012", describing the longtime friendship between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who worked together in Boston in the 1970's. Oren takes issue with the article's "insinuation" that Israel interferes in American politics and stresses its appreciation of "wide bipartisan support." But the article makes no such insinuation, and it is common knowledge that Netanyahu is well-aligned with…Read More... | 12 Comments
On Tuesday, New York City's MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) explained its September 2011 decision to reject an ad created by the American Freedom Defense Initiative on the grounds that it is "demeaning." It did so during a hearing to address a law suit filed by the anti-Islamic group, which claimed the MTA decision was limiting its free speech. Here is the proposed ad: I think this ad speaks for itself, as does the MTA's sensible decision to reject plastering it across New York City's subways. (The New York Times also recently refused to run the AFDI's ad, claiming it could…Read More... | 20 Comments
In an op-ed in the New York Times, Jewish author and journalist Peter Beinart calls on American Jews to boycott the settlements, while at the same time, rejects the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. According to Beinart, this is the only way to save the two-state solution. By expanding settlements, he says, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pursuing a non-democratic version of a one-state solution – while BDS is pursuing a non-Jewish one. Beinart rejects both: The Israeli government and the BDS movement are promoting radically different one-state visions, but together, they are sweeping the two-state solution into history’s…Read More... | 18 Comments
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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.
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'Wars on Gaza have become part of Israel's system of governance': An interview with filmmaker Yotam Feldman http://t.co/7dMiksBo9t
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On visiting the victims of occupation in the south Hebron Hills http://t.co/YO37AXd75k by @MairavZ (via @haaretzcom)
Court questions law enabling confiscation of Palestinian land in Jerusalem http://t.co/4oGUPJYILt
Israel's A-G laments: Nobody criminally investigates settlers for illegal building http://t.co/O6zmeYz8M1