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Jawahar

  • In the West Bank, everyone knows there's no accountability

    The death last week of Bil'in resident Jawaher Abu Rhamah, after she inhaled tear gas at a demonstration, has received a great deal of publicity, making her into a symbol of the violent means the Israeli army uses to maintain its control over the West Bank. Many commentators are parsing the incident as if it were an isolated one, but the truth is that violence and brutality are the norm. And while there is plenty of documentation to support that statement, most Israelis would prefer not to know. A few months ago, at a Friday demonstration in Nabi Saleh, a…

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  • Israel's open prison for refugees, and other gems of doublespeak

    Much will be said in the coming weeks, maybe even years, about the House Committee on UnIsraeli activities, approved yesterday by the Knesset. Roi Maor and Yossi Gurvitz both have excellent posts - Roi on the more optimistic side, Yossi closer to the end of days. While my own estimate lies somewhere between these two poles, I was stricken not so much by the proposal, but by how blatant and naked in its purpose it was. In some ways, this week has elicited some of the most unintentionally honest statements from our politicians in a while. Take MK Faina Kirschenboim's…

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  • Bibi: democracies don't shoot demonstrators

    Last year, at the height of the Green Revolution in Iran, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave an interview in which he explained the difference between the way democracies act when faced by demonstrators agitating for their freedom, and the way in which non-democratic states act. In Iran, security agents were shooting and killing Reformist protesters. "Democracies," says Netanyahu, "Do not send in armed agents of the regime to brutally mow down demonstrators. I'll tell you what I did: I called their leaders in! I talked to them! That's what democratic countries do." The prime minister goes on to explain that…

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  • Another activist arrested; police try to search a house without a warrant

    Another Israeli activist has been arrested and jailed in connection to the protest in front of the US ambassador’s house last Saturday night. The activist was summoned for ‘questioning’ yesterday afternoon and arrested upon arrival. He has been charged with the same crimes as the other activists who were released yesterday on no bail. Unlike the other activists, he has been given a sentence of five days' house arrest. The state has appealed the decision and asked for a harsher punishment.  The judge honored their request and has decided to keep him in jail another night until his appeal is…

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  • Evidence discredits army's version of Bil'in woman's death

    The following is a detailed response to the army's claims regarding the death on 1 January 2011 of Jawaher Abu Rahmah, who was taken to the hospital on 31 December after inhaling tear gas at the weekly demonstration against the separation barrier in Bil'in, a small Palestinian village near Ramallah. The response was written by Jonathan Pollak, media coordinator of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee. * Contact details for all the eyewitnesses listed below are available upon request for journalists. The evidence surrounding the events leading to the death of Bil’in resident Jawaher Abu Rahmah disproves completely the army spokesperson’s…

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  • How else to sweeten days? A poem-post

    The Hebrew word "shir" means both poem and song, an indication that in ancient time, the two were one. Poetry was not written but recited, it was a musical art. We recite a lot these days, rhyming, chiming, putting words to a rhythm. We chant at protests and outside coutrooms. The result rarely sounds artistic (except in the case of "poetry demonstrations" organized by the "Culture Guerilla" organization) but it does something to ease our pain. We feel, perhaps naively, that we're making a difference by making some noise. All of this brought to my mind the following poem, composed…

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  • "We meet again, Super-Gran!" Notes from a protest

    Visually, the protest yesterday  veered from the Italian cinema Through the violent The contextual And the chique: But the overwhelming sensation - despite the tension and the occasional violent flare-up - was that of an almost good-natured surrealism. After trying to clear the road - using, I should note, only hands* - no clubs, hoses or horses, though few people were hurt and  a few horses were brought it for the show- the policemen give up, and actually block a segment of the street for us; partly out of fear of being blamed for any harm that might come the…

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