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Sent to prison for trespassing on his own land

Israeli authorities have demolished Al-Araqib over 100 times. Before heading to prison for rebuilding and staying on his land, the village’s leader says he knows justice is on his side.

“I have a good feeling I’ll be in prison alongside Netanyahu,” Sheikh Sayeh Abu Madi’am jokes, sitting in a tent in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Al-Araqib, which Israeli authorities have demolished well over 100 times — 136 times, to be exact.

Later this month, Abu Madi’am is supposed to begin serving a 10-month prison sentence for unlawfully entering and trespassing on public land — his village’s land. A court case to resolve whether he owns the land, which his lawyers say should have been concluded before he could be convicted of trespassing on it, is still pending.

“I did not steal, I did not cheat,” Abu Madi’am says. “The law recognizes property purchased by Jews before 1948 but it does not recognize a Bedouin who bought land from another Bedouin in 1905. Our cemetery has been here since 1914. Where was the Israeli government back then?”

Al-Araqib, located just a few miles from Be’er Sheva in the south, has become a symbol of the Palestinian struggle against Israeli efforts to disposes the Bedouin community of their land and homes in the Negev, or al-Naqab in Arabic.

Al-Araqib’s land was expropriated under a 1953 law that allowed the state to easily take land for purposes of “development, settlement, and security.” Israeli authorities have never used the land, however, for any purpose.

In the 1970s, Israel allowed Bedouins to file land ownership claims. At least on paper, it offered them a fair process for adjudicating such claims. In the early 2000s, however, the state froze that process and began filing counter claims on plots of land claimed by Bedouin citizens of Israel, seeking to register the plots as state land. That’s what happened when Al-Araqib filed an ownership claim.

The state has a 100-percent success rate in all of the counter claims it has filed.

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I first met the sheikh in 2009 at the village’s first protest demanding that Israel connect their homes to water, electricity, and sewage grids. Israel refuses to connect...

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After a decade, evictions set to return in Sheikh Jarrah

Residents of Sheikh Jarrah are bracing for a new wave of evictions, ten years after Israeli settlers attempted to take over Palestinian homes in the embattled East Jerusalem neighborhood.

The Sabag and Hamad families are refugees from Jaffa and Haifa, respectively. Expelled from their homes during the 1948 war, they have been living in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, an area that was at least partially owned by Jews before the war, since 1956. They were resettled there by the Jordanian authorities and UNRWA, the UN agency responsible for providing humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees.

Although their original homes in Haifa and Jaffa are still standing, members of the Sabag and Hamad families cannot reclaim ownership over them. Soon after becoming a state, Israel enacted the Absentee Property Law, which transferred Palestinian refugees’ property into the hands of the state. It does not apply to Jewish families that fled their homes in 1948. They can reclaim their properties, like those in Sheikh Jarrah.

For over a decade, Jewish settler groups have been exploiting that lopsided legal situation to try and kick Palestinian families out of their homes in East Jerusalem.

“This is a political issue, it’s not an issue of justice,” says Saleh Diab, one of the neighborhood’s most prominent activists. “Everything we managed to stop 10 years ago will now resume.”

In 2009, after three families were evicted from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah, Palestinian and Israeli activists started a protest movement that eventually mobilized thousands to demonstrate in the neighborhood every week against both evictions. The struggle led to pressure in the media and the international community and the evictions came to a halt. Since then, Israeli authorities have evicted only one family in Sheikh Jarrah.

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Now, with the backing of Trump, Diab fears Israel’s right-wing government and settler groups will have the green light to resume their attempts to take over more homes. Two weeks ago the Supreme Court rejected the Sabah and Hamad families’ appeals against their evictions. Residents of Sheikh Jarrah fear that could lead to a new wave of evictions affecting as many as 11 families and 500 people.

“We were shocked,” says 74-year-old Muhammad Sabag. “We...

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Palestinian activist sent to prison for ‎riding a bike in his village

An Israeli military court sentenced Abdullah Abu Rahma, a recognized human rights defender, to 110 days in prison for riding a bicycle during a protest against the occupation two years ago.

An Israeli military court sentenced renowned Palestinian activist Abdullah Abu Rahma to four months in prison on Wednesday, for two charges stemming from a bicycle race to mark Nakba Day in 2016.

