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
As Israel and the Palestinians descend further into open violence, concerned Israelis challenge their fellow citizens in an attempt to forge a joint Israel-Palestinian resistance to violence. (Translated from Hebrew by Idit Arad and Matan Kaminer) Our hands shed this blood, our hands set Mohammed Abu Khdeir on fire, our hands fanned the flames. We have been living here for too long to claim that we did not know, we did not understand, we were not able to foresee. We witnessed the actions of the vast machine of incitement to racism and revenge operated by the government, the politicians, the…Read More... | 5 Comments
Journalist Raviv Drucker takes Israeli police to task for failing to keep the public informed about its investigation into the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir of Shuafat, in East Jerusalem. The corpse of the 16-year-old Palestinian boy was discovered in the Jerusalem Forest three days ago, about an hour after CCTV cameras recorded his abduction from a quiet street near his home early in the morning. Following an autopsy that was performed with a Palestinian forensic physician present, the Palestinian media published the shocking news that the boy had apparently been forced to drink gasoline and was then burned alive.…Read More... | 2 Comments
A top-six list of the various ways Israeli officials have reinvented definitions -- and types -- of terrorism. Likud MK Miri Regev had a fairly successful career as a wordsmith back when she was the IDF Spokesperson -- before becoming even better known for calling African asylum seekers “a cancer in Israel’s body.” She later apologized to cancer victims for the analogy. On Wednesday, Regev made a new addition to the list of insane Israeli uses of language -- by herself and countless other politicians and officials -- by inventing new types of terrorism. Put simply, most terrorism involves explosions or shooting.…Read More... | 16 Comments
Netanyahu is pushing a new bill to allow the force-feeding of Palestinian hunger strikers. The prime minister is in good company. American practices at the prison at Guantanamo Bay are giving Benjamin Netanyahu ideas. Earlier this week, a draft bill authorizing the force-feeding of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners passed the first of three readings in the Knesset. Of the roughly 300 prisoners presently fasting in protest of Israeli administrative detention, at least 70 are hospitalized around the country, shackled to their beds. If the bill becomes law, dozens of them may be forced to undergo the procedure. Netanyahu is personally pressing…Read More... | 26 Comments
Despite serving 18 years in prison, including 11 in solitary confinement, Vanunu is forbidden from traveling and speaking to the media. Recently, he was denied a permit to speak before the British Parliament, following an invitation by 54 MPs. The Israeli interior minister and the IDF Central Command have decided to extend restrictions on nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu's freedom of movement and speech. Vanunu’s attorney, Avigdor Feldman, has been notified on the decision and told +972 Magazine he will once again petition the High Court of Justice on Vanunu's case. Since his release from prison in 2004, Vanunu hasn't been…Read More... | 80 Comments
For the general public, it seems that the feelings of an Israeli reporter are more important than the death of Palestinian youths. By Lilach Ben David (translated by Sol Salbe) By now it has become a cliché of journalistic writing in Hebrew. "I felt like I was being lynched in Ramallah," is the way every person who has come to blows with Arabs since October 2000 describes the experience. And in the case of reporter Avi Issacharoff, even those who encounter a group of angry, young Palestinians feel free to use the cliché, without faltering or correcting the record. But…Read More...
After he began researching Shin Bet interrogations of Palestinians, Noam R. is questioned about his political activism and warned that he 'might lose his job.' Israeli blogger Noam R. was summoned on Monday to a “warning meeting” by the Israel Security Agency (the Shin Bet). Noam was questioned on research he is conducting, and was warned about various aspects of his work. According to Noam's account, three people were present in the meeting, which took place in a local police station: a male interrogator calling himself “Zaki,” a women presenting herself as “Rona,” and a local policeman. The questions focused…Read More... | 10 Comments
In 1987, Mukhlas Burgal was sentenced to life in prison for throwing a bomb that failed to detonate at a bus full of Israeli soldiers. Since his release in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange, Mukhlas has opened a library, and heads several educational projects in his hometown of Lyd ("Lod" in Hebrew, "Lydda" in English). Three years after his release, he discusses his membership in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the torturous interrogations of the Shin Bet, his time in prison and his new life. By Rami Younis "Have you heard of 'Iskot' cigarettes? Mukhlas Burgal…Read More...
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