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We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters, informing them of issues, events, debates and the wider context of the conflict. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.

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Did you know?

Settlements Generate Virtually No Economic Activity
"A recent Israeli government report estimated there are…$250 million in annual exports — [only] 0.55 percent of the national total — from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, territories the international community generally considers illegally occupied."
Jodi Rodoren cited by Richard Silverstein, 22 Jan 2014

Daily acts of violence committed by Jewish Israeli citizens against West Bank Palestinians
"These incidents — now particularly heightened during the olive harvest season — are not the aberration from the norm, but a regular feature of life in the occupied West Bank. In 2012, over 7,500 Palestinian olive trees were destroyed. In the 5-year period between 2007 and 2011, there was a 315 percent increase in settler violence."
Mairav Zonszein, Israel Must Stop Settler Violence, 8 November 2013
Police impunity
After their own investigations establishing a prima facie violation, Btselem has lodged over 280 complaints of alleged police violence in the oPt since the start of the second Intifada: "we are aware of only 12 indictments" Btselem April 2013
Runners in the first ever Bethlehem Marathon were forced to run two laps of the same course on Sunday 21 April 2013, as Palestinians were unable to find a single stretch of free land that is 26 miles long in Area A, where the PA has both security and civil authority. See Marathon report
30th March, land day.
On 30 March 1976, thousands of Palestinians living as a minority in Israel mounted a general strike and organised protests against Israeli government plans to expropriate almost 15,000 acres of Palestinian land in the Galilee.The Israeli government, led by prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and defence minister Shimon Peres, sent in the army to break up the general strike. The Israeli army killed six unarmed Palestinians, wounded hundreds and arrested hundreds more, including political activists. All were citizens of Israel.
* Out of 103 investigations opened in 2012 into alleged offences committed by Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories, not a single indictment served to date
Yesh Din, 3 Feb 2013
* In total, out of an area of 1.6 million dunams in the Jordan Valley, Israel has seized 1.25 million − some 77.5 percent − where Palestinians are forbidden to enter.
Haaretz editorial, 4 Feb 2013


Jerusalem Ethnic Cleansing Tour


It is shocking enough to read and watch news coverage of the situation here in Israel from afar. After growing tired of claim and counter-claim of media bias I decided to find out what was going on with my own eyes so I set off for the Holy City. To visit and see for yourself the infrastructure of the occupation is deeply troubling and almost surreal.

On visiting Jerusalem I took a tour with ICAHD. There are many locations in the area in which the ‘Judaification’ of Jerusalem can be observed, and on our short day trip we could see only a few. But it was more than enough to open my eyes to the sheer brutality of the process and the effect on its victims. Much of what we saw was only a stone’s throw from the plush tourist-friendly West Jerusalem, whose residents are predominantly either oblivious to, or complicit in, these terrible crimes carried out by their goverment.

1. Nof Zion

The tour began by taking in Nof Zion, a brand new settlement constructed on the Palestinian side of the green line. But to look at the marketing of the properties, mainly targeting wealthy US-based retirees, you wouldn’t have a clue. The authorities have gone to great lengths to make the whole area look established and well groomed, with the beautiful Tolerance Park constructed nearby on the site of a Palestinian cemetery. The whole area looks just like another well-appointed West Jerusalem suburb and you would have no idea, unless you researched it, that this was an illegal construction under international law. The neighbouring Palestinian neighbourhoods, in stark contrast are run down, without pavements, garbage collection or other basic services such as policing. Beautiful views of Jerusalem and of the “separation wall” can be seen from Nof Zion, shown below.

2. Silwan

Next we drove a short distance to Silwan, close to the old city. This bustling neighbourhood has been home to its Palestinian residents for decades. No fewer than 88 multi occupancy housing units here are scheduled for demolition, on the pretext of an archaeological excavation. A viewing tower has been installed in preparation for tourists to observe the excavated site, connected to the old city via a tunnel such that they never need see the Palestinian homes all around or have any sense of the evicted and disposessed residents.

There has been international outcry over these plans, negative comments even from the Obama administration, and there is a danger of a political backlash. The pictures show the observation tower, the dozens of homes approved for demolition, and some of the kids living  in them.

3. Abu Dis

At Abu Dis we observed how the “separation wall” has been built straight through the middle of a formerly cohesive Arab neighbourhood. The road simply ended at the wall, which has been topped with razor wire and electronic sensors. The graffiti on the wall sums it up.

4. Evictions at Sheikh Jarrah

Just a short distance from the old city at Sheikh-Jarrah are a collection of homes some of which have already been seized and the residents forcibly evicted. The former residents now live in a protest tent nearby. Their former homes are now occupied by Israeli guards and an Israeli flag sits atop each one. More homes are scheduled for seizure in the area including one with 38 residents. We met some of these residents, and pictured below are their seized homes and the protest tent. A couple of kids, now living in the tent, drew a picture for us. It featured the things that were now just a memory for them – their furniture and their home.

Atop each stolen home, amongst the guards and the military observation tower, are proud Israeli flags.

By the end of the tour I was almost ready to cry.

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