A look at the right-wing conspiracy-nut thinking that informed this week's blue-ribbon report on the infamous 2000 killing of a Palestinian boy in Gaza. In the 13 years since Muhammad al-Dura was killed in an Israeli-Palestinian shootout in Gaza while cowering behind his father, masses of right-wing Jews have eagerly embraced a conspiracy theory of the 12-year-oid boy’s killing – that it was staged, a hoax perpetrated by Palestinians to blacken Israel’s name. This theory, promoted most avidly by Boston University Prof. Richard Landes and French media analyst Philippe Karsenty, depends on a view of Palestinians being superhumanly clever and fiendish,…Read More... | 27 Comments
Despite the wishes of many -- if not most -- of the people in the streets, the masses who identify with the 'social protest' are callous to those whose complaints are so much more urgent than theirs. Even though I've always agreed with the stated goal of the "social protest" - to redistribute Israel's wealth more equitably - I can no longer sympathize with it. While many if not most of the people in the streets would like to turn the movement against the occupation and not only against "swinish capitalism," this hasn't happened after two years of protest.…Read More... | 17 Comments
Israelis are more willing to discuss and accept their country's role in the Palestinian Nakba - until the historical events are portrayed as the story of the founding of a rival nation, and acknowledging those facts means legitimizing the other side's fundamental beliefs. In 2008, a fascinating, little-known study asked 500 Israeli Jews about Israel's behavior throughout the history of the conflict. The study was conducted by Rafi Nets-Zehngut, at the Teachers College of Columbia University and Daniel Bar-Tal of Tel Aviv University's School of Education. Bar-Tal is an internationally regarded expert in political psychology. Some of the findings were…Read More... | 35 Comments
I wish there was a kinder, gentler way than acts of ostracism to get Israel to end the occupation, but those ways have failed terribly. I would not join a BDS protest; I'm a "two-stater" who believes Israel should remain a Jewish state because the alternatives would be worse, who believes Israel's "original sin" is the occupation, not Zionism, and so I don't think I'd really feel at home at your average BDS demonstration. There seems to be way too much loathing for everything about Israel in the movement - which is not to say everyone in the movement…Read More... | 53 Comments
As Israelis march today to celebrate the 'reunification' of Jerusalem, Palestinian East Jerusalemites struggle against skyrocketing rents and building restrictions to remain in municipal borders. Every day, investors knock on the door of a small home in Kufr Aqab, a village on the Palestinian side of the separation wall but inside Jerusalem's municipal borders. The tidy, one-story, two-room house is surrounded by new apartment buildings, some reaching nine stories high. Contractors are currently finishing more than 1,000 units in the area; billboard advertisements suggest many more are to come. The same phenomenon is occurring in other Palestinian neighborhoods that are technically…Read More... | 9 Comments
Israeli Ta'ayush activists who were accompanying Palestinian shepherds in the southern West Bank village Umm al Amad on Saturday were confronted by a soldier who lost his cool, to say the least. According to Guy, the Israeli activist who filmed the video below, this is private Palestinian land (the Otniel settlement is nearby) that the IDF and settlers routinely try and keep the Palestinian residents out of. In the video below, the soldier can be seen first approaching the Palestinian shepherd, screaming in his face in Arabic: "You better watch it!" Then Guy tells the soldier not to scream at…Read More... | 44 Comments
The birth and growth of an utterly baseless, extremely damaging claim. If you Google "Gazans celebrate Boston Marathon bombings" or variations of that entry, you will have your reading cut out for you. Such a scene was reported by Pamela Gellar, possibly America's best-known Muslim-basher, on her website Atlas Shrugs. The story was headlined "DANCING IN THE STREETS OF GAZA OVER BOSTON BOMBINGS," and carried the intro, "End US aid to these savages. Now." Such a spectacle in Gaza was also mentioned in a column by Ruthie Blum in the English-language website of Sheldon Adelson's Israel Hayom, this country's most…Read More... | 60 Comments
