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Quick Thoughts: John Reynolds on Recent Amendments to the Israeli Penal Code

[The Israeli Knesset in session.]

[On 20 July 2015 Israel’s parliament adopted legislation pursuant to which individuals convicted of throwing stones at moving vehicles can be sentence for up to twenty years in prison. To be applied to Israel’s Palestinian citizens and the population of East Jerusalem, it imports military decrees that are already applied by Israel in the occupied territories against Palestinian residents but not Jewish settlers. Jadaliyya asked John Reynolds, lecturer in international law at the National University of Ireland, to explain the context and significance of this legislative initiative] Jadaliyya (J): Please explain the recent changes in the Israeli penal code relating to the ...

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خلافـــــة الرئيـــس

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كلمّا تقدّم الزمن تُطرح مسألة خلافة الرئيس محمود عباس بقوة أكبر، لأن الرئيس تجاوز الثمانين من عمره وانتهت الفترة القانونية لولايته منذ حوالي سبع سنوات من دون إجراء الانتخابات التي لا يعرف أحد متى ستعقد وكيف، مع تأكيد الرئيس المستمر بأنه لن يترشح لولاية ثانية، ما يعني أن معركة التنافس على الخلافة قد بدأت – وإن من وراء الكواليس - منذ فترة طويلة، وهي التي يمكن أن تفسر الكثير مما يحدث من قرارات وإقصاءات. كما أنّ الأطراف المقررة (فتح وحماس) ليستا ناضجتين ولا جاهزتين، ولا تريدان إجراء الانتخابات بالرغم من تأكيدهما المستمر على إجرائها. ما يعطي أهمية استثنائية لمسألة خلافة الرئيس: أولًا: استمرار وتفاقم الانقسام الفلسطيني وما أدى إليه من تعطيل المجلس التشريعي وعدم الاتفاق على ...

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Has Amnesty International Lost Its Way? A Forensic Analysis of Amnesty’s Reports on Operation Protective Edge (Part 1)

[Amnesty International Logo.]

Amnesty International is among the premier human rights organizations in the world.  Its pronouncements shape public opinion, while councils of state feel obliged if not to heed them at any rate to respond.  A movement for justice aspiring to reach a broad public and inflect state policy can ill afford to ignore Amnesty if and when it goes astray.  It is the contention of this monograph that Amnesty has indeed lost its way, and it is the intention of this monograph to document this proposition, in the hope that Amnesty will perform—or its grassroots membership will compel it to perform—a midcourse correction. In recent years, Amnesty International has ...

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Bringing Our Lost Brethren Back Home: Messianic Zionism, Settler-Colonialism, and the Lost Jews of Kaifeng

[Picture of Earth Market Street in Kaifeng in 1910. The Synagogue was off to the right of the stores on the right side. The stele of 1489 mentions that the Kaifeng was at the intersection of Earth Market Street and Fire God temple lane. Pic from Vol. 2, p. 18 of Chinese Jews (1966) by Bishop William Charles White via Wikipedia.]

The Kaifeng Jews of China–numbering at present some five hundred to one thousand in total–are one of the latest communities to garner the interest of right-wing messianic organizations connected to the settler-colonial movement in Israel. Over the last decade, messianic groups have intensified efforts to encourage the community to immigrate (aliyah) to Israel. This endeavor is making some headway. Messianic organizations, including Amichav (My People are Returning), its semi-successor Shavei Yisrael (Returners to Israel) and, in more supportive/facilitating roles, a number of Christian Zionist groups, see the Kaifeng Jews as “Lost Jews” and as such important assets. ...

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Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism: Profiting Israel, Entrenching the Blockade

[Gaza after bombing by Israeli Defence Forces, 2014. Image by Muhammad Sabah and B'Tselem.]

Israel’s eight-year, ongoing closure of the Gaza Strip maintains a protracted humanitarian crisis and prevents access to fundamental rights and freedoms of the population of almost two million Palestinians. The International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict, have condemned the siege as unlawful collective punishment while the European Union has long considered it an illegal closure. After Israel’s July-August 2014 full-scale military assault on Gaza, the United Nations and the international community felt obliged to facilitate reconstruction. They did not, however, feel it necessary to pressure Israel to lift the ...

