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
When Israeli politicians talk about land swaps, they rarely consider the rights of those affected – or at least the Palestinian ones. As personal as it is political, the entire situation shows the lack of civil discourse in so-called peace negotiations. By Muhammad Jabali I will never forget that night at a birthday party in Jaffa when a drunken friend began approaching guests with the question: “What’s your address as registered at the Interior Ministry?” He then joked that everyone should change their residency to Tel Aviv as soon as possible before they find themselves on the other side of the separation…Read More... | 20 Comments
In the United Kingdom, the 'Anne Frank' principle makes way for even more creative methods to reject homosexual asylum seekers. When Oscar Wild wrote his in essay, “The Truth of Masks,” about the metaphysical significance of costumes and props in Shakespeare’s plays, he likely didn’t imagine that lesbians seeking asylum in the United Kingdom would need to familiarize themselves with his writing and with props of a different type (which were likely not used in Shakespeare’s plays). But it turns out that a lack of knowledge of his work, or of the use of dildos, could send lesbians to their…Read More... | 2 Comments
Liberal Zionism has had 65 years to prove Israel can indeed be both a Jewish state and a liberal democracy. Given its track record, is it time to put the ideology to rest? By David Sheen Imagine if you would, for a minute, that Liberal Zionists have been proven correct: that it is totally possible for a state that accords privileges to members of one specific ethnic group only - Jews, in this case - to be a flourishing democracy. Imagine that Israel is indeed a Light Unto the Nations, and that people from all the other nations who see the…Read More... | 17 Comments
On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Netanyahu talked about how Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany were turned away by countries around the world. Considering the Netanyahu government's standards for processing asylum claims, would Jewish refugees have been accepted by today's Israel? "The gates of [the land of Israel] were locked to Jewish refugees, as were the gates of most countries, if not all of them, including the most enlightened ones." (Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech on Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony, April 7, 2013) Bibi, why are you lying? They're not refugees. First of all, everyone knows what the economic situation in Germany…Read More... | 15 Comments
A way out of the diplomatic dead end. By Dahlia Scheindlin and Noam Sheizaf The Israeli-Palestinian negotiation process has reached a dead end. The two-state paradigm has been deemed unrealistic so many times, that mentioning it creates cynicism and bitterness in both societies. But a generally agreed alternative to the principle of partition has not yet emerged. We therefore suggest a new framework for diplomatic engagement, one that carries with it a clear deadline. Without diminishing the many facets, layers and problems in the conflict (refugees, land, control over resources, holy sites, sovereignty and national self-determination), one issue is the most urgent…Read More... | 57 Comments
Instead of giving asylum seekers the benefit of the doubt, as international law prescribes, in Israel, the district courts find doubts, the Supreme Court approves their decisions, and persecuted peoples are deported before the merits of their cases can be examined. Everyone can sleep soundly. Israel's asylum system is designed to allow everyone, aside from asylum seekers, to sleep soundly. The chairman of the Advisory Committee on Refugees said in an interview last year that he sleeps soundly when he rejects asylum requests, because he knows that if he has erred, the court will rectify the mistake. District court judges…Read More... | 10 Comments
Since it began processing requests itself, Israel has approved only one asylum request, an albino girl from the Ivory Coast. Now the RSD unit is recommending that another albino asylum seeker be recognized as a refugee. Spread the word – albinos of Africa unite and come to Israel, you'll be recognized as refugees here. On the other hand, if you're black Africans, you'll find nothing here. Breaking news: the Interior Ministry's Refugee Status Determination (RSD) Unit, which deals with asylum seekers, will recommend – for the third time in three and a half years – that an individual be recognized as a…Read More... | 5 Comments
Reports on Syria have become a public commodity in the political conversation regarding Israel/Palestine, and the Palestinian refugees in Syria have become an object in a debate, not living people that need urgent help. It's not unusual for any report on a wrongdoing by the IDF in the occupied territories to be received here with comments such as: "why don't you write Syria instead?" Or, when a report on a massacre in Syria does surface, someone is only to eager to use it to improve Israel's image, in some sick, relativist fashion. A rather funny - or tragic, depending on what you…Read More... | 10 Comments
Five members of the same family were killed in Yarmouk, along with at least seven other people. Despite the bloodshed, Jordan continues to refuse to allow Palestinians among the Syrian refugees it accepts. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) issued a press release on Sunday expressing grave concern over the rising number of Palestinian casualties in the Syrian civil war. According to credible sources, an estimated total of 30 Palestinians were killed in the last week. Twelve of the casualties – including five members of the same family – were from…Read More... | 74 Comments
The Interior Ministry, which processes applications for asylum, is by now well-known in Israel and the world for its lack of credibility. But it has a friend in the courts. We have discussed in the past the ways that the Supreme Court rules on refugee-related matters without any reference to refugee law. Since then, many similar decisions have been taken, and if it seems that we neglected to report on these rulings, it’s because they have become, in our eyes, trivial – courts are disinterested in refugee law. Judges purport to rule in accordance with international law without bothering to…Read More... | 11 Comments
Dear Honorable Minister, Following coalition negotiations, free of Natan Eshel and other evils, you will be sworn in as Israel's interior minister. Having seen the hardships faced by a number of Israel's interior ministers, let us give you three recommendations to ensure that your tenure is pleasant: 1. Don't let lawyers shape policy for you. As we are afflicted with the severe defect of legal thought and reasoning, let us assure you that the lawyers around you will always try to take the reigns to determine policy and dictate your conduct, under the guise of legal advice (sometimes in the…Read More... | 2 Comments
It's not what the Jewish majority likes to believe. A common Jewish Israeli criticism of Arab Knesset members is that they do a disservice to their constituents by focusing on high politics, mainly the Palestinian issue, instead of dealing with bread-and-butter economic issues that would really help them. (There may be something self-serving about this line of criticism, but who knows?) Last week I went to Jedeida-Makker, an Israeli Arab village a couple of miles inland from Acre, to hear Balad MK Haneen Zoabi give a campaign speech. The residents, including the local council head, indeed told her that she…Read More... | 42 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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New on +972: Confronting our tyrants: #Incarceration and #torture in #Palestinian #prisons http://t.co/CjjNnUMH24
New on +972 Stream: #Haaretz recommends a visit to a tourist site in the occupied West Bank http://t.co/edPupJB3Qn #susya
Rumor: Instead of running in the next elections, Netanyahu will replace Peres as president http://t.co/Mb1EZ96Cmn
When it comes to philanthropy, there's a wall around Israeli hearts http://t.co/wvyG723MXx
WATCH: Arab women protest against domestic violence in Israel http://t.co/wvKDEmmJzf