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WATCH: Settlers throw stones at Palestinian homes in revenge attacks

Dozens of Israeli settlers throw stones at Palestinian cars and houses following the murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach near the illegal settlement outpost of Havat Gilad. 

By Joshua Leifer

Israeli settlers carried out a string of revenge attacks targeting Palestinian civilians following the killing of Rabbi Raziel Shevach in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday. Shevach, 35 and a father of six, was shot to death at a traffic junction near the illegal settlement outpost of Havat Gilad, where he lived.

At the Yitzhar and Shilo junctions in the northern West Bank, settlers threw rocks at Palestinian cars on the evening Shevach was killed, Yesh Din spokesman Gilad Grossman told +972 Magazine. Settlers also threw rocks at houses in the Palestinian towns of Jalud and Asira al-Qiblya, both near Nablus.

During Shevach’s funeral in Havat Gilad on Wednesday, mourners reportedly interrupted Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s speech with chants of “revenge.” Bennett replied that “the only revenge is construction,” by which he meant settlement construction in the West Bank. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said he would look into officially recognizing the illegal outpost of Havat Gilad.

Later that afternoon, dozens of Israeli settlers marched to the nearby Palestinian villages of Jit and Far’ata, where they threw rocks at houses in the villages. The settlers damaged houses in Far’ata and trees in Jit, Grossman said.

Video obtained by Yesh Din and Rabbis for Human Rights show what appear to be masses of settlers throwing stones at Palestinian homes in Jit and Far’ata, terrorizing residents there and damaging homes.

 Israeli settlers throw rocks at Palestinians in the village of Jit:

Security camera footage showing Israeli settlers attacking Palestinian homes:

As the occupying power in the West Bank, the Israeli army is obligated under international law to protect the Palestinian civilian population. However, countless reports by Israeli human rights organizations have documented how Israeli authorities fail to stop settler attacks, failing to prosecute those that take place, and failing to prosecute soldiers for violence perpetrated against Palestinians.

Revenge attacks following terrorism in the West Bank is not an exceptional phenomenon, Grossman says. “We saw this after the attack in Halamish, and after the murder of the Henkin couple, which led to a protracted wave of attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank.”

Omar-al Abed stabbed and killed Yosef Saloman, 70, Chaya Saloman,...

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'There is no justice in Israel — it’s always postponed'

The Nawara family expected to hear the sentence of the Israeli soldier who killed their son, Nadeem. Instead, they were forced to sit quietly while the soldier’s lawyer argued that it was not his client but Nadeem who was guilty of a crime. 

By Joshua Leifer

The hearing began poorly. Siam Nawara was on the stand, testifying in what was supposed to be the sentencing of the Israeli soldier who killed his son. The midday sun sliced through the wooden slats on the Jerusalem courtroom windows and illuminated the drab, white room. Clanging carts and cars could be heard from Salah a-Din Street outside. Nawara spoke in Arabic. Next to him stood a court-appointed translator and interpreter. From the agitated grumbling in the courtroom, it was clear she was doing a terrible job.

A man named Hatem, who identified himself as a friend of the Nawara family, shook his head, exasperated. “She’s translating him all wrong,” he said to me. The judge, already seemingly frustrated, demanded that the audience, many of whom were now quite audibly voicing their objections to the translation, quiet down. “Your honor,” the translator, a young woman with short hair, told the judge, “I’m afraid I don’t know how to translate what he’s saying.” The first translator left the room and a second one, an older woman, took her place at the front of the courtroom.

The translator’s failure captured the anxieties of Palestinians present at the hearing: the justified fear of being misinterpreted and misrepresented; the feeling of being misunderstood and unwanted; the frustration of having either to express oneself in the language of the occupier, or to entrust an employee of the occupying government with conveying one’s words and intentions.

Nawara began to speak again. This time, he was repeatedly interrupted by the defense lawyer, Zion Amir, who objected to Nawara’s calling his client, Ben Deri, a “killer of Palestinian of children,” which for Nawara, he surely was. The translation problems and Amir’s objections burned through the time allotted for Nawara to speak. The judge asked him “to keep it short.”

“I just wanted to say something very important,” Nawara began, “that throughout the previous hearings they didn’t allow me to speak.” He continued, “The soldier didn’t follow orders, my son was killed, we hope for the harshest sentence.”

“Nadeem would hug and kiss us every time he would leave the house. And now his room is...

