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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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  • The fight for justice begins at home

    Rather than focusing exclusively on Israel-Palestine, Western leftists should use the occupation as a starting point to examine their own role in oppression at home. By Jakub Zahora In early October last year, dozens of activists staged a “Global Sukkot against Demolitions” demonstration in front of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) building in Jerusalem. I participated in the event, which involved a coalition of anti-occupation groups and Bedouin citizens of Israel protesting against JNF-led plans to demolish four Palestinian and Bedouin villages in the Negev and the West Bank. [tmwinpost] The protest was purposefully organized during Sukkot in order to…

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  • German bank fights BDS while financing dispossession

    Germany's Bank for Social Economy shut down an account belonging to a Jewish peace group, accusing it of anti-Semitism. Meanwhile, it continues to handle an account belonging to the Jewish National Fund — which actively supports dispossession of Bedouin. By John Brown* In the beginning of December, +972's Haggai Matar revealed that Germany's Bank für Sozialwirtschaft (Bank for Social Economy) had closed an account belonging to Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East, a German-based peace group. According to the bank, the organization was part of a campaign that undermined Israel's existence. [tmwinpost] The bank's claims, however,…

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  • Time's up? State announces imminent demolition of Bedouin village

    Authorities will begin demolishing the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran on Tuesday morning — in order to replace it with a Jewish town. The Israel Land Authority (ILA) announced on Monday that the demolition of Umm al-Hiran, an unrecognized Bedouin village in southern Israel, would begin the next day, following a 13-year legal struggle. The state plans to build a Jewish town atop the remains of the Bedouin village. [tmwinpost] Following the announcement, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel filed a last-minute request with the Be'er Sheva Magistrate's Court to freeze the demolition process, which…

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  • How we learned to forget the villages we destroyed

    'Erased from Space and Consciousness' is the product of years of meticulous research to raise awareness of the hundreds of villages Israel destroyed during and following the 1948 war. But is awareness enough to remedy the injustices of the past? By Tom Pessah Kadman, Noga: Erased From Space and Consciousness – Israel and the Depopulated Palestinian Villages of 1948. 2015. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. 256 pp. Noga Kadman’s Erased from Space and Consciousness is one of those rare books that profoundly re-shapes your perspective. Growing up inside the Zionist education system meant that even when I did eventually hear about the…

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  • How colonialism and climate change displace the Negev's Bedouin

    A new book examines the ways in which Israel's policies of displacement in the Negev are also drastically changing the environment where hundreds of thousands live.   By Tom Pessah What do you think of when you think of a desert? An area with little precipitation, mostly uninhabited except perhaps by nomads? An empty place with no history, waiting to be filled with people and vegetation? A new book by professor of architecture Eyal Weizman and photographer Fazal Sheikh unpacks these assumptions, and exposes how they are being used by Israel in displacing its Bedouin citizens in the Negev. The…

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  • PHOTOS: Arabs and Jews protest planned expulsion of 1,200 Bedouin

    Demonstrators march outside Be'er Sheva court, calling on the government not to evacuate two unrecognized Bedouin villages.  Text by Yael Marom, photos by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org Over 300 demonstrators marched outside the Be'er Sheva District Court Thursday against the planned demolition of two unrecognized Bedouin villages, Umm al-Hiran and Atir, in Israel's Negev Desert. Two villages are slated to be replaced by a Jewish-only community and a Jewish National Fund forest, respectively The protesters, Arabs and Jews, accompanied by members of Knesset from the Joint List and Meretz's Issawi Freij, chanted "We will not move from Atir and Umm al-Hiran," and…

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  • Ayman Odeh has a dream, but not all American Jews like it

    The leader of the Joint List got a rude awakening on his first official visit to the U.S. after being falsely accused of refusing to meet the leaders of a major Jewish organization in New York. 'I have actually found that Jewish Americans are more progressive than Jewish Israelis. But the problem is with the leaders of the community. They want to tell me how to behave and what to think.' NEW YORK — "I believe in talking to everyone," said Joint List leader Ayman Odeh. "In the Knesset, I speak with everyone." He added, with a half smile, "Except…

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  • Why is JNF UK throwing a Bedouin-themed party?

    The JNF has played a fundamental role in the displacement of the villagers of al-Araqib, an unrecognized Bedouin village that Israeli authorities demolished for the 90th time last week. Later this month the organization is holding a 'Bedouin Night' party in London. The Jewish National Fund in the United Kingdom (JNF UK) will be hosting a Bedouin-themed party catering to young professionals in London later this month. According to the invitation, the event — which is slated to take place on November 26th — will be held at a "secret Central London location" in a "unique Bedouin style venue," and will…

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  • How the Jewish Agency is throwing Ethiopian immigrants onto the street

    By Yossi Dahan (Translated from Hebrew by Shaked Spier) The Jewish Agency for Israel states on its website that its work concentrates on four fields: aliyah (the immigration of Jews from the diaspora to Israel), social action and giving, Israeli experience, and bringing Israel and Jewish communities abroad together. Let us focus on the Jewish Agency’s social giving. [tmwinpost] In a meeting of the parliamentary control panel on June 15th, one of the biggest Israeli real estate scandals in recent years was exposed (as described in The Marker). Control of publicly owned real estate assets, owned by the Jewish National…

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  • Bedouin village of Atir to be replaced with forest of ‘Yatir’

    Atir is hardly the first case in which forestation has been used by the Israeli government and the JNF as a method of displacement and land grabbing against Palestinians — on both sides of the Green Line. “Apparently in Israeli democracy, the state is permitted to uproot Arabs from their homes and plant trees in their place.” At first glance, Ali Abu Al-Qi’an’s comment would appear to be a joke or an exaggerated statement – but it is neither. In one sentence, Ali, an Arab Bedouin citizen of Israel, summarized the grim fate of his village of Atir, located in the…

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  • S. African Jews in Lubya: We're here to acknowledge the Nakba

    Among the ruins of the destroyed Palestinian village of Lubya, a group of South African Jews publicly apologizes to descendants of Lubya's refugees for their donations to the Jewish National Fund, donations that were used to plant part of the forest that covers the village's remains. In a forest glade set atop the remains of the destroyed Palestinian village of Lubya in the Lower Galilee, a delegation of South African Jews made a public apology to the descendants of refugees from Lubya and their families Friday evening. The event, a joint initiative of the South African delegation and representatives of…

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  • A rare win for E. Jerusalem family facing settler takeover

    Israel's Supreme Court 'recommends' that settler organization Elad and the JNF withdraw their petition to take control of the property. By Moriel Rothman-Zecher In the context of the absurd reality of Israel’s occupation, last Thursday brought a glimmer of good news. Attorneys for the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and settler group Elad withdrew their petition seeking to expel the Ruweidi family from their East Jerusalem home. Elad's lawyer, Eitan Peleg, withdrew the following a recommendation made by the Israeli Supreme Court, casting doubt on Elad’s and the JNF’s claims to the property. Peace Now settlement watch director Hagit Ofran told…

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