Can We Call it “Just Another Fascist Regime in the Middle East” yet?

The Latest Raid in Bil'in Photo By Hamde Abu-Rahma

Chapter XXV of Part Three of the Goldstone Report was dedicated to Repression Of Dissent In Israel, Right To Access To Information And Treatment Of Human Rights Defenders. I personally remember the fear of speaking out, I felt at the time. It was a tense environment and a hands-on lesson in democracy (or lack there of).

The Israeli environment, today, is calmer to a degree; Most probably due to the short memory span of the typical Israeli. Yet the authorities (the only ones with property rights to this memory span) are exponentially getting more and more nervous about world perception of Israel. This nervousness manifests in many different and desperate ways, I’ve written about, but today I’d like to focus on what’s becoming more and more flagrant: The repression of leftist activists.

Amira Hass as a Measure to Oppression

When I started seeing Amira Hass in the Sheikh Jarrah protests, I was almost as giddy as a groupie. At the time, it didn’t occur to me that if she’s covering repression of the Jewish (for sake of clarification only) left, then she’s taking time off of covering much more atrocious transgressions against Palestinians. And though her enjoyment of taking part in actual democratic practice was obvious, she was on the job, and the article was soon to follow:

The Israel Defense Forces says it is using information on Israelis who demonstrate against the separation fence in a bid to deny them entry at nearby checkpoints… It also appears that the IDF is observing the routes the activists take to reach the villages.

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The Only Democracy in the Middle East: 29.1.2010

The Day’s Demonstrations

The Bil’in weekly demonstration brutally suppressed by soldier’s infiltration into the village, for the the third week in a row. Youth and children fight back to save their land:

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This is what the Only Democracy in the Middle East Looks Like

This Friday, International Human Rights Day was marked for the first time in Israel. In Tel-Aviv, some 5000 people marched in a general human-rights march. It was a quiet event that was covered very favorably and widely by the press. What wasn’t being covered by the press? The second March to Sheikh Jarrah, which ended up with 24 arrests and one demonstrator in the hospital.

Putting Sheik Jarrah in Context
In 1875- Ottoman times- the Committee of the Sephardic Ethnic Group bought these lands. There was a small Jewish community living there until they gradually started fleeing, during the violence, in the area, during the 1920’s and 30’s and up until 1948. From 1948 to 1967, the land was under Jordanian control. At that time, 28 Palestinian refugee families were given lodging on this land by the Jordanian government, under the condition that they give up their UNRWA benefits and pay symbolic rent, for three years, by which time the houses will be passed under their names. The last part never happened.

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