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  • The redundancy of Israel's 'Jewish Nation-State Law'

    The Israeli government is pushing a law that would force judges to prioritize Israel’s Jewish character over democratic principles. But that has always been the case. The “Jewish Nation-State Law,” which is currently making its way through the Knesset as a proposed Basic Law – the closest thing Israel has to a constitutional amendment – would require the High Court to prioritize Israel’s Jewish nature over democratic principles in its rulings, according to Haaretz. [tmwinpost] The bill asserts that the justices of the highest court in the land must interpret Israeli law with the understanding that the right to self-determination in Israel…

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  • The true price Israel pays for the occupation

    Both the economic and political elite in Israel benefit from the occupation in different ways. The longer the occupation persists, the wider become the gaps between these two '1 percents' and the rest of the country.  By Shlomo Swirski What is the cost to Israel of the occupation? And who in Israel is paying it? Discussions of Israel’s military rule over the Palestinian territories conquered in 1967 — now marking 50 years — usually revolve around moral, military, diplomatic, and legal matters. [tmwinpost] The impact of the conflict on Israeli society — on the standard of living, economic growth, inter-ethnic…

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  • Pushing Palestinians off their land — by pumping sewage onto it

    Not content with ongoing demolitions in Umm al-Kheir and the destruction of its taboun, settlers in nearby Carmel have resorted to piping their waste onto the land belonging to the village. By Yossi Gurvitz, for Yesh Din The usual problem with reporting on what happens in the West Bank is lens width, an essential physical problem: you want to focus on the details, and hence need to narrow the lens. Yet the details themselves are part of a greater picture, demanding a wider lens. [tmwinpost] On the face of it, what happened in Umm al-Kheir in the south Hebron Hills in December…

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  • Amona Express: Settlers build new outpost in northern West Bank

    Settlers build a new outpost in the Jordan Valley, in the shadow of a recent law that retroactively legalizes land theft in the West Bank. By Eli Bitan Israeli settlers have established a new settlement outpost in the Jordan Valley, likely the first since the illegal outpost of Amona was demolished and in the shadow of a recently-passed law that retroactively legalizes Israeli outposts. [tmwinpost] According to Israeli activist group Machsomwatch, a volunteer organization of Israeli women that monitors checkpoints and the separation wall, there are currently 11 settlers — including one soldier — living in the outpost, located adjacent to the…

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  • Amona's evacuation is no victory

    After over a decade of legal battles, the state was finally forced to evacuate the illegal West Bank outpost of Amona. But that does not mean we should start celebrating any time soon. I'll admit it: I feel a certain sense of satisfaction watching the evacuation of Amona, the illegal West Bank outpost built on what used to be Khalt al-Sultan. The attempt to force ourselves to empathize with the evacuees who lost their homes is both morally delusional and, in a sense, manipulates our collective conscience. [tmwinpost] The settlers of Amona did not lose their homes, rather they gave…

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  • Compare and contrast: Israel's evacuation of Jews vs. Arabs

    Can you spot the difference? Compare and contrast: When Israel Police came to evacuate the Bedouin village Umm el-Hiran, they arrived at dawn and were armed withM16 assault rifles and black sponge-tipped bullets, the latter they still refuse to admit they used. They also shot several people with sponge-tipped bullets who the police claim were throwing stones. And this is how Israeli police officers arrived on Wednesday to evacuate the illegal outpost Amona, whose residents are on occupied land, in violation of both international and Israeli law. No helmets, no riot gear, no guns. Just blue sweatshirts in the middle of the…

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  • Israel's disadvantaged live in Amona's shadow

    The government which makes it almost impossible for Palestinian citizens to acquire building permits is the same one that kicked Givat Amal's residents out of their homes, all while coddling the settlers in Amona. By Yaser Abu Areesha About a week ago I visited a friend who got married earlier this year, a childhood friend who always had the sparkle of success in his eyes. He followed the classic path of high school, work, university, joining the job market, and then the cherry on the cake: marrying and starting a small family. A couple of years before he got married, he…

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  • Time's up? State announces imminent demolition of Bedouin village

    Authorities will begin demolishing the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran on Tuesday morning — in order to replace it with a Jewish town. The Israel Land Authority (ILA) announced on Monday that the demolition of Umm al-Hiran, an unrecognized Bedouin village in southern Israel, would begin the next day, following a 13-year legal struggle. The state plans to build a Jewish town atop the remains of the Bedouin village. [tmwinpost] Following the announcement, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel filed a last-minute request with the Be'er Sheva Magistrate's Court to freeze the demolition process, which…

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  • What’s an illegal settlement?

    The Israeli government is working tirelessly to retroactively legalize over 100 illegal West Bank outposts. They'll probably get away with it. Is that such a bad thing? The biggest story in Israel this past week — bigger than Trump or Aleppo — was the impending eviction of the illegal settlement outpost of Amona, and parallel efforts by the Israeli government to save dozens of others from the same fate. What is an illegal settlement, you ask? Aren’t all settlements illegal under international law? Aren’t all Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land? The answer to the last two questions is yes, but the…

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  • The Right's new spin: Israel demolishes only Jewish homes

    In their attempt to prove allegiance to the settlers, right-wing ministers are finding creative new ways of misleading the public. The controversy over the slated evacuation of a West Bank outpost reached a fever pitch this past week, with government ministers trying to outdo each other to prove their allegiance to the 50 families living in Amona, located in the heart of the West Bank. [tmwinpost] While the state promised it would evacuate Amona, built entirely on private Palestinian land, back in 2010, it has found every possible way to delay the inevitable. According to the latest High Court decision, the…

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  • Resource: Fact-checking Israel's most stubborn illegal outpost

    The state will ask the High Court to, once again, delay the demolition of Amona. Here are a few myths surrounding one of the most stubborn outposts in the West Bank. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz In recent months the residents of Amona and right-wing politicians have been waging a campaign designed to prevent the evacuation of this unauthorized outpost and to continue seizing the lands that belong to the residents of the Palestinian villages Silwad, Taybeh and Ein Yabrud. However, the High Court of Justice ordered the outpost be evacuated by the end of December 2016. It…

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  • The right to own property — for Jews alone

    The government never authorized the wholesale annexation of the West Bank. That's why it's doing it behind everyone's backs. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz Our previous post on Yesh Din’s new position paper, “From Occupation to Annexation,” explored the various ways the Israeli government implements the Levy Report. This post will focus on another critical point: the erasure of the Palestinians’ right to property. [tmwinpost] Prior to the Levy Report, the Israeli government was careful to avoid legalizing the seizure of private Palestinian property, except when it could argue it was done due to pressing military needs (“military seizure”) or…

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  • Instead of evacuating West Bank outpost, state continues to humiliate itself

    One year after it was ordered to remove the illegal outpost of Amona, the government is now claiming that the evacuation has to be postponed, since it 'may harm the interests of the state.' We are, after all, negotiating with the Palestinians. By Yesh Din (written by Yossi Gurvitz) Last August, the High Court of Justice ruled that the illegal West Bank outpost of Amona is to be totally evacuated, with the exception of those plots of lands which the settlers claim to have purchased – claims about which there are, to put it mildly, serious doubts. Thus, the court rejected…

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