Israel’s high court upholds a law preventing Palestinians from living with their spouses in Israel.
The Israeli government has repeatedly demanded that Palestinians recognise Israel as a “Jewish state”. Recent developments in the Knesset and High Court are exposing exactly what this means, and in doing so, throw the spotlight on the issue that the ‘peace process’ – and Western governments – refuse to tackle. Read more
Adalah defends Palestinian rights. The European Jewish Congress attack on it reflects a wider pattern of bullying.
Last week, the president of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) launched an extraordinary attack on an Israeli human rights organisation, Adalah, comparing the NGO to the far-right French National Front and British National party. Read more
After his famous article earlier this year on Gaza, Judge Richard Goldstone has written a new op-ed, this time seeking to defend Israel against charges of apartheid.
There are numerous problems with Goldstone’s piece, but I want to highlight two important errors. First, Goldstone – like others who attack the applicability of the term “apartheid” – wants to focus on differences between the old regime in South Africa and what is happening in Israel/Palestine. Note that he does this even while observing that apartheid “can have broader meaning”, and acknowledging its inclusion in the 1998 Rome Statute. Read more
In light of the Netanyahu-Lieberman coalition’s newly proposed (or passed) laws that target the Jewish state’s Arab minority, increasing attention is being paid to the discrimination and hate speech faced by Israel’s Palestinian citizens. Issues like the struggle of ‘unrecognised’ villages, and phenomena like the ‘don’t rent to Arabs’ rabbis’ letter, for example, are being covered by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, international media, and even the UK Foreign Office. Read more
This 30 March, the Palestinian minority inside Israel will mark ‘Land Day’, 35 years after Israeli security forces killed six Arab citizens protesting against the expropriation of land by the state. Land Day has become a global day of commemoration and protest for Palestinians, but its significance is that its origins are in the struggle of the Palestinians in Israel. This year there is an added resonance, as the Israeli parliament has only recently passed discriminatory new legislation targeting the Palestinian minority (around 20 per cent of the population). In fact, in recent years, Israeli Members of Knesset have been proposing and passing a whole raft of disturbing proposals, a trend that did not begin with, but was boosted by, the current Netanyahu-Lieberman coalition (see summaries by Adalah and ACRI). Just last week, however, two new laws were passed on the same day. One, dubbed the ‘Nakba Law’, enables “the withholding of funds to public institutions deemed to be involved in publicly challenging the founding of Israel as a Jewish state or any activity ‘denying the existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state’. A law, in the words of an editorial in Ha’aretz, “designed to shut people up”. Read more
On October 10, an overwhelming majority of the Israeli cabinet approved a proposed amendment to the country’s Citizenship Law, which if made into law would require any non-Jew seeking citizenship to swear his loyalty to Israel as a ‘Jewish and democratic’ state. This latest move, while headline grabbing in its own right, is reflective of a wider phenomenon within Israel today, in which the Jewish identity of the state has become central not only to negotiations with the PLO but also to relations with Israel’s Palestinian minority. Read more
The refrain from Israeli politicians and the country’s allies and apologists is familiar: There can be no peace deal until the Palestinians “recognize” Israel as “a Jewish state.” While this can sound reasonable to the casual listener in the West, this demand actually points to critical flaws in the “peace process” and the way in which the international community approaches the Palestine/Israel question.
This is because such a demand, and understanding why it is so unacceptable to Palestinians, means going back to 1948 – when hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed, their inhabitants forbidden from returning by the new Jewish state — and throwing the spotlight on two groups of Palestinians that the so-called peace process has ignored or marginalized: the refugees of ‘48 (and their descendants) and the Palestinian minority that’s left inside Israel. The unpleasant reality is that Israel as “a Jewish state” means the permanent exile and dispossession of the former, and the colonial control of the latter. Read more
Israel’s Palestinian minority has always been subject to discriminatory policies, but some now say that a more open conflict between the Israeli establishment and its Palestinian citizens appears to be brewing.
In May, Ameer Makhoul, the director of Ittijah, a network for Palestinian NGOs, was taken from his home in the middle of the night by the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service.
Once the media gag was lifted, it emerged that Makhoul and another Palestinian citizen, Omar Said, a natural medicine expert and Balad party activist, were facing serious security-related charges.
Both men were denied access to lawyers for approximately a fortnight.
Makhoul’s wife, Janan Abdu, says she feels that her husband is being made an example of. Read more