For an Israeli who has only known occupied, subdued and desperate Middle Eastern cities, there is something exciting about rediscovering the cultural world of a confident, proud Levant, cognizant of its traditions and histories. By Amos Noy / Café Gibraltar (translated by Matan Kaminer) To 'Amar, with fond remembrance. Between the demand for "authenticity," which, while conscious of itself, is impossible (and has something petty and repressive about it), and the option of assimilation, or "self-effacing imitation" - one form of cultural oppression (which is, of course, a form of political oppression) - there is also third option: cultural sovereignty. I…Read More... | 3 Comments
Meretz MK announces plans to challenge Tel Aviv-Jaffa's 15-year mayor. Though he faces difficult odds, Horowitz has a legitimate chance to become the first openly gay mayor of any Israeli city. Knesset Member Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) on Monday announced his intention to run in the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipal elections, due to take place on October 22. Horowitz, a second-term MK and former journalist for Channel 10 News, will be challenging former Labor member Ron Huldai, who has served as Tel Aviv's mayor since 1998. If he wins, Horowitz (49) would be Tel Aviv's first openly gay mayor, and the first…Read More... | 2 Comments
In the innocent year of 1909, a new Jewish neighborhood was established on the outskirts of Jaffa. A modest crossing of two streets, it was designed according to distinctly secular Jewish values. At its focal point, just north of the intersection stood not a synagogue but a high school. It was an elaborate, romantic structure. Its facade featured two columns representing Boaz and Yachin, the pillars of Solomon's Temple. Jewish culture had always centered around education, and the Zionist founders of Tel Aviv believed that so would the new Jewish society they were helping to establish. Fast forward 50 years, and…Read More... | 3 Comments
Three weeks ago, I received one of those hated bill-looking envelopes from the Tel Aviv municipality. It was not time for our hated Arnona bill to arrive, so I was skeptical about what they could possibly want from me. Enclosed were a letter and a bill for over 1,000 shekels. I found this strange. The letter, which I had to read about twelve times to understand, informed me that I owed the municipality this money to pay back a discount I received four years ago. As an immigrant to the country, newcomers are granted a whole cushy bunch of benefits.…Read More... | 7 Comments
Prepare yourselves. Last May, when it was last announced that an Eritrean citizen raped an Israeli woman, Interior Minister Eli Yishai responded by placing thousands of asylum seekers, among them children, rape and torture victims and the elderly in administrative detention, all in accordance with Israel’s Prevention of Infiltration Law. In the wake of the horrifying rape that took place near Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station, one can only guess what will happen next. Yishai began publishing libelous remarks on his personal Facebook page, while Shas’ shelved hate-filled campaign against foreigners [Hebrew] coincidentally appeared in Yedioth Ahronoth and on Ynet’s homepage,…Read More... | 21 Comments
Israel is threatening to bisect the West Bank by building in the E1 area, between the settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim and Jerusalem. A photographic journey shot in medium format film - starting east of Jerusalem, through the west of the city and all the way to Tel Aviv - provides portraits of how different rights are extended to different people under Israeli rule. By Mareike Lauken and Keren Manor Our journey begins in Ma'aleh Adumim, one of 124 Israeli settlements established in the Occupied Palestinian Territories since 1967. With its green lush palm trees, olive tree roundabouts and parks,…Read More... | 14 Comments
On Friday, December 7th, thousands hit the streets of Tel Aviv for the annual Human Rights March, put on by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). The march gathered more than 130 organizations that promote human rights, social change, equality, and democracy. The march marked International Human Rights Day, which is observed every year on December 10th, the day in which the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The event ended in Rabin Square with performances by several Israeli artists and a keynote speech by author and ACRI President Sami Michael. …Read More...
At least seventeen people were wounded, two of them seriously, when a bomb blew up in a bus in central Tel Aviv earlier today. This was the first bus bombing in the city since 2006, and although several armed groups voiced support for the bombing, Israeli police were cautious not to assign direct responsibility even hours after the attack. Uncharacteristically for a conflict area more than accustomed to suicide bombings, the bomb appears to have been left on the bus and set off some time after the bomber or bombers left the vehicle. Police described the attack as "amateur-like." In…Read More... | 7 Comments
The Tel Aviv bubble has burst - or it is in denial. Or a bit of both. Whatever the diagnosis may be, the fact that rockets from Gaza have reached the city for the fifth time in four consecutive days (rockets were just fired at around 18:45 while I was writing this), even if they have mostly not made impact, is shocking, and it is certainly a wake-up call. As Amir Oren said in Haaretz's opinion pages today: The significance of rockets fired on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem should not be underestimated. Since 1948, no Arab country, except Iraq in…Read More... | 35 Comments
No. Not again. This can't be happening again. But there it is. Once again, just like it was four years ago, it is winter. Reports on tension, violence, the regular exchange of rockets on southern Israeli towns, and assassinations and airstrikes on Gaza dominate the media once more. Calls for revenge and a more resilient response are commonly heard. And then: a bigger attack. Something that Israel knows will drag both sides into using all they have, usually resulting in hundreds of dead and extreme destruction on the Palestinian side, and several killed and severe damage on the Israeli one.…Read More... | 18 Comments
About 100 residents of Jaffa -- Arabs and Jews -- came together on Friday afternoon to protest a city plan that threatens to change the character of their neighborhood. The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality master plan for all Jaffa includes construction of a 15-meter multi-lane road on Kedem Street in Ajami, between the Jaffa Port and the city of Bat Yam. It's a tranquil street that cuts north-south through residential Jaffa, parallel to the bustling business of Yefet Street, and overlooking the beach. This happens to be my favorite beach. It is still untouched by all the hotels and tall buildings…Read More... | 23 Comments
When it comes to the issue of refugees, or 'infiltrators,' emotions often get the best of those who are defending one term or another. But facts are facts, apples are apples, oranges are oranges. I was reminded of the above when reviewing Oren Ziv's images of the mother and daughter being arrested at a kindergarten in the Hatikva neighborhood of Tel Aviv. Naturally, no human can deny the human emotions as evident in the photos. Some will say that the Left is exploiting such images to make those who are for deportation feel and look bad. The Left will use…Read More... | 5 Comments
On Sunday morning, inspectors from the Oz immigration unit arrested a mother moments after she brought her daughter to the kindergarten in the Hatikva neighborhood in Tel Aviv. The inspectors then arrested the daughter in the kindergarten. Neither of them had the option of going home to fetch their belongings or to say goodbye to friends and family. Few details are known about this arrest. However, several Israeli refugees and immigrant rights organizations are trying to get more information on where are they being held.Read More... | 6 Comments
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Reports, maps, infographics and other documents on human rights and democracy.
Children under occupation
The effects of occupation on minors.
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