Israel plays a host of key roles in today’s troubled world: Jewish homeland. Bastion of peace and democracy in the troubled Middle East. Clever “start-up nation” the world can turn to for smart solutions. Israeli-American activist Jeff Halper pinpoints a darker niche.
Peace & ConflictListen, Read, Watch
Physical abuse, assassination, bribery, the use of human shields, looting … These are among the acts former Israeli soldiers describe to Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence in the course of interviews about their service in the occupied Palestinian territories.
I took off for Hebron on a Sunday morning. Throngs of Israeli soldiers filled the bus station, soldiers on the move, barely more than teenagers, large backpacks and automatic weapons flung over their shoulders, smart phones in their hands.
Once it was clear the number of refugees arriving in Germany would top one million, reactions varied dramatically. Months later, a divided society is still debating its role as a refuge for the second time since the end of the cold war.
Checkpoint 56, in Israeli-occupied Hebron, is a fearsome sight to behold. Flashed before your eyes in a Rorschach test, it could be taken for a high-voltage substation, or an industrial meat grinder.
Israel is referred to by Western governments and mainstream media as a beacon of democracy in a uniformly undemocratic region. A starkly different perspective is showcased in a recent UN report.
Back in 2012, on a visit to the occupied Palestinian territories, I set out to speak with someone who refers to these gorgeous lands as “Judea” and “Samaria.” That is to say, with a Jewish settler.
As the world holds its breath, waiting for Israel to demolish the little village of Susya, in the occupied West Bank, here’s a report to listen to from back in 2012. Today, Susya’s destruction could come at any moment.
Palestine has filed action against Israel at the International Criminal Court — a move Washington and its ally have denounced. Do Israel’s occupation, its settlement enterprise and assault on Gaza violate international law?
The universal point of view from Washington and European capitals is that Israel has the right to defend itself against rockets fired from Gaza. Eric David, an eminent Belgian expert in international law, takes a different position.
The “Nakba” began in late November 1947, six months prior to Israel’s declaration of independence. When it was through, some 750,000 Palestinians had fled, and an estimated four hundred villages were demolished.
When ten “tech” divers travel to Bikini Atoll for a week’s adventure in paradise, preparing to feast their eyes on the most famous collection of sunken nuclear warships in the world, the couldn’t guess what would happen next.
Universities are engines of higher learning – also of national development and prosperity. No one knows this better than Israel – home to some of the world’s most prestigious universities. Palestinian schools struggle under Israeli occupation.
A few of the remarkable faces captured (along with audio) on last August/September’s trip to Palestine/Israel. Speaking with folks like these, it’s hard not to feel optimistic about the future of Israel as a nation of its citizens.
Weekly peaceful protests in villages across the West Bank are routinely greeted by Israeli teargas, sewage water, concussion grenades, and the occasional burst of live rounds. The village of Bi’lin is one of these.
Amira Hass is a columnist for the left-center Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz. For over twenty years, her hard-hitting reports from the West Bank have shone a light on Israel’s occupation.
Jeff Halper, a native of Hibbing, Minnesota, is the founder of the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions.