Human Rights

Yesterday Yuli Edelstein at the Israel Consulate in New York fielded questions via Twitter about the flotilla massacre. I asked directly: “Were IDF commandos detained by flotilla activists? If so, for how long? How were they released?” The Israeli Consulate responded: “Not true. Its a rumor.” About 30 hours later the world is informed that […]


It’s difficult to say precisely when the Gaza siege became a formal naval blockade (Update: a commenter, Marian Houk, points out that the IDF Spokesperson announced the blockade on Jan 3, 2009, a fact that raises an additional question of how the IDF views the siege from 2006 to 2009.) But in the language of […]


Today is the anniversary of the establishment of Israel on May 15th, 1948. It is also the day that Palestinians commemorate as the Nakba (“the catastrophe”). Here are two excellent documentaries on the establishment of Israel and the birth of the Palestinian refugee problem. Spend some time today thinking about the history conveyed in these […]


I hate hyperbole when things are already so bad that no exaggeration is needed. So I am going to keep things as rational and methodical as possible, with a nice and healthy smattering of caveats wherever needed. Still, I have no doubt what I am about to say would disturb my family members who slowly […]


After what presumably amounted to months of desperate searching, Judge Goldstone’s detractors finally found the “smoking gun” to forever lay to rest his damaging—and still unrebutted—report on Israeli and Hamas-orchestrated war crimes in Gaza. It turns out that he is a judge, a white man, from South Africa, of sufficient age and experience to have […]


It is, in a certain sense, bound to happen. The massacre of unarmed civilians and the institutional cover-up for such behavior are certainties when it comes to modern warfare. This statement applies, of course, to the Sri Lankans as much as the Russians, to the Americans as much as the Israelis. The American military, for […]


Concerned citizens from around the world will begin observance this week of Israeli Apartheid Week. This is an excellent opportunity to spend some time thinking about the system of institutionalized and violent discrimination in place in Israel/Palestine, about your personal role in the conflict (we are almost all parties to Palestinian oppression either through political, […]

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Ha’aretz runs today a stunning and thoughtful article about how Israel must learn the language of human rights. Written by a media consultant and former adviser to the Interior Ministry, Gilad Heimann, the article manages to cut through Israeli social psychology and government hasbara efforts with admirable efficiency. The core argument is this: Israel doesn’t […]


This news story will not be news to anyone bothering to read the Israeli papers as Israel was attacking Gaza last winter. IDF spokespeople made it very clear Israel was going to privilege Jewish soldiers’ lives over any concerns about war crimes. This argument is, in fact, part of the Goldstone report’s case against Israel. […]


After months of dawdling, Israel finally completed its UN assignment right at the deadline. Well, not really. As the UN mandated timeframe for investigating IDF crimes in Gaza was coming to a close, the Israeli government handed over a partially finished document that summarized the homework already done and the homework it intends to do. […]

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