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To reduce crime, the police need the trust of Arab citizens

The rising violence in Israel’s Arab society hurts citizens and limits their ability to develop economically. But the police are unlikely to adequately address crime rates in Arab towns if they cannot work in cooperation with the local population. 

By Thabet Abu Ras and Amnon Be’eri Sulitzeanu

Of all the murder victims in Israel in 2016, 70 were Arab citizens. Thousands more were victims of violence and property damage. Statistically, 60 percent of murder victims in Israel are Arab — three times their representation in Israel’s general population.

Violence in Arab towns has reached disproportionate rates. This includes a wide-range of delinquency and criminal activities, ranging from illegal loan mechanisms, domestic violence, disputes between neighbors and families, violence against elected officials, street fights, vandalism, erratic driving, and more.

Three central factors contribute to this phenomenon. First among them is the high rate of poverty. Arab society disproportionately suffers from low socio-economic status as a result of high rates of unemployment, poor social and educational services, a failing infrastructure system, and an absence of recreation facilities such as playgrounds and community centers.

Second, societal changes have resulted in the weakening of traditional family structures. In a society undergoing modernization, Arab youth draw inspiration from social media, including YouTube and Facebook.

The third factor is a lack of policing services in Arab towns. Even when the police arrive at the scene of a crime, they are not part of an overarching effort to mitigate crime.

The under-policing of Arab society in Israel stems from the dual roles the police plays. On the one hand, it is responsible for the safety and security of Israeli citizens. On the other hand, it treats Arab society as a security concern. This duality results in under-policing services in Arab communities, until the police enter Arab towns in response to violence activities. The result is a continued distrust between Arab society and the police, as well as increased rates of violence within Arab communities across the country.

In December 2015, the Israeli government decided to allocate an unprecedented NIS 10 billion over five years for the economic development of Arab towns, providing an important opportunity for real socioeconomic change. However, economic development is foremost contingent on addressing the violence and insecurity plaguing Arab communities.

A survey conducted on behalf of The Abraham Fund Initiatives in 2017 found that over 50 percent of Arab citizens feel unsafe in their communities. In some towns, 80 percent of...

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Asylum seekers in Israel are scared. I am scared for them

For years, Israel’s right-wing government has fomented hatred against African asylum seekers. Now it plans to deport them, while the world turns a blind eye.

By Leah Platkin

As a social worker working with African asylum seekers in south Tel Aviv, I have seen my fair share of racism and hostility from Israeli politicians and local residents who blame them for the myriad problems in their neighborhoods. South Tel Aviv has always been a rough area, however, long neglected by the municipality. Walking through its neighborhoods, you see piles of trash, junkies, homeless people living in the parks, and a stench of urine that follows you everywhere you go. The main difference between a decade ago and today is that today those streets and parks are full of African asylum seekers.

I moved to Israel three years ago to do trauma work with African asylum seekers and torture victims who were kidnapped and trafficked in the Sinai as they fled their home countries. Eritrean and Sudanese refugees fled brutal and dangerous dictatorships, forced conscription, civil wars, and persecution for human rights activism. Those who were kidnapped, trafficked, and brutalized in torture camps run by Bedouin tribes in the Sinai were only released when their already impoverished families paid a $40,000 ransom. The lucky ones, who made it across the Israeli-Egyptian border, were severely traumatized; today, many of them suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In Israel, African asylum seekers lack both legal status and access to basic services and rights. They do not have healthcare, employment, freedom of movement, higher education, and other basic services that Israeli citizens and legal residents enjoy. Most work under the table in low-paying and often dangerous jobs, primarily in cleaning or construction. Since these “illegal” asylum seekers are not granted refugee status, they are not eligible to receive travel documents. Every day, asylum seeker families beg for help to get out of Israel and find resettlement in Europe or North America.

The already harsh economic conditions of these refugees worsened significantly in May 2017, when the Knesset passed a law allowing the government to withhold 20 percent of asylum seekers’ monthly paychecks — that will only get back when they leave Israel for good.

Most recently, Israel claimed to have reached a major arrangement with Rwanda and Uganda to forcibly relocate 40,000 asylum seekers from Israel against their will. Rwanda has not yet...

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In Be'er Sheva, coexistence is 'political,' and can get you evicted

The Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Quality has been a fixture in the city of Be’er Sheva for decades. Now, following pressure from far-right activists, the city is evicting it.

By Yehudit Keshet

The city of Be’er Sheva is trying to evict the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality, the only place where Jews and Arabs can meet to work together and promote equality and understanding, following a concerted effort by far-right extremists.

