30,000 Israeli Jews and Arabs gather to oppose their government’s policies

August 2, 2017

At the end of May, Peace Now reported that 30,000 Israelis (above) raised their voices against 50 years of occupation and in support of a two state solution.

Peace Now is a movement of Jewish and Arab Israeli citizens who see the pursuit of peace, compromise and reconciliation with the Palestinians on the one hand and with the Arab states on the other, as necessary to guarantee Israel’s future security and its identity as a state.

30,000 Jews and Arabs, Ashkenazi and Mizrahi, old and young, arrived from all across Israel to show that many support a two state solution, oppose the government’s policies and seek to end the occupation, which is hurting Palestinians and deteriorating Israel’s democracy.

More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in Jewish-only colonies, which are deemed illegal by international law, throughout occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank.

However, two months later, there was an incident at Abu Rajabs’ family home, in the southern occupied West Bank, raising tensions in the city. The clearest account is given by IMEMC News here.

In 2012, Israeli settler colonizers took over the top two floors of the home, forcing the Abu Rajab family to huddle into the lowest level of their home. The home has been the subject of a long-standing legal case, with settlers claiming that they legally purchased the property. The Abu Rajab family rejects that claim, and Israel’s civil administration has said the settlers have been unable to provide proof of that purchase.

Since that time, the Abu Rajab family has been continually harassed, including having their entrance and exit to the home blocked, being beaten and threatened, having soldiers occupy their home and assist the settler colonizers in their takeover, and having one of the sons of the Abu Rajab family abducted and put into prison without charge for years. Throughout 2015, Israeli settlers camped outside the home for months, harassing the Abu Rajab family and preventing them from leaving.

This video shows one altercation, but it is unclear what is happening. The most disturbunig shots were of a large crowd of y oung israels repeatedly calpp9ng and cheering..

IMEMC News reports that the family had filed six different complaints with the Israeli court system, which eventually ruled in their favour and ordered the settlers to evacuate.

Now, in 2017, the family finds themselves once again filing a complaint with the Israeli police, as the settlers have returned to force them from their home in violation of international and Israeli law.

Peace Now has called on the Israeli government to evict the settlers from the home.

Will the Israeli court see that their decision is upheld and implemented?


Changing direction: toward peace, away from war? Further Israeli opposition to the status quo

September 13, 2014

 

Haaretz reports that a public letter has been sent to the chief of staff of Israel’s armed forces and the head of military intelligence, signed by reservist members of the ‘prestigious’ Israeli Defence Force’s Intelligence Unit 8200. Like Britain’s GCHQ, the unit intercepts electronic communications including email, phone calls and social media, in addition to targeting military and diplomatic traffic.

israel unit 8200Unit 8200: “arguably the best military intelligence gathering apparatus in the world”

The signatories of the letter are refusing to serve in operations involving the occupied Palestinian territories, alleging that the widespread surveillance of innocent residents is used for “political persecution” and to create divisions in Palestinian society; they say that this activity is designed to perpetuate the occupation by infiltrating all aspects of Palestinian life, deepening the military control over the occupied territories.

The Guardian adds that, accompanying the letter, are a series of testimonies provided by the signatories to Yedioth Ahronoth, organised several months before the recent Gaza war.

tel aviv peace rally

This letter gives further weight to hope for beneficial change, added to the earlier public demonstrations in August: kibbutzim anger building against the Israeli government and military – followed by ten thousand demonstrators gathering for a pro-peace rally in Tel Aviv (above) under the slogan, “Changing direction: toward peace, away from war”.