naturalfeature:negev

  • Burying the Nakba: How Israel systematically hides evidence of 1948 expulsion of Arabs
    By Hagar Shezaf Jul 05, 2019 - Israel News - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-how-israel-systematically-hides-evidence-of-1948-expulsio

    International forces overseeing the evacuation of Iraq al-Manshiyya, near today’s Kiryat Gat, in March, 1949. Collection of Benno Rothenberg/Israel State Archives

    Four years ago, historian Tamar Novick was jolted by a document she found in the file of Yosef Vashitz, from the Arab Department of the left-wing Mapam Party, in the Yad Yaari archive at Givat Haviva. The document, which seemed to describe events that took place during the 1948 war, began:

    “Safsaf [former Palestinian village near Safed] – 52 men were caught, tied them to one another, dug a pit and shot them. 10 were still twitching. Women came, begged for mercy. Found bodies of 6 elderly men. There were 61 bodies. 3 cases of rape, one east of from Safed, girl of 14, 4 men shot and killed. From one they cut off his fingers with a knife to take the ring.”

    The writer goes on to describe additional massacres, looting and abuse perpetrated by Israeli forces in Israel’s War of Independence. “There’s no name on the document and it’s not clear who’s behind it,” Dr. Novick tells Haaretz. “It also breaks off in the middle. I found it very disturbing. I knew that finding a document like this made me responsible for clarifying what happened.”

    The Upper Galilee village of Safsaf was captured by the Israel Defense Forces in Operation Hiram toward the end of 1948. Moshav Safsufa was established on its ruins. Allegations were made over the years that the Seventh Brigade committed war crimes in the village. Those charges are supported by the document Novick found, which was not previously known to scholars. It could also constitute additional evidence that the Israeli top brass knew about what was going on in real time.

    Novick decided to consult with other historians about the document. Benny Morris, whose books are basic texts in the study of the Nakba – the “calamity,” as the Palestinians refer to the mass emigration of Arabs from the country during the 1948 war – told her that he, too, had come across similar documentation in the past. He was referring to notes made by Mapam Central Committee member Aharon Cohen on the basis of a briefing given in November 1948 by Israel Galili, the former chief of staff of the Haganah militia, which became the IDF. Cohen’s notes in this instance, which Morris published, stated: “Safsaf 52 men tied with a rope. Dropped into a pit and shot. 10 were killed. Women pleaded for mercy. [There were] 3 cases of rape. Caught and released. A girl of 14 was raped. Another 4 were killed. Rings of knives.”

    Morris’ footnote (in his seminal “The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949”) states that this document was also found in the Yad Yaari Archive. But when Novick returned to examine the document, she was surprised to discover that it was no longer there.

    Palestine refugees initially displaced to Gaza board boats to Lebanon or Egypt, in 1949. Hrant Nakashian/1949 UN Archives

    “At first I thought that maybe Morris hadn’t been accurate in his footnote, that perhaps he had made a mistake,” Novick recalls. “It took me time to consider the possibility that the document had simply disappeared.” When she asked those in charge where the document was, she was told that it had been placed behind lock and key at Yad Yaari – by order of the Ministry of Defense.

    Since the start of the last decade, Defense Ministry teams have been scouring Israel’s archives and removing historic documents. But it’s not just papers relating to Israel’s nuclear project or to the country’s foreign relations that are being transferred to vaults: Hundreds of documents have been concealed as part of a systematic effort to hide evidence of the Nakba.

    The phenomenon was first detected by the Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research. According to a report drawn up by the institute, the operation is being spearheaded by Malmab, the Defense Ministry’s secretive security department (the name is a Hebrew acronym for “director of security of the defense establishment”), whose activities and budget are classified. The report asserts that Malmab removed historical documentation illegally and with no authority, and at least in some cases has sealed documents that had previously been cleared for publication by the military censor. Some of the documents that were placed in vaults had already been published.
    An investigative report by Haaretz found that Malmab has concealed testimony from IDF generals about the killing of civilians and the demolition of villages, as well as documentation of the expulsion of Bedouin during the first decade of statehood. Conversations conducted by Haaretz with directors of public and private archives alike revealed that staff of the security department had treated the archives as their property, in some cases threatening the directors themselves.

    Yehiel Horev, who headed Malmab for two decades, until 2007, acknowledged to Haaretz that he launched the project, which is still ongoing. He maintains that it makes sense to conceal the events of 1948, because uncovering them could generate unrest among the country’s Arab population. Asked what the point is of removing documents that have already been published, he explained that the objective is to undermine the credibility of studies about the history of the refugee problem. In Horev’s view, an allegation made by a researcher that’s backed up by an original document is not the same as an allegation that cannot be proved or refuted.

    The document Novick was looking for might have reinforced Morris’ work. During the investigation, Haaretz was in fact able to find the Aharon Cohen memo, which sums up a meeting of Mapam’s Political Committee on the subject of massacres and expulsions in 1948. Participants in the meeting called for cooperation with a commission of inquiry that would investigate the events. One case the committee discussed concerned “grave actions” carried out in the village of Al-Dawayima, east of Kiryat Gat. One participant mentioned the then-disbanded Lehi underground militia in this connection. Acts of looting were also reported: “Lod and Ramle, Be’er Sheva, there isn’t [an Arab] store that hasn’t been broken into. 9th Brigade says 7, 7th Brigade says 8.”
    “The party,” the document states near the end, “is against expulsion if there is no military necessity for it. There are different approaches concerning the evaluation of necessity. And further clarification is best. What happened in Galilee – those are Nazi acts! Every one of our members must report what he knows.”

    The Israeli version
    One of the most fascinating documents about the origin of the Palestinian refugee problem was written by an officer in Shai, the precursor to the Shin Bet security service. It discusses why the country was emptied of so many of its Arab inhabitants, dwelling on the circumstances of each village. Compiled in late June 1948, it was titled “The Emigration of the Arabs of Palestine.”

    Read a translation of the document here (1)

    This document was the basis for an article that Benny Morris published in 1986. After the article appeared, the document was removed from the archive and rendered inaccessible to researchers. Years later, the Malmab team reexamined the document, and ordered that it remain classified. They could not have known that a few years later researchers from Akevot would find a copy of the text and run it past the military censors – who authorized its publication unconditionally. Now, after years of concealment, the gist of the document is being revealed here.

    The 25-page document begins with an introduction that unabashedly approves of the evacuation of the Arab villages. According to the author, the month of April “excelled in an increase of emigration,” while May “was blessed with the evacuation of maximum places.” The report then addresses “the causes of the Arab emigration.” According to the Israeli narrative that was disseminated over the years, responsibility for the exodus from Israel rests with Arab politicians who encouraged the population to leave. However, according to the document, 70 percent of the Arabs left as a result of Jewish military operations.

    Palestinian children awaiting distribution of milk by UNICEF at the Nazareth Franciscan Sisters’ convent, on January 1, 1950. AW / UN Photo

    The unnamed author of the text ranks the reasons for the Arabs’ departure in order of importance. The first reason: “Direct Jewish acts of hostility against Arab places of settlement.” The second reason was the impact of those actions on neighboring villages. Third in importance came “operations by the breakaways,” namely the Irgun and Lehi undergrounds. The fourth reason for the Arab exodus was orders issued by Arab institutions and “gangs” (as the document refers to all Arab fighting groups); fifth was “Jewish ’whispering operations’ to induce the Arab inhabitants to flee”; and the sixth factor was “evacuation ultimatums.”

    The author asserts that, “without a doubt, the hostile operations were the main cause of the movement of the population.” In addition, “Loudspeakers in the Arabic language proved their effectiveness on the occasions when they were utilized properly.” As for Irgun and Lehi operations, the report observes that “many in the villages of central Galilee started to flee following the abduction of the notables of Sheikh Muwannis [a village north of Tel Aviv]. The Arab learned that it is not enough to forge an agreement with the Haganah and that there are other Jews [i.e., the breakaway militias] to beware of.”

    The author notes that ultimatums to leave were especially employed in central Galilee, less so in the Mount Gilboa region. “Naturally, the act of this ultimatum, like the effect of the ’friendly advice,’ came after a certain preparing of the ground by means of hostile actions in the area.”
    An appendix to the document describes the specific causes of the exodus from each of scores of Arab locales: Ein Zeitun – “our destruction of the village”; Qeitiya – “harassment, threat of action”; Almaniya – “our action, many killed”; Tira – “friendly Jewish advice”; Al’Amarir – “after robbery and murder carried out by the breakaways”; Sumsum – “our ultimatum”; Bir Salim – “attack on the orphanage”; and Zarnuga – “conquest and expulsion.”

    Short fuse
    In the early 2000s, the Yitzhak Rabin Center conducted a series of interviews with former public and military figures as part of a project to document their activity in the service of the state. The long arm of Malmab seized on these interviews, too. Haaretz, which obtained the original texts of several of the interviews, compared them to the versions that are now available to the public, after large swaths of them were declared classified.

    These included, for example, sections of the testimony of Brig. Gen. (res.) Aryeh Shalev about the expulsion across the border of the residents of a village he called “Sabra.” Later in the interview, the following sentences were deleted: “There was a very serious problem in the valley. There were refugees who wanted to return to the valley, to the Triangle [a concentration of Arab towns and villages in eastern Israel]. We expelled them. I met with them to persuade them not to want that. I have papers about it.”

    In another case, Malmab decided to conceal the following segment from an interview that historian Boaz Lev Tov conducted with Maj. Gen. (res.) Elad Peled:
    Lev Tov: “We’re talking about a population – women and children?”
    Peled: “All, all. Yes.”
    Lev Tov: “Don’t you distinguish between them?”
    Peled: “The problem is very simple. The war is between two populations. They come out of their home.”
    Lev Tov: “If the home exists, they have somewhere to return to?”
    Peled: “It’s not armies yet, it’s gangs. We’re also actually gangs. We come out of the house and return to the house. They come out of the house and return to the house. It’s either their house or our house.”
    Lev Tov: “Qualms belong to the more recent generation?”
    Peled: “Yes, today. When I sit in an armchair here and think about what happened, all kinds of thoughts come to mind.”
    Lev Tov: “Wasn’t that the case then?”
    Peled: “Look, let me tell you something even less nice and cruel, about the big raid in Sasa [Palestinian village in Upper Galilee]. The goal was actually to deter them, to tell them, ‘Dear friends, the Palmach [the Haganah “shock troops”] can reach every place, you are not immune.’ That was the heart of the Arab settlement. But what did we do? My platoon blew up 20 homes with everything that was there.”
    Lev Tov: “While people were sleeping there?”
    Peled: “I suppose so. What happened there, we came, we entered the village, planted a bomb next to every house, and afterward Homesh blew on a trumpet, because we didn’t have radios, and that was the signal [for our forces] to leave. We’re running in reverse, the sappers stay, they pull, it’s all primitive. They light the fuse or pull the detonator and all those houses are gone.”

    IDF soldiers guarding Palestinians in Ramle, in 1948. Collection of Benno Rothenberg/The IDF and Defense Establishment Archives

    Another passage that the Defense Ministry wanted to keep from the public came from Dr. Lev Tov’s conversation with Maj. Gen. Avraham Tamir:
    Tamir: “I was under Chera [Maj. Gen. Tzvi Tzur, later IDF chief of staff], and I had excellent working relations with him. He gave me freedom of action – don’t ask – and I happened to be in charge of staff and operations work during two developments deriving from [Prime Minister David] Ben-Gurion’s policy. One development was when reports arrived about marches of refugees from Jordan toward the abandoned villages [in Israel]. And then Ben-Gurion lays down as policy that we have to demolish [the villages] so they won’t have anywhere to return to. That is, all the Arab villages, most of which were in [the area covered by] Central Command, most of them.”
    Lev Tov: “The ones that were still standing?”
    Tamir: “The ones that weren’t yet inhabited by Israelis. There were places where we had already settled Israelis, like Zakariyya and others. But most of them were still abandoned villages.”
    Lev Tov: “That were standing?”
    Tamir: “Standing. It was necessary for there to be no place for them to return to, so I mobilized all the engineering battalions of Central Command, and within 48 hours I knocked all those villages to the ground. Period. There’s no place to return to.”
    Lev Tov: “Without hesitation, I imagine.”
    Tamir: “Without hesitation. That was the policy. I mobilized, I carried it out and I did it.”

    Crates in vaults
    The vault of the Yad Yaari Research and Documentation Center is one floor below ground level. In the vault, which is actually a small, well-secured room, are stacks of crates containing classified documents. The archive houses the materials of the Hashomer Hatzair movement, the Kibbutz Ha’artzi kibbutz movement, Mapam, Meretz and other bodies, such as Peace Now.
    The archive’s director is Dudu Amitai, who is also chairman of the Association of Israel Archivists. According to Amitai, Malmab personnel visited the archive regularly between 2009 and 2011. Staff of the archive relate that security department teams – two Defense Ministry retirees with no archival training – would show up two or three times a week. They searched for documents according to such keywords as “nuclear,” “security” and “censorship,” and also devoted considerable time to the War of Independence and the fate of the pre-1948 Arab villages.
    “In the end, they submitted a summary to us, saying that they had located a few dozen sensitive documents,” Amitai says. “We don’t usually take apart files, so dozens of files, in their entirety, found their way into our vault and were removed from the public catalog.” A file might contain more than 100 documents.
    One of the files that was sealed deals with the military government that controlled the lives of Israel’s Arab citizens from 1948 until 1966. For years, the documents were stored in the same vault, inaccessible to scholars. Recently, in the wake of a request by Prof. Gadi Algazi, a historian from Tel Aviv University, Amitai examined the file himself and ruled that there was no reason not to unseal it, Malmab’s opinion notwithstanding.

    According to Algazi, there could be several reasons for Malmab’s decision to keep the file classified. One of them has to do with a secret annex it contains to a report by a committee that examined the operation of the military government. The report deals almost entirely with land-ownership battles between the state and Arab citizens, and barely touches on security matters.

    Another possibility is a 1958 report by the ministerial committee that oversaw the military government. In one of the report’s secret appendixes, Col. Mishael Shaham, a senior officer in the military government, explains that one reason for not dismantling the martial law apparatus is the need to restrict Arab citizens’ access to the labor market and to prevent the reestablishment of destroyed villages.
    A third possible explanation for hiding the file concerns previously unpublished historical testimony about the expulsion of Bedouin. On the eve of Israel’s establishment, nearly 100,000 Bedouin lived in the Negev. Three years later, their number was down to 13,000. In the years during and after the independence war, a number of expulsion operations were carried out in the country’s south. In one case, United Nations observers reported that Israel had expelled 400 Bedouin from the Azazma tribe and cited testimonies of tents being burned. The letter that appears in the classified file describes a similar expulsion carried out as late as 1956, as related by geologist Avraham Parnes:

    The evacuation of Iraq al-Manshiyya, near today’s Kiryat Gat, in March, 1949. Collection of Benno Rothenberg/The IDF and Defense Establishment Archives

    “A month ago we toured Ramon [crater]. The Bedouin in the Mohila area came to us with their flocks and their families and asked us to break bread with them. I replied that we had a great deal of work to do and didn’t have time. In our visit this week, we headed toward Mohila again. Instead of the Bedouin and their flocks, there was deathly silence. Scores of camel carcasses were scattered in the area. We learned that three days earlier the IDF had ‘screwed’ the Bedouin, and their flocks were destroyed – the camels by shooting, the sheep with grenades. One of the Bedouin, who started to complain, was killed, the rest fled.”

    The testimony continued, “Two weeks earlier, they’d been ordered to stay where they were for the time being, afterward they were ordered to leave, and to speed things up 500 head were slaughtered.... The expulsion was executed ‘efficiently.’” The letter goes on to quote what one of the soldiers said to Parnes, according to his testimony: “They won’t go unless we’ve screwed their flocks. A young girl of about 16 approached us. She had a beaded necklace of brass snakes. We tore the necklace and each of us took a bead for a souvenir.”

    The letter was originally sent to MK Yaakov Uri, from Mapai (forerunner of Labor), who passed it on to Development Minister Mordechai Bentov (Mapam). “His letter shocked me,” Uri wrote Bentov. The latter circulated the letter among all the cabinet ministers, writing, “It is my opinion that the government cannot simply ignore the facts related in the letter.” Bentov added that, in light of the appalling contents of the letter, he asked security experts to check its credibility. They had confirmed that the contents “do in fact generally conform to the truth.”

    Nuclear excuse
    It was during the tenure of historian Tuvia Friling as Israel’s chief archivist, from 2001 to 2004, that Malmab carried out its first archival incursions. What began as an operation to prevent the leakage of nuclear secrets, he says, became, in time, a large-scale censorship project.
    “I resigned after three years, and that was one of the reasons,” Prof. Friling says. “The classification placed on the document about the Arabs’ emigration in 1948 is precisely an example of what I was apprehensive about. The storage and archival system is not an arm of the state’s public relations. If there’s something you don’t like – well, that’s life. A healthy society also learns from its mistakes.”

    Why did Friling allow the Defense Ministry to have access the archives? The reason, he says, was the intention to give the public access to archival material via the internet. In discussions about the implications of digitizing the material, concern was expressed that references in the documents to a “certain topic” would be made public by mistake. The topic, of course, is Israel’s nuclear project. Friling insists that the only authorization Malmab received was to search for documents on that subject.

    But Malmab’s activity is only one example of a broader problem, Friling notes: “In 1998, the confidentiality of the [oldest documents in the] Shin Bet and Mossad archives expired. For years those two institutions disdained the chief archivist. When I took over, they requested that the confidentiality of all the material be extended [from 50] to 70 years, which is ridiculous – most of the material can be opened.”

    In 2010, the confidentiality period was extended to 70 years; last February it was extended again, to 90 years, despite the opposition of the Supreme Council of Archives. “The state may impose confidentiality on some of its documentation,” Friling says. “The question is whether the issue of security doesn’t act as a kind of cover. In many cases, it’s already become a joke.”
    In the view of Yad Yaari’s Dudu Amitai, the confidentiality imposed by the Defense Ministry must be challenged. In his period at the helm, he says, one of the documents placed in the vault was an order issued by an IDF general, during a truce in the War of Independence, for his troops to refrain from rape and looting. Amitai now intends to go over the documents that were deposited in the vault, especially 1948 documents, and open whatever is possible. “We’ll do it cautiously and responsibly, but recognizing that the State of Israel has to learn how to cope with the less pleasant aspects of its history.”
    In contrast to Yad Yaari, where ministry personnel no longer visit, they are continuing to peruse documents at Yad Tabenkin, the research and documentation center of the United Kibbutz Movement. The director, Aharon Azati, reached an agreement with the Malmab teams under which documents will be transferred to the vault only if he is convinced that this is justified. But in Yad Tabenkin, too, Malmab has broadened its searches beyond the realm of nuclear project to encompass interviews conducted by archival staff with former members of the Palmach, and has even perused material about the history of the settlements in the occupied territories.

    Malmab has, for example, shown interest in the Hebrew-language book “A Decade of Discretion: Settlement Policy in the Territories 1967-1977,” published by Yad Tabenkin in 1992, and written by Yehiel Admoni, director of the Jewish Agency’s Settlement Department during the decade he writes about. The book mentions a plan to settle Palestinian refugees in the Jordan Valley and to the uprooting of 1,540 Bedouin families from the Rafah area of the Gaza Strip in 1972, including an operation that included the sealing of wells by the IDF. Ironically, in the case of the Bedouin, Admoni quotes former Justice Minister Yaakov Shimshon Shapira as saying, “It is not necessary to stretch the security rationale too far. The whole Bedouin episode is not a glorious chapter of the State of Israel.”

