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Why segregation is the single most important issue in Israel, and practical ways to confront it

Shimrit Baer and Ofer Neiman on
A part of work in Jewish settlement of Harmoun Hanatsave near the Arab neighbourhood of Ras al-Amud in Jerusalem on Oct. 30, 2012. (Photo: Mahfouz Abu Turk/APA Images)

Segregation is a state whereby people are separated and isolated by race or ethnicity. When separation is the outcome of decades of systematic policies and practices, segregation can surely be considered involuntary. In Israel, segregation determines the Zionist class system and goes largely unquestioned. The challenge at the forefront of civil rights is how to rewrite Israel’s racial space divisions as something other than a foregone conclusion.

After building a protest movement, West Bank village of Nabi Saleh steps back from weekly Friday protests

Allison Deger on
Women and children of Nabi Saleh ambush an armed Israeli soldier attempting to capture a child in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, August 28, 2015. (Photo: Shadi Hatem/APA Images)

Over the summer, one of the founding villages of the Palestinian non-violent movement, Nabi Saleh, decided to stop holding the weekly Friday demonstrations that brought the small West Bank town international attention. The move comes following scores of arrests and a general fatigue among protesters. “The tear gas is inside the village, the clashes are inside of the homes, and it’s a small village which makes it difficult for the people to continue,” said Bassem Tamimi, a leader in Nabi Saleh who helped organize weekly marches over the past six years. He estimates that more than 350 people from his 600 person town have been injured in clashes with the army since 2010, and 50 were left physically disabled.

‘Good’ and ‘bad’ Palestinian village policy gets first test in raid on Sa’ir

Kate on
Beit Einun junction near the West Bank town of Sa'ir, not far from where Farouk was killed. (Photo: Adam Horowitz)

Israeli forces raided Sa’ir village, and the home of Fadi Faroukh, who was shot and killed in November 2015, near a Hebron settlement, and posted threatening leaflets in the village in an apparent first run of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s new policy of carrot-and-stick toward good and bad Palestinian villages.

Even liberal Zionists wanted to send Palestinians to the moon

Jonathan Ofir on
Levi Eshkol

Liberal Zionists blame the occupation for Israel’s woes, when they should blame the ideology of Zionism. As Prime Minister Levi Eshkol said in 1967, when the occupation began: “I want them [Palestinians] all to go, even if they go to the moon.”

Neglecting settler violence

Kate on
Settler violence, from a new video from the Alternative Information Center

There’s an average of 2 incidents of settler violence per week in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to the UN. But Israeli police investigate only one in 50 of Palestinian complaints, says a new study by the Alternative Information Center.

We, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, have been suffering from a slow death sentence for a long time

Tamam Abusalama on
Tamam Abusalama with her Mother

Tamam Abusalama writes, “We, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, have been suffering from a slow death sentence for a long time. We are being punished collectively for no reason, without any crime. The Egyptian and Jordanian authorities in cooperation with the Israeli colonial regime have been successful at turning the life of Gazans into hell. This injustice has to come to an end. A resolution for this siege has to come.”

Israel’s plan to retool occupation includes color-coding ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Palestinians

Jonathan Cook on
Avigdor Lieberman. Photo: AP

Launched this month, Avigdor Lieberman’s plan for the Palestinians – retooling Israel’s occupation – received less attention than it should. It includes, the defense ministry producing a map of the West Bank marking in green and red the areas where, respectively, “good” and “bad” Palestinians live. Collective punishment will be stepped up in towns and villages in red areas, while green areas will reap economic rewards.

Family fights to free disabled Palestinian man in Israeli prison

Steven Davidson on
Bara Abudheir, left, with his father Farid Abudheir in their family home in Nablus, West Bank. (Photo: Steven Davidson)

Disabled from a young age, Bara Abudheir was finally on his way to pursue his dream in computer animation in a master’s program in the United Kingdom. However, his parents were shocked to learn he was arrested as he crossed the Allenby Bridge into Jordan and charged with being a member of Hamas. Steven Davidson talks with Bara’s father, Farid Abudheir, who is doing everything he can to save his son’s future, “I have for a long time believed that Bara will achieve his goals and make his dreams real. I have not lost that hope.”

