If you only look at thing this week, let it be the testimony of Israeli women soldiers who have “broken their silence”. The relentless chronicling of the petty, vindictive, unjustifiable assaults the army perpetrates as a matter of routine, designed to hurt and to humiliate, is almost unbearable to read. See the report at http://jfjfp.com/?p=9882
But inevitably there is much else besides [...]
The first volume of a projected series of e-books on the Jewish National Fund has just appeared. A second volume is being planned, focusing on possible legal action in the case of Canada Park, constructed inside the territories occupied in the 1967 war, over the lands and the ruins of the Palestinian-Arab villages of ’Imwas, Yalu and Bayt Nuba [...]
Human Rights Watch opposes any such change to the law [on universal jurisdiction] and believes that placing restrictions on, or eliminating, private arrest warrants for international crimes could have serious implications not only for the United Kingdom’s commitment not to be a safe haven for suspects of the most serious crimes, but also for the very credibility of the values and principles of international justice which the UK strongly supports…
Eyad el Sarraj writes: “In June, Obama stated in Cairo, “America will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinian aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own.” But as each day goes by, Gaza slips into the hands of extremists, and the struggle for an equitable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis is being lost. The reason is not Islam and not Hamas. The principal reason that a just solution to the conflict is fading is Israel’s ongoing resort to military force in Gaza and the West Bank…
Janina Bauman obituary by Lydia Bauman, Guardian 26 January 2010 My mother, Janina Bauman, who has died aged 83, was a writer who has left an indelible mark on the literature of the Holocaust. In the words of one of her many friends, she was “a truly beautiful person, who made things golden”. Janina’s serene […]
Six years after first collection of Breaking the Silence testimonies, organization releases booklet of testimonies from female soldiers who served in territories. Stories include systematic humiliation of Palestinians, reckless and cruel violence, theft, killing of innocent people and cover-up [...]
Israeli Arab MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List – Ta’al), one of the most vocal critics of government policy in the Palestinian territories, evoked praise from his fellow lawmakers after delivering what Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin called “one of the best speeches he has ever heard in the plenum” about the Holocaust [...]
A debate in the House of Commons on EU-Israel trade on 27 January 2010 contains a detailed analysis by Phyllis Starkey of how EU-Israel regulations on trade in settlement goods are evaded, and a government response.
A Haaretz probe reveals that while the number of checkpoints with a consistent Israel Defense Forces presence has indeed dropped, the army has been positioning more roadblocks with only sporadic supervision on an operational basis. This phenomenon is true not only along the Green Line, but also near major cities in the northern West Bank – including Ramallah, Nablus and Tul Karm.
Jewish Voice for Peace honors the remarkable work of Howard Zinn. Penny Rosenwasser, former JVP board member, said: Our beloved Howard Zinn died yesterday of a heart attack in Los Angeles; he was 87. What a huge loss for us as Jews, as progressives, as human beings who care deeply about the world and the people in it [...]
The opposition by the defense minister and the IDF chief of staff to a state commission of inquiry seems to imply that the IDF has something to hide. If this suspicion is unfounded, a state inquiry commission must be permitted to disprove them. And if, heaven forbid, inappropriate acts and crimes were committed during the war, the Israeli public has a right to know [...]
Jeremiah Haber writes: “If you have a chance, you may want to look at the comments to my [previous] post on the Sheikh Jarrah protests and the Zionist left … Some felt that it was too early to talk about the resurrection of the Zionist left. Some activists present at the demonstration provided corrections [...]
Amira Hass writes: “Israel, via the Interior Ministry, continues to spit in the face of friendly countries, and those countries continue to admire the falling raindrops. The ministry’s most recent gob of spit was the cancellation of the work visas that citizens of those countries who are employed by international NGOs have been getting for years [...]
Stephen M Walt writes: “If Mideast special envoy George Mitchell wants to end his career with his reputation intact, it is time for him to resign… The administration’s early commitment to an Israeli-Palestinian peace was either a naïve bit of bravado or a cynical charade [...]
Jeremiah Haber writes: “Who would have thought that the resurrection of the Zionist left – well, if not its actual redemption , then the beginning of its redemption – would have been caused by the displacement of a handful of Arabs in a neighborhood of Jerusalem, itself an old Israeli tradition?…”
A mixed bag of a week with little good news…
Postings include a number on the increasingly repressive and reactionary atmosphere in Israel and among the settlers. For instance, Daniel Estrin reports on the fundamentalists of Yitzhar and the unwillingness of more mainstream religious bodies to condemn their out-and-out racism. The Sheikh Jarrar protests in east Jerusalem are attracting large number of Israelis – but the police continue their illegal arrest of demonstrators. Jared Malsin of Maan News Agency was deported, as feared. NGOs operating in the occupied territories are finding it increasingly difficult to get work permits for foreign workers [...]
Daniel Estrin writes: “The prohibition ‘Thou Shalt Not Murder’” applies only “to a Jew who kills a Jew,” write Rabbis Yitzhak Shapira and Yosef Elitzur of the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar…“The King’s Torah (Torat Hamelech), Part One: Laws of Life and Death between Israel and the Nations,” a 230-page compendium of Halacha, or Jewish religious law, published by the Od Yosef Chai yeshiva in Yitzhar, garnered a front-page exposé in the Israeli tabloid Ma’ariv, which called it the stuff of “Jewish terror.”…Yet, both [Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona] Metzger and his Sephardic counterpart, Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, have declined to comment on the book, which debuted in November, while other prominent rabbis have endorsed it [...]
Whenever you see a blog post on the subject, it is virtually guaranteed that someone will show up with the boilerplate response about how it’s not really a wall it’s more a fence because part of it is made of barbed wire and besides it’s all for security reasons and it stopped the suicide bombings so what are you anyway some kind of anti-semite who’d rather see Jews dead and anyway you’d want a wall too if your neighbors wanted to kill you…
A week after the arrest of high profile non violent protesters in the weekly Sheikh Jarrah protest, the remnants of the Israeli left joined the Friday afternoon display of direct action. Amongst the protesters on Friday were leftist leaders such as Hadash chairman MK Mohammed Barakeh, former Meretz chairman Yossi Sarid and former MK Avraham Burg. The demonstration was again attacked by the police and 22 arrested…
Gush Shalom’s report on the demo is also included here.
For those who don’t know yet, Jared Malsin was deported to New York by the Israeli authorities on Wednesday 20 January…