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dissent

  • Netanyahu's coalition whip wants to revoke B'Tselem director's citizenship

    Senior Likud official, angry that Hagai El-Ad demanded the UN act to end the occupation, admits there's no legal avenue to strip his citizenship — at the moment. The Israeli human rights organization says threats won't deter it. How does the only democracy in the Middle East deal with outspoken human rights activists? By threatening to revoke their citizenship, of course. “I examined whether, legally speaking, if I can ask the interior minister to revoke the citizenship of B’Tselem’s executive director,” declared the Israeli parliament’s coalition chair, David Bitan, who serves as the whip for Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party. [tmwinpost] “I checked, and…

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  • How Im Tirtzu dominates Israel's public debate

    While its campaign of intimidation against supposed left-wing Israeli artists seems to have backfired, Im Tirtzu's role in Israel's current political climate cannot be overstated. The political climate in Israel has become so draconian and repressive lately that it was slightly surprising how quickly everyone rushed to denounce Im Tirtzu's latest campaign against mainstream artists and celebrities who sit or have sat on the boards of human rights organizations. Leaders across the political spectrum condemned the campaign, including Netanyahu, who has previously sung Im Tirtzu's praises on camera.  Following the backlash, the group told the Israeli press they had made a…

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  • Why do so many Israelis hate Breaking the Silence?

    The organization of former Israeli soldiers is coming under attack from every direction these days — from the Israel’s president to the defense minister to the police. So what’s the deal? Breaking the Silence is a Jewish organization made up of former Israeli soldiers, most of whom served in combat roles. All they want to do is to tell Israeli society, which sent them to the occupied Palestinian territories, what they did there as soldiers. They do so through written and video testimonies collected form over 1,000 soldiers, all of which were approved by the IDF Censor before being published. That’s…

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  • Occupation is the problem, not the people talking about it

    Israel's Foreign Ministry is going after Israeli human rights and anti-occupation activists overseas. Doing so will only make things worse for Israel. By Ilan Baruch It's been less than a month since Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely instructed Israeli embassies abroad to explain to the nations of the world that the land of Israel is ours in its entirety. Global hostility toward Israel, she insisted, does not stem from the occupation or settlements. [tmwinpost] Now, we have learned that she instructed the Israeli embassy in Switzerland to attempt to cancel a “Breaking the Silence” exhibition in Zurich. The exhibition presents…

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  • +972's Editor's Picks of 2014

    As 2014 comes to a close, +972 Magazine’s editors and bloggers took time to look back at the year that was, and share the articles that most resonated with them – in no particular order.   Israel's watershed moment that wasn't The Gaza war was perceived very differently in Israel and abroad, even among some of this government's supporters. Specifically, we heard references to the type of atmosphere that prevailed in the Jewish community during the First Lebanon War and the First Intifada — feelings of shock, after which nothing could possibly be the same. Foreign journalists and diplomats expressed similar…

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  • Censorship in the American Jewish community

    Support for groups like JVP has grown significantly since the latest war against Gaza. Disenfranchising this ever-growing segment of concerned American Jews will only escalate the decline in our community. By Seth Morrison The past year has seen increasing efforts within the American Jewish community to censor anybody who believes that boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) are the way to end the occupation — censorship that is most often targeted at Jewish Voice for Peace. And yet, JVP continues to grow. JVP is not anti-Israel, it is anti-occupation. Our belief that that the people living in Israel-Palestine are the ones…

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  • Israel's Left forgot what dissent really means

    Dissent means going against the majority when you believe the majority is wrong -- and not just to be contrary. That means being unpopular almost by definition; the majority will never send us flowers. My colleague Mairav Zonszein has written an eloquent piece in The New York Times decrying the state of dissent in Israel, lamenting the persecutions and constraints on those who criticized the latest Gaza war from the left. She points to a number of disgraceful examples. The article has generated debate, as observed here. However, much of it breaks down along disappointingly predictable lines: those further to…

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  • Silencing dissent in Israel - continued

    Silencing dissent doesn't only mean directly quashing free speech. Silencing, or a chilling effect, also take place when certain forces in society dominate and monopolize the narrative, deciding what is acceptable, what is fringe and what is mainstream. Judaism for me is a sensibility of collective self-questioning and uncomfortable truth-telling: the dafka-like quality of awkwardness and dissent for which we were once known. It is not enough to stand at a tangent to other peoples’ conventions; we should also be the most unforgiving critics of our own. I feel a debt of responsibility to this past. It is why I…

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  • IDF reservist sentenced to military prison for refusing draft

    Update: The reservist has since decided to expose his identity. He is Gilad Halpern; the name has been updated here. An IDF reservist was arrested at Ben Gurion Airport Wednesday upon returning to Israel after fleeing call-up orders to serve in Operation Protective Edge. He was later sentenced to 21 days in military prison. Gilad Halpern, one of three reservists who spoke to +972 Magazine recently for an article about refusal (before he left the country), spent 15 days abroad following a military order to appear for active duty. When he received the order, just as the ground operation was…

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  • Israeli activist sentenced to 3 months in prison for protesting Gaza blockade

    Of all the criminals involved with the 2008 Gaza war, an Israeli leftist will be going to jail for riding his bike against the war in Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv Magistrates court judge Yitzhak Yitzhak convicted Israeli leftist Jonathan Pollak of illegal assembly for his participation in a January 2008 Critical Mass ride against the siege on Gaza and then sentenced him to three months imprisonment that will begin on January 11th, 2011. Pollak was the only one detained at the said protest, and was accused of doing nothing other than riding his bicycle in the same manner as the…

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  • Is it too late for a two-state solution?

    Danny Rubinstein, one of Israel's most prominent journalists and an expert on Palestine who speaks fluent Arabic, thinks it very possible that the two-state solution (Israel and Palestine) has been left behind in the dust kicked up by history. In a piece for the US-based quarterly Dissent Magazine, called One State/Two States: Rethinking Israel and Palestine, he posits that the waning of the Palestinian national movement will ultimately be the catalyst for a single state. Rubinstein's theory, which he supports with facts and anecdotes, deviates from the received belief on the Israeli mainstream left - that the settler movement has…

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  • Does the J-Street lockout make sense to anyone?

    There are a number of things that utterly bewilder me, as an Israeli, about Temple Beth Avoda's cancellation of the J-Street president Jeremy Ben Ami talk this evening. I'll jump to conclusions and assume the people responsible and myself come from different edges of the political spectrum; but sometimes you just wanna reach across the aisle, lean over, and say, guys, you just don't make any sense anymore: - Is Israel a sort of a deity? Has it come to replace God? I mean, I'm flattered and so will be my tax clerk, but are you actually saying that criticism…

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