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Israel’s March 17 election is two years earlier than it should be, thanks to the collapse of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government in December. Contributing to the breakup was an impassioned debate over whether a stronger legal emphasis on the country’s Jewish character would ultimately make Israel less democratic.

In Israel’s early years, leaders hoped that becoming Israeli would unite the nation’s diverse population, which now includes Jews of eastern European origin, of Middle Eastern descent and, more recently, from Africa; secular liberals; right-wing West Bank settlers; ultra-Orthodox of many sects and large numbers of Russians not recognized as Jewish by government rabbis. Twenty percent of Israeli citizens are Arabs; many feel loyal to both Israel and their Palestinian relatives.

All these individuals and groups have their own definitions of what it means to be Israeli. While more than three-fourths of Jewish citizens say they are proud to be Israeli, the number has been dropping in recent years, according to pollster Tamar Herman, with the Israel Democracy Institute.

In Israel, A Vote To Choose A Leader And An Identity

Photo credit: Emily Harris/NPR

Top: Daniella Weiss is a prominent West Bank settler who believes the entire territory should be recognized as part of Israel. Now a grandmother of 18, her activism at times leads her into conflict with Israeli authorities.

Left: Nava Hefetz directs the education program of Rabbis for Human Rights and is a strong advocate of studying the country’s founding laws that promise equal rights for all. She is a Reform rabbi in a country dominated by the Orthodox rabbinate. ‘I’m not recognized by the state,’ she says.

Right: Uzzi Ornan, 91, built bombs to fight the British who ruled before Israel gained statehood in 1948. He has since battled the state of Israel, saying he should be identified as ‘Israeli’ and not as ‘Jewish’ on official documents. A nation, he says is ‘one territory, one people, everyone who lives here.’

A ‪‎Palestinian‬ woman and a young boy walk past an ‪‎Israeli‬ armored truck after ‪‎settlers‬ celebrated ‪‎purim‬ today. The celebrations blocked off several roads, and soldiers prevented many people from reaching their homes. The beautiful festival of Purim became an excuse to further harass and intimidate local people. 5 March 2015
via Christian Peacemaker Teams - Palestine

remember when ny times called the past few months following the ceasefire agreement “a period of calm”?

at least 26 similar shooting incidents against fishermen in gaza took place since january, but that in no way disturbs the period of calm. 6 fishermen were injured since january. period of calm still undisturbed. military incursions (which the iof refers to as routine activity)? period of calm remains in order. shooting at whoever so much as nears the border? period of calm goes on…. i guess.. i mean it’s calm in ‘israel’ at least…

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The Truth About the Balance of Power in the Middle East

I knew most of this but his claim that Mein Kampf being a best seller in many Muslim nations was a new revelation for me at least.  I’m still looking into the claim because there’s not much on it, but here’s what I’ve found thus far in my brief search:

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Israeli soldiers set attack dogs on teen — ‘Bite him’ — and rightwing politician cheers 

Last night Israeli TV cut away from reporting on Netanyahu’s Washington fiasco to cover the leak of an outrageous video of Israeli soldiers inciting their trained “elite” dogs to attack and maul a captured Palestinian teen near an illegal West Bank settlement two months ago. The video appeared on the Facebook page of Michael Ben-Ari, a former member of Knesset of the Kahanist Otzma Yehudit (“Jewish Strength”) party. And it is big news in Israel.

The footage shows a terrified Hamza Abu Hashem, 16, screaming while being mauled by the dogs as two soldiers, reportedly dog handlers from the Oketz unit wearing helmet cameras, record the scene. According to B’tselem, the video was “presumably available to their commanders during the routine debriefing held after such operations.”

A translation of the soldiers words by Mairav Zonszein at +972 include “Who’s the coward now?” and “Bite him.”

The Times of Israel reports that Ben-Ari praised the attack on his Facebook posting (now removed), describing Hashem as “the little terrorist”:

“The soldiers are teaching the little terrorist a lesson. Share it! So that every little terrorist who plans to harm our soldiers will learn there is a price [to this],” Ben Ari wrote.

The attack took place in the “special security zone” (SSZ)* surrounding the illegal colony Karmi Tzur, near Beit Ummar, after a confrontation erupted between soldiers and Palestinians outside the settlement. The settlement’s inhabitants are notorious for attacks on Palestinian farmers, and the uprooting of Palestinian crops and trees.

B’tselem first documented and publicized this incident soon after it occurred last December in Video: The Army continues to use dogs to attack Palestinian civilians. However B’tselem’s 12 minute video, taken by volunteer Mohammed Awad, didn’t include the leaked dog mauling scene captured by a soldier from the Oketz unit, which is classified and not for public consumption. It’s unclear how Ben-Ari came to have the video.

Here are some scenes from the Awad/B’tselem’s video. At 2:20 in you can see them putting something over Hashem’s head as they take him away to Karmi Tzur.

Screenshot: B’tselem video “The army continues to use dogs to attack Palestinian civilians” 

Note the armed guard at the entrance to the settlement:

Screenshot: B’tselem video “The army continues to use dogs to attack Palestinian civilians”

And the dog:

Screenshot: B’tselem video “The army continues to use dogs to attack Palestinian civilians”

Later Hashem was transported by ambulance to an Israeli hospital where he was taken into custody and transferred to Ofer Prison. He was subsequently sentenced to 18 months in prison for “terror activities.”

