Guess who was detained and taken in for questioning. By Yael Marom An Israeli settler attacked a left-wing activist in a settlement in the south Hebron Hills Saturday, breaking his arm. The activist was transferred to Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva, where his left arm was put in a cast. [tmwinpost] On Saturday morning, left-wing activists from Ta'ayush arrived for a solidarity visit with the Palestinians of Umm al-Kheir, after settlers from the nearby settlement of Carmel have been throwing stones at them for the past few weeks. A few of the activists headed toward Carmel to protest the stone throwing, where Israeli…Read More... | 1 Comment
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…Read More... | 18 Comments
On its next to last night, the journey leads away from the cities and, in a way, to another continent. For other nights click here. The papers promised a meteor shower. Here was a great excuse to take a spin out of town. I haven't been off the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv axis in a while (Bethlehem is essentially a Jerusalem suburb). Nothing sounded more appealing than heading into the dark hills to chase a shooting star or two. Ruthie was feeling a tad better and encouraged me to head out, but I was unsure. Then a surprise phone call called the shots.…Read More...
This morning, while internationals were escorting Palestinian residents of Um al Hir (in South Hebron Hills) to their pasture to graze their herds, settlers assaulted them by throwing stones and hitting them. Apparently they did not go after Palestinians but only the international escorts, who were specifically requested to be there due to recent tensions in the area. One international had a stills camera stolen from him, however managed to hold on to his video camera, with which he filmed what happened. When they went to the police to file a report, the police told them that if he erased all…Read More... | 1 Comment
My op-ed in the Jerusalem Post today discusses the serious problem of Israel's accountability mechanisms, in the context of the Carmel fire: No society is perfect, but democratic nations are able to examine themselves and learn from their errors. Strong countries are not afraid of admitting mistakes. Democracy’s underlying premise – that government is the servant of the governed – relies on a commitment to self-scrutiny. Unfortunately, in Israel the lack of a proper culture of accountability has been demonstrated in several recent developments. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s extraordinary – and eventually successful – efforts to avert a parliamentary committee…Read More...
The settlers and the ultra-orthodox are not the cause for Israel's collapsing public services. The professional middle class, which considers itself a "silent majority" of "responsible citizens" but is quite the opposite, should take a hard look in the mirror. This is the third and final installment in a series of posts, examining arguments, which have resurfaced following the Carmel fire, that assign the blame for Israel's problems to the ultra-orthodox or the settlements. To read the first post, dealing with the ultra-orthodox, click here. To read the second post, dealing with the settlements, click here. The debacle surrounding the…Read More... | 3 Comments
The settlements are a moral and practical disaster, but they are the symptom rather than the cause of Israel's ills. This is the second in a series of three posts, examining arguments, which have resurfaced following the Carmel fire, that assign the blame for Israel's problems to the ultra-orthodox or the settlements. To read the first post, dealing with the ultra-orthodox, click here. The third and final post will examine the myth of Israel's "silent majority" of "responsible citizens". The settlements are a moral and practical disaster. They have already exacted a brutal toll from Palestinians, but eventually, Jews…Read More... | 4 Comments
In a series of three posts, I will examine arguments, which have resurfaced following the Carmel fire, that assign the blame for Israel's problems to the ultra-orthodox or the settlements. In this first post, I argue that the ultra-orthodox play a marginal role both in Israel's economic and social problems, and in the shaping of government policy, aside from freedom of religion issues. They are, in fact, a convenient scapegoat which allows major interests to avoid discussions that could jeopardize their privileges. In the second post of the series, I will examine how a similar dynamic unfolds in regards to the…Read More... | 3 Comments
The firefighters' lack of readiness not accidental, but a result of long-term economical policy. Last morning, making my Friday shopping at the local grocery, I heard a woman hissing that we should catch those Arabs who lit the fire on Thursday and burn them alive, like the 40 prison guards cadets. I butted in. “And what if these were yeshiva boys?”. “What?” “I said, what if the fire was caused by yeshiva boys, like last time (Hebrew). Would you like to burn them, too?”. She muttered something, paid, and was gone. And that, more or less, is what protecting PM…Read More... | 7 Comments
The weird vibes actually started the day before. Something just didn’t feel right. And then it began. Cellcom, Israel’s largest cell provider, crashed. Totally. For the whole day. 3.5 million users with dead phones. Cellcom also happens to be the supplier of phones to the newspaper I work in - which meant that either reporters kind of had a day off, or if they were responsible enough - found a land line and got in touch. I even talked to a few of them through Facebook. Social media saves the day... Thursday, around noon - Mom sends me an SMS…Read More... | 15 Comments
If Israel's PM doesn't show his racist and incompetent Interior Minister the way out immediately – he should face consequences, too. Israelis and international forces are still fighting the fire that started yesterday morning on the Carmel Mountain near Haifa. 41 people, most of them from Israel's prison service, died when their bus was trapped on a forest road. Haifa's chief of police is in hospital, fighting for her life. This is the biggest and most lethal fire in the country's history. The direct responsibility lies with the Ministry of Interior, which is in charge of Israel's fire services. The…Read More... | 13 Comments
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