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  • Activists arrested in Hebron: 'Segregation isn't our Judaism'

    Jewish activists arrested for protesting against segregation in Hebron on day when national-religious Jews descend on the city to mark Abraham's biblical purchase of the Cave of the Patriarchs. Text by Michael Omer-Man Photos by Oren Ziv/ Israeli police arrested seven Jewish activists from Israel and the Diaspora in the segregated city of Hebron on Friday for holding signs that read, "Segregation is not our Judaism." The activists, from a group called All That's Left, went to Hebron on the eve of Shabbat Chayei Sarah, which is when the Torah portion of the same name is read. Religious-nationalist Jews descend…

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  • 'NY Times' publishes defense of racial segregation in Israel

    Imagine that the 'New York Times' published an op-ed defending the segregation of white and black schoolchildren at an American amusement park. That's more or less what happened in Israel recently. By Mairav Zonszein and Lisa Goldman This article was originally published on the Daily Beast's Open Zion blog on June 14, 2013. Imagine that Six Flags Great Adventure, a New Jersey adventure park, quietly instituted separate days for black and white schoolchildren. Exposed by the media, the management claimed they had acted in response to complaints from some white parents about the behavior of the black children, saying they behaved badly and…

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  • 'Superland' and the normalization of segregation in Israel

    An Israeli amusement park found itself in hot water after being caught segregating Jewish and Arab school groups. But instead of being an aberration, the incident is reflective of the dominant culture of segregation and discrimination that permeates Israeli society from the bottom up. "Superland" - the Israeli amusement park exposed for segregating Arab and Jewish citizens this week - is the most fittingly tragic and ironic title for how I see the current Israeli zeitgeist. No screenwriter or playwright could have come up with a better concept for a tragic comedy about this place. It captures the two most dominant concepts…

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  • From Lincoln Tunnel to Rabin Square: Legacies of bold leaders, and assassination

    Perhaps the greatest similarity between Abraham Lincoln and Yitzhak Rabin is that both men’s assassins succeeded in altering history. Following Lincoln’s death the reconstruction of the American south was abandoned and the Supreme Court accepted the notion of 'separate yet equal.' Following Rabin’s assassination, the occupation of the West Bank and the Palestinian people has deepened as Israeli settlements continue to grow. By Ilan Manor It was Ernst Lubitsch, an American filmmaker of Jewish decent, who used his 1942 classic comedy To Be or Not to Be to remark on the fate of dictators saying that "if they named a brandy…

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  • Palestinian-only buses serve to incentivize segregation

    Neither Palestinians nor Israelis should be fooled into believing that separated bus lines are part of an overall policy that benefits Palestinian workers. The announcement that Israel’s Ministry of Transportation would begin a “Palestinian-only” bus service from the Eyal checkpoint in the West Bank might appear to be a harmless policy. Indeed, many Palestinians working in Israel may be inclined to use the new service. If the advertisements are correct, Palestinians might avoid overcrowded buses, save hundreds of shekels from cheaper tickets, and even avoid unnecessary scuffles with Jewish settlers on the bus. The catch is that these messages are…

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  • Photos: Israel's new 'Palestinian only' segregated bus lines

    A new Israeli bus line will serve only Palestinians. Officials claim it's not segregation, but the ongoing experience of discrimination faced by Palestinian workers speaks for itself. Photos by Oren Ziv/ Early this morning, Palestinians from the West Bank with permits to work inside the state of Israel crammed onto bus lines specially created for "Palestinians only" -- instead of using the same public buses used by Israelis. The Israeli Transportation Ministry launched the new bus lines today, for travel from the Eyal checkpoint to Tel Aviv and Kfar Saba and back to the checkpoint, after settlers complained about Palestinians…

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  • Why do Israeli pollsters, media ignore the Palestinians?

    Underneath a new Knesset election poll published today by Haaretz, there was a surprising disclaimer: "due to lack of time, the Arab parties weren't surveyed." The reference is to the three non-Zionist and mostly Palestinian Knesset parties: Ra'am-Ta'al, Balad and Hadash, which were nowhere to be found in the charts Haaretz published. Together, they have 11 Knesset seats, including one held by a Jewish member of Hadash. Some polls published in the Israeli media tend to group those parties into one entry, titled "Arab parties." At other times, they ignore them completely. Often pollsters do include Palestinian citizens in their surveys…

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  • Israel's Transportation Ministry mulling separate buses for Palestinians

    Bus lines created exclusively for Palestinians is another step in the fortification of the de facto system of segregation imposed by the Israeli government between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.  Thousands of Palestinians travel from the West Bank to work in Israel every day using Israeli public transportation. The buses are overcrowded. At times there are tensions and confrontations between Israelis and Palestinians. Israeli settlers can't stand the sight of Palestinians anyway. So why not create a separate bus line for them? This is the logic behind a new proposal being considered by the Ministry of Transportation:  Additional bus lines exclusively…

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  • Women challenge segregation of Hebron street in direct action

    Palestinian, Israeli and international women activists dressed in traditional Palestinian garb attempted to walk down Shuhada street, Hebron's main commercial thoroughfare. After only a few minutes, they were stopped by soldiers, and seven people were arrested in total. By Noa Shaindlinger A group of Israeli and international female activists joined Palestinian women on Wednesday in a direct action in Hebron to protest the ongoing ban on Palestinian freedom of movement on Shuhada street. The street, which was once the lively commercial centre of Hebron, was closed off to Palestinian vehicular traffic after the 1994 massacre of 29 Muslims in the…

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  • Don’t fight Apartheid Week: Responding to Haaretz's Burston

    I love Bradley Burston's writing. He is clever and passionate, and more often than not, he is upset by the same things I am. But I found his post on Apartheid Week deeply misguided, both morally and politically. Briefly, Burston claims that "Apartheid Week" is both a political failure and a moral abomination, since it is organized by the BDS movement that aims to destroy Israel. Mixing the moral issue – whether Apartheid Week is justified – with the question of effectiveness (is it working?) tends to blur the debate. To make things simple, I won't address BDS' and Apartheid…

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  • Pro-Netanyahu daily 'announces' end of segregation in spoof

    A group of artists have replaced the front page in hundreds of copies of the Israel Hayom daily paper. The new headline declared that the separation regime in occupied Hebron is ending. An anonymous group that identified itself only as "artists for Israel tomorrow" has distributed hundreds of copies of a "utopian" version of Israel Hayom ["Israel Today"], with a cover story announcing the end of the limitations of freedom of movement for Palestinians in occupied Hebron. Israel Hayom is the most widely read paper in Israel. It is distributed for free, and at considerable losses, at the expense of gambling…

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  • IMAGE: Segregated street for Palestinians, Jews in Hebron

    The West Bank has several highways on which Palestinians are not allowed to travel, but in Hebron, even a main street divides the settlers and the local Palestinians. This picture was taken on Monday on the Shuhada street in Hebron: Note who gets the bigger part of the road... well, nobody in Hebron ever claimed that separate is equal. ------------------------ A day of international solidarity with the Palestinian people of Hebron will take place on February 24. A protest march is planned, details [Hebrew] here.

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