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Total number of comments: 108 (since 2011-09-27 13:28:26)

Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

Showing comments 108 - 101

  • Israel sent Palestinian Authority letter to 'stop incitement' over bus driver’s death
    • Dr. al-Aloul stopped speaking to the press after his initial comments to Ma'an. His initial comments shows he disagreed with the autopsy's conclusions, but the Israeli doctors say he changed his mind after the autopsy concluded, and concurred at the time. Dr. al-Aloul had made no comment on that matter.

  • Tel Avivians brave sirens for clothes in NYT story about 'Fashion during wartime'
  • Death comes to downtown Ramallah
  • Let it go
  • Grindr in Hebron: A dispatch from the last debate
  • Conviction rate for Israeli interrogators who use torture: 0%
    • @Stephen, the 99' High Court ruling states the officer needs approval from the security services to use physical abuse, and they can only receive it in a scenario where there is a clear and imminent threat, like a bomb is planted and the officers want to know where. Moreover, in the case of the plaintiffs in the 99' decision, nearly all of them did carry out violent attacks, but there was no persistent threat. Still torture was used. The jurists concluded that despite their extreme crimes, it was unacceptable to use torture. And so the law actually is quite progressive. The ruling even references international law (very common in Israeli courts, even with all the brewhaha against international law in the public sphere). It's just too bad the law has not been followed.

      One in four Palestinian men have been to, or are in prison. If 95% have been tortured, that has a huge effect on the entire population.

  • A Jew's dead dog has more rights than a Bedouin in the Negev
    • They actually don't have the right to petition their land claim. In the 1970s the state started taking claims to review Bedouin land ownership that pre-dated the state of Israel. Around 3,000 claims were accepted, 300 processed, and then the rest were frozen. At the end of the decade the state started filing counter-claims on the same pieces of property, big chunks of the Negev. The state employed the Ottoman "dead lands" law and said because the Bedouins were not cultivating the grounds for five-years, the state could seize ownership. That usurped most of the land from the original 3,000 claims.

      Then over the next few decades the state formed a number of committees to again address Bedouin land claims. Every committee recommended processing the petitions that were already accepted by the courts, but never reviewed, until the Prawer Commission. The Prawer committee devised the Prawer Plan that I have reported extensively on. Prawer says trash the 1970s claims and develop a new process that only* applies to Bedouins (so it's applied on an ethnic basis). In this new procedure the state will not review: property deeds, or tax records including property taxes paid to the State of Israel, when determining land ownership. Instead the state will match land claims with aerial photographs taken by the British Mandate during the 1940s. If the photos show land cultivation, at most, the Bedouin owner can receive a title for 50% of the plot.

      So no, the Bedouins cannot file land claims. They are denied this right which Jewish-Israelis enjoy and instead, if Prawer passes, will be subject to a process that is estimated to evict 30,000 out of 80,000 people. If Prawer does not pass, the 1970s claims and the court's willingness to review any Bedouin land claims will still be frozen.

      Right to vote: they do not have the right to vote in local elections* and in some instances, Bedouins have reported they are denied the right to vote in national elections because they do not have official addresses.

      Freely worship: yeh, they can do that.

      Protest peacefully: yes, and they do. Their protests more recently likely spurred a delay in passing Prawer, although it's worth noting their demonstrations have never led to a policy change. They are still subject to the same bar of filing claims since the state's founding.

      Squatting on state land: since the state began filing counter claims to the land where the unrecognized villages are located, yes all of these properties are officially owned by the state and administered through the Israeli Lands Association. However, every government committee has acknowledged that the Bedouins do have a legitimate claim to at least some of the land. In an early draft of Prawer the state even recognized Bedouins as "indigenous peoples" of the Negev.

      "Squatters" is a term in political discourse, but in actual government policy, generally Bedouin are seen as people who have unresolved claims an live in villages not zoned for residential use, ear-marking all of their homes for demolition by law, even if a specific demolition order has not been issued.

      In any case in Israel "squatting" per se, is not illegal. Bedouins and Jewish-Israelis alike can legally live on land in shanty towns so long as they do not have hook ups to services. So when you say that they are "squatting illegally" that's not accurate. Their village is "unrecognized" so certain building materials are illegal to use, but actual residency on state owned land is not. As far as I know, only if the state owned land is leased to an entity for use, like a factory or a condo, or a park, or if they area is labeled a closed military zone, then an eviction for all residential use can by carried out.

      All in all, Bedouins do have some rights afforded by the state, but essential rights (water, health, sanitation, filing a land claim), no they don't have those.

      Dead dogs: dead animals do not have any specific rights, but the cemetery where they are resting peacefully is serviced in ways that Bedouins are not do to all of the above.

  • 10,000 Israeli teens follow mother-hen of extremist settler movement in anti-Kerry protest
    • I get it. In a way it's like how there are more religious sites to Serbs in Kosovo than in Serbia. But the point of the rally was nationalistic, not religious. Use, control, or access to religious sites is very different than staging a demonstration on a land corridor and speaking out against the government (the Israeli government) for negotiations.

      What I found at the demonstration, was many young people on a school field trip who are very proud of their religion and culture. But they were led in a march by a violent extremist who is exacting political leverage. One of the youths told me, "I don't have anything bad to say about anyone," when speaking of the Kerry negotiation team, yet Weiss's purpose was in opposition to Kerry. The two don't add up. Most cynically, the kids were being exploited to astroturf a movement for Greater Israel.

