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  • Airbnb lets you vacation in illegal West Bank settlements

    Fancy a vacation with breathtaking views of the Holy Land? Airbnb will let you rent out luxurious cottages atop barren hilltops, making no mention of the fact that they are in settlements on occupied land. By John Brown* Airbnb, it has come to our attention, enables anyone to rent rooms and vacation homes in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Anyone who is not of Palestinian descent, of course. Without exception, the listings, some which appear to be luxurious cottages and others that are caravans sitting on barren hilltops, make no mention of the fact that they are in settlements on…

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  • The children who won't let us forget the occupation

    A six-year-old Palestinian girl was run over on a main road while begging for change in northern Israel. She is one of many Palestinians sent over from the West Bank, where both poverty and despair is only growing.    By Yasmine Halevi The above photo is of Fatma from Hebron. She is six-and-a-half years old and she has a full time job. She was smuggled to Israel over a month ago, and since then she has been begging for change at the Kafr Kara junction in northern Israel. She sleeps in either a nearby mosque or the adjacent town of…

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  • The Year in Photos: Palestine and Israel in 2015

    Activestills selects the most powerful, important and moving images of 2015 — in chronological order. Photos by: Oren Ziv, Ahmad al-Bazz, Yotam Ronen, Faiz Abu-Rmeleh, Keren Manor, Hosam Salem, Ezz Zanoun, Anne Paq, Shiraz Grinbaum Editing: Anka Mirkin, Merieke Lauken / Activestills.org                                        

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  • Good riddance, 2015

    2015 was a year full of murder, stabbings, homophobia, and gender-based violence. I can't wait for it to be over. Damn you, 2015. Your place is in the dustbin of history. Leave us alone. You fraud. You began to shower us with specks of hope when the last elections were announced. We thought perhaps that the Israeli voter would cast away the thick layer of anxiety that has been sewn around him over 20 years of right-wing rule. Arab citizens worked tirelessly to put together the Joint List — for themselves and for the supporters of cooperation and democracy. For…

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  • Christian Zionists prefer to ignore Bethlehem's Palestinians

    Why does America's largest Christian Zionist organization continue to ignore the plight of its co-religionists in Jesus' birthplace? Text and photos by Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org Happy birthday, Jesus! Once again, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), America’s largest Zionist organization of any kind, has used “Made in Israel” Christmas ornaments the centerpiece of its holiday fundraising campaign while bashing the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement. In a December email campaign in the weeks preceding Christmas, CUFI’s leaders declared: Israel’s enemies are also our enemies, and they are mounting an aggressive campaign on all fronts to cause innocents harm, especially during…

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  • The only valid parallel between America's gun problem and Israel

    Both countries have a sickness, an addiction of the collective. When something shatters our ceiling of horrible things, you want to think we’ve hit rock bottom. The only shred of hope after a mass shooting is that the slaughter of innocents will finally stun people into seeing how America has gone mad on guns. Maybe this time the human pain will cause warring factions will pull together to reach the only logical, if not perfect, answer: Take away the outright murder machines, and make it harder to get “regular” guns.  The geese and deer can wait a few more weeks…

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  • What the Israeli army takes, it doesn't give back

    The army maintains its hold on a piece of Palestinian land it seized in the late 1970s. Here's the catch: the land has been abandoned for nearly a decade. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz Two weeks ago, the council chiefs of the West Bank villages of Jaloud, Douma and Qusra appealed to Israel’s High Court of Justice, demanding that the hundreds of dunams of land seized by the IDF in 1978 be returned to their rightful owners. The IDF built a military camp (Jaloud camp) on a small part of the land, yet it has been abandoned for many years.…

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  • Court shuts down left-wing lecture following threats of violence

    'Breaking the Silence' planned to hold a speaking event at a local pub in Be'er Sheva. The police shut it down after it could not ensure the safety of the participants. By John Brown* A Be'er Sheva court barred a local pub from hosting an event put on by "Breaking the Silence" following threats by right-wing activists. The Be'er Sheva Magistrate's Court issued the order barring the event, which was supposed to take place Tuesday night at the Ashan Hazman pub, following a request by the police, which arrested a resident of the city on suspicion of threatening the pub owner earlier…

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  • U.S. anthropologists vote to boycott Israeli academia

    American Anthropological Association votes resoundingly to sever all ties with Israeli academic institutions, as a response to Israel's 'widespread, systematic, and ongoing violations of Palestinian rights.' The American Anthropological Association (AAA) overwhelmingly passed a resolution to support the boycott of Israeli academic institutions during its annual business meeting on Friday. The resolution will go into effect only if it is approved by a final vote of all association members sometime in the coming months. [tmwinpost] With over 10,000 members, AAA is by far the largest academic association in the United States to endorse the boycott at an annual meeting. The…

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  • Palestinians aren't trying to go to heaven — they are fleeing hell

    Despite what Israeli leaders may have you believe, Islamic fundamentalism is not the driving force behind the latest violence. "Say a prayer before leaving your house, dress in your best clothing. Brush your hair well, and smile for the camera. You may end up as another poster on the bleeding walls of the city. No one is safe from their guns." — A young Palestinian from Silwan, Jerusalem, October 2015. This quote was written on Facebook a number of weeks ago by a young Palestinian who has been the subject of dozens of arrests and has spent much of his…

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  • Jerusalem becoming mini-police state and ghost capital

    As tension rises in Jerusalem, Israelis stay away and debate how to resolve problems there while ignoring the West Bank and Gaza. It can't be done. It has become common over the last few days to hear that, ironically, the political Right is dividing Jerusalem and not the Left, putting up blockades around Palestinian neighborhoods in response to a spate of attacks. But after two visits to the city this week, it feels like this isn’t just about separating the Palestinian and Israeli neighborhoods — Jerusalem is increasingly divided from Israel itself. [tmwinpost] Last week, a colleague who works in…

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  • What are the odds? A statistical look at the stabbing attacks

    The chances I will be harmed in a terror attack are very low. A tiny fraction of one percent of Palestinians are involved in recent terror attacks against Israelis, and hardly any are citizens of Israel. Walking past Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv recently on a crowded sidewalk full of jostling youngsters, I found myself imagining someone attacking me with a screwdriver. It had happened a few days earlier, about one kilometer away. I had a flash of alternate reality, imagining the sharp point digging into my back or side, and doubling over while catching a glimpse of a person running, being caught,…

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  • Israel is pulling the West Bank out from under Palestinian feet

    With over 14,000 demolition orders issued against Palestinian structures in Area C since 1988, Israel is maintaining a vast system of control-by-threat that at once dispossesses and undermines social stability. Israel has issued over 14,000 demolition orders against Palestinian structures in Area C of the West Bank since 1988, according to a new report released by the UN's humanitarian agency. Nearly 3,000 demolitions have been carried out in that time, leaving more than 11,000 orders outstanding that affect over 17,000 structures. OCHA-oPt, the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory, derived its report from figures…

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