Abu Rahma, one of the most well-known leaders of the popular struggle against the separation wall, was convicted several weeks ago of violating a closed military zone order and obstructing a soldier during a race in May 2016 in Bil’in, where he is from. Hundreds of Palestinian and international cyclists participated in the so-called “return ride,” which kicked off in Ramallah and ended in the West Bank village.

Israeli security forces raided the village before the race even began, however. Abu Rahma was arrested while trying to explain to the soldiers that they were on his land. He was thrown to the ground, arrested, and held in detention for 11 days.

Nearly all forms of protest are illegal for Palestinians living under Israeli military rule in the West Bank.

On Wednesday, Israeli Military Judge Maj. Haim Baliti agreed to let Abu Rahma begin serving his sentence in mid-December, so as to give the defense time to appeal both the sentence and conviction.

Baliti also applied part of a suspended sentence from another, earlier conviction for participating in another protest a year earlier. The suspended sentence was triggered by the current conviction. Abu Rahma will serve a total of 110 days in an Israeli military prison.

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“Abdullah is a human rights defender,” said Gaby Lasky, his attorney following the sentencing. “He nonviolently opposes the occupation — that’s what makes him such an important target. As long as he is in prison, he cannot be out in the field.”

“These punishments for ongoing nonviolent resistance indicates that the military court is not a court of justice; its sole purpose is to maintain the occupation and to prevent any resistance to it,” added Lasky.

Abu Rahma, who in 2010 was recognized as a “human rights defender” dedicated to nonviolence, is one of the most prominent leaders in the struggle against the wall, and helped head the popular protests in Bil’in starting in 2005.

He has spent over a year in prison for his role in Bil’in’s protests, and...

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In Khan al-Ahmar, I found renewed hope for resisting the occupation

Over the last four months I have spent most of my time in Khan al-Ahmar, watching young Palestinians resist, day after day, the Israeli authorities’ attempts to demolish the village. On Saturday night, their struggle finally bore fruit.

Ever since Israel’s High Court of Justice gave its stamp of approval for the Israeli army to demolish Khan al-Ahmar nearly two months ago, I have slept in the village almost every single night. In that time, a number of people (including at times my editors) have asked me, and sometimes I even asked myself, what is the point?

The first answer is entirely technical: my fear that Israeli authorities might completely block off access during the demolition. If that were to happen, any journalists who weren’t already inside the village when the bulldozers arrived would not be able to document the eviction and destruction.

While Palestinian journalists maintained a constant presence at Khan al-Ahmar these past few months, aside from a few photographers, I was the only Israeli journalist consistently reporting from the village over the past four months. My presence in the village taught me that despite all of its previous losses, the popular struggle in the occupied territories is still alive.

Throughout the summer, and especially since the final court ruling in September, hundreds of Palestinian activists remained in the village day and night. The Palestinian Authority Committee Against the Wall and Settlements provided the infrastructure for their stay — from bus rides to blankets to meals to electricity for charging phones.

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A month ago, not a single person in Israel, the West Bank, or even around the world, would have believed that the struggle of a few hundred activists could succeed in delaying — if not defeating completely — Netanyahu’s decision to demolish the village.

Although the vast majority of activists and journalists thought the demolition was only a matter of time, on Saturday night, when Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that he was shelving the demolition until further notice,  everything looked different. For a moment, it was possible to see how a defiant, popular, nonviolent struggle could accomplish the impossible.

I have heard several Israeli journalists argue over these past few months that without the backing of the PA and the activists, the Bedouin residents of Khan al-Ahmar would have long ago signed a deal and left...

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WATCH: Israelis and Palestinians meet face to face at Gaza fence

Left-wing Israelis and Palestinian protestors on opposite sides of the Israel-Gaza fence get a rare chance to speak to one another face to face.

For a few short minutes last week, a group of Israeli activists managed to have a face-to-face conversation with Palestinian activists in Gaza, albeit through a militarized fence.

On Wednesday of last week, for the first time since the Great Return March began in March, a small group of Israeli activists approached the fence to speak with Palestinian demonstrators, standing just meters from them on the other side.