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  • 'We need rights as refugees': African asylum seeker on why he's marching to Jerusalem
    • "JDisneyland" #FTW @seafoid

    • @Mayhem, Filman is trying to get asylum in Israel, which is temporary. He doesn't want to immigrate. And actually, Israel's policy on asylum is very different than other countries. Since 1948 they have given refugee status to under 200 only.

      In the US, Eritreans like Filman have 30% acceptance rate. In Israel, the Israeli authorities won't even look at the paperwork. The U.S. and most other countries signed on to refugee conventions (conventions Israel helped draft post-WWII) also recognize Eritreans as "priority" for asylum because their conditions in their home country is so dire.

  • After attending Mandela's memorial, Knesset member's blood rejected in gov't drive because she is African
  • At New America Foundation, Max Blumenthal warns Israeli policy is to 'finish 48'
  • Why is a 'Nation' writer labeling Jerry Haber and Abdeen Jabara Palestinian 'cheerleaders'?
  • Preaching to the choir: reflections on Max Blumenthal's 'Goliath'
    • Everyone, Jerome included, is missing the point on the chapter titles. Max is not making comparisons to Nazis, he's quoting Israelis who make those comparisons. The only one who has understood this is Lustick who basically says he thinks Max pulled those quotes from candid speech and not official discourse. And so, Lusktick says they should be understood as underlying feelings of Israeli leaders, but not official political calls. However, even with great respect to Lustick, he is also wrong here. "Israel is for the white man," and other racists rants Max quotes often came from speeches, not off-handed comments. And throughout the Max usually locates and describes where each quote came from. If that's not enough, the book is footnoted.

  • The Siege of the Tel Aviv bus station
    • They have nothing to do with one and another. Israel started planning the Uganda deal a few months ago, and it's not the first country to do these third-party deportations.

  • Sydney Pollack, gunrunner
    • Pollack was real solid in Husbands and Wives, but Judy Davis was the star of all of their scenes together. Remember when he and her were fighting, then his date and her new boyfriend entered the room. Golden. And the way he dragged the girlfriend out of the party later. Oh he embarrassed himself.

  • George Mitchell praises SodaStream settlement factory as beacon of cooperation
    • Americans, Israelis and Palestinians can love SodaStream all they want. They can all carbonate their coffee for all I care. The point is, it's not a collaborative project. There are collaborative industrial zones in the WB, three in fact, but no settlement industrial zone is a collaborative project with USAID funding.

  • Netanyahu expands separation wall to Jordan Valley
    • You guys are making me laugh today. Here's what's ringing in my head: "Even old New York was once New Amsterdam. Take me back to Constantinople, no it's Istanbul"

  • Beinart slams Stephens, Joel and Boteach for saying nothing when Adelson called for nuking Iran
  • Pat Boone sells tiny plots of Israeli land to Christian Zionists
    • Walid, I don't think we can say Christian Zionism pre-dates "Zionism." It's like how Hannah Arendt says we can't use the word "anti-Semitism" to describe discrimination that took place before the concept and word was invented. So she says, Jewish discrimination 1000 years ago, yes was oppressive, but in a different grouping than "anti-Semitism."

      I agree with her logic and I don't think Christian Zionism can exits before or independent of Jewish-Zionism.

    • It didn't. Land that belonged to Palestinians was nationalized under the Absentee Property Laws. Once land belongs to the state, it can never go to a private owner (according to Israeli Basic Law). And since private Jewish property was also nationalized after 1948, the land most definitely belonged to a Palestinian owner, or multiple owners until it was sold to HLDC. Because the areas for the plots are near Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee, it is highly likely the land used to be owned by a Palestinian Christian citizen of Israel.

    • Hi Kathleen, the land is not JNF land, it is private property owned by the two Israeli dealers listed in the article. It is zoned as "agriculture land," meaning farming is the only legal use. Technically under Israeli law one can pop a tent on agriculture land, or even a caravan, but when I spoke to HLDC and I asked if I could put a bench on the plot they said no. They said that I couldn't do anything with the land.

      What's weird is that Israeli-Jews are selling land to American Christians—that they purchased from Palestinians in a Palestinian Christian area—for the purpose of increasing gentile ownership in the holy land. It seems to me, that HLDC has in fact decreased the amount of land Christians own buy way of the Israeli dealers. It's a bizarre transaction.

      If you want to buy a plot, Daystar would happily sell you one. There staff was very friendly on the phone and I wouldn't imagine that your faith-background or political view would pose an issue.

  • Israel lobby group counters Palestinian dispossession with-- Jewish creationism
    • This is not going to win SWU any friends. People generally think calling for Israel to take over Jordan and Syria is a bit crazy.

  • Stopping Sara from falling in love with Sammy in Qalandia
    • I like the not so subtle insinuation that if "Malka" were thinner, this would have never have happened to her. Girls, take care of your appearances, or Jewish boys won't want you!

  • Witness accounts on the killing of three Palestinians that stopped peace negotiations
    • don't be too quick to judge, I'm looking into it...will have more for you later.

    • We will post timely official responses from the PA, Israel and the US on the meeting tomorrow. As of now, the US and Israel are not confirming if the meeting took place, and the PA announced on Monday that they were boycotting. The source that meeting did take place is Xinhua, who spoke with an unnamed Palestinian official. However, this has not been confirmed by Israeli officials, or anyone else.

    • There are no reports of Palestinians firing guns in Qalandia during the clash, including from the IDF's own account--their spokesperson said rocks and firebombs, which is in the article.

  • Palestinians have to suck it up for segregated train lines and 4000 new settlements --reporters grill State Dep't
    • I'm more interested in Harf than Lee, as her's represents the U.S. government and she's very careful with her wording. Just the day before at a State Dept. press briefing she said that the U.S. has not changed its policy on by that standard East Jerusalem should be included in the category of "settlement." But then again, she'll state that "future" settlement construction is "illegitimate" and refuse to qualify the status of "previous" settlement construction.

    • Whoa, notice in the first minutes before the transcript picks up Lee says something like, "well technically they are not settlements, it's East Jerusalem." Then Harf says, "yes that's correct."

  • Dispatch from the Negev: Bedouins brace for doom, under Prawer Plan
    • Prawer is not urban renewal. It is a bill that was specifically written to address the issue of Bedouin land registration. Urban renewal initiatives comes from "master plans," like the Master Plan of Beersheba 2030, which excludes** Bedouin unrecognized villages from the development scheme totally.

      Think of Prawer as a law that stops* the 1970s claims that were accepted and says they should be tossed for a new process that will not review tax records as proof of ownership, and at best will only give a title for 50% of an approved claim. Also remember, the origins of Prawer comes from the Goldberg committee which calls on the state to recognize as many villages as possible. This of course is not happening...

      It's also important to remember that Prawer does not provide housing alternatives. The 30,000 Bedouins that will likely be evicted (estimated number of evictions from both the Knesset and independent groups) will not be given alternative homes. So there is really no development happening for the Bedouins under Prawer. If Bedouins have money and can purchase a unit in a township, then yes, they will get state services. But as described in the article, these communities do not offer economic opportunities and have major social issues.

      Also, I just want to include that for the past 200 years Bedouins have not been nomadic in this region. So it's not accurate to conclude their traditional way of life has suddenly changed and so they should also changed their housing. I appreciate Yiftachel's comments on advocating the Bedouin village be considered a unique type of settlement like a kibbutz, with its own logic that suits the community's needs.

      I have read every single Israeli land law, reviewed all of the master plans and read most of the relevant case law and I can not find one legitimate reason for relocating these people other than the Prawer Committee has exercised a severe manipulation of the law in order to construct artificial obstacles to completing the 1970s land registration.

      Prawer allows a future expansion of something an industrial zone, an expansion that is only in the blueprints process, to trump a legitimate claim that was accepted by the state (but not processed) over 30 years ago. Think about it. If the old claims were processed villages would become recognized. So why is that not happening? In cases where Jewish-Israeli villages are in conflict with future plans of an industrial expansion, or a park expansion, the city just changes the plans. No one evicts them. (Mitzpe Ilan is a good case study of this.) So in summation Prawer calls specifically to create a difference in how the law is applied, an ethnic difference in how the law is applied.

      If you have differing opinion, feel free to continue the conversation.

  • In Photos: Crossing Qalandia on the second Friday of Ramadan
    • Jon S: The question is raised, once inside can Palestinians move easily to West Jerusalem and the rest of the city? I think not. Regularly there is a large police presence in Jerusalem, during Ramadan it is increased. Take a bus from East Jerusalem to somewhere else, border police check IDs. Try to get into the Central Bus Station, there's a checkpoint.

      Basically, if you speak Arabic and only Arabic, you're not getting so far inside of Israel. Remember when then borders were breached during the nakba demonstrations a few years ago? It took about a week before everyone that crossed was sent back. And people know this, and fear this. Society will detect you. And if you're caught, first offense three months hard time. But if there is a legal misdeed from the past, you can languish for three years in prison. The risks are so high, people self-police.

  • Netanyahu brags on his fancy German car
  • Israel approves construction to transfer West Bank Bedouin
    • Thanks Angela.

    • Of course the Jahalin face constant pressure to force their relocation. Last fall the civil administration approached them with a map and offered plots in Nueimah, but it was not until last week that anyone knew the building permits had been approved and that the Israeli government was gearing up to approve construction for thousands of people. We caught that the plans were for the same plots that the government is pushing on the Bedouin within days of the Jahalin finding out themselves. This marks a new phase of a massive transfer program--and typically this kind of information is not available until after the detailed schemes are published. We caught it early.

    • Thanks Annie, we're the first to publish the detailed scheme, an the first to put the pieces together that the new village is intended as a reservation.

      The Jahalin's attorney Shlomo Lecker (mentioned in the article) said that while this is not the first relocation plan, it's certainly the largest-scale effort to date to relocate the Jahalin. And while less numbers of Bedouins could* be effected then say the Prawer plan in the Negev, it's on par with the intent: a total dismantling of thousands' residences--in exchange for a "dump site."

  • Clashes break out across the West Bank as Palestinians mark the Nakba
  • Jerusalem Day's unforgiving mix of nationalism and Judaism
    • he says there's going to be a 'reckoning for ashk. dominance'. an end to dominance is not a call for people purging, and using the false binary of control v. extermination is exactly what i don't care for.

    • Right, I touched on that. But the point stands that Jerusalem Day was not about having access to the city, it was about having total control over the city, that's the difference. If it were just about a celebration of reaching the Western Wall then more or less the day would have been observed like Easter, where it's crowded but no one is ethnically excluded from the city. That is not what happens on Jerusalem Day--and the "Kahane was right" stickers didn't help.

      But since you've brought of up the glee of visiting holy sites on holidays, I have yet to see what I would call a "normal" way for Jews to visit these sacred spaces. I covered a settler passover party in Hebron with Alex Kane a few weeks ago, and it felt remarkably secular, like Jerusalem Day. Cotton candy, popcorn and a Hebrew-cized version of Akon made me want to drop it like its hot, not remember the years of slavery in Egypt. But Kane and I discovered that the party doubled as a anniversary for the founding of the settlement in Hebron (1969 date). The Ibrahimi Mosque was closed off to Palestinians and their H1 downtown got shut down after an impromptu settler march.

      So what I'm getting at is that these days of marking a religious events are secularized and nationalized. Gush Shalom calls Jerusalem Day a "fake holiday," and that seems about right from what I saw. Judaism is maybe a second runner-up, but the attraction is dominance over space. There is no way to visit one of these sites on a holiday without it being foremost a closure to Palestinian life.

      If Palestinians could have a normal day on theses "holidays" then I'd change my view. But of course that is not what is happening. You need to think about nationalism. Don't hold you're line at "they happen because they can now visit the holy sites," think about how they do it and what a provocation it is. Really, I think you should be more straightforward and either say you don't care if Palestinians are oppressed because you find one group has the claim to the land/city, and tough dirt for the Palestinians; or say you don't believe in ethnic/racial/religious superiority and this display of nationalism and conquest is appalling.

  • Ezra Nawi needs a truck
    • It is less common to see racial and sexual minorities from Israeli society organizing in the WB. To generalize what I see, most are Ashkenazi, straight (and straight-edge) from middle class backgrounds. Lots of vegans too. Ezra however, is not from the temperance movement and does not come from a position of privilege in Israel. And so he is a rather unique voice.

  • An interview with Ben Ehrenreich, author of 'extraordinary' Nabi Saleh piece in 'NYT Magazine'
    • Phil, this is a great interview. I didn't know that Ben hadn't been approached for comment after his piece was published. I assumed he was choosing not to comment. Knowing this now, it changes how I think about the article. I'll say it's more unique then I realized. I also didn't know Ben was Jewish.

  • 'Arabs, I hate Arabs!'--Independence Day and just another day in Jerusalem
    • I usually just comment on Mondoweiss and think about commenting on Open Zion.

    • @Obsidian,

      I believe it. I'm sure there were 48 Palestinians, ones who even self-identify as Arab-Israelis, at the Yom Haatzmaut celebration you went to. But I wasn't in central Israel, I was in Jerusalem and racists statements and racists actions are rampant--from my experience. Speaking Arabic in Haifa, no one so much as glances. Speaking Arabic in Tel Aviv, funny looks come but people are too busy or too polite to say anything. Each city has its own tone and Jerusalem's is well...the most explicit. With that said the policies that govern West Jerusalem are no different than wherever you are in the center of the country. And I think the lack of yelling "I hate Arabs" speaks more to the Israeli people where you are than a tone set by governance. How many ministers of Knesset would echo the statement by my Israeli ATM man?

      In the end, it can't be ignored that the types of things I described in the two days I was in Jerusalem over that seven day period happen all of the time. So what's that? It can't be divorced from a national consciousness just because it didn't happen in that city. I encourage you, if you disagree with those types of behaviors, to be active in making changes in the systems that foster such statements.

  • Using secret travel ban, Israel prepares to deport activist Adam Shapiro preventing him from being at the birth of his first child
  • '5 Broken Cameras' loses out to 'Searching for Sugar Man' for best doc Oscar
    • I think out of the two, 5 Broken Cameras was the better film. It's quite impressive to edit years of footage into a linear narrative, and the hand-cam should have felt shaky and unprofessional, but instead it just seemed intimate. Gatekeepers on the other hand has pretty standard cinematography. I would have liked to have seen the other films, especially the one that won, to have a basis for comparison. Anyone see Sugar Man? Was it worth the award?

  • Caught on tape: California university lecturer smears student activists as anti-Semites with ties to terrorists
    • MSA always gets blamed for anti-Semitism and politics supporting Palestine. Most of the MSA's in California are apolitical organizations aside from things like blood drives, fundraisers for low-income groups, and inter-faith dinners that they host with both Christian and Jewish (Hillel affiliated) groups. One one of the UC's MSA is joined with SJP, the rest are independent nice religious/community service organizations.

  • Gay porn mogul unveils pinkwashing documentary
    • The condition of Jews under the calipha was by no means equality (or equity) under the law--but the central point is that Jews gave major contributions to the Golden Age of Islam.

    • eeer...actually not exactly. During the Abbasid Caliphate (Baghdad) and the Umayyad Caliphate (al-Andalus), or what we call the "Islamic Golden Age," Jews and Christians also held important roles in society and were part of the scientific and artistic contributions to humanity. The whole "1,500" years of ghettos is the Ashkenazi history. The Jews of the Arab world were in much better situation and some of Judaism's major figures came from this context--Rambam, Shabbati Svi, etc... aside from being one of Judaism's most renowned philosophers, Rambam was a doctor to the calipha known as the "court Jew," and Shabbati Svi held public orgies and founded a spin-off religion. These two alone not only brought new thought to the world at large, but they fundamentally changed how Judaism is practiced.

    • Thanks for sharing Ben. I had no idea about Arisa and the Brazil tour.

  • 'Birthright' goes to Lebanon: Israel admits popular tourist attraction is located on Lebanese land
    • No it's different. Lebanon says Shebaa Farms is theirs and Israel says that it was* Syria's and is now part of the Golan that was officially annexed by the state. Syria has no official comment but the general thought is that they know it's Lebanon's but are unwilling to assist their neighbor in re-gaining territory.

      Adaisseh's land was taken around the same time as Shebba Farms. But of course the biggest difference is that Israel said straight-up that the land is in Lebanon and Israel does not have the ability to make zoning changes to the property. With Shebaa Farms the land is now "legally"--according to Israeli law, part of the country.

  • Teen puts SodaStream's Superbowl Ad to shame
  • Election Day in Jerusalem: Deciding to vote, boycott or rebel
    • Derbarabdiker wasn't qualifying which actions of the state she is against, and which ones she's fine with. At the time she was speaking specifically about Shamasneh because he was seated next to her and we had just been to his house; just because she was talking about evictions at that moment it does not mean she was giving an ethical pass on the occupation. #context

  • In Budrus, grief stings
    • @Accentitude, From what I've observed, functionally the PFLP water mark on the martyr's poster is relatively meaningless. The political parties pay for the posters of the deceased and it is commonplace that they place their logo on it. I've seen others that are much more front and center then this one. It's certainly not as big of a deal if for example, the GOP but an elephant on a young victim's funeral poster.

      And I would be hesitant to assume that Awad didn't know much about the PFLP. He was a teenager, so he could have been in one of the youth organizations for the party for all we know (this is how ancillary the political party was to the funeral that as an attendee I didn't hear anything about the PFLP).

      Palestinian teenagers are much more politically aware than American teenagers. But again, I don't think the PFLP was eating at the opportunity to plug their party. At Rushdi Tamimi's funeral a few weeks before, some* in Fatah did do this. But it wasn't through logos and images, bogarting interviews they spent their their time with Western journalists talking smack about Hamas instead of the life of the one we were mourning.

  • Watch: Israeli-American on Bennett's list for Knesset imagines blowing up Muslim holy site
  • Netanyahu ordered eviction of Bab al-Shams
    • Actually the official Israeli position is more about Jerusalem. They say that the "Arabs" want to expand development on E1 in order to encircle the city to use as a future capital. Access to Jordan isn't really the issue.

      From the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs:
      "On the ground there is a discernible Palestinian aim to link up Arab eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods to adjacent neighborhoods and towns in the West Bank. During the period of the Barak government, the Palestinians formally requested that the region of E-1 be transferred to them as Area B (where they enjoy full civilian control), but Barak refused."

  • The Western Wall is as political as the Apartheid Wall
    • @yonah in sincerity, your comments are very interesting to read. But I'll take issue with your final point. As Yiddish far pre-dates the modern state of Israel, it would be impossible to say at the time of popular parlance "anti-israel" had anything to do with the state of Israel. Rather, historically 'Israelite' was a synonym for 'Jew' and therefore about anti-semitism and not anti-Zionism. We can't conflate anti-semitism with anti-Zionism before Zionism existed.

      Interestingly enough, until the 1950s Egyptian ID cards that displayed religion listed 'Jewish,' as 'Israelite.' and the French assimilationist/colonial schools throughout the middle east (which were by default anti-Zionist through most of their history) were called the 'Alliance Israelite Universalle'--where Israelite ment Jew and carried no relationship to the not yet established state of Israel.

      If you're ever on Hillel st. In west Jerusalem, the old doorway for the AIU still stands.

  • The war in the West Bank
    • Most of the demonstrations "call outs" came from the Popular Struggle Coordinating Committee, which is independent. As for the demos in Ramallah, the call was circulated in part from the Ramallah activists that have done at least a half dozen protests against the PA, including both the actions at Beit El during Pillar of Cloud as well as a protest against Hillary Clinton's Ramallah meeting. In this sense, there was no coordination between the popular resistance and PA UN aspirations. With that said, the PA does seem to want to again persue statehood in the fall, and I heard from other journalists here that when they had interviews with some* PA reps, party politics dominate the conversation.

      It's important to keep in mind that while there are strategies for statehood, that outreach does not include cajoling youth to protest, or throw stones at the Israeli border police who moved into the cites and villages by the checkpoints last week. Things just don't function that way here.

  • Israel's explanation for killing two journalists in Gaza? Palestinians aren't journalists, they're 'targets'
    • The attack was on al-Shuruq Tower and an adjacent building. Al-Shuruq Tower was hit with an Israeli bomb the day before. From what Israeli officials have said, both attacks were to target communications devices on the roof. But the only specific "device," the Israelis have said they wanted to take out is a lousy antenna.

  • A bad day in Nabi Saleh
    • Phil, you should have taken the bullet casing and stuffed it between seat cushions on your bus/service/taxi. It wouldn't have gone through the metal detector that way.

  • A field trip to the front lines of Area C
    • 1. It is possibly the oldest known tree in the world, if dated at 5,000 years. Different research teams have come up with different number, but the consensus among experts is that the tree is over 3,000 years old:

      2. The wall, fence or its variants are not a "line" the same way an Armistice line is a "line". The 1949 line and the Green Line are invisible divisions of territory. However, the wall, in this case a plot of land surrounded by barbwire, has width. At times the Israeli authorities will confiscate land up to 70 meters in width for the separation barrier. I didn't scale the perimeter with a measuring stick, but take a look at the picture, the wall/fence is clearly much wider then the Armistice line. Therefore, even though the village is against the 1949 line, there was still a land confiscation to create the separation barrier.

  • Holy Land Five appeal could set precedent on using 'secret evidence' in U.S. courts
  • Jimmy Carter: Israel has dropped the two-state solution for a 'Greater Israel'
  • Extremist youth group storms French mosque after releasing anti-Arab manifesto
  • Adelson doubles down on TV's most famous Republican sex-advice rabbi
  • When it’s quiet in Jerusalem the settler security cameras are still rolling
    • It's an atypical situation in Israel for private interests to so blatantly merge with the public sphere. Still, while Silwan is the only municipality with shared jurisdiction, it is worth noting that local planning councils--that is the city planning councils for districts within Israel--do have spots for private groups.

      In cases where a private organization owns a town, like the Or Movement, the Judaization equivalent to Disney's Celebration, a leader from that town can be appointed to the council. As well, the 1965 Planning and Building Act reserved slots on planning councils for the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Agency and "women." Allowing private groups with explicit demographic interests to hold positions that can determine who gets a building permit (and who doesn't) is precisely why the heavily populated Palestinian districts in Israel still have discriminatory permit systems. Prime example is Menashe Regional Council in Wadi Ara. There are no Palestinians on the local planning council.

    • It's still there. EI covered it in 2010.

      "Beit Yehonatan, or Jonathan’s House, is distinctive not only for its height — at seven stories, it is at least three floors taller than its neighbors — but also for the Israeli flag draped from the roof to the street.

      The settlement outpost, named for Jonathan Pollard, serving a life sentence in the US for spying on Israel’s behalf in the 1980s, has been home to eight Jewish families since 2004, when it was built without a license by an extremist settler organization known as Ateret Cohanim."

      Note, EI says the building was built w/out a permit. But ICAHD (whose been following this for years) and the neighbor (whose got the street news) both say the property** was purchased legally.

  • Tel Aviv and the failure of the Zionist dream
    • Exactly, I was pointing to the stagnation. But if we are to look at cultural harmony, Herzel's Rachid Bay character illuminates the Zionist hope to build an amicable, yet paternalistic relationship with the native Palestinian population. The Zionist characters are friends with Bay--socializing on day trips and evenings out—and Bay adores them for brining economic wealth to Palestine. However, in today's Tel Aviv Israelis and Palestinians do not in large numbers attend plays together, or go to fancy dinner at places with a coat check. Therefore, on ethnic harmony, Tel Aviv is not living up to its namesake. And in fact, it never will. Because Altneuland is a fantasy and tell us more about the racial/ethnic dynamics in Europe at the time the book was written than it does about Tel Aviv today.

    • thanks Seafoid, I didn't buy any alcohol but I'll keep that in mind.

  • Sheldon Adelson's daughter rams 'Democracy Now' crew as it questions her dad
  • Homage to Alex Cockburn
  • New Israeli policy calls for segregating and testing African migrants in hospitals
    • It's a hospital. I'm pretty sure most people entering the building are carrying a disease, not just the ones who happen to be migrant workers.

  • If '5 Broken Cameras' wins an Oscar-- then will you end the occupation?
  • Akiva Tor: Arab Spring at fault for blocking a future Palestinian state
    • I wanted to hear the latest official line from the state. In terms of settlements, things are changing from the previous "settlement freeze" era characterized by (really) a bonanza of "illegal" outpost expansion to a slow regularizing of these outposts.

      And Tor didn't really address the three settlements. They, with Migron, demonstrate the hardline parties can change the official Israeli policy. In the past few weeks alone the bloc has overturned court rulings, legalized any land grab (as in no permit required) in the WB for "unpaved roads," and have announced they will propose a bill legalizing basically theft of privately owned Palestinian land so long as a check can be written to the unwilling-to-sell owner of the land. All of this gives settlers the legal tools to take, take and take. And these are new tools, which could rapidly increase the timetable for construction.

      And to the audience, Tor didn't have to answer about any of this. Their legal veneer of land confiscation is eroding, yet, no one seemed to care. And hey, at the event there was free water in compostable cups and tea if you asked. And San Francisco was sunny that day--so really, what's there to care about?

  • 'NYT' highlights Palestinian hunger strikers as latest form of 'resistance' (Where's NPR?)
    • They have trials, military trials with 99.7 % conviction rates earned by secret evidence. Trials where sometimes there are no formal charges, yet one is convicted in blocs of months. They are certainly not fair trials, but technically, administrative detainees do have their day in a discriminatory court.

      Something that we have not gone into detail on this site, which is very interesting relating to trials, is some administrative detainees are protesting the military court system, refusing to go to their hearings unless they are given due process. When Hana Shalabi was still imprisoned a group of prisoners re-started this form of protest to highlight the illegality of the court system.

      I am glad you brought up the trial itself, it is very important and is the apex of what makes administrative detention illegal and an effective warehousing of one in four Palestinians: "incarceration without formal charges, or a fair and legal court system. The relic of military codes established during the early years of the occupation, and since the late 1980s, a master tool for imprisoning activists, students, refugees, and undesirable political parties."

  • Jerusalem's 'center of life' policy imprisons Palestinians
    • No, Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, or Arab Israelis, are not exempt. Case in point, unrecognized villages: the same law (1965 planning and building act) that defines houses in E. Jelm in as "illegal," or allows city officials to "re-zone" portions of neighborhoods for non-residential use is used inside of Israel's 1948 borders. For example, a few weeks ago a portion of al-tur and al-isswayah (in E. Jel'm) were re-zoned as a nature park, rendering all of the hoising units ripe for demolition. This same process of re-zoning occurrs inside of 1948 borders, and it's use is the sole legal reason for 180,000 Palestinians(or Bedouin) living in "unrecognized" villages inside of 1948.

      Yet for Israeli localities built without permits and/or in areas zoned as nature reserves, for the most part, they all get retroactive permits to legalize them. A great case study is Mitzpe Ilan and Dar el-Hanoun. Both are were unrecognized, but the Jewish Israeli one got permits a few years after construction, and the palestinian village is still unrecognized.

  • 'Strong men wanted to legally evacuate Arab squatters'
    • Aryeh King asserts that the property was purchased by a Jewish owner. King's organization, the Israel Land Fund, tracks down Jewish property owners in East Jerusalem neighborhoods and purchases their homes in order to move settlers into the buildings. However, Beit Hanina does not have a history of Jewish property owners, making this claim suspect. And King has yet to provide any proof backing his claim.

      The Natcheh family says they purchased the land in the 1930s, and have used the property in some form since then. King says Jews purchased the property 35 years ago. Natcheh say, that's not true.

  • New Migron bill could lead to massive Israeli land grab in the West Bank
    • thanks annie.

    • No, the Palestinian owners do not need to agree to the sale, although there is some limitations that the owners can't be contesting the property in court. If there is not case for a period of four years, the bill appears to allow for the sale, without the owners consent. However, as the text of the bill is not yet public, the particularities could change in the next two weeks... What we do know is: in this case with Migron, the Palestinian owners do not want the settlement on their land, and do not want to sell their property. Yet, the Israel government is seeking to legalize and force the sale through the bill.

      It's important to remember the Israeli courts already ruled on Migron. It is built on Palestinian private property, and the owners have the documents to prove it! This bill will override Palestinian property rights in the West Bank, which is way outside of Knesset's jurisdiction. It erodes civil autonomy in the West Bank and pushes the construction one single state, Israel, through land code and property laws.

  • Settler leader: 'We were here before Obama and the American Dominion . . we will continue build everywhere.'
  • Land Day in posters: a retrospective of the 1980s
  • Israel refuses to hospitalize Hana Shalabi: 'our freedom is even more precious and more powerful than their cells'
    • @CitizenC, we updated the article after it was published to reflect the new information from the Addameer/PHR/al-Haq press release. Reports this morning, including Ma'an's coverage, indicated Shalabi was moved to Meir Hospital. But we now know that while Shalabi was indeed physically transferred to the hospital, she was not admitted. She was then returned to the prison clinic in Ramleh. We will keep checking for the latest updates on Shalabi's condition, as stated by her attorney and doctors. Thanks.

  • Trailer: Pro-Israel all-stars team up with ex-FBI informant in anti-Occupy documentary
    • Breitbart and Darby's comments paint Occupy as a violent movement that provokes the police to respond harshly (Horowitz, on the other hand, seems to be more interested in exposing anti-Semitism).

      Darby has been spotted around Occupy a few times, doing field research for the film. With his reputation for antagonistic behavior, Occupiers fear he is trying to provoke violence--violence on himself--to later report on the scuffle as an example of Occupies rage.

      We'll see how it all turns out.

  • Queer Arab women stage reading of 'real stories from real people'
    • It's called "arabeezy." It is useful for communicating in Arabic between people who speak the language, but do not write it.

      It's also compatible with most phones (texting).

  • Ambassadors of Apartheid: Batsheva Dance Company to tour San Francisco and New York
  • Israel increases tax breaks to settlements
    • I think the juxtaposition is interesting: organizations supporting BDS-may lose tax-exempt status, while organizations organizations supporting 'Zionist settlement' will get a tax break.

      The U.S. version would be something like: Veterans for Peace lose tax-exempt status, while Swift Boat Veterans for Truth get a tax break.

