Israeli media insists on portraying the West Bank as the Wild West and its Palestinian inhabitants as savage stone-throwers, all the while masking the reality of armed settlers and a trigger-happy military. By Talal Jabari If I were to describe a movie equivalent of the West Bank in words, it would be part way between a scene from John Carpenter’s Escape from LA, mixed with a little of your favorite Spaghetti Western, with strong hints of Heart of Darkness – the book, not the movie. Well at least that’s the impression I get from some of the Israeli press, which…Read More... | 36 Comments
"price tag" attacks
Palestinian teenager killed in clashes in Jenin while Israeli Air Force strikes over 30 targets in Gaza. Hamas still denies involvement in the deadly kidnapping. In response to the murder of the three Israeli teenagers kidnapped two weeks ago, the Israeli Air Force struck 34 targets in Gaza Tuesday night, while four rockets were fired into southern Israel from the Strip. In the West Bank, the Israeli army killed 16-year-old Yusef Abu Zaga in Jenin after it entered the city to make arrests. Israel's High Court approved the destruction of the home of Ziyad Awad Tuesday morning. Awad is standing trial in military court…Read More... | 15 Comments
In an attempt to downplay the severity of nationalist crimes by Israeli citizens, the media refers to the offenses as 'graffiti.' Here are the facts – and it’s not just graffiti. By Yossi Gurvitz for Yesh Din In recent weeks the “Hilltop Youth,” Israeli citizens in general, and their lobby in the Knesset and the media have been experiencing a sense of crisis. The events surrounding Yitzhar and the comments by a resident of the settlement justifying attacks on soldiers have put them on the defensive. In their responses in online comments and in sympathetic articles, they have presented the argument that “Price…Read More... | 2 Comments
Those who care about ending the occupation, in Israel and outside it, are faced with real, difficult choices. I believe these choices matter. That is why I oppose BDS. Larry Derfner's recent article in support of BDS is well-written, passionately argued and compelling. Nonetheless, I find myself in strong disagreement with its key assertions and conclusions. As I see it, the article rests on the following argument: first, the evacuation of settlements necessary to end the occupation would be very difficult for Israel. Second, Israelis do not currently incur any significant cost for the continuation of the occupation. Third,…Read More... | 66 Comments
Unlike any other aspect of the occupation, settler violence is something nobody outside the radical fringe in Israel will defend. This, alone, they’ll denounce. And yet, nobody -- in Israel or internationally -- has found the political will to put a stop to the decades-long phenomenon, even when the victims are U.S. citizens. By Larry Derfner Photos by Mareike Lauken, Keren Manor and Activestills.org Kamal Shaban, a farmer in the West Bank village of Sinjil, is watching workmen repair a local family’s house that had recently been firebombed by settlers in the middle of the night, forcing the parents and five…Read More... | 49 Comments
Recent violent attacks on Palestinians by Jewish extremists highlight the deficient law enforcement and weak penalties imposed on perpetrators of similar past attacks Two recent incidents have brought attention to the issue of attacks on Palestinian civilians by Jewish extremists. On Thursday, a firebomb was thrown at a Palestinian taxi in the West Bank, injuring six people, one of them seriously. Later the same day, three Palestinian youth were assaulted in a “lynch” committed by dozens of Jewish youth in West Jerusalem, while hundreds stood by without intervening. Both incidents have sparked widespread condemnation; and the firebomb attack has been…Read More... | 9 Comments
Attention American Jewish leaders: In outlining the major threats facing Israel, the prime minister patronized you by leaving a few out, which I'm sure you must be well aware of. Last week on Sunday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed leaders of the hawkishly-led Conference of Major American Jewish Organizations, who were on a visit as part of their Annual Leadership mission. In making his diplomatic and primarily fundraising bid to this acquiescent crowd, Netanyahu pointed to four chief challenges that Israel faces (Entire transcript of Netanyahu's speech can be found here.) We face four great challenges. They're a lot. They're…Read More... | 8 Comments
Escalation in 'price tag' attacks and nature of incidents send clear message that attempts at coexistence are to be trampled On Sunday, a "price tag" attack that included hateful graffiti and vandalism of property was committed in the middle of the night by Jewish Israelis in the Palestinian village of Al Jenia, near Ramallah, Rabbis for Human Rights reported. The village has suffered many attacks over the last year in which their trees were hurt and uprooted. Tomorrow (Wednesday) is Tu B'Shvat - a Jewish arbor holiday marking the start of the period for calculating the age of fruit-bearing trees -…Read More... | 11 Comments
The lengths to which corporate capitalism will go to make an extra buck make never ceases to amaze me. Knowingly crossing the lines is the easiest way to get attention these days. A Facebook friend said he found this advertisement in a Yedioth Aharonot paper he was reading today and took a shot of it with his iPhone: In typical price tag style graffiti, on a brick wall that looks pretty much like any brick wall you would find belonging to your typical West Bank mosque, the words “Price list tag” are sprayed in blue. In Hebrew, it's a similar…Read More... | 11 Comments
Israeli newspapers were filled this weekend with articles about how the government will respond to the recent "price tag" attacks by settlers that have gone beyond targeting Palestinians and Israeli leftwing activists, to targeting IDF soldiers and bases. In a Likud party meeting, speaking about the recent attacks, Prime Minister Netanyahu assured that such acts were not be tolerated. (According to reports, 30% of IDF forces in West Bank are now devoted entirely to dealing with "price tag" attacks). Netanyahu said in one breath that "the law is the law" and that hurting IDF soldiers is of the same severity…Read More... | 15 Comments
There’s something quite sad about how West Bank settlers are turning on their “creators,” the Israeli authorities who put them there and defend them on a daily basis. Something very Frankenstein-ish about it. Maybe the "creators" should try the Mel Brooks approach. A nice, big sed-a-give.Read More... | 2 Comments
Let’s focus on the fact that many prefer to avoid: Jewish terrorism in the territories is directly supported by the Israeli government, and to a large extent also funded by it Brigadier General Nitzan Alon, who left the command of the AYOSH (West Bank) Division yesterday, spoke candidly during his replacement ceremony, and called the “price tag” actions by their true name: Jewish terrorism. Alon, who was repeatedly harassed by the settlers, demanded that more be done in the battle against it (Hebrew). One could, of course, ask why Alon himself (who as the “military commander” in the West Bank…Read More... | 18 Comments
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