Israeli universities have long been viewed as a bulwark against extremism. A new database, compiled by a group of Israeli dissident academics, reveals how the academy works in concert with the state. It's no secret that the Israeli government’s crackdown on freedom of expression in recent years has extended into the academy. Through far-right student groups such as Im Tirzu, proposed ethical codes that would bar professors from voicing political opinions in class, and attempts to shut down entire university departments deemed too left-wing, the government has in many ways framed the very idea of academic freedom as subversive. [tmwinpost] Nevertheless, Israeli academia…Read More... | 4 Comments
Naftali Bennett cancelled an event with Israel's oldest human rights organization after a group of bereaved families called it 'one of the most extreme de-legitimization organizations against the State of Israel.' On Tuesday, November 28, Education Minister Naftali Bennett canceled an upcoming joint event between his ministry and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) on workers’ rights. According to Ynet, the event was scheduled to take place on Wednesday to mark the International Day of Human Rights. [tmwinpost] Bennett reportedly cancelled the event after receiving a letter from a group of bereaved families — working in conjunction with the far-right…Read More...
'Israel Hayom' put a high school principal in its crosshairs after she expressed support for her daughter's refusal to serve in the IDF. This is what a witch hunt looks like. By Yael Marom Israel Hayom, the newspaper funded by Netanyahu patron Sheldon Adelson, and the country's most circulated daily, has found yet another target. After an unsuccessful attempt last week to bring about the firing of Palestinian-Israeli journalist Makbula Nassar a week earlier, this week Israel Hayom put Iris Gur, the mother of conscientious objector Noa Gur Golan, in its crosshairs. [tmwinpost] Gur, an elementary school principal, has expressed support…Read More... | 7 Comments
Israel's minister of strategic affairs is gathering intelligence and compiling blacklists on Israeli citizens who support the boycott movement. By Amnon Portugaly These days Gilad Erdan, Israel's minister of public security and strategic affairs, is promoting a new law that would exclude his ministry from governmental oversight. This is a step meant to help fight the BDS movement, while also granting legitimacy to gathering intelligence on Israeli citizens who are involved in the movement to boycott Israel. [tmwinpost] In June, Haaretz reported that the Strategic Affairs Ministry, which Erdan heads, would essentially be shielded from certain provisions in the Freedom of Information…Read More... | 14 Comments
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…Read More... | 5 Comments
The Israeli government may be cracking down on human rights NGOs and left-wing activists, but Palestinians citizens of Israel are the ones suffering from concrete persecution — with sometimes fatal results. The recently-passed law prohibiting the entry of boycott supporters into Israel is just the latest in a string of legislation and administrative measures aimed at curtailing freedoms and cracking down on dissent against the occupation. But this broad trend actually obscures two separate phenomena, with distinct dynamics and implications. [tmwinpost] The first one is the ongoing oppression of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Although better off than the non-citizens in the West Bank…Read More... | 6 Comments
"Activestills: Photography as Protest in Palestine/Israel," edited by Vered Maimon and Shiraz Grinbaum, Pluto Press (2016) The first time I truly began to grasp the potency of photojournalism was on Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard in June 2011. It was barely a few days after a group of young Israelis decided to pitch tents on the city's most recognizable thoroughfare, launching what would soon come to be known as the social protest movement. By the end of that first week, Rothschild began to look like a cross-section of Jewish Israeli civil society, with activist groups from every strain imaginable setting up…Read More... | 2 Comments
A major Israeli university revokes a prize intended for Breaking the Silence claiming that its work opposing the occupation 'isn't in the national consensus.' What does that say about Israel as a nation? Breaking the Silence, an organization of former IDF soldiers who oppose Israel's occupation of the Palestinians, was supposed to receive the Berelson Prize for Jewish-Arab Understanding from Ben-Gurion University this week, a NIS 20,000 ($5,100) award that the university's Middle East studies department has given out annually for a quarter century. [tmwinpost] However, university president Professor Rivka Carmi decided to overrule the decision and vetoed Breaking the…Read More... | 7 Comments
Perhaps the most important area in which Jewish Israelis can be active regarding Palestinian return is preparing the Israeli public for that eventuality. By Eitan Bronstein Aparicio The Nakba has entered the mainstream Israeli discourse in recent years in ways that were unthinkable in the past. A large majority of Jews in Israel know it is a word in Arabic connected to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has a negative connotation, shows a public opinion poll to be published soon by De-Colonizer, a research and art laboratory for social change, that provides materials and tools to expose and challenge the colonialist nature…Read More...
The orchestrated onslaught against Israeli anti-occupation groups have led to death threats and physical attacks. But we will not be scared — we are determined to save our country from the same messianic, nationalistic, and racist forces that harm it. By Yuli Novak Over the last few months, as the Israeli government is less helpless in the face of terror and our foreign relations are at an unprecedented low — we have experienced, for the first time, what political persecution feels like. The ongoing campaign against Breaking the Silence is not intended to criticize or argue over political opinions. The…Read More... | 75 Comments
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…Read More... | 10 Comments
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…Read More... | 37 Comments
Ezra Nawi, a prominent figure in direct-action anti-occupation group Ta'ayush, was secretly recorded talking about having a Palestinian man killed for selling land to Israeli settlers. In response, the prime minister, defense minister and education minister take aim at the entire Israeli Left. A damning investigative report has Israel's human rights community in the crosshairs once again. Channel 2's flagship investigative report show, "Uvda" ("Fact" in Hebrew) aired a 35-minute segment Thursday night featuring the work of a clandestine right-wing group that tries to infiltrate the ranks of Israel's left-wing NGOs. [tmwinpost] The group, named "Ad Kan" (loosely translated to…Read More... | 2 Comments
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