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social justice

  • Israel's culture minister is no friend of cultural equality

    Culture Minister Miri Regev may be right in wanting to change the unbalanced distribution of Israel's resources, but she's going about it all wrong. By Yossi Dahan Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev is right to speak about the need for "social justice" in Israel, and she is correct when she says that the distribution of resources vis-a-vis cultural institutions is skewed and discriminates against different groups in Israeli society. [tmwinpost] Yes, state funds dedicated to culture often go directly to institutions and art based in Tel Aviv, while communities in the social and geographical periphery are not properly allocated resources…

  • Desperation and hope in the eviction of Givat Amal

    The first-hand story of eviction in one of Tel Aviv's poorest neighborhoods. ‘They are trying to frighten us,’ someone said, and everyone crowded together and held each other even tighter. Then a sledgehammer punched a hole in the drywall. We didn't expect them to enter that way, the way soldiers did in Jenin during Operation Protective Shield. First there were the noises. "They're coming!" and "Police!" Those who holed themselves up in the Hakak family home, where I was also waiting, raced to close and lock the steel security door. And then silence. "Don't stand near the door," warned one woman.…

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  • PHOTOS: Working class neighborhood takes to TA streets ahead of evictions

    On the eve of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, 20 families are expected to be evicted from their homes in the Givat Amal neighborhood without just compensation. Neighborhood residents and supporters took to the streets in north Tel Aviv and blocked main roads to protest the imminent eviction. Photos and text: Keren Manor/Activestills Residents and supporters of the embattled north Tel Aviv neighborhood of Givat Amal gathered on Monday to demonstration against the feared impending eviction of 20 families. The families, whose homes sit on land purchased by Israeli tycoon Yitzhak Tshuva, are in danger of immediate eviction next…

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  • PHOTOS: Police evacuate families from working-class Tel Aviv neighborhood

    After lengthy legal battle, six families of Givat Amal lose their homes. Photos by: Shiraz Grinbaum, Keren Manor/, Text by Edo Konrad Police evicted six families from the Givat Amal neighborhood in northern Tel Aviv Thursday morning, after they lost a lengthy court battle for their rights to the land. Residents and community activists gathered in the neighborhood in an attempt to trying to stop the eviction. The residents, who the state placed in the working-class neighborhood soon after its founding in the 1950s, have been leading a struggle to recognize their rights to the property, which were sold to an…

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  • Masses demonstrate against austerity measures in Israel

    Over 12,000 Israelis took to the streets in Tel Aviv and other cities to protest against proposed tax hikes and spending cuts in the state's new budget. But will the latest iteration of Israel's social justice protest movement continue? The anger in the streets Saturday may be an indication that the movement will continue and possibly grow. Back on the streets. It was probably the largest demonstration for social justice and against austerity in the past year, if not since the Israeli 'Summer of 2011.' More than 12,000 protestors blocked the streets of central Tel Aviv Saturday night to protest against…

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  • An organic intellectual and social justice pioneer: A profile of Shlomo Swirski

    A profile of one of the most influential people in the struggle for social justice in Israel. Although he was kept out of academia, perhaps it was for the better. Who knows how much we would have lost had he wasted his days trying to sneak an article into the American Journal of Sociology. By Yossi Dahan (Translated from Hebrew by Aviel Lewis, edited by: Ami Asher) My first encounter with the name Shlomo Swirski was in the early 1980s as a student reading his book, Not Backward but Made Backward (1981). The rumor about the underground, green-covered book travelled by…

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  • Can Israel's social justice protest movement make a comeback?

    Will Israeli masses return to the streets for social justice? After nearly a month of weekly protests outside the house of Yair Lapid, the new finance minister - numbering about 400 people each and organized by post-#J14 groups for public housing - a much bigger demonstration is planned for Saturday night with more than 10,000 people declaring they will attend on the Facebook event page. The protests are erupting as Lapid promotes a new budget, which looks much like the one planned by the previous government. It was ultimately public pressure that led the government to scrap the budget and call…

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  • Where is the social protest movement in the Israeli elections?

    Did the revolution lose its sex appeal? Did the J14 leaders enable politicians to ignore them? Whatever the reason, it is clear that the main benefactor of this state of affairs is Prime Minister Netanyahu. By Ilan Manor With the elections just two weeks away, it has become apparent that the 2013 elections are no different than the ones held in Israel since the late 1980s. Once again, the debate revolves around a flailing peace process, a possible solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the security challenges facing the State of Israel. The line between the Israeli left and right…

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  • The next step in the fight for social justice: Jumping off Dizengoff Center

    On my walk home from work this afternoon, I happened to pass by Dizengoff Center. There was a mass of people, which steadily grew during the time I spent watching, as police officers attempted to calm the scene. Eight young people stood, as if in some kind of eerie performance, on the bridge connected the two concrete buildings of the shopping mall. They had apparently all written farewell letters, demanding social justice and are currently threatening to jump to their deaths. All traffic was quickly stopped by passersby, and concurrently by police forces. Ambulances swiftly drove in with stretchers, ready…

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  • Photo essay: Palestinians protest high prices, Israeli economic control

    A wave of protests in the occupied Palestinian territories against the high cost of living has raised the obvious question as to whether the 'Arab Spring' has arrived in Palestine. Since demonstrations started in the first week of September, Palestinians have regularly blocked roads in major West Bank cities, protesting the high prices for food, fuel, and other basic necessities, many of them criticizing the Palestinian Authority and calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. Protesters also targeted the Oslo Peace Accords, which were signed with Israel 19 years ago last Thursday. Many called for the abolition of…

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  • A week in photos: September 6-12

    Palestinian protests against the cost of living and PA leadership grew in size and intensity, as weekly demonstrations continued and threats of demolition and settler violence remain a fact of life under occupation. Israelis also took to the streets over media and social justice issues. Activestills images tell the stories of the week.

  • Palestinians take to streets in call for Fayyad to step down

    In the past few days, protesters have filled the Palestinian streets. This time, their protest is not against Israel, but rather against the Palestinian Authority and specifically Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. The Palestinians are coming out to protest the rising prices in the West Bank, which have increased at a time when the Palestinian Authority has been unable to pay its employees their full salaries on time. Prime Minister Fayyad found himself at the center of the anger and frustration of the Palestinians. In the first few years following his appointment, Fayyad received rave reviews by locals and internationals alike for…

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