The government’s latest attempts to oust Balad from the Knesset are part of an intensifying campaign against Arab political movements, regardless of their different stripes. Three months ago, when the Israeli government outlawed the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, Palestinian citizens of Israel feared that they were witnessing the beginning of an intensified campaign against Arab political groups. Many suspected at the time that the government’s next target would be the Balad party, the nationalist faction of the Joint List, which has been in the crosshairs of consecutive Israeli governments since the 1990s. [tmwinpost] Those suspicions were confirmed last…Read More...
Palestinian Citizens of Israel
'Coexistence' in one of Israel's major mixed cities means Palestinian citizens must forget who they are, where they were born, and whom they were born to. By Zohar Elmakias Two eighth grade girls from Ramle's Juwarish neighborhood stabbed a security guard at the central bus station last Thursday. Following the incident, I thought a lot of about Ramle. I was born and raised there, and many of my family members still live in the city. Ramle is, for better or for worse, the landscape of my childhood, the place I always go back to. As a child, I participated in various…Read More... | 1 Comment
Right-wing ministers in Israel’s government are putting their own political interests over the economic and social needs of the country’s Arab citizens. By Rawnak Natour and Abed Kanaaneh Arab citizens of the State of Israel have suffered from discrimination by the establishment since the day the country declared independence in 1948, discrimination that is reflected in almost every aspect of their lives: land confiscation, discrimination in housing and employment, extreme disparities in health and educational services, and an absence of infrastructure and proper sources of funding for local government councils. This has given rise to serious problems such as poverty,…Read More...
Israel’s housing system is not 'failing' its Palestinian citizens. It is working exactly as it was intended: to minimize Arab lands in order to maximize Jewish communities. Half an hour north of Tel Aviv stand several hills offering a natural panoramic view of the bustling Arab towns of Taibeh and Tira, their congested neighborhoods, and their narrow roads and alleys. Surrounding the towns are the smaller and orderly Jewish villages and farming communities of Sha’ar Efraim, Sde Warburg, Ramat Hakovesh, and others. The hilltops used to be empty; now they are home to high-rise apartments of the new Jewish town…Read More... | 47 Comments
Years of failed coexistence projects between Jews and Palestinians, which were always intended to show Jews that we too are human beings, made me realize that enough is enough. By Muhammad Kabha Years of failed coexistence projects between Jews and Palestinians, which were always intended to show Jews that we too are human beings, brought me to the conclusion that enough is enough. On the day I first opened my eyes I met my dad’s Jewish friends. They were very nice. “Kiffi,” the blonde soldier who worked as a server in the wedding hall where my dad cooked, loved me.…Read More... | 3 Comments
For three years, a group of young Palestinian citizens of Israel has been meeting in order to imagine and plan their return to the destroyed villages from which their parents and grandparents were expelled. The project they initiated, “Udna” (“Return”), aims to give the younger generation an awareness of the Nakba, and to create actual models for return. In episode 3, refugees from Iqrit return to their abandoned village, despite the state's opposition. Watch episode 2 here and 1 here.Read More...
The government is exploiting the shooting attack in Tel Aviv to disguise discriminatory policies against Palestinian citizens as an effort to bring the rule of law to an 'unruly' society. Prime Minister Netanyahu directed a range of comments at Israel's Palestinian community Saturday night, speaking at the scene of a deadly shooting attack in Tel Aviv. A day earlier, a Palestinian citizen from northern Israel opened fire at a bar, killing two and wounding eight. [tmwinpost] Netanyahu denounced what he called "lawless enclaves" in the Arab sector; condemned the "wild incitement of radical Islam"; encouraged Arab integration through the IDF; and declared…Read More... | 4 Comments
Save for the brief episodes of the Rabin and Barak governments, the Israeli Right has been in power since 1977, on its own or in partnership with Labor. In the 70s and 80s the right- and left-wing blocs were relatively balanced, but over the past 15 years the Likud, along with all its various off-shoot parties, has been the unchallenged, dominant force in the Israeli political system. In this process, 2015 will probably be remembered as a key year. The Right is in the driver’s seat, alone. [tmwinpost] Twelve months ago some people believed the tide had turned. The Gaza…Read More... | 34 Comments
University students from Tira are proving they can be a force for change in the Palestinian community in Israel. The key: taking the fate of their hometown's youth into their own hands. Three weeks ago, the building of the municipality of Tira, a Palestinian Arab town in the Muthalath (“Triangle”) area of Israel, was bustling with over two hundred people gathering in its auditorium. Five speakers took the stage and delivered captivating talks on five different topics, all of which were nothing short of inspiring. Fadi Matar, the 24-year-old founder of the organization behind the event, described the process of…Read More... | 2 Comments
Ayman Odeh's visit to the U.S. demonstrates that the Joint List needs to take a more central role in the global discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ayman Odeh's recent visit to the United States garnered much attention among American audiences. But back home, within his own community, the scant attention given to his visit was mostly critical. Various circles among Palestinian citizens of Israel had characterized Odeh’s visit as a politically futile and undermining exercise, while others made personal attacks claiming that he did not represent Palestinian public opinion and was only doing it for self-promotion. [tmwinpost] Some of these…Read More... | 18 Comments
Using the Emergency Regulations to outlaw Palestinian political movements is a preview of what's coming. In June 1951, member of Knesset and future prime minister Menachem Begin participated in a meeting of the Knesset’s Constitutional, Law, and Justice Committee on whether Israel should adopt administrative detentions as a legitimate security practice. During the discussions, Begin gave a scathing criticism of the Emergency Regulations of 1945, the British law that permitted detentions without charges or trial during its colonial administration of Mandate Palestine: If we accept the Committee members’ definition of ‘emergency,’ then in all honesty, we would have to admit…Read More... | 11 Comments
Outlawing the northern branch of the Islamic Movement is yet another McCarthyist step by the Israeli state. But if anyone thinks this will bring an end to the movement, they are dead wrong. Say what you will about the Jewish state, just don't say that the only democracy on the planet never stops challenging us. On Monday night, Defense Minister Ya'alon signed an order outlawing the northern branch of the Islamic Movement. Following the decision, the police raided the offices of 17 non-profit organizations connected to the group, confiscated documents and equipment, froze bank accounts, and announced that it would…Read More... | 1 Comment
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...
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