The Palestinians who approached the fence had been taking part in a cultural event near the village of Khuza’a in one of the nearby tent encampments, which was established as part of the Great Return March.

The rare meeting lasted only a few minutes, until Israeli soldiers arrived and ordered the Israelis to leave the area.

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The meeting was “very touching,” according to one of the Israeli activists there, who asked that his name not be used. “The soldiers asked us if we weren’t afraid for our lives. We told them that we were worried that our friends on the other side would be shot.”

“One of the young Palestinians asked us where we were from,” added the activist. “The younger ones have been locked in Gaza all their lives, they do not know Israelis who are not soldiers. They found it hard to believe that there are Israelis who show solidarity with them.”

The meeting comes after multiple attempts by Israeli activists to approach the Israel-Gaza fence in show of solidarity with Palestinians protesting on the other side. Along with waving Palestinian flags on the Israeli side of the border, the activists previously hung photos of Gazans killed by the Israeli army and organized parallel tea parties on both sides of the fence.

Palestinians have been marching weekly to the fence in order to highlight the impacts of the siege on Gaza, as well as to re-center the issue of Palestinian refugees. Since protests began on March 30, Israeli soldiers have killed at least 205 Palestinians, and wounded tens of thousands of others. Last Friday, Israeli soldiers shot dead seven Palestinians — including two teenage boys — during the protests, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it

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Khan al-Ahmar demolition could be imminent, activists fear

Palestinian and Israeli activists who have been camping out in the village, which Israel says it will demolish, say they will resist nonviolently.

The residents of Khan al-Ahmar are preparing for the imminent demolition of their village, which activists and residents fear could take place as early as Monday morning.

Saturday night saw a record number of people staying the night at Khan al-Ahmar’s protest tent, with around 300 Palestinians and 30 Israeli and international activists sleeping in the schoolyard tent encampment.

The activists woke at 6:30 a.m. Sunday to find over 15 police vehicles parked at the entrance to the village. Like a similar  last week, activists and residents speculated that the police officers were there to gauge their response.

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Israeli and Palestinian activists — who have been consistently sleeping in the village since the High Court of Justice ruled greenlighted the demolition of the village — say they will resist nonviolently and try to delay Khan al-Ahmar’s demolition for as long as possible.

Dana Mandler, an activist with the diaspora Jewish anti-occupation group All That’s Left, who slept in the village on Saturday night, said, “as an Israeli and American, it is clear to me that the best way for me to be in solidarity with Khan al-Ahmar is to be physically present in the village along with other activists.”

“When we saw the police cars, everyone was ready to show them that we are here to nonviolently resist,” Mendler added. “It sends a powerful message when Israelis and Palestinians are together every night, speaking about a joint future, while preparing the school for the students in the morning.”

On Sunday morning, around 150 students arrived at Khan al-Ahmar’s school to begin their lessons. While they went to class, most of the activists left the village, under the assumption that the demolition would not take place during school hours.

Many of the activists were expected to return later Sunday for another night of preparations. Eid Jahalin, a resident and spokesperson for the village, said he hadn’t slept for many days. “It’s hard to know when they will come, they are playing with us in order to wear down the residents here.”

Last Wednesday, police commanders toured the area, bolstering residents’ and activists’ fears that the evacuation would take place early this week. Over the weekend, nearly 100 members of the Parents Circle-Families Forum, a grassroots...

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Despite high hopes, Merkel calls village's demolition an 'Israeli decision'

The residents of Khan al-Ahmar had hoped the German chancellor would demand Netanyahu back down from the imminent demolition of their hamlet. Instead, she called the matter an ‘Israeli decision.’ 

By Oren Ziv

Ever since Israel’s High Court of Justice gave its final stamp of approval to the demolition of the village of Khan al-Ahmar last month, residents and solidarity activists have been hoping that international pressure, especially from Europe, would delay or prevent the demolition. The activists have directed their efforts toward convincing members of the EU Parliament to openly oppose the move. They also hoped that the threat of punitive measures by European states could have some influence on Israel.

