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tent protest

  • Israel policy myth #4: Our un-American social safety net

    As Israelis rise in social protest, they comfort themselves with the thought that our safety net is at least better than that of the ultra-capitalist US. They are wrong The unscheduled and unfortunately long hiatus in the Israeli policy myths series coincided with the unprecedented rise of the current social protest movement. This movement has brought the enormous erosion of Israel's social safety net to the forefront of public discussion. Yet, if anything, Israelis are underestimating how bad things have become. In this, the suddenly topical fourth installment of the series, I will argue that the situation here is now…

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  • September journey part 13: Where the heart is

    Staying on the move in Israel and the Palestinian territories through a month of trial. And today: trying to relax. The arrivals hall at Ben-Gurion airport is overwhelmingly spacious. Stone columns rise over 20 meters to support its ceiling, a ceiling that is beautifully littered with helium balloons that were released by people awating their loved ones when time came to hug those loved ones. In most airports one walks out of the baggage claim into a prosaic corridor with car rental offices. There is a simple railing along which people are crowded, awaiting relatives or holding up signs with names…

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  • September journey part 12: The wasteland

    Staying on the move in Israel and the Palestinian Territories through a month of trial. And today: both tents and prejudice come in different shapes and sizes. When Tine and I got arrested by the Palestinian Police, we were trying to find a way to leave the West Bank and reach the city of Beer Sheva. Today I head for that southern city on my own. Hopefully, it will be a rich day. Ruthie will be returning from the States tomorrow and Friday is her birthday. While I am plotting documenting the birthday as a portion of the month's adventure,…

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  • Israel approves plan to uproot 30,000 Bedouins

    The approval of the ‘Prawer Plan’ concerning Bedouins in the Negev desert demonstrates that Israel’s principle of divide and rule, which has been perfected in the West Bank and Gaza, also applies to citizens of Israel living inside 1948 boundaries. Perhaps the most violent component of Israel’s control over non-Jewish inhabitants since the founding of the state has been the (unequal) distribution and allocation of resources. In Area C of the West Bank, the area designated for full Israeli military and civilian control by the Oslo accords which makes up the majority of land in the occupied territories, Israel has…

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  • September journey part 8: It makes no sense

    Staying on the move in Israel and the Palestinian Territories through a month of trial. Who'd have thought I'd get shot in my mother's hometown? I can venture a bit farther afield today, thanks to my truly beloved readers. So far my emergency fundraiser, following the disastrous effect a Turkish-Israeli diplomatic freeze caused to this journey's budget, accumulated nearly $300 US. This is very moving for me. I never before asked for donations for anything and didn't realize people out there were this appreciative of my work. $300 is not a huge budget for a trip like this, so I…

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  • Survey: social-issues party could gain 36 seats

    A new party that would focus on social issues could get up to 36 seats in Knesset, according to a new survey by the polling group Geocartography that was reported today in the Hebrew press. Reports emphasized that Shas stands to lose the greatest percentage of its votes: 40%. Kadima and Israel Beitenu (Lieberman) come in next - each stands to suffer a 36% loss to such a party. Here are the full potential losses for each party, according to this poll: Shas: 42% Kadima: 36% Israel Beitenu: 36% Labor: 35% Likud: 25% Jewish Home: 22% Meretz: 20% National Unity:…

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  • Clampdown on J14: Main camps evicted, at least 40 arrested

    After two months of  allowing J14 protests to continue largely undisturbed, authorities moved heavily this week to dismantle the tent cities across the country. Several scores were arrested and police intends to press criminal charges against some organizers. Over forty people were arrested on Wednesday and Thursday as protesters and municipal inspectors backed by special forces and police engaged in a furious tug-of-war over the continued operation of the J14 protest camps. In Tel Aviv, municipal inspectors have swept along the main camp of the movement on Rothschild Boulevard, ostensibly removing only "disused" tents for "sanitary reasons." Activists say many…

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  • J14 clashes show growing trend of civil disobedience

    Israelis employing provocative civil actions to draw attention to a struggle are commonplace in the West Bank. But scores getting violently arrested in the center of Tel Aviv over non-Occupation issues are a relatively new sight, signalling civil disobedience may be a trend on the rise within Israel While reading reports in the top stories of Israeli news sites that 40 people got arrested in front of the Tel Aviv municipality last night (Wednesday) and seeing photos of them getting forcefully and dramatically dragged away by police, it occurred to me that these are not sights one often sees inside…

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  • September journey part 7: Enter violence

    Staying on the move in Israel and the Palestinian Territories through a month of trial. And today: from green pastures to realms of sincere wrath. I woke up this morning feeling somewhat refreshed. Several good souls donated to this project last night, helping save the journey from the unexpected political calamity that dried up its budget. The freezing of diplomatic relations with Turkey caused three week's worth of Turkey-related travel writing to go to waste. The various travel magazines canned the articles. The money on which I was counting for this project will never arrive. Thanks to my truly beloved…

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  • Joint Palestinian-Israeli statement supporting J14, end to occupation

    A large group of left-wing Palestinian and Israeli parties, unions and civil society groups has issued an unprecedented joint statement in support of the Israeli struggle for social justice. The group demands unity in the struggle against occupation and racism. For the first time since the launch of J14 movement, and perhaps for the first time in regional history, official Palestinian parties and NGOs are showing their support for an Israeli civilian struggle for social justice and against capitalism. Alongside their general statement of support, signatories mentioned the influence Arab revolutions have had on the Israeli movement, and stressed the…

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  • Thank God for J14 and that I no longer work for Issac Tshuva

    Thank god for J14 Been feeling a bit under the weather lately, which is why I haven’t posted yet about Saturday’s rally. Not even sure I can really find the words to express how I felt that night. It was the first J14 demonstration we took the kids to (except for the “baby carriage” demos in Tel Aviv). The missus and I knew all along we were going to come out in full force for this one. We pushed the gals in their strollers down part of the marching route. After sweating it in the other demos, we couldn’t say…

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  • September journey part 5: Diameter of a bubble

    Staying on the move in Israel and the Palestinian Territories through a month of trial. And today: walking the miracle mile. Last night was too good for me to leave Tel-Aviv just yet. The city that hosted the biggest demonstration in this country's history not only deserves another day, it begs to be experienced during its return to routine. So many questions open up here this morning: Will the tents remain? Will the spirit live on? Will Dafni leef and Itzik Shmuli, conflicted leaders of the struggle, wake up hung-over in each other's arms? and most importantly: what will happen…

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  • Top Ten observations from largest protest in Israeli history

    1. Felt like Yom Kippur 2. Felt like Gay Pride Parade 3. Too many people in line for Cinnabon 4. Racial profiling - anyone with a proper beard searched 5. Leaders without the guts to talk about the Occupation 6. Animal rights group around shawarma joints 7. Israeli Independence-style entertainment- cut too short 8. Wads of paper and leftover garbage - cleaned by migrant workers 9. Maybe Glenn Beck's rally did in fact prompt Armageddon 10. Nothing changed the day after Composed together with Assaf Shatil

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