Agents of Israel's security services raid the homes of several young Bedouin activists, summon them for 'friendly chats' and attempt to coax them into suppressing protests they claim undermine the 'fundamental principles of the state.' By John Brown* It's Tuesday, just after midnight in the Bedouin town of Lakia in the Negev Desert. Black jeeps carrying approximately 15 plainclothes Shin Bet agents come to a screeching halt in front of one of the houses before bursting into it. The agents wake all the residents, including a young girl with a flashlight to her face, and take all the men outside. The men…Read More... | 22 Comments
Where are Jewish Israelis when Palestinians find themselves under attack? When entire villages are demolished? When health care is conditioned on providing intelligence? When people are imprisoned without even the courtesy of a conviction? By Tom Mehager For Palestinians, every day is a wave of terror. And every day Jews stand idly by. It's just that the majority of Jews view it as completely normal and logical that the state acts the way it does, or they prefer to bury their heads in the sand. I can think of three fundamental, day-to-day examples that I know firsthand and can happen…Read More...
With every wave of political tension, Israel recruits new Palestinian informants en masse. They are resettled in Arab cities, where their presence prompts violence rates to surge. In fact, many will be murdered before even 'making it.' By Makbula Nassar (translated by Gila Norich) Aouni, who owns the neighborhood grocery in Haifa, wants me to talk on my radio show about the collaborators roaming free and unfettered through the streets of the city. But he wants to be featured anonymously, much like the pseudonym Aouni, which I have assigned him here. “I’ll send you everything in writing,” he says. “Why?”…Read More... | 6 Comments
Three years before the attack on the Dawabshe family, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a taxi, burning and seriously wounding members of the Riyada family. Despite incontrovertible evidence showing settlers were behind the attack, the case was closed after a two-week investigation. By John Brown* and Noam Rotem August 2012. A Molotov cocktail is thrown at a cab, burning an entire Palestinian family. They miraculously survive. Nearby the police find a red bag with a plastic bottle full of gasoline, white latex gloves, and a black lighter with DNA belonging to a Jewish minor from the Bat Ayin settlement. Despite…Read More...
For the extreme right, violence against Palestinian civilians is not solely a result of racism — it is, first and foremost, a form of control. The vast majority of settlers are not violent, although different levels of violence toward the Palestinian population in the occupied territories have accompanied the settlement enterprise since its inception. These acts of violence are never an outlier, but as a direct consequence of the situation in the West Bank. The public turns a blind eye to this fact whenever these events happen. The responses to the murder of the 18-month-old baby Ali Dawabshe, are a…Read More... | 19 Comments
Did you post the word 'demonstration' in Hebrew on Facebook? The army is keeping an eye on you. Did you use the word 'Al Quds' in Arabic in a WhatsApp conversation? You may have just been flagged as a terrorist. How the IDF contracts private tech companies to monitor Israeli citizens on social media. By John Brown* and Noam Rotem / Local Call Several years ago, a group of uniformed Israeli military officers walked into a conference room of an Israeli company that tracks and monitors discussions on the Internet for commercial purposes. The company looks at what social media…Read More... | 18 Comments
An Israeli activist on how she was detained and summoned for a 'chat' with Israel's internal security service which, among other things, wanted to know her thoughts on Zionism — all because she participated in a Gaza flotilla three years ago. By Reut Mor Heading home to Israel this past Sunday from vacation on the beautiful Green island of Aegina, my partner and I thought we would go home, relax and upload a few photos to Facebook. I did not expect our the end of our vacation to turn into three days of detentions, interrogations and run-ins with Israel’s security…Read More... | 3 Comments
A manager at the Interior Ministry commits suicide days after being publicly shamed on Facebook for alleged racism against a black Israeli woman. What will it take for us to start treating each other like human beings first? Last week, a black Israeli woman went to a branch of the Interior Ministry with her small children to renew a passport. She got stuck in various lines, and the versions about what happened (hers, or this one from an eyewitness) differ only in nuances. Frustrated, she spoke to the manager, telling him that she had been given the runaround on the lines…Read More... | 9 Comments
Assassinations, lies and conspiracy theories. If you want to know about the right-wing culture that rules Israel today, the following isn't a bad illustration. Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday that Netanyahu's pick for director-general of the Communications Ministry, Shlomo Filber, wrote an article in the settler publication Nekuda after the Rabin assassination blaming the Shin Bet for the murder, which is sort of the Israeli right's answer to Holocaust denial, that's how popular a conspiracy theory it is. (Filber, along the way, was Netanyahu's chief of staff in his first term, and headed the Likud campaign in the last election.) [tmwinpost]…Read More... | 3 Comments
The rally comes after three members of the group were arrested as suspects in the arson attack against a mixed Jewish-Arab school. Hundreds of people protested in West Jerusalem's Zion Square Saturday night against racism and called to outlaw Lehava, a racist, anti-misegenation group . Three of its members were charged several days ago with an arson attack against a mixed Jewish-Arab school two weeks ago. The protest was organized by a group of activists who identify as: "Jerusalem doesn't stay silent in the face of racism." Protesters held signs in Hebrew and Arabic that read "Stop the racism" and "Jews…Read More... | 13 Comments
In American discourse, torture is a dark stain on the country's recent history. In Israel, there is no law against torture and the justification of its use is still mainstream. By Nadeem Shehadeh and Amjad Iraqi The United States Senate this week released its long-awaited report on the CIA’s use of torture during the so-called “War on Terror.” A significant revelation in the report was that the CIA relied upon an Israeli High Court decision on torture and other Israeli policies as legal justifications for its own torture practices. These include the vague concepts of “necessity” and “ticking bombs,” and…Read More... | 42 Comments
The nation’s establishment has called the whistle-blowers of Unit 8200 every bad name, but it has no answer to their charge that information deliberately gathered on innocent Palestinians is used to blackmail them into collaborating. The 43 refuseniks in Unit 8200, Israel’s legendary high-tech snoops, are this week’s Gideon Levys, this week’s Haneen Zoabis – the focus of patriotic hatred in the land. “Baseless slander” is what Netanyahu called their letter, published Friday in Yedioth Ahronoth, in which they declared they would no longer spy for the occupation. Aside from being called traitors, the 43 reservists have been called cowards,…Read More... | 111 Comments
Ariel Sharon's strategy in Gaza of "Divide and Rule" failed, and we are yet to see a successful military solution for the Strip. Is there anyone in the Israeli leadership with the courage and power to lead a political solution? By Lev Grinberg The Israeli government has drawn the IDF and the entire country into a deeply complex situation, one that the country has not experienced since the 2005 disengagement from Gaza. It is the result of a fundamental misunderstanding: The model of control in Gaza built by Ariel Sharon in 2004 has collapsed. That framework was based on land…Read More... | 7 Comments
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