    Palestinian refugees leaving their village, unknown location, 1948. UNRWA

    According to Azati, “We are moving increasingly to a tightening of the ranks. Although this is an era of openness and transparency, there are apparently forces that are pulling in the opposite direction.”
    Unauthorized secrecy
    About a year ago, the legal adviser to the State Archives, attorney Naomi Aldouby, wrote an opinion titled “Files Closed Without Authorization in Public Archives.” According to her, the accessibility policy of public archives is the exclusive purview of the director of each institution.
    Despite Aldouby’s opinion, however, in the vast majority of cases, archivists who encountered unreasonable decisions by Malmab did not raise objections – that is, until 2014, when Defense Ministry personnel arrived at the archive of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. To the visitors’ surprise, their request to examine the archive – which contains collections of former minister and diplomat Abba Eban and Maj. Gen. (res.) Shlomo Gazit – was turned down by its then director, Menahem Blondheim.

    According to Blondheim, “I told them that the documents in question were decades old, and that I could not imagine that there was any security problem that would warrant restricting their access to researchers. In response, they said, ‘And let’s say there is testimony here that wells were poisoned in the War of Independence?’ I replied, ‘Fine, those people should be brought to trial.’”
    Blondheim’s refusal led to a meeting with a more senior ministry official, only this time the attitude he encountered was different and explicit threats were made. Finally the two sides reached an accommodation.
    Benny Morris is not surprised at Malmab’s activity. “I knew about it,” he says “Not officially, no one informed me, but I encountered it when I discovered that documents I had seen in the past are now sealed. There were documents from the IDF Archive that I used for an article about Deir Yassin, and which are now sealed. When I came to the archive, I was no longer allowed to see the original, so I pointed out in a footnote [in the article] that the State Archive had denied access to documents that I had published 15 years earlier.”
    The Malmab case is only one example of the battle being waged for access to archives in Israel. According to the executive director of the Akevot Institute, Lior Yavne, “The IDF Archive, which is the largest archive in Israel, is sealed almost hermetically. About 1 percent of the material is open. The Shin Bet archive, which contains materials of immense importance [to scholars], is totally closed apart from a handful of documents.”

    A report written by Yaacov Lozowick, the previous chief archivist at the State Archives, upon his retirement, refers to the defense establishment’s grip on the country’s archival materials. In it, he writes, “A democracy must not conceal information because it is liable to embarrass the state. In practice, the security establishment in Israel, and to a certain extent that of foreign relations as well, are interfering with the [public] discussion.”

    Advocates of concealment put forward several arguments, Lozowick notes: “The uncovering of the facts could provide our enemies with a battering ram against us and weaken the determination of our friends; it’s liable to stir up the Arab population; it could enfeeble the state’s arguments in courts of law; and what is revealed could be interpreted as Israeli war crimes.” However, he says, “All these arguments must be rejected. This is an attempt to hide part of the historical truth in order to construct a more convenient version.”

    What Malmab says
    Yehiel Horev was the keeper of the security establishment’s secrets for more than two decades. He headed the Defense Ministry’s security department from 1986 until 2007 and naturally kept out of the limelight. To his credit, he now agreed to talk forthrightly to Haaretz about the archives project.
    “I don’t remember when it began,” Horev says, “but I do know that I started it. If I’m not mistaken, it started when people wanted to publish documents from the archives. We had to set up teams to examine all outgoing material.”
    From conversations with archive directors, it’s clear that a good deal of the documents on which confidentiality was imposed relate to the War of Independence. Is concealing the events of 1948 part of the purpose of Malmab?

    Palestinian refugees in the Ramle area, 1948. Boris Carmi / The IDF and Defense Establishment Archives

    “What does ‘part of the purpose’ mean? The subject is examined based on an approach of whether it could harm Israel’s foreign relations and the defense establishment. Those are the criteria. I think it’s still relevant. There has not been peace since 1948. I may be wrong, but to the best of my knowledge the Arab-Israeli conflict has not been resolved. So yes, it could be that problematic subjects remain.”

    Asked in what way such documents might be problematic, Horev speaks of the possibility of agitation among the country’s Arab citizens. From his point of view, every document must be perused and every case decided on its merits.

    If the events of 1948 weren’t known, we could argue about whether this approach is the right one. That is not the case. Many testimonies and studies have appeared about the history of the refugee problem. What’s the point of hiding things?
    “The question is whether it can do harm or not. It’s a very sensitive matter. Not everything has been published about the refugee issue, and there are all kinds of narratives. Some say there was no flight at all, only expulsion. Others say there was flight. It’s not black-and-white. There’s a difference between flight and those who say they were forcibly expelled. It’s a different picture. I can’t say now if it merits total confidentiality, but it’s a subject that definitely has to be discussed before a decision is made about what to publish.”

    For years, the Defense Ministry has imposed confidentiality on a detailed document that describes the reasons for the departure of those who became refugees. Benny Morris has already written about the document, so what’s the logic of keeping it hidden?
    “I don’t remember the document you’re referring to, but if he quoted from it and the document itself is not there [i.e., where Morris says it is], then his facts aren’t strong. If he says, ‘Yes, I have the document,’ I can’t argue with that. But if he says that it’s written there, that could be right and it could be wrong. If the document were already outside and were sealed in the archive, I would say that that’s folly. But if someone quoted from it – there’s a difference of day and night in terms of the validity of the evidence he cited.”

    In this case, we’re talking about the most quoted scholar when it comes to the Palestinian refugees.
    “The fact that you say ‘scholar’ makes no impression on me. I know people in academia who spout nonsense about subjects that I know from A to Z. When the state imposes confidentiality, the published work is weakened, because he doesn’t have the document.”

    But isn’t concealing documents based on footnotes in books an attempt to lock the barn door after the horses have bolted?
    “I gave you an example that this needn’t be the case. If someone writes that the horse is black, if the horse isn’t outside the barn, you can’t prove that it’s really black.”

    There are legal opinions stating that Malmab’s activity in the archives is illegal and unauthorized.
    “If I know that an archive contains classified material, I am empowered to tell the police to go there and confiscate the material. I can also utilize the courts. I don’t need the archivist’s authorization. If there is classified material, I have the authority to act. Look, there’s policy. Documents aren’t sealed for no reason. And despite it all, I won’t say to you that everything that’s sealed is 100 percent justified [in being sealed].”

    The Defense Ministry refused to respond to specific questions regarding the findings of this investigative report and made do with the following response: “The director of security of the defense establishment operates by virtue of his responsibility to protect the state’s secrets and its security assets. The Malmab does not provide details about its mode of activity or its missions.”

    Lee Rotbart assisted in providing visual research for this article.

    (1) https://www.haaretz.co.il/st/inter/Heng/1948.pdf

  • #Ground_Truth. Destruction and Return in al-’Araqīb

    Ground Truth is an ongoing project that aims to provide historical and juridical evidence on behalf of communities in the illegalised Palestinian Bedouin villages in the northern threshold of the Negev/Naqab desert, Israel. While forced physical displacement and illegalisation render these communities non-existent on maps and aerial imaging, state-led land works and afforestation transform and erase their land and material cultural remains. The project aims to document and collate disparate legal, historical, and material evidence for the continuity of the sedentary presence of the Bedouin population on this land, as well as traces of their repeated displacement and destruction by government forces.

    At the heart of the project are a community-led photographic dossier and a 3DGiS platform that utilises contemporary and historical images to map the presence and remnants of the Bedouin’s inhabitation. This first iteration of the project centres on the case of the al-’Araqīb village, which has been demolished over 116 times over the past 60 years. A second phase of the project would wish to expand the work into more unrecognised villages where establishing proof of continuity of presence would be helpful.

    Through a collaborative process of DIY aerial photography with Public Lab, Zochrot, and the local families of al-’Araqīb, a kind of ’civic satellite’ is formed. We use kites and balloons equipped with simple cameras to form a methodology through which aerial and ground views can be gathered across multiple expeditions. These are assembled through photogrammetry into stacked geo-referenced 3D point-cloud photo terrains. Photographs, taken by residents and activists, document not only expulsion and destruction but also their ongoing life and resistance. These photographs, along with other media, data, and testimony, attest to an inflicted violence by connecting the history of this local land struggle to larger-scale and longer-term environmental transformations and to the conflicts that such changes have provoked.


    https://www.naqab.org

    Et le #film :
    https://vimeo.com/223268224


    #vidéo
    –-> on montre dans le film qu’Israël détruit les habitations puis plante des #arbres (#forêt) pour effacer définitivement les traces qui restent de la vie palestinienne sur le territoire...
    A mettre en lien avec :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/317236

    #destruction #paysage #palestine #Israël #Néguev #cartographie_radicale #contre-cartographie #cartographie_critique #Forensics_Architecture #architecture_forensique #effacement #traces #désert_du_Néguev
    #al-Araqib #expropriation #bédouins
    ping @sinehebdo @reka @nepthys @albertocampiphoto

  • https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/united-states-iran-war-consequences-by-amin-saikal-2019-05?a_la=e

    https://www.youscribe.com/BookReader/Index/3055187/?documentId=3456363

    La guerre ou l’affrontement est le dernier point à réaliser. Même si la guerre est la continuité de la politique autrement.

    Il ne faut pas oublier que l’Iran est en guerre des nerfs avec USA depuis la chute du Chah en 1979 ; il est donc à tenir compte de la volonté et de la capacité militaire et civile comme les kamikazes engagés pour la cause de l’Islam chiite . Par voie de conséquence, l’Iran est plus prête que jamais pour crever cette abcès avec les américains.

    Il y a un point qui me semble important est le mélange des genres entre un pouvoir exécutif qui gouverne et un peuple divisé en opposition et pro-État islamique , je veux dire qu’une guerre civile est vite déclenchée comme la situation au Maroc qui ne cesse de se dégrader entre des pro-système de Makhzen et des oppositions qui veulent un autre système politique ,par exemple une première république marocaine. Donc si l’étincelle prend effet nous n’assisterons pas à une guerre classique ,une guerre des tranchés mais un coup de pousse à l’opposition à l’intérieure de la société iranienne.

    Et la question des missiles iraniens qui peuvent atteindre le burg Al Arab en Emirate ou l’autre burg de bouregrgue à Rabat n’est pas là, la question mais plutôt de s’interroger sur la concentration autour de l’Iran et de Téhéran que les iraniens sont censés défendre avant toute autre contre-attaque dans les bases américaines qui encerclent l’Iran .

    À l’exception d’Israël qui peut être la cible de premier plan et une valse des missiles qui détruiront les bases symboliques ,à savoir le mur de lamentation ,le knesset, le centre nucléaire dans le désert de Negev,...la précision des missiles est devenues aujourd’hui,un jeu d’enfant.

    Mais il existe un autre point plus psychologique est celui de la mentalité de Trump à supposer qu’il s’agit d’un va-t-en-guerre . Or Trump cache toujours son jeu politique et la question qui s’impose qui est l’identité de celui qui pousse Trump à la guerre ? Sans doute ses conseillés tel Bolton qui a une force d’influence et qui est un pro Israël dont personne ne sait pourquoi et comme indication ce genre de conseillers travaillent avec des petits calculs, une cuisine interne et profonde.

    Et le renforcement des militaires dans la régions est pour consolider les bases américaines car Trump ne fait pas confiance au régimes des mollahs qui peuvent s’aventurer facilement or la réalité est à l’opposée car Khameneï ne s’aventure pas et le régime iranien fait la séparation des variables et donc tout est calculé au moindre détail y compris l’aventurisme des kamikazes et je dirais plus Nasrallah qui est un fervent partisan de l’Iran ne peut s’aventurer en direction d’Israël qu’après le feu vert de Téhéran .

    Il faut aussi souligner que si les bases américaines sont détruites et militairement possible ,vu l’arsenal des missiles que l’Iran en possède ,alors ,il y va de soi, que tous ces pays arabes tomberont comme un château de carte et cette chute favoriserait ainsi une guerre civile et une opposition plus musclée. Et tout cela n’est pas dans l’intérêt des américains donc l’affrontement n’aura pas cet ampleur mais ce qui existe une sorte de dissuasion de l’autre . D’autres analystes poussent le jalon encore plus loin et avertissent Trump de ne pas s’enliser comme cela fut autrefois avec le Vietnam .

    Si Trump s’engage c’est pour sa politique intérieure , il veut un deuxième mandat et il n’y a pas mieux que la guerre à outrance. Il est rare qu’un président élu remet tout en cause la politique de son prédécesseur et c’est là où le bât blesse , quel est le jeu politique qui est toujours caché de Trump de dire la chose et son contraire de promettre et de ne pas tenir de ses propres promesses et quel est donc cette quintessence qui peut engendrer la libération des peuples arabo-musulmans surtout dans le monde arabe ? Car le reste du monde est calme et vit paisiblement … il ne faut pas oublier que Biden qui se prépare à la prochaine élection américaine est pour la poursuite de la politique d’Obama et donc à son tour de remettre en cause tout ce que fait actuellement Trump y compris cette guerre supposée avec l’Iran .

    Pour Trump , il s’agit d’un autre mode de fonctionnement ou de communication sur une guerre car selon d’autres conseils des lobbys juifs ,les mollahs ou les arabes sont comme des enfants gâtés qu’il faut être sévère et frapper fort pour qu’ils aient peur et d’exploiter l’Iran , une idée forte connues des colonialistes d’autrefois et qui marche ,sous conditions, encore aujourd’hui ,par exemple la politique étrangère de la France liées le plus souvent par le côté militaire , la destruction de la Libye,Syrie,Irak, Maroc, Algérie... rachid.elaidi@gmail.com

  • Israel is playing a big role in India’s escalating conflict with Pakistan
    Robert Fisk | The Independent - Thursday 28 February 2019
    Signing up to the ‘war on terror’ – especially ‘Islamist terror’ – may seem natural for two states built on colonial partition whose security is threatened by Muslim neighbours
    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/israel-india-pakistan-conflict-balakot-arms-trade-jaish-e-mohammed-a8

    When I heard the first news report, I assumed it was an Israeli air raid on Gaza. Or Syria. Airstrikes on a “terrorist camp” were the first words. A “command and control centre” destroyed, many “terrorists” killed. The military was retaliating for a “terrorist attack” on its troops, we were told.

    An Islamist “jihadi” base had been eliminated. Then I heard the name Balakot and realised that it was neither in Gaza, nor in Syria – not even in Lebanon – but in Pakistan. Strange thing, that. How could anyone mix up Israel and India?

    Well, don’t let the idea fade away. Two thousand five hundred miles separate the Israeli ministry of defence in Tel Aviv from the Indian ministry of defence in New Delhi, but there’s a reason why the usual cliche-stricken agency dispatches sound so similar.

    For months, Israel has been assiduously lining itself up alongside India’s nationalist BJP government in an unspoken – and politically dangerous – “anti-Islamist” coalition, an unofficial, unacknowledged alliance, while India itself has now become the largest weapons market for the Israeli arms trade.

    Not by chance, therefore, has the Indian press just trumpeted the fact that Israeli-made Rafael Spice-2000 “smart bombs” were used by the Indian air force in its strike against Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) “terrorists” inside Pakistan

    Like many Israeli boasts of hitting similar targets, the Indian adventure into Pakistan might owe more to the imagination than military success. The “300-400 terrorists” supposedly eliminated by the Israeli-manufactured and Israeli-supplied GPS-guided bombs may turn out to be little more than rocks and trees.

    But there was nothing unreal about the savage ambush of Indian troops in Kashmir on 14 February which the JeM claimed, and which left 40 Indian soldiers dead. Nor the shooting down of at least one Indian jet this week.

    India was Israel’s largest arms client in 2017, paying £530m for Israeli air defence, radar systems and ammunition, including air-to-ground missiles – most of them tested during Israel’s military offensives against Palestinians and targets in Syria.

    Israel itself is trying to explain away its continued sales of tanks, weapons and boats to the Myanmar military dictatorship – while western nations impose sanctions on the government which has attempted to destroy its minority and largely Muslim Rohingya people. But Israel’s arms trade with India is legal, above-board and much advertised by both sides.

    The Israelis have filmed joint exercises between their own “special commando” units and those sent by India to be trained in the Negev desert, again with all the expertise supposedly learned by Israel in Gaza and other civilian-thronged battlefronts. (...)

    #IsraelInde

  • Old Palestinian photos & films hidden in IDF archive show different history than Israeli claims

    Palestinian photos and films seized by Israeli troops have been gathering dust in the army and Defense Ministry archives until Dr. Rona Sela, a curator and art historian, exposed them. The material presents an alternative to the Zionist history that denied the Palestinians’ existence here, she says.

    The initial reaction is one of incredulity: Why is this material stored in the Israel Defense Forces and Defense Ministry Archive? The first item is labeled, in Hebrew, “The History of Palestine from 1919,” the second, “Paintings by Children Who Go to School and Live in a Refugee Camp and Aspire to Return to Palestine.” The third is, “Depiction of the IDF’s Treatment and Harsh Handling of Palestinians in the Territories.”

    Of all places, these three reels of 16-mm film are housed in the central archive that documents Israel’s military-security activities. It’s situated in Tel Hashomer, near the army’s National Induction Center, outside Tel Aviv.

    IDF archive contains 2.7 million photos, 38,000 films

    The three items are barely a drop in an ocean of some 38,000 films, 2.7 million photographs, 96,000 audio recordings and 46,000 maps and aerial photos that have been gathered into the IDF Archive since 1948, by order of Israel’s first prime minister and defense minister, David Ben-Gurion. However, a closer perusal shows that this particular “drop in the ocean” is subversive, exceptional and highly significant.

    The footage in question is part of a collection – whose exact size and full details remain unknown – of “war booty films” seized by the IDF from Palestinian archives in raids over the years, though primarily in the 1982 Lebanon War.

    Recently, however, following a persistent, protracted legal battle, the films confiscated in Lebanon, which had been gathering dust for decades – instead of being screened in cinematheques or other venues in Israel – have been rescued from oblivion, along with numerous still photos. The individual responsible for this development is Dr. Rona Sela, a curator and researcher of visual history at Tel Aviv University.

    For nearly 20 years, Sela has been exploring Zionist and Palestinian visual memory. She has a number of important revelations and discoveries to her credit, which she has published in the form of books, catalogs and articles. Among the Hebrew-language titles are “Photography in Palestine/Eretz-Israel in the ‘30s and ‘40s” (2000) and “Made Public: Palestinian Photographs in Military Archives in Israel” (2009). In March, she published an article in the English-language periodical Social Semiotics on, “The Genealogy of Colonial Plunder and Erasure – Israel’s Control over Palestinian Archives.”

    Now Sela has made her first film, “Looted and Hidden: Palestinian Archives in Israel,” an English-language documentary that surveys the fate of Palestinian photographs and films that were “captured” and deposited in Israeli archives. It includes heretofore unseen segments from films seized by the IDF from Palestinian archives in Beirut. These documentary records, Sela says, “were erased from consciousness and history” for decades.

    Sela begins journey in 1998

    Getting access to the films was not easy, Sela explains. Her archival journey began in 1998, when she was researching Zionist propaganda films and photos that sought to portray the “new Jew” – muscular, proudly tilling the soil – in contradistinction, according to the Zionist perception, to the supposedly degenerate and loutish Palestinian Arab.

    “After spending a few years in the Central Zionist Archive in Jerusalem and in other Zionist archives, researching the history of Zionist photography and the construction of a visual propaganda apparatus supporting the Zionist idea, I started to look for Palestinian visual representation as well, in order to learn about the Palestinian narrative and trace its origins and influence,” she says.

    That task was far more complicated than anyone could have imagined. In some of the Zionist films and photos, Sela was able to discern, often incidentally, episodes from Palestinian history that had “infiltrated” them, as she puts it. For example, in Carmel Newsreels (weekly news footage screened at local cinemas) from 1951, showing the settlement of Jews in Jaffa, demolished and abandoned Arab homes are clearly visible.

    Subsequently, Sela spotted traces and remnants of a genuine Palestinian visual archive occasionally cropping up in Israeli archives. Those traces were not immediately apparent, more like an elusive treasure concealed here and there beneath layers of restrictions, erasures and revisions.

    Khalil Rassass, father of Palestinian photojournalism

    Thus, one day she noticed in the archive of the pre-state Haganah militia, stills bearing the stamp “Photo Rissas.” Digging deeper, she discovered the story of Chalil Rissas (Khalil Rassass, 1926-1974), one of the fathers of Palestinian photojournalism. He’s unknown to the general public, whether Palestinian or Israel, but according to Sela, he was a “daring, groundbreaking photographer” who, motivated by a sense of national consciousness, documented the pre-1948 Palestinian struggle.

