On Friday, December 7th, thousands hit the streets of Tel Aviv for the annual Human Rights March, put on by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). The march gathered more than 130 organizations that promote human rights, social change, equality, and democracy. The march marked International Human Rights Day, which is observed every year on December 10th, the day in which the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The event ended in Rabin Square with performances by several Israeli artists and a keynote speech by author and ACRI President Sami Michael. …Read More...
The following is the translation of a speech delivered by prominent Israeli author Sami Michael at a conference in Haifa in June 2012. It is a 'cri de coeur' that is full of love and grief. Born and raised in Iraq, Mr. Michael was a political activist and member of the Communist party; when a warrant for his arrest was issued in 1948, he fled to neighboring Iran. Unable to return to Iraq, he immigrated to Israel in 1949. After working as an engineer and as a journalist for the Haifa-based Arabic newspaper Al Itihad, he became an acclaimed novelist who…Read More... | 40 Comments
The discourse of segregation that envisions two units, one Arab-free and one Jewish-free, has worrisome implications for democracy and the relations between the two peoples. The Palestinian right of return must be part of a larger vision for the region, in which the regimes belong to all their citizens. By Muhammad Jabali Anybody claiming that state actions are legitimate from a perspective of power should be careful about the logic he legitimizes. For, according to this logic, the power and destruction of others is an essential and necessary part of a nation’s self-definition. This logic not only portrays past violence…Read More... | 41 Comments
In a way, it was like a Friday afternoon family gathering - complete with the annoying relatives. Yes, the provocateurs were there. I saw them in the distance upon arrival: a cluster of Israeli flags. At first I failed to recognize them. The Israeli flag has not yet been entirely confiscated by the fascist right. There were a few of them flown nearby, by such Zionist-left entities as the Meretz political party. Those distant flags, however, belonged to "Im Tirzu". A highly chauvinistic group of the Israeli extreme right who opted to join the march and claim "rights for Israelis".…Read More... | 8 Comments
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