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human rights

  • 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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  • Israeli doctors refusing to force feed Palestinian hunger strikers

    The Knesset passed a law allowing courts to order doctors to force feed Palestinian hunger strikers. But the doctors, it appears, aren't  so keen on violating basic principles of medical ethics. By Bettina Birmans A human, medical and political drama unfolded over the past few weeks at Asaf Harofeh Medical Center, just outside of Tel Aviv. At the center of the drama were two Palestinian men being held by Israel without charge or trial — Anas Shadid, 19, and Ahmad Abu Farah, 29 — and hospitalized due to their deteriorating medical condition brought on by extended hunger strikes. The pair were…

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  • A law criminalizing torture: The first step on a long path

    Unless a law to criminalize torture is passed, we cannot begin combatting the view that a human being's body and soul can be abused for punishment or to extract information. By Rachel Stroumsa Representatives of the Israeli Justice Ministry announced last week in Geneva that the ministry is working on a law criminalizing torture in Israel. A day later it became clear that these representatives were unable to address the content of the proposed law. Nor could they even venture a guess as to when it would be completed, despite the fact that the matter has been under debate for several months.…

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  • The road to ending occupation is incremental

    Israel leftists should not sit around and wait for the international community to save Israel from itself. There are no quick fixes. The way to bring about a better future for Israelis and Palestinians is to gradually reduce the ails of occupation. By Yariv Mohar It seems like more and more of my leftist friends feel that the solution to the occupation won’t come from inside Israel, which is increasingly radicalizing, but as a result of something external, some kind of international pressure — a deus ex machina, a tremendous foreign power, a UN resolution, the boycott, isolation or a combination…

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  • What's so threatening about human rights?

    The Right doesn't reject the concept of universal human rights because it threatens the Zionist project, they do so because it would mean seeing Palestinians as equals.  By Dror Etkes There is a positive aspect to the continuing, orchestrated campaign by Israel's right-wing government and its helpers against "leftist" organizations, which many seem not to be paying attention to. As the campaign goes on, it helps create an intuitive, collective understanding for most people who have refrained from dedicating their life to understanding the inner politics of left-wing organizations in Israel, that there is no room for the artificial barrier…

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  • 'Blacklisted' human rights groups sing a defiant tune

    Amid an unprecedented wave of delegitimization and attacks on human rights groups in Israel, dozens of organizations throw a mini-festival in Tel Aviv, sending a message that they will not be deterred. Over a thousand people joined dozens of human rights organizations in Tel Aviv’s port Friday afternoon in order to send a message that silencing, shaming and blacklisting Israelis who oppose — and speak out against — the occupation of the Palestinian territories will not work. The event, titled "Blacklist," was as a direct response to a right-wing campaign claiming to “expose” Israeli artists and cultural figures who are involved…

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  • Don't be fooled: Bibi and Im Tirzu are one and the same

    The latest campaign of incitement in Israel is so extreme even the Right has condemned it. The irony? Its message is entirely in line with that of the government. A single day after right-wing Culture Minister Miri Regev proposed cutting funding to artists and cultural institutions that are “not loyal” to the State of Israel, quasi-fascist organization Im Tirzu launched a campaign to name and shame artists who support human rights and anti-occupation groups. [tmwinpost] Several weeks ago, Im Tirzu, a hyper-nationalist organization that an Israeli court ruled resembles a fascist movement, launched another campaign accusing human rights and anti-occupation…

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  • How to foil a human rights probe: Keep the investigator out

    Makarim Wibisono resigns as UN special rapporteur to the occupied Palestinian territories — because Israel never allowed him to visit Palestine. The UN special rapporteur charged with monitoring and investigating Israeli human rights violations in the occupied territories resigned Monday in protest of Israel’s consistent refusal to give him access to said occupied territories. Refusing access to human rights monitors is a tactic generally employed by non-democratic regimes. Special Rapporteur Makarim Wibisono, who previously served as Indonesia's ambassador to the United Nations, said that when he accepted the position he was assured he would have access to the Palestinian territory. He did…

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  • +972's Story of the Year: The Right has officially taken over

    Save for the brief episodes of the Rabin and Barak governments, the Israeli Right has been in power since 1977, on its own or in partnership with Labor. In the 70s and 80s the right- and left-wing blocs were relatively balanced, but over the past 15 years the Likud, along with all its various off-shoot parties, has been the unchallenged, dominant force in the Israeli political system. In this process, 2015 will probably be remembered as a key year. The Right is in the driver’s seat, alone. [tmwinpost] Twelve months ago some people believed the tide had turned. The Gaza…

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