The rift between Washington and Jerusalem has to do with the changing American interests in the Middle East and internal Israeli politics, not with an end to the occupation. In a story in The Atlantic Tuesday, Jewish-American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg cited a White House official calling Netanyahu "chickenshit," blaming him for lack of political vision or guts. Relations between Jerusalem and Washington have reached the lowest point he can remember, Goldberg wrote. This was the top story in the Israeli media this morning. Even the pro-Netanyahu, free tabloid Israel Hayom quoted Goldberg. In his response, Netanyahu maintained the confrontational tone, saying…Read More... | 18 Comments
My first post about the settler-turned-YouTube star Orit Arfa "did very well" - meaning it got a lot of hits. After writing it I felt a bit ambivalent about my "achievement." Was I giving her too much attention? Was I providing this person with a stage to promote her ideology of justified (in her opinion) colonialism? Fortunately, I didn't have to give it too much thought. I was convinced, and still am, that shedding light on people like Orit Arfa is good for the cause. Because that's how people get to know that this is not just a problem of "crazy…Read More...
Sometimes the daily, petty nastiness of the occupation is encapsulated in the dismal theft of a few farming tools. By Yossi Gurvitz for Yesh Din Ryad, who lives near Bethlehem area, has a small orchard with apricot, hazelnut, olive and fig trees. Near the orchard is an ancient agricultural structure, aged some 100 years, which serves Ryad and his family as a tool shed, as well as a resting place in the far too many hot days. One day, Ryad was asked by his nephew, Khader, to hold a family barbecue by the shed. Ryad agreed. When Khader got there,…Read More... | 17 Comments
Time and time again, the saplings in the West Bank village Sinjil are stolen by Israeli settlers. Meanwhile, the army turns the other cheek, neglecting its obligation to protect the occupied population under its rule. By Yesh Din (written by Yossi Gurvitz) In early January 2014, after wandering the bureaucratic desert for over a year, the International Red Cross and the residents of Sinjil in the West Bank managed to get permission to plant 7,500 trees in the northern side of the village. Their joy didn't last long: settlers began targeting the new saplings almost immediately. The first attack occurred…Read More... | 31 Comments
A Palestinian resident of Hebron in the occupied West Bank was forced by armed Israeli soldiers to pull down a Palestinian flag from his roof on Saturday after an Israeli settler tried to climb onto his roof and remove it himself. Video footage released by B'Tselem (here below) was filmed by Shadi Sidr, who lives in the Israeli-controlled H2 area of Hebron, caught a settler on tape trespassing onto his property to try and remove his Palestinian flag from the roof, but getting caught in the barbwire fence and eventually forced to retreat. Several minutes later, five armed Israeli soldiers come…Read More... | 13 Comments
A breakdown of recent statements by principal players in the Kerry-led peace process. The Israeli/Palestinian negotiations remind me of a volleyball court. With a lack of hard information available to the public, each player punts a ball into the air at regular intervals with identifying marks on it, to remind everyone that he or she is still there for ten seconds before the ball drops and another pops up. These blips sound like a standard shouting match on the surface. But their subtext can give a snapshot of the peace process at this moment – and reveal why it’s so…Read More... | 18 Comments
On Saturday morning, Israeli Ta'ayush activists accompanied Palestinian residents of the village of Shweika in the South Hebron Hills to their grazing and farm lands in a valley near the illegal Eshtamoa outpost. According to Guy, a veteran activist and documenter, settlers and Israeli soldiers have been obstructing or preventing access to the land in recent weeks, despite the fact that Israeli authorities recognize the valley as private Palestinian land and have restricted any Israelis from entering it. Just before 11 a.m., 10-15 settlers came down from the outpost into the valley - most of them with their faces covered…Read More... | 43 Comments
IDF soldiers do not use any crowd dispersal means to stop settlers throwing stones toward Palestinians in the West Bank village of Burin; several reportedly injured. Over 20 masked settlers armed with slingshots invaded the West Bank village of Burin on Tuesday afternoon, a field worker from human rights organization Yesh Din reported. The settlers, some of whom appear to be minors, hurled a large amount of rocks at Palestinian residents who were working on a house on the edge of the village. This area has been attacked by settlers many times in the past. In the photo above, Israeli…Read More... | 21 Comments
The army admits its observers noticed the masked Israeli bandits descending on Qusra – and did nothing. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz A case of man bites dog: on Tuesday, January 7, in the village of Qusra, Palestinians united in order to defend themselves from a group of Israeli marauders, taking the latter captive, and turning them over to the authorities. The rare event drew significant media attention. However one point did not get the attention it required: The IDF told Haaretz newspaper (Hebrew) that "an observation post identified the settlers, some of whom were hooded, descending towards…Read More... | 6 Comments
If Israel ever does take down the occupation and make peace with the Palestinians, Ariel Sharon’s disengagement from Gaza will stand as a crucial stepping stone on the way. The single greatest demonstration of political leadership I’ve ever witnessed in my 62 years in America and Israel was Ariel Sharon’s disengagement from Gaza. No other Israeli politician could have done it – nobody else could have defeated the settler movement and its hardcore allies. Anyone from the left would have had the entire right wing, moderates and radicals, against him, which would have scared the Israeli mainstream stiff, and a…Read More... | 22 Comments
Settlers invade the village of Qusra, where they are trapped by village residents. Palestinians eventually call the Israeli army to evacuate their attackers. Qusra has a long history as the target of settler violence. Palestinians in the West Bank village of Qusra caught a group of Israeli settlers who they said invaded the village to carry out a so-called "price tag" attack against locals, leading to a standoff that lasted over two hours on Tuesday. The incident began late Tuesday morning when the Israeli army demolished an agricultural plot belonging to the settlement outpost of Esh Kodesh, Israel Radio reported…Read More... | 4 Comments
The Zionist ideal of Jewish agriculture in the Land of Israel reached the occupied West Bank within months of the end of the 1967 War. The agricultural takeover of large swaths of land requires relatively few resources and time in comparison with actual construction or the establishment of outposts, and facilitates the quick establishment of facts on the ground. This activity is part of a widespread and well-funded strategy, whose explicit goal is to expand the territory controlled by Israeli settlers throughout Area C in the West Bank. A recent report by Dror Etkes of Kerem Navot shows that the…Read More... | 1 Comment
Weeks after an Israeli couple is injured in a firebomb attack, soldiers and civilians arrive to cut down Palestinian-owned olive trees in what one settler news outlet is calling the army’s own ‘price tag’ attack. Israeli civilians accompanied by the military damaged or destroyed some 60 Palestinian-owned olive trees Monday in the West Bank village of Tuqu’. A headline on the Hebrew-language settler website Hakol Hayehudi stated: "The IDF does a 'price tag' of its own." Palestinian landowner Abed Rabo Jedua was among area residents who converged on the scene to confront the settlers, soldiers and presumed contractors cutting the trees. Israeli authorities…Read More... | 11 Comments
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There are no good guys in Jerusalem http://t.co/HbccD1ulxx by @MikeOmerMan
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RT @jvplive: ‘Death to Arabs’ sprayed on one of only five non-segregated schools in Israel: http://t.co/4qjbyBWvVM http://t.co/phEyaajyfL