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political persecution

  • Why Jewish Israelis should stand with the head of Israel's Islamic Movement

    I'm no supporter of Sheikh Raed Salah, but as Jewish Israelis we have an enormous responsibility to state loudly and clearly that which our privilege still permits us. That means opposing political persecution when we see it. Two years ago Israel outlawed one of the largest popular associations in the country, the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement. In the days that followed, authorities quickly moved to shut down dozens of affiliated charitable organizations, women’s organizations, media outlets, and educational and childcare programs. Hardly a word of protest was uttered by the Jewish population in Israel. [tmwinpost] Sheikh Raed Salah,…

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  • Blacklists and travel bans aren’t new in Israel — the targets are

    Palestinian activists and others have long faced actual travel bans, blacklists, and political persecution. Nevertheless, that some of the same methods are now being used against Israeli and American Jews is a worrying sign. One of the Israeli government's senior-most ministers said last year that Israeli BDS advocates must be made to pay a price for their political activism. A series of developments over the past month or so seems to demonstrate that he was completely serious, and that efforts to target nonviolent political dissidents are escalating to worrying levels. [tmwinpost] First came the law banning entry into Israel of…

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  • Palestinian culture is flourishing — thanks to Miri Regev

    Each attempt to silence Palestinian artists only makes our voices grow louder. It's time to admit that Miri Regev is the best thing to happen to Palestinian culture since Israel's founding. Period. I generally do not tend to write about the Mizrahi struggle and what kind of effect Regev is having on it. But in my eyes she is undoing the hard work of Mizrahi activists and functioning mostly as Netanyahu's emissary, who uses her to spread hatred and fear in the backyards of Israeli society, where the Mizrahi struggle began. Regev does the job well — she removes the burden of…

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  • When homophobia becomes a tool for political persecution

    The campaign against the Left in Israel reaches a new low: a planned protest at the wedding of an anti-occupation group's director and her wife-to-be. It shows that when dissent is characterized as treason, there is no area of one's life that is off-limits. It's a clear sign of the times when protesting at someone's wedding is considered a legitimate form of political activism. It's an even clearer sign when such a suggestion barely raises an eyebrow and when someone responsible for educating young people actually gets on board with the idea. [tmwinpost] But this is exactly what happened in Israel…

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  • The Israeli Left must realize it is at war

    When will the Jewish Left wake up and come to terms with the fact that the rules of the game have changed? It seems that even the most skeptical of radical left-wing activists in Israel were taken by surprise by the aggressive, relentless, and mounting attacks that we have witnessed over these past few days against left-wing activists. This madness refuses to die down. Day after day we hear about arrests of left-wing activists, who disappear into their cells without ever being informed of what they are being accused. The police slap a gag order on the entire story, preventing…

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  • Police target second 'Breaking the Silence' event in a week

    Senior police brass hound venue over minor business license violations. Police shut down a similar Breaking the Silence event last week citing right-wing threats against it. For the second time in a week, Israeli police have imposed restrictions on Breaking the Silence lectures scheduled to take place in private venues. The owners of those venues and Breaking the Silence claim police are silencing the organization’s message in a way that serves the right wing in Israel. Breaking the Silence is an organization of former IDF soldiers that collects and distributes soldier testimonies about the occupation in order to show Israeli…

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  • The real danger of outlawing Palestinian political movements

    Banning and persecuting political groups like the Islamic Movement and Balad has the effect of disengaging Palestinian citizens of Israel from the state and its political system. That is very, very dangerous. The Israeli government has done very few things that worry me more than its ongoing assault on the country’s Palestinian citizens’ political representation. In the latest such move, the government outlawed the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement and seized assets and properties belonging to 17 affiliated organizations on Tuesday. One of the things that enables Jews and Arabs to live together in this country, which despite everything…

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  • Netanyahu's fourth gov't: The good, the bad and the ugly

    The next Israeli government will attempt to preserve the status quo in the West Bank and Gaza at all costs. Facing international backlash, the persecution of leftists and Arabs could rise to dangerous levels. It’s quite clear what the fourth Netanyahu government will look like: A coalition of the Likud’s “natural partners.” These are the same people who have been following and backing Netanyahu since the 1990s: Avigdor Liberman, Bennett’s Jewish Home, the ultra-Orthodox parties, and Moshe Kahlon, who is actually comprises the moderate wing of the Likud. There are all sorts of rumors about sending feelers to the Labor…

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  • Hebrew U. threatens Palestinian students with expulsion over political activities

    Twelve Palestinian students are facing possible expulsion from Jerusalem's Hebrew University for participating in an 'illegal' political protest. In the past, the university only took steps against particular student groups. Now, it's switching gears and targeting individual students. Near the end of September, 12 Palestinian students received a notice from the Hebrew University administration, stating that Dean of Students Udi Shavit had lodged a complaint against them over their participation in an "unauthorized demonstration that goes against regulations," which took place on July 10, 2014. The notice said that the administration was waiting for a response from the students before…

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  • Embattled teacher compared to Dreyfus

    The controversy surrounding an unsuspecting high-school teacher who was denounced by one of his twelfth-grade students for allegedly expressing left-wing views in class escalated rapidly this week. Adam Verete, the teacher from Kiryat Tivon, has unwittingly been dubbed ‘Dreyfus of Tivon’; a routine meeting of the Knesset Education Committee became a heated argument over the issue, two hundred students demonstrated in Verete’s defense while the Education Minister maintains radio silence, garnering criticism, and the country’s top PR experts working for the ORT school system where Varete teaches stutters over basic questions. On Thursday, Haaretz published 'highlights' from a secret recording…

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