Gaza 2 years on: These children are now gone forever and an empty space remains

Mondoweiss Editors on
Empty Spaces by London Visual Activist Collective #Gaza2YearsOn

The London Visual Activist Collective created “Empty Spaces”, a unique paper doll chain remembering all of the children that were killed by Israel during the 2014 massacre in Gaza. Measuring over 160 metres in length and made by people from the UK, it contains over 550+ cut outs of kids, signifying the empty spaces left in the world because those children were killed.

Video intifada

Yakov Hirsch on
Jamila Jabbar holding a knife seconds before she is shot near the Israeli settlement of Ariel in occupied territories

The world might be deaf to Palestine but it is not blind. And recent videos clearly documenting grotesque use of force by Israelis against Palestinians have the power to do more to end Israeli impunity and Netanyahu’s campaign of dehumanization of Palestinians than any other form of information.

After Israeli military clears soldiers of killing families in Gaza, Palestinians call on Hague to investigate

Allison Deger on
Palestinian men sit amidst the debris of a neighbouring house which police said was damaged after an Israeli air strike destroyed Tayseer Al-Batsh's family house, in Gaza City July 13, 2014. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)

Israel’s military has cleared soldiers of criminal wrongdoing in alleged human rights violations committed during the 2014 summer war in Gaza. According to a report published yesterday, Israel closed investigations into the killing of three Palestinian families and other civilians, and the shelling of a medical clinic, Gaza’s main power plant, and a United Nations shelter, among other offenses. “We did not expect anything less than Israel’s justification of war crimes,” chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said after the publication of the military report, and urged the International Criminal Court to investigate the offenses.

Israeli military clears Israeli military of war crimes in Gaza

Kate on
A Palestinian man lies down among a destroyed house after returning home in the Tufah neighborhood in eastern Gaza City on August 31, 2014. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/ APA Images)

On Wednesday the Israeli military closed its investigation into four cases of mass killings of Palestinian civilians during the 2014 Gaza war. The military report found that in the four cases, which included the deaths of 49 people, the Israeli strikes were legal due to either mistakes, Hamas being responsible or an attack not happening at all.

Israel bans entry for two more US activists

Wilson Dizard on
Ben Gurion airport

Israel has banned an American activist who has worked for years helping Palestinians in Gaza, after denying her entry into the country, detaining her for hours and deporting her against her will. The woman’s ban comes after Israel banned five U.S. citizens at the border in July, all of them the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, and another American woman last week crossing from Jordan.

I continued to act as if I was above feeling afraid. Till the last war

We Are Not Numbers on
Painting by Malak Mattar

Haya Abdullah Ahmed writes, “Although I love to write, I refused to write about the war or the injured in Gaza. The number of jokes I told or laughed increased. And when I heard that my best friend’s husband had been killed in an Israeli attack, I cried bitterly but not for long. And then it hit.”

A French, a Palestinian, and a black woman all wade into a pool

Nida Hussain on
In 2011, a landlord was brought before the Ohio Civil Rights Commission for putting this sign on a swimming pool used by their tenants. (Photo: Ohio Civil Rights Commission)

During the same week that African-American swimmer Simone Manuel scored a historic victory at the Olympics, an Israeli Regional Council leader called for segregated swimming pools for Israeli Jews and Palestinians while three French towns banned burkinis from public beaches. These stories all remind us that racism and sexism still permeate the very same societies often touted as progressive, democratic, pluralistic, and post-racial.

Amid mass hunger strike, UN deplores number of Palestinian detainees, now at an eight-year high

Kate on
Prominent Palestinian journalist Omar Nazzal has joined hunger strike. Image from Addameer

“The number of administrative detainees is at an eight-year high. I reiterate the United Nations’ long-standing position that all administrative detainees — Palestinian or Israeli — should be charged or released without delay,” Robert Piper, the UN coordinator for the occupied territories, said, as detained journalist Omar Nazzal has joined a hunger strike to protest detention.