Michael Merryman-Lotze remembers Israel’s siege on the West Bank city of Ramallah during Operation Defensive Shield: “The night of April 2 was one that I won’t forget. That was the night that the Israeli military took over the Preventative Security Office in Betunia. They surrounded the building with tanks and forced out the Palestinian police inside, arresting many. They searched the prison, releasing criminals and detaining others. They then proceeded to destroy the compound, firing tanks and missiles into the buildings throughout the night.”
Category Archives: Israeli Government
After Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev wore a dress celebrating Israel’s conquest of Jerusalem at Cannes yesterday, social media lit up with parodies. The redesigns include an added separation wall into the Old City scene, air strikes over Gaza, soldiers raiding a Palestinian home, and a tribute to leading hunger striking prisoner Marwan Barghouti.
A diplomatic storm arises over the fact that American consulate diplomats in Jerusalem have stated that the Western Wall is in the West Bank. Nikki Haley walks that back in a hurry, and says the U.S. should move the Embassy to Jerusalem.
Rebecca L. Stein talks with Rela Mazali, a founding member of the Israeli feminist organization Gun Free Kitchen Table which is working to decrease small arms proliferation in the Israeli public sphere and to eliminate the violence facilitated by easy access to firearms. In March the organization issued the report “Loose Guns: Israeli Controlled Small Arms in the Civil Sphere,” which finds that Israeli civil sphere is dangerously over-armed and that this condition has been normalized within mainstream Jewish Israeli society.
Yesterday, the Israeli Knesset passed a bill titled “Nation State of the Jewish People” in a preliminary vote. In explaining the need for the bill MK Avi Dichter said: “Israel is the state of all its individual citizens. It isn’t and won’t be the nation-state of any minority living in it…That is a right this bill gives to the Jewish People alone.” Jonathan Ofir says a close examination of this one statement, reveals a wealth of Zionist lies, contradictions, obfuscations, and sheer chutzpah.
The Jahalin Bedouin in Jabal al-Baba face imminent demolition. Mersiha Gadzo reports: “Forty-two-year-old Atallah Mazara’a from the Jahalin Bedouin tribe recalls a time when residents were free to move, unhindered by concrete walls and unobtainable permits. Such a scenario today remains a distant dream, even though Jerusalem is only 2.5 miles away. Now, Bedouin communities stand in the way of the E1 zone, which would expand settlements from Ma’ale Adumim to occupied East Jerusalem.”
In a recent video, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu slammed the new Hamas charter saying, “[Hamas] brainwashes kids inside suicide camps,” before throwing the document in a trash can. But Jonathan Ofir asks – what about the ways Israeli institutions are brainwashing children to hate Palestinians?
The mockery campaign against Marwan Barghouti and the hunger strikers has brought Israeli political culture to a new depth of dehumanization. Pizza Hut ran a mock campaign on its Facebook page yesterday, using a still caption of Barghouti on the toilet, with a banner saying “Barghouti, if you’re going to break a strike, isn’t pizza better?” – the meme added a pizza box on the floor
I., a European living in Israel, explains why she decided to keep her kindergarten-aged daughter home from school when Israeli schools are mandated teach about the Holocaust to children as young as three years old: “Because of the decision other people made about when and how it is appropriate for our child to learn about genocide, we chose to keep her at home yesterday and today. We want our child to learn about injustice; moral, critical thinking; and courage. We want her to grow up to be strong, fair, kind and safe. And, we think that learning about blurry dangers in a distant past does not teach her that.”
Responding to international concerns with respect to the recently declared massive hunger strike held by Palestinian prisoners, the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs declared: “The Palestinian prisoners are not political prisoners. They are convicted terrorists and murderers. They were brought to justice and are treated properly under international law.” Amitai Ben-Abba counts no less than seven lies in this statement.
Palestinian society has condemned Israel’s arrest and interrogation of Omar Barghouti, a co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as the next step in Israel’s fight against BDS. On Sunday, Israel arrested Barghouti on charges of tax evasion, raided his family home in Acre, Israel, held him for 16 hours and released him — however the BDS co-founder has been subjected to daily interrogations with Israeli authorities since then. Fellow BDS movement co-founder Adnan Ramadan says this is just another step in Israel’s strategy against the BDS movement: “It’s part of their war against the campaign, but it won’t work. They can arrest whoever they want, they can do more than that, but that won’t prevent people from continuing to use BDS as a tool in the struggle for Palestinian freedom.”
