Zeev Tene / “Jew-ish”

Tene’s new song is called ‘Jew-Ish’ and as you may guess, it is not anti-Semitic but is brutally critical of Israel & Zionism.

 Jew-ish! by Zeev Tene

How do you live with it?

How do you remain indifferent?

You lock an entire nation behind a fence

Just because it wants from you to be free

You stand and sing about being free

Yet, you forget what humanity is

You forget that only yesterday you were the Other

You forget that just yesterday it was you there behind the fence

How do you live with it?

How do you remain indifferent?

You who were pushed down

The scent of your burnt flesh is still in the air

You’ve seen how in a split second a man can become a beast

Jewish! Wake up!

It’s only yourself whom you lock behind the fence

Jewish! Wake up!

It’s only yourself whom you lock behind a fence

(Lyrics translated by Gilad Atzmon)

Original on YouTube.

Israeli Youth: ‘We refuse to serve in the Occupation Army’

By Sarah Lazare, staff writer, Common Dreams

refusenikSixty young people have signed an open letter to Netanyahu announcing their resistance to the draft in biggest wave of refusal since 2008.

“If necessary, I will go to jail.” Those are the words of 17-year-old Dafna Rothstein Landman, one of 60 and counting Israeli youth who signed an open letter sent to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the weekend declaring their refusal of compulsory service in the Israeli military — the biggest wave of conscientious objection the country has seen since 2008.

Under the banner of Shministim — Hebrew for 12th graders — the group of conscientious objectors condemns the dehumanization of Palestinians living under occupation. In the Palestinian territories, “human rights are violated, and acts defined under international law as war-crimes are perpetuated on a daily basis,” their letter states. “These include assassinations (extrajudicial killings), the construction of settlements on occupied lands, administrative detentions, torture, collective punishment and the unequal allocation of resources such as electricity and water.” Continue reading

Interview with Dr Jeff Halper: Israel as a military power

The role of Israel's weapon export in the global system of nations.  (James Kirkpatrick / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0))

The role of Israel’s weapon export in the global system of nations.
Photo: James Kirkpatrick / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Dr Jeff Halper, Coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, analyses Israel’s role on the world stage by placing the country in a complex system of hegemons – where each nation pursues specific interests to keep its place. Looking at how hegemons at all levels of the world-system enforce their domination, warfare and its companion, internal suppression, must be seen as part of a complex process of global pacification.

Listen to the interview on ABC Radio National Big Ideas

Presented by Paul Barclay. Produced by Karin Tsivanovits

Contact for the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

Amnesty International report / “Trigger-happy: Israel’s use of excessive force in the West Bank”

Bilal Tamimi being attacked by an Israeli soldier at a protest in Nabi Saleh in May 2013. © Tamimi Press

Bilal Tamimi being attacked by an Israeli soldier at a protest in Nabi Saleh in May 2013.
© Tamimi Press

Israeli forces have displayed a callous disregard for human life by killing dozens of Palestinian civilians, including children, in the occupied West Bank over the past three years with near total impunity, said Amnesty International in a report published today, 27 February 2014.

The report, Trigger-happy: Israel’s use of excessive force in the West Bank, describes mounting bloodshed and human rights abuses in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) as a result of the Israeli forces’ use of unnecessary, arbitrary and brutal force against Palestinians since January 2011.

AI findings at a glance:

  • Amnesty International documented the killing of 22 Palestinian civilians in the West Bank in 2013. At least four were children.
  • According to the UN, more West Bank Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in 2013 than in 2011 and 2012 combined.
  • In the last three years at least 261 Palestinians, including 67 children, have been seriously injured by live ammunition fired by Israeli forces in the West Bank.
  • More than 8,000 Palestinians in the West Bank, including 1,500 children, have been wounded with rubber-coated metal bullets and the reckless use of tear gas since January 2011. Continue reading

UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories

Summary
The present report is the final report of the current Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk, submitted in accordance with Commission on Human Rights resolution 1993/2 A and Human Rights Council decision 2/102. In the report, the Special Rapporteur addresses Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the wall in the context of the tenth anniversary of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice, and considers the policies  and practices of Israel in occupied Palestine in light of the prohibition on segregation and apartheid. He also addresses concerns in relation to the deterioration of the human rights  situation of Palestinians living under the Israeli blockade in the Gaza Strip.