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The Limits of Humanitarianism

[Watchtower, Rafah, Gaza Strip border with Egypt, April 2009. Image by Marius Arnesen.]

The prose of collapse increasingly punctuates reports and communiques concerned with the well-being of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. As early as 2006, as the Israeli siege slowly settled into place, reports cautioned of the collapse of the health system. On 4 January 2009, the Israeli human rights organization Gisha warned, “Gaza’s water and sewage system is on the verge of collapse following bombardments that have destroyed electricity lines.” On 27 May 2009 the European Commission announced, “The banking system in Gaza is on the verge of collapse because there is not enough physical cash…Our projects cannot receive the necessary cash.” On 3 September ...

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Palestinian Refugees Deserve to Live in Dignity

[Ruins of buildings in Beit Hanoun, August 2014. Image by B’Tselem via Wikipedia]

Allow me to introduce you to Baby Salma from Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza. She is dead. She died of hypothermia in January this year at just forty days old. Her body was drenched in freezing rainwater during the winter storm knows as Huda. Baby Salma was Huda’s youngest victim. I met Mirvat, Salma’s mother in Beit Hanoun along with sixteen members of her extended family living in what can only be described as an animal pen. Mirvat shares The night we took Salma to the hospital her flesh was frozen like ice cream. It had been raining all day and we were drenched. Salma’s blankets were completely wet.  I found her shaking. Not long after we took her to hospital, ...

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Arab Film on Israeli Television: An Interview with Eyal Sagui Bizawe

Eyal Sagui Bizawe is an Egyptian-Israeli artist who with Sara Tsifroni co-directed the recently released documentary “Arab Film”. It tells the story of the social and cultural phenomenon of the weekly Arabic-language movie that was for decades shown on Israeli television every Friday evening. In an age where the only television stations were public terrestrial broadcasters transmitting for only a few hours a day, the Israeli state did not issue its first broadcast license until 1966 and transmission began only in 1968. Prior to the 1967 War, successive Israeli governments had rejected the establishment of a television station on the grounds of protecting public ...

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الصورة الوحيدة ليسرا

[يسرا مع دوروثي جارد بجبل الكرمل سنة 1934]

[ هذه المادة هي جزء من ملف خاص بعنوان "كبرت النكبة". وهو ملف متنوّع حول نكبة فلسطين تقوم "جدلية" بنشره.]   زرت مغارة شقبا في يوم حار، هناك عثرتُ على دوروثي غارود، عالمة الآثار البريطانية، كنت أبحث عن اكتشافاتها في فلسطين. دهشت خلال البحث من الأهمية التي تحتلها المغارة في علم الآثار ومن أهمية وادي نطوف الذي أسفلها. بعد عمليات التنقيب في المغارة أطلقت غارود على إحدى فترات العصر الحجري "الفترة النطوفية" نسبة للوادي وهي فترة تميزت بانتقال الإنسان من الصيد إلى الزراعة، وأصبح إسما مؤسسًا في علم الآثار. عند البحث عن دوروثي غارود وصلت إلى موقع على الانترنيت فيه كامل أرشيفها من الصور: نحو 700 صورة.. توثق لكافة رحلاتها التنقيبية في ...

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If Israeli Tactics in Gaza Are Legal, No One is Safe: Response to Michael N. Schmitt and John J. Merriam

[IDF's Nahal Brigade conducting a search in the Hebron area. Image by Israeli Defense Forces.]

In their forthcoming paper, The Tyranny of Context: Israeli Targeting Practices in Legal Perspective, Michael Schmitt and John J. Merriam examine Israel’s targeting practices against the Gaza Strip and Lebanon. Their purpose is to scrutinize the context in which these attacks take place as well as the Israeli Army’s relevant legal standards regulating them. Their findings are based on two visits to Israel in December 2014 and February 2015. During those visits, the Israeli Army granted them: …unprecedented access that included a “staff ride” of the Gaza area, inspection of an Israeli operations center responsible for overseeing combat operations, a visit to a ...

