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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

When My Partner Went to Jail

Me and Mousa in court. Jonathan Pollak going to jail Originally posted on Rajeefsworld.posterous.com A lot has been written recently about my good friend Jonathan Pollak’s recent incarceration in Israel for his participation in demonstrations. Understandably, there was international outrage at his sentence—3 months for non-violent assembly. It made me reflect, however, on a totally different incarceration in my life, one that can only further illustrate the extent of Israel’s apartheid. Jonathan’s partner, activist Eilat Maoz, wrote a piece about walking Jonathan to prison, and the glimpse it gave her of the life of the families of other political prisoners. I also got a feel for that life, with one critical difference: my partner is Palestinian. In December, 2007, I said goodbye to my then fiance (now husband), and left Palestine for a trip … Read entire article »

Filed under: Discrimination, Featured

Omissions, Half-Truths, Lies: Ambassador Oren on Foreign Policy

Originally posted on the 972Mag Website In a piece recently published, Israel’s Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren rejected claims regarding anti-democratic trends in his country, and compared the legal status of Palestinians in the West Bank to that of American citizens in Washington DC and the U.S. territories. A response. When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appointed Prof. Michael Oren – a historian and researcher at the conservative Shalem institute, author of a popular book on the 1967 war – as his ambassador to Washington, he was probably hoping to capitalize on the latter’s name-recognition and credibility, especially with the political establishment and the Jewish elites. And indeed, as criticism of the occupation and of various Knesset legislative initiatives intensified, Dr. Oren has published numerous articles in leading publications, defending … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, Talkback

Video: Israeli Army Invades and Closes University Community Media Center

Video: Israeli Army Invades and Closes University Community Media Center

Sent to us by a reader. Click here for the Facebook page of Al Quds educational TV (mostly in Arabic.) Dr. Jamal Nusseibeh Vice President for Jerusalem Affairs Al-Quds University April 2, 2012 For the second time in two months, the Israeli authorities have invaded, searched and prevented the functioning of Al-Quds University’s Institute of Modern Media. This time, they prevented skype contact for an event taking place simultaneously in Jerusalem and Ramallah. Today, at 12:55 pm local time, plain clothes police arrived at … Read entire article »

Filed under: Human Rights Activists in the Crosshairs

Video: Israeli Soldiers Violently Evict Hebron House

From the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee Tuesday, 3 April 2012 “Youth Against Settlements’” Badia Dweik: “While we were violently evicted, the army treats settlers with kid gloves.” While Israeli PM and his ministers scramble to prevent the eviction of a Palestinian-owned house in Hebron that was taken over by Jewish settlers last week, a video documenting the violent eviction of Palestinian activists from a nearby house owned by the Hebron municipality two days ago, shows extensive use of force. The eviction, which took place on Sundayy in the Old City of Hebron, was carried out by a large force of Israeli Border Police officers. During the eviction, the force heavily employed the use of tear-gas and a foul smelling liquid called “The Skunk”. Additionally dozens were physically assaulted, with at least five of the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Human Rights Activists in the Crosshairs

New young Israeli Refusers

New young Israeli Refusers

For decades hundreds of Israeli youth have declared at different times and for different reasons that they will refuse to serve in the Israeli military as they see its actions as immoral. Many times, these conscientious objectors (COs) are imprisoned for refusing to serve in the army, as the military service is mandatory in Israel for all youth at the age of 18 for a period of 3 years for men and 2 years for women … Read entire article »

Filed under: Human Rights Activists in the Crosshairs, Victories for Democracy

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

Queers Say No Pinkwashing in the Pacific Northwest

Queers Say No Pinkwashing in the Pacific Northwest

ed’s note: Unusual for TOD? we are focusing on domestic activism in this post by new contributor Wendy. By Wendy Elisheva Somerson My friend Selma and I were gripping each other’s hands tightly last Thursday night, March 15th, as Seattle’s LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) Commission voted on whether to cancel an Israeli pinkwashing event that was scheduled to happen the next day at Seattle City Hall. We had both spoken in favor of cancelling the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Victories for Democracy

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