    Subsequently she found hundreds of his photographs, accompanied by captions written by soldiers or Israeli archive staff who had tried to foist a Zionist narrative on them and disconnect them from their original context. The source of the photographs was a Jewish youth who received them from his father, an IDF officer who brought them back with him from the War of Independence as booty.

    The discovery was unprecedented. In contrast to the Zionist propaganda images that exalted the heroism of the Jewish troops and barely referred to the Palestinians, Rissas’ photographs were mainly of Palestinian fighters. Embodying a proud Palestinian stance, they focused on the national and military struggle and its outcome, including the Palestinians’ military training and deployment for battle.

    “I realized that I’d come across something significant, that I’d found a huge cache of works by one of the fathers of Palestinian photography, who had been the first to give visual expression to the Palestinian struggle,” Sela recalls. “But when I tried to learn more about Chalil Rissas, I understood that he was a forgotten photographer, that no one knew the first thing about him, either in Israel or elsewhere.”

    Sela thereupon decided to study the subject herself. In 1999, she tracked down Rissas’ brother, Wahib, who was working as a photographer of tourists on the Temple Mount / Haram a-Sharif in Jerusalem’s Old City. He told her the story of Chalil’s life. It turned out that he had accompanied Palestinian troops and leaders, visually documenting the battles fought by residents of the Jerusalem area during the 1948 War of Independence. “He was a young man who chose the camera as an instrument for changing people’s consciousness,” Sela says.

    Ali Za’arur, forgotten Palestinian photographer

    Around 2007, she discovered the archive of another forgotten Palestinian photographer, Ali Za’arur (1900-1972), from Azzariyeh, a village east of Jerusalem. About 400 of his photos were preserved in four albums. They also depicted scenes from the 1948 war, in which Za’arur accompanied the forces of Jordan’s Arab Legion and documented the battle for the Old City of Jerusalem. He photographed the dead, the ruins, the captives, the refugees and the events of the cease-fire.

    In the Six-Day War of 1967, Za’arur fled from his home for a short time. When he returned, he discovered that the photo albums had disappeared. A relative, it emerged, had given them to Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek as a gift. Afterward, the Jerusalem Foundation donated them to the IDF Archive. In 2008, in an unprecedented act, the archive returned the albums to Za’arur’s family. The reason, Sela surmises, is that the albums were captured by the army in battle. In any event, this was, as far as is known, a unique case.

    Sela took heart from the discoveries she’d made, realizing that “with systematic work, it would be possible to uncover more Palestinian archives that ended up in Israeli hands.”

    That work was three-pronged: doing archival research to locate Palestinian photographs and films that had been incorporated into Israeli archives; holding meetings with the Palestinian photographers themselves, or members of their families; and tracking down Israeli soldiers who had taken part in “seizing these visual spoils” and in bringing them to Israel.

    In the course of her research Sela met some fascinating individuals, among them Khadijeh Habashneh, a Jordan-based Palestinian filmmaker who headed the archive and cinematheque of the Palestinian Cinema Institute. That institution, which existed from the end of the 1960s until the early ‘80s, initially in Jordan and afterward in Lebanon, was founded by three pioneering Palestinian filmmakers – Sulafa Jadallah, Hani Jawhariyyeh and Mustafa Abu Ali (Habashneh’s husband) – who sought to document their people’s way of life and national struggle. Following the events of Black September in 1970, when the Jordanian army and the Palestine Liberation Organization fought a bloody internecine war, the filmmakers moved to Lebanon and reestablished the PCI in Beirut.

    Meeting with Habashneh in Amman in 2013, Sela heard the story of the Palestinian archives that disappeared, a story she included in her new documentary. “Where to begin, when so much material was destroyed, when a life project falls apart?” Habashneh said to Sela. “I can still see these young people, pioneers, bold, imbued with ideals, revolutionaries, who created pictures and films and documented the Palestinian revolution that the world doesn’t want to see. They refused to be faceless and to be without an identity.”

    The archive established by Habashneh contained forgotten works that documented the Palestinians’ suffering in refugee camps, the resistance to Israel and battles against the IDF, as well as everyday life. The archive contained the films and the raw materials of the PCI filmmakers, but also collected other early Palestinian films, from both before and after 1948.

    Spirit of liberation

    This activity reflects “a spirit of liberation and revolt and the days of the revolution,” Habashneh says in Sela’s film, referring to the early years of the Palestinian national movement. That spirit was captured in underground photographs and with a minimal budget, on film that was developed in people’s kitchens, screened in tents in refugee camps and distributed abroad. Women, children, fighters, intellectuals and cultural figures, and events of historic importance were documented, Habashneh related. “As far as is known, this was the first official Palestinian visual archive,” Sela notes.

    In her conversation with Sela, Habashneh nostalgically recalled other, better times, when the Palestinian films were screened in a Beirut cinematheque, alongside other works with a “revolutionary spirit,” from Cuba, Chile, Vietnam and elsewhere. “We were in contact with filmmakers from other countries, who saw the camera as an instrument in the hands of the revolution and the people’s struggle,” she recalled.

    “Interesting cultural cooperation developed there, centering around revolutionary cinema,” Sela points out, adding, “Beirut was alive with an unprecedented, groundbreaking cultural flowering that was absolutely astonishing in terms of its visual significance.”

    IDF confiscates film archive

    But in 1982, after the IDF entered Beirut, that archive disappeared and was never seen again. The same fate befell two films made by Habashneh herself, one about children, the other about women. In Sela’s documentary, Habashneh wonders aloud about the circumstances in which the amazing collection disappeared. “Is our fate to live a life without a past? Without a visual history?” she asks. Since then, she has managed to reconstruct a small part of the archive. Some of the films turned up in the United States, where they had been sent to be developed. Copies of a few others remained in movie theaters in various countries where they were screened. Now in her seventies, Habashneh continues to pursue her mission, even though, as she told Sela during an early conversation, “the fate of the archive remains a puzzle.”

    What Habashneh wasn’t able to accomplish beginning in 1982 as part of a worldwide quest, Sela managed to do over the course of a few years of research in Israel. She began by locating a former IDF soldier who told her about the day on which several trucks arrived at the building in Beirut that housed a number of Palestinian archives and began to empty it out. That testimony, supported by a photograph, was crucial for Sela, as it corroborated the rumors and stories about the Palestinian archives having been taken to Israel.

    The same soldier added that he had been gripped by fear when he saw, among the photos that were confiscated from the archive, some that documented Israeli soldiers in the territories. He himself appeared in one of them. “They marked us,” he said to Sela.

    Soldiers loot Nashashibi photos & possessions, take photo from corpse

    Another former soldier told Sela about an unusual photo album that was taken (or looted, depending on one’s point of view) from the home of the prominent Nashashibi family in Jerusalem, in 1948. The soldier added that his father, who had served as an IDF officer in the War of Independence, entered a photography studio and made off with its archive, while other soldiers were busy looting pianos and other expensive objects from the Nashashibis. Another ex-soldier testified to having taken a photo from the corpse of an Arab. Over time, all these images found their way to archives in Israel, in particular the IDF Archive.

    Sela discovers IDF archive

    In 2000, Sela, buoyed by her early finds, requested permission from that archive to examine the visual materials that had been seized by the army in the 1980s. The initial response was denial: The material was not in Israel’s hands, she was told.

    “But I knew what I was looking for, because I had soldiers’ testimonies,” she says now, adding that when she persisted in her request, she encountered “difficulties, various restrictions and the torpedoing of the possibility of perusing the material.”

    The breakthrough came when she enlisted the aid of attorneys Michael Sfard and Shlomi Zacharia, in 2008. To begin with, they received word, confirmed by the Defense Ministry’s legal adviser, that various spoils taken in Beirut were now part of the IDF Archive. However, Sela was subsequently informed that “the PLO’s photography archive,” as the Defense Ministry referred in general to photographic materials taken from the Palestinians, is “archival material on matters of foreign affairs and security, and as such is ‘restricted material’ as defined in Par. 7(a) of the Archives Regulations.”

    Then, one day in 2010, Sela received a fax informing her that Palestinian films had been found in the IDF Archive, without elaboration, and inviting her to view them. “There were a few dozen segments from films, and I was astonished by what I saw,” she says. “At first I was shown only a very limited amount of footage, but it was indicative of the whole. On the basis of my experience, I understood that there was more.”

    A few more years of what Sela terms “endless nagging, conversations and correspondence” passed, which resulted in her being permitted to view dozens of segments of additional films, including some that apparently came from Habashneh’s archive. Sela also discovered another Palestinian archive that had been seized by the IDF. Established under the aegis of the PLO’s Cultural Arts Section, its director in the 1970s was the Lod-born painter and historian Ismail Shammout (1930-2006).

    One of the works in that collection is Shammout’s own film “The Urgent Call,” whose theme song was written and performed by the Palestinian singer Zainab Shathat in English, accompanying herself on the guitar. “The film was thought to be lost until I found it in the IDF Archive,” says Sela, who describes “The Urgent Call” as “a cry about the condition of Palestine, its sons and its daughters.”

    Viewing it takes one back in time to the late 1960s and early ‘70s, when the cinema of the Palestinian struggle briefly connected with other international revolutionary film movements.

    Legendary French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard

    For example, in 1969 and 1970 Jean-Luc Godard, the legendary filmmaker of the French New Wave in cinema, visited Jordan and Lebanon several times with the Dziga Vertov Group of French filmmakers (named after the Soviet pioneer documentarian of the 1920s and ‘30s), who included filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin, who worked with Godard in his “radical” period. They came to shoot footage in refugee camps and in fedayeen bases for Godard’s film “Until Victory.” Habashneh told Sela that she and others had met Godard, assisted him and were of course influenced by his work. [Ed. note: Godard’s work on Palestine caused him to be accused of antisemitism by the Washington Post’s Richard Cohen and others. “In Hollywood there is no greater sin,” the Guardian reported.]

    Along with “The Urgent Call” – excerpts from which are included in her “Looted and Hidden” documentary – Sela also found another Shammout work in the IDF Archive. Titled “Memories and Fire,” it chronicles 20th-century Palestinian history, “from the days depicting the idyllic life in Palestine, via the documentation of refugeehood, to the documentation of the organizing and the resistance. To use the terms of the Palestinian cinema scholar and filmmaker George Khleifi, the aggressive fighter took the place of the ill-fated refugee,” she adds.

    Sela also found footage by the Iraqi director Kais al-Zubaidi, who worked for a time in the PLO’s Cultural Arts Section. His films from that period include “Away from Home” (1969) and “The Visit” (1970); in 2006 he published an anthology, “Palestine in the Cinema,” a history of the subject, which mentions some 800 films that deal with Palestine or the Palestinian people. [Ed. note: unfortunately it appears this book has never been translated into English.]

    IDF seals the archive for decades

    Some of the Palestinian movies in the IDF Archive bear their original titles. However, in many other cases this archival material was re-cataloged to suit the Israeli perspective, so that Palestinian “fighters” became “gangs” or “terrorists,” for example. In one case, a film of Palestinians undergoing arms training is listed as “Terrorist camp in Kuwait: Distribution of uniforms, girls crawling with weapons, terrorists marching with weapons in the hills, instruction in laying mines and in arms.”

    Sela: “These films and stills, though not made by Jewish/Israeli filmmakers or military units – which is the central criterion for depositing materials in the Israeli army archive – were transferred to the IDF Archive and subordinated to the rules of the State of Israel. The archive immediately sealed them for many decades and cataloged them according to its terminology – which is Zionist, Jewish and Israeli – and not according to the original Palestinian terminology. I saw places where the word ‘terrorists’ was written on photographs taken by Palestinians. But after all, they do not call themselves as such. It’s part of terminological camouflaging, which subordinated their creative work to the colonial process in which the occupier controls the material that’s captured.”

    Hidden Palestinian history

    Sela’s discoveries, which are of international importance, are not only a research, documentation and academic achievement: They also constitute a breakthrough in regard to the chronicling of Palestinian history. “Palestinian visual historiography lacks many chapters,” she observes. “Many photographs and archives were destroyed, were lost, taken as spoils or plundered in the various wars and in the course of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

    From her point of view, the systematic collecting of Palestinian visual materials in the IDF Archive “makes it possible to write an alternative history that counteracts the content created by the army and the military archive, which is impelled by ideological and political considerations.” In the material she found in the army archive, she sees “images that depict the history of the Palestinian people and its long-term ties to this soil and this place, which present an alternative to the Zionist history that denied the Palestinians’ existence here, as well as their culture and history and the protracted tragedy they endured and their national struggle of many years.”

    The result is an intriguing paradox, such as one often finds by digging deep into an archive. The extensive information that Sela found in the IDF Archive makes it possible to reconstruct elements of the pre-1948 existence of the Palestinians and to help fill in the holes of the Palestinian narrative up until the 1980s. In other words, even if Israel’s intention was to hide these items and to control the Palestinians’ historical treasures, its actions actually abet the process of preservation, and will go on doing so in the future.

    Earlier groundbreaking discovery – confiscated Palestinians books & libraries

    Sela’s research on visual archival materials was preceded by another groundbreaking study – dealing with the written word – conducted by Dr. Gish Amit, an expert on the cultural aspects of Zionism at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Amit chronicled the fate of Palestinian books and libraries that, like the photographs and films Sela found, ended up in Israeli archives – including in the National Library in Jerusalem.

    In his 2014 book, “Ex-Libris: Chronicles of Theft, Preservation, and Appropriating at the Jewish National Library” (Hebrew), Amit trenchantly analyzes the foredoomed failure of any attempt to conceal and control the history of others. According to him, “an archive remembers its forgettings and erasures,” “documents injustice, and thus makes it possible to trace its paths” and “paves a way for forgotten histories which may, one day, convict the owners” of the documents.

    However, Amit also sees the complexity of this story and presents another side of it. Describing the operation in which the Palestinian books were collected by Israeli soldiers and National Library personnel during the War of Independence, he raises the possibility that this was actually an act involving rescue, preservation and accessibility: “On the one hand, the books were collected and not burned or left in the abandoned houses in the Arab neighborhoods that had been emptied of their inhabitants. Had they not been collected their fate would have been sealed — not a trace of them would remain,” he writes, adding, that the National Library “protected the books from the war, the looting and the destruction, and from illegal trade in manuscripts.”

    According to the National Library, it is holding about 6,500 Palestinian books and manuscripts, which were taken from private homes whose owners left in 1948. The entire collection is cataloged and accessible to the general public, but is held under the responsibility of the Custodian of Absentees’ Property in the Finance Ministry. Accordingly, there is no intention, in the near future, of trying to locate the owners and returning the items.

    Israeli control over history

    Sela views the existence of these spoils of war in Israel as a direct expression of the occupation, which she defines, beyond Israel’s physical presence in the territories, as “the control of history, the writing of culture and the shaping of identity.” In her view, “Israel’s rule over the Palestinians is not only geographic but extends also to culture and consciousness. Israel wants to erase this history from the public consciousness, but it is not being successful, because the force of the resistance is stronger. Furthermore, its attempts to erase Palestinian history adversely affect Israel itself in the end.”

    At this point, Sela resorts to a charged comparison, to illustrate how visual materials contribute to the creation of personal and collective identity. “As the daughter of Holocaust survivors,” she says, “I grew up in a home without photographic historical memory. Nothing. My history starts only with the meeting of my parents, in 1953. It’s only from then that we have photos. Before that – nothing.

    “I know what it feels like when you have no idea what your grandmother or grandfather looked like, or your father’s childhood,” she continues. “This is all the more true of the history of a whole people. The construction of identity by means of visual materials is very meaningful. Many researchers have addressed this topic. The fact is that Zionist bodies made and are continuing to make extensive and rational use of [such materials too] over a period that spans decades.”

    Sela admits that there is still much to be done, but as far as she’s concerned, once a crack appeared in the wall, there was no turning back. “There is a great deal of material, including hundreds of films, that I haven’t yet got to,” she notes. “This is an amazing treasure, which contains information about the cultural, educational, rural and urban life of the Palestinian people throughout the 20th century – an erased narrative that needs to be restored to the history books,” she adds.

    Asked what she thinks should be done with the material, she asserts, “Of course it has to be returned. Just as Israel is constantly fighting to retrieve what the Nazis looted from Jews in the Holocaust. The historical story is different, but by the same criterion, practice what you preach. These are cultural and historical materials of the Palestinian people.”

    The fact that these items are being held by Israel “creates a large hole in Palestinian research and knowledge,” Sela avers. “It’s a hole for which Israel is responsible. This material does not belong to us. It has to be returned to its owners. Afterward, if we view it intelligently, we too can come to know and understand highly meaningful chapters in Palestinian history and in our own history. I think that the first and basic stage in the process of conciliation is to know the history of the Other and also your own history of controlling the Other.”

    Defense Ministry response

    A spokesperson for the Defense Ministry, which was asked to comment on the holdings in the IDF Archive, the archive contains 642 “war booty films,” most of which deal with refugees and were produced by the UNRWA (the United Nations refugee relief agency) in the 1960s and 1970s. The ministry also noted that 158 films that were seized by the IDF in the 1982 Lebanon War are listed in orderly fashion in the reading-room catalog and are available for perusal by the general public, including Arab citizens and Palestinians.

    As for the Palestinian photographs that were confiscated, the Defense Ministry stated that there is no orderly record of them. There are 127 files of photographs and negatives in the archive, each of which contains dozens of photographs, probably taken between the 1960s and the 1980s, on a variety of subjects, including visits of foreign delegations to PLO personnel, tours of PLO delegations abroad, Palestinian art and heritage, art objects, traditional attire and Palestinian folklore, factories and workshops, demonstrations, mass parades and rallies held by the PLO, portraits of Arab personalities and PLO symbols.

    The statement adds that a few months ago, crates were located that were stamped by their original owners, “PLO/Department of Information and National Guidance and Department of Information and Culture,” during the evacuation of the archive’s storerooms in the Tzrifin base.

    https://israelpalestinenews.org/old-palestinian-photos-films-hidden-idf-archive-show-different-
    #historicisation #Israël #Palestine #photographie #films #archive #histoire #Khalil_Rassass #Ali_Za’arur
    ping @reka @sinehebdo @albertocampiphoto

  • The Knesset candidate who says Zionism encourages anti-Semitism and calls Netanyahu ’arch-murderer’ - Israel Election 2019 - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/elections/.premium.MAGAZINE-knesset-candidate-netanyahu-is-an-arch-murderer-zionism-e

    Few Israelis have heard of Dr. Ofer Cassif, the Jewish representative on the far-leftist Hadash party’s Knesset slate. On April 9, that will change
    By Ravit Hecht Feb 16, 2019

    Ofer Cassif is fire and brimstone. Not even the flu he’s suffering from today can contain his bursting energy. His words are blazing, and he bounds through his modest apartment, searching frenetically for books by Karl Marx and Primo Levi in order to find quotations to back up his ideas. Only occasional sips from a cup of maté bring his impassioned delivery to a momentary halt. The South American drink is meant to help fight his illness, he explains.

    Cassif is third on the slate of Knesset candidates in Hadash (the Hebrew acronym for the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality), the successor to Israel’s Communist Party. He holds the party’s “Jewish slot,” replacing MK Dov Khenin. Cassif is likely to draw fire from opponents and be a conspicuous figure in the next Knesset, following the April 9 election.

    Indeed, the assault on him began as soon as he was selected by the party’s convention. The media pursued him; a columnist in the mass-circulation Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Ben-Dror Yemini, called for him to be disqualified from running for the Knesset. It would be naive to say that this was unexpected. Cassif, who was one of the first Israeli soldiers to refuse to serve in the territories, in 1987, gained fame thanks to a number of provocative statements. The best known is his branding of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked as “neo-Nazi scum.” On another occasion, he characterized Jews who visit the Temple Mount as “cancer with metastases that have to be eradicated.”

