By now it is clear to all that the fires that erupted in Israel late last year were not the result of nationalistic arson. So why does the Education Ministry claim otherwise? By John Brown* This past November, Israel's Education Ministry published a booklet on the fires that erupted in Israel late last year. The booklet, issue 143 of the Al Seder Hayom (Hebrew for "The Daily Agenda") magazine, claimed that the fires "began as a result of negligence, and spread to many areas as a result of nationalistically-motivated arson […] the deliberate arsons once again raise issues surrounding the maintaining the delicate relations…Read More...
Out of over 180 complaints filed over taser use by police between 2014-2016, only 12 cases were actually investigated. Not a single officer was indicted. By Sapir Sluzker-Amran Yosef Salamsa was supposed to celebrate his 25th birthday last month. His tragic death, which took place several months after Israeli police tasseled him without any justification, did not lead to justice. The complaint filed with the Israel Police Investigation Unit was closed, as were dozens of other complaints over taser use, according to statistics [Hebrew] handed over by the Justice Ministry to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). [tmwinpost] In…Read More... | 2 Comments
Moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem could ignite a spark that would set the entire region aflame. It's just not worth it. By James J. Zogby In just a matter of days, President-elect Donald Trump will have to decide on whether or not to make good on his promise to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. As we approach Inauguration Day, liberal and conservative commentators alike have offered a number of ideas as to how he can proceed. Ranging from “too cute by half” to just plain dumb, they should all be rejected.…Read More... | 12 Comments
Israeli authorities continue to uproot Palestinian-owned olive trees in order to build a road for nearby settlers. Photos by Keren Manor / Activestills, text by Yael Marom Israeli authorities uprooted dozens of olive trees in order to build a settler road near the West Bank city of Qalqilya on Monday morning. The Israeli army declared the area a closed military zone after the landowners, along with a number of Israeli activists, arrived in the area to protest and try to nonviolently stop the uprooting. Three of the demonstrators were arrested. Israeli bulldozers accompanied by workers and private security personnel arrived at the…Read More... | 4 Comments
Germany's Bank for Social Economy shut down an account belonging to a Jewish peace group, accusing it of anti-Semitism. Meanwhile, it continues to handle an account belonging to the Jewish National Fund — which actively supports dispossession of Bedouin. By John Brown* In the beginning of December, +972's Haggai Matar revealed that Germany's Bank für Sozialwirtschaft (Bank for Social Economy) had closed an account belonging to Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East, a German-based peace group. According to the bank, the organization was part of a campaign that undermined Israel's existence. [tmwinpost] The bank's claims, however,…Read More... | 3 Comments
The Israeli media and politicians' narrative of a Palestinian 'arson intifada' remains in place, despite there not being even a shred of evidence to support their story. Over the last couple of days several people have sent me an article by Kalman Liebskind from last Friday’s Ma’ariv newspaper, which cited statistics from Israel’s Fire and Rescue Services on the wave of fires that swept Israel at the end of November. The piece claimed that almost all the fires investigated by the authorities were due to arson. Given how I wrote at the time that there were no known facts to suggest that the…Read More...
Former top generals and commanders in Israel have launched a new campaign that pushes for unilateral separation from Palestinians. But their messaging reminds us just how racist the notion of a Palestinian 'demographic threat' really is. A new campaign in Israel by a group of former top military and security officials warns that Palestinians will soon be the majority in the country. It is billed as a centrist, pragmatist approach to enhance Israel's security in lieu of a peace process, which it may be — but it is also blatantly racist. [tmwinpost] Launched Sunday to coincide with the Paris Peace summit that…Read More... | 12 Comments
Donald Trump's proposal to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border was a cornerstone of his presidential campaign. But Israel's separation wall is a lesson in why such a project is dangerous, ineffective — and morally wrong. By Abby C. Wheatley and Oren Kroll-Zeldin Throughout his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump made constant reference to the 50-foot tall concrete wall he plans to build on the entire length of the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump’s plan is divisive, further polarizing an already fractured American public. And yet there seems to be little public awareness that nearly 700 miles of fencing already exists, or that…Read More... | 2 Comments
Students at Tel Aviv's Ironi Alef sign petition in support of Tamar Alon and Tamar Ze'evi, who refuse to serve in the army over their opposition to the occupation. Over 240 Israeli high school students signed a petition on Friday morning in support of two conscientious objectors. [tmwinpost] The petition, organized by Mesarvot, an Israeli NGO that supports conscientious objectors, called to support Tamar Alon — a former student at Tel Aviv's Ironi Alef High School, where the petition was circulated — and Tamar Ze'evi. The two are now serving their fourth stint in military prison for refusing to serve in the…Read More... | 1 Comment
Hundreds of Palestinian citizens demonstrate against the demolition of homes in the Arab town of Qalansuwa earlier this week. In a week during which the Israeli media focused mostly on itself and Benjamin Netanyahu's latest corruption scandal, we in the Arab community focused on our homes, and our basic right to live on this land. This past week the government destroyed 11 homes in the town of Qalansuwa, striking a blow against a fifth of the population. The prime minister shared a Facebook post titled "Our forces destroyed Arab homes," unleashing the venom of his followers, hungry for revenge and driven…Read More...
The differing approaches to suspected law-breaking by Netanyahu and Palestinian MK Basel Ghattas expose just how selective the rule of law in Israel really is. Law is a deceptive concept. We like to take pride in being “law-abiding citizens,” and so tend to reject and condemn members of our community who have broken the law. Joint List head Ayman Odeh, for example, was quick to voice his disapproval of the news concerning Basel Ghattas, a Knesset member in his party who is suspected of smuggling cellphones to Palestinian prisoners. Immediately after the reports regarding Ghattas surfaced in December, Odeh emphasized…Read More... | 1 Comment
The idea that Israel must 'defeat' the Palestinians by demoralizing them until they accept whatever solution is forced upon them is gaining traction on the Right. By Nathan Hersh and Abe Silberstein The idea that instead of negotiating with the Palestinians Israel must first “defeat” and thoroughly demoralize them until they recognize its permanent presence in the region, has emerged from center-right policy circles in recent months. This broad idea takes many shapes, the most of extreme of which is articulated in Daniel Pipes’ front page essay in Commentary Magazine, and will presumably have some appeal to the incoming Trump administration. But…Read More... | 31 Comments
The flip side of Israel’s need for heroes created in uniform, weapon in hand, is the urge to preserve the ideals associated with them and to shield them from criticism — the ramifications of which have become disturbingly clear in the case of Elor Azaria. “A nation without heroes is a house without doors.” So says the grotesque, dictatorial general in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Autumn of the Patriarch,” after affording equal posthumous honors to several army officers who die in quick succession, no matter whether they were killed in a tragic accident or as a result of their own depraved activities. [tmwinpost]…Read More... | 19 Comments
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