At the protest tent in Khan al-Ahmar, built in the courtyard of the village school, the worn out activists and journalists who have been taking turns sleeping in the village in recent weeks waited with bated breath for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit. The widespread assumption was that Israel would not dare demolish the village during her trip to Israel, with rumors swirling that the chancellor threatened to cancel her trip should the village be destroyed.

Merkel’s visit indeed provided some clarity regarding the possibility of German pressure on Israel on Khan al-Ahmar, and from the perspective of the villagers, things seem gloomy.

In a meeting with university students at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem Thursday, Merkel was asked about her opinion on Khan al-Ahmar, and whether there was any truth to the rumors about her potentially cancelling her trip. “Time and again it was claimed that we conditioned our trip on this. We never spoke about this in government. This information came to us from Israel, that we might not travel, and that is absolutely false. This is an Israeli decision.” Merkel’s remarks appeared to be in line with the Israeli government, which insists that foreign countries should not intervene in matters relating to the occupation.

“Our visit has nothing to do with this,” Merkel added. “One can disagree on it, about the settlement policy, and I definitely have some critical remarks to make because I believe in the two-state solution, but that is not relevant here. We are two democracies and we can exchange different political opinions, also with the prime minister.”

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Merkel’s press conference alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later that day only...

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PHOTOS: Activists protest on Israeli side of Gaza fence in solidarity with Great Return March

‘We will continue to come here until Gaza is free.’

By Oren Ziv

Dozens of Israeli and international activists protested on the Israeli side of the Gaza fence on Friday, in solidarity with the Great Return March protests in Gaza.

The activists, some members of organizations like Jews for Return and Coalition of Women for Peace, waved big Palestinian flags, chanted slogans, and carried posters supporting Palestinians’ right of return. They also held photos of Palestinians who were killed by Israeli forces during the Great Return March protests.

From the Israeli side of the fence, activists could see the smoke from burning tires on the Gazan side, smell tear gas, and hear gunshots that Israeli soldiers fired at Palestinian protesters, as well as ambulances clearing the wounded.

“I am here in solidarity with the demonstrators in Gaza. We have been here before, and we will continue to come until Gaza is free,” said Neta Golan, one of the protest organizers. “The tear gas we inhaled is nothing compared to what the protesters in Gaza suffer. Showing up here is the least we could do, given the situation. I hope more people around the world will take action for Gazans who demand basic living rights,” she added.

“We are standing here on two sides of the fence, both rejecting it,” said Jospeh Makiton, another protestor. “We coordinated the protest so that they [Gazans] could see us – something the [Israeli] government has been trying to prevent for years.”

On the Palestinian side, demonstrators responded with cheers of joy. “I would like to praise everyone who is protesting in solidarity with us,” said one of the Great Return March organizers in Gaza, Isam Hammad, in a phone call with the activists on the Israeli side. “We are protesting for return, and against the siege that we have been living under for the past 12 years. We hope to see you here every Friday, and hope that every person in the world will learn about our situation. You cannot leave people in prison for so long and deprive them of proper living conditions, with no possibility of returning to our homes, which we were exiled from in 1948.”

With gunshots in the background, Hammad continued: “We want to live in peace. I hope that our actions can prove to people that we can choose life over death.”

Soldiers stationed at the location of...

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Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour set free

Dareen Tatour, who was arrested and jailed for poems she published on social media, is released from prison. Tatour: ‘It will be impossible to stop my writing.’

By Oren Ziv

Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour was released today after serving 42 days in prison. Her five-month sentence was reduced by 97 days, the same amount of time she spent in jail following her arrest in October 2015, before being transferred to house arrest for nearly three years.

“I am very happy to be free, finally, after three years. These were three years of suffering, but I am free now,” said Tatour upon her release.

Tatour, who hails from the village of Reineh near Nazareth, was convicted of incitement to terrorism and violence over a poem she published on her personal Facebook page, titled “Qawem Ya Sha’abi, Qawemhum” (“Resist my people, resist them”), as well as two other social media posts. The poet has become a symbol of the rise of state surveillance of social media.

Tatour was released one day earlier than expected, which came as a surprise to the family and friends who arrived to greet her upon her release. Her father, Tawfik Tatour, who had only seen his daughter once since she was detained in early August, said he did not expect to get a call the night before, informing him of the early release. “It is a joy, I am extremely excited,” he said. A celebration of Tatour’s release will take place on Friday, and her father invites the public to join.

