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…Read More... | 6 Comments
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.Read More... | 45 Comments
+972's Ami Kaufman writes that he found "particularly heart-warming" the flashmob in Beit Shemesh, noting that it shows the ultra-Orthodox "who wears the pants in this town." I'm guessing it's obvious who wears the pants: the woman in the middle front row. I cannot identify her, but I think it is safe to guess that is the choreographer herself, since everyone is looking at her. And somewhere in there is Miri Shalem, the organizer. It is also worth noting that she has organized women-only "disco nights" (as reported in Hebrew by Ma'ariv/NRG in 2004) in neighboring Ramat Beit Shemesh…Read More... | 32 Comments
Preface Before I begin, I would like to preface with a few points. First, I do not support the extremist religious elements in Beit Shemesh, as they have been recently discussed in the Israeli and international media. And yes, I would call those engaging in the behavior as covered by Israeli Channel 2 (and translated by +972's Ami Kaufman) as "extremist.” They do not represent all of Beit Shemesh's inhabitants, nor of course all who follow Orthodox Judaism, ultra or non-ultra. Second, I wholeheartedly object to the treatment of women in a manner that is any less than equal to that…Read More... | 16 Comments
Avigdor Lieberman's party, Yisrael Beitenu, owes much of its clout to flying the secularist banner and opposing the growing religious influence over Israeli public life. So why aren't they standing up against gender segregation? Put simply, they now have much bigger fish to fry. The subject of segregation between men and women in Israeli public spaces continues to dominate the news. Tanya Rosenblit, the student already dubbed the Israeli Rosa Parks for refusing to move to the back of a "kosher" bus, has met yesterday with Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz and became the target of a smear campaign. Utra-Orthodox journalist and…Read More... | 12 Comments
The dancers of a Jerusalem-based company are organizing a protest against a policy designed to shield the eyes of passersby who would rather pretend they don't exist Three years ago, I worked for the Kolben Dance Company, whose base is in the Gerard Bechar Center in Jerusalem. Today and tomorrow, joined by a group of supporters, the dancers of this company will protest the enforcement of a closed curtain policy in the studio. Their plan is to strip down the curtains, which the director of the center ordered be closed during workings hours, and perform outside of their studio. Jerusalem…Read More... | 13 Comments
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
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