The Forum has been operating out of a Jewish-Arab community center, located in a renovated bomb shelter, since 1996 — all under one condition: that it not be used for “political activities.” Over the years, the Forum, an NGO that promotes tolerance and joint living, has scrupulously adhered to this stipulation, imposed on tenants of all property owned by the city.

During each of Israel’s wars with Gaza, the shelter turned-community center, known as Multaka-Mifgash, has been kept open to the public at all hours of the day. It is probably the best kept shelter in town, and more importantly, it is the only place in Be’er Sheva where Jews and Arabs can meet socially, hosting a wide range of community and cultural events — including courses in Arabic, film festivals, literary evenings, and lectures.

But it turns out that there are those who feel that coexistence and solidarity between Jews and Arabs is subversive, even treacherous. In 2016, the Forum planned a screening of a film entitled “Trembling in Gaza,” a documentary about a trauma training workshop for professional psychologists in Gaza. It is a film that neither takes an overt political stance, nor a position on Israel’s policies; it is merely a depiction of a therapeutic process.

Shortly before the screening, the Forum received a demand from the municipality, backed by the threat of sanctions, that the screening be cancelled following alleged complaints by “the neighbors” and the alleged violation of the conditions of the Forum’s contract. In short, the municipality considered the screening “political.” The neighbors, or neighbor, as it turned out, actually lives in the occupied West Bank, and spends much of his time trying to shut down activities he regards as “leftist.”

Reluctantly, the Forum cancelled the screening and sought legal advice regarding the definition of “political activity.” According to the attorney general, this is defined by law as activities that include party-affiliated content. Nonetheless the Forum continued to be...

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Bannon: Adelson drove Jerusalem embassy move

An excerpt from a new book on the Trump presidency confirms: the right-wing billionaire and Netanyahu backer has been a driving force behind the administration’s foreign policy decisions.

By Eli Clifton

Candidate Donald Trump claimed that he wouldn’t be beholden to campaign donors and slammed his Republican primary opponents as puppets of their wealthy patrons. “Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to Rubio because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet. I agree!” Trump tweeted in October 2015. But an excerpt from Michael Wolff’s upcoming book Fire and Fury quotes Steve Bannon, who served as CEO of the Trump campaign and went on to become White House chief strategist, effectively confirming that Adelson has been a driving force behind the Trump administration’s foreign policy decision-making.

Adelson and his wife Miriam contributed $35 million to help elect Trump, making the couple Trump’s biggest campaign supporters.

An excerpt published in New York Magazine describes a dinner attended by Roger Ailes two weeks before Trump’s inauguration. Wolff writes [my emphasis]:

Pivoting from Trump himself, Bannon plunged on with the Trump agenda. “Day one we’re moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Netanyahu’s all-in. Sheldon”—Adelson, the casino billionaire and far-right Israel defender—“is all-in. We know where we’re heading on this … Let Jordan take the West Bank, let Egypt take Gaza. Let them deal with it. Or sink trying.”

“Where’s Donald on this?” asked Ailes, the clear implication being that Bannon was far out ahead of his benefactor.

“He’s totally onboard.”

On December 6, the Trump White House, marking a huge shift in U.S. policy, recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and declared its intention to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Past presidents refused to move the embassy on grounds that it would upset potential talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators and thwart efforts to achieve a two-state solution, but Adelson publicly pushed the White House to make the move.

Earlier this week, Trump went even further, tweeting that he had “taken Jerusalem off [the negotiating] table,” effectively making a unilateral decision about a key issue that previous administrations had maintained could be decided only in talks between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators.

But Trump’s biggest supporter wasn’t pleased with the administration’s slowness to fulfill its campaign promise.

Adelson, who once accused Palestinians of existing “to destroy Israel,” was reportedly “furious” with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in May for suggesting in a Meet The Press interview that...

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Ahed Tamimi's lawyer: Her case is making people see the occupation again

Gaby Lasky, the human rights attorney representing Ahed Tamimi and her mother Nariman, talks to +972 about what it means for a Palestinian to be put on trial in the occupier’s military courts, and some of the dangerous precedents being set.

By Joshua Leifer

The video of 16-year-old Ahed Tamimi confronting two Israeli soldiers outside of her home in the village of Nabi Saleh has become ubiquitous, broadcast across every media platform for weeks. So have the pictures of Ahed, handcuffed and surrounded by guards in court. Posters of Ahed have even appeared on bus stops in London. What those images often fail to properly convey is that Ahed is being detained in a military prison and being tried in a military court, and how that differs from the way a minor would be treated in an Israeli civilian court.

