The Human Rights Crisis: A Problem Of Perception?

When Israel is criticized about its rights-abusive policies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the refrain most often heard among local politicians is that the government’s hasbara – the Israeli propaganda machine – is inadequate. The problem, in other words, is not what Israel actually does to the Palestinians, but rather the inability to … Continue reading “The Human Rights Crisis: A Problem Of Perception?”

Time To Erase Israel’s Green Line

About fifty students sat on the concrete floor of a makeshift shack, absorbing the desert heat as they listened to Salim talk about the imminent destruction of Umm al Hiran and Atir, two unrecognized Bedouin villages located twenty minutes from my apartment in Beer-Sheva. On May 6, the Supreme Court ruled that the villages could … Continue reading “Time To Erase Israel’s Green Line”

Israel’s Dissenting Voices Get Lost in the War Echo Chamber

For several days now, some of my neighbours have suggested that the time has come to “destroy them”- meaning either Hamas or Palestinians – “once and for all”. The rockets being fired from Gaza clearly do have the effect of raising the level of hysteria within Israel. However, not only have the dozens of Grads … Continue reading “Israel’s Dissenting Voices Get Lost in the War Echo Chamber”

Israel’s Crackdown Grows with Boycott Bill

Political change is slow. One doesn’t go to sleep in a democracy and wake up in a fascist regime. The citizens of Egypt and Tunisia can attest to the fact that the opposite is also true: dictatorship does not become democracy overnight. Any political change of such magnitude is the result of a lot of … Continue reading “Israel’s Crackdown Grows with Boycott Bill”

Netanyahu and the One-State Solution

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address U.S. legislators today. He will, no doubt, tell members of Congress that he supports a two-state solution, but his support will be predicated on four negative principles: no to Israel’s full withdrawal to the 1967 borders; no to the division of Jerusalem; no to the right of return for … Continue reading “Netanyahu and the One-State Solution”

Israeli Media ‘Fears’ the New Egypt

Over the past three weeks the Israeli media has been extremely interested in Egypt. During the climatic days of the unprecedented demonstrations, television news programs spent most of their airtime covering the protests, while the daily papers dedicated half the news and opinion pages to the unfolding events. Rather than excitement at watching history in … Continue reading “Israeli Media ‘Fears’ the New Egypt”

And the State, Is It Loyal?

Several weeks ago, hundreds of students demonstrated in front of Ben-Gurion University’s administration building. About a third of the protestors were expressing their opposition to the government’s decision to attack the relief flotilla, while the remaining two thirds came to support the government. At one point the pro-government protesters began chanting: "No citizenship without loyalty!" … Continue reading “And the State, Is It Loyal?”

Palestinians and Israelis Follow Thoreau, but Is Anyone Watching?

Sometime in 1846, Henry David Thoreau spent a night in jail because he refused to pay his taxes. This was his way of opposing the Mexican-American War as well as the institution of slavery. A few years later he published the essay "Civil Disobedience," which has since been read by millions of people, including many … Continue reading “Palestinians and Israelis Follow Thoreau, but Is Anyone Watching?”

Refusing to Oppress

Eighteen-year-old Sahar Vardi is currently in an Israeli military prison. She is being punished for the crime of refusing to be conscripted into the Israeli military. A few weeks before her imprisonment she wrote Israel’s Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, explaining her decision to become a conscientious objector. “I have been to the occupied Palestinian … Continue reading “Refusing to Oppress”