    On his alternate Facebook page, launched after repeated blockages of his original account by a blitz of posts from right-wing activists, he asserted that Culture Minister Miri Regev is “repulsive gutter contamination,” that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is an “arch-murderer” and that the new Israel Defense Forces chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, is a “war criminal.”

    Do you regret making those remarks?

    Cassif: “‘Regret’ is a word of emotion. Those statements were made against a background of particular events: the fence in Gaza, horrible legislation, and the wild antics of Im Tirtzu [an ultranationalist organization] on campus. That’s what I had to say at the time. I didn’t count on being in the Knesset. That wasn’t part of my plan. But it’s clear to me that as a public personality, I would not have made those comments.”

    Is Netanyahu an arch-murderer?

    “Yes. I wrote it in the specific context of a particular day in the Gaza Strip. A massacre of innocent people was perpetrated there, and no one’s going to persuade me that those people were endangering anyone. It’s a concentration camp. Not a ‘concentration camp’ in the sense of Bergen-Belsen; I am absolutely not comparing the Holocaust to what’s happening.”

    You term what Israel is doing to the Palestinians “genocide.”

    “I call it ‘creeping genocide.’ Genocide is not only a matter of taking people to gas chambers. When Yeshayahu Leibowitz used the term ‘Judeo-Nazis,’ people asked him, ‘How can you say that? Are we about to build gas chambers?’ To that, he had two things to say. First, if the whole difference between us and the Nazis boils down to the fact that we’re not building gas chambers, we’re already in trouble. And second, maybe we won’t use gas chambers, but the mentality that exists today in Israel – and he said this 40 years ago – would allow it. I’m afraid that today, after four years of such an extreme government, it possesses even greater legitimacy.

    “But you know what, put aside ‘genocide’ – ethnic cleansing is taking place there. And that ethnic cleansing is also being carried out by means of killing, although mainly by way of humiliation and of making life intolerable. The trampling of human dignity. It reminds me of Primo Levi’s ‘If This Is a Man.’”

    You say you’re not comparing, but you repeatedly come back to Holocaust references. On Facebook, you also uploaded the scene from “Schindler’s List” in which the SS commander Amon Goeth picks off Jews with his rifle from the balcony of his quarters in the camp. You compared that to what was taking place along the border fence in the Gaza Strip.

    “Today, I would find different comparisons. In the past I wrote an article titled, ‘On Holocaust and on Other Crimes.’ It’s online [in Hebrew]. I wrote there that anyone who compares Israel to the Holocaust is cheapening the Holocaust. My comparison between here and what happened in the early 1930s [in Germany] is a very different matter.”

    Clarity vs. crudity

    Given Cassif’s style, not everyone in Hadash was happy with his election, particularly when it comes to the Jewish members of the predominantly Arab party. Dov Khenin, for example, declined to be interviewed and say what he thinks of his parliamentary successor. According to a veteran party figure, “From the conversations I had, it turns out that almost none of the Jewish delegates – who make up about 100 of the party’s 940 delegates – supported his candidacy.

    “He is perceived, and rightly so,” the party veteran continues, “as someone who closes doors to Hadash activity within Israeli society. Each of the other Jewish candidates presented a record of action and of struggles they spearheaded. What does he do? Curses right-wing politicians on Facebook. Why did the party leadership throw the full force of its weight behind him? In a continuation of the [trend exemplified by] its becoming part of the Joint List, Ofer’s election reflects insularity and an ongoing retreat from the historical goal of implementing change in Israeli society.”

    At the same time, as his selection by a 60 percent majority shows, many in the party believe that it’s time to change course. “Israeli society is moving rightward, and what’s perceived as Dov’s [Khenin] more gentle style didn’t generate any great breakthrough on the Jewish street,” a senior source in Hadash notes.

    “It’s not a question of the tension between extremism and moderation, but of how to signpost an alternative that will develop over time. Clarity, which is sometimes called crudity, never interfered with cooperation between Arabs and Jews. On the contrary. Ofer says things that we all agreed with but didn’t so much say, and of course that’s going to rile the right wing. And a good thing, too.”

    Hadash chairman MK Ayman Odeh also says he’s pleased with the choice, though sources in the party claim that Odeh is apprehensive about Cassif’s style and that he actually supported a different candidate. “Dov went for the widest possible alliances in order to wield influence,” says Odeh. “Ofer will go for very sharp positions at the expense of the breadth of the alliance. But his sharp statements could have a large impact.”

    Khenin was deeply esteemed by everyone. When he ran for mayor of Tel Aviv in 2008, some 35 percent of the electorate voted for him, because he was able to touch people who weren’t only from his political milieu.

    Odeh: “No one has a higher regard for Dov than I do. But just to remind you, we are not a regular opposition, we are beyond the pale. And there are all kinds of styles. Influence can be wielded through comments that are vexatious the first time but which people get used to the second time. When an Arab speaks about the Nakba and about the massacre in Kafr Kassem [an Israeli Arab village, in 1956], it will be taken in a particular way, but when uttered by a Jew it takes on special importance.”

    He will be the cause of many attacks on the party.

    “Ahlan wa sahlan – welcome.”

    Cassif will be the first to tell you that, with all due respect for the approach pursued by Khenin and by his predecessor in the Jewish slot, Tamar Gozansky, he will be something completely different. “I totally admire what Tamar and Dov did – nothing less than that,” he says, while adding, “But my agenda will be different. The three immediate dangers to Israeli society are the occupation, racism and the diminishment of the democratic space to the point of liquidation. That’s the agenda that has to be the hub of the struggle, as long as Israel rules over millions of people who have no rights, enters [people’s houses] in the middle of the night, arrests minors on a daily basis and shoots people in the back.

    "Israel commits murder on a daily basis. When you murder one Palestinian, you’re called Elor Azaria [the IDF soldier convicted and jailed for killing an incapacitated Palestinian assailant]; when you murder and oppress thousands of Palestinians, you’re called the State of Israel.”

    So you plan to be the provocateur in the next Knesset?

    “It’s not my intention to be a provocateur, to stand there and scream and revile people. Even on Facebook I was compelled to stop that. But I definitely intend to challenge the dialogue in terms of the content, and mainly with a type of sarcasm.”

    ’Bags of blood’

    Cassif, 54, who holds a doctorate in political philosophy from the London School of Economics, teaches political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Sapir Academic College in Sderot and at the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo. He lives in Rehovot, is married and is the father of a 19-year-old son. He’s been active in Hadash for three decades and has held a number of posts in the party.

    As a lecturer, he stands out for his boldness and fierce rhetoric, which draws students of all stripes. He even hangs out with some of his Haredi students, one of whom wrote a post on the eve of the Hadash primary urging the delegates to choose him. After his election, a student from a settlement in the territories wrote to him, “You are a determined and industrious person, and for that I hold you in high regard. Hoping we will meet on the field of action and growth for the success of Israel as a Jewish, democratic state (I felt obliged to add a small touch of irony in conclusion).”

    Cassif grew up in a home that supported Mapai, forerunner of Labor, in Rishon Letzion. He was an only child; his father was an accountant, his mother held a variety of jobs. He was a news hound from an early age, and at 12 ran for the student council in school. He veered sharply to the left in his teens, becoming a keen follower of Marx and socialism.

    Following military service in the IDF’s Nahal brigade and a period in the airborne Nahal, Cassif entered the Hebrew University. There his political career moved one step forward, and there he also forsook the Zionist left permanently. His first position was as a parliamentary aide to the secretary general of the Communist Party, Meir Wilner.

    “At first I was closer to Mapam [the United Workers Party, which was Zionist], and then I refused to serve in the territories. I was the first refusenik in the first intifada to be jailed. I didn’t get support from Mapam, I got support from the people of Hadash, and I drew close to them. I was later jailed three more times for refusing to serve in the territories.”

    His rivals in the student organizations at the Hebrew University remember him as the epitome of the extreme left.

    “Even in the Arab-Jewish student association, Cassif was considered off-the-wall,” says Motti Ohana, who was chairman of Likud’s student association and active in the Student Union at the end of the 1980s and early 1990s. “One time I got into a brawl with him. It was during the first intifada, when he brought two bags of blood, emptied them out in the university’s corridors and declared, ‘There is no difference between Jewish and Arab blood,’ likening Israeli soldiers to terrorists. The custom on campus was that we would quarrel, left-right, Arabs-Jews, and after that we would sit together, have a coffee and talk. But not Cassif.”

    According to Ohana, today a member of the Likud central committee, the right-wing activists knew that, “You could count on Ofer to fall into every trap. There was one event at the Hebrew University that was a kind of political Hyde Park. The right wanted to boot the left out of there, so we hung up the flag. It was obvious that Ofer would react, and in fact he tore the flag, and in the wake of the ruckus that developed, political activity was stopped for good.”

    Replacing the anthem

    Cassif voices clearly and cogently positions that challenge the public discourse in Israel, and does so with ardor and charisma. Four candidates vied for Hadash’s Jewish slot, and they all delivered speeches at the convention. The three candidates who lost to him – Efraim Davidi, Yaela Raanan and the head of the party’s Tel Aviv branch, Noa Levy – described their activity and their guiding principles. When they spoke, there was the regular buzz of an audience that’s waiting for lunch. But when Cassif took the stage, the effect was magnetic.

    “Peace will not be established without a correction of the crimes of the Nakba and [recognition of] the right of return,” he shouted, and the crowd cheered him. As one senior party figure put it, “Efraim talked about workers’ rights, Yaela about the Negev, Noa about activity in Tel Aviv – and Ofer was Ofer.”

    What do you mean by “right of return”?

    Cassif: “The first thing is the actual recognition of the Nakba and of the wrong done by Israel. Compare it to the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions in South Africa, if you like, or with the commissions in Chile after Pinochet. Israel must recognize the wrong it committed. Now, recognition of the wrong also includes recognition of the right of return. The question is how it’s implemented. It has to be done by agreement. I can’t say that tomorrow Tel Aviv University has to be dismantled and that Sheikh Munis [the Arab village on whose ruins the university stands] has to be rebuilt there. The possibility can be examined of giving compensation in place of return, for example.”

    But what is the just solution, in your opinion?

    “For the Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland.”

    That means there will be Jews who will have to leave their home.

    “In some places, unequivocally, yes. People will have to be told: ‘You must evacuate your places.’ The classic example is Ikrit and Biram [Christian-Arab villages in Galilee whose residents were promised – untruly – by the Israeli authorities in 1948 that they would be able to return, and whose lands were turned over to Jewish communities]. But there are places where there is certainly greater difficulty. You don’t right one wrong with another.”

    What about the public space in Israel? What should it look like?

    “The public space has to change, to belong to all the state’s residents. I dispute the conception of ‘Jewish publicness.’”

    How should that be realized?

    “For example, by changing the national symbols, changing the national anthem. [Former Hadash MK] Mohammed Barakeh once suggested ‘I Believe’ [‘Sahki, Sahki’] by [Shaul] Tchernichovsky – a poem that is not exactly an expression of Palestinian nationalism. He chose it because of the line, ‘For in mankind I’ll believe.’ What does it mean to believe in mankind? It’s not a Jew, or a Palestinian, or a Frenchman, or I don’t know what.”

    What’s the difference between you and the [Arab] Balad party? Both parties overall want two states – a state “of all its citizens” and a Palestinian state.

    “In the big picture, yes. But Balad puts identity first on the agenda. We are not nationalists. We do not espouse nationalism as a supreme value. For us, self-determination is a means. We are engaged in class politics. By the way, Balad [the National Democratic Assembly] and Ta’al [MK Ahmad Tibi’s Arab Movement for Renewal] took the idea of a state of all its citizens from us, from Hadash. We’ve been talking about it for ages.”

    If you were a Palestinian, what would you do today?

    “In Israel, what my Palestinian friends are doing, and I with them – [wage] a parliamentary and extra-parliamentary struggle.”

    And what about the Palestinians in the territories?

    “We have always been against harming innocent civilians. Always. In all our demonstrations, one of our leading slogans was: ‘In Gaza and in Sderot, children want to live.’ With all my criticism of the settlers, to enter a house and slaughter children, as in the case of the Fogel family [who were murdered in their beds in the settlement of Itamar in 2011], is intolerable. You have to be a human being and reject that.”

    And attacks on soldiers?

    “An attack on soldiers is not terrorism. Even Netanyahu, in his book about terrorism, explicitly categorizes attacks on soldiers or on the security forces as guerrilla warfare. It’s perfectly legitimate, according to every moral criterion – and, by the way, in international law. At the same time, I am not saying it’s something wonderful, joyful or desirable. The party’s Haifa office is on Ben-Gurion Street, and suddenly, after years, I noticed a memorial plaque there for a fighter in Lehi [pre-state underground militia, also known as the Stern Gang] who assassinated a British officer. Wherever there has been a struggle for liberation from oppression, there are national heroes, who in 90 percent of the cases carried out some operations that were unlawful. Nelson Mandela is today considered a hero, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but according to the conventional definition, he was a terrorist. Most of the victims of the ANC [African National Congress] were civilians.”

    In other words, today’s Hamas commanders who are carrying out attacks on soldiers will be heroes of the future Palestinian state?

    “Of course.”

    Anti-Zionist identity

    Cassif terms himself an explicit anti-Zionist. “There are three reasons for that,” he says. “To begin with, Zionism is a colonialist movement, and as a socialist, I am against colonialism. Second, as far as I am concerned, Zionism is racist in ideology and in practice. I am not referring to the definition of race theory – even though there are also some who impute that to the Zionist movement – but to what I call Jewish supremacy. No socialist can accept that. My supreme value is equality, and I can’t abide any supremacy – Jewish or Arab. The third thing is that Zionism, like other ethno-nationalistic movements, splits the working class and all weakened groups. Instead of uniting them in a struggle for social justice, for equality, for democracy, it divides the exploited classes and the enfeebled groups, and by that means strengthens the rule of capital.”

    He continues, “Zionism also sustains anti-Semitism. I don’t say it does so deliberately – even though I have no doubt that there are some who do it deliberately, like Netanyahu, who is connected to people like the prime minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban, and the leader of the far right in Austria, Hans Christian Strache.”

    Did Mapai-style Zionism also encourage anti-Semitism?

    “The phenomenon was very striking in Mapai. Think about it for a minute, not only historically, but logically. If the goal of political and practical Zionism is really the establishment of a Jewish state containing a Jewish majority, and for Diaspora Jewry to settle there, nothing serves them better than anti-Semitism.”

    What in their actions encouraged anti-Semitism?

    “The very appeal to Jews throughout the world – the very fact of treating them as belonging to the same nation, when they were living among other nations. The whole old ‘dual loyalty’ story – Zionism actually encouraged that. Therefore, I maintain that anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism are not the same thing, but are precisely opposites. That doesn’t mean, of course, that there are no anti-Zionists who are also anti-Semites. Most of the BDS people are of course anti-Zionists, but they are in no way anti-Semites. But there are anti-Semites there, too.”

    Do you support BDS?

    “It’s too complex a subject for a yes or no answer; there are aspects I don’t support.”

    Do you think that the Jews deserve a national home in the Land of Israel?

    “I don’t know what you mean by ‘national home.’ It’s very amorphous. We in Hadash say explicitly that Israel has a right to exist as a sovereign state. Our struggle is not against the state’s existence, but over its character.”

    But that state is the product of the actions of the Zionist movement, which you say has been colonialist and criminal from day one.

    “That’s true, but the circumstances have changed. That’s the reason that the majority of the members of the Communist Party accepted the [1947] partition agreement at the time. They recognized that the circumstances had changed. I think that one of the traits that sets communist thought apart, and makes it more apt, is the understanding and the attempt to strike the proper balance between what should be, and reality. So it’s true that Zionism started as colonialism, but what do you do with the people who were already born here? What do you tell them? Because your grandparents committed a crime, you have to leave? The question is how you transform the situation that’s been created into one that’s just, democratic and equal.”

    So, a person who survived a death camp and came here is a criminal?

    “The individual person, of course not. I’m in favor of taking in refugees in distress, no matter who or what they are. I am against Zionism’s cynical use of Jews in distress, including the refugees from the Holocaust. I have a problem with the fact that the natives whose homeland this is cannot return, while people for whom it’s not their homeland, can, because they supposedly have some sort of blood tie and an ‘imaginary friend’ promised them the land.”

    I understand that you are in favor of the annulment of the Law of Return?

    “Yes. Definitely.”

    But you are in favor of the Palestinian right of return.

    “There’s no comparison. There’s no symmetry here at all. Jerry Seinfeld was by chance born to a Jewish family. What’s his connection to this place? Why should he have preference over a refugee from Sabra or Chatila, or Edward Said, who did well in the United States? They are the true refugees. This is their homeland. Not Seinfeld’s.”

    Are you critical of the Arabs, too?

    “Certainly. One criticism is of their cooperation with imperialism – take the case of today’s Saudi Arabia, Qatar and so on. Another, from the past, relates to the reactionary forces that did not accept that the Jews have a right to live here.”

    Hadash refrained from criticizing the Assad regime even as it was massacring civilians in Syria. The party even torpedoed a condemnation of Assad after the chemical attack. Do you identify with that approach?

    “Hadash was critical of the Assad regime – father and son – for years, so we can’t be accused in any way of supporting Assad or Hezbollah. We are not Ba’ath, we are not Islamists. We are communists. But as I said earlier, the struggle, unfortunately, is generally not between the ideal and what exists in practice, but many times between two evils. And then you have to ask yourself which is the lesser evil. The Syrian constellation is extremely complicated. On the one hand, there is the United States, which is intervening, and despite all the pretense of being against ISIS, supported ISIS and made it possible for ISIS to sprout.

    "I remind you that ISIS started from the occupation of Iraq. And ideologically and practically, ISIS is definitely a thousand times worse than the Assad regime, which is at base also a secular regime. Our position was and is against the countries that pose the greatest danger to regional peace, which above all are Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and the United States, which supports them. That doesn’t mean that we support Assad.”

    Wrong language

    Cassif’s economic views are almost as far from the consensus as his political ideas. He lives modestly in an apartment that’s furnished like a young couple’s first home. You won’t find an espresso maker or unnecessary products of convenience in his place. To his credit, it can be said that he extracts the maximum from Elite instant coffee.

    What is your utopian vision – to nationalize Israel’s conglomerates, such as Cellcom, the telecommunications company, or Osem, the food manufacturer and distributor?

    “The bottom line is yes. How exactly will it be done? That’s an excellent question, which I can’t answer. Perhaps by transferring ownership to the state or to the workers, with democratic tools. And there are other alternatives. But certainly, I would like it if a large part of the resources were not in private hands, as was the case before the big privatizations. It’s true that it won’t be socialism, because, again, there can be no such thing as Zionist socialism, but there won’t be privatization like we have today. What is the result of capitalism in Israel? The collapse of the health system, the absence of a social-welfare system, a high cost of living and of housing, the elderly and the disabled in a terrible situation.”

    Does any private sector have the right to exist?

    “Look, the question is what you mean by ‘private sector.’ If we’re talking about huge concerns that the owners of capital control completely through their wealth, then no.”

    What growth was there in the communist countries? How can anyone support communism, in light of the grim experience wherever it was tried?

    “It’s true, we know that in the absolute majority of societies where an attempt was made to implement socialism, there was no growth or prosperity, and we need to ask ourselves why, and how to avoid that. When I talk about communism, I’m not talking about Stalin and all the crimes that were committed in the name of the communist idea. Communism is not North Korea and it is not Pol Pot in Cambodia. Heaven forbid.”

    And what about Venezuela?

    “Venezuela is not communism. In fact, they didn’t go far enough in the direction of socialism.”

    Chavez was not enough of a socialist?

    “Chavez, but in particular Maduro. The Communist Party is critical of the regime. They support it because the main enemy is truly American imperialism and its handmaidens. Let’s look at what the U.S. did over the years. At how many times it invaded and employed bullying, fascist forces. Not only in Latin America, its backyard, but everywhere.”

