A Palestinian American professor's withering tweets against Israel's offensive in Gaza cost him his job. If his freedom of speech isn't protected, it could be me or you next. By Shachar Pinsker In 2013, the American-Indian Studies Program at The University of Illinois decided to hire Steven Salaita, who then held a tenured position at Virginia Tech University. The university's administration approved the appointment via a standard procedure that seemed to go smoothly. So in 2014, Salaita resigned from Virginia Tech, sold his house and moved with his family to Urbana-Champagne. But then, something very unlikely happened. On August 1,…Read More... | 32 Comments
Bibi went there. [This post has been updated.] The official account of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went on a roll today comparing apples and oranges ISIS and Hamas. First there was a Venn diagram comparing some of the key similarities between the two groups (although inexplicably skipping some of the equally relevant ones, such as that both group use guns, sport woolly balaclavas and operate east of Sicily.) Then, however, the prime minister stepped it up a notch by using a frame from James Foley's murder video and a frame from Hamas's 2012 summary execution of suspected informants, to indicate that ravens and…Read More... | 23 Comments
The tear gas used by the police in Ferguson, Missouri and the Israeli military in the West Bank is only one of several factors that connects the violence against unarmed youth in both communities. Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org The New York Times’ Robert Mackey recently tweeted a photo of the tear gas cartridges found on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, where police have been using the weapon against demonstrators angry at the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager. Both the cartridge and the tactics looked very familiar, and for good reason. Jamestown, PA's CTS brand tear…Read More... | 8 Comments
While it may be tempting for those of us who are against Operation Protective Edge to stress the lopsided casualty statistics as a way to promote our criticism, this war should not focus on the numbers. One of the most painfully obvious aspects of the current warfare between Israel and Gaza (and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on a whole) is the stark disparity in the number of casualties: 1,928 Palestinians killed compared with 67 Israelis, based on the latest figures recorded by each side. Both the Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza and the UN claim the majority are civilians, whereas…Read More... | 2 Comments
No amount of Tweeting, tagging, posting or liking will save Gazans from an Israeli ground invasion. So why bother? By Corey Sherman Recent political upheavals in the Middle East tend to have a social media subplot, whether it's how savvy youth use it to subvert harsh authority, or how states manipulate access to it so as to stop such subversion. There’s the story about how State-Department-Official-cum-Google-Ideas-Chief, Jared Cohen, requested that Twitter delay a scheduled maintenance of their network to enable Iranians to continue to use the platform to organize during the harsh crackdown on post-election protests in 2009. Or how…Read More... | 10 Comments
Police detained and held Razi Nabulsi, a young Palestinian from Haifa for a week for statuses he posted to Facebook and Twitter, claiming they constituted incitement. The catch? Even though the statuses were posted publicly on the Internet, police declared them to be secret evidence and refused to publicly say in court what he was accused of writing. By Yoav Haifawi Razi Nabulsi, a 23-year-old activist and student in Haifa, spent the last week in jail for statuses he publicly posted on Facebook and Twitter. His detention was extended twice. In four different court hearings during the week (two remand extension…Read More... | 34 Comments
Two of the most well-spoken public figures in Israel are MK Ahmad Tibi and former settler leader Dani Dayan. Dr. Tibi is known to lecture to the Knesset plenum in prose, and is considered one of the MKs with the best command of the Hebrew language. Dayan, on the other hand, has the uncanny ability to make even the most die-hard two-state advocate question their political belief system. But just because two people are elegant and gifted orators doesn't mean they can't get into an old fashion, tit-for-tat Twitter battle -- and that's exactly what happened today. I've translated the…Read More... | 11 Comments
