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  • Resource: Tracking Israel's support for illegal outposts

    The Israeli government has been quietly authorizing illegal settlement outposts in recent years. A criminal activity, the trend also exposes Palestinians to increased violence and harassment from settlers. Text by Rachel Shenhav-Goldberg Illegal settlement outposts have become increasingly regularized during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's tenure, according to a recent report from Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now. In a trend largely kept hidden from the Israeli public, these unauthorized outposts enjoy unwavering support from the government, despite their clear illegality. According to the report, 15 such outposts have already been legalized, with at least 35 more on the way to authorization. The goal is…

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  • How one of Israel's veteran activists came to support (some) sanctions

    Galia Golan supports levying sanctions and international pressure against Israel to hasten the end of the occupation. That does not, however, mean that she supports BDS. Golan, who was one of the founders of Peace Now, served as the chair of Hebrew University’s political science department, and advised several Israeli prime ministers, has come a long way since leaving her job at the CIA to move to Israel 52 years ago. [tmwinpost] Much of that happened relatively early on, when she learned — before most Israelis, she notes — about Israel's expulsion of the Palestinian population in 1948 and its refusal to…

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  • A rotten system, not just rotten apples

    Settler violence against human rights activists is not the work of a few 'rotten apples,' but rather a government-backed strategy that could have dangerous consequences. We should be taking it deathly seriously. By Libby Lenkinski Over the last few weeks, the settlers in the West Bank city of Hebron have ramped up their harassment of Breaking the Silence activists who lead tours of the city for Israelis and internationals alike. Two weeks ago, settlers threw paint at tour leader Frima Bubis as she was guiding a group of Birthright walk-offs, and on Sunday a right-wing activist physically assaulted Breaking the Silence founder…

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  • Why settlement boycotters shouldn't join the BDS movement

    Although the Israeli government's crackdown on the BDS movement will doubtless boost sympathy for its cause, progressive settlement boycotters should think twice before getting onboard. By Abe Silberstein When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared settlement evacuation to ethnic cleansing last September, it became clear that the Israeli government was redoubling its efforts to improve the reputation of the settlement enterprise. [tmwinpost] Recent moves taken against boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) supporters seem to have cemented this approach: 2017 has seen a travel ban directed at BDS advocates and settlement boycotters, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan’s proposal for a database of Israeli…

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  • How the director of Peace Now saved Bibi and the peace process

    Avi Buskila, the new director general of Peace Now, may come as an outsider to the world of peace organizations but there's one unique item on his resume nobody else can lay claim to. Twenty years ago I was a deputy company commander in the West Bank city of Hebron. The first Netanyahu government was about to transfer control of three-quarters of the city to the Palestinian Authority. The settlers were furious — the tension in the occupied city was palpable. [tmwinpost] After Rabin’s assassination, the Hebron Agreement was seen as vital for demonstrating progress in the Oslo process under the…

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  • Israeli settlements have created a 'state within a state'

    Not only physical settler violence goes largely unpunished — the structural violence of those driving the settlement enterprise, in the form of open land theft and everything it entails, also goes largely unaddressed. What keeps the long arm of the law at bay? A primetime investigative news program revealed to all of Israel last week widespread forgery in the purchase of Palestinian land by Jewish settlers. The program, Channel 10's "Hamakor" ("The Source"), fronted by investigative journalist Raviv Drucker, uncovered corruption, distortion, manipulation and outright criminal activity on the part of buyers, lawyers and so-called "straw men" who helped push the fraudulent…

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  • Thousands demonstrate in Tel Aviv: 'No security without a solution'

    Thousands of Israelis demonstrate in central Tel Aviv against the government's unwillingness to reach an agreement with the Palestinians. Photos by Yotam Ronen, Oren Ziv / Activestills.org Thousands of Israelis participated in a protest march in central Tel Aviv Saturday night against the Netanyahu government's policies in the West Bank and the continuing violence. The demonstrators, many of them from Peace Now — which organized the event — and the left-wing Meretz party, along with several members from the Arab-Jewish Hadash party and Da'am Workers Party, marched from Habima Square to the IDF headquarters on Kaplan Street, waving Israeli flags…

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  • WATCH: Settlers assault, throw stones at Palestinian farmers

    The villagers of Ash-Shuyukh have been trying to reach their lands for 10 years — each time they are attacked by settlers. When they arrived there on Saturday, Israeli activists had cameras ready. Settlers attacked a small group of Palestinian farmers from the village of Ash-Shuyukh who came to work their land near the settlements of Pnei Kedem and Metzad on Saturday. As can be seen in video filmed by an Israeli activist with Ta'ayush, a direct-action solidarity group, the settlers threw stones and physically assaulted the farmers while a group of soldiers stood between the two and attempted to…

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  • Peace Now highlights 'epidemic' of incitement in Israel

    Video campaign shows selection out of hundreds of thousands of inciting comments against 'leftists.' The pro-peace group is far from the only target of recent incitement — even the president is falling victim. Peace Now has launched an online video campaign to raise awareness about incitement, intolerance and hate speech directed specifically at "leftists" in Israel and expressed most visibly on Facebook. The organization produced a two-and-a-half minute video entitled, "The writing is still on the wall," displaying a selection of comments left on its Facebook page. To give you an idea of just a few: -Leftist whores burn already, you should all be…

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  • Israeli peace activism: Same slogans for a different reality

    As a fundamental human desire and right, peace traverses time and context. However, if it is to be realized it must be adjusted to political and social realities. By Nadia Naser-Najjab In a period degraded by extremes of violence and dehumanization, the sight of 10,000 Israeli protestors taking to the streets of Tel Aviv last Saturday to protest against their own government’s actions in Gaza appeared as a welcome chink of light illuminating unremittingly bleak skies. Despite being smaller in scale, the demonstration recalled the early 1990s, when large numbers of Israelis demonstrated in favor of peace, and the possibility…

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  • 10,000 protest in Tel Aviv for a just peace, end to occupation

    Under a coalition of Israeli left-wing political parties and organizations, thousands gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square in the largest anti-war demonstration since the outbreak of violence in Gaza. (Moriel Rothman-Zecher and Haggai Matar contributed to this report) Some 10,000 Israelis flooded Tel Aviv's Rabin Square under the slogan “Changing direction: toward peace, away from war” in the largest anti-Gaza war demonstration in Israel since the outbreak of hostilities more than one month ago. The protest was scheduled to take place last week, but was postponed after the police and Home Front Command revoked its permit, ostensibly to stop large gatherings during…

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  • Who are the Israelis refusing the call of Protective Edge?

    On Saturday evening, another anti-war demonstration was held in Tel Aviv. A few hundred people marched and chanted and hoped that rumors of a drawdown were true. With minimal numbers and attention, the demonstrations have had little impact. But there doesn’t seem much else that those opposed to the war can do. Soldiers and reservists have another option: civil disobedience, refusal to participate. It is a huge taboo. The idea of avoiding IDF service in a society whose mythical founding narrative is about protection from existential destruction is anathema even in normal times. To refuse a draft order in wartime…

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  • Settlers confront IDF soldiers, and 'price tag' finally makes news

    Clashes between settlers and Israeli forces left several border policemen hospitalized Tuesday morning. While the mainstream media was quick to condemn the settlers' behavior, it missed the bigger story. We have been asking here for some time why the so-called "price tag" attacks don’t get the media attention they deserve. For those unfamiliar with the term, price tag attacks refer to attacks by radical settler groups – “hilltop youth” and others, mostly from the settlement outposts – on Palestinians and their property, including: beatings, arson, graffiti on mosques, and most frequently – the destruction of olive trees. The name “price…

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