Last month, the Israeli Knesset voted to disqualify a bill proposed by the Balad party that called for Israel “to be defined as a state of all its citizens” before it even reached the Knesset floor for deliberation. Yumna Patel interviews Balad MK Jamal Zahalka about the party’s motivation behind proposing the bill, its significance in the current Israeli political climate, and the consequences of the outright rejection of the bill and what it represents: “Israel has to decide, if they want a Jewish or a democratic state. They cannot have both.”
Category Archives: Palestinian Citizens of Israel
Israel is an apartheid state, but you don’t have to take our word for it. All you have to do is take a look at the actions of the lawmakers in the Israeli Knesset, the national legislature of Israel.
Protests have taken ahold of Haifa over the last few days as Palestinian citizens of Israel demonstrate against the actions of the Israeli military in Gaza. They were met by police who rights groups say used excessive force, including breaking the knee of one protester. “The first reaction of the police to stop the demonstration was to use violence,” Bashar Ali, 22, told Mondoweiss. “We can’t be surprised by this when at the same time Israeli soldiers are using deadly weapons on nonviolent demonstrations near Israel’s separation fence in Gaza.”
After Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour was imprisoned for a Facebook post that was described as incitement, Danielle Alma Ravitzki compiled social media posts by Israelis about committing acts of violence on Palestinians. None of these writers was ever tried or convicted.
Statement by civil society organizations in Israel: “In light of recent barbaric and inhumane military actions carried out against unarmed protesting Palestinian civilians in Gaza by Israeli forces protests have erupted all over the world and in Israel in solidarity with Gaza and its victims. Amongst the many hotspots, Haifa experienced the highest number of Police brutality cases and arrests of activists and high school students. Demonstrators have been gathering daily to peacefully express their right to protest and stand by the “March of Return” victims. Police have escalated their intervention and use of violence against protesters each day culminating in the mass arrests and brutality witnessed on Friday night.”
The residents of the Bedouin town Umm Al-Hiran have signed an agreement with the Israeli government to be relocated under threat of demolition and more violence to make way for the Jewish town of “Hiran”. This “voluntary” response to the government’s “generous offer” tells us a lot about Zionism, and how Israel understands its own history.
Michael Oren has made himself a laughingstock by starting an investigation into whether the Tamimi family of Nabi Saleh is “a real family”, because they wear baseball caps backward. The more important question is whether Israel is a real country; and it gets harder and harder to believe that it is.
Sheikh Saih Abu Madiam, 68, has been sentenced by an Israeli court to 10 months in prison and fined over $10,000. The crime? Trespassing state land — which he in fact owns in Al Araqib, one of the nearly 40 “unrecognized” Bedouin villages in the Negev.
Al-Shabaka’s Inès Abdel Razek has been asked the same questions about her homeland so many times that she decided to write a simple document to answer them. She writes, “During these conversations, I wish I had a simple leaflet I could hand to my interlocutors that would lay out the answers I end up diligently repeating. This is where the idea of this FAQ emerged.”
Hundreds of Palestinians are arrested, interrogated, and sentenced to Israeli prisons for their pronouncements made on Facebook each year. But the most absurd case of them is that of poet Dareen Tatour. Yoav Haifawi reports from an solidarity event with Tatour in Jaffa: “the wall of silence and denial on the part of the Israeli government fell altogether when supporters of Dareen Tatour called for an artistic solidarity event in the Jaffa (Yaffa) Theatre on August 30, 2017. And when the walls fell, we faced a wave of threats and inciting language from top Israeli politicians printed in Israeli mainstream media.”
In retaliation for an upcoming event planned in solidarity with Palestinian poet Dareen Tabour, the Israeli Ministry of Culture has requested the Treasury to examine whether Yaffa’s (Jaffa) “Arab-Hebrew Theater” has violated the Nakba Law. Yoav Haifawi writes, “The common knowledge in Israel is that even as Palestinians are persecuted for anything or nothing, the freedom of expression for the Jewish population was more or less secure. Now the event in Yaffa may become a test case of the new laws and the old assumptions.”