The 'Prisoner X' affair was sensitive enough for Israel to use all of its censorship tools at once: the military censor, gag orders and the 'editors committee.' But was the effort by the Prime Minister's Office entirely about national security, or did it have to do with protecting those responsible for the mess? And what should the affair teach us about the ability to keep information from the public in this technological age? The affair known as the death of "Prisoner X" is becoming an interesting test case for the effect of new media on state secrets and the relations between…Read More... | 2 Comments
Palestinians attempted to set out in a motorcade of about 50 cars from Jericho en route to Ramallah this morning, to protest and challenge the system of Israeli-only roads throughout the West Bank, according to Twitter updates over the last few hours with the hashtag #carprotest. According to an Israeli Ta'ayush activist I spoke to who was there and who prefers not to be named, dozens of cars manned by Palestinians from the West Bank tried to leave Jericho this morning in a non-violent protest action, but were stopped by Israeli forces, who blocked the four lanes entering and exiting…Read More... | 18 Comments
Last week I posted this item, in which I referred to the #ThawretWeladElKalb ("Revolution of the sons of dogs") hashtag used by some Arab twitterers to discuss J14 as an anti-Semitic term. Jalal Abukhater, who occasionally contributes to +972, has sent me the following rebuttal: I disagree that anything that criticizes something related to the Israeli society should be considered pure Antisemitism. Labeling this hashtag as anti-Semitic is wrong. Of course, I do not justify the use of #ThawretWeladElKalb. I have declared my opposition to this hashtag because it held unnecessary prejudice and insult. There are many good Israelis and…Read More... | 11 Comments
The new American ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, has a Twitter account. What does he tweet? For example, a message on his visit to a missile battery (in both Hebrew and English). @AmbShapiro And here is the video of my visit to see the Iron Dome battery near Ashkelon. http://fb.me/HrUHkp4F What doesn't he tweet? His own State Department's condemnation of settlements construction. (Same goes for the Tel Aviv embassy's Twitter feed - only this one had seven tweets from the Iron Dome visit.)Read More... | 4 Comments
In what appears to be an escalation in the Israeli army's attempts to intimidate unarmed protesters from joining protests in Nabi Saleh, soldiers apprehended a Palestinian-American college student this morning at the entrance to Nabi Saleh as the weekly demonstration against the occupation was starting. The demonstrator, who wishes to remain anonymous, told +972 that he was on his way into the village in a private taxi from Ramallah. At the entrance to the village, Israeli soldiers prevented him from entering and searched him and his driver mutiple times. After the searches were complete, soldiers took his phone, passport and wallet while leaving him and his…Read More... | 7 Comments
Twitter is changing the nature of breaking news from West Bank demonstrations. It is exposing Israel’s heavy handed crowd control methods which often break the army’s own internal codes of conduct. Naturally, some so called ‘supporters of Israel’ are having a hard time rationalizing Israel’s behaviour, therefore attacking Twitter users as biased, misinformed or even outright liars. As I was standing amidst the chaos yesterday at the Qalandia checkpoint -- the site of a demonstration marking the anniversary of the 1967 war -- I reported on Twitter what I saw. The demonstration started off peacefully and then the army attacked…Read More... | 35 Comments
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Assault on Gaza
+972 bloggers report on a region under fire during Israel's operation 'Protective Edge.'
The murders that preceded the war in Gaza.
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"One of the most contested cities on earth is destined to remain a powder keg for the foreseeable future" http://t.co/HbccD1ulxx
There are no good guys in Jerusalem http://t.co/HbccD1ulxx by @MikeOmerMan
RT @Benhartman: Jerusalem police chief says Temple Mount to be open tomorrow, decision made to return status quo to mount #Israel
BREAKING: Israel recalls ambassador after #Sweden recognizes state of #Palestine
RT @jvplive: ‘Death to Arabs’ sprayed on one of only five non-segregated schools in Israel: http://t.co/4qjbyBWvVM http://t.co/phEyaajyfL
Bibi ain't "chickenshit" - he's just really good at maintaining the status quo: http://t.co/8BZZYfEOWA
The White House got it wrong. Bibi's status quo strategy makes a Palestinian state impossible: http://t.co/8BZZYfEOWA