Throughout her trial, the state summoned a string of experts on poetry and the Arabic language to analyze the words of a young poet who was mostly anonymous until her arrest.

Tatour promised to keep writing. “I regret being sent to prison for a poem, but it will be impossible to stop my writing,” she said.

This article was first published in Hebrew on Local Call. Read it here.

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PHOTOS: Activists spend night in Palestinian village Israel plans to demolish

The Israeli military is expected to demolish and forcibly displace the entire village of Khan al-Ahmar any day now. Hundreds of activists hope to stave off the bulldozers, or at least stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the village’s residents when they arrive.

Ever since a temporary injunction delaying the forcible displacement and demolition of the entire Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar expired, over 100 Palestinian, Israeli and foreign solidarity activists have spent the night in the village school’s courtyard.

After dinner and a few live broadcasts on Facebook, the activists sleep on thin mattresses and heavy blankets laid out across the schoolyard’s artificial grass covered courtyard.

As the sun rises each morning, a sense of temporary relief is tangible. The village survived to see another day another night. They made it through the night.

 

The scene is in some ways reminiscent of Tel Aviv’s 2011 social justice tent protests, when thousands of young Israelis slept under the stars and in tents along the city’s Rothschild Boulevard. Only here, in Khan al-Ahmar seven years later, instead of Hebrew-language signs demanding affordable housing there are Palestinian flags, portraits of Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, and almost certainty that Israeli army bulldozers will soon arrive.

Many of the activists, including Palestinian government minister Walid Assaf, hurry to leave the school — and the village — before the children arrive to school each morning. In the evening they will return to spend another night in the village, hoping to hold off its destruction, or at least to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with its residents when it happens.

For nearly a decade, the residents of Khan al-Ahmar have been fighting the Israeli government’s attempts to demolish the Bedouin village and forcibly transfer its inhabitants to an area adjacent to a garbage dump near the West Bank town of Abu Dis.

The village has become an internationally-known site of resistance to Israel’s practice of forcibly transferring Palestinians out of Area C, and, in the past, pressure by American and European diplomats succeeded in helping to stave off the demolitions.

The area where it is located, known as E1, is of great strategic importance because if Israeli settlements expand throughout it, they would effectively dissect the West Bank into two pieces, rendering the idea of a contiguous Palestinian state there moot.

Human rights activists and organizations have called the planned demolition and forced displacement a war crime. Earlier this week,...

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Activists dig in ahead of Khan al-Ahmar demolition

Israel may demolish and evict the Palestinian-Bedouin community any day now, and activists are maintaining a presence there until it does. Israeli forces demolish a small, protest camp that was erected earlier in the week.

By Oren Ziv

An Israeli High Court injunction preventing the forced displacement and demolition of the Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar expired at midnight on Tuesday. Israeli army bulldozers may show up at any time now to destroy the West Bank Palestinian village, strategically situated between Jerusalem and the Israeli settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.

Around 100 Palestinian, international, and Israeli activists visited the village the night the injunction ended, to make sure that the residents are not alone when security forces arrive to demolish it. A huge tent was erected in the school courtyard, which has become the headquarter of the struggle, and dozens of mattresses and blankets dotted the AstroTurf-covered ground. There were no signs of whether the demolition would be carried out that night, but nobody was going to take any chances.

A single police car was parked across the village, on Route 1, which curves around Jerusalem to the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim and down to the Dead Sea. Police officers were not preventing activists from marching into the village.

The night before, on Rosh Hashana, Palestinian activists established a protest camp, Wadi al-Ahmar, between the village and the settlement of Kfar Adumim. They erected four shacks made of wood and aluminum, and said police officers who showed up at the scene looked confused and did not know what to do. According to the activists, the new neighborhood was built on privately owned Palestinian land. Early Thursday morning, Israeli authorities came back to demolish the four shacks that comprised Wadi al-Ahmar.

A hundred or so activists also stayed in the small village Wednesday night, and similar solidarity groups are expected to maintain a presence until Israeli troops come to demolish the village. While the EU has warned Israel against the forced displacement, the assumption among activists is that the demolition is only a matter of time, and the timing is merely a logistical matter for the Israeli forces.

