Articles Comments

The Only Democracy? » On The Ground Reports

“Civil Administration” and Settlers Join Forces to Destroy Palestinian Susya. Did the Court Wink and Nod?

“Civil Administration” and Settlers Join Forces to Destroy Palestinian Susya. Did the Court Wink and Nod?

In March, we reported here about an unusual Israel High Court petition by Israeli settler-run groups, demanding that the (fraudulently named) “Civil Administration” carry out demolition orders in Palestinian Susya (also transliterated “Susiya”). Settler pressure upon the government to make Palestinian life more difficult, and to drive Palestinians out of their homes, is nothing new. The two main innovations in that petition spearheaded by the NGO “Regavim”, were 1. Turning the reality and the human-rights … Read entire article »

Filed under: Discrimination, Featured, On The Ground Reports

Protest around the world today for Ziad Jilani

Protest around the world today for Ziad Jilani

I have written early in an attempt to draw parallels between Trayvon Martin and the killing of Palestinian youths by settler vigilantes. Today we are protesting a killing done by “Border Police” in Israel. The name suggest an obvious link to police brutality in the United States: with an added twist, the people killed do not have full citizenship that their surviving loved ones can use to fight on their behalf. So it’s up to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Human Rights Activists in the Crosshairs, On The Ground Reports

Israel’s “Super-Stinky Unity Deal” proves that its Political System has become a Complete Farce

The political earthquake that shook Israel last week went, at first, almost completely unreported in America. I can put forward some explanations why it wasn’t reported – in a nutshell, because the story is a lethal combination of confusing and embarrassing. By yesterday, however, the initial stench and general sense of disgust at the surprise “unity government” deal have apparently faded away as the news traveled the Atlantic – and Israeli PM Netanyahu (hereafter, “Bibi”), the deal’s apparent winner, landed on a Times Magazine cover crowning him as “KING BIBI”, no less. Once again, the mainstream American press is missing the story, lock stock and barrel. This not about King Bibi and his political wizardry (although he has certainly become more proficient over the years). With all due respect to … Read entire article »

Filed under: On The Ground Reports

Music and Friendship at Salem: Sunita, Yasmin and the Harp

Music and Friendship at Salem: Sunita, Yasmin and the Harp

Dear Friends and supporters, Below is a story told by Sunita Staneslow on the new friendship and the start of musical cooperation between her, an Israeli harpist, and Yasmin (Ikhlas) Jebara, a young Palestinian poet and graduate student living under Occupation in the village of Salem near Nablus. In the shorter run, the connection between Sunita and Yasmin began at the Music Center in Salem, a center we have helped develop ever since the idea hatched … Read entire article »

Filed under: Discrimination, On The Ground Reports

Um al-’Amad Update: April 21, 2012

Several large families–among them, Ihrizat, Ihraini, and Abu Samra–belong to Um al-’Amad, perched on a high hill west of the desert and directly across from the drab and violent settlement of Otniel. In fact, Otniel sits on the Abu Samra family’s lands. Like all other settlements, Otniel has also drawn a wide perimeter fence around itself, effectively annexing another large chunk of Palestinian land; still worse, for the last thirteen years the settlers and soldiers have denied the Palestinians access to the relatively fertile grazing and agricultural land in the wadis just under the settlement. Israeli courts have confirmed Palestinian title to these lands in the wadis, but in itself this is by no means a promise of access. Quite the contrary: like in most places in south … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, On The Ground Reports

Word and Picture Diary: South Hebron Hills Weekly Visit, April 5 2012

(this diary by Ehud Krinis is crossposted from the Villages Group blog) As we do every week, last Thursday April 5 2012 we went to visit several Palestinian localities in the South Hebron Hills, with whom we have been in contact for some years now. Two members of our little group – Hamed and Erella – just got back that day from a Britain tour as representatives of the Villages Group. So this week’s small visitor team consisted of Ehud and Danny. We began with a short visit to the preschool (nursery school) in the Bedouin village of Umm al-Kheir. This preschool, opened nearly a year ago, is located in an old building with several rooms renovated with the aid of UNRWA, close to the Saraya of Umm al-Kheir (a term … Read entire article »

Filed under: On The Ground Reports

Iz al-deen and Trayvon

Iz al-deen and Trayvon

Two young men, a few weeks apart, attacked by adult men. Both names exotic to white American ears.  Iz al-deen Tamemi was not killed, “only” shot in the face. His attackers wore uniforms, while Trayvon Martin’s murderer was vigilante acting alone, though his behavior was sanctioned by law and he was not arrested. Iz al-deen was at a protest, Trayvon was returning home from an errand. Differences aside, I only hope the confluence of these … Read entire article »

Filed under: On The Ground Reports

Help save solar and wind power in the West Bank

Help save solar and wind power in the West Bank

Ed’s Note: The Only Democracy? does not usually feature action alerts, but we have highlighted work of Comet-ME in the past and are proud to come to their defense. Watch Elad’s action alert Israel is threatening to demolish solar and wind power systems in rural communities in the West Bank. These systems are the only source of energy for more than 500 people. Located in area C under full Israeli control, these remote shepherd communities have no … Read entire article »

Filed under: On The Ground Reports

Settler Group Presses Israeli Government to Accelerate Palestinian Home Demolitions – Inadvertently Giving the Game Away

We previously reported on the worrisome escalation in demolition of Palestinian structures in South Hebron Hills (see also this story). The body issuing the demolition orders is the deceptively-named “Civil Administration”. Contrary to its name (invented in the 1980′s by Ariel Sharon to mislead the outside world), this “Administration” is in fact a military body (its former name was simply “military government”), and its head is a general serving full-time in the Israeli military. It claims authority to run Palestinian civilian life in the less-densely populated West Bank “Area C”, which accounts for some 60% of the territory and about 150,000 Palestinian residents. We will continue to shine a light upon the ways in which this “Administration” misgoverns Palestinian life. A future post will discuss the demolition orders on solar-wind … Read entire article »

Filed under: Discrimination, On The Ground Reports

Why/ Who Died?

By David Grossman, Translated by Sol Salbe All said and done it is merely a minor story about an illegal alien who stole a car, was injured in an accident, then released from hospital to have cops dump him, still injured to die the by the roadside. What are the building blocks that lead to such an atrocity? Omar Abu Jariban, a resident of the Gaza Strip, staying illegally in Israel, stole a car and was seriously injured while driving it. He was released from the Sheba Medical Centre while his treatment was still ongoing and handed over to the custody of the Rehovot Police station. The police were unable to identify him. He himself was bewildered and confused. The Rehovot Police officers decided to get rid of him. According to Chaim Levinson’s … Read entire article »

Filed under: On The Ground Reports