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freedom of expression

  • 'Criticizing the government nowadays makes you a traitor'

    Avi Katz, the cartoonist let go by 'The Jerusalem Report' over a caricature depicting Netanyahu and Likud lawmakers as characters from 'Animal Farm,' talks about what happened behind the scenes, why accusations of anti-Semitism are so off-base, and what the saga says about freedom of expression in Israel today. By Oren Persico Avi Katz wasn’t even in Israel when the cartoon was published. He was in the United States, where he was born, visiting his children. A few days earlier, he had realized his deadline was approaching for the weekly cartoon he publishes in The Jerusalem Report, called “Sketchbook,” and…

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  • In Haifa, a display of Palestinian grassroots power

    The combined efforts of Palestinians in using their bodies, cameras, and voices to support detained protesters made it impossible for the police to hide the severity of their actions. The release of 19 Palestinian citizens of Israel on Monday, who had been arrested since Friday, after police violently dispersed a demonstration in Haifa against last week's mass killings in Gaza, is a fleeting speck in the context of recent events in the conflict. As the detained activists have emphasized, their experiences are nothing compared to what Palestinians are subjected to in the blockaded Strip. But after weeks of tragic news,…

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  • 'Open up or we'll tase you': Police arrest activists protesting Gaza violence

    In the northern city of Haifa, Israeli police are arresting activists who are organizing demonstrations against the violence in Gaza. Israeli police arrested and interrogated a number of Palestinian and Jewish political activists from the northern city of Haifa over the past several days, due to their participation in demonstrations following the killing of over 60 protesters in Gaza this past week. Among those arrested were General Secretary of Hadash's Haifa chapter, Raja Zaatry, and Yoav Bar, an activist with the Abnaa al-Balad movement, who was arrested twice. [tmwinpost] Iris Bar, a political activist and Yoav’s partner, describes what happened:…

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  • Palestinian poet convicted of inciting terror in Facebook poem

    Dareen Tatour was arrested in 2015 and held in house arrest for nearly three years for publishing a poem on Facebook. On Thursday morning, an Israeli court convicted her of incitement to violence and support for a terrorist organization. By +972 Magazine Staff An Israeli court convicted poet Dareen Tatour, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, of incitement to violence and support for terrorism on Thursday. The conviction comes nearly three years after she was first arrested for publishing her poetry on social media. [tmwinpost] Tatour, 36, hails from the village of Reineh near Nazareth. She was arrested on October 15,…

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  • The slow death of Israeli citizenship

    As the Right consolidates its power over nearly every sphere of Israeli politics, it is slowly turning citizenship into a matter of ideology. Non-Jewish citizens aren't the only ones who will suffer. By Marzuq Al-Halabi The concept of citizenship in Israel has always suffered from significant inadequacies, whether due to the Law of Return or to state policies that make acquiring citizenship an extremely difficult feat. The current situation, for example, allows the state to claim that Bedouin citizens in the Negev aren't citizens at all and that their blue ID cards were issued to them by mistake, even if they…

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  • Is it 'unethical' to oppose the occupation in academia?

    A new 'code of ethics' commissioned by Israel's education minister seems to target left-wing politics in universities. The Israeli Education Ministry, headed by far-right politician Naftali Bennett, recently commissioned an ethical code for political conduct in higher education in Israel. The resulting document (Hebrew) is a highly invasive set of political thought controls portrayed as high, dry ethical norms. [tmwinpost] Following years of campaigns against left-wing academics, most famously by hyper-nationalist group Im Tirtzu, the new ethical code declares that its aim is to “protect students” from the political activity and views of academic faculty. Penned by the same man…

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  • PHOTOS: Hundreds call for release of Ethiopian-Israeli held in Gaza

    Hundreds gathered in Tel Aviv on Saturday to call for the release of Avera Mengistu, who has been missing in Gaza for 1,000 days. In nearby Petah Tikva, hundreds demonstrated against police brutality and threats to freedom of expression. Photos: Oren Ziv / Activestills (Tel Aviv), Orly Noy (Petah Tikva) Hundreds of people marched down Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard on Saturday evening in solidarity with Avera Mengistu, an Ethiopian-Israeli who entered Gaza in September 2014 and has been missing ever since. He is presumed to be in Hamas captivity. Marking 1,000 days since his disappearance, protesters wore t-shirts bearing his…

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  • Political poetry as a crime: Inside the surreal trial of Dareen Tatour

    Arresting someone for publishing a political poem is extraordinary. Having to prove at trial that police mistranslated your poem is nothing short of surreal. By Yoav Haifawi It has been nearly a year and a half since Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour was arrested in her home for writing a poem. She spent three months in various prisons, including half a year under house arrest in the town of Kiryat Ono near Tel Aviv. Although she was able to return to her home village of Reineh, near Nazareth, she remains under house arrest as the trial comes to an end. [tmwinpost] Tatour, 34, was arrested by Israeli…

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  • Report: Sharp spike in repression of Palestinian journalists

    Two new reports document the growing repression of Palestinian journalists by Israeli forces last year. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Israel is currently imprisoning the same number of journalists as the Syrian regime. By Oren Persico Palestinian journalists have been subject to a severe increase in violations by Israeli security forces over the past several months, according to a report published by MADA — Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms last week. MADA, a Ramallah-based Palestinian NGO that tracks violations against Palestinian journalists, found 27 cases in which the rights of Palestinian journalists were violated by Israeli forces in November, as…

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  • The right to boycott is non-negotiable

    Regardless of one’s views of BDS, it is ridiculous that one should have to tell self-proclaimed ‘democracies’ that the right to boycott is a basic civil right, not a punishable crime.  Last week, over 120 people attended a conference in Nazareth on the subject of “BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) and ‘48 Palestinians (citizens living inside Israel’s 1948 borders).” Although the discussions were lively, many participants were cautious with their choice of words: Israel’s Anti-Boycott Law – which allows groups and citizens to be sued for calling for a boycott of Israeli institutions, including settlements – cast a heavy shadow…

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  • When filming a protest ‘endangers state security’

    Anti-occupation activists say that two soldiers threatened them, and when they called police, the cops detained them instead — on suspicion of endangering state security. By Michael Salisbury-Corech Like every week the past 26 years, a group called “Women in Black” held a demonstration against the occupation in Jerusalem’s Paris Square last Friday. Across the street, around five people held a counter protest, which two Israeli soldiers eventually joined. At some point, the soldiers decided to cross the street, and according to Women in Black activists threatened them and demanded that they stop filming — because they are soldiers. Feeling threatened,…

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  • New anti-boycott law to ban foreign BDS supporters from entering Israel

    A new Israeli law would ban BDS activists from entering Israel and 'regions under its control.' Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org Earlier this week, while most international coverage was focused on the escalating violence in the region, Israeli lawmakers were addressing another threat — as they see it — to Israeli security: nonviolent grassroots activism. A new law proposed by MK Yinon Magal of right-wing Jewish Home party would ban entry to foreigners who promote the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement that aims to pressure Israel to comply with international law and respect Palestinian rights. “Anyone who…

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