From Google Maps’ erasure of Palestine, to Israel’s Eurovision win, to the new Jewish-Arab movement that plans to save the Israeli left, here are the most popular articles we published this past year.
By +972 Magazine Staff
25. ‘We’ll ensure it doesn’t escalate to violence — on our end’
It’s hard to believe now, but 2018 began with a glimmer of hope for the residents of the Gaza Strip, as nonviolent activists planned mass demonstrations at the Israel-Gaza fence demanding freedom and the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Ahmed Abu Artema, one of the organizers of the “Great Return March” spoke at the time to +972’s Rami Younis about why he believed hundreds of thousands of people would show up, and what message he’d like to send to Israelis. Read the interview here.
24. In memory of the first lawyer to bring the occupation to court
Felicia Langer was a Holocaust survivor, a communist, and one of the first Israeli lawyers to defend the Palestinian residents of the occupied territories in the Supreme Court. Read human rights attorney Michael Sfard’s eulogy here.
23. Who profits from keeping Gaza on the brink?
Keeping Gaza on the verge of collapse keeps international humanitarian aid money flowing to exactly where it benefits Israeli interests, writes Israeli economist Shir Hever. For the full article, click here.
22. New film uncovers ‘rotting foundation’ of U.S. Israel lobby
A new Al Jazeera documentary provides a sobering look at a lobby that continues to defend Israel’s control of Palestinian lives, despite the many Americans turning against it. Click here to read more.
21. ‘Apartheid is a process’
With the passage of the ‘Jewish Nation-State Law,’ Israel constitutionally enshrined discrimination against its Palestinian population. ‘We don’t have to keep looking for policies that resemble Jim Crow,’ Attorney Fady Khoury told +972’s Edo Konrad. Read the interview here.
20. We are all accomplices to Israel’s massacre in Gaza
On May 14, Israeli snipers gunned down 60 Palestinian protesters who took part in Gaza’s “Great Return March.” At the time, Mairav Zonszein wrote: “There has been no outrage. We all let this happen. But it is not too late to speak out.” Read the article here.
19. Arabic was an official language in Israel for 70 years, 2 months, and 5 days
Why upend the status quo of the past 70-plus years? Ask the Israeli government.
18. How Google Maps is erasing Palestine
Ever wonder what it’s like for Palestinians to travel between Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks in the West Bank? A new report details the ways Google Maps’ mapping process in the occupied territories serves the interests of the Israeli government, while contradicting the company’s stated commitment to human rights. Read Henriette Chacar’s article here.
17. My great-grandfather saved Jews. Now I’m in jail for refusing to enlist in the IDF
Matan Helman, an Israeli conscientious objector, pens a poignant letter about his Dutch great-grandfather, Richte Taklenbroch, who refused to enlist in the Nazi work camps during the German occupation of the Netherlands. Richte escaped and joined the underground resistance. Read the letter here.
16. Birthright walk-offs get a taste of settler violence
In June, eight Birthright participants walked off their trip in order to learn firsthand about the occupation. While touring through occupied Hebron with Breaking the Silence, they witnessed the violence meted out against Palestinians and anti-occupation activists in the city. Read more here.
15. The color of racism: What many get wrong about race relations in Israel
When an Arab family declared their intention to move into Afula, a mostly Mizrahi middle-class city in northern Israel, the locals responded with racism and hate. Meanwhile, anti-racist activists accused the residents of promoting ‘white supremacy.’ Lihi Yona writes that understanding the ways Jewish supremacy and white supremacy intersect in Israel is the first step toward dismantling them. Read the full article here.
14. The new Jewish-Arab movement that plans to save the Israeli left
Standing Together, a new joint Arab-Jewish movement, is aiming to transform Israeli politics. It won’t be easy, but the Israeli left’s first step back to power might be believing that it can win again. Click here for the full article.
13. Israeli minister posts video with genocidal chants by fans
At the end of a Facebook video encouraging fair conduct by fans from Beitar Jerusalem, one of Israel’s notoriously racist soccer clubs, those surrounding Miri Regev break out into chants of ‘burn your village,’ directed at the opposing team — from an Arab city in Israel. Read the full story here.
12. The far-right nationalist movement roiling Eritreans in Israel
A new militant anti-Muslim movement seeks to establish a Tigrinyan Orthodox-Christian state in what is now Eritrea and parts of Ethiopia. Known as “the Agazians,” the activists are deepening the divisions within the already fractious Eritrean opposition. Read more here.
11. How Childish Gambino explains the problem with Israel’s Eurovision win
Childish Gambino shocked the world this year with a new music video for his hit, “This is America,” which focuses on the oppression of African Americans. In the Israeli context, says Amjad Iraqi, the video serves to illustrate why audiences should focus on the injustices unfolding in the background of artistic performances – especially those representing the state. Read the article here.
10. In memory of Razan al-Najjar
The 21-year-old paramedic was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers while trying to aid wounded protesters near the Gaza-Israel separation fence. Many Israelis either refuse to believe she was actually killed or claim that her killing was somehow justified. Click here for more.
9. The untold story of Jewish anti-Zionists in Israel
For nearly as long as Palestinians have resisted their displacement, small groups of Jews have joined them. Ran Greenstein’s book, “Zionism and Its Discontents,” brings to life the complex, often contradictory story of those Israelis who saw Palestinian and Jewish liberation as one and the same. Read Joshua Leifer’s review here.
8. Ad for Israeli maternity ward portrays fetus as future soldier
7. The Palestine movement taught me to confront anti-Semitism
On American university campuses, pro-Palestine activists are routinely smeared as anti-Semites seeking to destroy Israel. But contrary to what pro-Israel activists claim, the BDS movement has been instrumental in challenging anti-Semitism on the left. Click here for the full article.
6. Nabi Saleh is where I lost my Zionism
By the time +972’s Lisa Goldman began going to Nabi Saleh, she had spent about four years reporting on what she saw in the West Bank and Gaza, watching detachedly as her politics moved ever leftward. What she witnessed in that small West Bank village was the last straw. Read the full article here.
5. The myth of the Gaza ‘border’
What Israel fears more than a Palestinian state is a Palestinian population it cannot disown, and the myth that Gaza is “separated” from Israel helps it balance that fear. That myth must be broken, and that racist fear must be exposed, writes Amjad Iraqi. Read the full article here.
4. Why Israel’s Eurovision contestant became a target for BDS
Netta Barzilai stunned Europeans this past year with a feminist anthem that won the annual Eurovision Song Contest. Despite her undeniable talent, Barzilai is still the official representative of a country that, for more than half a century, has denied millions of people basic rights under a brutal military occupation, writes Orly Noy. Read her full article here.
3. Videos show Israeli soldiers sniping unarmed protesters in Gaza
As Gaza’s ‘Great Return March’ turned into a full-fledged popular protest movement, the Israeli army scrambled to explain the growing body count. Infographics were released. Talking points were distributed. Israel was defending its sovereign border, they said. Then came the videos.
2. Denying Palestinians the right to challenge oppression
Attacks against the UK Labour Party for its newly adopted definition of anti-Semitism only contribute to the silencing of Palestinian voices, the potential criminalization of their struggle against Israeli policies, and the negation of their demands for freedom and equality, say two London-based human rights activists. Read the article here.
1. ‘I won’t fly refugees to their deaths’: The El Al pilots resisting deportation
The Israeli government announced late last year that it would begin deporting asylum seekers to third countries, where they would be vulnerable to exploitation, humiliation, human trafficking, frequent arrests, and possible death. Months before the plan was nixed, at least three pilots for Israel’s flag carrier published declarations publicly refusing to take part in the forced deportations. Read more here.