The government looks set to amend the law on universal jurisdiction because of its ‘abuse’. As Daniel Machover, chair of Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, argues “Ten applications for arrest warrants in 10 years, with two being successful, hardly suggests that judges are unable to weed out bogus cases.”
The effect of the new law will be to grant ‘friends’ of Britain immunity from prosecution…
“When the Knesset approves legislation banning the Nakba commemoration, it seems surreal”, writes Palestinian Israeli Oudeh Basharat. “Yet, there is also something good in this commotion. At least, there’s no denial of the Nakba…”
Vengeance is mine sayeth the Israeli state. Israeli investigative journalist Uri Blu who published top-secret IDF documents leaked to him by Anat Kamm is to be prosecuted. The state is clear that it is not pursuing Haa’retz and its publisher, but going all out to criminalise investigative reporters as such: “[W]e thought it was more correct to go for the precedent-setting move of prosecuting a journalist for retaining stolen documents…”
A highly-recommended International Crisis Group Report on the recent escalation of violence between Gaza and Israel. It is particularly helpful for understanding developments within and pressures on Hamas in a changing Middle-East environment.
There is nothing new in Letty Cottin Pogrebin’s opinion piece, written after a visit to Hebron. Breaking the Silence, the Ecumencial Accompaniers and others have been chronicling these realities for many years now.
But it is still shocking. And it is good to see appearing in the pages of the American Jewish Forward.
Roi Maor writes: “The Knesset passed a segregation bill today. Palestinian Israelis are not allowed to live in Jewish localities built on land confiscated from them.” It is apartheid in all but name, but building on a racial segregation that has long existed in Israel’s unequal and unholy allocation of land to it citizens.
Update: Ben White’s Open Democracy article Land, citizenship and exclusion in Israel, has been added to this post
Gideon Levy writes that what delegitimises Israel are Lieberman, Israel Beiteinu, Netanyahu and their flood of anti-democratic laws, the unbridled Israel Defense Forces and the settlers who know no boundaries. Groups like B’tselem, Breaking the Silence and the others are responsible for whatever little sympathy Israel manages to garner in the world today…
“In mourning the nine lives lost in Gaza and the one life lost in Jerusalem this week, we reject the pattern of condemning the deaths of Israelis while ignoring the deaths of Palestinians. We do not discriminate. One life lost is one life too many–whether Palestinian or Israeli…”
Uri Avnery reflects on “two obnoxious racist laws” that the Knesset has finally adopted, both directed against Israels’ Palestinian citizens. But he reserves his most vitriolic for a third bill, that to outlaw the boycott of Israel – which includes “the boycott of Israeli institutions and enterprises in all territories controlled by Israel”. This includes, of course, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
Amira Hass argues against those who oppose the occupation but believe that “public criticism of the tactics used in the struggle of an occupied and dispossessed people is taboo”. It is time to say clearly that Qassam rockets do not ensure Palestinians a life of dignity; they “merely feed Israel’s madness”.
The film ‘Miral’ is a portrait of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seen through the eyes of an orphaned Palestinian girl. “Maybe,” says Danielle Berrin, “it’s the simple fact that a high-profile film written by a Palestinian is cause enough for Jewish opprobrium…Or, maybe a cultural malaise has taken hold that’s made it impossible for Jews to empathize with anyone but each other.” Whatever it is, mainstream US Jewish groups are outraged…
Shmuel Eliyahu, Safed’s chief rabbi, who is among other things opposed to Jews renting rooms to Palestinian citizens of Israel, is NOT a maverick, argues Zvi Bar’el. “His support comes from Israeli taxpayer money… At most, he’s translating into human language the idea of a “Jewish state” whose borders he is pushing east to the Jordan River… confidently drawing the new borders of the Jewish state according to the racist principles and fascist values being fleshed out in the Knesset.”
Click on the heading above for a summary of, and links to, this week’s main stories and analyses.
A good piece of investigative journalism. showing how the US Dept of Commerce and the US embassy in Tel Aviv are co=promoting a an Israeli trade mission with Airlift Inc, an aerospace and consulting firm based in an illegal settlement in East Jerusalem – in explicit contravention of US policy and international law…
MJ Rosenberg follows up his analysis of Aipac (posted earlier in the week) with this piece in the Huffington Post. Here he deals with the latest contribution by David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker and arguably the most influential Jewish American journalist writing today. Having traditionally given Israel the benefit of the doubt Remnick has now moved decisively against the “Israel First” brigade…
Two critical blogs cover the recent shootings at Itamar in the occupied territories, and the Jewish Forward updates on settler attitudes and responses. Jerry Haber follows up his comments from last week (see “Outburst of racist hate following settlement murders”) and links straight to Yossi Gurvitz. Both examine the mentalities of the Israeli power elite and ‘normal citizen’ in the backwash created by such crimes; both contain fascinating detail on how the Israeli (and Jewish) right kick off when such such tragic events take place; both look at the attitudes of the Palestinians in the teeth of such crises which are political and moral in nature.
Journalist Ilana Hammerman’s explores the space offered by Haaretz’s weekly magazine, to provide us with an in-depth account of the conditions of Gaza Strip residents who need to leave that area to obtain urgent medical treatment in Israel. She uses a slow build-up to develop tension, and inputs telling details which create a picture – here resonating with pathos — of a truly Kafkaesque state of affairs. The journalist’s backstory is that she had made frequent visits before the big crack-down triggered by the Hamas victory (2006. She returns to try and help Hibah Abu Khamer (24) reach Ramallah for treatment; the latter’s illnesses include diabetes, and being almost blind. This solid text does not have a happy ending…
In December 2010, a delegation of UK lawyers visited occupied East Jerusalem to report on violations of housing rights occurring under the Israeli authorities. Forced evictions and house demolitions result in housing instability and deteriorating living conditions for Palestinian families, whilst restrictive planning policies limit the possibilities to recover, leading to detrimental economic and psychological effects. This seminar discusses the findings of the report and how these violations can be addressed in the context of international law.
Of interest to all activists, not just lawyers! All welcome.
An act of routine terrorism. In Beit Ommar, three buses of settlers from Bat Ayn and Kiryat Arba Settlements stopped on Route 60 near the entrance of the village. The settlers entered some residences and smashed everything in sight… Israeli soldiers also occupied the house of Saleh Abu Ayyesh and used it as a vantage point to shoot tear gas and sound bombs at villagers who tried to defend their homes from the settler attack…
G4S in Denmark, via its Israeli company Hashmira, supplies baggage scanning equipment and body scanners at major checkpoints on the West Bank. No more. A response to public pressure, following on the work of the Coalition of Women for Peace, and its monitoring project “Who Profits?”, for exposing the realities.