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
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
OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTERSubmit
Full coverage of the BDS movement, international pressure on Israel to end the occupation.
The Beaten Path
Travel writer and tour guide Yuval Ben-Ami deconstructs the Holy Land's tourist trail.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
Reports, maps, infographics and other documents on human rights and democracy.
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