    Venezuela is falling apart, people there don’t have anything to eat, there’s no medicine, everyone who can flees – and it’s the fault of the United States?

    “You can’t deny that the regime has made mistakes. It’s not ideal. But basically, it is the result of American imperialism and its lackeys. After all, the masses voted for Chavez and for Maduro not because things were good for them. But because American corporations stole the country’s resources and filled their own pockets. I wouldn’t make Chavez into an icon, but he did some excellent things.”

    Then how do you generate individual wealth within the method you’re proposing? I understand that I am now talking to you capitalistically, but the reality is that people see the accumulation of assets as an expression of progress in life.

    “Your question is indeed framed in capitalist language, which simply departs from what I believe in. Because you are actually asking me how the distribution of resources is supposed to occur within the capitalist framework. And I say no, I am not talking about resource distribution within a capitalist framework.”

    Gantz vs. Netanyahu

    Cassif was chosen as the polls showed Meretz and Labor, the representatives of the Zionist left, barely scraping through into the next Knesset and in fact facing a serious possibility of electoral extinction. The critique of both parties from the radical left is sometimes more acerbic than from the right.

    Would you like to see the Labor Party disappear?

    “No. I think that what’s happening at the moment with Labor and with Meretz is extremely dangerous. I speak about them as collectives, because they contain individuals with whom I see no possibility of engaging in a dialogue. But I think that they absolutely must be in the Knesset.”

    Is a left-winger who defines himself as a Zionist your partner in any way?

    “Yes. We need partners. We can’t be picky. Certainly we will cooperate with liberals and Zionists on such issues as combating violence against women or the battle to rescue the health system. Maybe even in putting an end to the occupation.”

    I’ll put a scenario to you: Benny Gantz does really well in the election and somehow overcomes Netanyahu. Do you support the person who led Operation Protective Edge in Gaza when he was chief of staff?

    “Heaven forbid. But we don’t reject people, we reject policy. I remind you that it was [then-defense minister] Yitzhak Rabin who led the most violent tendency in the first intifada, with his ‘Break their bones.’ But when he came to the Oslo Accords, it was Hadash and the Arab parties that gave him, from outside the coalition, an insurmountable bloc. I can’t speak for the party, but if there is ever a government whose policy is one that we agree with – eliminating the occupation, combating racism, abolishing the nation-state law – I believe we will give our support in one way or another.”

    And if Gantz doesn’t declare his intention to eliminate the occupation, he isn’t preferable to Netanyahu in any case?

    “If so, why should we recommend him [to the president to form the next government]? After the clips he posted boasting about how many people he killed and how he hurled Gaza back into the Stone Age, I’m far from certain that he’s better.”

    #Hadash

    • traduction d’un extrait [ d’actualité ]

      Le candidat à la Knesset dit que le sionisme encourage l’antisémitisme et qualifie Netanyahu de « meurtrier »
      Peu d’Israéliens ont entendu parler de M. Ofer Cassif, représentant juif de la liste de la Knesset du parti d’extrême gauche Hadash. Le 9 avril, cela changera.
      Par Ravit Hecht 16 février 2019 – Haaretz

      (…) Identité antisioniste
      Cassif se dit un antisioniste explicite. « Il y a trois raisons à cela », dit-il. « Pour commencer, le sionisme est un mouvement colonialiste et, en tant que socialiste, je suis contre le colonialisme. Deuxièmement, en ce qui me concerne, le sionisme est raciste d’idéologie et de pratique. Je ne fais pas référence à la définition de la théorie de la race - même si certains l’imputent également au mouvement sioniste - mais à ce que j’appelle la suprématie juive. Aucun socialiste ne peut accepter cela. Ma valeur suprême est l’égalité et je ne peux supporter aucune suprématie - juive ou arabe. La troisième chose est que le sionisme, comme d’autres mouvements ethno-nationalistes, divise la classe ouvrière et tous les groupes sont affaiblis. Au lieu de les unir dans une lutte pour la justice sociale, l’égalité, la démocratie, il divise les classes exploitées et affaiblit les groupes, renforçant ainsi le pouvoir du capital. "
      Il poursuit : « Le sionisme soutient également l’antisémitisme. Je ne dis pas qu’il le fait délibérément - même si je ne doute pas qu’il y en a qui le font délibérément, comme Netanyahu, qui est connecté à des gens comme le Premier ministre de la Hongrie, Viktor Orban, et le chef de l’extrême droite. en Autriche, Hans Christian Strache. ”

      Le sionisme type-Mapaï a-t-il également encouragé l’antisémitisme ?
      « Le phénomène était très frappant au Mapai. Pensez-y une minute, non seulement historiquement, mais logiquement. Si l’objectif du sionisme politique et pratique est en réalité de créer un État juif contenant une majorité juive et de permettre à la communauté juive de la diaspora de s’y installer, rien ne leur sert mieux que l’antisémitisme. "

      Qu’est-ce qui, dans leurs actions, a encouragé l’antisémitisme ?
      « L’appel même aux Juifs du monde entier - le fait même de les traiter comme appartenant à la même nation, alors qu’ils vivaient parmi d’autres nations. Toute la vieille histoire de « double loyauté » - le sionisme a en fait encouragé cela. Par conséquent, j’affirme que l’antisémitisme et l’antisionisme ne sont pas la même chose, mais sont précisément des contraires. Bien entendu, cela ne signifie pas qu’il n’y ait pas d’antisionistes qui soient aussi antisémites. La plupart des membres du BDS sont bien sûr antisionistes, mais ils ne sont en aucun cas antisémites. Mais il y a aussi des antisémites.

  • Demolitions of Unauthorized Bedouin Buildings on the Rise

    Increasingly, however, the Bedouin raze the buildings themselves to avoid paying the state the cost of tearing them down

    The number of illegal buildings demolished in Bedouin communities has tripled over the past five years. In 2013, when the government first began keeping records, 697 buildings were demolished. By last year, the figure had reached an all-time high of 2,326. Of these, 2,064 were demolished by the owners themselves to avoid the fines the state imposes if it has to tear a building down.

    An analysis of the data shows that over the past three years, the number of demolitions has grown steadily, but the number of demolitions carried out by the state has actually been shrinking. Last year, for instance, the state tore down just 262 buildings, while owners razed 2,064. In 2016, the government demolished 641 buildings while owners razed 1,579.

    Many Bedouin in the Negev live in communities that have been established without any government permission, in which case any construction on the site is deemed illegal. The state issues demolition orders against construction built without a permit, but not all of it is in unrecognized villages. Some is in legally recognized Bedouin communities. In addition to homes, the government data show that demolition orders have been issued against a range of other structures, including orchards, animal pens and fences.

    For the state, having the owners demolish the structures themselves is preferable for two reasons. It not only spares the government the cost of carrying it out. It also avoids the possibility of clashes between the police and the Bedouin population in the course of the demolition.

    As a result, government inspectors routinely warn owners that they can be sued for demolition costs if they don’t tear down illegal structures. In a press release several years ago, the Israel Land Authority, which manages much of the country’s land, acknowledged the effectiveness of the approach. As a practical matter, the state rarely sues to recover demolition costs, but the fact that it has authority to do so is often enough to coax building owners to demolish the buildings themselves.

    Attiya al-Assam, who heads of the Council of Unrecognized Villages in the Negev, said his organization attempts to discourage owners from razing illegal buildings on their own, because, as he put it, if they do so, “it appears as if the state isn’t doing anything, but when the state does the demolition, everyone sees it.” Nevertheless, he said, people often succumb to the threat of lawsuits, out of a sense that “they can’t stand up to the state.”

    Sabah Abu Lakima of the Bedouin village of Bir Hadaj in the Negev recently demolished the home of a relative on her behalf, a woman who lives alone. As he described it, “we were afraid of arrests, of criminal proceedings,” in addition to being sued for demolition costs. “It’s a kind of pressure tactic that makes people demolish by themselves, so [the state] won’t send in bulldozers and then you would have to pay for it,” he said. The woman has now moved in with other relatives, he added.

    The demolitions are part of a broader battle over the state’s efforts to relocate Negev Bedouin to urban Bedouin towns. Many Bedouin want to remain in their rural villages, a considerable portion of which are unauthorized.

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-demolitions-of-unauthorized-bedouin-buildings-on-the-rise-1.691991
    #bédouins #Néguev #destruction #Israël #Palestine

    ping @reka

    En 2013...
    https://seenthis.net/messages/194499

  • Zochrot - Settlements and Land Use in the Negev/Naqab

    https://zochrot.org/en/article/56411

    Je rappelle que certains de ces villags ont ét détruit (par la police israélienne) et reconstruits (par ls populations bédouines) parfois plus de 60 fois (oui oui ... 60 fois). D’ou l’importance de la carte qui rste la seule trace tangibles de villages d’où sont expulsés les populations bédouines.

    Revised and updated version in 2015 of Map of Unrecognized Bedouin Villages in the Negev (2006), published by the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Arab Bedouin Villages in the Negev Map design by Francesco Sebregondi/Forensic Architecture.

    #israël #néguev #bédoins #colonisation #colonisation_intérieure

  • An X reveals a Diamond : locating Israeli Patriot batteries using radar interference – Federation Of American Scientists
    https://fas.org/blogs/security/2018/11/an-x-reveals-a-diamond-locating-israeli-patriot-batteries-using-radar-interfere

    Amid a busy few weeks of nuclear-related news, an Israeli researcher made a very surprising OSINT discovery that flew somewhat under the radar. As explained in a Medium article, Israeli GIS analyst Harel Dan noticed that when he accidentally adjusted the noise levels of the imagery produced from the SENTINEL-1 satellite constellation, a bunch of colored Xs suddenly appeared all over the globe.

    SENTINEL-1’s C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) operates at a centre frequency of 5.405 GHz, which conveniently sits within the range of the military frequency used for land, airborne, and naval radar systems (5.250-5.850 GHz)—including the AN/MPQ-53/65 phased array radars that form the backbone of a Patriot battery’s command and control system. Therefore, Harel correctly hypothesized that some of the Xs that appeared in the SENTINEL-1 images could be triggered by interference from Patriot radar systems.

    Using this logic, he was able to use the Xs to pinpoint the locations of Patriot batteries in several Middle Eastern countries, including Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.

    This blog post partially fills that gap, while acknowledging that there are some known Patriot sites—both in Israel and elsewhere around the globe—that interestingly don’t produce an X via the SAR imagery.

    All of these sites were already known to Israel-watchers and many have appeared in news articles, making Harel’s redaction somewhat unnecessary—especially since the images reveal nothing about operational status or system capabilities.

    Avec analyse détaillée des 4 sites israéliens de batteries de missiles Patriot identifiés, dont l’un (Palmachim, cf. https://seenthis.net/messages/740257 ) figure d’ailleurs sur la liste des cibles du Hezbollah…

    The proximity of the Negev air defense battery to an Israeli nuclear facility is not unique. In fact, the 2002 SIPRI Yearbook suggests that several of the Yahalom batteries identified through SENTINEL-1 SAR imagery are either co-located with or located close to facilities related to Israel’s nuclear weapons program. The Palmachim site is near the Soreq Centre, which is responsible for nuclear weapons research and design, and the Mount Carmel site is near the Yodefat Rafael facility in Haifa—which is associated with the production of Jericho missiles and the assembly of nuclear weapons—and near the base for Israel’s Dolphin-class submarines, which are rumored to be nuclear-capable.

    Google Earth’s images of Israel have been intentionally blurred since 1997, due to a US law known as the Kyl-Bingaman Amendment which prohibits US satellite imagery companies from selling pictures that are “no more detailed or precise than satellite imagery of Israel that is available from commercial sources.” As a result, it is not easy to locate the exact position of the Yahalom batteries; for example, given the number of facilities and the quality of the imagery, the site at Palmachim is particularly challenging to spot.

    However, this law is actually being revisited this year and could soon be overturned, which would be a massive boon for Israel-watchers. Until that happens though, Israel will remain blurry and difficult to analyze, making creative OSINT techniques like Harel’s all the more useful.

  • Pourquoi un éditeur israélien a-t-il publié sans agrément un livre traduit d’essais en arabe ?
    AURDIP | 17 septembre | Hakim Bishara pour Hyperallergic |Traduction J.Ch. pour l’AURDIP
    https://www.aurdip.org/pourquoi-un-editeur-israelien-a-t.html

    TEL AVIV – Un nouveau livre issu par l’éditeur israélien Resling Books est sous le feu des critiques pour avoir publié, sans leur permission, une série d’histoires d’écrivaines arabes majeures. Directeur et traducteur de cette anthologie, Dr. Alon Fragman, coordinateur des Etudes de Langue Arabe à l’université Ben Gurion du Negev, écrit dans son introduction que le projet de ce livre est de faire émerger les textes d’écrivains « dont les voix ont été réduites au silence depuis des années ». Maintenant, ces mêmes écrivains dénoncent la violation de leur propriété littéraire à cause de l’introduction de leurs œuvres dans ce livre, sans leur consentement.

    Intitulé Huriya (transcription du mot arabe pour Liberté), le livre rassemble des histoires écrites par 45 écrivaines de 20 pays très principalement de langue arabe, qui vont du Golfe Persique jusqu’à travers l’Afrique du Nord. Parmi elles se trouvent des écrivaines renommées comme Farah El-Tunisi (Tunisie), Ahlam Mosteghanemi (Algérie), Fatma El-Zahra’a Ahmad (Somalie), et Nabahat Zine (Algérie). L’anthologie traite du sujet de la liberté en révélant des œuvres écrites dans la foulée des révolutions du Printemps Arabe qui, d’après Fragman, a fait également émerger un « printemps littéraire ».

    Khulud Khamis, écrivaine qui vit dans la ville de Haïfa au nord d’Israël, a été invitée par l’éditeur pour participer au lancement du livre prévu pour octobre. « En feuilletant le livre, j’ai remarqué le grand nombre d’écrivains venant du monde arabe et j’ai soupçonné le fait qu’on n’ait pas demandé leur permission aux écrivaines pour traduire et publier leurs oeuvres », dit Khamis au magazine Fusha en ligne. Son soupçon a été validé après qu’elle ait contacté quelques unes des écrivaines. Khamis a annulé sa participation à l’événement et a posté la nouvelle sur les réseaux sociaux, demandant à ses suiveurs d’alerter les autres écrivaines sur la publication non autorisée de leurs œuvres. Un torrent de condamnations par les écrivaines s’en est suivi.

  • BDS success stories - Opinion - Israel News | Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-bds-success-stories-1.6455621

    More than the achievements of the economic, academic and cultural boycott, BDS has succeeded in undermining the greatest asset of Israeli public diplomacy: Israel’s liberal and democratic image in the world.

    Gideon Levy SendSend me email alerts
    Sep 05, 2018

    Gilad Erdan is a great success story of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, as is the Strategic Affairs Ministry that he heads. So is the anti-boycott law. Every human rights activist who is expelled from Israel or questioned at Ben-Gurion International Airport is a BDS success story. The European Broadcasting Union’s letter is another success of the global movement to boycott Israel.
    More than Lana Del Rey canceling her visit, more than SodaStream moving its factory from the West Bank to the Negev and more than the achievements of the economic, academic and cultural boycott, BDS has succeeded in a different area, effortlessly and perhaps unintentionally. It has undermined the greatest asset of Israeli public diplomacy: Israel’s liberal and democratic image in the world. It was the European Broadcasting Union, of all things, a nonpolitical organization, very far from BDS, that best described the extent of the damage to Israel: The organization compared Israel to Ukraine and Azerbaijan in the conditions it set for these countries to host the Eurovision Song Contest.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    Ukraine and Azerbaijan, which no one seriously considers to be democracies, in the same breath as Israel. This is how the Eurovision organizers see Israel.
    The song contest was held in Jerusalem twice before, and no one thought to set conditions to guarantee the civil liberties of participants. Now it is necessary to guarantee, in advance and in writing, what is self-evident in a democracy: freedom of entry and freedom of movement to everyone who comes for the competition.
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    In Israel, as in Ukraine and Azerbaijan, this is no longer self-evident. In the 13 years since it was founded, the BDS movement couldn’t have dreamed of a greater triumph.
    The main credit, of course, goes to the Israeli government, which in declaring war on BDS and made a great contributions to the movement. With a commander like Erdan, who is outraged over the interference with the “laws of a democratic state” and doesn’t understand how grotesque his words are, and with a ministry that is nothing but an international thought police, the government is telling the world: Israel isn’t what you thought. Did you think for years that Israel was a liberal democracy? Did you close your eyes to the goings-on in its backyard? Did you think the occupation was separate from the state, that it could be maintained in a democracy, that it was surely temporary and would be over momentarily? That at least sovereign Israel is part of the West? Well, you were wrong.

  • Eurovision’s demands should serve as wake-up call for Israel - Haaretz Editorial - Israel News | Haaretz.com

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/eurovision-s-demands-should-serve-as-wake-up-call-for-israel-1.6450815

    In a different time, the demands of the European Broadcasting Union, the organizer of the Eurovision Song Contest, would have been received in Israel with a shrug, as self-evident.
    To really understand Israel and the Palestinians - subscribe to Haaretz
    According to a report by the Israel Television News Corporation, the broadcasting union is asking for an Israeli authority, preferably the prime minister, to promise that Israel will grant entry visas for the event regardless of applicants’ political opinions; that visitors be able to tour the country regardless of their political opinions, religion or sexual orientation; that there be freedom of the press and complete freedom of expression for all participants; that there be no religious restrictions on rehearsals on Saturday; and that Israel’s public broadcasting company, Kan, be given complete independence in editing the broadcasts.

    • D’après cet article de Haaretz :
      https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-eurovision-organizers-set-conditions-for-contest-to-be-held-in-isr

      1) l’Eurovision demande qu’israel s’engage par écrit à laisser entrer tous les spectateurs, quelque soient leurs opinions (y compris s’ils soutiennent BDS), donc critique les nouvelles pratiques de sélection à l’entrée du pays sur des bases politiques

      2) l’Eurovision demande une complète liberté d’expression et de circulation pour les participants, les délégations et la presse

      3) l’Eurovision demande que les répétitions aient lieu le samedi (shabbat)

      4) plusieurs membres du gouvernement appellent Netanyahu à refuser ces conditions

      5) la télé israélienne demande une rallonge financière du ministère des finances qui pour l’instant refuse

      #Palestine #Eurovision #BDS #Boycott_culturel

    • BDS success stories
      More than the achievements of the economic, academic and cultural boycott, BDS has succeeded in undermining the greatest asset of Israeli public diplomacy: Israel’s liberal and democratic image in the world.
      Gideon Levy | Sep. 5, 2018 | 11:16 PM
      https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-bds-success-stories-1.6455621

      Gilad Erdan is a great success story of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, as is the Strategic Affairs Ministry that he heads. So is the anti-boycott law. Every human rights activist who is expelled from Israel or questioned at Ben-Gurion International Airport is a BDS success story. The European Broadcasting Union’s letter is another success of the global movement to boycott Israel.

      More than Lana Del Rey canceling her visit, more than SodaStream moving its factory from the West Bank to the Negev and more than the achievements of the economic, academic and cultural boycott, BDS has succeeded in a different area, effortlessly and perhaps unintentionally. It has undermined the greatest asset of Israeli public diplomacy: Israel’s liberal and democratic image in the world. It was the European Broadcasting Union, of all things, a nonpolitical organization, very far from BDS, that best described the extent of the damage to Israel: The organization compared Israel to Ukraine and Azerbaijan in the conditions it set for these countries to host the Eurovision Song Contest.

      Ukraine and Azerbaijan, which no one seriously considers to be democracies, in the same breath as Israel. This is how the Eurovision organizers see Israel.

      The song contest was held in Jerusalem twice before, and no one thought to set conditions to guarantee the civil liberties of participants. Now it is necessary to guarantee, in advance and in writing, what is self-evident in a democracy: freedom of entry and freedom of movement to everyone who comes for the competition.

      In Israel, as in Ukraine and Azerbaijan, this is no longer self-evident. In the 13 years since it was founded, the BDS movement couldn’t have dreamed of a greater triumph.