  • University president promotes hasbara event with Israeli soldier in campus-wide email
  • MSNBC: Israel trains Iranian terror group to kill nuclear scientists
  • Palestinian developer: settlers are welcome to buy in his West Bank city
  • Video: Atlanta Jewish Times publisher's tearful anti-apology
    • Winnica-Adler is of course with remorse, but only extending to those he perceives as having hurt, namely the Atlanta Jewish Community and the state of Israel, and with the exclusion of Obama and the White House, and maintains that he was "just doing my job as an editor." This means Adler is not apologetic for the action (calling to assassinate Obama), but aplogetic that his remarks caused a "firestorm." This apology, non-apology is what I call an "anti-apology."

      Adler is in the same category as the "anti-obituary." For example, when Howard Zinn died, mainstream papers published at times, two obits: one re:how wonderful Zinn was and his legacy, and another condemning his work. The latter is still an obituary (technically), but its function is in opposition to the nature of an obit, so it becomes an "anti-obituary." Likewise, Adler's apology does not say: 'I am sorry for what I did,' it say: 'I am sorry that I am in trouble for what I did,' circumventing the purpose of an apology.

      Adler reminds me of a William Carlos Williams poem, which is the quintessential anti-apology (and a bit of fun to read). It's called, "This is just to say":

      I have eaten
      the plums
      that were in
      the icebox

      and which
      you were probably
      for breakfast.

      Forgive me
      they were delicious
      so sweet
      and so cold.

  • The headline you aren't seeing: Iran wants talks, Israel pushing for war
  • Omar Barghouti: 'They can colonize our lands, but they can never colonize our minds'
  • National park land-grabs from two East Jerusalem neighborhoods
    • eee, on Israel viewing Jerusalem as part of Israel: Yes this is true, but the process of land confiscation through the use of national parks/nature reserves is not specific to E. Jerusalem. There are over 60 national parks in Israel, and four in the West Bank:

      The process of re-zoning is a mechanism that is used in expropriation of land, which is then nationalized by the state. Palestinians are driven off, and either need to find new places to live in over crowded villages, or they continue to live in an "unrecognized" status. There are over 150 unrecognized villages in Israel, most are in the Negev and from the get-go (1948), were not officially "recognized" by the state. But many in the north, Wadi Ara and the Galilee, became "unrecognized" through this process that is currently taking place in East Jerusalem.

      Back to the Israeli national parks in the West Bank: In terms of land code, which means who can live where, and how land is used, Israel does not recognize difference between the WB and "Israel proper." There is an Israeli district of Judea and Samaria, just like there is a Haifa district that approves the nature reserves.

  • 'Settlements in Palestine' reports U.S. charities violate tax laws
    • The six charities that had their tax exempt status revoked, or never filed the paper work, and the foundations who gave them grants are in violation of tax code, and there are more out there to look into.

      For example, on L & L Foundation's 20210 form, there is at least 30 American Friends of "insert settlement/village name here." I recognized two of the American Friends charities from Settlements in Palestine's report. But for the rest, each one needs to be run for a 990. If there is no filing, the charity is not in compliance with tax code. Next step is to find out if they ever filed, or if the status is lapsed/revoked.

      The first random charity name I pulled off L & L Foundation's 990, to check if they were a registered 501c3, is American Friends of Ittkr. And they are not. L & L gave them $6,000 last year. This tells me that it is important to look into grantmaking foundations, rather than the U.S. charities that are sending money to settler organizations. Work backwards.

  • Israeli university gaining a toehold in Manhattan specializes in weapons development
  • Time Magazine says 2011 was the year of the Protester. We agree!
  • #IsraelKills: Activists take to Twitter to protest Tamimi death
    • Oscar: Yes, Ali Abunimah started the first round, with #IsraelHates:

      But, the #IsraelKills hashtag functions differently than the latter. Activist on the ground in Palestine (and a few others) started/used the hashtag more as form of dissidence--similar to using social media to organize demonstrations--than the first, which almost had the appearance of contest over the narrative of Palestine. Furthermore, #IsraelHates/Loves, was in a way, remote, in comparison to how directly Palestinian activist virtually "confronted" the IDF; #IsraelKills functioned as an extension to the demonstrations in Nabi Saleh, in ways that we haven't necessarily seen before.

      Like the #Intifada1 hashtag, more and more we are seeing young Palestinians broadly organize (transnationally) outside of the sphere of political parties, and using a discourse that is reminiscent of pre-Oslo (as mira nabulsi mentioned in an interview I did with her a few days ago). This is what I think is worth taking a way, how social media is intersecting with day-to-day realities and playing a concrete role in mobilization.


  • Mira Nabulsi: Palestinian youth virtually commemorate the first Intifada on 24th anniversary
  • AIPAC dinner with missile-maker keynote met with protest
    • No, I would doubt it. And even if that were the case, I was trying to register, not sneak in or something, it was a bit strange. On the way out, I said to the guard, "you have to admit, this is quite silly. I ask to register, and you ask me to leave the hotel. That's silly."

    • Oh, me too Annie, I had on a long black coat and a brown hat*

  • Migron settlement ordered removed by 3/12. Will it happen?
  • PA astroturf effort to build campus momentum for statehood falls flat
    • Perhaps it is not necessarily US student's role to determine the political aspirations of Palestinians, just as it is not necessarily the PLO mission's role to determine the direction of US student organizing.

      Students have strong opinions on the statehood bid, but it is not central to their organizing:

      However, if you are looking for Palestinian youth opinions on statehood, I recommend the Palestinian Youth Movement's statement:

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