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nir barkat

  • 'Police threaten to destroy memorial for slain Palestinian teen, Mohammed Abu Khdeir'

    Clashes and riots break out over the death of another Palestinian teen shot by Israel police. Israel Police on Sunday threatened to destroy a memorial for murdered Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was burned alive by several Israeli Jews on July 2, according to Tamar Fleishman, an Israeli activist who met with the Abu Khdeir family on Sunday. Mohammed's father, Hussein, reportedly said police instructed him to dismantle it or they would. According to Fleishman, Hussein told police that if they destroyed the memorial the entire family would return in the middle of the night and build a larger one in the…

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  • An invitation to Israel's thought police: Haul me in

    A Palestinian man from East Jerusalem is summoned by Israeli police for a Facebook status describing his city as occupied. It has been a month since I last visited Occupied Jerusalem. By writing those words, I may be hastening my return to the city, albeit involuntarily. This week, a Palestinian resident of Occupied East Jerusalem was summoned by Israeli police for describing the city’s mayor, Nir Barkat, as the “mayor of the occupation,” Haaretz reported. East Jerusalem was occupied by Israeli forces on June 7, 1967. Later that month, some 70 square kilometers of Palestinian East Jerusalem and the West…

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  • Tel Aviv, Jerusalem mayors keep posts; right-wing populists register successes

    The municipal elections in Israel yesterday brought no major surprises. In the most interesting political fight this year, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat beat Atty. Moshe Lion, whose candidacy was backed by Shas's Aryeh Deri and former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman. The defeat has implications for the political futures of both politicians: Deri is weaker without the support of the late Rabbi Ovadiah Yossef and a split in Shas seems more probable than ever. Lieberman's fortune has been in decline for a long time. His fate will be determined when the verdict in his trail is handed down, but even if…

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  • Why are Jerusalem leftists voting for a pro-settlement mayor?

    Over 5 million Israelis have the right to vote in the municipal elections today. National politics are not as directly reflected in municipal polls as they were in the past - when Likud and Labor used those as platform for securing their parties' political machines (plus, there just isn't much of a competition in the big cities) - but you can always learn about some of the deeper trends from them. Here are a few things to watch: 1. Jerusalem: Major Nir Barkat is favorite against Moshe Leon. Leon's candidacy is backed by a political deal between Shas' Aryeh Deri…

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  • Resource: The failing East Jerusalem education system

    With the start of the new school year, today (2.9.2013) The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and Ir Amim published an annual update on the dire state of education in East Jerusalem, revealing deep gaps between the two parts of the city. The report concludes that the Jerusalem Municipality and state authorities are failing to meet a High Court ruling that ordered the completion of all missing classrooms in East Jerusalem by 2016. Faced with a shortage of 2,200 missing classrooms in the official Arab school system in Jerusalem, the authorities are doing too little to close this…

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  • Backed by court, East Jerusalem settlement expands into Palestinian home

    In Israel, a settler's pre-1948 property claim provides legal grounds for the takeover of private Palestinian land. The property deeds of scores of Palestinians are disregarded, because there is one set of laws for Jews and another for Palestinians. Separate and unequal. By Moriel Rothman Last month, as last minute wrangling over the Democratic Party platform offered Americans a front-row seat to the farce that often accompanies discourse about Jerusalem, events in the holy city reached their own new level of absurdity, though with far more serious and immediate consequences. Early on Sunday, September 2, Jewish settlers took over a single room…

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  • Are Israeli Jews avoiding Jerusalem?

    For my column in the Jerusalem Report this week analyzing public opinion, I asked a sample of Israeli Jews a survey question: How often do they visit their beloved city, their holiest of holies, the eternal, undivided capital? After all, the majority of Israeli Jews reject the division of Jerusalem and proclaim everlasting love. But our findings that nearly half almost never visit the city, and the analysis, show that for many it's neither beloved, nor undivided. Jerusalem remains holy - but that's not necessarily a good thing. Here's my column, re-posted courtesy of the Jerusalem Report Magazine.   Avoiding…

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  • Jerusalem police detain 7-year-old Palestinian child

    The Jerusalem detained a seven-year-old Palestinian child for alleged stone-throwing, and interrogated him for hours, separate from his father, in direct contravention of the law. A long time ago, during the First Intifada, I was manning a shift in the Dir Al Balah Civil Administration ops desk, when a stupid army officer radioed me that he detained a “riot ring leader.” I asked for the detainee’s ID number, so as to match it against the list of wanted people. The army officer said he didn’t have an ID. I told him to go to the guy’s house, because they usually…

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  • Footloose in Jerusalem: Hear no evil, see no evil

    The dancers of a Jerusalem-based company are organizing a protest against a policy designed to shield the eyes of passersby who would rather pretend they don't exist Three years ago, I worked for the Kolben Dance Company, whose base is in the Gerard Bechar Center in Jerusalem. Today and tomorrow, joined by a group of supporters, the dancers of this company will protest the enforcement of a closed curtain policy in the studio. Their plan is to strip down the curtains, which the director of the center ordered be closed during workings hours, and perform outside of their studio. Jerusalem…

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  • J'lem construction in next decades – mostly on occupied territory

    This is not a Peace Now report, but an official document of the Jerusalem Municipality: According to a survey conducted at the request of the mayor's office, 60,718 new housing units are slated for construction in Jerusalem in the next decades. Of those, 52,363 of them will be built east of the Green Line, in the territory annexed to Israel after the Six-Day War. The document, revealed today by the daily paper Maariv, states that 23,628 of the planned units were already approved by relevant zoning committees - 20,263 of those for the "eastern" part of the city (see 2009 map…

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  • Racism, settlements and Glenn Beck: One pic that says it all

    Joseph Dana twitted this pic from the Glenn Beck rally, which tells most of what you need to know about the current moment here. The second man on the right is Supermarket mogul Rami Levi, who recently started separating Arab and Jewish workers at one of his stores. to his right is Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem and patron of settlements in Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan and other Palestinian neighborhoods.

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  • Great-grandson of S.Y Agnon to McEwan: Don't shake hands with apartheid

    Israeli activists from the Boycott From Within disrupted an event with British author Ian McEwan this evening in Jerusalem. McEwan, the recipient of this year’s Jerusalem Prize for Literature, was asked by Israeli and Palestinian activists to boycott the prize and not ‘whitewash’ Israeli violations of international law in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. Ignoring the boycott call, McEwan accepted the prize and gave a strong speech denouncing Israeli actions towards the Palestinians. McEwan also visited the weekly protest against settlement activity in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah with Israeli writer David Grossman. This evening, activists…

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  • J'lem cops try to shut down leftist pub as mayor dines nearby

    So here's a weekend story from the city on the hill. The mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat - responsible for the highly controversial building projects in the East of the city - went out to dine at the posh Cavalier restaurant in the city. He was spotted by activists from the Sheikh Jarrah solidarity movement, who decided to combine business with pleasure, and sat down at the outside tables of the nearby Sira pub, one of the left's most favourite, delightfully scruffy hangouts in the capital. Aside from their well-earned pints, the activists were holding signs protesting Barkat's policy. According…

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