For Israelis wishing to participate in a common struggle, relieving ourselves of our ignorance and arrogance should be the top priority. Not for the sake of Palestinians – for our own sake, to restore our own humanity. By Tom Pessah About a decade ago, when I was studying for my first degree at Tel Aviv University, I went to a weekend retreat organized by Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam to meet Palestinian students from the West Bank. The retreat took place at a location near Bethlehem that was relatively accessible for the Palestinians, but they still had to pass through checkpoints, some…Read More... | 23 Comments
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) now estimates that approximately 235,000 Palestinian refugees have been displaced due to the civil war in Syria. In a statement to the press this week, UNRWA reported that on April 26, no fewer than 6,000 Palestinians had been displaced from Ein El Tal, a Palestinian refugee camp some 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) from Aleppo in northern Syria. According to UNRWA: Mortars and small arms were reportedly used, damaging and destroying refugee homes and contributing to dozens of fatalities and injuries, including among Palestinian civilians. In the aftermath of the fighting,…Read More... | 10 Comments
The annual March of Return brought approximately 7,000 people to the destroyed village of Khubeizy on Israel's Independence Day. The march, which went through village lands and debris, now a national park, ended with a rally in which speakers called for the implementation of UN Resolution 194, recognizing the Palestinian refugees' right of return, and for the release of political prisoners. The march was organized by the Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Displaced People (ADRID), and was attended mostly by Palestinians with Israeli citizenship (dubbed "'48 Palestinians") and a few Jewish Israeli activists. Aside from the…Read More... | 31 Comments
Just over a year ago I started filming for a web series produced by National Geographic. My goal was to highlight the conflicting narratives and the different points of view while inspiring hope. As Obama is visiting the region, I no longer believe that he or other leaders will bring an end to this conflict. It must be people who lead the leaders. However, I have found that the majority of Israelis and Palestinians are indifferent and ineffective. Indifference is the greatest enemy to peace and justice. In this series, I try to understand why this conflict is still going on.…Read More... | 27 Comments
Although the Shuafat refugee camp is under the jurisdiction of the Jerusalem Municipality, one look at the lack of basic infrastructure, the sewage running in the streets and the unsafe conditions reveal that it is part of a different world. By Chen Misgav Several weeks ago, during a late Saturday morning, a group of 20 Jewish-Israelis leave their cars at the entrance to an intimidating military checkpoint outside Shuafat refugee camp. We are meeting with A., a representative of the Jerusalem Committee Against the Wall and the Settlements, who will be giving us a tour of the camp. We walk…Read More... | 5 Comments
When it comes to helping victims in far away countries (like Haiti and more), Israel does a great job. Not so great if you happen to be a Palestinian trying to flee the civil war in Syria. The Times of Israel reports today that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is giving a cold shoulder to his refugee brethren in Syria, who are under bombardment and suffering casualties as a result of the civil war: The TOI decided to write this headline, despite the fact that the true headline was written very clearly in the first paragraph (my bold): “Palestinian Authority President…Read More... | 53 Comments
The decision to promote construction plans for the E1 area and build 3,000 housing units in the West Bank has European diplomats making a last-ditch effort to save the two-state solution. Israeli ambassadors in several European capitals have been summoned to receive angry responses to Jerusalem's recent decision to construct 3,000 new housing units in the West Bank settlements and promote the zoning plan for E1 area, northeast of Jerusalem. E1 is the only remaining corridor between the large Palestinian cities in the West Bank. It is the final brick in the great project Likud and Kadima prime ministers have…Read More... | 26 Comments
A new guidebook provides readers with tours of 18 Palestinian villages depopulated in 1948, allowing Israelis to slowly learn the story of Palestine and create a new reality between the river and the sea. By Danit Shaham A book always makes a statement. Whether it’s resting on the table or visible on a shelf, it’s making a statement – cultural, political, or both. Space, on the other hand, represented by maps, hiking trails, signs, is usually viewed as something objective. Neutral. Not subordinated to social, historical or other forms of power. “Once Upon a Land,” published by Zochrot and Pardes, offers 18…Read More... | 20 Comments
Netanyahu called them a bluff, but Peres, Barak, Olmert and Livni called them 'brave.' With luck, they could be a catalyst for shaking things up around here. To Israelis who genuinely support the two-state solution, Mahmoud Abbas' interview on Channel 2 last Friday was remarkably far-reaching and courageous, especially what he said about the right of return. Referring to Safed, the Galilee town his family and other Palestinian residents fled during the 1948 war, he said in English: It is my right to see it, but not to live there. This enraged Palestinians; thousands of Gazans protested and burned…Read More... | 32 Comments
When it comes to the issue of refugees, or 'infiltrators,' emotions often get the best of those who are defending one term or another. But facts are facts, apples are apples, oranges are oranges. I was reminded of the above when reviewing Oren Ziv's images of the mother and daughter being arrested at a kindergarten in the Hatikva neighborhood of Tel Aviv. Naturally, no human can deny the human emotions as evident in the photos. Some will say that the Left is exploiting such images to make those who are for deportation feel and look bad. The Left will use…Read More... | 5 Comments
Calls to define Jews from Arab countries as refugees were silenced in the past by Israeli governments. The change of policy has to do with the relatively new recognition that Israel will not be able to escape its responsibility for the Nakba. But leaders of the new campaign should first learn the history of their unfounded idea. By Yehouda Shenhav In the last three years, we have witnessed an intensive campaign aimed at winning political and legal recognition of Arab Jews as "refugees." The aim of this campaign is to create symmetry in public opinion between the Palestinian refugees and…Read More... | 18 Comments
On the 30th anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre, a Jewish American nurse who provided humanitarian aid in a Beirut hospital recalls her first encounter with IDF soldiers. Today, she asks them to take a few moments during the Jewish New Year to remember. To the IDF soldiers who were at Sabra and Shatila, September 2012 will mark the 30th anniversary of the massacre at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut. In 1982, the first day of Rosh Hashanah coincided with the final hours of that horrific event. This year, the first day of the Jewish New Year, September 16,…Read More... | 4 Comments
Message: The Palestinian refugees have nothing on the 'Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries.' As if Israel hasn't been playing the victim long enough, as if it hasn't exploited the Six Million to the absolute limit, now comes a new weapon: the "Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries." This has long been an Israeli answer to the Palestinian refugees - that roughly as many Middle Eastern Jews as Palestinians lost their homes because of the 1948 war. This week, though, the government made the issue a major new front in its information war. Fittingly, the head of the "I Am a Refugee"…Read More... | 50 Comments
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#Israel Extends Zone for Fishing Off #Gaza http://t.co/aQkRdGvs60 via @nytimes
New on +972: Tel Aviv's #mayoral race: Time for a #Mizrahi candidate http://t.co/DcuR4X4dRX #TelAviv #Meretz #Huldai
Does referring the #Gaza #flotilla incident to #ICC only serve to compromise the court's legitimacy? http://t.co/Mg4yy5A6MG
#Bedouin #Israeli wounded in Be'er Sheva bank shooting taken handcuffed to hospital, via @haaretzcom http://t.co/BySL6U6neR
RT @ckoettl: US Military shuts down internet, blocks #socialmedia in #Guantanamo Bay over online hacking threats http://t.co/MY3XdW3QYI #gi…
via @AP: #Israel military chief warns #Syria against further attacks, says #Assad will 'bear consequences'
New on +972: Investigating #Gaza #flotilla deaths would sacrifice International Criminal Court's legitimacy http://t.co/Mg4yy5A6MG #ICC