On the occasion of 10 years since the founding of Breaking the Silence, a former IDF soldier talks about how he came to understand the immorality of the mission his country sent him on, and Israeli society’s silence surrounding it. By Shay Davidovich The drive down Highway 5, heading east into the Occupied Territories, can be deceptive. The wide road and pastoral landscape almost succeed in obscuring the barbed wire fences and heavy military presence. I know this road quite well. It leads to the settlement of Ariel, where I grew up and lived most of my life. Much of…Read More... | 110 Comments
It is not the least bit surprising to see Israeli political leaders praising Mandela’s memory, with some even going so far as to declare him an Israeli hero. Some of these will surely be cynical, conscious attempts to whitewash his legacy and escape criticism. Many, however, believe every word they say. By Sean O’Neill Working in Palestine from late 2006 to late 2009, mostly in the Yatta/Hebron area, I have had the distinct (and often surreal) privilege of meeting a number of Israeli settlers who had emigrated from South Africa. One such man was G., the security guard for the settlement of…Read More... | 5 Comments
Israeli singer Ehud Banai performed in the Israeli settlement of Susya in the south Hebron Hills last Sunday. Although public outcry against the performance led to the show's cancelation, the show eventually went on and got started, in the words of Israel's Channel 10 News, "on the right foot." Social TV was in the neighboring Palestinian village of Susya, with Palestinians as they protested against the performance. http://youtu.be/CZ2NRA2_TQ4 Related: 'Performing in my stolen home': An open letter to Ehud Banai WATCH: IDF bars Israelis from protesting settlement concertRead More... | 2 Comments
Fifteen Israelis tried to join Palestinians in the West Bank village Susya to protest a concert for Jews only in the adjacent settlement, but only seven were able to make it there. The IDF stopped them several times on the way, claiming there was a military order prohibiting their presence. The seven who managed to make it to the protest were surrounded by 100 soldiers and border policeman. Israeli singer Ehud Banai gave a concert Monday night to an exclusively Jewish crowd in the settlement of Susya in the south Hebron Hills, after initially canceling the gig due to left-wing protests.…Read More... | 4 Comments
A couple of West Bank incidents from the last few days, and one final thought: 1. Israeli singer Ehud Banai, who was due to perform in the archaeological, Jews-only site of Susya in the south Hebron Hills, cancelled his gig following left-wing protests, then canceled the cancelation, stating that his decision (not to perform) “fanned the flames of hatred for nothing.” His performance is due to begin as I write this post. In his statement, Banai used the Jewish expression of Sinat Hinam (שנאת חינם, “hatred for nothing”), which in Jewish tradition refers to the internal quarrels that brought about…Read More... | 8 Comments
Nasser Nawajaah, a displaced Palestinian resident of the south Hebron Hills village of Susya, writes to an Israeli singer who is scheduled to perform in the settlement built on his family's stolen land. Several weeks ago a number of Israeli left-wing individuals and organizations launched a campaign to pressure Israeli singer Ehud Banai not to perform in the south Hebron Hills settlement of Susya. Alongside the campaign, Israeli organizations Rabbis for Human Rights, Breaking the Silence and Ta'ayush offered to take Banai on a tour of the area, including Palestinian Susya, a village that was forcibly evicted in order to…Read More... | 3 Comments
Susya, a Palestinian village in the South Hebron Hills, is once again facing the threat of demolition by Israeli authorities. In 2010, the right-wing settler organization Regavim, along with the adjacent settlement of Susya, petitioned an Israeli court for an order to demolish homes in the village. Regavim argues that Palestinians stole the land, that they are violent toward the settlers of Jewish Susya, and that the settlers' freedom of movement is hindered, among other things. Read more: Photo essay: Susya's women share their life through a lens Save Susya campaign: Over 12,000 faxes annoy Defense MinistryRead More...
Repeated demolition attempts by the army and right-wing groups are threatening to destroy the Palestinian village of Susya. "Thus shall it be done to the people whom the state does not delighteth to honor," (but is delighted to get a hold on their land). This is Susya's story. Israel Social TV is an independent media NGO working to promote social change, human rights, social justice and equality, and to mobilize its viewers towards activism.Read More... | 1 Comment
The Palestinian village of Susya, which has been through numerous demolitions and forced expulsions, beginning in 1986, is facing yet another threat to its existence. This time, the fate of the entire village lays in the hands of Israel's Supreme Court. By Rabbis for Human Rights On Thursday, Israel's Supreme Court will hold two sessions regarding two petitions affecting the future of the Palestinian village Susya. One will discuss the possibility of expediting the demolition of most of the village, while the other seeks to prevent the villagers’ remaining lands from being rendered off limits to them. The first court session involves a petition by…Read More... | 4 Comments
Some 80,000 Palestinians families depend on the annual olive harvest for their livelihoods. This year alone, settlers, with the backing of the army, have destroyed or damaged thousands of olive trees, threatening both a major source of income and an age-old agricultural custom. By Alon Aviram Dry shrubs and a mishmash of makeshift tarpaulin shelters cover parts of this parched valley in the South Hebron Hills. The carcass of a car rests in the bottom of a cistern. According to Breaking the Silence, an organization of veteran combatants that works to expose to the Israeli public to the realities of…Read More... | 33 Comments
"Firing Zone 918" is the Israeli military's term for a portion of land in the West Bank home to hundreds of Palestinians who have been there since the 19th century. Why are they under threat of eviction and how is it being done? A primer. By Eyal Raz "We must maintain “the necessary fitness of the IDF" This is the reason that the State of Israel has given for its recent order by Defense Minister Ehud Barak to destroy eight Palestinian villages and expel 1,500 residents from their land in the southern West Bank. “Firing Zone 918,” which the Israeli military…Read More... | 5 Comments
Israeli bulldozers entered the Palestinian village of Zenuta in the South Hebron Hills Tuesday morning and demolished water cisterns, residential dwellings and sheep stables, devastating the small community of only seven families. By Sean O'Neill Zenuta, West Bank - At around 10 a.m. on Tuesday, a group of Palestinians from the village of Zenuta watched from across a valley in the South Hebron Hills as two Israeli army bulldozers suddenly appeared and destroyed their village’s water cisterns, cave dwellings and stables. The village, divided by a valley, is just 3 kilometers from the Green Line, at the southern tip of…Read More... | 8 Comments
A surprisingly candid op-ed from a high-level Israeli official explains the role the Oslo Accords played in allowing Israel to maintain the occupation. Dov Weisglass, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's righthand man, recently had another very candid moment. After Before the disengagement from Gaza, Weisglass gave a famous interview to Haaretz in which he was honest about the rationale behind the move: the desire to fill the diplomatic vacuum and secure Israeli control of the West Bank forever. Last week he went back to Oslo. Weisglass published an interesting op-ed in Ynet in which he explained the value of the 1993 Accords from a…Read More... | 19 Comments
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Obama calls on Bibi to accept unconditional ceasefire; 15 killed in Gaza today: http://t.co/itHkpRL78e by @edokonrad
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Muhammad Abu Khdeir's murder brought the homophobia of the Israeli public to the fore: http://t.co/WQRbJPUSyR
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Will today's West Bank protests become tomorrow's intifada? http://t.co/4mHGIVSpF7