Dareen Tatour, a Palestinian poet and citizen of Israel, was arrested in 2015 for posting a poem on Facebook. Tatour was charged with “incitement”, imprisoned for months and then kept under house arrest while awaiting trial. Transcripts from her trial were recently published and reveal the Israeli state’s inquiry into the nature of poetry: What is a poem? And what makes one a poet? Those were some of the questions raised by the state prosecutor in a tribunal that seems somewhere between an academic conference and a Stalinist show trial.
Howard Cohen visits the home of his student Noor Abu al-Qia’an in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran months after Israeli police killed his father Yakoub Abu al-Qia’an and demolished their house.
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 trial of Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour who faces up to eight years in prison for a poem she wrote continues with expert witnesses testifying about the meanings of her words when translated from Arabic to Hebrew.
Howard Cohen relates the story of one of his students at an engineering college in the Negev struggling to keep up with his studies after Israeli police killed his father, demolished his home.
A Palestinian state is anathema to Zionism – and must therefore be kept in the realms of fiction
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 police and authorities have rushed to produce a ‘terrorist’ narrative of an official killing; but autopsy indicates the Israeli teacher Yacoub Abu Al-Qia’an was executed at Umm al-Hiran village last week and left bleeding for twenty minutes when there were medical vehicles at hand.
Israel’s recent wave of house demolitions in Qalansawe and al-Araqeeb is just the latest in a long tradition of limiting Palestinian community growth so that Palestinians will leave and thereby allow more Jews to live on more of the land.
Yesterday, Israeli police forces demolished homes and structures at Umm Al-Hiran, a Bedouin village in the southern Negev desert. Umm Al-Hiran is one of 39 ‘unrecognised’ Bedouin villages in Israel’s southern Negev and has faced state repression since the founding of Israel in 1948. Therefore it is best to understand yesterday’s violence and the case of Umm Al-Hiran as part of an overarching policy of ethnic cleansing.
Hatim Kanaaneh’s village in the Galilee, Arrabeh, has become known in the Israeli press as a “medical mecca” for the large number of doctors and medical professionals that call it home. Although some want to credit Israel for this, Kanaaneh says it has been accomplished through “resilience, often verging on plasticity,” in the face of institutional and societal discrimination in the Jewish state.
One-month-old Jowan Abu al-Qi’an will most likely be the last person born in the village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev desert. The house that her family built out of stone will be demolished, and the Bedouin village will soon be razed to the ground to make way for the new Jewish community “Hiran.” “We’d like to live together. We told them that it’s OK for us to live with Jews, but the court said no. This place is just for Jewish people,” Umm al-Hiran resident Hassan Abu al-Qi’an says.
Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared his support this month for the so-called “muezzin bill”, claiming it was urgently needed to stop the dawn call to prayer from mosques ruining the Israeli public’s sleep. But the one in five of Israel’s population who are Palestinian, most of them Muslim, and a further 300,000 living under occupation in East Jerusalem, say the legislation is grossly discriminatory. Haneen Zoabi says legislation is not about “the noise in [Israeli Jews’] ears but the noise in their minds”. Their colonial fears, she said, were evoked by the Palestinians’ continuing vibrant presence in Israel – a presence that was supposed to have been extinguished in 1948 with the Nakba, the creation of a Jewish state on the ruins of the Palestinians’ homeland.
It was exactly one year ago that Dareen Tatour’s ordeal began. In the pre-dawn hours of October 11, 2015, Israeli police and border guards stormed into Palestinian poet’s family home without a warrant or an explanation for the shocking and disturbing intrusion. They arrested, interrogated, and eventually charged Dareen Tatour with the crime of ‘incitement to violence’ for posts she made on Facebook. A year later, there is no end in sight.