Aharon Barak says he is concerned about Israeli democracy, but he bears responsibility for no small part of where the country is today. By Hagai El-Ad Former Chief Justice Aharon Barak is completely at peace with his ruling on targeted assassinations. On a recent episode of an Israeli investigative TV program, he went so far as to brag about its impact: “By the way, my judgment is taught all over the world.” [tmwinpost] Clearly, Barak takes pride in his judgments resonating around the world. When it comes to his own voice and words, the question of “why take it abroad?”…Read More... | 3 Comments
Long before he died in a work accident on an Israeli construction site, Muhamad Barghouth's life was dictated by the violent whims of military occupation. By Aviv Tatarsky Last month, the grandson of a very close friend of mine was killed. Muhamad Bargouth, 22, whose grandfather I have grown close to in my many visits to the Palestinian village of Walajeh over the years, was killed in an accident at an Israeli construction site not all that far from his family home. Accidents can happen. But Muhamad's death was more than accident: his life was marked by the violence Israel's occupation visited…Read More... | 1 Comment
A new video series about 'design flaws' tackles the question of why the world is so irked by Israel's separation barrier. Surely it's not the fact that it cages in millions of people and annexes roughly 10 percent of the West Bank. No, it's just a matter of aesthetics. In a video clip published online this week by Kann, Israel's new public broadcast corporation, a young man wearing a hip polka-dot shirt and a fashionably scruffy beard explains the real problem with Israel's separation barrier — its aesthetics. The 90-second video opens with the young man walking bouncily along a dusty strip…Read More...
Encircled by the separation barrier, threatened with demolition orders, and deemed illegal aliens in their own homes, the residents of the Palestinian village of Walajeh are fighting for their lives. From the village of Walajeh, one can see much of Jerusalem. The round roof of Teddy Stadium, where the city’s soccer teams play. The towers of the Holyland luxury apartment complex, looming over the surrounding, low-slung buildings. The square, sandstone houses of the city’s southern neighborhoods. And from much of Jerusalem, one can see Walajeh. The deep green hills where the separation barrier — glinting razor wire and dull, grey concrete…Read More... | 2 Comments
Donald Trump's proposal to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border was a cornerstone of his presidential campaign. But Israel's separation wall is a lesson in why such a project is dangerous, ineffective — and morally wrong. By Abby C. Wheatley and Oren Kroll-Zeldin Throughout his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump made constant reference to the 50-foot tall concrete wall he plans to build on the entire length of the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump’s plan is divisive, further polarizing an already fractured American public. And yet there seems to be little public awareness that nearly 700 miles of fencing already exists, or that…Read More... | 5 Comments
Israeli forces who turned up to demolish a home in the West Bank village of Budrus were met with an unexpected obstacle: dozens of Palestinian women protecting the house with their bodies. The women of Budrus, a Palestinian village in the West Bank, sent a powerful message on Wednesday when they physically blocked Israeli forces from carrying out a home demolition. Video of the incident, shot by photojournalist Issam Rimawi, shows dozens of Palestinian women standing on the porch and roof of the home, as Israeli army jeeps and Border Police officers idle out front. To the side stands a…Read More...
This is the story of a Palestinian father whose son was shot in the back by two Israeli soldiers. In the bizarre reality of occupation, he is the one who must ask permission from the wardens while his son's killers walk free. What took place at the Ramle Magistrate's Court on Thursday morning was beyond bizarre. Every encounter between a grieving family and those who killed their child is, without a doubt, terrible — but they usually look different than what I witnessed. Most of these meetings take place in district courts. Usually the ones who killed the child are brought to court house from prison,…Read More... | 9 Comments
Despite admitting that the young man was only looking for work, police decide to charge him with conspiracy to commit a crime — renting a rope and ladder. Israeli police prosecutors indicted a 26-year-old Palestinian man in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court Wednesday morning for climbing over the separation wall in order to find work. According to the indictment, last Friday Muntaner Ben-Mahmoud Barakat went to the West Bank village of a-Ram, which is separated from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina by the concrete separation wall. He paid somebody NIS 50 ($13) to use a ladder and rope to…Read More...
Netanyahu’s magic solution for all of Israel’s problems is to fence the state in. But he will still be left with over a million Arabs, potential beasts of prey, and all the incitement in the world will not remove them. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this month announced a plan to surround the State of Israel with fences — to keep out “beasts of prey.” I was left with an inescapable thought: I must ask the prime minister, what about me? If Israel is a villa in the jungle and is being fenced- and walled-in for fear of attack by the…Read More... | 11 Comments
The West Bank village of Bil’in, along with supporters from Israel and abroad, march on the separation wall that has illegally annexed their agricultural lands. Bil’in has become a symbol of Palestinian non-violent resistance. By Oren Ziv/Activestills.org Hundreds of people — Palestinians, Israelis, and foreigners — took part in a march Friday to mark 11 years since the village of Bil’in started its non-violent popular struggle against the Israeli separation barrier, which annexed parts of the village’s agricultural land. Following afternoon prayers, the protesters marched along the same route that has been followed every Friday since 2005 — from the…Read More...
With politicians from right to left putting their faith in higher walls, some Palestinians are putting their faith in higher powers. Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org Just before his victory in the New Hampshire primary this past week, U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump said: “We have to build a wall. Walls work. Just ask Israel. Walls work. They work.” The same week, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu announced the building of new barriers by saying: “In our neighborhood, we need to protect ourselves from wild beasts.” [tmwinpost] If you’re tempted to dismiss these statements as the ravings of…Read More... | 25 Comments
Looking closely at Labor's plan, the logic behind it becomes clear: since it is difficult to envision a Palestinian state in the foreseeable future, Israel should no longer be ashamed of putting Palestinians in Bantustans. By Neve Gordon On Sunday night, Israel's Labor Party unanimously approved their leader's diplomatic plan. [tmwinpost] Labor's premier Isaac Herzog laid out his vision a few weeks earlier at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, telling the audience that he “wish[es] to separate from as many Palestinians as possible, as quickly as possible.” Herzog continued by explaining that “we’ll erect a big…Read More... | 58 Comments
Even after 11 years of struggle, the residents of Bil'in refuse to forget about the land that was taken from them. The year was 2006. The village Bil'in near Ramallah had already marked over a year of weekly protests against the separation barrier that cuts them off from their land. One day, during a hearing at the High Court of Justice over a petitioned against the route of the wall, Justice Aharon Barak wondered aloud: "Why do they protest there so often?" [tmwinpost] Nearly 11 years have passed since the residents of this small village decided they wanted to oppose…Read More...
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