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David Rotem

  • How Israeli media obscures Palestinian humanity

    Israeli media insists on portraying the West Bank as the Wild West and its Palestinian inhabitants as savage stone-throwers, all the while masking the reality of armed settlers and a trigger-happy military. By Talal Jabari If I were to describe a movie equivalent of the West Bank in words, it would be part way between a scene from John Carpenter’s Escape from LA, mixed with a little of your favorite Spaghetti Western, with strong hints of Heart of Darkness – the book, not the movie. Well at least that’s the impression I get from some of the Israeli press, which…

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  • How the Israeli gov't rewards land thieves

    In a closed conversation, the head of the Beit El Yeshiva exposes that he received millions of shekels from the State of Israel in compensation for his seminary's violations of the law – with the quiet assistance of a senior Knesset member. By Yossi Gurvitz for Yesh Din Sometimes, it all comes out. A few months ago, I wrote about the deceit allegedly carried out by the Beit El Yeshiva in Jabel Artis (“Givat HaUlpana”), where it sold and rented apartments on land it did not own, and which it knew it had no right to sell. Recently, Yesh Din petitioned…

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  • Protecting the secrets of Israel's settlement enterprise

    MK David Rotem unabashedly stopped a vote that would apply Israel’s freedom of information act to the World Zionist Organization’s (WZO) “Settlement Division,” an extra-governmental organization that receives 100 percent of its budget from the State of Israel and is responsible for much of the settlement building in the West Bank. Why would he do such a thing? When asked by opposition MKs Zehava Galon and Ahmed Tibi, the chairman of the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee made no effort to hide his agenda: “I want to stop you from getting information to use in [petitions to the High…

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  • 'Israel must prosecute West Bank land thieves'

    Settlement depends on deception, lies and theft. So why aren't the police and prosecution doing everything in their power to put an end to it?  By Yesh Din (written by Yossi Gurvitz) The story was supposed to be simple: Yoel Tzur, the CEO of the Company for the Development of the Yeshiva Town in Beit El (Yesh Din dealt with this shady company previously) admitted during his police interrogation that he built what would come to be known as “Ulpana Hill” on private Palestinian land, for which he had no valid contract. Tzur told the police that he began construction in…

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  • An Israeli citizen is being held in administrative detention

    An IDF legal advisor lies to a Knesset oversight committee, says no administrative detention orders were issued against anyone in Israel. It turns out not only did Defense Minister Ya'alon sign one such order, he forbade the detained Israeli citizen from seeing a lawyer. By Noam Rotem (translated from Hebrew by Yossi Gurvitz) Two days ago, the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee held an urgent hearing about the administrative restraining orders issued by the head of the Central Command (the IDF command responsible for the West Bank, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv coastal plain). During the lively debate, committee chairman MK…

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  • Rightist MKs seek Knesset veto over Supreme Court

    This is what an attempt at a fascist coup looks like - Likud MKs enraged by court petitions against the boycott bill are now pushing for legislation granting the Knesset a veto over Supreme Court appointments. Such a law would destroy the separation of powers in Israel - and although it's likely to fail this time around, it is a chilling harbinger of things to come. I'm not usually one for "fascism" and certainly "nazism" hyperboles, but in my book, such a direct assault on separation of powers  - coming amid a torrent of other laws limiting freedom of thought,…

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  • Boycott bill: A way to persecute the Israeli left

    Under the guise of a bill against boycotts, the Knesset is muzzling the anti-settlement left The Knesset’s Judicial Committee, led by MK David Rotem (Israel Beitenu) approved yesterday the “boycott bill” for its final reading. This likely means that the bill will imminently become a law. The former version of the bill (Hebrew) defined a boycott for political reasons on Israeli products, or products made in the settlements (defined in the bill as “areas under Israeli control”), to be a felony, and allowed suing people advocating such a boycott and fining them 30,000 NIS (about 9,000 USD) without any need…

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  • Israel's Nakba Law: Is it time for civil disobedience?

    The discourse around the Nakba law--which tries to stop public institutions from marking the Palestinian disaster, through funding cuts--feeds Israel's persecution complex. Trying to legislate history out of existence means losing touch with reality Years ago, I commented to someone that after twenty years of occupation, Israel should not have been entirely surprised by the outbreak of the first Intifada in 1987. My interlocutor, an Israeli with a security and intelligence background, accused me of a broad spectrum of cognitive failings before I stood up and walked out.  Then just a few days ago, a senior Israeli government official said…

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  • Tablet calling Israel "A Liberal’s Paradise" (!)

    This is one of the most bizarre pieces I've seen this year. It comes from Tablet's blog editor, Marc Tracy: Israel, A Liberal’s Paradise Are you a liberal upset over Tuesday’s results? Then have we got a country for you! Starting next week, non-Jewish or -affiliated same-sex couples will be able to enter into civil unions. The bill’s sponsor wants to extend the law to all Israelis, including Jews; incredibly, the sponsor is none other than Yisrael Beiteinu MK David Rotem, notorious for sponsoring the heinous conversion bill. Even a blind squirrel catches an occasional nut, eh? On top of…

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  • “Every Jewish community needs its nigger”

    I hope that headline pissed you off. I really do.Because that’s how I pretty much felt this morning, when I picked up the paper. I was reading the coverage of the approval of a bill proposal to allow small communal settlements in the Negev and the Galilee to reject would-be newcomers, if they are unsuitable on various grounds for life in the community. “Unsuitable”, means, of course, “Arab”. Not that I’m surprised by the bill being approved. Nah, not these days. Not in today’s Israel. But what always seems to get to me is how easily racists have risen to…

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