A-HRC-25-67_en-Falkfinalreport_Feb2014

Original link to the Report.

How Ariel Sharon shaped Israel’s destiny

By Max Blumenthal. Journalist and author of the bestselling book “Republican Gomorrah”.

Ariel Sharon at a cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office in 2005

Ariel Sharon at a cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office in 2005

A central player in Israeli affairs since the state’s inception, Ariel Sharon molded history according to his own stark vision. He won consent for his plans through ruthlessness and guile, and resorted to force when he could not find any. An accused war criminal who presided over the killing of thousands of civilians, his foes referred to him as “The Bulldozer.” To those who revered him as a strong-armed protector and patron saint of the settlements, he was “The King of Israel.” In a life acted out in three parts, Sharon destroyed entire cities, wasted countless lives and sabotaged careers to shape the reality on the ground.

The first act of Sharon’s career began after the 1948 war that established Israel at the expense of 750,000 Palestinians who were driven away in a campaign of mass expulsion. Badly wounded in the battle of Latrun, where the Israeli army suffered a bitter defeat at the hands of the Royal Jordanian Army, Sharon momentarily retired from army life. He looked back in anger at the failure to take Latrun, a strategic swath of land containing three Palestinian towns seemingly obstructing the new Jewish state’s demographic continuity. Spineless politicians and feckless commanders had tied the hands of Israel’s troops, he claimed, leaving the Jewish state exposed from within. Sharon yearned to finish 1948—to complete the expulsion project he viewed as deficient.

In 1953, Sharon was plucked out of retirement by Prime Minister David Ben Gurion and appointed the head of a secret commando unit tasked with carrying out brutal acts of reprisal and sabotage. Following a lethal Palestinian assault on an Israeli kibbutz, Sharon led his men into the West Bank town of Qibya with orders from Ben Gurion’s Central Command to “carry out destruction and cause maximum damage.” By the time they were done, sixty-nine civilians—mostly Palestinian women and children—lay dead. Continue reading

The Jewish state in question

02 January, 2014. By Bernard Avishai, author of “The Tragedy of Zionism” and “The Hebrew Republic.”

h_14358861-580Jodi Rudoren writes in today’s Times that the great sticking point for Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations is Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as a “Jewish state,” or as “the nation-state of the Jewish people”—something along these lines. Rudoren asks, “Can Israel preserve its identity as a Jewish democratic state while also providing equal rights and opportunities to citizens of other faiths and backgrounds? With a largely secular population, who interprets Jewish law and custom for public institutions and public spaces? Is Judaism a religion, an ethnicity or both?”

Netanyahu’s demand has at least three layers to it. The first is symbolic, without practical significance—understandable, but superfluous. The second is partly symbolic, but is meant to have future practical significance; it is contentious but resolvable. The third, however, is legal: it has great practical significance, and is, for any Palestinian or, for that matter, Israeli democrat, deplorable. We are no longer debating resolutions at fin-de-siècle Zionist congresses. Making laws requires settled definitions, and what’s being settled in Israel is increasingly dangerous. Netanyahu’s demand is a symptom of the disease that presents itself as the cure. Continue reading

Searching for a genuine anti-apartheid struggle in Israel/Palestine

001-20131025-palestine-0024By Ran Greenstein

How can we define and understand the essence of the struggle against political oppression in Israel/Palestine? On the face of it the answer is simple: the target is the Israeli regime and its practices. But, is there a common principle in whose name the struggle is being waged?

Various ways of defining the issue have been presented historically: as a struggle of the Palestinian national movement for independence and self-determination, a campaign of a colonized population to get rid of foreign rule, a quest for political equality in the face of an apartheid-like regime, a rights-oriented effort to remove legal obstacles and extend the same entitlements and rights to all residents, and so on.

These definitions are not mutually exclusive and may overlap to an extent. They all regard the Israeli regime (and before it the Zionist settlement project) as the main problem. And yet, each identifies the relevant population and draws the boundaries of political inclusion and exclusion somewhat differently. This results in a tension between different conceptualizations and their political implications. Which segments in the population are part of the problem, and which – at least potentially – part of the solution, is a question that remains open. Each definition is not merely theoretical in nature, but implies a strategy of organization and resistance, and could lead to different kinds of political mobilization. Continue reading