While its campaign of intimidation against supposed left-wing Israeli artists seems to have backfired, Im Tirtzu's role in Israel's current political climate cannot be overstated. The political climate in Israel has become so draconian and repressive lately that it was slightly surprising how quickly everyone rushed to denounce Im Tirtzu's latest campaign against mainstream artists and celebrities who sit or have sat on the boards of human rights organizations. Leaders across the political spectrum condemned the campaign, including Netanyahu, who has previously sung Im Tirtzu's praises on camera. Following the backlash, the group told the Israeli press they had made a…Read More... | 2 Comments
This isn’t a choice between 'Jewish or democratic' — the only question is whether Israel can still become a true democracy. For some years, the political center-left in Israel has committed itself to the idea of a Jewish and democratic state. For these mostly secular and traditional people, “Jewish” used to mean some sort of cultural character, and democracy meant free and fair elections. This political camp is deeply committed to the balance between those two ideas and believes that when one overtakes the other, we are lost. [tmwinpost] Thus if Israel is too “Jewish,” it risks becoming a halakhic…Read More... | 27 Comments
Students who open up the Education Ministry's new civics textbook won't find a word about military rule or discrimination against 20 percent of the population. There's a reason for that. By Gil Gertel Education Minister Naftali Bennett has managed to make some changes in Israel's civic education curriculum: it is now more religious and less humanistic. The problem is not with civic education, but rather with the state; civic education reflects reality, not those who mold it. The responsibility for reality does not fall on teachers, but on our elected leadership. Bennett is pushing education to the right It is true…Read More... | 2 Comments
Israeli government ministers, ‘Arab affairs’ analysts, and regular citizens incite against us — but they’re also inciting us. And yet, despite it all, we restrain ourselves. By Umar al-Ghubari (translated by Richard Flantz) Yes, you read the headline correctly: I’m an incited Palestinian. Every day they incite me. My most prominent and significant inciters are the leaders, the commentators and most of the journalists of the State of Israel, and ordinary Israelis too. Social networks and the masses of online commenters in Israel comprise a volcano of incitement. It’s clear to me that they actually want to incite against Palestinians,…Read More... | 4 Comments
Tair Kaminer is expected to be sentenced to a month in military jail for refusing to enlist in the IDF. Kaminer: 'Military jail frightens me less than our society losing its humanity.' Approximately 40 demonstrators accompanied Israeli conscientious objector Tair Kaminer to the Tel Hashomer induction base on Sunday, where she is expected to be sentenced for her refusal to enlist in the Israeli army. [tmwinpost] The demonstrators held signs chanted against the occupation at the entrance to the base. Some of them organized a short performance, in which they wore IDF uniforms and pledged their loyalty to the state…Read More... | 1 Comment
A new law formalizes the outsourcing of rural settlement activity in the West Bank. A boon to the settlements, a blow to democracy — and the taxpayer. While Israeli society has been busy with incitement against human rights workers, a baby-killing celebration, and legislation attacking civil society, the Knesset quietly approved a new law last week formalizing the status of the notorious Settlement Division of World Zionist Organization (WZO). The law authorizes the Israeli government to delegate its policies in the settlements to this outside, private body. Despite an opposition filibuster, the law for legalized policy outsourcing passed in the…Read More... | 24 Comments
The furor surrounding Breaking the Silence and the reflexive defense of the IDF both miss the fundamental point that any institution with violence at its core is inherently ethically compromised, and ultimately, an army is trained to fight. A raw nerve has been touched in Israel over the last few weeks. Far right-wing group Im Tirzu publicly accused Breaking the Silence members of being foreign "implants," and public outrage was directed against President Rivlin for appearing at the same conference as the anti-occupation group of IDF veterans. The result is that Breaking the Silence is being portrayed as an enemy…Read More... | 4 Comments
The Right is furious over the alleged use of torture against the suspects in the murder of a Palestinian family. But is it any surprise that the tools used against Palestinians would eventually be used against Jews too? "Torture in Israel? The Shin Bet's actions in the Duma case may turn out to be the secret service's new 'Bus 300 Affair,' wrote Yehuda Yifrach, the legal expert for the right-wing newspaper Makor Rishon and the NRG news site, on his personal Facebook page. Well, of course there is torture in Israel — it has been used here on a regular…Read More... | 3 Comments
The Left must fight the urge to exclude those who haven't served in combat roles from voicing their opinion on the occupation. By Michal Rotem Several weeks ago, Israeli Police prevented Israeli human rights group Breaking the Silence from organizing a talk in a pub in Be'er Sheva. After a court backed the decision to bar the event, the organizers decided to move the talk to two different apartments in the city. I came to show my support, but ended up staying outside with some Breaking the Silence activists. [tmwinpost] A few days later I recalled to a friend how…Read More... | 8 Comments
Demonstrators took the streets of central Tel Aviv to show their support for Israeli human rights organizations under attack by right-wing incitement over the past weeks. Breaking the Silence executive director: 'We were born into the occupation, we can be the ones to end it.' Photos by Oren Ziv / Activestills.org Over a thousand Israelis marched Saturday night in Tel Aviv to demonstrate against incitement and occupation, and in support of Israeli human rights organizations, peace, equality, and social justice. The protest was organized by the group "Omdim Beyachad" (Standing Together) in response to the recent incitement by far-right group…Read More... | 46 Comments
Both countries have a sickness, an addiction of the collective. When something shatters our ceiling of horrible things, you want to think we’ve hit rock bottom. The only shred of hope after a mass shooting is that the slaughter of innocents will finally stun people into seeing how America has gone mad on guns. Maybe this time the human pain will cause warring factions will pull together to reach the only logical, if not perfect, answer: Take away the outright murder machines, and make it harder to get “regular” guns. The geese and deer can wait a few more weeks…Read More...
At least 18 women, Palestinians and Jews, have been murdered by men this past year in Israel. When will we understand that a racist, violent society does not differentiate between its victims? I couldn't shake off the murder of Amna Al-Abir from Lyd, whose body was found burned in a forest in a Palestinian Authority-controlled area, and the murder of educator and karate teacher Suha Mansour from Tira as I drove to the airport. I was flying to London, where I was to speak at a conference on the status of Palestinian women in Israel. [tmwinpost] With tears in my…Read More...
They tell us that terror and violence must be met with force, and if that doesn’t work — then even more force. But the military occupation of Hebron has not achieved security for either its Jewish or Palestinian residents. By Yehuda Shaul Over the past few weeks we have not only borne witness to a wave of attacks in Jerusalem and throughout Israel, we have also seen a string of violent incidents in and around Hebron. Commentators are already talking about a new flashpoint of violence. I know Hebron pretty well. As a soldier and commander I served in the…Read More... | 8 Comments
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