Attorney Gaby Lasky represents Ahed Tamimi and her mother, Nariman. Lasky, a former secretary general of Peace Now and a member of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa City Council for the left-wing Meretz party, has spent much of the last decade defending Palestinians, many of them involved in the popular struggle against the occupation.

I spoke with Lasky on Thursday about the challenges of working in Israeli military court, where 99.7 percent of Palestinian suspects are convicted; about the cases against Ahed Tamimi and her mother, Nariman; and about the structural injustices built into the Israeli legal system in the occupied territories.

The difficulty of Ahed’s case goes beyond the legal challenges Palestinians living under occupation face when arrested by the Israeli army, Lasky told me. “The video shows the essence of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians,” she stressed. Depending on where you stand, and perhaps who you are, watching the 16-year-old girl face down two heavily armed Israeli soldiers can reinforce either the Palestinian and Israeli narrative.

The following has been edited for length. 

What does it mean that the judge is wearing the same uniform as the prosecution?

The military court is not a court of justice in the regular sense; it’s an organ of the occupation. It perpetuates the occupation. Both the judge and the prosecution are wearing the same uniform, and are part of the same system, and the defense is not.

What are some of the obstacles in a case like Ahed’s that would be different if she were being tried in a civilian court?

First, it...

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Shin Bet: Lose your job if your kid throws stones

Israel’s security service publishes notices in the Palestinian village of Beit Omar threatening to revoke work permits from families whose children are suspected of stone throwing.

By Yael Marom

Residents of the Palestinian village Beit Omar in the West Bank discovered last week that the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, had posted threatening notices on their homes and businesses. The notices, published in Arabic and signed by a Shin Bet agent known as “Captain Amar,” threaten to revoke work permits from families whose children are suspected of throwing stones.

Tamar Goldschmidt translated the notices into Hebrew:

Hello all,

As you know, a large portion of the breadwinners in the town have work permits that allow them to travel inside the Green Line. These permits allow the families to live with dignity, to maintain their health, to build, to get an education, and to cover the various, heavy costs of living.

We support anyone who tries to make a living by the sweat of their brow. On the other hand, it is senseless to stretch out our hand and provide you a place of work, while discovering that your son is throwing stones or Molotov cocktails on the main road, which is used by both Israelis and Arabs. Stone throwing is more than a crime, it is attempted murder.

Therefore, there is no forgiveness regarding the fact that it is your duty as a parent to keep an eye on your child and make sure they do not disturb the peace — it makes no sense that you do not have control over him — in order to ensure their education and your family’s livelihood.

You should know, should we revoke your work permit, that we are not to blame.

Additionally, as a gesture of goodwill on our part, we have decided to look into the possibility of forgiving all those who ask to have a rescinded work permit returned, and we invest all we can in the matter.

We will dedicate a special day for submitting these requests with the beginning of the new year, on January 1, 2018 at 9 a.m.

We wish you all a happy new year.

Amar

The kind words do not make the notices any less threatening. The village residents know Captain Amar, as well as his colleagues in the Shin Bet, quite well. This is the everyday life of villagers living under perpetual collective punishment, including frequent night raids, arrests, tear gar, checkpoints,...

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Now is the time for one staters to unite and build a movement

Trump’s Jerusalem declaration provides those who believe in one democratic state across Israel-Palestine a golden opportunity. Now is our chance to promote a vision of peace that could save the future generations from endless bloodshed.

By Awad Abdelfattah

In declaring Jerusalem the official capital of Israel last month, President Trump dealt a knock-out blow to the illusion of the two-state paradigm, and to the lie of the United States as an honest broker. But Trump’s declaration has also offered new opportunities, providing those who advocate for a democratic, one-state solution in Israel-Palestine the political moment to regroup, unite, and engage in an extensive effort to transform into a mass movement.

Israel buried the two-state option long before Trump became president. Indeed, the so-called peace process, into which huge resources have been poured, could not have lasted this long without the unconditional backing of successive U.S. administrations, as well as the passivity and even complicity of many European and other states in maintaining this destructive illusion.

Time after time, Israel has been saved by its superpower backers with impunity; its war crimes went unpunished. Three bloody Israeli wars were launched against the largest open-air prison in the Gaza Strip, inflicting massive deaths and destruction on the besieged Palestinian population of two million.

Meanwhile, Israel has intensified its hardline, right wing, pro-settler politics in complete disregard of Palestinian leaders, the international community, and even relatively sane voices within the Israeli political system. Added to all this is the propaganda machine that nurtures the lie of the peace process, and prevents Palestinian and Israeli peace activists from acting effectively against ongoing colonization.