      The main credit, of course, goes to the Israeli government, which in declaring war on BDS and made a great contributions to the movement. With a commander like Erdan, who is outraged over the interference with the “laws of a democratic state” and doesn’t understand how grotesque his words are, and with a ministry that is nothing but an international thought police, the government is telling the world: Israel isn’t what you thought. Did you think for years that Israel was a liberal democracy? Did you close your eyes to the goings-on in its backyard? Did you think the occupation was separate from the state, that it could be maintained in a democracy, that it was surely temporary and would be over momentarily? That at least sovereign Israel is part of the West? Well, you were wrong.

      The government has torn off the mask. Not only BDS, but all supporters of human rights, should be grateful to it. The war on BDS, a legitimate, nonviolent protest movement, has dragged Israel into new territory. Omar Barghouti and his colleagues can rub their hands together in satisfaction and pride. They have begun to dismantle the regime inside Israel as well. No democracy has a strategic affairs ministry that spies on critics of the state and its government worldwide and draws up blacklists of people who are banned from entry on account of their worldview or political activities. No democracy asks its guests for their opinions at its borders, as a condition for entry. No democracy searches its visitors’ computers and their lifestyles when they enter and leave. Perhaps Ukraine and Azerbaijan do, Turkey and Russia too.

      It could have, and should have, been argued previously as well that Israel did not deserve to be seen as democracy, on account of the occupation. But now Israel has crossed the line. It hasn’t erased only the Green Line, it has begun to the task of annexation, including a gradual westward movement of the regime in the West Bank. The gap between the two regimes, in the occupied territories and in Israel, is still huge, but laws passed in recent years have narrowed it.

      The state’s fancy display window, with all the bright neon and rustling cellophane of freedom and equality; of Arab MKs and pharmacists; gay-friendly, with a vibrant night life and all the other shiny objects, is beginning to crack. The Eurovision organizers recognize this.

  • Israeli minister planned eviction of West Bank Bedouin 40 years ago, document reveals
    Now agriculture minister, then settler activist, Uri Ariel was already planning in the 1970s the eviction of Bedouin living east of Jerusalem that is taking place now in Khan al-Ahmar
    Amira Hass Jul 12, 2018 2:57 AM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-document-reveals-the-eviction-of-bedouin-was-planned-40-years-ago-

    Forty years ago Uri Ariel, now agriculture minister, was already planning the eviction of Bedouin living east of Jerusalem. This emerges from a document signed by him titled, “A proposal to plan the Ma’aleh Adumim region and establish the community settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim B.”

    The document outlines a plan to turn some 100,000 to 120,000 dunams (25,000 to 30,000 acres) of Palestinian land into an area of Jewish settlement and develop it as a “Jewish corridor,” as he put it, from the coast to the Jordan River. In fact, a large part of the plan has been executed, except for the eviction of all the area’s Bedouin.

    Now the Civil Administration and the police are expediting the demolition of the homes of the Jahalin in Khan al-Ahmar. This is one of approximately 25 Bedouin communities in the area that have become a flagship of the Bedouin resistance in the West Bank’s Area C against the efforts by the Israeli occupation to uproot them, gather them in a few compounds adjacent to Area A, and impose a semi-urban lifestyle on them.

    The boundaries of the area that Ariel sets for his plan are the Palestinian villages of Hizme, Anata, Al-Azariya and Abu Dis to the west, the hills overlooking the Jordan Valley to the east, Wadi Qelt to the north and the Kidron Valley and Horkania Valley to the south. “In the area there are many Bedouin involved in the cultivation of land,” he writes, contrary to the claims voiced today by settlers that the Bedouin only recently popped up and “took over” the land.

    But Ariel has a solution: “Since the area is used by the military and a large part of the industry there serves the defense establishment, the area must be closed to Bedouin settlement and evacuated.”

    This document, exposed here for the first time, was found by Dr. Yaron Ovadia in the Kfar Adumim archives when he was doing research for a book he’s writing about the Judean Desert. Ovadia wrote his doctorate about the Jahalin tribe.

    “Since [the area] is unsettled, it is now possible to plan it entirely,” Ariel wrote, about an area that constituted the land reserves for construction, industry, agriculture and grazing for the Palestinian towns and villages east of Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Ramallah. “Arab urban/rural settlement is spreading at an amazing pace along the route from Jerusalem eastward, and this linear spread must be stopped immediately.”

    His solutions: to build urban neighborhoods that will become part of Jerusalem and to “administratively close the area of the Arab villages by means of an appropriate plan.” This administrative closure by an appropriate plan can be discerned in the reality perpetuated by the Interim Agreement of 1995, which artificially divided the West Bank into Areas A and B, to be administered by the Palestinians, and Area C, which covers 60 percent of the West Bank, to be administered by Israel. That’s how Palestinian enclaves were created with limited development potential within a large Jewish expanse.

    Ariel’s plan was apparently written between late 1978 and the beginning of 1979, and he said that as far as he recalls, it was submitted to Brig. Gen. Avraham Tamir, the IDF’s head of planning. “We have been living for three years in the existing settlement at Mishor Adumim,” writes Ariel, referring to a settlement nucleus that was established in 1975 and was portrayed as a work camp near the Mishor Adumim industrial zone. Even before Ma’aleh Adumim was officially inaugurated, Ariel was proposing to build “Ma’aleh Adumim B,” i.e., Kfar Adumim, which was established in September 1979.

    Some Jahalin families were indeed evicted from their homes in 1977 and 1980. In 1994, expulsion orders were issued against dozens more, and they were evicted in the late 1990s, with the approval of the High Court of Justice. But thousands of Bedouin and their flocks remained in the area, albeit under increasingly difficult conditions as firing zones, settlements and roads reduced their grazing areas and their access to water. From the early 2000s the Civil Administration has been planning to evacuate the Bedouin and forcibly resettle them in permanent townships.

    It’s tempting to present Ariel’s 40-year-old suggestions as an example of the personal and political determination that characterizes many religious Zionist activists and was facilitated by the Likud electoral victory in 1977. But it was Yitzhak Rabin’s first government that decided to build a 4,500-dunam industrial zone for Jerusalem in Khan al-Amar. In 1975 it expropriated a huge area of 30,000 dunams from the Palestinian towns and villages in the area and built a settlement there disguised as a work camp for employees of the industrial zone.

    In a study (“The Hidden Agenda,” 2009) written by Nir Shalev for the nonprofit associations Bimkom – Planners for Planning Rights and B’tselem, he notes that the Housing and Construction Ministry’s Jerusalem district director when Ma’aleh Adumim was first being built in 1975 said that the objective behind it was political – “to block the entrance way to Jerusalem from a Jordanian threat.” But since the objective was political, it was clear that he wasn’t referring to a military threat, but to demographic growth that would require additional construction.

    The planning for Ma’aleh Adumim actually began in Golda Meir’s time in the early 1970s; at the time, minister Israel Galili advised Davar reporter Hagai Eshed that it would be best if the press didn’t deal with this “exciting and interesting” issue, “because it could cause damage.” Both the Meir and Rabin governments considered the planned settlement to be part of metropolitan Jerusalem. Moreover, during Rabin’s second government, the period of the Oslo Accords, Bedouin were evicted, in the spirit of Ariel’s proposal.

    Perhaps the most crucial move was actually made in 1971, when under that same government of Meir, Galili and Moshe Dayan, military order No. 418 was issued, which made drastic changes to the planning apparatus in the West Bank. The order removed the rights of Palestinian local councils to plan and build. As explained in another study by Bimkom (“The Prohibted Zone,” 2008) this prepared the legal infrastructure for the separate planning systems – the miserly, restrictive system for the Palestinians and the generous, encouraging one for the settlements. This distorted planning system refused to take into account the longtime Bedouin communities that had been expelled from the Negev and had been living in the area long before the settlements were built.

    The settlement part of Ariel’s proposal succeeded because it was merely a link in a chain of plans and ideas had already been discussed when the Labor Alignment was still in power, and which were advanced by a bureaucratic infrastructure that had been in place even before 1948. Today, under a government in which Ariel’s Habayit Hayehudi party is so powerful, the open expulsion of Bedouin is possible. But the expulsion of Palestinians in general is hardly a Habayit Hayehudi invention.

  • The missing reports on herbicides in Gaza
    Amira Hass Jul 09, 2018 1:05 AM | Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-the-missing-reports-on-herbicides-in-gaza-1.6248503

    So we’re destroying Palestinian crops with our spraying? What’s new here, shrugs the average Israeli and clicks to another channel

    As I was working on my article about Israeli herbicide spraying in Gaza, I learned that 1948 refugees from the village of Salama are living in the village of Khuza’a. They are farmers, much as their parents and grandparents were. Back then, they grew citrus fruit, bananas and grains, and sold their crops in Jaffa as well as in Jewish communities.

    We tend to associate Palestinian refugees with the refugee camps. But sometimes you get to meet some who, even in exile from their village, have managed to maintain the same type of life and livelihood – that is, to work and live off the land in the West Bank and even Gaza. The Al-Najjar family in Khuza’a is one such family.

    Together with his father, Saleh al-Najjar, 53, works 60 dunams (about 15 acres) of land that they are leasing in Khuza’a. They employ three laborers, and Saleh says the five of them work 12 hours a day.

    By working the land they maintain continuity, despite being refugees and having lost the lands of Salama – where Israel built Kfar Shalem. Israel, meanwhile, maintains the continuity by damaging their sources of income and their health. When people say the Nakba never ended, the Najjar family can be cited as another example. One of the millions.

    Over the past four years, the Najjars – like hundreds of other farming families in the eastern part of the Gaza Strip – have learned to fear also small civilian aircraft.

    In spring and fall, and sometimes in winter too, for several days the planes appear in the mornings, flying above the separation fence. But the contrails they emit are borne westward with the wind, cross the border and reach the Gazan fields. From seeing their wilted crops, the farmers have understood that the planes are spraying herbicides.

    The fear of these crop dusters is even greater than of the Israeli armored vehicles that every so often trample all the vegetation west of the separation fence – because the herbicides reach further, seep into the soil and pollute the water. Crops up to 2,200 meters (7,220 feet) west of the border fence are affected by the spraying, says the Red Cross. The crops 100 to 900 meters away were totally destroyed. The irrigation pools located a kilometer away were contaminated.

    The Palestinian reports about Israeli crop spraying destroying Gaza agriculture were first heard in late 2014. A figment of the imagination? In late 2015, the Israel Defense Forces spokesperson confirmed to the 972 website that crop spraying was taking place. The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, an organization in Gaza, sent soil samples for laboratory testing. The army did not tell it what was being sprayed.

    Spraying of herbicides intended to destroy crops is not the sort of thing the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit or the Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories is happy to talk about or volunteer information on. Nor is it the kind of report that concerns Israelis much, not on social media or as a common subject of conversation in Israeli homes.

    “So we’re destroying Palestinian crops with herbicide spraying – what else is new? We did the same thing to the Bedouin crops in the Negev (before the High Court of Justice outlawed it following a petition by Adala) and with the lands of Akraba in the 1970s. If our fine young men have decided to do it, it must be necessary,” shrugs the ordinary Israeli before clicking to the next channel. That is why I’m trying to return to the previous channel.

    The IDF’s Gaza Division decides; the Defense Ministry pays the civil aviation companies to do it. The seared spinach fields and the withered parsley plants prey on my mind. Also, I think about the children of these pilots: Do they know the wind carries the chemicals their daddy sprayed, and that another daddy can’t buy his kids shoes and other things because of the crops that were destroyed due to it?

    Asked to comment, the Defense Ministry says: “The spraying is carried out by properly authorized companies in accordance with the 1956 law regarding the protection of plants.” It’s true that the two civilian companies that fly crop dusters above the border fence – Chim-Nir and Telem Aviation – are recognized professionals in the field. The Defense Ministry also says: “The crop dusting is identical to that which is done throughout Israel.”

    Whoever wrote that sentence is either demeaning the intelligence of his Israeli readers, or confident that they will take his word for it and not be concerned. Both are correct.

    The Defense Ministry only revealed what the “identical” herbicides being used are in response to an inquiry from Gisha, the Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, based on the freedom of information law. The chemicals are glyphosate, oxyfluorfen and diuron.

    Despite the numerous findings about the environmental and health hazards posed by glyphosate, it is still in use in Israel. But the Defense Ministry spokesperson ignores the fact that even with all the debate about how harmful these substances are to the environment and to people’s health, their purpose is to help safeguard farmers’ livelihoods – not to destroy their crops, as we are doing in Gaza.

    The IDF and the Defense Ministry know these sprayed chemicals don’t recognize borders. The systematic damage to Palestinian crops through spraying is not an accident. It is deliberate. Another form of warfare against the health and welfare of Palestinians, and all under the worn-out blanket of security.

    #GAZA #herbicides

    • La guerre agricole ou comment Israël se sert de substances chimiques pour tuer les récoltes à Gaza
      Amira Hass | Publié le 6/7/2018 sur Haaretz | Traduction : Jean-Marie Flémal
      http://www.pourlapalestine.be/la-guerre-agricole-ou-comment-israel-se-sert-de-substances-chimiques

      Les photographies de véhicules blindés de l’armée déracinant et broyant arbres et végétation dans la bande de Gaza ne sont pas étrangères, aux yeux des Israéliens, mais ce qu’ils savent beaucoup moins, c’est que, depuis 2014, des champs palestiniens sont également détruits via l’usage d’herbicides déversés depuis les airs – comme cela a d’abord été publié sur le site internet 972. Officiellement, la pulvérisation ne se fait que du côté israélien de la clôture mais, comme en ont témoigné des fermiers palestiniens de l’autre côté, avec confirmation de la Croix-Rouge, les dégâts qui en résultent peuvent être perçus très loin dans le territoire palestinien même.

      « La pulvérisation par les airs n’est effectuée que sur le territoire de l’État d’Israël, le long de l’obstacle sécuritaire à la frontière de la bande de Gaza », a fait savoir le ministère de la Défense à Haaretz. « Elle est effectuée par des sociétés d’épandage munies d’une autorisation légale, en conformité avec les dispositions de la Loi sur la protection des plantes (5716-1956) et les réglementations qui en découlent, et elle est identique à la pulvérisation aérienne effectuée partout dans l’État d’Israël. »

      Le porte-parole des FDI 1 a déclaré : « L’épandage est réalisé à l’aide du matériel standard utilisé en Israël et dans d’autres pays ; cela provoque un dépérissement de la végétation existante et empêche les mauvaises herbes de pousser. L’épandage s’effectue près de la clôture et ne pénètre pas dans la bande de Gaza. »

      Toutefois, le matériel standard utilisé en Israël a pour but d’aider les fermiers à faire pousser leurs cultures de rapport. À Gaza, il les détruit.

  • At least let us hate ’Fauda’ -

    In the Israeli TV series there are no rulers or ruled, no occupation, no historical background, no checkpoints, no poverty, no home demolitions, no expulsions, settlers or violent soldiers

    Sayed Kashua Jan 12, 2018
    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.834416

    This is neither a television review nor an attempt to criticize the morality of the television series “Fauda” and the feeling of superiority that accompanies every Israeli producer who is convinced that he can speak in the name of Arabs as easily as he can impersonate an Arab by wearing cheap clothes, growing a beard and dyeing it black. In general, Israeli movies and television, whether highbrow or for the masses, have always served the ruling Israeli discourse.
    With few exceptions (mainly documentaries), the greatest protests of the creative culture have been those with the theme of “shooting and crying,” with the main concern being Jewish ethics. Since the second intifada, the motif of “there is no one to talk to” on the other side, championed by Ehud Barak, has dominated the treatment in Israeli culture of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (always “conflict,” never “occupation”).
    Thus if in the wake of the first Lebanon war, the main theme of political statements in Israeli art was that there are partners on the Palestinian side but negotiations will always fail on account of extremists from both sides (what could we do, Likud was in power), since October 2000 the main theme has been that there are no partners, they’re all extremists. (What could we do, Labor was in power.)
    >> New season of hit series Fauda sets out to keep the Israeli-Palestinian conflict real <<
    So there’s no point in a political critique of “Fauda.” First, its political statement is not unique, and it is not so different from the landscape of “Bethlehem,” “The Bubble” and “For My Father” (“Sof Shavua B’Tel Aviv) nor is it different from the tenor of Israel’s main nightly news programs. Second, there is no point in criticizing the culture and the representation of “the conflict” by Israeli creative artists in the current political atmosphere. The arrogance and the assumption of ownership over the Palestinian story are the necessary consequence of military rule of Palestinian lives. Like the soldiers, many Israeli creative artists not respect borders. Some people expropriate land, others expropriate a story.
    Still, I write about “Fauda” because of the many statements, writings and quotes that have become a kind of received wisdom in Israel, according to which Arabs, Hamas members, senior Palestinian Authority officials or “the other side,” as one newspaper put it, “are convinced that the series serves them.”

    A still from the second season of “Fauda.”Ronen Akerman/YES
    You already have military victories and cultural control in marketing the Israeli occupation policy: At least give the Palestinians the option of hating “Fauda.” Are Netflix, worldwide success, economic growth and serving Israeli PR not enough for them?

    Do the creators of “Fauda” really need to market their show as a balanced series that shows the reality in the territories? And if it is being sold as such to the world, is it so important to them for the Palestinians to admit that it’s high art that helps Palestinians interpret correctly the reality in which they live?
    How dumb do the creators of “Fauda” and the Israeli critics who adopted the line that the Arabs are crazy about “Fauda” think Arabs are?
    The Israeli sits in front of the screen and sees, in the second season’s opening scene, a bloodthirsty, bearded Arab who sends his friend to a bus station that is filled mainly with women and young soldiers. And when the “terrorist” has regrets and seeks to return to the car without planting the bomb in the bus station, Nidal “El Makdessi” — the main Palestinian character — pushes a button to detonate the bomb, killing his friend in cold blood as long as he can take a few Jews with him.
    What the hell does the Israeli critic think the Palestinian viewer sitting in front of the screen feels? What? Does he shout “Allahu Akbar” at the explosion and think that El Makdessi, who came from Syria and was trained by the Islamic State organization, is a cool guy, and sometimes you have no choice but to betray your friend as long as you kill Jews, no matter whether they are civilians, children or soldiers?
    What does the Hamas militant (according to “Fauda” co-creator Avi Issacharoff, the group put a link to the series on its home page) think at that moment? He’s thinking: “Wow, I’ve got to see this El Makdessi. First of all, he has a cool name, both frightening and charming, and we’ve got to watch this series, because in Hollywood, the good guys always win.”

    A still from the second season of “Fauda.”Ronen Akerman/YES
    Is it possible the Israeli creators think Arabs are so stupid they consider El Makdessi a “good guy” in the series, which is based entirely on good guys versus bad guys? Or perhaps Hamas members will be so happy about the fact that their people, as they are presented in their beloved Israeli program, love their mother? Okay, so they murder Arabs sometimes because there is no choice, sending a friend with a bomb or a rocket propelled grenade into a café in Nablus, who wipes out some Arabs playing cards.
    The Israelis in “Fauda,” by the way, are very sensitive to human life. “There are too many noncombatants,” says an Israeli officer in fatigues, when someone even dares raise the idea of taking out El Makdessi with a drone. “Let’s wait until he reaches an open space,” orders the Israeli commander, who cares so much for Palestinian lives that he endangers his dedicated soldiers.
    “It’s clearly an Israeli and not a Palestinian narrative,” the series’ creators said in one interview, again using the deceptive word “narrative,” which on one hand turns baseless lies in an action series into a legitimate narrative of moral superiority that Israelis tell about themselves, and on the other hand the narrative — the “N-word” — reduces the lives of Palestinians under the shadow of military oppression into another story that they tell themselves, as if they live in an Israeli prime-time series.

