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Ayelet Shaked

  • Legal bullying in the service of the prime minister

    The Knesset is fast-tracking legislation to hobble and hide corruption investigations against Netanyahu. The bill would further erode Israeli democracy, training citizens to accept that they do not have the right to know the facts about their leaders. The Knesset raced toward adopting a law this week intended to constrain Israeli police from making recommendations about indictments based on its investigations, and to keep the findings of those investigations from the public. The law would apply retroactively to the current investigations involving the Prime Minister. [tmwinpost] The bill represents another blow to democratic practice in Israel, along with laws in recent…

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  • No institution is safe from the corrupting power of occupation

    The persecution of Breaking the Silence's spokesperson is further proof that the state's investigative bodies are not only deeply politicized, they are simply uninterested in doing their job. Between the years 2013 and 2016, Israeli anti-occupation group Yesh Din tracked the police's response to 289 cases of "ideological crimes" against Palestinians in the West Bank. In each of those cases, the Palestinians filed a complaint with the police; some of them included photographic material, video, and testimonies provided by Israeli civilians or soldiers. And yet, only 20 cases led to indictments. In no less than 183 of them, the police were unable to locate the…

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  • 'You are all traitors': The political persecution of Breaking the Silence

    That the minister of justice can singlehandedly launch an investigation against the anti-occupation group is a symptom of the decline of the rule of law and creeping authoritarianism within the Green Line. By Joshua Leifer It is not often that the justice minister of a country personally demands the investigation of a political adversary to prove they did not commit a crime. But that is precisely what happened last week in the absurd case of Dean Issacharoff, the spokesperson for Israeli anti-occupation group Breaking the Silence. The state prosecutor announced last Thursday that the investigation into Issacharoff’s claim that he…

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  • Israel's top court rules human rights aren't 'controversial.' What about the occupation?

    As the pro-peace camp has shrunk into oblivion, human rights groups have become the only real anti-occupation force in Israel today. That has made them uncomfortably political. Israel’s High Court of Justice on Wednesday ruled that equality and human rights are not, or should not be, controversial in Israel. “[It is difficult to accept] the idea that a commercial promoting human rights could be socially or politically controversial,” wrote Justice Anat Baron. “The recognition of and commitment to human rights are intrinsically linked to the very existence of a democratic society.” [tmwinpost] The honorable justice must have missed Israeli Justice…

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  • Forget Al Jazeera — Bibi should halt his own government's incitement

    Netanyahu is calling to shut down Al Jazeera's Jerusalem bureau, accusing the station of incitement to violence amid tensions over the Temple Mount. Has he heard what his own ministers have been saying recently? Palestinian incitement has long been Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's scapegoat for the lack of progress in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For him, Palestinian calls to violence — not the settlement enterprise or 50 years of military dictatorship — is what prevents peace. Netanyahu regularly uses this rhetorical tactic to undermine an already impotent Palestinian Authority whenever it is politically convenient. In recent years, the prime minister has also used claims of incitement…

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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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  • Former soldiers to Israeli gov't: Investigate us for occupation abuses

    Israel's justice minister demanded an investigation of an anti-occupation activist after he admitted to beating a Palestinian during his army service. Now other former soldiers are stepping up to show solidarity.  By Yael Marom Dozens of Israelis demonstrated outside Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked's home in north Tel Aviv Sunday night, after she called to investigate the spokesperson of anti-occupation group Breaking the Silence. [tmwinpost] Breaking the Silence Spokesperson Dean Issacharof was summoned for interrogation last week by Israeli police at the behest of Shaked, over a testimony he gave to the organization in which he admitted to beating a Palestinian man during his…

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  • Justice minister's attacks on Breaking the Silence may just backfire

    Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked's latest crusade has led to a Breaking the Silence spokesperson being questioned under caution. But if she's so concerned about army abuses against Palestinians, why isn't she ordering an investigation into the string of unlawful killings carried out by soldiers? In Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked’s latest stunt, Breaking the Silence spokesperson Dean Issacharoff has been questioned under caution after he testified on a group tour that he had assaulted a Palestinian during his army service. There’s no point trying to spin this: that is what members of Breaking the Silence do. They testify in front of…

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  • Israel has an incitement problem

    Israeli politicians and pundits make sure to talk about Palestinian incitement at every opportunity. Rarely do we ever hear about Israeli incitement that denies both Palestinian history and present reality. By Yoni Mendel In Israeli public discourse, the phrase "Palestinian incitement" makes an appearance time and again. One can hear it in the news by members of both the coalition and the opposition, it is seen as an immutable fact by pundits, and it is highly prioritized by analysts at various think tanks. Suffice it to say that much of this incitement focuses on delegitimizing Israel and rejecting its existence. [tmwinpost]…

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  • The oldest trick in the book, and we're still falling for it

    While Netanyahu distracts the Left with attacks on the media, his right-wing coalition partners are taking far more dangerous steps. By Ilan Manor Like many on the Israeli left, my Facebook feed last week was swarming with images of veteran journalist Ilana Dayan trouncing Prime Minister Netanyahu. Friends from all over country felt certain that Netanyahu's long, violent, personal, and erratic public rebuke of Dayan would be his undoing, that the prime minister had finally gone too far in his war on the media. Soon, journalists joined the choir berating Netanyahu for labelling Dayan a left-wing saboteur and propagandist. [tmwinpost]…

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  • Denying Palestinian laborers access to justice

    A new Israeli labor regulation continues a trend of increasingly suspending rule of law for Palestinians in the West Bank, in this case leading to further segregation in access the courts. By Sawsan Zaher In the Israeli economy, dirty, difficult, and dangerous jobs often are left to some 170,000 foreign workers, among them 55,000 Palestinian workers from the West Bank. Numerous NGO reports and media exposes have documented the abuses faced by these workers. Yet the most vulnerable and exploited segment of Israel’s labor force now faces yet another barrier to justice: in August, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked issued a new regulation requiring most foreign workers to deposit…

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  • If Israel's generals are moral, let them prove it

    Defense Minister Ya'alon has been heralded as the Left's newest spokesperson after repeatedly speaking out against Israel's political leadership. Let's not forget that this is the same guy who called Breaking the Silence 'traitors.' After reserving a spot among the "left-wing pragmatists" for openly stating that executing a dying man, and especially while on camera, is not such a good idea, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon continues to excite the Israeli peace camp. "Keep speaking your mind — even if it differs from the positions and ideas voiced by senior commanders or the political leadership," Ya'alon told IDF officers. His summons…

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  • A law banning torture in Israel? Don’t hold your breath

    An anti-torture law currently being drafted by the Justice Ministry is not enough to fix an entire legal system that allows the practice to be used against an occupied population. During its review session at the UN Committee Against Torture in Geneva on Wednesday, Israel’s representatives informed the committee that the Justice Ministry is drafting a bill that, for the first time, would explicitly enshrine torture as a crime under Israeli law. This appears to be a very positive development in a years-long battle to end Israel’s use of torture, championed by torture victims, human rights groups, and UN bodies.…

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