Yesterday, 2 months after the attack, the Israeli military issued a statement claiming the incident was highly irregular and ordered an “immediate investigation of the incident“.

continue reading article

Ten Facts About Palestinian Citizens in Israel

1. Since 1948, over 700 Jewish communities have been established in Israel (not including settlements in the occupied territories). The only towns established for Palestinian citizens were seven in the Negev, and only as a way of removing the Bedouin population from other areas.

2. Significant authority over areas like land ownership and rural settlement is invested in bodies that are constitutionally-mandated to privilege Jews.

3. The amount of land belonging to Palestinian refugees that was expropriated by Israeli
‘Absentee Property Law’ amounts to around 20 per cent of the country’s total pre-1967
territory.

4. Roughly one in four Palestinian citizens are ‘present absentees’ (ie internally displaced), their lands and property confiscated by the state.

5. An estimated 90,000 Palestinian citizens live in dozens of ‘unrecognised villages’ in Israel. They suffer from home demolitions and a lack of basic infrastructure.

6. Residency in 70 per cent of Israeli towns is controlled by admissions committees that filter out those deemed ‘unsuitable’ for the ‘social fabric’ of the community.

7. Despite making up 20 per cent of the population, the state development budget for the Palestinian minority is just 4 per cent.

8. The Education Ministry spends more than five times as much on Jewish students as
Palestinian students.

9. Public officials, including Members of Knesset and cabinet members, routinely and publicly express racism towards Palestinians with impunity.

10. Shin Bet, the domestic intelligence agency / secret police, openly fights peaceful and legal efforts by Palestinian citizens to challenge the ‘Jewish’ nature of the state

— 

Palestinians in Israel: segregation, Discrimination and Democracy

By Ben White

hetaliafanfictionsrus replied to your post : curvesincolour is now saying Jesus wasn’t Jewish…

As a Christian I can say with 1000000% certainty that yes, Jesus WAS Jewish. In fact, if I’ve my facts straight, Judaism was literally the oNLY monotheistic religion in Palestine during that time, or at least the only one with such influence. Also, as a Southeast Asian myself, I can attest to the fact that there are members of my family who have extremely white skin, and then there’s others like me, who’ve darker skin. This person’s horrific argument continues to appall me…

Yeah, I mean of course Jesus didn’t look like some a light-skinned European the way he was drawn in Renaissance European paintings- but it’s not even debated by historians that he was Jewish! I’m frankly bewildered by that blog, as much as we non-white people can be racist, I’m starting to wonder if they are a white supremacist blog that just fetishises black women from the kind of things they are saying, considering how antisemitism is a big part of white supremacy. But then again non-white neo-Nazis like Dieudonne exist so oh well.

Good observation there actually- I think intra-Asian racism has a very, very classist and not always ethnic dimension. So like if your family members are SEAsian but look very light I think East Asians would treat them differently compared to a darker skinned SEAsian. I mean even Han Chinese can be shitty as hell towards other Han Chinese who are darker skinned by comparison because the whole light skin = noble, dark skin = peasant thing is still so strong. It took me a while to realise exactly how much we internalised all of this because my sister and I are pretty light-skinned and so we didn’t get subject to that, but we definitely absorbed and acted out those biases… Though I think there can at times be a racial dimension (though the type of racism is ethnicity based) on top of that due to all the intra-Asian tensions.

"If the Arabs laid down their arms, there would be no more war, but if Israel laid down its arms, there would be no more Israel."

If the citizens laid down their arms, there would be no more shootings, but if the government laid down their arms, there would be no more government.

If the Wolverines laid down their arms, there would be no more insurgency, but if the USSR laid down its arms, there would be no more USSR.

If the rebels laid down their arms, there would be no more civil war, but if the Empire lost the Death Star, there would be no Empire.

If the Indians laid down their arms, there would be no more border wars, but if the US laid down its arms, there would be no more America.

Your persistent, overpowering belief in your impending destruction does not actually make you the victim of anything.

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I CANNOT BELIEVE HOW THEY TREATED THIS KID!!!! I’m almost in tears right now smh f*cking Israeli pigs. Allah ma3ak. 

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Pro- and anti-Netanyahu protesters cry out from Capitol Hill

vader-ate-my-dog replied to your post “Your post you made about israel and palestine is not true, of course…”

Colonization? Um no.

vader-ate-my-dog replied to your post “Your post you made about israel and palestine is not true, of course…”

Try terrorism. You’ve been brainwashed. Or you brainwashed yourself.

Terrorism has been a Palestinian response to colonization. You can debate the morality of that response, but if the question is “who started it?” the answer is unequivocally Israel.

also, never forget the interaction which Banksy himself reported having with a Palestinian man

"Old man: You paint the wall, you make it look beautiful.

Me: Thanks

Old man: We don’t want it to be beautiful, we hate this wall, go home.”

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Israel opens dams forcing hundreds of Gazans out of flooded houses

Over 80 houses have been flooded and hundreds of Palestinians forced to evacuate after Israel opened the gates of several dams on the border with the Gaza Strip, inundating the Gaza Valley in waters up to 3 meters high.

[RT]