    Rona-Lee Shim’on in “Fauda.” Ronen Akerman/YES
    So, no: Arabs, Palestinians, Hamas members — those from the other side — do not love “Fauda,” and to be honest I’m not sure how many of them even watch it or have heard of it. And no, there is nothing in “Fauda” that addresses the reality in the territories. In “Fauda,” there are no rulers or ruled, no occupation, no historical background, no checkpoints, poverty, home demolitions, expulsions, settlers or violent soldiers. Nor are there courts that jail politicians without a trial and pass judgment on children and teens who are trying to push away armed soldiers.
    According to “Fauda,” the Palestinians are driven by a longing for vengeance, a strong Arab urge that explains the murderousness of the main characters. It is personal revenge and nothing more. Indeed, the Palestinians have no other reason to rise up against the Israelis. To be honest, their lives as reflected in the series are pretty good.
    So what in the hell is the Israeli critic, creative artist or newspaper reader thinking when he asserts that Arabs love “Fauda”? Is there a way to explain this claim without assuming total Arab stupidity? Or perhaps a Palestinian family is sitting somewhere in a refugee camp in Jenin, declaring: “Gentlemen, this is art for art’s sake. Forget about Israelis and Palestinians. Let’s encourage Doron [Kavillio, the lead Israeli character, played by Lior Raz] and the guys disguised as Arabs because after all they’re really cute, brave and look out for their country and their people.”
    And Doron, what a soul he has, so concerned for his children in the first episode, they sleep like two angels in his embrace while he thinks about the danger that lurks for them from El Makdessi. “If he got to my father, he’ll get to my children, too,” he tells the commander of the elite unit, because that’s how it is. The Palestinians are the ones who know how to get to the children of armed Israelis.
    If the Palestinian is already watching “Fauda,” his main thought will be: How is it that the people of Nablus don’t identify the Israeli-accented Arabic of the soldiers dressed as Arabs the moment they open their mouths? And really, how can El Makdessi be on a motorcycle in Nablus one time and on a motorcycle somewhere in the Negev another? If such mobility were possible, half of our troubles would be behind us. And perhaps he’ll wonder, where are the actors from? Where did they film? Why the hell does no soldier disguised as an Arab dress up as an educated Arab?
    The Arab viewer hopes the international viewer is not dumb enough to attribute any credibility to a commercial series, and wonders if anyone in Israel really thinks this series is leftist because the murderers hug their siblings from time to time. If so, then there really isn’t anyone to talk with over there.

    Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, center, flanked by “Fauda” co-creators Lior Raz, left, and Avi Issacharoff. Rafi Delouya

    Sayed Kashua
    Haaretz Contributor

  • After a dozen Gaza rockets in a week, Israel is being backed into a corner -

    Frequent rocket fire from Gaza would disturb the feeling of security and would put pressure on Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman to act more resolutely

    Amos Harel Dec 13, 2017
    read more: https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.828581

    Since the evening of December 6, when U.S. President Donald Trump announced American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, eight rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip into the Negev region. At least three other rockets were fired from Gaza but fell inside Palestinian territory. This is the largest number of rockets fired at Israel since the end of Operation Protective Edge, the war that Israel fought with Hamas and its allies during the summer of 2014.
    To really understand the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    Israeli intelligence agencies attribute most of the rocket fire, if not all of it, to extremist Salafi factions that operate beyond Hamas’ direction. Israel has also identified preliminary steps taken by Hamas over the past few days to rein in the rocket fire, including the arrest of members of these organizations. In the past, the Hamas government in Gaza has known how to make the rules of the game that it has established with Israel clear to these smaller groups – and has adopted a harsh enforcement policy when it has understood that the rocket fire was endangering the stability of its rule in Gaza.
    This time, either the message was not received or was not properly understood. It appears that in Gaza Trump’s declaration was seen as an opportunity to let off steam and attack Israeli civilian population centers. The stage of the large demonstrations by Palestinians protesting Trump’s declaration is slowly coming to an end, without leaving much of an impression on the international community, or on Trump either.
    >> Three reasons we aren’t seeing a third intifada | Analysis
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    Now there is a shift to a different approach involving firing rockets from the Gaza Strip, a period during which one “lone wolf” terrorist attack also occurred, involving the stabbing by a Palestinian at the Jerusalem central bus station of a security guard, who was seriously wounded.

    The site in the Israeli border town of Sderot where a rocket fired from Gaza fell on Dec. 8, 2017.Eliyahu Hershovitz
    The Israeli response to the rocket fire from Gaza has been rather restrained so far. As has been its custom in the past, Israel has said that it views Hamas as the party responsible for violence coming from its territory – and has exacted a price from it by bombing Hamas positions and command headquarters. But the Israeli attacks have generally been carried out when the targets were empty, and the attacks have been planned in such a way as to limit the damage. In one case, last Friday, a member of the Hamas military wing was killed, and the Hamas leadership felt Israel had gone too far. For now, it seems that the Israeli leadership does not want to rock the boat to too great an extent in Gaza.
    The Israeli government’s problem is that it does not fully control of the situation. Continued rocket fire and “red alert” rocket sirens will exact a psychological price from the Israeli residents in the region near the Gaza border, who have enjoyed a relatively long period of quiet and a major influx of new residents, as a result of a building boom and government tax breaks for the region following Operation Protective Edge. The traumatic experiences of Protective Edge and other previous periods, during military operations in Gaza and between them, are still remembered quite well in Sderot, Ashkelon and the nearby collective moshavim and kibbutzim communities.
    Iron Dome anti-missile batteries intercepted two of the rockets fired over the past few days – and missed one rocket, which fell in a populated area in Sderot but did not cause any injuries. The Israel army made a change recently in how it calculates the area where the rockets are projected to fall (known as the “polygon”), thereby only requiring that alarms sound in a very small and more focused area, and limiting the disruption to local routines in border communities near Gaza. Nevertheless, rocket fire every day, or every other day, would disturb the feeling of security that had been restored with difficulty and would create pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman to act more resolutely. The distance could be short from that to another round of violence.
    The latest tensions are occurring against the backdrop of the Israeli army’s announcement Sunday that it had successfully destroyed another attack tunnel dug well inside Israeli territory that was discovered along the border with Gaza, the second in less than two months. It appears, however, that Hamas’ actions are influenced first and foremost by another factor, its reconciliation agreement with the Palestinian Authority. So far the commitments included in the agreement have not been carried out. That’s the case when it comes to the opening of the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt and the resumption of funding for Gaza from the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.
    As far as Hamas is concerned, the bad news is coming from almost all directions: Trump’s announcement, the Israeli army’s success in locating attack tunnels and the difficulties with Palestinian reconciliation. If Hamas cannot deliver the goods to Gaza’s residents, who have been waiting with bated breath for a measure of improvement in their economic situation and freedom of movement, Hamas could well find itself dragged once again into an escalation with Israel – as it has acted in the past.
    This is the main worry keeping Israel’s senior defense officials and political leadership busy at the moment, and it explains the relatively restrained Israeli response – restraint that could end if the frequent rocket fire continues, and certainly if the rockets inflict casualties.

  • What’s in A Name? Exploring the Role of Law and Bureaucracy in The Everyday Construction of Holot, an ’Open Detention Facility’ for ’Infiltrators’ in Israel | Oxford Law Faculty
    https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/research-subject-groups/centre-criminology/centreborder-criminologies/blog/2017/11/whats-name

    Approximately 38,000 asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea currently reside in Israel. All entered Israel since 2005 through non-authorized border points, and most claim to have fled persecution in Sudan or human rights abuses in Eritrea. In 2013, Israel established Holot ‘open detention facility’ in the middle of the Negev desert, approved by the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament). To date, approximately 10,000 people have been detained in Holot. Detainees must report to Holot for a year-long detention, under the 5th amendment to the Prevention of Infiltration Law. Detainees must be present for head counts in the mornings, evenings and sleep in the facility, while during the day, they are allowed outside the center’s confines. Israel’s Prison Authority runs the facility. Breach of disciplinary guidelines is punishable by sanctions, including removal to a closed facility, Saharonim, located across the road.

    During interviews, three legal terms were frequently used by state employees or legal professionals to describe Holot as a non-punitive arrangement. I expand briefly on each term to trace how a punitive effect takes place, despite the claimed neutrality and administrative nature of these legal terms.

    Administrative detention, which includes the arrest and detention of persons without an indictment, trial or access to judicial review, has existed since the state’s founding in 1948. The early days of Israeli statehood were characterised by the mass movement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who had been displaced during the 1947-8 war. Those who crossed the border without the new State’s authorisation were titled ‘infiltrators.’ Increased organized smuggling by militant groups called Fedayeen in the early years of the state, led to the legislation of the Prevention of Infiltration Law in 1954. Since 2012 this law was expanded, contested in court, and amended to regulate asylum seekers who entered the country through non-authorised border points, and enable their detention.

    State employees and legislators insist that administrative detention is not punitive, and therefore does not need to comply with individual criminal law procedures and protections. However, similarities between administrative detention and penal incarceration came under scrutiny in Israel’s Supreme Court and in legislative committees. As explained in the final verdict on detention in Holot by Justice Vogelman: “Long periods of detention cross the border between a ‘disciplinary’ sanction which is largely carried out for the sake of deterrence and a ‘penal’ sanction which is punitive in its essence” (author’s translation). This observation was picked up by scholars, activists and lawyers questioning the legislative aim of detention, its covert and overt goals.

    The blurred or intersecting border between criminal law and immigration law has been vastly explored under the term crimmigration. Juliet Stumpf has written about the ways in which ‘the process is the punishment in crimmigration law’, drawing on Malcolm Feeley’s 1979 work. Stumpf identifies two criteria to ascertain when processes of crimmigration law may become punitive: when those subjected to the process experience it as punitive, and when the process is enacted as a sanction by the state.

  • GROUND TRUTH
    Testimonies of dispossession, destruction, and return in the Naqab/Negev

    http://www.forensic-architecture.org/case/ground-truth

    “This is an ongoing project that aims to provide historical and juridical evidence on behalf of the illegalised Palestinian Bedouin villages in the northern threshold of the Negev (Naqab) desert. At the heart of the project are a photographic dossier and an interactive platform that utilise contemporary and historical images to map the presence and remnants of Bedouin settlements in this location. The main collaborators are Zochrot, Public Lab, the Associations of Unrecognised Villages, and the law office of Michael Sfard. The project aims to document and collate disparate legal and historical evidence for the continuity of the sedentary presence of the Bedouin population on this land, as well as traces of their repeated displacement and destruction by government forces. This first iteration of the project centres on the case of the village Al-Araqib, which has been demolished over 114 times over the past 60 years. A second phase of the project would wish to expand the work into more unrecognised villages where establishing proof of continuity of presence would be helpful.

    The project involves a collaboration with Public Lab consisting of flying kites and balloons equipped with simple cameras to collect aerial views and compose them into 3D models through photogrammetry. Ground truth refers to the comparison of these photographs with aerial images from the 20th century. The final outcome of the project will be an online digital platform that will host the historical and contemporary material and enhance the understanding of the overarching story of the Bedouin presence and displacement from the area.”

  • 2 Palestinian children killed after Israeli ordnance explodes in Negev
    April 25, 2017 10:49 P.M. (Updated: April 26, 2017 10:17 A.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=776662

    NEGEV (Ma’an) — Two Palestinian children were killed on Tuesday evening when an Israeli ordnance exploded in the Abu Qeidar area of the unrecognized Bedouin village of al-Zarnouq in the Negev of southern Israel.

    Locals told Ma’an that the device was left over from the Israeli army. The children were identified as 8-year-old Omar Ismail Abu Qweidar , and his 10-year-old cousin Muhammad Mahmoud Abu Qeidar .

    The children were declared dead at the scene of the explosion.

    Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri confirmed the incident in a written statement, revealing that Omar was in fact just 6-and-a-half years old, and said that the two boys were playing with the ordnance when it exploded.

  • Le chauffeur bédouin tué par la police israélienne n’effectuait pas d’attaque, un ensemble de preuves le montrera .

    Bedouin driver shot by Israeli police was not carrying out attack, probe set to show
    Yaniv Kubovich Feb 22, 2017 12:42 PM
    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.773196

    Netanyahu and security officials were quick to call the incident a terrorist attack, but an investigation is set to prove otherwise. Findings are ’not good for police,’ legal experts say.

    A Bedouin driver who had run over a police officer during clashes in a Negev village did not intend to carry out an attack, a probe into the incident is expected to show in the coming days.

    The January incident took place during a Bedouin demonstration against the demolition of the unrecognized Negev village of Umm al-Hiran. At the demonstration, Yakub Abu al-Kiyan ran over officer Erez Levi before being killed by police gunfire.

    The Justice Ministry’s department for the investigation of police officers’ probe should be completed within two weeks, but officials may come out sooner with a statement saying that the evidence collected indicates that Kiyan did not plan or commit a terror attack that caused Levi’s death.

    According to legal experts, the investigation findings so far are “not good for the police,” which claimed immediately after the incident that Kiyan was a terrorist who planned to run over policemen for political motives.

    According to the findings, Kiyan was driving at a low speed, never exceeding 20 kilometers per hour. Professionals who have studied this incident and others believe that someone who wished to commit a vehicular ramming attack would not have been driving so slowly when he had sufficient distance to accelerate. Also, the shooting was done from a further distance than claimed by the police officers and commanders in the field, and Kiyan’s intentions were not possible to discern.

    Testimony from the police about the location of where Kiyan began driving and the location where he was asked to stop also did not match the findings in the field. Nor did the claim that he did not have his lights on, which was refuted by the video of the incident that was publicized.

    On Tuesday, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that “A difficult and regrettable incident took place in Umm al-Hiran a few weeks ago. We mustn’t let anyone try to take this particular incident − in which unfortunately both a policeman and a civilian were killed − and draw inferences from it regarding the totality of the relationship between the Bedouin population and the police.”

    Legal experts took his comments as an indication that he was reneging on his previous characterization of incident as a terror attack, noting that he aware of the investigation’s findings.(...)

    https://seenthis.net/messages/561578

  • Wife of Palestinian prisoner gives birth for second time using smuggled sperm
    Feb. 20, 2017 9:56 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 21, 2017 10:58 A.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=775571

    TULKAREM (Ma’an) — The wife of a Palestinian prisoner serving 24 years in Israeli prison gave birth on Monday to a second child conceived using her husband’s smuggled sperm, her brother-in-law told Ma’an.

    Ibrahim Hamarsha, the director of Tulkarem office of the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), said his brother’s wife, Samira Hamarsha, gave birth to a baby boy named Ibrahim, conceived using sperm smuggled from her husband, who is being held inside Israel’s Ktziot prison in the Negev desert.

    Samira’s husband, 40-year-old Yahya Hamarsha from the Nur Shams refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem, has been in Israeli custody for the last 15 years. Three years ago, his wife gave birth to baby girl Yasmin using his smuggled sperm.

    Yahya and his wife now have a daughter and two sons. Four years ago, the couple lost their 12-year-old daughter Fatima, who was run over and killed inside the refugee camp.

    Samira gave birth by cesarean section at the Razan Medical Center for Infertility in Nablus.

    “Succeeding to smuggle sperm from Israeli occupation’s prisons and giving birth to two babies in the last three years is a success story in defiance of the arrogance of Israeli wardens,” Ibrahim Hamarsha said.

  • 100-year-old Bedouin woman left homeless as Israel continues Negev demolitions
    Feb. 8, 2017 5:41 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 8, 2017 9:08 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=775366

    NEGEV (Ma’an) — In the latest instance of Israel’s demolition campaign in the Negev region of southern Israel, homes were demolished in two unrecognized Bedouin villages on Wednesday, while Israeli police surrounded the village of Umm al-Hiran.

    Israeli bulldozers, escorted by Israeli police, demolished a house in the village of Wadi al-Naam in the western part of the Negev in southern Israel.

    Locals told Ma’an that the demolished house was owned by an elderly woman and her daughter. A member of the local committee, Yousif Ziyadin, said that an emergency session would be held to discuss the Israeli demolition.

    A relative of the elderly homeowner, Ahmad Zanoun, told Ma’an that 100-year-old Ghaytha Zanoun and her 60-year-old daughter Hilala were living in the house, both of whom suffer from various health issues.

    Zanoun said that both Ghaytha and Hilala were unable to walk, and noted that the family had renovated the home in accordance with their doctor’s suggestions due to their health conditions.

    He added that Ghaytha and her daughter now were homeless following the demolition. (...)

  • Un Palestinien d’Israël tué lors d’une opération de démolitions |
    Par Maureen Clare Murphy, 18 janvier 2017| Cet article a été mise à jour jeudi 19 Janvier afin d’inclure les nouvelles conclusions de Forensic Architecture. | Traduction : Laurianne G. pour l’Agence Média Palestine | Source : Electronic Intifada
    http://www.agencemediapalestine.fr/blog/2017/01/20/un-palestinien-disrael-tue-lors-dune-operation-de-demolitions

    Un citoyen palestinien d’Israël a été tué mercredi, quand la police tira sur son véhicule dans le village Umm al-Hiran, dans le Negev, au Sud du pays. Un sergent fut également tué et un autre agent blessé à l’aube lors d’une opération de démolitions de plusieurs maisons dans le village bédouin.

    La police israélienne a déclaré que Yaqoub Abu al-Qiyan, 50ans, a délibérément écrasé et tué le policier de 37 ans, Erez Levi.

    Le porte-parole de la police, Micky Rosenfeld a déclaré qu’un “véhicule conduit par un terroriste du Mouvement Islamique a tenté de heurter plusieurs agents et de perpétré une attaque.”

    Le Mouvement Islamique est une organisation politique palestinienne, dont la branche Nord est interdite par Israël. Le leader de branche Nord, Sheikh Raed Salah, a été relaché par Israël mardi, après neuf mois d’incarcération. Il était présent à Umm al-Hiran mercredi.

    La police a déclaré à la presse qu’ils recherchaient des liens entre Abu al-Qiyan et l’Etat Islamique.

    “Ils disent qu’en fouillant sa maison, ils ont trouvé des journaux israéliens parlant du groupe, alors que sa famille nie toute relation avec ce mouvement, disant qu’il est juste un prof de math dans le lycée local, dans la ville bédouine de Hura,” a rapporté le journal de Tel Aviv Haaretz.

    Rosenfeld a fait d’autres déclarations sur les liens avec l’Etat Islamique sur Twitter :

    The terrorist who murdered a policeman in the south was a teacher in a school where six teachers have been arrested for their ISIS ideology.

    — Micky Rosenfeld (@MickyRosenfeld) January 18, 2017

    (Traduction du tweet : « Le terroriste qui a tué un policier dans le Sud était un professeur dans un établissement où six enseignants ont été arrêtés pour leur idéologie proche de Daech. »)

    Des témoins interrogés par de nombreux organes de presse contestent la version des faits d’Israël, disant qu’Abu al-Qiyan était en train de quitter la scène et que c’est la police israélienne qui lui a fait perdre le contrôle de son véhicule, l’amenant à percuter les policiers.(...)

    #israël #démolitions #bédouins #colonisation_intérieure
    https://seenthis.net/messages/561578

    • Video emerges on killing in Umm al-Hiran, as family awaits return of slain Bedouin’s body
      Jan. 21, 2017 12:03 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 21, 2017 12:07 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=775017

      (...) Abu al-Qian’s autopsy report was also released on Friday, detailing that the teacher had been killed by two bullets that were fired at his vehicle, the first of which struck him on his right knee, and the second in a main artery in the chest area, before he was left to bleed to death.

      Israeli Channel 10 reported that Abu al-Qian’s knee injury led to the acceleration of his vehicle after his leg pressed against the gas pedal, and added that he had lost large amounts of blood which would have made it impossible to save him.

      Nevertheless, they reported that he had been left to bleed for a half and hour as ambulances were prevented from providing him first aid.

      Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli police pulled an injured Abu al-Qian from his vehicle at the time and shot him another time to confirm his death. However, this testimony contradicts the autopsy report that stated he had bled to death.

      Meanwhile, the family of Abu al-Qian have continued to refuse conditions set by Israeli police in order to receive the slain body of Abu al-Qian.(...)

