A new law aiming to silence the Muslim call to prayer is just one manifestation of efforts to erase Palestinian culture and identity. But language and heritage aren't so easy to disappear. There is a building on Michelangelo Street in Jaffa, near where I used to live, which for a while featured the sentiment “We have no other country” graffitied in both Arabic and Hebrew, side by side. One day, the Arabic was painted over, presumably by the municipality, leaving only the Hebrew. Almost immediately, someone restored the Arabic. It was painted over again. This pattern continued until a friend publicly asked the municipality why…Read More... | 13 Comments
The demolitions in Qalansuwa, Umm el-Hiran, and Israel's new 'land grab law' are one and the same. So is the obligation to oppose them. By Raied Haj Yahya The Netanyahu government’s high profile demolitions in Qalansuwa and Umm el-Hiran in recent weeks are clear instances of systemic discrimination against the Palestinian minority in Israel, which comprises 20 percent of Israel's citizenry. What many in Israel conveniently call "illegal construction" is actually the construction of homes on private land owned by individual Palestinian citizens of Israel. State authorities and planning commissions have erected almost insurmountable institutional and planning barriers for Arab…Read More...
If Israel can teach American liberals anything, it’s that they cannot afford to rest on their laurels. The case of Israel demonstrates that fear-mongering and tribalism can easily prop up an oppressive and racist regime for decades. It is not uncommon for Israeli authorities to detain, interrogate and deport tourists of Arab or Palestinian descent, and those arriving through Israel to do Palestinian solidarity work. Jewish Americans, however, especially those engaged with mainstream community institutions, rarely face the types of humiliating treatment for which Israeli airport security has become notorious. [tmwinpost] So it raised a small storm on Wednesday when…Read More... | 2 Comments
Former top generals and commanders in Israel have launched a new campaign that pushes for unilateral separation from Palestinians. But their messaging reminds us just how racist the notion of a Palestinian 'demographic threat' really is. A new campaign in Israel by a group of former top military and security officials warns that Palestinians will soon be the majority in the country. It is billed as a centrist, pragmatist approach to enhance Israel's security in lieu of a peace process, which it may be — but it is also blatantly racist. [tmwinpost] Launched Sunday to coincide with the Paris Peace summit that…Read More... | 16 Comments
Earlier this year, the Coalition Against Racism led Israelis on a tour of the mixed city of Ramla. The tour took participants to Arab and Ethiopian neighborhoods, where along with two members of Knesset, they learned about the problems facing residents of minority and underprivileged areas. Can getting to know the Other really make a difference? Read more: One in every four Israelis experienced racism last year, poll finds There is nothing 'natural' about police racism The roots of anti-Mizrahi racism in IsraelRead More...
The Education Ministry seems to be doing all it can to give teachers the feeling that deep, honest conversations about democracy and equality are not welcome in school. By Gil Gertel The director-general of the Education Ministry published an amendment to its "Educational Discourse on Controversial Issues" guidelines last week. The reason? To impose restrictions on guest lecturers who come and speak to students. The amendment does not propose any tools for selecting lectures, instead it creates ambiguity intended to frighten principals and teachers. Two studies published over the last few weeks confirm the trend: fear has spread on all levels, from teachers to heads of local authorities, over dealing…Read More... | 4 Comments
The first time I got called a sandnigger I was one semester into an English Lit. degree at the University of Tennessee, where football — the kind that involves hands — was a game more urgent than war. In August of 1990, I said goodbye to my Palestinian family and set off to attend college in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where 18 years earlier, my mother had given birth to me. That I was born in that unlikely place was an accident of fate. My mother and father had arrived by way of a family friend, who, after the 1967 war, had…Read More... | 4 Comments
Trying to understand, and explain, the troubling electoral choice of the man who raised me. By David Sarna Galdi Election day is a week away, and barring a revelation akin to Paul’s on the road to Damascus, I am fairly sure my father will be voting for Donald Trump. My educated assumption about my father’s decision, based on highly frustrating conversations that usually end with me slamming down the phone, has left me angry and confused. How could I have been raised by a man voting for a presidential candidate whose campaign was best summed up by economist Paul Krugman: “Donald…Read More... | 3 Comments
New research finds a direct correlation between negative media coverage of Arab society in Israel and the exclusion of Arab voices and interviewees in that coverage. By Oren Persico The participation of Arab interviewees in Israeli news items relating to Arab society in the country has a correlation on the content and tone of the reporting, new research published by Israeli NGO Sikkuy last month has concluded. (Full disclosure: The Seventh Eye partnered with Sikkuy for its ‘Representation Index’ project.) The research project, conducted by Edan Ring along with the Ifat Group, examined news coverage of Arab citizens of Israel in the…Read More... | 2 Comments
Back in the 1970s, the deep socioeconomic divide between Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jews in Israel led to a massive protest movement and the rise of the Israeli Black Panthers. A newly approved official civics textbook in Israel portrays the movement as violent and criminal. We called up three Black Panthers to remind us all of the true nature of their struggle. The following is a chapter in the Education Ministry's newly-approved civics textbook, To be Citizens in Israel: Criminality motivated by ideology — political violence "Political violence is the use of force by an individual of a group in order to attain political…Read More... | 2 Comments
The Israel Press Council approves a change to ethics rules that forbids journalists and media outlets from discriminating against and excluding certain populations from their coverage. Among those opposing the change: the editor of ‘Israel Hayom’ and the publisher of ‘Haaretz.’ By Oren Persico The Israel Press Council last month approved a change to the Rules of Journalistic Ethics according to which media outlets should not discriminate against various population segments or exclude them from their coverage. The change, which was put forth by Union of Journalists in Israel chairman Yair Tarchitsky, was approved 14 to 4, with one abstention. Among…Read More...
Even the most off-hand displays of white supremacism and anti-Semitism — perhaps especially off-hand, "normalized" displays — are not only deplorable in their own right, but directly affect conversation on racism, anti-Semitism and Israel-Palestine. Students attending an off-campus Exeter University party on Tuesday were seen sporting t-shirts with anti-Semitic and white supremacist slogans, +972 has learned. Reports of anti-semitic incidents in the UK have risen by 11 percent in the first half of 2016, according to a recent report by the Community Security Trust, a UK organization providing security guards to Jewish schools and synagogues. Anti-semitism has figured heavily in headlines over the past year, especially…Read More... | 3 Comments
David Mizrahi, once a vocal anti-Arab hatemonger, makes amends in a heartfelt Facebook post, and begins preaching tolerance and acceptance. In the current climate in Jerusalem, that is a brave and commendable thing to do. David Mizrahi was once a prominent member of La Familia, a notorious Jewish supremacist chapter of the Beitar Jerusalem fan club. Three years ago, he famously refused to shake hands with professional Arab footballer Mohammed Ghadir. But on Sunday, he published the following on Facebook: Three years ago I arrived at Mohammed Ghadir's home, accompanied by a Channel 2 TV crew. You can still see the footage on…Read More... | 5 Comments
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