Israel lacks laws for trying soldiers for war crimes – and when IDF soldiers commit them, the results are ludicrous charges, indictments and sentences. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz For boys and girls, and we alongside them Actively Or by quiet agreement, Are nudged, mumbling "necessity" and "vengeance" Into becoming war criminals. --Nathan Alterman, "About This" (Al Zot), 1948 During Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip a force of Givati Brigade soldiers seized a position in a house in the Tel AlHawa neighborhood of Gaza City. Two of the soldiers, sergeants first class GA and SA, noticed…Read More... | 2 Comments
operation cast lead
The reaction to this week's killings of two IDF soldiers showed that Israel's moral condemnation of deliberate civilian killings is a tactic, no more. The most powerful argument Israel makes in its campaign to paint the Palestinians as the bad guys and itself as the good guy is to point out that Palestinians deliberately kill innocent civilians, which Israel doesn’t do, at least not as policy. Although this claim conceals much more than it reveals (for example, that Israel doesn’t have to target civilians because its policy of aggression makes killing them inevitable), it is true as far…Read More... | 36 Comments
Four and a half years after 16 activists were arrested in Tel Aviv for protesting Operation Cast Lead, a court acquits them of all charges. The question is why -- despite video evidence showing they did nothing wrong -- did the police continue to aggressively push to indict the protesters on bogus charges? By Inbal Sinai, Social TV editorial It was hard to remain apathetic as difficult-to-digest reports arrived from Gaza during the Israeli attack in the winter of 2008-2009, known as “Cast Lead.” According to data from B’Tselem, 1,391 Palestinians were killed in the fighting (759 of whom were…Read More... | 3 Comments
'My suspicious ethnic identity coupled with my criticisms of Israel were enough to get me banned from Israel and more importantly, barred from being able to tell stories from the West Bank.' By Anna Lekas Miller "Do you think we are some kind of joke? Do you think you can start over with us?” The Shin Bet officer looks at me across his desk, his eyes seeming to pop through his glasses like I was some kind of insolent teenager cum social pariah. I straightened my posture and tried to smile, although my eyes probably expressed more disgust than anything…Read More... | 35 Comments
The violent takeover of the Mavi Marmara simply does not stack up to other violent mass executions of passive civilians. Referring a relatively minor incident to the ICC in the context of a highly politically charged conflict would confirm the suspicions that the court is no more than a political wolf camouflaged in the neutral trappings of criminal justice. By Noam Wiener On May 14, the Union of Comoros, represented by Turkish attorneys, sent the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) a referral requesting it commence an investigation into Israeli conduct, due to alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. The…Read More... | 33 Comments
Former Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak was spotted at an Istanbul airport this morning (Saturday). Barak was accompanied by his wife and a security guard. The trio was in transit and spent four hours in an airline lounge. Barak served as defense minister during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009 and the 2010 flotilla offensive, in which nine Turkish nationals were killed by Israeli commandos onboard the Mavi Marmara. Both events led to a severe deterioration in Israeli-Turkish relations, which were partly mended recently when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the incident. Negotiations over…Read More... | 6 Comments
Despite her direct responsibility for two wars which took the lives of 2,000 civilians, and her uncompromising, hawkish positions during negotiations with the Palestinians, Tzipi Livni is still considered an acceptable choice for the Israeli 'peace camp.' It is time for the public to stop believing the lies. By Idan Landau On November 27, 2012, Tzipi Livni announced that she will be running for the upcoming elections as part of the newly-foundd Hatnua party, which presents itself as a diplomatic alternative to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The party seeks to promote the peace processs wth Palestinian Authority and supports two…Read More... | 26 Comments
The defense minister symbolizes the 21st-century failure of the Israeli 'warrior for peace.' Ehud Barak, who announced his retirement from politics today, said a couple of very brave things in his political career. "If I were a Palestinian at the right age, I would have joined one of the terrorist organizations at a certain stage," he said early on. A couple of years ago he said: "If, and as long as between the Jordan and the sea, there is only one political entity, named Israel, it will end up being either non-Jewish or non-democratic... If the Palestinians vote in elections,…Read More... | 4 Comments
As yet another military campaign ends, the IDF turns out to be, as usual, the weakest link in the chain. Operation Cast Ballot, or as it is formally known, "Pillar of Defense," has come to an end. Childish to the end, the Palestinians and Israelis managed to miss a ceasefire on Tuesday, as they quarreled over who would fire the last shell. The practice of announcing a ceasefire in advance, so as to make certain that all troops know of it in time and observe it, has been perverted into a competition of who can fire more in less time.…Read More... | 10 Comments
Wednesday, November 14: Israeli forces have just killed a four-year-old and a seven-year-old in Gaza. Two children. Jeffrey Goldberg tweets*, correctly, that the fighting won’t solve anything. But his phrasing embodies everything that’s wrong with the mainstream media. It also points at the Israeli attitude towards both the Palestinians and the region: Prediction: Assassination of Hamas terror commander will not even partially solve Israel's Gaza problem. Israel’s Gaza problem? The fatalities suggest it’s the other way around. According to B’Tselem, 6500 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces from the start of the Second Intifada in September 2000 until to September…Read More... | 11 Comments
No. Not again. This can't be happening again. But there it is. Once again, just like it was four years ago, it is winter. Reports on tension, violence, the regular exchange of rockets on southern Israeli towns, and assassinations and airstrikes on Gaza dominate the media once more. Calls for revenge and a more resilient response are commonly heard. And then: a bigger attack. Something that Israel knows will drag both sides into using all they have, usually resulting in hundreds of dead and extreme destruction on the Palestinian side, and several killed and severe damage on the Israeli one.…Read More... | 18 Comments
No. I don't like the concept of conflict tourism, but you see, people put me down for not engaging in it. Whenever exchanges of fire erupt between the IDF and the militants in the Gaza Strip, I find myself being discarded as "the detached Tel Avivian who'd rather sip his cappuccino then spend two hours in Sderot under fire." Try and make a political comment after being thus accused. Try saying that the IDF was first to strike this time around (as it often is) and that Netanyahu may well be maintaining tension in order to keep the Israeli public…Read More... | 27 Comments
This has to be one of the strangest, dumbest stories I have unfortunately been following lately. Yana Gurlik, a 30-year-old expat came to Israel for a family wedding last month, and was told on arrival that there were some problems with her status, according to the army. At the airport she was asked to go to an army base to set things straight. Gurlik left the country with her parents at age 17, and has since been to Israel twice, with no problems whatsoever. She decided to play it safe and go to the army base. There, she was arrested for draft dodging.…Read More... | 9 Comments
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PHOTO: Israeli soldiers fire live ammo during Bethlehem clashes, by @activestills http://t.co/aHhSQIfwnI http://t.co/KNxtQE9FDL