    • PHOTOS: Thousands of Palestinians and Israelis protest home demolitions

      Over 5,000 Arabs and Jews gather in Wadi Ara, northern Israel, to protest against recent home demolitions in Palestinian communities.

      Photos by Keren Manor, text by Yael Marom
      https://972mag.com/photos-thousands-of-palestinians-and-israelis-protest-home-demolitions/124640

      A police truck sprays ’skunk’ water at protesters in Ar’ara, January 21, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

      Around two hours after the protest had begun, hundreds of protesters blocked the junction at the entrance to Ar’ara. Police threw shock grenades and fired “skunk” water at the demonstrators, injuring several. Some of the protesters responded by throwing stones.

    • Funeral begins for slain Bedouin teacher in Umm al-Hiran
      Jan. 24, 2017 1:15 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 24, 2017 9:47 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=775080

      BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The funeral of Yaqoub Abu al-Qian , a Palestinian citizen of Israel and local math teacher from the unrecognized Bedouin community of Umm al-Hiran, began early on Tuesday afternoon, after the Israeli Supreme Court ordered that Israeli police return his body to his family a day earlier.

      Abu al-Qian was shot and killed by Israeli police last week under widely contested circumstances during the violent demolition raid in Umm al-Hiran that left more than a dozen Palestinian structures razed to the ground.

      While numerous eyewitnesses have insisted Abu al-Qian was posing no threat to anyone when Israeli police opened fire at his vehicle, causing him to lose control of the car and ram into officers, Israeli authorities have claimed the local math teacher was carrying out a deliberate terrorist attack in the incident that left one policeman killed.

  • Hundreds denounce deadly Umm al-Hiran raid in Israel, occupied Palestinian territory
    Jan. 19, 2017 11:36 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 19, 2017 12:16 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=775001

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian citizens of Israel and their supporters took to the streets in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory on Wednesday to protest an evacuation raid in a Bedouin community in the Negev which turned deadly earlier in the day, with one Palestinian citizen of Israel and an Israeli police officer dying in disputed circumstances.

    Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Umm al-Hiran, where Bedouin resident Yaqoub Moussa Abu al-Qian, 47, was shot dead by Israeli police, who claimed that the math teacher was carrying out a vehicular attack which killed police officer Erez Levi, 34.

    However, a number of witnesses and Palestinian officials with Israeli citizenship have disputed Israeli security forces’ version of events, saying that police officers opened fire on Abu al-Qian despite him not representing a threat, causing him to lose control of his vehicle and fatally hit Levi.

    Knesset member Ayman Odeh, the head of the Joint List, which represents parties led by Palestinian citizens of Israel, was injured in the head and back during the raid, although witnesses and police disputed how he had been injured and by whom.

    The High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, a division of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, declared three days of mourning in Palestinian-majority towns and villages in Israel following the deadly raid.

    The committee also called for Palestinian citizens of Israel to launch a general strike on Thursday, and for teachers to discuss the recent events in Umm al-Hiran with students.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/561578

    #israël #démolitions #bédouins #colonisation_intérieure

    • Family of slain Palestinian teacher demands investigation into his death
      Jan. 19, 2017 10:40 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 19, 2017 10:40 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=775010

      BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The family of Yaqoub Moussa Abu al-Qian, a math teacher and Palestinian citizen of Israel who was shot dead by Israeli police on Wednesday, demanded on Thursday that Israeli police open an investigation into his death.

      NGO Adalah — The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, who is representing Abu al-Qian’s family, released a statement Thursday demanding an investigation be opened into the circumstances of the death of Abu al-Qian, who Adalah said was 50-years-old, though earlier reports claimed he was 47-years-old.

      Israeli police claimed that the math teacher was carrying out a vehicular attack which killed police officer Erez Levi, 34, though a number of witnesses and Palestinian officials with Israeli citizenship have disputed Israeli security forces’ version of events, saying that police officers opened fire on Abu al-Qian despite him not representing a threat, causing him to lose control of his vehicle and fatally hit Levi.

      Israeli Knesset member Taleb Abu Arar said that the police killed Abu al-Qian “in cold blood," Israeli news site Ynet quoted him as saying. "The police shot him for no reason. The claims that he tried to run over police are not true.”

    • PHOTOS: Israel demolishes homes in Umm el-Hiran amid violence

      Israeli authorities begin demolishing the Bedouin village of Umm el-Hiran in preparation for its replacement with a Jewish town, following violence which left a Bedouin man and an Israeli police officer dead, and a Palestinian MK wounded.
      By Activestills |Published January 19, 2017
      Photos by Keren Manor and Faiz Abu Rmeleh
      https://972mag.com/photos-israel-demolishes-homes-in-umm-el-hiran-amid-violence/124583


      Umm el-Hiran before and after Israeli bulldozers carried out demolitions, January 18, 2017. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

    • Démolition de maisons palestiniennes : manifestations et appels à la grève générale

      Nouvelles protestations après la mort de l’instituteur palestinien tué par la police israélienne pendant des manifestations contre les démolitions de maisons à Umm al-Hiran

      MEE | 19 janvier 2017
      http://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/reportages/d-molition-de-maisons-palestiniennes-manifestations-et-appels-la-gr-v

      Des milliers de Palestiniens ont participé mercredi à une série de manifestations qui se sont propagées dans les villages palestiniens au milieu d’appels à la grève générale. Ces manifestations ont suivi la mort d’un instituteur, tué par les forces israéliennes lors de manifestations contre les démolitions de maisons dans le sud du pays.

      « Nous sommes descendus dans la rue pour protester et faire entendre la voix du peuple palestinien », explique Kholoud Abu Ahmed, un Palestinien d’Israël, d’Haïfa. « Nous n’accepterons pas d’être expulsés de nos maisons, marginalisés et tués [par les autorités israéliennes]. »

      Les officiels israéliens prétendent que Yacoub al-Qiyan a été tué alors qu’il menait sa voiture sur les officiers de police dans le village bédouin de Umm al-Hiran dans le désert du Néguev. Les habitants du village, toutefois, ont rapporté qu’al-Qiyan était simplement en train de conduire jusqu’à l’endroit où avaient lieu les démolitions pour parler aux autorités et tenter d’empêcher les destructions.

      Selon un officier, un agent de police israélien, Erez Lévi, a été soi-disant percuté et tué. Un député palestinien connu d’une liste commune, Ayman Odeh, a aussi été blessé à la tête par une balle en caoutchouc tirée par la police.(...)

  • Palestinian shot dead ’in cold blood’ by Israeli police during Negev demolition raid
    Jan. 18, 2017 9:44 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 18, 2017 11:53 A.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=774987

    MK Ayman Odeh, shot and injured in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet fired by Israeli police

    NEGEV (Ma’an) — Two people were killed and several others were hospitalized Wednesday after a predawn demolition raid into the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev region erupted into clashes, as Israeli forces used rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas canisters, and stun grenades to violently suppress locals and supporters who had gathered to resist the demolitions.

    A Palestinian citizen of Israel was shot dead by Israeli forces after he allegedly carried out a car ramming attack on Israeli officers, leaving several injured, according to Israeli police. However, a numerous eyewitness accounts said that the driver lost control of his vehicle after he was shot, causing him to crash into Israeli police, one of whom was killed.

    Israeli Knesset member Taleb Abu Arar said that the police killed Abu Qian “in cold blood," Israeli news site Ynet quoted him as saying. “The police shot him for no reason. The claims that he tried to run over police are not true.”

    Locals identified the slain Palestinian citizen of Israel as 47-year-old Yaqoub Moussa Abu al-Qian , a math teacher at al-Salam High School in the nearby town of Hura.

    Israeli police later confirmed that a policeman succumbed to injuries he sustained by being hit by the car. The slain officer was identified as 34-year-old Erez Levi.

    Knesset member Ayman Odeh and head of the Joint List, which represents parties led by Palestinian citizens of Israel, was injured in the head and back with rubber-coated steel bullets, locals said, and taken to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba.

    Odeh wrote in a statement on his Facebook page saying that “a crime was committed in Umm al-Hiran as hundreds of police members violently raided the village firing tear-gas bombs, stun grenades, and rubber-coated steel bullets. Villagers, women, men, and children stood with their bare hands against the brutality and violence of the police.”

    Hundreds of Israeli police arrived to Umm al-Hiran at around 5 a.m. to secure the area for Israeli authorities to carry out a demolition campaign in the village.

    Israeli news blog 972 Magazine quoted witness and activist Kobi Snitz as saying that police began pulling drivers out of vehicles, and attacking and threatening others.

    A short while later, Snitz said he heard gunfire and saw a white pickup truck about 30 meters from police, telling 972: “They started shooting at the car in bursts from all directions.”

    According to the report, it was only after the driver appeared to have been wounded and lost control of his vehicle that it crashed into the police officers, contradiction Israeli police reports.

    #Palestine_assassinée

    • Une opération de démolition tourne mal en Israël : un policier et un villageois tués
      AFP / 18 janvier 2017 09h18
      http://www.romandie.com/news/Une-operation-de-demolition-tourne-mal-en-Israel-un-policier-et-un-villageois-tues/768760.rom

      Umm al-Hiran (Israël) - Une opération de démolition dans un village bédouin a très mal tourné mercredi dans une communauté emblématique du sud d’Israël, où un policier israélien et un villageois arabe ont été tués dans des circonstances différentes selon les versions de la police et des villageois.

      Le policier Erez Levi, 34 ans, est mort dans une attaque à la voiture bélier dont l’auteur a ensuite été abattu, a indiqué la police qui a décrit le conducteur comme un « terroriste ».

      Plusieurs villageois et l’assistant d’un député arabe présent sur place ont contesté cette version des faits.

      Les policiers avaient été dépêchés dans le village bédouin d’Umm al-Hiran pour sécuriser la démolition de plusieurs maisons de bédouins, dépourvues selon les autorités israéliennes des permis nécessaires.

      « A l’arrivée des unités de police sur la zone, un véhicule conduit par un terroriste du Mouvement islamique a tenté d’attaquer un groupe de policiers en les percutant. Les policiers ont riposté et le terroriste a été neutralisé », a dit un porte-parole de la police, Micky Rosenfeld. Une autre porte-parole de la police a confirmé la mort du conducteur.

      Plusieurs policiers ont été blessés, a dit M. Rosenfeld.

      Raed Abou al-Qiyan, responsable d’un comité prodiguant des services aux villageois, a contesté cette version.

      « La version israélienne est un mensonge. Il (le conducteur) était un enseignant respecté. Ils (les policiers) sont arrivés et ont commencé à tirer sans discrimination des balles en caoutchouc, visant les gens, allant jusqu’à blesser le député (arabe israélien) Ayman Odeh qui essayait de leur parler », a déclaré à l’AFP Raed Abou al-Qiyan, qui dit avoir été témoin direct des faits.

    • Renewed clashes erupt in Negev village as Israeli bulldozers begin demolitions
      Jan. 18, 2017 12:38 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 18, 2017 12:38 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=774991

      (...) At around noon, renewed clashes erupted as Israeli bulldozers began razing the homes to the ground.

      Residents crowded and hurled stones at Israeli police officers who showered the demonstrators with tear gas to disperse them.

      Palestinian MK Osama Saadi was lightly injured in the leg and was taken to Soroka hospital in Beersheva for treatment, according to Israeli news website Walla.

      In addition, Israeli police officers denied a number of Palestinian Knesset members entry into the village. Among them were MK Ahmad Tibi and Hanin Zoubi. Israeli police prevented hundreds of vehicles from entering the village as residents were seen evacuating belongings from their homes ahead of the demolitions.

      Palestinian MK Jamal Zahalqa urged the Israeli government to pull out police and avoid using force. A solution could be reached, he told reporters, by dialogue in a way that shows respect to the residents of Umm al-Hiran.

    • Umm al-Hiran man killed after police open fire during violent demolition operation in Bedouin village
      18/01/2017
      https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/9001

      Adalah: Israeli courts, gov’t responsible for death of 50 year old; residents refute police claims of attack; eyewitnesses confirm Ya’akub Musa Abu Al-Qi’an lost control of car after police fired at him.

      Israeli police killed a 50-year-old local teacher this morning (Wed. 18 January 2017) and wounded local residents and a Knesset member during a violent incursion into Atir-Umm al-Hiran aimed at demolishing a central section of the Naqab (Negev) Bedouin village. One police officer was also killed during the incident.

      Adalah, which represented the Bedouin residents of Atir–Umm al-Hiran in legal proceedings over the past 13 years to stop the village’s demolition responded to the events of this morning that: "The Israeli judiciary and the government are responsible for the killing in the village today. The Israeli Supreme Court’s decision to allow the state to proceed with its plan to demolish the village, which has existed for 60 years, in order to establish a Jewish town called ’Hiran’ over its ruins, is one of the most racist judgments that the Court has ever issued. (...)

    • Israeli police accused of cover-up over killing during Negev demolition raid
      Jan. 18, 2017 2:16 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 18, 2017 2:16 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=774990

      NEGEV (Ma’an) — The Joint List, which represents parties led by Palestinian citizens of Israel in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, accused Israeli police of spreading misinformation to Israeli media regarding an alleged vehicle attack Wednesday morning in the Negev, in order to distract from Israel’s campaign to establish Jewish-only towns “on the ruins of Bedouin villages.”

      The statement warned the Israeli government of the dangerous consequences of the “bloody” escalation, after Israeli police raided the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran to evacuate residents in order to demolish their homes.

      The raid turned deadly, when a 47-year-old Palestinian with Israeli citizenship was shot and killed by police “in cold blood,” according to witnesses. However, Israeli police claimed the man deliberately rammed his car into officers.

      Hours later, as Israeli bulldozers began razing the homes to the ground, renewed clashes erupted in the village.

      Umm al-Hiran is one of 35 Bedouin villages considered “unrecognized” by the Israeli state, and more than half of the approximately 160,000 Negev Bedouins reside in unrecognized villages.

      The unrecognized Bedouin villages were established in the Negev soon after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war following the creation of the state of Israel.

      Now more than 60 years later, the villages have yet to be recognized by Israel and live under constant threats of demolition and forcible removal.

    • Palestinian, Israeli leadership react to deadly police raid of Bedouin village
      Jan. 18, 2017 6:12 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 18, 2017 6:12 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=774995

      RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat condemned Israeli authorities for the “crime” committed Wednesday during a demolition campaign in the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran, during which a Palestinian citizen of Israel was shot dead by Israeli police and an Israeli policeman was killed, and numerous Palestinians were injured.

      Erekat accused the Israeli government of reacting to attempts by the international community to achieve peace between Palestinians and Israelis by escalating a policy of “racism, ethnic cleansing, and the evacuation of indigenous Palestinians from their lands, in a desperate attempt to Judaize the country.”

      He called attention to the estimated 1.7 million Palestinians with Israeli citizenship who “are living amid the racist system of Israel,” adding that the demolition Palestinian homes in the Israeli city of Qalansawe had “continued in Qalandiya refugee camp yesterday and in Umm al-Hiran today.”

      Erekat stressed that the international community’s silence towards Israeli actions only bought time and immunity for Israel to commit more crimes, adding that the situation “requires an immediate and urgent international intervention to stop this chaos before it’s too late.”

      Meanwhile, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that not holding Israel accountable regarding its role as an occupying power “lessens the credibility of countries who demand reviving and realizing the two-state solution.”

      The ministry argued that Israel’s belligerence in the face of international conventions “calls for an international ethical wakening to punish Israel for its violations, and to end its occupation of Palestine.” (...)

    • Umm al-Hiran : Odeh accuse Netanyahu d’avoir refusé un accord et déclenché les affrontements
      Le député arabe affirme que les habitants du village bédouin avaient accepté un compromis quelques heures avant l’explosion des violences mortelles
      Stuart Winer 18 janvier 2017, 17:33
      http://fr.timesofisrael.com/odeh-accuse-netanyahu-davoir-refuse-un-accord-et-declenche-les-aff

      Le dirigeant de la Liste arabe unie a accusé mercredi le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu d’avoir causé un violent affrontement dans un village bédouin, au cours duquel un policier et un habitant ont été tués. Il a affirmé que Netanyahu avait manqué à sa parole à propos d’un accord concernant les démolitions de maisons du village.

      S’adressant aux journalistes devant le centre médical Soroka de Beer Sheva, le député Ayman Odeh, qui portait un bandage sur la tête après avoir été blessé pendant les manifestations, a réclamé une enquête gouvernementale sur les événements.

      Des démolitions de maisons du village bédouin non autorisé d’Umm al-Hiran, dans le Néguev, ont été perturbées mercredi matin quand une voiture, conduite par l’instituteur du village, Yaqoub Mousa Abu Al-Qian, est entrée dans la ligne formée par les policiers. Un policier, Erez Levi, 34 ans, a été tué, et un autre a été blessé.

      « Nous étions en négociations jusque tard dans la nuit », a déclaré Odeh, sans préciser les responsables présents pour représenter l’Etat.

      « Je participais aux négociations. Nous avions presque terminé. Nous avions atteint un compromis, que les habitants d’Umm al-Hiran ont accepté. Mais le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu, qui a déjà identifié la population arabe comme l’ennemi public numéro un, a cruellement décidé de détruire un village entier, de tirer et de frapper des hommes, des femmes, et des enfants. »(...)

    • Israeli police video reveals cops opened fire on Bedouin man before his car accelerated, contradicting police claims
      19/01/2017
      https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/9002

      Ya’akub Musa Abu Al-Qi’an (Photo courtesy of Mossawa Center)

      Adalah demands criminal investigation; police in Umm al-Hiran violated open-fire regulations, and prevented ambulance crew from treating Abu Al-Qi’an for three hours after shooting.

      Hours after Israeli police gunfire led to the death of a Bedouin man during a violent home demolition operation, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel is demanding that Israeli authorities investigate the suspicious circumstances of his death.

      Mr. Ya’akub Musa Abu Al-Qi’an, a 50-year-old math teacher from Atir-Umm al-Hiran in the Naqab (Negev), Israel’s southern desert region, was killed after Israeli police opened fire on his vehicle as he was driving through the Bedouin village during state preparations for a large-scale home demolition.

      The parents of Abu Al-Qi’an have asked Adalah to represent the family and to demand that the Justice Ministry’s Police Investigations Division (Mahash) investigate the circumstances of their son’s death.

      In the letter to Mahash, sent late last night (18 January 2017), Adalah Attorneys Nadeem Shehadeh and Mohammad Bassam argue that police video footage of the incident and eyewitness testimony reveal that police opened fire on Abu Al-Qi’an’s vehicle before he accelerated in the direction of officers. This totally contradicts police claims that Abu Al Qi’an sought to “ram” them with his vehicle.(...)

    • Israeli police close probe into January killing of Palestinian teacher
      Dec. 30, 2017 3:40 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 30, 2017 3:40 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=779708

      BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli Police Investigations Division (PID) has decided to close its probe into the January police killing of Palestinian math teacher Yaqoub Abu al-Qian, and to not hold any officers responsible for his death, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, said in a statement on Thursday.

      Abu al-Qian, a 50-year-old math teacher from the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in southern Israel’s Negev desert, was shot dead by Israeli police in January while he was driving at night, causing him to spin out of control and crash into Israeli officers, killing one policeman.

      Abu al-Qian was driving through the village as dozens of Israeli forces were preparing for a large-scale home demolition in Umm al-Hiran. Israeli forces at the time claimed he was attempted to carry out a vehicular attack, though witness testimonies and video footage of the incident proved contradictory to police accusations.

      Israeli police footage appeared to show police officers shooting at al-Qian as he was driving at a very slow pace, and only several seconds after the gunfire does his car appear to speed up, eventfully plowing through police officers.

      The killing of Abu al-Qian sparked widespread outrage amongst Palestinian civilians and politicians, who claimed he was “extrajudicially executed.

      After demands from his family and the community for police to conduct a probe into his killing, Adalah filed a request demanding the PID open an investigation into the death of Abu al-Qian.

      “The closure of this investigation means the PID continues to grant legitimacy to deadly police violence against Arab citizens of Israel,” Adalah said in it’s statement.