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hagai el-ad

  • The ‘diplomatic tsunami’ that never came

    Netanyahu blew a lot of hot air in a Trump-like speech to his party loyalists last week. He did speak one truth, however: the international community can end the occupation if it wants. By Hagai El-Ad Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to a cheering crowd of party loyalists last week was not geared towards an international audience: it was meant to rally his political base in the face of several high-profile corruption investigations into him and those closest to him. The prime minister slung myriad false accusations against the media and “the left,” taken right from the scripts followed…

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  • When Gaza has no power, we all swim in sewage

    As Netanyahu drinks water from a new Israeli mobile desalination technology with the visiting Indian prime minister, Israel's actual desalination plant, planted firmly next to Gaza, stares down the consequences of Israel's disastrous policies: raw sewage flowing its way. By Hagai El-Ad Last week, the prime ministers of Israel and India posed for a relaxed photo-op together, wading into the Mediterranean Sea on an Israeli beach. The fun day, complete with a demonstration of a new desalination device attached to an ATV, was apparently so idyllic that Netanyahu later enthused on Twitter: "There's nothing like going to the beach with…

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  • A Palestinian’s first-class seat next to Naftali Bennett

    A free airline upgrade leaves a Palestinian sitting next to one of the Israeli government's most right-wing nationalists — who went on to make some revealing comments about Trump, the peace process and his colleagues in the Knesset. By Jamil Dakwar Earlier this month, I was flying home to New York from Atlanta, Georgia after attending a four-day global human rights conference presided over by former President Jimmy Carter. To my pleasant surprise, I was offered a last-minute free upgrade to business class. But my excitement over what was sure to be a luxurious two-hour nap was short-lived. [tmwinpost] When…

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  • Following attacks, B'Tselem donations increase tenfold

    Over 3,700 people have signed on to a call supporting the human rights organization, after the Knesset coalition chair calls to revoke its executive director's citizenship. By John Brown* B'Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad addressed the UN Security Council last week, calling on its members to take real steps toward ending the military dictatorship over the occupied territories, which is nearing its 50th year. [tmwinpost] Following El-Ad's speech, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu published a statement condemning B'Tselem for joining the "chorus of slander" against Israel. It was only a matter of time before thousands of right-wingers took to social media…

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  • Opposing the occupation means being anti-Israel, to Netanyahu

    The Israeli right has worked very hard to erase any distinction between Israel and the occupation — between Ariel and Acre, Hebron and Haifa. Ironically, this is the same thing he accuses Palestinians of trying to do. Since B’Tselem director Hagai El-Ad spoke at the UN Security Council a week ago calling for an end to Israel’s half-century old occupation, the organization has been subject to vicious attacks and delegitimization, including by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. El-Ad's very citizenship has been threatened by a senior member of Netanyahu's Likud party, and thousands of Israelis have incited against him, including death threats. None of…

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  • 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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  • 'The occupation is sustainable because the world refuses to take action'

    The following is a transcript of the prepared remarks B'Tselem executive director Hagai El-Ad delivered to UN Security Council members during a special 'Arria-formula' session on 'Illegal Israeli Settlements: Obstacles to Peace and the Two-State Solution' in New York on October 14, 2016. By Hagai El-Ad Members of the Security Council, Ladies and Gentlemen, Before I begin, I would like to express my deep thanks for this unique opportunity of speaking at this distinguished forum and engaging with the members of the UN Security Council. What I’m about to say is not meant to shock you. It is, however, meant to move you. For…

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  • A once-in-a-decade show trial

    The military trial of Elor Azaria is part of a purification ritual, one that takes place every 10 years, as if everything in between is just fine. By Hagai El-Ad Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman was quoted last month as saying that, “we can’t reach a situation in which a soldier has to ask for a lawyer before he heads out on a mission.” His words resonated, as usual, portraying the Israeli political leadership as the defenders of soldiers against those who wish to do them harm — you know, all those jurists with no combat experience who persecute soldiers for…

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  • Home demolitions are organized state violence

    Over the last decade, Israel has demolished over 1,100 Palestinian homes in the West Bank, leaving homeless more than 5,199 people, including at least 2,602 minors. The extensive demolitions are part of a broader Israeli policy of forced transfer. The following speech was delivered at a conference on home demolitions held at the Knesset on July 27, 2016. By Hagai El-Ad Esteemed Members of the Knesset, colleagues from the human rights and diplomatic communities and B’Tselem staff. Thank you for taking the initiative to convene this session and for taking ongoing and important actions in this area. More than 5,000…

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  • WATCH: Incitement against the Israeli Left just got a lot scarier

    Four Israelis who work for leading human rights organizations woke up to a new, frightening reality after a video accused each one of them of being a foreign agent working to defend Palestinian terrorists. A new video entitled "Foreign Agents - Revealed!" was released on Tuesday by Im Tirtzu, a neo-Mccarthyite, extreme right-wing group notorious for its public attacks against left-wing academics and organizations. In 2013 an Israeli court ruled that the group bears similarities to a fascist movement. Its leadership enjoys ties with Likud and Yisrael Beitenu politicians. [tmwinpost] The video plasters the faces of the heads of four Israeli human…

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  • Judge: Equality in the West Bank, just not for Palestinians

    A Jerusalem judge acquits an Israeli man who broke through an West Bank checkpoint into Palestinian-controlled territory, ruling that it’s unacceptable for an Israeli citizen to be discriminated against by virtue of his religion. (Arab — but not Jewish — citizens of Israel are allowed to enter 'Area A'.) But the ruling means nothing for the vast majority of West Bank residents who face discrimination on a day-to-day basis. By Hagai El-Ad In a refreshingly bold statement, an Israeli court recently seems to have firmly upheld the core values of justice and equality: the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ruled a few…

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  • In Gaza, justice delayed is justice denied

    Israeli army investigators have not even contacted the teenage victim of one of the few alleged war crimes it says it is probing. More than two months after Israel's assault on Gaza began, victims of the air, land, and sea invasion continue to have no recourse against their occupiers. It's been nearly two months since 17-year-old Ahmad Abu Raida says he was used as a human shield by Israeli forces near the Gaza border town of Khan Younis. Since then, human rights organizations and various media outlets have reported on the case (+972 was among the first), but Abu Raida has yet to face his alleged…

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  • Leading Israeli human rights group stops cooperating with IDF in Gaza probes

    In a move that could strengthen the case for international investigation of alleged Israeli war crimes, B'Tselem says it will no longer share its current Gaza case files with the country's Military Advocate General. Human rights watchdog declares that Israel is unable and unwilling to investigate alleged war crimes committed by its own soldiers. Citing "severe structural flaws" in the Israeli military's internal investigation mechanisms and a history of dismissing criminal allegations against military personnel, leading Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem announced on Sunday that it would not comply with a military request to share details of its independent investigations into alleged Israeli abuses…

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