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Mairav Zonszein, +972 Magazine 10/23/2016
The Israeli right has worked very hard to erase any distinction between Israel and the occupation between Ariel and Acre, Hebron and Haifa. Ironically, this is the same thing he accuses Palestinians of trying to do.
Since BTselem director Hagai El-Ad spoke at the UN Security Council a week ago calling for an end to Israels half-century old occupation, the organization has been subject to vicious attacks and delegitimization, including by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. El-Ads very citizenship has been threatened by a senior member of Netanyahus Likud party, and thousands of Israelis have incited against him, including death threats. None of this incitement has been condemned by anyone in Israels ruling coalition.
Anticipating much of the backlash, El-Ad went on record throughout the Israeli press just 24 hours after his appearance in New York to clarify why he went to the UN: I didnt speak against my country, but against the occupation. On the face of it, such a distinction seems fairly simple. The director of Israels largest human rights organization is lobbying for his country to stop policies that violate human rights, to stop exerting systemic violence against a people with no rights; in short, to stop holding the Palestinian people under military occupation.
To the establishment, that makes him subversive, unpatriotic, and anti-Israel. Contrarily, being pro-occupation and pro-settlements is indisputably pro-Israel as far as many Israelis and politicians are concerned. No one questions, for example, the patriotism of those both in Israeli government and civil society pushing to retroactively authorize settlement outposts built on private Palestinian land that even the government says are illegal. Nobody questions the patriotism of those who want to illegally annex the West Bank without the consent of the Palestinians who live there. more.. e-mail It's 2016 let's say goodbye to Zionism once and for all
Noam Rotem, +972 Magazine 10/22/2016
Zionism today is the fence that encircles the Jewish people, granting it supremacy over the other people of this land.
The State of Israel is a Zionist state. All of us graduates of the Israeli educational system know this. Israels first prime minister said it, Ehud Barak said it, even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said it. This declaration can be found in our educational curriculums, and even in the IDFs educational curriculum. That is all good and well, but nowhere have I been able to find a formal definition for the term Zionismput forth by the Israeli government.
Is the goal of Zionism to ensure a Jewish majority in the State of Israel, as former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon claimed? Is Zionism Israels heritage over the generations, as Netanyahu stated. Or perhaps it is a political goal, as the prime minister argued elsewhere? Or maybe Netanyahu was right when he said that Zionism is the return to Judaism, which preceded the return to the Jewish state.
Or maybe Zionism is the outlook that believes in the Jewish peoples sovereignty in the Land of Israel and the obligations of the believer to take part, all while working toward the common good, as is written in the IDFs educational curriculum?
Or perhaps Zionism is actually a race, as members of Knesset Yuri Stern and Esterina Tartman claimed?
Or maybe the essence of Zionism, according to Netanyahu, is loyalty to the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state? Or is a Zionist, according to the Education Ministry, a person who believes that we are growing ever closer to redemption? more.. e-mail Illegal Israeli settlers uproot Palestinian olive tree
Matt Broomfield, Palestine Monitor 10/22/2016
Theyre not children, he says vehemently. Everything they do is serious, everything they do is planned. The Israeli government wants to dominate this whole area, to make it theirs.
The well-documented obstruction of the Palestinian olive harvest by Israeli settlers took a faintly ridiculous turn this week, as one farmer spotted illegal colonizers stealing an entire olive tree from his land.
Like many residents of Hebron, Raid Abu Saleh lives under constant threat of harassment and assault from his heavily-armed, ultra-Zionist neighbors.
It was about 11 in the morning, he recounts, pointing to the perimeter of his land from within his modest grove of olive trees. Three settlers came and they dug up one of my trees, and continued moving.
Raid says he was unable to do anything but snap a series of pictures: Of course I didnt try to stop them. I was alone, and there were three of them, with their guns. Put yourself in my place.
The photos provided to the Palestine Monitor show a group of three male settlers, identifiable by their white shirts and kippahs, as well as by their mere presence in the Israeli-controlled H2 zone of the city.
Making their way from Raids land towards the barbed-wire perimeter of their home, the photos show two of the men are sharing the weight of what does indeed appear to be a sapling olive tree.
Actions like stealing a single olive tree seem almost petty in their victimization of Palestinians, but Raid places this violation of his property in the context of more serious crimes. more.. e-mail Netanyahu's coalition whip wants to revoke B'Tselem director's citizenship
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, +972 Magazine 10/21/2016
Senior Likud official, angry that Hagai El-Ad demanded the UN act to end the occupation, admits theres no legal avenue to strip his citizenship at the moment. The Israeli human rights organization says threats wont deter it.
How does the only democracy in the Middle East deal with outspoken human rights activists? By threatening to revoke their citizenship, of course.
I examined whether, legally speaking, if I can ask the interior minister to revoke the citizenship of BTselems executive director, declared the Israeli parliaments coalition chair, David Bitan, who serves as the whip for Benjamin Netanyahus ruling Likud party.
I checked, and theres no legal avenue for doing so today, Bitan told Israeli televisions Channel 2 on Friday (Hebrew). But we must strip his citizenship.
BTselem Executive-Director Hagai El-Ad was invited to address a United Nations Security Council special session on Israels illegal settlements last week, along with a representative of Americans for Peace Now.
In his speech, published here in full, El-Ad said that international complacency has been a major factor in enabling Israel to maintain its military occupation over millions of Palestinians for nearly 50 years.
The rights of Palestinians must be realized, El-Ads declared in his Security Council speech, imploring the international body: The occupation must end; the UN Security Council must act; and the time is now.
In his call to revoke El-Ads citizenship, Coalition Chairman Bitan decried, an Israeli citizen [ ] going to the Security Council and demanding sanctions on Israel and Israels citizens. more.. e-mail
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