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Besieged: The Economic Impact of the Israeli Siege on Gaza

[Simplified version of infographic featured below. Image by Visualizing Palestine.]

The second in a series of infographics on the Palestinian economy, "Besieged" highlights the scale of the economic impact of the Gaza blockade. Aided by their Egyptian counterparts, Israeli authorities heavily restrict the movement of people and goods into and out of the territory, whilst Palestinians are denied access even to their own natural resources, including farmland, fishing waters and valuable offshore gas reserves. While Palestinians in Gaza face a 45% unemployment rate, Israeli companies profit from a de-facto monopoly on supply of goods to Gaza, from which they made $375m in 2012.

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Roundtable on Citizenship for Palestinian Refugees

[Jafra Palestinian Youth Center in Yarmouk Camp. Also location of Yarmouk PFLP office. Image by Wikimedia Commons User Tobbe.]

A Bold Proposal: Palestine Should Give Its Refugees Citizenship [Engiish followed by Arabic translation]   By Fateh Azzam Overview  Now that Palestine is recognized as a state, the next bold step for Palestine is to confer citizenship on its stateless refugees and enter into bilateral agreements with other states regarding the status of Palestinian citizens in each country. In making the case for such a move, Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Fateh Azzam is well aware of the treacherous political waters that this proposal entails. However, he argues that it is worth considering from all its aspects, including the potential problems, as it could be a long ...

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Boycotting Israeli Academic Institutions: Advice for Anthropologists

Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions is a group of concerned scholars, part of the growing global movement calling for Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against the state of Israel. The boycott movement seeks to end Israel’s widespread, systematic, and long-standing violations of the rights of the Palestinian people whether in exile, under occupation, or consigned to second-class citizenship. The academic boycott is particularly concerned with Israel’s violations of ...

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Why are LGBT Equality Organizations Joining Forces with Israel Advocacy Groups?

The widespread celebration of the recent US Supreme Court decision on gay marriage provides a great opportunity to think about how governments and their institutions get politically rebranded.  These days, same-sex marriage is firmly considered a liberal or progressive issue.  Images of gay couples getting married stir sentiments about liberation, freedom and equality. Marriage, sexual freedom and equality are now wound together in the cultural imagination. This is a very big ...

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Planning under Occupation: Elastic Geographies and ‘Area C’

In recent years there has been growing concern about Israel’s planning regime and its operations across the West Bank. In particular, organizations have expressed their apprehension towards the growing number of demolitions, eviction orders, and restrictions in Area C. According to the 1995 Oslo Accords, Area C of the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) amounts to an estimated sixty-two percent of the West Bank. It is rich in land and water, and critical to the sustainable long-term development of a ...

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Jadaliyya Launches New Palestine Page

Since its launch in 2010, Jadaliyya has published many incisive pieces on Palestine and the Palestinians across a broad disciplinary spectrum. We have examined issues as diverse as Palestinian refugees in Syria, the assault on Palestinian advocacy in US academia and the public sphere, and Palestinian film and art. This is all in addition to extensive reportage, analysis, and interviews on the current state of Palestine, its politics and people. To date, these articles have been featured on the ...

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Gaza One Year On: The Crisis Never Ended

Between 7 July and 26 August 2014, the Gaza Strip witnessed the deadliest escalation in hostilities since the beginning of the Israeli occupation in 1967. With the borders effectively sealed, Palestinian civilians were prevented from fleeing the Gaza Strip and left with no safe haven. Over the course of seven weeks of fighting, a total of 2,251 Palestinians, including 1,462 civilians (299 women, 551 children), were killed and a total of 11,231 Palestinians, including 3,540 women and 3,436 children, ...

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Rebuilding Gaza Needs Freedom and Normality – Not Just Aid

In the near three decades that I have been involved with Gaza and her people, I have never seen the kind of physical and psychological destruction that I see there today. In all Gaza’s long and tormented history, there is no precedent for its extraordinarily dangerous position in 2014. The situation is dangerous not only for Gazans, but for Israelis as well; as the scholar Jean-Pierre Filiu recently wrote: “If there is ever to be Israeli-Palestinian peace – with all other options having been exhausted – ...

