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  • British national challenges Israel's policy of deporting peace activists

    Israel's Interior Ministry banned British peace activist Gary Spedding from the country for 10 years, claiming that he was an anti-Semitic liar who might start a riot. Unlike other activists who have suffered the same fate, Spedding isn't giving up without a fight. An Israeli court is slated to rule next month on a case involving a British human rights activist who was denied entry into the country, deported, and banned for 10 years, who claims that the Interior Ministry is targeting him for his political views. It all began on January 9, 2014. Gary Spedding, a 25-year-old British pacifist…

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  • Welcome to Israel: Where protesting racism is dangerous

    On Sunday, as Israeli security forces were rounding up activists who were trying to enter Palestine, a racist conference was held in Ramle and a middle-aged woman was beaten for protesting racism. Welcome to a frightening Israel, where being non-racist is dangerous Even though almost all of the “Welcome to Palestine” participants were prevented from reaching the West Bank, the campaign was a success. As the international and local media watched, 79 internationals were refused entry to Israel. But they weren’t trying to enter Israel. They were trying to get to Bethlehem, in Palestinian Authority-controlled Area A. And they brought…

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  • Israeli response to fly-in proves West Bank is the Palestinians' prison

    Advocates for Israel often claim that the Palestinians run their own life. Yet again and again it appears that the West Bank has become their prison. Last week I posted here a criticism of Ambassador Michal Oren's Foreign Policy piece, titled "Israel's Resilient Democracy." One of Ambassador Oren's claims was that the fact that Palestinians in the West Bank are deprived of voting rights is not enough to question the nature of Israel as a democracy. The existence of partially democratic enclaves within a democratic system does not necessarily discredit it. Residents of Washington, D.C., are taxed without representation, while…

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  • The leftists are coming! The leftists are coming!

    Listen my children, and you shall hear Of the midnight ride of Bibi Revere, On the fifteenth of April, 2012 (but meanwhile don’t take your hand off your helve) Who remembers that famous day and year. He said to his friend, “If the leftists march By land or air from Ben Gurion airport Put a policeman aloft in the arrival hall arch of Terminal 3 as an attempt to abort, One if by land, and hundreds if by air And I in my office will continue to scare. Ready to ride and spread the alarm, through every Jewish village and…

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  • Activists plan to land in TLV airport, hundreds of flights already canceled

    I'm writing this from somewhere in Europe. Sunday morning, I will board a plane* bound for Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport. Organizers of the “Welcome to Palestine” campaign tell me that more than half the passengers on my flight will be international activists. UPDATE: According to reports in international and Israeli media, hundreds of flights scheduled to land in Israel Sunday have already been cancelled. According to Haaretz, 60 percent of the 1,500 activists who planned to fly to via Lufthansa, Jet2 and Air France have received notice from the airlines of their flights being cancelled. Hundreds are still expected to…

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  • Reframing non-violent resistance: An act of moral piracy

    When we allow non-violence to be distorted as illegitimate, we fail to uphold our most cherished principles. It is not a strange phenomenon for morality to be the object of contestation. Competing groups often battle for the moral high ground when presenting their case to the outside world in a customary appeal for support. Far from being an exception to this rule, Israelis and Palestinians are its standard bearers, constantly providing their accounts for the entire world to see, hear, and sympathize. The tragedy is that this game has been played for so long, with arguments crafted in such minute…

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  • Palestinians to launch "Freedom Rides" campaign on Israeli buses

    Activists seek to reenact the US civil rights movement's campaign in order to highlight Israel's segregation policy in the West Bank Palestinian activists are increasing their efforts to expose Israel's segregation policy in the West Bank, as well as violations on their civil and human rights. In a message to the press, the Popular Struggle Committee announced that on November 15, Palestinian activists "will reenact the US Civil Rights Movement's Freedom Rides to the American South by boarding segregated Israeli public buses in the West Bank to travel to occupied East Jerusalem." Palestinians in the West Bank have lived under…

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  • New Wikileaks cable shows Israel's West Bank blockade

    In a 2009 cable, American diplomats complain that Israel is not issuing work visas for Palestinian companies' foreign employees While most people who follow the news from Israel and the Palestinian territories know well enough that Israel blocks travel to and from Gaza, it is always surprising how few are aware that all exists and entries to the West Bank are also controlled by Israel. In fact, while Gaza has a land border with Egypt, which allows a certain flow of people and goods, the Israeli blocked on the West Bank is absolute. Palestinians who wish to travel outside the…

  • Where are the Palestinian voices in mainstream media?

    Have international solidarity mobilizations drowned out Palestinian voices? Over the last few weeks, media in this region was filled with images of people from all over the Western world holding up Palestinian flags and chanting “Free Palestine.” We’ve heard from the likes of Americans, like prize-winning author Alice Walker and former CIA official Ray McGovern (both passengers on the US boat to Gaza) about the importance of standing up for Palestinians in Gaza; we’ve heard about hunger strikes by Spanish and American citizens stuck in Greece after their boats were not allowed to sail; and we’ve seen videos of activists landing…

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  • Out of hundreds, two 'air flotilla' activists allowed to stay

    According to various news reports, two "air flotilla" activists who arrived in Israel last Friday have been allowed to remain in Israel (and travel to the West Bank freely) on the condition that they "refrain from disrupting the peace." The activists were part of the "Welcome to Palestine" campaign which sent hundreds of European tourists to Israel last week with the intention to freely and openly visit the West Bank. The two activists, former Australian Green MP Sylvia Hale and New Zealand national Vivienne Porzsolt, were brought before an Israeli district court in Petach Tikva this morning. There are conflicting reports as…

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  • Were 'air flotilla' activists arrested in West Bank?

    According to media reports carried by all major news outlets in Israel, four ‘air flotilla’ passengers were arrested/detained Saturday in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh during an unarmed demonstration this morning. Haaretz, in its headline story, is citing reports by Channel 10 (Heb), that four ‘air flotilla’ activists have been taken for questioning after they had been arrested in the demonstration. The Jerusalem Post, citing unnamed ‘organizers’, claims that air flotilla passengers are clashing with security forces in Nabi Saleh. The paper does not cite the name of the organizations that the ‘organizers’ are representatives of. Ynet is…

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  • A special form for Arab passengers to warn airport of their arrival

    Israel responded to the "flytilla" with a wildly disproportionate deployment of police and extraordinary security checks. But Palestinian citizens of Israel are discriminated at the Ben Gurion Airport on an hourly basis - and are now able to racially profile themselves, using a specially provided form to warn the airport authorities of their arrival. In the see-saw of travel-craving and homesickness preceding any trip abroad, there's one moment when you can feel the balance finally shifting and you becoming glad to be leaving Israel: When you arrive in your car or taxi to the airport gates and a burly, submachine…

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