The UN-commissioned report on Israeli Apartheid that was shelved last week (two days after it appeared) is no doubt explosive. The very idea that Israel is guilty of the crime of Apartheid is one that should give everyone pause. But there is another explosion in the report. Israel and its supporters have desperately sought to shelve a discussion about Zionism as a racist ideology. The Apartheid report brings it back to the forefront.
Israel has both effected and veiled a comprehensive policy of apartheid directed at the whole Palestinian people in Israel, in occupation, and in exile, the stunning UN report says — and it was promptly veiled.
In a hotly contested session of Knesset, Israeli lawmakers passed the first reading of a bill to ban the Muslim call to prayer, sparking Arab representatives to walk-out mid-session. Al Jazeera reports, “A law to muffle mosques’ amplified calls to prayer in Israel and occupied East Jerusalem won preliminary approval on Wednesday in a charged parliamentary session where Palestinian legislators denounced the measure as racist. The bill passed a preliminary reading with 55 votes in favour and 48 against as the assembly broke out into chaotic arguments.”
On his second long-term hunger strike in the past year, Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qiq’s health is deteriorating faster than anyone expected, leaving his family to plea for support before it is too late. “If Mohammed were to quit his hunger strike now, the first one that almost killed him would be for nothing, so he feels he must continue his strike—not just for himself, but for all the other Palestinian prisoners on strike against their administrative detention as well — they must stay strong together,” Fayha Salash, Mohammed’s wife, tells Mondoweiss.
A new Israeli law bars entry to those involved in boycotting Israel and criminalizes even those who have supported a ‘partial’ boycott targeting settlements. Activists and organizations, even the liberal Zionist ones who have supported boycott of settlements, now have to ask themselves: If Israel does not differentiate between itself and its occupied territories, if Israel bars entry to any foreigner who boycotts (even if they are Zionist), why should the boycotters make the differentiation between Israel and its settlements?
“Shadi was arrested on December 30, 2015. He was just 12 years old. The news took my breath away; the whole family was in a state of shock. For a long time, none of us could eat or sleep properly. When I closed my eyes, all I could see was my little boy, scared and alone, in a freezing cold prison cell. I later learned that they had forced him to stand in there naked, at one point.” On International Women’s Day, Farihan Daraghmeh Farah tells the harrowing story of her son Shadi and how her family has struggled to free him from Israeli occupation prisons.
Michael Sfard, an Israeli lawyer and political activist specializing in international human rights law, tells Mondoweiss it is difficult to know how Israel’s controversial new law aimed at barring boycott activists from entering the country will actually be enforced, but he says the law is in direct violation of international law. “Countries have wide discretion to allow are deny entry to foreigners,” Sfard says. “However, International Human Rights Law prohibits discrimination on the basis of a person’s opinion and provides freedom of conscious and thought. The law is definitely a violation of both.”
Legislation passed by the Israeli parliament on Monday night forbids entry to anyone who supports a boycott, even if it is only of the settlements. Israel has long denied entry to Arabs and deported those such as migrant workers and African asylum seekers who might ‘pollute’ the Jewish state with non-Jewish genes. Now it is openly targeting Jews whose politics do not align with the far-right government of Netanyahu.
Part two of a three-part series on Palestinian sports teams and the BDS struggle looks at the Palestinian Football Association’s efforts at pressuring FIFA to sanction Israel.
Dareen Tatour, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, faces the possibility of eight years in prison for “incitement” and support to a terror organization – for a Youtube poetry video and two Facebook posts.
Israeli authorities denied Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) Israel and Palestine director, Omar Shakir, a work visa, the group announced in a statement on Friday. The group said Israel’s Interior Ministry accused HRW of “Palestinian propaganda” and not being a “real human rights group.”
The Washington D.C.-based music collective, FHTMG (Jefe, PacMan Slim, and Nine Five) releases a music video inspired by Jefe’s interrogation at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport.
In practice there has never been a serious limit on theft of Palestinian land. But now, after passing the “Regularization Bill,” Israeli government support for the plunder will be explicit in law. It will be impossible to blame the outposts on “rogue” settlers, or claim that Israel is trying to safeguard Palestinian property rights.
An Arab rights group has found tens of thousands of Israelis are publishing “widespread hatred and incitement against Arabs and Palestinians” on social media, and are often motivated to harass following charged statements by Israeli politicians. A report published by 7amleh, the Arab Center for Social Media Advancement shows slanderous, provocative, and threatening posts made by Israelis against Arabs and Palestinians more than doubled in 2016, reaching 675,000 posts made by 60,000 Hebrew-speaking Facebook users. That number amounts to one inflammatory post every 46 seconds.