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Quick Thoughts: Nathan Thrall on the Gaza Strip One Year After Israel’s Operation Protective Edge

[On 7 July 2014 Israel launched Operation Protective Edge (OPE), its most devastating assault on the Gaza Strip since the 1967 June War. Nathan Thrall, Senior Analyst with the International Crisis Group (http://www.crisisgroup.org) who regularly conducts research in the Gaza Strip, reflects on the ramifications of this conflict one year later. This instalment of Quick Thoughts is the first of a series Jadaliyya is conducting with Crisis Group Middle East analysts.]  Jadaliyya (J): One year ...

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Permission to Kill in Gaza

In the summer of 2014, Israel unleashed unprecedented violence against the Gaza Strip. Although it was third such large-scale attack since 2008, the fourteenth military offensive since Israel’s unilateral disengagement in 2005, and the twenty-second since former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced plans for disengagement in April 2004, Operation Protective Edge (OPE) was by far more violent and merciless than any of its predecessors. In large part, this shift reflected Israel’s radical innovations in ...

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Pixelated Intifada: An Interview with Palestinian Filmmaker Amer Shomali

This interview was conducted in Ramallah, Palestine on 16 June 2015 following the local and international release of Amer Shomali’s film, The Wanted 18, which opens in US theaters on 19 June 2015. Isis Nusair (IN): Where did the idea of the film come from? Amer Shomali (AS): I grew up in the Yarmouk [Refugee] Camp in Syria. During the first intifada (in 1987), my parents would tell me stories about Palestine. As a kid, they could not tell me all that was happening. I remember one story about an uncle ...

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BY COLONIAL DESIGN: Or 'Why we say we don’t know enough'

[The following is the text of a presentation given at the panel entitled “Anthropologists and Controversial Engagements: The Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions," featuring Lisa Rofel, Ghassan Hage, Magid Shihade, Lara Deeb, Jessica Winegar, Nadia Abu El-Haj, and Ann Stoler. The panel was held as part of the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association on 4 December 2014] I am honored to be here and to have been asked to speak in this forum today. I do so at once eagerly and ...

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أسماء فلسطين الحُسنى

[ هذه المادة هي جزء من ملف خاص بعنوان "كبرت النكبة". وهو ملف متنوّع حول نكبة فلسطين تقوم "جدلية" بنشره]   ـ 1 ـ سواءٌ أكان التاريخ قطاراً يعبر المحطاتِ بمواقيتَ معلومةٍ، وباتجاه هدفٍ راسخ، أم سلسلةَ طوفاناتٍ هَوْجاءَ تندفع من منابعَ غامضةٍ شتّى، وليس لها قصدٌ إلاّ خلخلةُ الأرض وتقليبُ المصائر، فإنّ ما يحرّكه دائماً وقودٌ واحد: تضحياتُ الناس. مثلما تَنشر الشمسُ دمَها على الأفق قرباناً صامتاً لسيادة الظلام، تستجيب بعض الشعوب لنداء الأُفول؛ تَغرق ببطءٍ وجلال من دون أن تخلِّف ...

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في روشميا براكية وسردية للنكبة المستمرة

[ هذه المادة هي جزء من ملف خاص بعنوان "كبرت النكبة". وهو ملف متنوّع حول نكبة فلسطين ستقوم "جدلية" بنشره على مدار الأسبوعين القادمين.]    في روشميا براكية وسجائر بيتية تُلف على مهل وبعناية تضاهي فن تحضير طبق ورق عنب مشتهى، ُتلتهم ببطء ، بمزاج المتأملين الرابضين في العزلة. عزلة خاصة بالرافضين والصابرين ، تُمارس بصمت اختياري، دون طقوس أو شعارات. هكذا يعيش يوسف حسان (أبو العبد) وآمنة أبو فودة (أم سليمان) في براكيتهم في وادي روشميا منذ 1959. يسكنان زمانية السكان الأصليين ...

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