Palestinian activists and others have long faced actual travel bans, blacklists, and political persecution. Nevertheless, that some of the same methods are now being used against Israeli and American Jews is a worrying sign. One of the Israel government's senior-most ministers said last year that Israeli BDS advocates must be made to pay a price for their political activism. A series of developments over the past month or so seems to demonstrate that he was completely serious, and that efforts to target nonviolent political dissidents are escalating to worrying levels. [tmwinpost] First came the law banning entry into Israel of…Read More... | 6 Comments
A number of Israeli websites preferred to forget the fact that Palestinian-Jordanian olympian Ahmad Abu Ghosh's family comes from a village conquered by Zionist forces in 1948. How much nonsense can go into a single news item? The answer is, unfortunately, a lot. Nothing has angered me recently quite like an article published by the news site Virtual Jerusalem with the following headline: "Palestinian with Israeli Roots Wins Jordan's First-Ever Olympic Medal." That Palestinian olympian is Ahmad Abu Ghosh, 20, who was born in the Al-Nasser refugee camp to a Palestinian family from the village of Abu Ghosh (which according to…Read More... | 8 Comments
Thousands of Israelis fell in love with Wilhelm T. Roth, an Austrian aristocrat, strategic consultant and high-flying pro-Israel advocate, only to realize that he was in fact a 30-year-old small-time right-wing politico. It's not him, it's them: His fanciful stories of EU decision-makers warming to the Israeli narrative were just what they wanted to hear. By Gilad Halpern For just over a year, in 2013-2014, I was the editor of a radio program called Journeys that was dedicated to hearing the stories of people who have journeyed to Israel and, for whatever reason, now call it home. My role, among other things,…Read More... | 3 Comments
By Isaac Luria Simone Zimmerman has become an inspiring figure for American Jewish progressives in recent months — and a boogey-woman for the Right. When the Bernie Sanders campaign fired her over a Facebook post — in which she used some “colorful language” to describe the Israeli prime minister — she became one of this campaign season’s proxy battles in the ongoing Jewish argument over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We sat down with Simone earlier this month for her first interview since being fired from the campaign, where she reveals exactly what took place inside the campaign, the right-wing attack that targeted…Read More... | 11 Comments
The IDF has spent NIS 28 million on advertising in various media outlets, despite claims to the contrary. By Itamar Bazz The Israel Defense Forces purchased advertorial content in media outlets, according to an investigation by The Seventh Eye. In an interview to radio station “Kol Ha’ayin” last year, IDF Spokesperson Moti Almoz said the army is not involved in purchasing advertorial content and that media outlets that publish IDF content do so for their own editorial reasons and without receiving any compensation. But data obtained by The Seventh Eye and the organization “Hazlacha” indicate that in certain cases IDF…Read More...
The newly appointed European Commission Coordinator on Combating Anti-Semitism spoke at a Jerusalem conference that was a thinly veiled platform for bashing pro-Palestinian activists. Above all, it sent an alarming message about how she perceives her own role. By Ben White A senior European official spoke last week at an Israeli government-hosted conference in Jerusalem where human rights defenders were denigrated and smeared as anti-Semitic. The International Conference on Online Anti-Semitism was organized by the pro-Israel group Israeli Students Combating Anti-Semitism (ISCA). The group’s director, Ido Daniel, is a veteran hasbara activist who believes in “exact[ing] an economic and personal…Read More... | 4 Comments
For the past decade Mark Regev has become Israel's preeminent government mouthpiece. Now, as the world prepares to mark 50 years of occupation, Netanyahu appoints a hasbara heavyweight to represent him in the UK. By Yoni Mendel I’m not sure Mark Regev is a name Israelis are too familiar with. But around the world he seems to be one of the people most closely identified with this country, and certainly with its recent governments. A Google News search for “Mark Regev” produces only 180 results in Hebrew, but roughly 12,000 in English. Pretty bizarre for a man who worked so closely…Read More... | 4 Comments
LGBTQ organizations in Israel are threatening to cancel Tel Aviv's yearly Pride Parade unless the government allocates more money to their groups and causes at home — and not just use the parade to promote Israel as a bastion of progressive liberalism overseas. The government's response? Pull the international promotional budget. By Yael Marom The LGTBQ community in Israel is threatening to hold a huge demonstration instead of the internationally lauded annual Tel Aviv Pride Parade this year. The bold threat is the result of an announcement that the Tourism Ministry was budgeting NIS 11 million ($2.9 million) to promote…Read More... | 4 Comments
Slowly but surely, the process of shedding democratic characteristics in favor of 'ethnocratic' ones is becoming clearer and clearer for all to see. By Tomer Persico (translated by Maya Haber) Over the last few weeks we have heard about the collapse of the delicate duality the Israeli government has been trying to preserve for years. It is the duality of occupation at home and democracy for abroad, religious coercion at home and a booming high-tech industry abroad, the stabbing at Jerusalem's pride parade and pinkwashing abroad. It is a strategic duality. It allows Israel to play a part in the…Read More... | 2 Comments
The former head of the Mossad says Israel no longer faces existential threats, while one of Netanyahu's top advisors calls the Sunni Arab states of the Middle East 'Israel's allies.' If there's one thing most Israelis can agree on, it is that the world is against us. At the very least, so it goes, Israel is surrounded by enemies on all fronts, and the Jewish state's existence is always in peril. This mantra was seared into the fabric of the Israeli consciousness from the founding of the state and persists until today. [tmwinpost] Perhaps that is why recent statements by…Read More... | 6 Comments
A private, low-profile 'public diplomacy' outfit is setting out to train 'Secret Hasbara Agents.' But don't worry, it's not propaganda. A private Israeli hasbara – or “public diplomacy” – organization on Wednesday put out one of the weirdest responses yet to the incitement campaign by far-right group Im Tirzu of two weeks ago. [tmwinpost] The original Im Tirzu campaign described Israeli human rights advocates as "planted" agents serving foreign agendas because the organizations they work for receive funds from European governments. The response ad published on Wednesday called for — presumably right-wing — Israelis to be “planted” inside the “plants,” a…Read More... | 9 Comments
As 2015 comes to a close, +972 Magazine’s editors and bloggers look back at the year that was, and share the articles that most resonated with them – in no particular order. By +972 Magazine Staff Meet the new generation of Palestinians in Israel To most Jewish Israelis they don’t have names or faces. At worst they are rioters and stone-throwers waving Palestinian flags; at best they are a discriminated-against minority. Henriette Chacar sat down with four young, prominent, politically active Palestinian citizens of Israel to discuss their demands, their identity, how they are different than the generations that preceded them,…Read More...
The Israeli army unit that administers the occupation has not updated its website for over five months. Instead, it religiously updates its Facebook page with impressive stats and jazzy graphics — in English only. What's going on? "Last week there were a total of 6,735 crossings between Gaza and Israel," COGAT, the administrative arm of the Israeli occupation chirped on its official Facebook page last Sunday.It is a standard social media update for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, a unit of the Israeli Defense Ministry that oversees the occupation in the West Bank and Gaza. (COGAT controls movement in…Read More...
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