The woman who made human rights the central issue of the left's political agenda has died at 86. Fearless and true to her values, Aloni stood up to Israel's generals and rabbis until her very last days. Shulamit Aloni, founder of leftist Meretz party, former minister of education and the legendary mother of the Israeli civil rights movement, died Friday at the age of 86. Aloni served 28 years in the Knesset. She was elected for the sixth Knesset with Labor, but later left the party and established Ratz, an avant-garde party focused on civil rights. In 1984 Ratz became…Read More... | 22 Comments
Israeli authorities aren't merely incompetent when it comes to defending the rights of Palestinians in Area C - they are part and parcel of a process dedicated to the area's annexation. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz Last week, IDF forces removed, with hardly any noise, settlers from the lands of Muhammad Ibrahim 'Ali Shabana, a resident of the village of Sinjil in the West Bank. The removal took place after the invasion by settlers Yonathan Rothschild and Yehuda Elitzur. Thus ended a long legal saga which proves, yet again, the incompetence of the Israeli authorities when it comes…Read More... | 3 Comments
Europe says it doesn't want its largesse to be funneled over the Green Line - Israel screams anti-Semitism. Despite all the outrage and charges of Nazi-style behavior (here and here) that Israeli patriots are leveling against the European Union, the EU's new guidelines concerning the occupied territories don't take anything away from Israel; they just place conditions on the EU's enormous charity to this country. The EU isn't saying it's going to stop buying from Israeli businesses or bar Israeli ships or planes from entering European territory; it's saying that when it gives grants, prizes, awards or support to Israelis…Read More... | 9 Comments
Despite the 2011 tent protests, housing construction has actually decreased over the last year in Israel. At the same time, the West Bank registered a national high in new construction projects for Jewish settlers. According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, new construction projects in West Bank settlements have grown by 176 percent (!) compared to the same period last year (January-March 2012). This is a 355 percent increase, when compared to the final quarter of 2012 (October-December). Currently, construction projects for Jews in the West Bank make up eight percent of all construction projects in Israel (not including…Read More... | 27 Comments
Noted right-wingers call to demolish the separation wall. True, they are driven by a desire for annexation, but the Left finds itself in an unseemly position - defending one of the great injustices of the occupation in the name of the distant prospect of two states. Former Defense Minister Moshe Arens yesterday told Ma'ariv he thinks the separation wall - which snakes its way around the West Bank and has been responsible for cutting tens of thousands of people from their livelihoods and from each other - should be torn down. "The wall is no longer of any use and it's only…Read More... | 45 Comments
The settlement movement registered major victories this year on various fronts. Its representatives are reaching new heights in politics, the judiciary and the media. One out of five residents east of the Green Line is a settler. The expansion of settlements continues unabated, and - most importantly - settlers are in full control of the Israeli national narrative. In 2012, as more and more observers declared the death of the two-state solution, the settler became the new normal. By Lisa Goldman and Mairav Zonszein For decades, the settler movement and Israel’s secular, largely Ashkenazi urban elite have been playing a game of…Read More... | 37 Comments
The question is whether Israel will ever realize that regardless of the somersaults it does to try and establish legitimate claims to to the land, its power will one day run out. So, Migron, the little illegal outpost that made big headlines in recent months, was finally evacuated in its entirety on Sunday, after years of legal battle and media commotion made over 50 families. News outlets made sure to report that the evacuation was carried out peacefully and with little resistance. Today's Haaretz editorial chose to point to the fact that although the affair is a "badge of shame for Israel," it…Read More... | 11 Comments
Over 30,000 people are expected to attend the opening concert of Madonna's world tour "MDNA" tonight (Thursday) in Israel. The concert is being billed as a "peace concert" and costs more than NIS 15 million to produce. One of Madonna's dancers, a Palestinian named Ali Ramadani already made headlines after tweeting about his visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque: “At the amazing Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. I don’t want to say it’s in Israel, but Palestine, strength and honor.” A few Israeli newspapers are already reporting it as a "controversy." Madonna invited a variety of progressive and left-wing groups to come to…Read More... | 35 Comments
This week she lost the leadership of Kadima, but Livni lost her voice when she supported Operation Cast Lead - and she wasn't alone. In the euphoria immediately after Obama's election night in 2008, and with Israel's own election four months away, I wrote that "if there's any Israeli candidate who can catch the fire he lit, it's Livni." While granting that she wasn't a true "peacenik," meaning she didn't seem too bothered by the immorality of the occupation, I called her "a woman of integrity, a woman of justice...[and one] who appears sincerely eager to make peace with the Arabs." My opinion was based on Livni's having been the only member of Olmert's cabinet…Read More... | 13 Comments
UPDATE: On Sunday March 25, 2012 the High Court rejected the deal between the State and the settlers in Migron to delay its evacuation till November 2015. Instead they have set a deadline of August 1, 2012. The article below, posted earlier in the week, explains the status of illegal outposts and the background on Migron specifically. There are approximately 50 outposts - essentially baby settlements - in the West Bank, all illegal according to Israeli law. Migron, established in 2002, is supposed to be dismantled by the end of March, 2012. So why isn't that going to happen? By Max Schindler…Read More... | 12 Comments
Polls say most Israelis oppose Netanyahu on Iran, but there hasn't been a protest, a press conference or even a bumper sticker to give them a voice The world is worried more and more that Israel is going to attack Iran and start a Middle Eastern war, yet the Israeli peace camp, which used to put hundreds of thousands of people in the streets to protest war and occupation, is sitting there, excuse the expression, with its thumb up its ass. Not one demonstration (unless you count a few dozen nuclear disarmament folks standing on the street), not a press conference, not a TV interview, not an ad in the newspapers, not a bumper sticker. "I spoke…Read More... | 20 Comments
As illegal settler outposts in the West Bank continue to circumvent law and only expand, Palestinian homes that have been around for decades longer are demolished over and over again. This week, national-religious MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) was interviewed on an Israeli news show called London & Kirschenbaum about his proposal for a bill to legalize illegal settler outposts in the West Bank (yes, you read correctly - to make legal what is illegal). The private bill, which has been tabled due to the Prime Minister's objection, would bar the state from demolishing and evacuating settler outposts in the West…Read More... | 9 Comments
Haaretz reports today that the state will postpone the dismantling of the West Bank settlement outpost known as Givat Assaf, close to Beit El – never mind that the government has yet to bother cooking up any new excuses for doing so. Haaretz explains that following a 2007 petition to the High Court of Justice by Peace Now against six settlements in the area, the state has been evading dismantling the outposts with various claims (‘wait! we’re negotiating with them’). After a Court injunction, the outposts were supposed to have been either legalized or evacuated by the end of the…Read More... | 21 Comments
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