How the largest social justice movement in Israel’s history managed to ignore the Palestinians This piece was co-written with Max Blumenthal. A shorter version originally appeared on Alternet. The men and women who set out to build a Jewish state in historic Palestine made little secret of their settler-colonial designs. Zionism’s intellectual author, Theodor Herzl, described the country he envisioned as “part of a wall of defense for Europe in Asia, an outpost of civilization against barbarism.” “All the means we need, we ourselves must create them, like Robinson Crusoe on his island,” Herzl told an interviewer in 1898. The Labor Zionist…Read More... | 22 Comments
The social justice movement has started up just in time to offer middle class Israelis like Karen Kaufman hope that life in Israel might finally get better - and cheaper By Karen Kaufman I moved to Israel exactly 15 years ago. Almost immediately after finishing my last exam at high-school, I got on a plane, by myself, and left London. Initially I came on my “gap year” between high school and university, but pretty much certain that it would be for good. A year later, I made it official: went back to London, got all the paperwork done and made…Read More... | 55 Comments
How long can the social justice protests go on without defining what "social justice" means? While there was no official rejection of the Kahanists' visit by protest leaders, some activists confronted them and skirmishes broke out Yesterday far-right groups and prominent settlers, including extremist leader Baruch Marzel, showed up at the tent encampment on Rothschild Boulevard to "join" the protest, donning "Tel Aviv is Jewish" shirts and other such racist garb. They expressed their desire for "social justice" in the form of more construction in the West Bank, and clarified that they do not want to bring down the government but…Read More... | 13 Comments
By Don Futterman Accusations from the right that the tent city protests are the product of a left-wing conspiracy backed by the New Israel Fund overlook the fact that the NIF and other NGOs have been addressing housing issues for years, before the middle class woke up Imagine the body heat – not to mention the sweat – generated by a hundred thousand people walking close together, clapping, drumming, chanting, and occasionally, with no warning, but in complete harmony, raising our voices in imitation of a banshee. Mostly young, but not all young – I don’t qualify as young anymore…Read More... | 10 Comments
The policy of arresting protestors and then banning them from protests is a severe violation of freedom of speech and protest After Saturday night's rally, when it became clear that all those arrested were banned, whether for seven 15, or 30 days, from engaging in the tent protest, it occurred to me that being up in arms about the boycott law seems redundant since severe violations of freedom of speech and protest are taking place right here and right now in Israel - and are of course even more subversive than legislative initiatives since they are under the radar and…Read More... | 3 Comments
Mairav Zonszein contributed to this report Out of 43 activists arrested late Saturday night with the charge of "illegal gathering," 32 signed agreed to conditions for their release which include banishment from the tent protest location on Rothschild Boulevard for 30 days and a prohibition from taking part in protests for that period. The remaining 11, all reportedly associated with Anarchists Against the Wall, have been banned from the area for 7 days, 1 being charged with assault and one being charged with throwing a smoke grenade at a police officer Tens of thousands of protesters took to the muggy streets…Read More... | 2 Comments
The rent protesters have been criticised for insisting on calling themselves apolitical. Sitting now in the middle of the protest camp, I can report that what's happening here is democratic politics at their finest - and that it's perfectly alright for them not to use the P-word. For the past week, hundreds of people have been gathering on the uppermost edge of the Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv, close to the recently renovated national theatre plaza. Starting with a tiny group of friends who pitched their tents there in protest of Tel Aviv's exorbitant rent prices, the movement has grown…Read More... | 8 Comments
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