The Palestinians should not have waited for an impulsive, populist, and dangerous American president to shake off all that is left of the illusion that the U.S. could serve as an honest broker. Their official leadership, based in Ramallah, has been paralyzed by false promises, and has remained passive in the face of the ongoing colonization of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

On the Palestinian side, the two major parties, Fatah and Hamas, have failed to complete the reconciliation efforts that began three months ago, with Egypt as broker. The Israeli government has, as usual, rejected any form of reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, even after the latter softened its political program and embraced a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian Authority has instead become a colonial...

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+972's Story of the Year: The trial of Dareen Tatour

The surreal arrest and trial of a Palestinian poet symbolizes a crackdown on free speech, surveillance on social media, and rising authoritarian trends in Israel. +972’s Story of the Year for 2017.

By +972 Magazine

For the past year and half, a strange and disturbing drama has been playing out in a Haifa courtroom. In the defendant’s seat is a poet, on trial for a political poem she wrote, performed, and published on Facebook. Whether she goes to prison for publishing that poem rests largely on how the judge ultimately interprets a few words translated by a policeman whose main qualification is that he studied Arabic literature in high school.

Dareen Tatour, 35, is a Palestinian citizen of Israel from the town of Reineh, just outside of Nazareth. Her poem, “Qawem Ya Sha’abi, Qawemhum” (“Resist my people, resist them”), was published in 2015, at the height of Palestinian protests across Israel and the West Bank and a wave of so-called lone wolf stabbing and vehicular attacks against Israeli security forces and civilians, largely in Jerusalem and Hebron. A few days later, police stormed her house and arrested her in the middle of the night. She spent three months in prison and has been under house arrest ever since, pending the conclusion of her trial.

She was charged with incitement to violence and expressing support for a terrorist organization.

The issue at question, and what will ultimately determine whether she returns to prison or is exonerated, is the policeman’s translation and interpretation of her poetry. The defense has called a cast of experts on Hebrew and Arabic literature to testify about the various meanings of specific words and phrases, the nature of political poetry, and how even some of the most oppressive regimes in the world have tolerated dissident poets.

Tatour’s story is not only her own, however. Her arrest and political trial represent a terrifying new era in which Palestinians, and some Jewish-Israelis, are arrested and imprisoned by Israeli authorities, sometimes without trial, for things they write on Facebook. The poet has become an unwitting symbol of the rise of state surveillance of social media.

Over the past two years, Israel has arrested hundreds of Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line (and a very small number of Jewish Israelis) for political speech published online – mainly on Facebook. The Israeli security...

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Israel arrests three leading Palestinian activists in West Bank

Israeli forces arrest Manal Tamimi, Jamil Barghouti, and Munther Amira, three prominent activists in the nonviolent struggle against the occupation.

By Yael Marom

The Israeli army arrested a number of prominent activists in the Palestinian popular struggle over the past few days, during protests against President Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem, and the arrests of members of the Tamimi family.

On Thursday, an Israeli military court decided to extend Ahed and her mother Nariman Tamimi’s detention by five more days. The court also called to release their family member, Nur, on condition, though it then called to delay the release by 48 hours. Ahed was arrested in a night raid after a video of her slapping and striking an Israeli soldier outside her home in Nabi Saleh was published. Her mother was arrested for “incitement” for publishing the video.

Throughout the hearing at Ofer Military Court on Thursday, the military prosecutor demanded that Ahed, Nur, and Nariman’s remand be extended by a week. The court partially accepted the demand, after first extending their detention on Monday. The three are suspected of disturbing the peace, assault, and insulting a civil servant.

On Thursday Israeli forces arrested Manal Tamimi, a central figure in Nabi Saleh’s popular struggle, during a solidarity protest outside Ofer. Manal is suspected of disturbing the peace and will be kept in detention until Sunday, when she is expected to be brought before a judge. Israeli forces also arrested Jamil Barghouti, another prominent activist of the popular committees, at the same demonstration.

WATCH: Manal Tamimi’s arrest outside Ofer Military Court

On Wednesday morning, Israeli forces also arrested Munther Amira during a demonstration in Bethlehem. He will be brought before a judge on Sunday. The IDF Spokesperson claims that Amira “was arrested after taking part in a violent riot that included stone throwing at security forces in the area.”

