On November 15, six Palestinian activists boarded an Israeli bus in the West Bank in effort to call attention to Israel’s policies of segregation and restricted freedom of movement for Palestinians. Drawing inspiration from the U.S. Civil Rights Movement’s “Freedom Rides” of the 1960s, the activists rode the bus before being forcibly removed by IDF soldiers. Read +972's full coverage of the day's events here. All photos by ActiveStills Read More: IDF, police forcibly remove Palestinian “Freedom riders” from Israeli bus Palestinians to launch “Freedom Rides” campaign on Israeli busesRead More... | 23 Comments
By Mya Guarnieri and Noa Yachot IDF soldiers and police on Tuesday forcibly removed Palestinian activists from a bus to occupied East Jerusalem, which they had boarded in a campaign they called a reenactment of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement’s “Freedom Rides” of the 1960s. See photos of the day here Six activists boarded an Israeli bus in the West Bank that typically services Jewish settlers, with the intention of trying to reach East Jerusalem, which West Bank Palestinians are forbidden from entering without special permits. The campaign was part of an effort to call attention to Israel’s occupation in…Read More... | 55 Comments
Activists seek to reenact the US civil rights movement's campaign in order to highlight Israel's segregation policy in the West Bank Palestinian activists are increasing their efforts to expose Israel's segregation policy in the West Bank, as well as violations on their civil and human rights. In a message to the press, the Popular Struggle Committee announced that on November 15, Palestinian activists "will reenact the US Civil Rights Movement's Freedom Rides to the American South by boarding segregated Israeli public buses in the West Bank to travel to occupied East Jerusalem." Palestinians in the West Bank have lived under…Read More... | 46 Comments
New Knesset bill aims to have "Jewish nature" of state preferred over democracy, cancel official status of Arabic, and have Jewish law "guide" courts' rulings There is one talking point repeated in every hasbara (the Hebrew term for state sponsored propaganda) talk given by an Israeli representative, or in every booklet your campus' Jewish Agency representative might hand you. It has to do with "the full rights" of Palestinian citizens in Israel, including the status of Arabic as an official language, and the equality of all Israeli citizens under the law. This is the heart of "the only democracy in…Read More... | 63 Comments
As New York legalizes gay marriage, Israel looks more and more like a theocracy The senate of the state of New York legalized civil marriages between gay couples tonight. New York, where the fight for gay rights began, is the sixth state in the US which affirms the rights of gay people to marry. South Africa passed a similar bill two years ago, and a large number of countries recognize a union – not a full marriage – between gay couples. Israel claims to be the only democracy in the Middle East, one which particularly gay-friendly. Thia is is a…Read More... | 7 Comments
Racist attitudes against Arabs are widespread in Israel. Numerous official policies segregate and separate Jews from Palestinians, with a vastly discriminatory effect and intent. Justifications alluding to security needs, or alleging that separation is based on citizenship rather than ethnic origin, do not withstand close scrutiny. One of the most acrimonious controversies surrounding Israeli policy concerns the accusation that it has created a system of apartheid between Jews and Palestinian in territories under its control. The issue is so sensitive, that some activists have come to refer to the term as "the A-word". While bickering over nomenclature is, in my…Read More... | 10 Comments
The State of Israel is building a town in the country's north. Its purpose: to make sure "the Arabs won't rear their heads" and to "put them in proportion." Anybody objecting to this goal should "go live with the Palestinians" and is "harming Israel's security." Last week, the Knesset passed a bill that legalizes "acceptance committees" in small localities, a tool that is used to maintain segregation between Jews and Arabs (as well as keeping out various other "undesirables"). As I wrote, this bill is just one of the many policies through which Israel denies its Palestinian citizens the right…Read More... | 2 Comments
The Knesset passed a segregation bill today. Palestinian Israelis are not allowed to live in Jewish localities built on land confiscated from them. Government policy also makes sure they cannot build on the little private land that was left in their ownership. How long can Jewish Israelis continue pretending that Palestinians do not exist? In a session lasting well after midnight, the Knesset passed (Hebrew) a new law, which allows communities of up to 400 members, in the Negev and Galilee (the south and north of Israel, respectively) to form "acceptance committees" that will screen candidates who wish to live in…Read More... | 24 Comments
Following my proposal for artists playing in Israel to insist on Palestinian attendance at their gigs, one of the reader posted this video clip, showing Dusty Springfield's 1964 refusal to perform in front of segregated audiences in South Africa. According to her Wikipedia page, Springfield ended up being expelled from the country. She did, however, outlive Apartheid.Read More... | 2 Comments
IDF history of light punishment for war crimes, women officially to be relegated to second class status, and more IDF lies: three notes on recent events We have become as Gomorrah: Jewish legend attributes to the people of Sodom a series of barbarities. The act which supposedly sealed the fate of the city was this: a local girl gave aid to a beggar, contrary to law. Once this was discovered, the Sodomites tied her down near some beehives and smeared her with honey. According to legend, it was her screams which made Jehova say “I will go down, and see…Read More... | 3 Comments
When racism becomes too ludicrous for comfort About a week ago, the deputy mayor of Carmiel, a man named Oren Milstein, was stupid enough to boast to a Yediot Ahronot reporter that he is operating, along with some shadowy group, a “snitch hotline”, which the good Jewish residents of Carmiel were invited to call and report neighbors attempting to rent, or – Gott forbid – even sell apartments to non-Jews. This caused a minor uproar; the ever-vigilant Mondoweiss noted it a short while later. Now, Carmiel is not the only Israeli town where such ideas take root. The city rabbi…Read More... | 12 Comments
Marriage between Jews and Arabs were never a real political issue in Israel. Rabbi Meir Kahane once tried to introduce laws banning sexual relations between Jews and none-Jews and was thrown out of the Knesset. At the time, Supreme Court Justice Meir Shamgar wrote that Kahane's actions and ideas remind “the worst harms that were imposed upon our people.” Recently, the racist plans of Rabbi Kahane are infiltrating the Israeli mainstream. Now The Jerusalem Post's editorial (!) refers to "the dangers of intermarriage" as a pretext for its support of the new Knesset bill allowing ethnically segregated communities (my bold):…Read More... | 1 Comment
The Israeli establishment is in the midst of a pushback against efforts to change long-standing racist and suppressive practices. The increasing assertiveness of Palestinians demands for fairness and equality is met by increasingly explicit racism by Israeli elites. This is why long-held practices are being formally enshrined, rhetoric is becoming more blunt, and differences between Jews and any non-Jew (whether Palestinian or migrant worker) are increasingly highlighted. But how long can this last without tearing Israel apart? I strongly recommend reading Ami Kaufman’s and Yossi Gurvitz’s takes on the “reception committees” bill before the Knesset. They clearly expose its racist…Read More... | 3 Comments
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