The Khan al-Ahmar residents and the activists who came to support them plan to nonviolently resist the demolition orders by barricading themselves into the village’s school. Since the school is relatively closed off and fenced in, however, the activists...

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On Eid, Palestinian children suddenly cease to be security threats

Tel Aviv’s beaches are packed with Palestinians from the West Bank and East Jerusalem this week, due to Eid al-Adha. Walking along the promenade, you can almost imagine what life would be like here without separation.

By Oren Ziv

Arabic. This was the main language spoken on the beach in Tel Aviv Wednesday. It was the second day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, and thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Israel took the day to come to the beach. For many of those who live in the West Bank, it was a rare opportunity to be given a permit to enter Israel.

On the border between Tel Aviv and Jaffa, I meet a family from the Nablus area. Although the lifeguard had already gone home, the children insist on playing in the water, perhaps because they do not know when they will return. Their father, Nasser, is originally from Jaffa, but was married to a woman from Nablus. He does not understand why the Israeli authorities grant him and his family permission to enter on the holiday. After all, it is generally extremely difficult to obtain entry permits.

“What is the difference between today and any other day?” he asks, pointing at his young daughters. “Today they do not pose a danger to Israel, and tomorrow they are a security threat? From the day we are born and until we die, they (the Israeli government – O.Z.) know everything we do, so what is the problem with letting us in?”

Nasser says that despite having Israeli citizenship, his family is unable to get permits to enter Israel. “Had I married a foreign national, they would let her come here, but my wife and children cannot enter. They can only come see my home city, Jaffa, on holidays, and only for one day.” His two young daughters, who have not spent time at the beach since the last holiday, refuse to leave even once the sun goes down.

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Many of the Palestinians I spoke to on the beach said that the Civil Administration, a body that operates under the command of the Israeli military and runs the day-to-day affairs of the Palestinians in the West Bank, granted them entry permits for one day only.

Near a museum dedicated to the Etzel, the right-wing pre-state...

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Israel's justice minister wishes a happy Eid al-Adha — to Druze only

Ayelet Shaked sends a heartfelt message to the Druze community in Israel and across the world on the first day of Eid al-Adha, leaving out over a billion Muslims.

By Oren Ziv

More than 1.8 million Muslims are celebratuing Eid al-Adha, the “Festival of Sacrifice,” around the world this week. Social networks are full of non-Muslims — including Jews and Christians — wishing their Muslim friends a happy holiday. Even Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked did her part, publishing a standard holiday greeting on her Facebook page on Monday. The only problem? Her wishes extended to the Druze, excluding more than a million Muslims who live in Israel and over a billion across the world.

In the post, which has garnered over 1,300 likes, Shaked wished the Druze “success and prosperity;” she also mentioned the main impetus behind the post: “May the alliance between our two nations only strengthen.”

While Muslim holiday greetings from Israeli politicians and IDF officers have become a regular occurrence on social networks over the past few years — and despite the stark contrast between those greetings and the conduct of said leaders during the rest of the year — it appears the Shaked has broken the record for bluntness.

The justice minister is a member of the Jewish Home party, which spends much of its time dealing with the issue of demographics, so there is no doubt that she knows the numbers. She simply chooses to ignore the majority of Muslims, not only in Israel and the occupied territories — but around the world. The Israeli attempt to distinguish between the Druze and other Arabs is not new, but it has become even more transparent as of late, especially in the wake of the recent demonstrations against the Jewish Nation-State Law, and the government’s attempt to reach a deal with Druze citizens.

Many Facebook users were there to remind Shaked that, despite her post, Eid al-Adha is celebrated by Muslims worldwide. One respondent wrote: “The minister tasked with upholding justice and equality allows herself to wish a happy holiday to a specific part of the population while provocatively avoiding wishing a happy holiday to all Muslims.” Another commenter wrote “What about the Muslims? Are they not human? This is discriminatory and racist.” One Druze commenter also joined the fray: “Shaked, because of the Jewish Nation-State Law, which you helped promote, our holiday is not a happy one. May the law be rescinded by next year, and may we have a truly happy holiday.”

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