Most Jewish Israelis will admit the 'occupation' is bad, but few have ever gotten a taste of what it feels like to be anywhere near the receiving end of it. No matter how liberal an Israeli you are, if you have not experienced it in some way, first hand, the concept of Israeli occupation has an entirely different meaning to you than someone who has. This article was originally published in The Forward on April 15, 2013. Veteran Israeli journalist Amira Hass stirred up a controversy in the media here with an op-ed in Haaretz on April 3 that opens: “Throwing stones is the birthright and…Read More... | 37 Comments
Survey finds that majority of Jewish Israelis think the country should unilaterally determine its borders along the route of the West Bank separation barrier. One-third support either annexing the West Bank without giving Palestinians civil rights, or perpetuating the status quo -- both of which are apartheid. According to a poll* released Sunday, a majority of Jewish Israelis (57 percent) believe Israel should determine its borders unilaterally according to the current route of the separation wall, which cuts deep into the West Bank, winding through Palestinian land well east of the 1949 Armistice Lines (Green Line). This confirms that 1) Israelis…Read More... | 31 Comments
Amira Hass, who drew heavy criticism from Israeli media about her op-ed in Haaretz last week defending the right of Palestinians to throw stones, and was accused of incitement to violence by the Yesha Council (of West Bank settlements), appeared on Democracy Now this week to discuss her article. I have embedded the interview below, which is in two parts, and highly recommend watching it. Hass speaks so directly and cooly about the situation as she sees it - saying plainly that Israel has become a foreign ruler in this place and cannot expect to survive this way. You can understand from her…Read More... | 17 Comments
In remarks to Haaretz today, 'senior Israeli official' shows Netanyahu to be the rejectionist, making it easier for Abbas to take 'unilateral' steps soon. Well, that was quick. No sooner does John Kerry wind up his first trip to Israel-Palestine to restart the peace process than the Netanyahu government publicly trashes his plans. Haaretz diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid reported today that a "senior Israeli official" said Kerry asked Netanyahu to free prisoners, transfer weapons to the Palestinian Authority and give up control of certain parts of the West Bank for the sake of Palestinian economic projects. Netanyahu, however, won't consider…Read More... | 50 Comments
It's time to acknowledge that the paradigm based on the notion that 'we are here and they are there,' is no longer feasible. What's needed is a shift from a separation paradigm to one of sharing. By Riman Barakat and Dan Goldenblatt As President Obama’s arrives for a visit to Israel and Palestine, many Palestinians and Israelis do not anticipate any euphoric moments or breakthroughs with regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Beyond the list of actions and words that Obama will address with regards to Israel’s regional fears and the Palestinian concern that the two-state solution is no longer feasible,…Read More... | 7 Comments
Violence against Palestinians is no longer reserved for Israeli soldiers or settlers, who still justify their actions with “security.” The young Israelis who have been attacking Palestinians, unprovoked, on the streets of Western, educated, democratic Israel, have no such excuse. In the last week or so, the number of images of Palestinians laying in hospital beds or being carried away in coffins that has appeared in my news cycle is astonishing. It is not necessarily that there are more incidents of violence (it's certainly plausible though I have not seen any statistical reports yet), but the media is certainly giving…Read More... | 7 Comments
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Reports, maps, infographics and other documents on human rights and democracy.
Children under occupation
The effects of occupation on minors.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
A series of striking infographics.
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'Wars on Gaza have become part of Israel's system of governance': An interview with filmmaker Yotam Feldman http://t.co/7dMiksBo9t
Israel officially drank the Kool Aid on the al-Dura affair http://t.co/MF3x14NKe4
On visiting the victims of occupation in the south Hebron Hills http://t.co/YO37AXd75k by @MairavZ (via @haaretzcom)
Court questions law enabling confiscation of Palestinian land in Jerusalem http://t.co/4oGUPJYILt
Israel's A-G laments: Nobody criminally investigates settlers for illegal building http://t.co/O6zmeYz8M1