One simple answer to the question of why elections matter is that I feel part of something when I vote in Israel. Being away for four months, living deep inside the world of other peoples’ conflicts, provided a few more answers. For the first time since moving to Israel 15 years ago, I was not in the county on election day yesterday. Since Israel has no absentee voting for regular citizens, I was not able to participate. Given the wild demonization of the Left over the last few years, some people probably wonder why I even care. My colleagues at…Read More... | 7 Comments
"Those who reject dialogue as a means of ending occupation are alienating even the most sympathetic activists by positing replacement of one monumental injustice - occupation oppression and dispossession - with another: envisaging the disappearance of most Israelis from the region." An argument for why the Palestinian struggle could benefit from a new approach to dialogue. By A.M. Poppy On 10 September 2012, Noam Sheizaf wrote here that his experience with the anti-normalization debate shows “the futility of any form of ‘dialogue’ at this point in time. As long as the political issue remains unsolved, such contacts make both sides more…Read More... | 44 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
Could there be a joint political space for radical Jewish leftists and activists in the Palestinian diaspora when anti-normalization is on the rise? Should there be one? Anti-normalization is becoming one of the hottest topics in progressive Israeli and Palestinian circles (ironically, it is not a problem for those elements of society who never been in touch with each other or oppose any form of common existence). Almost any event or activity – even ones which are done in resistance to the occupation – lead to debates on the merit and the legitimacy of joint actions. Here is one example. The…Read More... | 45 Comments
By Arik Segal What is known in Israel as the Israeli "Peace Industry" – a broad reference to civil society organizations and individuals working to advance peace – is facing some tough challenges in 2012 and 2013. The possibility of a preemptive Israeli attack on Iran, political and economic developments in Europe that will make it less supportive of peace-building initiatives, and the next general elections in Israel which seem likely to affirm Likud's leadership, will make peace seem so remote that the work of peace organizations could lose relevance. Despite working on the level of civil society, peace-promoting NGOs…Read More... | 40 Comments
Despite the fact that the Israeli-Palestinian organization he co-heads is considered a "normalizer," the writer says he understands where anti-normalizers are coming from, but nonetheless argues that curtailing joint activism will only cause harm to the shared caused of ending occupation. For an explanation on what the 'anti-normalization' campaign is, please click here By Dan Goldenblatt Less than three months in office as the new co-CEO of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI), one of the oldest Israeli-Palestinian peace NGOs, I am increasingly running up against the anti-normalization movement. I sympathize with the ultimate goals of this movement,…Read More... | 29 Comments
In a recent debate on +972, proponents and detractors of normalizing relations between Israelis and Palestinians in the current political environment make their cases. In his recent post on "normalization," my colleague Aziz Abu Sarah was right about one thing, the topic is reaching a fever pitch within Palestinian society. What Aziz gets wrong is the logic of anti-normalization as he attempts to paint it as some form of unjustifiable reactionism, ignoring its most cogent and compelling arguments. In truth, projects that constitute "normalization" promote a false image of parity between the conflicting sides and foster a dangerous psychology within…Read More... | 115 Comments
A recent post on +972 addressed the matter of Israeli-Palestinian “normalization.” The text sparked a debate and raised many questions about the definition, implications and ethics of the term and its associated activities. After monitoring the discussion for some time, we thought it would be useful to post the following text, which explains what anti-normalization is according to the Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) campaign against normalization. The article was initially published on October 31, 2011 by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott. In the Palestinian and Arab struggle against Israeli colonization, occupation and apartheid, the “normalization” of Israel is a concept that has…Read More... | 41 Comments
The anti-normalization movement plays into the hands of the state of Israel's policy of separation. By refusing to engage and even on some level cooperate with Israelis, Palestinian anti-normalizers accept this policy. Anti-normalization is one of the hottest topics in the Palestinian community, although very few people can define exactly what it should mean. It is a term that gained strength in the 1980s against accepting the status quo of the occupation. Those who supported anti-normalization then were concerned about the occupation becoming a secondary issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A growing number of Palestinians working for Israeli businesses, a…Read More... | 153 Comments
Last week, I received an invitation from the Palestine-Israel Journal (PIJ) to attend an event on the impact of the Arab Spring on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. However, a couple of days later I was notified that the event was canceled due to threats by anti-normalization activists against the hotel hosting the event. Below is an letter of explanation I received from the co-editors of PIJ, Ziad Abu Zayyad and Hillel Schenker: We regret being unable to convene the Meeting which was planned for today, December 20, 2011, focusing on the Impact of the Arab Spring on the Palestinian Israeli Conflict. We invested a tremendous effort…Read More... | 139 Comments
The policy of anti-normalisation amounts to pretending that Israel does not exist while Palestinians suffer daily from its discriminatory policies and wars. It does absolutely nothing to help the Palestinian struggle for liberation. It should be challenged head-on By Moustafa Youssef On 17 August, in response to a comment by +972 contributing editor Joseph Dana, I tweeted that an Egyptian revolutionary committee should address the J14 protesters. The Israeli protesters were obviously influenced by the Egyptian intifada - as were many people in the Arab world and indeed the entire world; so I thought it would be a good idea…Read More... | 35 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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