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Aharon Barak

  • Is Black-Palestinian solidarity the best way forward?

    Although Black-Palestinian solidarity stretches back to the 1970s, one must wonder whether it still has the power to bring about effective change. By Khelil Bouarrouj The animating idea of contemporary American left-wing activism is “intersectionality,” the concept that oppressive institutions are connected in their subjugation of discrete groups, and that oppressed people should be/are in shared struggle. [tmwinpost] One of the most prominent expressions of intersectionality has been the Black-Palestinian solidarity movement, which has a rich history and was spontaneously renewed in late 2014 after Palestinians on social media used the hashtag #Palestine2Ferguson in support of the Black Lives Matter…

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  • The destructive potential of Israel's nation-state bill

    The newest version of the nation-state bill, which effectively pulls Israel's apartheid regime out of the closet, could potentially lead to massive violence against its weakest population. By Marzuq Al-Halabi The "nation-state bill," which was approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday, is no different from the day-to-day political discourse taking place in Israel these over the last years. By revoking Arabic as an official language of the state, and maintaining that “the right to realize self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people," the bill enshrines the ideas, desires, ideology, and actions of Israel's political leaders…

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  • The Palestinian village that refuses to give up on popular struggle

    Even after 11 years of struggle, the residents of Bil'in refuse to forget about the land that was taken from them. The year was 2006. The village Bil'in near Ramallah had already marked over a year of weekly protests against the separation barrier that cuts them off from their land. One day, during a hearing at the High Court of Justice over a petitioned against the route of the wall, Justice Aharon Barak wondered aloud: "Why do they protest there so often?" [tmwinpost] Nearly 11 years have passed since the residents of this small village decided they wanted to oppose…

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  • Why won't Israeli peace groups talk about the Nakba?

    It's 2015 and Israeli peace groups still refuse to talk about the mass dispossession of Palestinians in 1948, including those who became Israeli citizens. Tom Mehager says it is time for a real conversation about the right of return. By Tom Mehager Israeli non-profit organizations that strive for a society based on coexistence most often focus on the most pressing issues vis-a-vis Jewish-Arab relations: educating toward democratic values, mutual recognition and teaching the Arabic language; equal allocation of resources and land; integration into the workforce and strengthening economic investment in Arab towns and villages; proper representation in decision-making processes; legitimacy for…

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  • The ‘Jewish Nation-State Law’: Turning liberal Zionism on its head

    Cementing the supremacy of national group rights over individual minority rights upends the precarious balance between Jewish and democratic, upon which liberal Zionism relies. For the 'Nation-State Law's authors and political patrons, however, this is just the beginning. Liberal Zionists of all stripes tend to have one thing in common: the belief — or at least the hope — that Israel can reconcile and balance being a Jewish and a democratic state, serving both as the realization of Jewish national self-determination and as a modern liberal state that guarantees equality to all its citizens regardless of their religion or ethnic…

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  • Between 'barbarism' and 'exceeding authority'

    Israel lacks laws for trying soldiers for war crimes – and when IDF soldiers commit them, the results are ludicrous charges, indictments and sentences. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz For boys and girls, and we alongside them Actively Or by quiet agreement, Are nudged, mumbling "necessity" and "vengeance" Into becoming war criminals. --Nathan Alterman, "About This" (Al Zot), 1948 During Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip a force of Givati Brigade soldiers seized a position in a house in the Tel AlHawa neighborhood of Gaza City. Two of the soldiers, sergeants first class GA and SA, noticed…

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  • All signs point to Israel's weak democracy

    The assassination of Zuhair al-Qaissi, which sparked the escalation in the south, points to Israel's weak Supreme Court, a lack of transparency and accountability, and the state's flip attitude towards its judicial branch--as do some street signs in Tel Aviv The recent escalation between Israel and Gaza began after Israeli forces assassinated Zuhair al-Qaissi, a leader of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), a militant group composed of members of various Palestinian parties. Haaretz noted that the PRC was "the organisation that captured Gilad Shalit", the Israeli soldier who was freed in October 2011. The army says that al-Qaissi was behind the August 2011…

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  • Citizenship Law prefers discrimination over human rights

    Recent rejection by the Israeli High Court of the final petitions against Israel's Citizenship Law – which denies status in Israel to Palestinian spouses of Israeli citizens – was described as a "watershed" ruling. Watershed indeed, but how exactly? By Hagai El-Ad Justice Asher Grunis, the Israeli supreme court judge who will become the court's next president in February, kept his opinion sufficiently brief for the bluntness-and-brevity to stick between the lines. He opted to air his opinion in the court's recent decision to reject the petitions against Israel's Citizenship Law, with the following succinct quote: "Human rights are not…

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