Dozens of Israeli settlers with crowbars descend on two homes in the old city of Hebron. Israeli authorities remove them a day later. The phrase "settler takeover" is used fairly often by the international media to discuss a common occurrence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. But rarely do the cameras actually capture just how this kind of thing is done. That's why the sight of dozens of Israeli settlers with crowbars descending on two homes in the old city of Hebron is as surprising as it is disturbing. The settlers, who took over the buildings on Thursday, claimed…Read More... | 4 Comments
Hundreds of settlers launch dozens of attacks against Palestinians across the West Bank, in the wake of two Palestinian attacks that left four Israelis dead. Rights groups demand the army intervene to protect Palestinians from settler violence. Israeli settlers carried out dozens of violent attacks across the West Bank over the past two days in the wake of the murders of four Israeli civilians by Palestinians. In the northern West Bank village of Bur’in masked settlers were filmed rolling boulders and burning tires down a hill toward Palestinians. Groups of settlers, at times accompanied by the Israeli army, threw stones…Read More... | 6 Comments
With a naive tone, jovial denial of the existence of Palestinians and winsome depiction of settlers and life in the West Bank, Israel's settlement lobby creates an illustrated guide to hasbaraland. "Occupation, shmoccupation!" declares a new booklet published by the Yesha Council, the lobbying and political arm of West Bank settlements. Titled "Kibush kishkush" (which translates more literally as "occupation nonsense"), the pamphlet states its professed aim of addressing "misconceptions about settlements and the settler public in Judea and Samaria." The book is intended to tackle the "stigmas left-wing organizations are trying to disseminate," Yesha Council spokesperson Yigal Dakmoni told…Read More... | 1 Comment
An Israeli group working in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan is presenting ISIS destruction of antiquities as a cautionary tale for its own struggle with Palestinians. By Yonathan Mizrachi A group that manages the City of David's archaeological site in the heart of the village of Silwan in East Jerusalem, the "Elad Foundation in the City of David," is holding its annual archeology conference, entitled "ISIS: Is it possible to stop the destruction?" It will deal in part with the destruction of antiquities in Iraq and Syria. That the so-called ISIS group is destroying ancient ruins is indisputable. The organization documents…Read More...
In the latest of a number of home takeovers in Palestinian neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, settlers took up residence in a home they said belonged to Jews before the establishment of the state of Israel. A group of Israeli settlers moved into an apartment building in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Thursday. The group of at least 20 belongs to the Ateret Cohanim settler organization, which purchases properties in neighborhoods of East Jerusalem and has taken legal action in order to evict the Palestinian owners of those buildings. In this latest case, it claimed that the white stone,…Read More... | 15 Comments
Former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren says Jesus would be considered a settler if he lived in Bethlehem today. Such talk obscures the nature of the settlement enterprise and slanders Jesus. Text and photos by Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org Former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren has been saying a lot of obnoxious things lately. His recent book angered Jewish-American journalists by twisting the truth and burning bridges with the liberal Zionist establishment. And while it’s clear that diplomacy is no longer Oren’s priority, he may have crossed the line from belligerence to blasphemy with his latest remarks.While preaching to the…Read More... | 13 Comments
When Israelis are accused of victimizing Palestinians, nearly 25% of convictions are simply thrown out — to avoid tarring the criminal with a criminal record. By Yossi Gurvitz, written for Yesh Din Every year Yesh Din publishes data about police investigative failures regarding crimes carried out by Israelis against Palestinians in the West Bank. They are usually quite similar: the police fails to investigate approximately 85 percent of complaints by Palestinians who report being harmed by Israelis. The rate becomes much higher when it comes to the destruction of Palestinian trees by Israeli civilians: that's when the police failure rate…Read More... | 5 Comments
The Sub Laban family has been living in the heart of Jerusalem's Old City for over 60 years. Now, a right-wing settler group is trying to expel them, with the full support of the state. By Aviv Tatarsky The State of Israel has been trying to expel the Sub Laban family from their home in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem for the past 35 years. During the first 30 years of its attempts, it was the Custodian General who did the job; since 2010 it has been the "Ateret Cohanim" settler NGO. The family went through…Read More... | 6 Comments
'Anyone who isn't jumping is a leftie,' chant the settler youths at a right-wing election rally in Tel Aviv, the site of a larger anti-Netanyahu rally a week earlier. Netanyahu the ringmaster is in control of his audience, and the rally itself has the quality of a victory parade. Video by Camilla Schick They came, they saw, they cheered. Around Rabin Square Sunday evening, the streets of Tel Aviv were unrecognizable: thousands of settlers, hilltop youth and national-religious had come from across the country (and from over the Green Line) in order to attend a right-wing rally in a location usually…Read More...
The Jewish National Fund, known to Jews worldwide as an organization that plants trees in Israel, is once again trying to evict a Palestinian family from their home in East Jerusalem. By Moriel Rothman-Zecher Over the past few decades, the Jewish National Fund (JNF-KKL), an organization known to many in the diaspora for its work planting trees in Israel (I gave a portion of my Bar Mitzvah money to the JNF), has been working in coordination with Elad, an extremist settler organization whose explicit goals include the “Judaization" of East Jerusalem. Since 1991, the cooperation between these two organizations has…Read More... | 3 Comments
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... | 32 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
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