Given the likely options, I'm glad Obama is coming here tomorrow to do nothing rather than to try to revive the peace process. Today, reviving the peace process, Obama-style, would mean coercing Mahmoud Abbas to enter negotiations with Netanyahu in return for nothing, or next to nothing, such as a token prisoner release, some musical chairs with a few checkpoints and a vague statement of good intentions. And for that, Netanyahu would get what he very much wants: "peace negotiations" with no end, which would provide diplomatic cover for his terribly right-wing, settlement-crazy new government. At the same time, Abbas…Read More... | 23 Comments
Protest against prisoner conditions in Israeli jails will not prevent anger and delegitimization of PA law enforcement system for its own violations. A Palestinian prisoner being held on charges connected to a stabbing died in a Palestinian Authority jail in Jericho on Friday, according to a Jerusalem Post and Ma’an News Agency. The articles report that the Palestinian attorney general ordered and launched an investigation into the death and an autopsy. Palestinian officials have said that Ayman Samarah, 40, was not tortured, but suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure and was taken to a hospital on Friday after being…Read More... | 2 Comments
Following the United Nations vote to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state, Israel quickly announced it would reignite construction in the E1 area of the West Bank, long considered by the U.S. as the last nail in the coffin of the two-state solution. The move is not only Israel's affront to the two-state solution, but to its existence as a Jewish state. In his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas made his commitment to a two-state solution explicitly clear: Palestine comes today to this prestigious international forum, representative and protector of international legitimacy,…Read More... | 58 Comments
While commentators say the vote is merely symbolic, at least for Palestinians and the international community, the vote could be a game-changing kind of symbol. One week ago, the request to the UN General Assembly to grant Palestine status as a non-member observer state looked like a poor stepchild of the highly anticipated first “UN route” just over one year ago. The buildup to September 2011 was long; yet until about a week ago, it wasn’t even clear whether the current vote would really happen. The 2011 application for UN membership turned into an anticlimax. This year, the dark-horse diplomacy…Read More... | 11 Comments
Israel accepts or rejects the UN refugee agency's positions as it sees fit. In addition to indicating a general disregard for the United Nations, its approach toward UNHCR, whose establishment Israel once enthusiastically supported, demonstrates a serious need for additional refugee law expertise. By Dr. Yuval Livnat R. told Interior Ministry representatives that he is an Eritrean citizen and eligible for protection from deportation to his country. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which interviewed R., gave his lawyer from the Hotline for Migrant Workers a letter supporting his position. The Interior Ministry determined that R. is Ethiopian. A…Read More... | 5 Comments
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (or should I say Bib E. Coyote?) had a lot of people worldwide holding their stomachs with laughter as he held his Looney Tune ACME bomb above the UNGA podium. The Israeli meme artists, as usual, were quick to respond. Here are a few (I may update as the creativity surges):Read More... | 34 Comments
An optimistic proposal, inspired by an interview with the UN refugee agency's man in Israel. Last Friday, a couple of days after the south Tel Aviv riot, I interviewed William Tall, representative in Israel of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and came away thinking that there is a way to settle the crisis decently, which I didn't think there was before. Not that I believe Israel will settle it decently, just that there is a solution that would be fair to the African refugees, to the Israelis in south Tel Aviv, and to the State of Israel. (Point of information: The current rate of Africans crossing from Sinai…Read More... | 16 Comments
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' speech at the International Conference on Jerusalem in Doha on Saturday set off the most proverbial alarm bells in Israel. Caveat: Without actually seeing the full text of the speech, or being at the conference, I am dependent on excerpts in news reports that seem designed to reinforce auto-pilot rallying cries of each side. Abbas' general theme seemed to be raising awareness of the grave injustices perpetrated on the Palestinian population of East Jerusalem, such as Israel's attempt to build walls to keep them in or out, Judaize the eastern part, and use archeological/historical research to…Read More... | 30 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
The last thing I would have expected in Qatar was to hear Hebrew as I walked through the corridors of the Doha Convention Center. The next scene was no less bizarre, in a country where few Israelis and Jews visit: Rabbis with kippahs on their heads. The Israeli and Jewish presence seemed acceptable and even natural at the Doha Forum, which is organized by the United Nations Alliance for Civilizations. Israelis are not only attending the conference, but also speaking. Israeli representatives from academia, civil society, human rights organizations and religious groups were all among those speaking at the conference.…Read More... | 47 Comments
Today, exactly 64 years ago, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 181 to end the British Mandate in Palestine and partition the territory, giving international legitimacy to the establishment of a Jewish nation-state somewhere in Palestine, as well as the notion of two states for two distinct nationalist identities, one Jewish and one Arab, with Jerusalem to be placed under international administration. In honor of this anniversary, the World Zionist Organization decided to hold a celebratory "reenactment" of the day today at 1:30pm in front of the Jewish Agency building in central Jerusalem, in order to "recreate the joy…Read More... | 21 Comments
The United Nations publishes a report on settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, revealing a drastic rise in Palestinian casualties and property damage in 2011 compared with 2010 The United Nations Office for Coordination of Human Affairs (OCHA) in the Palestinian territories has just published a report on settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank that (not surprisingly) shows a significant rise since last year. The report covers not only physical harm to Palestinians, but also property damage, which can often be just as bad or worse than physical harm, as the impact of uprooted olive trees, damaged…Read More... | 13 Comments
UNITED NATIONS -- A few minutes after President Mahmoud Abbas received a standing ovation from the General Assembly, Palestinian official Mohammad Shtayyeh entered the media centre and gave an impromptu press conference. Speaking forcefully, he said that the Palestinian delegation had not come to the UN to bluff or play a game. "We must go to the Security Council first because the General Assembly cannot grant Palestine UN membership as an independent state," he said. "There will be a vote in the General Assembly after the Security Council approves our application for full membership status." Asked if the Palestinians had…Read More... | 5 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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New on +972 Stream: PHOTO: #Palestinians break hole in separation wall in East #Jerusalem http://t.co/pePOxjiNmz http://t.co/uppNwhEOby
Hundreds protest against impending eviction of family in Sheikh Jarrah http://t.co/I0AV0GI4mA
On 972: Watch the full documentary 'My Neighbourhood' on settlement in East Jerusalem, by @justvisionmedia http://t.co/ujJjKgqr2B
A diary of violence: #Nakba Day protests in East #Jerusalem http://t.co/UcDC7Pb6AH by @SaharMvardi #Palestine
A live stream of the demo in Sheikh Jarrah here soon, via @justjerusalem: http://t.co/PQMhmFAI6h