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... | 44 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
UPDATE: Just one day after a bomb threat targeted Peace Now offices in Jerusalem, the building of Hagit Ofran, the organization’s “Settlement Watch” director, was vandalized in another “Price Tag” attack. Perpetrators late Monday night spray-painted her stairwell with the words "Hagit Ofran, ZL" (an acronym used for the deceased, literally translating to “of blessed memory”); “Rabin is waiting for you,” referring to slain prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, whose assassination at the hands of a settler was commemorated this week; and references to illegal settler outposts slated for demolition. A car parked outside the building but not belonging to Ofran…Read More... | 55 Comments
Rabbi Menachem Froman, self-styled "settler rabbi for peace," visits the vandalized Qusra mosque with a message of "love thy neighbor." But with settlers opposed to him, and fast-spreading extremism, will his gospel of solidarity be enough? By Harvey Stein & Brad Rothschild The gulf (some might call it an abyss) between Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government and the Palestinian Authority has led to what Uri Avnery summed up recently as “a war to decide whether the West Bank belongs to the Palestinians or the settlers.” Zeev Sternhell is even more pessimistic, asserting that the “hilltop gangs” of the settlers “are in…Read More... | 5 Comments
Joseph Dana and I have a cover story for The Nation this week on the Israeli activists who takes part in the unarmed protest in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. We discuss the history of the joint struggle, its political significance and the challenges lying ahead. Though we say it in the text several times, it's important to remember that this is a Palestinian struggle, and the Israelis who take part in it are neither its leaders nor its leading strategists. Jonathan Pollak, whom we interviewed just before he started serving his prison sentence, made sure we understand that:…Read More... | 4 Comments
Seventeen structures, including a school and a bathroom facility, were demolished by the army this morning in Al-Daqeqa, a Palestinian village in the South Hebron Hills. The Civil Administration of the IDF carried out the demolitions, citing that the structures were illegally built. A few weeks ago the Civil Administration carried out a similar operation in the area when it destroyed 11 water cisterns last month. Rabbis for Human Rights is reporting that the residents are in the midst of a planning process for the village in which much time and money has been invested so as to improve their livelihoods.…Read More...
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WATCH: Activists interrupt Bennett at Diaspora event, denounce occupation http://t.co/tmVLxXg5zI
Lapid and Netanyahu aren't the problem, their voters are http://t.co/xedgTDQ0Zi by @nsheizaf
New on +972: Dispelling modern myths of Muslim anti-Semitism http://t.co/NwazYBUowB
Israeli man kills four at bank, reportedly after being denied credit http://t.co/EH6gIG7WUW
Israeli Finance Minister Lapid: No to settlement freeze, no to compromise on Jerusalem http://t.co/sNu260Sacs