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  • Is it 'unethical' to oppose the occupation in academia?

    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…

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  • Arab citizens, not Israeli leftists, pay the real price for speaking out

    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…

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  • Photography as protest in Palestine/Israel

    "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…

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  • What it means when occupation is the consensus

    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…

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  • The role of Israeli Jews in planning for Palestinian return

    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…

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  • Political persecution won't stop us from breaking our silence

    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…

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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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  • Human rights groups smeared over actions of one man

    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…

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  • The Year in Photos: Palestine and Israel in 2015

    Activestills selects the most powerful, important and moving images of 2015 — in chronological order. Photos by: Oren Ziv, Ahmad al-Bazz, Yotam Ronen, Faiz Abu-Rmeleh, Keren Manor, Hosam Salem, Ezz Zanoun, Anne Paq, Shiraz Grinbaum Editing: Anka Mirkin, Merieke Lauken / Activestills.org                                        

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  • Hasbara group wants you to infiltrate human rights NGOs

    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…

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  • Israeli gov't votes to support bill targeting left-wing NGOs

    Proposed law would force human rights NGOs to sport special labels and badges indicating that they receive foreign funding. The bill still needs to go through committee, pass a full Knesset vote. The Israeli government on Sunday voted to support a law targeting human rights and left-wing organizations, which European countries and human rights activists have said resemble less-than-democratic regimes [tmwinpost] The bill, should it become law, would require NGOs that receive 50 percent or more of their funding from foreign governments to detail those sources of funding in any public reports or documents, meetings with state officials, and to…

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  • It's time to challenge Israeli militarism from within

    The Left must fight the urge to exclude those who haven't served in combat roles from voicing their opinion on the occupation. By Michal Rotem Several weeks ago, Israeli Police prevented Israeli human rights group Breaking the Silence from organizing a talk in a pub in Be'er Sheva. After a court backed the decision to bar the event, the organizers decided to move the talk to two different apartments in the city. I came to show my support, but ended up staying outside with some Breaking the Silence activists. [tmwinpost] A few days later I recalled to a friend how…

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