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human rights

  • When support for Israel means abandoning universal values

    On a recent trip to Germany, Jewish Israeli filmmaker Udi Aloni finds himself defending the Palestinians' right to resist Israeli apartheid and occupation. Before pledging unconditional loyalty to Israel, he says, people should ask themselves what values they are helping promote. By Udi Aloni My daughter Yuli and I set out on a journey in Berlin this summer to spend quality time together, to see art, and learn from each other. Yuli lives in Israel, where my mother, Shulamit Aloni, was the minister of education and culture in the second Yitzhak Rabin government. She was with Rabin at the rally where…

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  • 'The law is what keeps the edifice of occupation from crashing down'

    Michael Sfard has spent the past two decades fighting the occupation in Israeli courts. His new book dissects the moral dilemmas of engaging with the occupation's legal system, its role in making the status quo sustainable, and why, despite it all, he remains optimistic that Israel's military rule over the Palestinians will end. By Yossi Gurvitz "The Wall and the Gate: Israel, Palestine, and the Legal Battle for Human Rights", by Michael Sfard, Metropolitan Books, 2018, 528 pages. Michael Sfard is one of the preeminent human rights lawyers in Israel today, where for the past two decades, he has confronted the occupation on its own…

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  • Defying racist legislation: New bill seeks to turn Israel into a true democracy

    In the face of an onslaught of nationalist, anti-Arab laws, one lawmaker is proposing a simple alternative: transforming Israel into a state for all its citizens. A few years ago, my colleague Noam Sheizaf conducted a fascinating interview with the executive director of Adalah, Hassan Jabareen, in which the former raised the idea that the rise of nationalist and anti-democratic legislation was actually a response to the Palestinian-Israeli public taking its citizenship more seriously — both its rights and the obligations that that citizenship entails. Considering the conduct of the government, as well as that of the Arab public in Israel over…

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  • +972 Magazine's 20 most-read posts of 2017

    From the Palestinian director shattering taboos in her own society, to a journey away from Zionism, to Richard Gere likening Hebron to Jim Crow, here are the most popular articles we published this past year.  By +972 Magazine Staff 20. Looted from Beirut 35 years ago, now on display in Tel Aviv Read the full article here. 19. Two killed in Bedouin village slated to be demolished, replaced with Jewish town Read the full article here. 18. The Palestinian director bringing her generation to the big screen Read the full article here. 17. Is Sheldon Adelson behind Trump's decision on Jerusalem? Read the full article here.…

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  • The new 'choice' for asylum seekers: Deportation or prison

    Israel finally plans to close its desert detention facility for African asylum seekers. Refugee advocates worry it could be the start of something even worse. During a midnight vote on Monday, the Knesset passed a bill that will enable the government to detain asylum seekers indefinitely or deport them to an unspecified country in Africa. The law passed by a margin of 71 to 41. [tmwinpost] The consequences of the law will stem not only from what appears in the text of the bill itself, but also what doesn’t: there is nothing in the bill that mentions deportation. Instead, on…

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  • Resource: The systematic abuse of Palestinian teens in East Jerusalem

    Affidavits collected from 60 Palestinian teenagers reveal how they are pulled out of bed in the middle of the night, handcuffed, interrogated in violation of their rights, and kept in custody under harsh conditions, sometimes for extended periods of time by Israeli authorities. A new report by Israeli human rights groups HaMoked and B’Tselem reveals the broad, systemic human rights abuses against hundreds of Palestinian teens arrested every year in East Jerusalem.

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  • Netanyahu compares human rights groups to Russian election interference

    The prime minister is trying to turn human rights and anti-occupation groups into a subversive boogie monster, this time by conflating them with Western democracy's contemporary super-villain — Russian election interference. What if he's right? Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conflated European Union funding for human rights groups in Israel with Russian interference in U.S. elections, according to a report in Haaretz Sunday. The comments came in the context of a government a decision to form a parliamentary committee to investigate the funding of left-wing, mostly human rights organizations. [tmwinpost] Asked whether there is any precedent for a parliamentary committee…

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  • There's no beautifying Israel's treatment of Palestinian children

    The central problem at the heart of Israel's half-century old military court system is clear: these courts will never reflect the interests of the defendants, but rather that of the regime of occupation. By Sarit Michaeli Israeli occupation apologists masquerading as protectors of Palestinian children in military detention? Few displays of alternative facts should shock us these days, but somehow an upcoming event by the Israeli right-wing group NGO Monitor’s at the UN Palais De Nations in Geneva comes close. Under the Orwellian title "Protecting Children: The realities of Israeli Military Juvenile Justice in a Terror Environment," the event planned for…

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  • Israel's top court rules human rights aren't 'controversial.' What about the occupation?

    As the pro-peace camp has shrunk into oblivion, human rights groups have become the only real anti-occupation force in Israel today. That has made them uncomfortably political. Israel’s High Court of Justice on Wednesday ruled that equality and human rights are not, or should not be, controversial in Israel. “[It is difficult to accept] the idea that a commercial promoting human rights could be socially or politically controversial,” wrote Justice Anat Baron. “The recognition of and commitment to human rights are intrinsically linked to the very existence of a democratic society.” [tmwinpost] The honorable justice must have missed Israeli Justice…

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  • War crimes and open wounds: The physician who took on Israeli segregation

    On the occasion of her 80th birthday, Ruchama Marton, the founder of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, talks about the atrocities she witnessed as a soldier, the enduring power of feminism, and why only outside help has a chance of ending Israel's military rule over the Palestinians. By Alon Mizrahi Ruchama Marton belongs to what you might call Generation 1.5 of Israel’s anti-occupation activists. She was slightly too young to belong to the small and avant-garde group that established the revolutionary socialist organization Matzpen in the 1960s, but old enough to have taken classes with firebrand Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz in Jerusalem. There, while…

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  • How I stopped ignoring NGO Monitor and started fighting back

    For years I have remained silent as Gerald Steinberg and NGO Monitor have harassed anti-occupation groups in Israel-Palestine, spreading falsehoods about us in order to shut us down. Now is the time to speak out.  By Michael Sfard (translated by Sol Salbe) Around a decade ago, a new Israeli organization appeared out of nowhere. It had a name that sounded like a piece of medical equipment: NGO Monitor. The organization was founded by a Bar Ilan professor named Gerald Steinberg, as part of a right-wing think tank led by Netanyahu confidant Dore Gold. Since its establishment, Steinberg and NGO Monitor…

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  • 'Israel Hayom' outs prominent Jewish American BDS activist

    Israel's most widely-circulated newspaper outs Ariel Gold, just months after the Knesset passes law banning entry to anyone who encourages boycotting Israel.  By Yael Marom Under the headline "BDS activist tricks authorities, enters Israel against protocol," Israel Hayom, the country's most widely-circulated daily newspaper, published an article last Thursday that outed Jewish American activist Ariel Gold over her support for boycotting Israel. The article, written by Shimon Yaish and Yair Altman, provided a golden opportunity to make sure the interior minister was made aware of the situation, after the Knesset passed legislation earlier this year banning foreign nationals who support the boycott of the country from…

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  • Guess which of these human rights Israel guarantees to Palestinians

    The right to equality? The right to free movement in and out of the country? How about the right to freedom from arbitrary arrest and exile? Or the right to marriage and family? By Fady Khoury Everyone on Facebook is playing a game where they post nine concerts they’ve been to and one they haven’t. The idea is your friends have to guess which band you haven’t seen. [tmwinpost] I want to play too, but I've been to only two concerts in my life, both of which were Mashrou' Leila's. So I thought of a different way to play. Here…

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