Meanwhile, Ahed Tamimi’s Twitter account has allegedly disappeared; the company is not responding to inquiries on the matter. Amira’s Facebook account also reportedly vanished. When previously asked whether Israel is involved in blocking websites, former IDF Censor Sima Vaknin-Gil, who today serves as the director general of the Strategic Affairs Ministry, responded: “The ways of God are wonderful. Some things happen by chance, some things do not.”

Members of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee say that Israel has harshened its measures toward Palestinians since Trump’s declaration, with...

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+972 Magazine's 20 most-read posts of 2017

From the Palestinian director shattering taboos in her own society, to a journey away from Zionism, to Richard Gere likening Hebron to Jim Crow, here are the most popular articles we published this past year. 

By +972 Magazine Staff

20. Looted from Beirut 35 years ago, now on display in Tel Aviv

Read the full article here.

19. Two killed in Bedouin village slated to be demolished, replaced with Jewish town

Read the full article here.

18. The Palestinian director bringing her generation to the big screen

Read the full article here.

17. Is Sheldon Adelson behind Trump’s decision on Jerusalem?

Read the full article here.

16. Guess which of these human rights Israel guarantees to Palestinians

Read the full article here.

15. The annexation of Palestine could be closer than you think

Read the full article here.

14. Ahed Tamimi flips Zionist mythology on its head

Read the full article here.

13. Army arrests Palestinian teen for hurting soldiers’ masculinity

Read the full article here.

12. My sister is refusing to join the IDF — and I couldn’t be prouder

Read the full article here.

11. WATCH: Jewish Defense League activists beat Palestinian-American at AIPAC

Read the full article here.

10.Before Zionism: The shared life of Jews and Palestinians

Read the full article here.

9. The Palestinian guide to dealing with racist compliments from Israelis

Read the full article here.

Faiek - Good Arab

8. Supreme Court rules against exposing Israel’s role in Bosnian genocide

Read the full article here.

7. Senior Israeli gov’t minister warns Palestinians of ‘third Nakba’

Read the full article here.

6. Netanyahu’s son just published an anti-Semitic cartoon on Facebook

Read the full article here.

5. Thousands of Israeli, Palestinian women ‘wage peace’ in the desert

Read the full article here.

4. A Palestinian’s first-class seat next to Naftali Bennett

Read the full article here.

3. How the world missed a week of Palestinian civil disobedience

Read the full article here.

2. Richard Gere on segregation in Hebron: It’s exactly like the Old South

Read the full article here.

1. Nabi Saleh is where I lost my Zionism

Read the full article here.

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The Mizrahi communities destroyed by Israel

Since its founding, Israel has systematically erased hundreds of Palestinian villages from the map. But Palestinians were never the only victims. This is the story of the Mizrahi communities erased before and after Israel’s founding.

By Eitan Bronstein Aparicio

It is well known that since the early days of Zionist immigration to Palestine, the Israeli establishment and its various branches have destroyed hundreds of Palestinian and Syrian villages and towns, which were deemed enemies of the state. The new “Colonial Destruction” map, published by De-Colonizer, an alternative research center on Palestine/Israel, includes the Jewish Mizrahi communities — around half of them Yemenite — which were destroyed by the Zionist authorities before Israel’s founding and by the Israeli state after 1948.

The term “destru(A)ction” refers to communities that were pushed out against their will — often through physical violence, and always with the help of legal and economic violence. Other towns and neighborhoods, such as the Mahlul and Nordia neighborhoods in Tel Aviv, or the Neve Amal ma’abara in Herzliya, were also destroyed, although its residents were eventually offered compensation.

On the other hand, there were Israeli communities that were demolished despite the will of the residents — in the Sinai Peninsula, for instance — though these demolitions went against the grain of Israel’s colonial expansion, as they occurred in the framework of a peace agreement with Egypt, and thus are not included in the map. The destruction of these communities can be viewed as a form of de-colonization.

The destruction of these Jewish communities should not come to us as a surprise, especially when considering the way in which the Zionist establishment has always viewed and treated those from the East, be they Jewish, Muslim, or Christian — all of them Arab.

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Remember the names

Since Israel’s founding, there has been a hierarchy of oppression. Palestinians endure the most discrimination, yet Jewish Mizrahim, who enjoy the privileges of being Jewish, are discriminated against by Ashkenazim. In the early days of Zionist immigration to Palestine, the discriminatory attitude by the Ashkenazi elite toward Mizrahim was openly racist — the Zionist establishment was Ashkenazi-European, and worked to protect the interests of the state’s founding fathers. They worked diligently in those years, and after the state’s...

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