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tent protests

  • How the social protests in Israel broke down national borders

    While trying to plan a new life abroad following the failure of the 2011 social protests, Regev Contes uncovers a family secret that radically alters his Israeli Jewish identity. By Mati Shemoelof Regev Contes’ new documentary film, "Goodbye Adolf," which recently aired on Israel’s Channel 1, is full of courage and honesty. (Warning: this article includes spoilers.) [tmwinpost] Contes, one of the leaders of the 2011 social protests, brings to the screen what we social activists felt after the failure of the protest: how it divided us, how we gave up and surrendered, how we scattered and dispersed to all corners…

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  • Why J14 movement should keep occupation off the agenda

    Linking the J14 movement with security issues will be the downfall of the social justice movement. Talking about the occupation will only prolong it. Article originally published on the Daily Beast's Open Zion blog. When I was a teenager back in the 80’s, there was an ad on Israel’s only TV channel about road safety. It urged drivers to use their heads rather than simply rely on driving legally. The catchy slogan was “On the road, don’t be right—be smart!” Open Zion's Emily L. Hauser recently responded to a post of mine in which I argued that calculating the cost of the occupation…

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  • SURVEY: Palestinian citizens demand social justice

    A new survey of Arab citizens of Israel following waves of anti-Arab activity shows that most have not given up on Israeli society, but instead express strong support for social activism to advance Arab issues, general social problems, and an end to  the occupation. With so much nastiness directed against them, it wouldn’t be surprising if Arab citizens have given up on Israel. But with insufficient polling and reporting on public opinion in the Arab community, it can be hard to know. And this is an important time to know how one-fifth of the population thinks. The current Knesset has…

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  • WATCH: Israelis launch world protest day with solidarity demo on Syrian border

    (Update - the video is now fully subtitled.) Today is October 15 - the day slated by dozens of local social justice and democracy movements to try and hold a worldwide, truly global demonstration. Protests are taking place in an astonishing 951 cities in 85 countries, including, obviously, New York, Tel Aviv, Cairo, London. But the most heart-warming images so far today come from the small, crisis-stricken town of Kiryat Shmona. Kiryat Shmona, Israel's northernmost city, is effectively a frontier town, usually in the news either as a habitual target for Hezbollah rockets or for its rather dismal socio-economic state;…

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  • From #J14, through #Occupy-WallStreet, to #Globalchange - be proud

    These are great times to be an Israeli and an American, when peoples of both nations are fighting capitalism gone wild Over two years ago I decided to start blogging. I called my blog “Half & Half” (which I later on moved to +972) because of the feeling I had of being half American (born to American parents) and half Israeli (born and raised in Israel). It’s always been a feeling that ran somewhere between “cool” to “confusing.” Now, that duality is kicking in once again. This past summer has been one of the most interesting and exciting I’ve ever encountered,…

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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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  • Report: J14 tents to be dismantled after "Million people" protest

    The Israeli website NRG says the J14 movement is considering to call on all tent camps to dismantle after the Saturday mass demonstrations; and could J14 and M15 jump over the pond? 1. NRG is reporting [HEB] today that J14 leaders are contemplating the dismantling of tents across the country and moving on to the next phase of their struggle. Comparisons to Madrid and the M15 (May 15th) movement have been made for some time now. The Spanish "Indignados" also reached a conclusion that sitting in the squares had a certain life span to it, and eventually picked up their bags…

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  • Normalcy, hope and the Israeli tent protesters

    Hope, one of the most powerful and fickle of human emotions, was a philosophical obsession of Baruch Spinoza, the 17th century Jewish philosopher. Spinoza paid a high social price in dedicating his life to the creation of philosophic system which valued rationalism above all else, especially hope and fear. The Israeli tent protests, which have rocked the country and this site over the last six weeks, have thrived on a momentum of hope in the absence of concrete language and goals. Similar to the historic presidential campaign of Barak Obama, the tent protests have been heavy on feelings but light on specific…

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  • PHOTOS: Low turnout for J14 weekend demonstrations

    Demonstrations across the country manage to bring together only 20,000 people. Protest in Jaffa is fiery and emotional Just one week before the “million man march” that the J14 movement plans on holding next Saturday, the nation-wide protests last night showed a sharp drop in numbers - and in spirit. Just over 20,000 people attended the protests across the country. 10,000 people attended the Tel Aviv rally, where Noam Shalit, the father of captured soldier Gilad Shalit, spoke. Shalit turns 25 on Monday. Noam Shalit said: "A leader who is prepared to deal with the abandonment for many years of…

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  • J14: The exclusive revolution

    How the largest social justice movement in Israel’s history managed to ignore the Palestinians This piece was co-written with Max Blumenthal. A shorter version originally appeared on Alternet. The men and women who set out to build a Jewish state in historic Palestine made little secret of their settler-colonial designs. Zionism’s intellectual author, Theodor Herzl, described the country he envisioned as “part of a wall of defense for Europe in Asia, an outpost of civilization against barbarism.” “All the means we need, we ourselves must create them, like Robinson Crusoe on his island,” Herzl told an interviewer in 1898. The Labor Zionist…

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  • Michael Oren returned from Tel Aviv, but saw nothing

    By Hagai El-Ad Israel's ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, tries hard to separate the Israeli social justice protests from the Arab Spring. He ends up sounding both out of date and out of touch. Israelis and Palestinians are again gradually engulfed in escalating violence. While hoping that the situation will not further escalate, Israel's social justice protests are faced with the challenge of not evaporating in the face of security challenges. Business is not as usual – and no one is pretending that it is. And yet, nor were the social justice protests an expression of "business as usual". So,…

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  • A call for civil refusal to military action in September

    Wednesday night a first meeting of its kind was held by activists who have decided to facilitate an encounter of the ‘tent struggle’ movement and ‘Palestinian September.’ The path we have taken might lead to a mass movement of refusal that prefers occupation wars to peace and struggle for social justice. Here is a summary and some conclusions of this meeting. After stormy weeks filled with encounters, discussions, workshops, discourse and exchange of ideas and opinions in all the protest encampments throughout the country, with Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard encampment leading the way,  this particular discussion was held at a…

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  • As rockets fly, J14 rallies struggle to put social issues first

    Last night, the J14 movement had its biggest test yet: to continue demonstrations as usual when the spiral of violence is once again starting to get out of hand in the south. The first mistake the J14 leaders did was even before the rallies started across the country. Although it was an excellent move not to cave in to the “national mourning” period that is mandatory after every terror attack and cancel the demos, they decided to hold “silent” rallies, in respect of those who died. This was a bad move. You can respect the dead and mourn their loss,…

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