Human Rights

Israel is “vindicated”, claims FM Lieberman about Richard Goldstone’s latest op-ed in the Washington Post, adding that “we knew the truth and we had no doubt it would eventually come out.”  Netanyahu has gone so far as to demand the Goldstone report be retracted from the UN.  Among all the celebrations and self-congratulatory pats on […]

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A routine rebuttal to the argument that Israel is an apartheid state is to focus on the conditions of the Palestinian citizens of Israel. Israel’s defenders allege, for example, that Palestinians within its borders (whatever those are taken to be) live better than other Palestinians, or even other Arabs. Others like to point out that […]

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We are accustomed to hearing about how Israel as an ethnically exclusivist state was necessary to protect the Jews after the Holocaust. For most Israelis, this assertion has taken on almost axiomatic status. So it’s interesting to note that many of the early Zionist leaders, including the relentlessly mythologized David Ben-Gurion, Zionist leader and first […]

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I can appreciate that arguments for cultural boycott might require a little more intellectual sophistication and awareness than, say, being (verbally) against Jewish-only colonies on stolen land. Every self-identified Jewish or Israeli “liberal” loves to blame the settlers for everything (when they aren’t trying to blame Hamas), but the notion of boycotting cultural icons seems […]

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The massive, organized, hysterical opposition by Israelis and their lobbyists to the UN Security Council Resolution today, which aimed to condemn settlements (with Hillary Clinton’s own recent language about them) makes the whole game crystal clear.  The real issue Israelis have is not that some Palestinian resistance fighters use violence (and often illegal, terrorizing violence […]

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In an op-ed today, Aluf Benn argues that Israel cannot stop Palestinian independence except through the “terrible” options of bombing Iran, calling early elections (like this is equivalently “terrible”), or taking retaliatory action against the Palestinian Authority for daring to seek international support for a state.  “Terrible” is the one adjective Benn manages to produce […]

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Last October, the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem published a report indicating that Israel murdered, on average, one Palestinian every other day between 2006 and 2009, excluding the attack on Gaza known as Cast Lead that killed an additional 1,400 people (note that including Cast Lead brings the total to an average of around 1.5 […]

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A recently released Wikileaks cable confirmed something the world already knew: Israel’s policy of de-developing Gaza is deliberate and not based on any possible security rationale. Israeli officials have confirmed to Embassy officials on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian […]

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Israelis love to think about themselves as little ‘d’ democrats, but they have a very peculiar way of understanding democratic principles. A new poll released today by the Israel Democracy Institute brings into full, awkward view the contradictory, mutually inconsistent definitions of democracy that cohabit the Israeli psyche. First the (semi) flattering news. 51% of […]

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Israel’s ever-dwindling defenders frequently cite the country’s judicial system as evidence of the robustness of Israeli democracy. They point, for example, to the fact that the court has prohibited the Israeli military from using civilians as human shields or has ordered the segregation wall being built in the West Bank to be rerouted in a […]

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