Jonathan Ofir says Israel uses a unique construct of citizenship and nationality to confuse and even downright deceive the international community – indeed even its own citizens. Here he unpacks what each term means, and what the implications are for Palestinians living under Israeli control.
Category Archives: Palestinian Citizens of Israel
By stating that Arab voters in Israel can “shake the security of the state,” Benjamin Netanyahu undermined decades of Israeli p.r. and exposed the bluff of “Israel is a democratic country.” The politician who embraced Kahanists to hold on to power is now parroting Kahane.
Mondoweiss speaks with Palestinian lawyer and political analyst Diana Buttu about the demise of the Joint List, and the challenges facing Palestinian politicians and voters in an increasingly right-wing political atmosphere in Israel. “The Jewish Power Party and the Kahanists have a much more negative influence outside of the country than inside,” Buttu says. “Not that people here don’t view them negatively, but for Palestinians, there really is no substantive difference between Jewish Power Party and Gantz.”
Dareen Tatour writes about her cellmate in prison, Shorouk Duyat, 21, who is held these days at Damon prison in Israel. “Shorouk Duyat is a story that I will keep telling,” Tatour writes. “I will always remember her.”
Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour shares drawings she made while in an Israeli prison after she was convicted for sharing a poem she wrote on social media, “I do not rule out that I could find myself in detention once again. This time perhaps for a drawing or a picture depicting the occupation, expressing resistance or my Palestinian identity and my home country.”
The Israeli parliamentary system is designed to prevent any challenge to Zionism. Thus, the upcoming elections are not going to bring any change that is meaningful for Palestinians under Israel’s control. Though Israeli opposition figure Tzipi Livni wants us to call election day “revolution” day.
Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour and Israeli playwright and actress Einat Weizman in conversation, as the Knesset passes the first round of a bill that will censor artworks deemed disloyal to Israel, “The chance Einat and I will both face legal pursuit increased.”
Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour writes, “After three years of prison, detention and political prosecution to which I have been subjected, here I am sitting in my room, freely caress my cats, touch life again and discover everything about it all over again as if I am living in a beautiful dream after a long nightmare . . . I entered prison for one poem but I was released with 101 poems.”
The remand hearing in the trial of Raja Eghbarieh, former secretary-general of Abnaa al-Balad movement, who is accused of “incitement to terrorism” following publications on Facebook, has become a fascinating legal battle that raises fundamental questions about the policy of the Israeli police and prosecution regarding the freedom of expression of Palestinian citizens of Israel.
“It’s us or them”, says a new Israeli election poster by Netanyahu’s party, Likud, suggesting that Jaffa can be either a “Hebrew city” or one taken over by the “Islamist movement”. The bus shelter ad in Tel Aviv features a fearful image of an Arab.
In her first address in an American synagogue since becoming a Member of the Knesset, Aida Touma-Sliman ripped into the new Jewish Nation State Law, which she said normalized discrimination and Jewish supremacy, and finally dispensed with equality as a normative value of Israel. “I meet a lot of Jews back home who say we need a Jewish State as an insurance policy, in case something goes wrong,” she told the audience at Temple Israel of New Rochelle. “But why should I pay the price of your insurance policy?”
Dareen Tatour will spend the next five months in an Israeli prison after being convicted of incitement over posting a poem online. Her close friend, Israeli artist Danielle Alma Ravitzki, writes about the “worst day of her life,” the ride to the prison last Wednesday where she dropped off Dareen.
An Israeli district court sentenced Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour, 36, to five months in prison and a six-month suspended sentence on Tuesday for posting a poem she wrote to social media in 2015.
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.”
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.