B'Tselem's executive director speaks to +972 Magazine about his organization's decision to describe the demolition and displacement of Palestinian villages as 'war crimes,' and the role of international pressure in changing Israeli policy in the West Bank. By Joshua Leifer and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man The international diplomatic and human rights community often couches its criticism of Israeli policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians in softened, diplomatic terms. For years the U.S. State Department called Israeli settlements “unhelpful.” EU diplomats described the planned forced displacement of entire Palestinian communities as “contrary to Israel’s obligations” under international law. [tmwinpost] There are other words to…Read More... | 13 Comments
Instead of exposing the past, the government archives are busy with hiding information from the public. The reasons: fear of exposing war crimes, upsetting the 'Arab public,' and harming Israel's image. By Noam Hofstadter Israeli Chief Archivist Dr. Yaakov Lozowick published a comprehensive report earlier this month on the state of publicly available material in the government archives. The report, which includes a detailed account of the ongoing work in the archives, was presented to the High Council of the Archives, the statutory body with limited advisory jurisdiction in archival matters. A final version of the report can be found…Read More... | 5 Comments
The Bedouin community of Jabal al-Baba faces expulsion from their homes. The army eviction order says nothing about where they are supposed to go. U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel generated among many Israelis and Palestinians the fear that something terrible—a kind of political earthquake that could devastate the region—might come in response. Residents of Jerusalem know this quiet fear all too well. The wary looks on the light-rail, the absurd number of police in the streets, the increased security at every bus station. A city in eternal preparation for disaster, in which the terror…Read More...
For decades, Kibbutz Beit Alfa has sold riot control vehicles to despotic regimes such as Pinochet's Chile and Nkunrunziza's Burundi. By Eitay Mack (translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman) Hundreds of ultra-orthodox demonstrators blocked the entrance to Jerusalem last week to protest the arrest of yeshiva students deemed ‘deserters’ by the IDF because they refused to be drafted into the IDF. Israeli police sent in special riot control vehicles that sprayed colored water on the demonstrators. The footage of phosphorescent blue water splattered on the black-and-white-clad Haredi protesters appeared across Israeli media, mostly due to the colorful contrast. These riot control vehicles,…Read More... | 1 Comment
Since 1967, the Israeli media has hid the ugly, everyday reality in the occupied territories. But even if they really knew, would Israelis still choose to end 50 years of military rule over the Palestinians? By Yizhar Be'er According to the democratic-liberal-utopian model, let us assume for a moment that every citizens has access to all the information about the reality that surrounds us. In this world, Israelis would know everything about what is being done in their names in the territories occupied in 1967. And what would happen then? [tmwinpost] Over the past few months I have been producing a radiophonic project…Read More... | 1 Comment
Family members of a Chilean man disappeared and murdered by the Latin American dictator want Israel to open a criminal investigation into officials who cooperated with the murderous regime. By John Brown* (translated by Tal Haran) Two Israeli women who immigrated from Chile are taking Israel’s attorney general to court, demanding that he open a criminal investigation into Israeli officials who were involved in arms deals with the regime of Augosto Pinochet, for aiding and abetting crimes against humanity. Lily Traubman and her daughter Tamara Santos Traubman moved to Israel in the 1970s after being persecuted by the Pinochet regime,…Read More... | 8 Comments
The heads of Myanmar's army had a shopping spree with the Israeli security industries, even meeting with the president and the Chief of Staff. Despite ongoing war crimes, Israel continues to maintain extensive security ties with the South East Asian country. By John Brown* (translated by Tal Haran) Israeli human rights activists are petitioning the Israeli Supreme Court, demanding it force the Ministry of Defense to explain why it does not put an end to Israel’s trade agreements with Myanmar's military, following reports of crimes against citizens and ethnic minorities, including possible crimes against humanity. [tmwinpost] The petition, filed by Attorney Eitay Mack and a list of human…Read More... | 5 Comments
In a 14-0 vote and with the U.S. abstaining, the UN Security Council passes a resolution reaffirming the illegality of Israeli settlements. What does it all mean, and what comes next? The UN Security Council on Friday passed a resolution condemning Israeli settlements, reaffirming their illegality, calling on Israel to cease all settlement activity, and rejecting any unilateral Israeli changes to the borders — including the annexation of East Jerusalem. [tmwinpost] The big drama surrounding the vote was that the United States decided not to exercise its Security Council veto. The Obama administration, unlike previous administrations, had for the past eight years…Read More... | 7 Comments
Abed al-Karim Abu Haloub has been in a coma in Gaza for over 40 days, requiring treatment in the West Bank. Israel repeatedly refused to allow him to leave. Israeli authorities repeatedly refused to allow a Palestinian man from the Gaza Strip to receive medical treatment in the West Bank, denying his travel permit on security grounds, despite the fact that he has been in a coma for over a month. [tmwinpost] Physicians for Human Rights—Israel (PHR) attempted to intervene on the Abed al-Karim Abu Haloub's behalf, twice appealing the decision to reject his permit request to no avail. The fact that…Read More... | 1 Comment
A new report by B'Tselem concludes that the Israeli military's investigations into its own alleged crimes are little more than a whitewash. So what comes next? Sometimes a seemingly dry bit of research can seem to rise to the level of literature, challenging the status quo in ways that, in the long run, only literature can. Take, for example, the first Arab Human Development Report. Penned by researchers from the region, the 2002 report concludes, rather boldly, that “the predominant characteristic of the current Arab reality seems to be the existence of deeply rooted shortcomings in the Arab institutional structure.”…Read More... | 8 Comments
The Israeli military's law enforcement system and its flawed investigative mechanisms appear primarily geared toward protecting the armed forces instead of civilians, thus allowing impunity to prevail. By Muna Haddad Two years after the Israeli military offensive on Gaza, dubbed "Operation Protective Edge," more than half of the civilian structures destroyed during the war have yet to be reconstructed, and Palestinian residents of the coastal strip are still finding bones amongst the ruins. And two years after that devastating offensive, Israeli authorities are again proving what previous experience with the Israeli system has long made clear: Israel is unwilling to conduct…Read More... | 3 Comments
The Israeli military justice system acts only to 'cover up unlawful acts and protect perpetrators,' B'Tselem says, citing 25 years of experience working with the military. Palestinian rights expert welcomes the move. Israel’s best known human rights organization, B’Tselem, has lost all faith in the Israeli military justice system and will stop cooperating with it on behalf of Palestinian victims, the organization announced Wednesday. A quarter century of experience working with the army “has brought us to the realization that there is no longer any point in pursuing justice and defending human rights by working with a system whose real function is…Read More... | 3 Comments
The state prosecutor stages a refined production in which it pretends to be the weaker party facing down a massive organization. The state wants Breaking the Silence to reveal the identity of a soldier it suspects of committing crimes during the Gaza war. By Alma Biblash An Israeli Magistrate’s Court this week heard a challenge by anti-occupation group Breaking the Silence against a warrant ordering it to reveal the identity of a soldier who provided it with testimony about alleged crimes committed during the 2014 Gaza war. Breaking the Silence is an organization of former Israeli soldiers that collects, verifies, and…Read More...
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