A year after 165 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed, political leaders have yet to conduct independent, impartial investigations into allegations of human rights violations. If neither side demonstrates the political will to protect all civilians, the cycle of violations will become a recurring nightmare. By Yonatan Gher On 21 November 2012, 13-year-old Mahmoud Abu Khousa was killed when he was struck by a missile fired by an Israeli drone as he walked to a shop down the road from his home in the al-Manara area of Gaza City. Delegates from Amnesty International's International Secretariat examined the site of the missile…Read More... | 22 Comments
operation pillar of defense
While most Israelis were focused on the latest war on Gaza or the last election, verbal incitement, physical attacks, incarceration without trial and forced deportation of Africans continued unabated. A timeline of Israel's war on African asylum-seekers between November 2012 and May 2013. By David Sheen Last Thursday, May 23, 2013, marked exactly one year to the day when a thousand Jewish Israelis ran rampant through the streets of Tel Aviv, smashing and looting African-operated businesses and physically assaulting any dark-skinned person they came across. Sadly, the Israeli economic, political and religious establishment - who were in large measure responsible for…Read More... | 7 Comments
Human rights organization B’Tselem published a report reviewing harm to civilians in Operation Pillar of Defense. The report provides statistics on the numbers of Palestinians and Israelis killed over the course of the operation, which lasted from November 14 to 21, 2012. The report challenges the common perception in the Israeli public and media that the operation was 'surgical' and caused practically no fatalities among uninvolved Palestinian civilians. Furthermore, the report finds that there was a significant difference between the first and the final days of the operation: of the uninvolved Palestinian fatalities, 80 percent were killed in the last…Read More... | 5 Comments
An interview with a key Hamas figure in al-Monitor published Friday explores a pragmatic potential and a shift in tactics for the movement. ‘Pragmatic’ is certainly the word interviewer Shlomi Eldar, one of Israel’s top television reporters covering Palestinian affairs, wants readers to remember. His subject is Dr. Ghazi Hamad, currently Deputy Foreign Minister of the Hamas leadership in Gaza, heads the “pragmatic wing” of Hamas and the interview is all about the changes of policy, external relations, and possibly even ideology. Three specific points are worth noting, two internal and one related to Israel: First, in the context of…Read More... | 36 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
Since winning reelection, Obama has championed Netanyahu's war in Gaza and rejectionism in the UN. Enough illusions about this U.S. administration. It's hard to see how Mitt Romney could have been any more pro-occupation or anti-Palestinian than Obama's been since getting reelected three and a half weeks ago. (That's all it was!) First Rashid Khalidi's old friend supports Operation Pillar of Defense as an exercise of Israel's "right to self-defense," without any mention of the people in Gaza (or the West Bank) living under Israel's thumb for nearly half a century, or, God forbid, that they may have a right…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
By agreeing to negotiate freedom of movement for Gazans, Israel has admitted - with the whole world watching - that 1.7 million Gazans are not free. A victory for truth in the 'information war'. One of the good things about the Israel-Gaza ceasefire is that it highlights a truth that Israel and its mouthpieces have pretty effectively obscured: that Gaza and its 1.7 million people are still not free because Israel doesn't allow it. Ever since the 2005 disengagement, Israel has been repeating over and over that "there is no occupation in Gaza," and thus Hamas and the other armed…Read More... | 85 Comments
I spent Thursday in Kiryat Gat, Kiryat Malachi, Ashkelon and Sderot--the Israeli cities under Hamas fire. I spoke to dozens of Israelis; support for Operation Pillar of Defense was unanimous, though no one thought it would bring lasting peace. Most felt it would bring temporary quiet; many believe that Israel needs to reoccupy the Gaza Strip. At a commercial center in Kiryat Malachi, a short walk from the apartment building where three Israelis were killed Thursday morning by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, an elderly man selects tomatoes at a small produce stand. The 74-year-old man, who immigrated…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
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