The following is a timeline of major "Price Tag" attacks (as reported by Israeli sources). It documents a clear escalation in attacks, and the increasing spread of attacks inside the Green Line. Italics indicate so-called "triggers" - events or developments that appear to be linked to subsequent attacks - although as has been noted in the Israeli press, "According to the Shin Bet, the right-wing extremists no longer appear to need a 'trigger' to take action, while the targets of the violence are also widening..." We will update this regularly.
By Lex Rofes
Two simple Hebrew words. I have heard them over and over again, from rabbis, Jewish educators, and lay-leaders. At my Jewish summer camp, we shouted it at the top of our lungs at the end of Bir’kat Hamazon every Shabbat. At a Reform congregation where I was a member, it was inscribed in huge letters on the synagogue’s ark.
Na’aseh V’nishma comes from this week’s Torah portion – Parashat Mishpatim. According to the most common interpretation of it (drawn from Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer among other sources), the sequence of the words is of the utmost importance. According to this school of thought, the best translation is really “We will accept [God’s commandments], and then we will understand.” The words indicate, in effect, that the Israelites will do whatever the Torah says – even though they don’t even know what that is yet. Many have lauded the Israelites’ behavior in this Mid’rash. That our ancestors were so willing to trust God, obeying a document they hadn’t even read yet, is, in their opinion, praiseworthy.
I can’t agree. The reason is that, in today’s world, injustice thrives. It runs rampant, in our own society and all around the world. That includes the West Bank and Gaza, under military occupation by the Israeli government for almost fifty years. Our relationship to this injustice – all injustice really – cannot be one of “we will accept it, and then we will understand.”
--High Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, who headed Sunday's panel of six judges, slammed the racist arsonists of the Israeli Yad B'Yad school for trying to harm co-existence and ruled to extend their sentences.**
This week, Alpher discusses the flurry of high level discussions and agreements between Israel, Greece and Cyprus, with Egypt also mentioned as an economic and military partner, seemingly directed at isolating Turkey regionally; more Edward Snowden revelations of far-reaching electronic monitoring by the US and UK, and whether Israel is alarmed at its friends’ spying; if there is any chance of success trying to end the slaughter in Syria, via the convening of yet another high-level meeting in Geneva to try; how do Israelis react to more and more instances of regime-led siege warfare against Syrian civilian villages, leading to starvation; his reaction to French FM Fabius calling for an international peace conference and threatening that if it fails, France will recognize a Palestinian state.
I Shall Not Hate follows the story of the Gaza fertility doctor (nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize) who refuses to relinquish his commitment to coexistence, even after tragedy befalls his family during ISRAEL’S 2008-2009 WAR WITH HAMAS (Operation Cast Lead). The production, performed in Hebrew and Arabic by one of Israel's leading Palestinian actors, Gassan Abbas, brings humanity and heroism to the role of Abuelaish, in a script adapted and staged by one of MOSAIC theatre's Festival's featured young artists, the Israeli director, Shay Pitovsky.
On Sunday, February 7, following the 7:30PM performance, a post-show discussion and talkback involving Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, was moderated by Americans For Peace Now's Ori Nir and APN board member Mary Ann Stein.
(published 2/1/16 at LobeLog)
Attention is finally focusing on a bill pending in Congress that would make it U.S. policy to defend and support Israeli settlements. Known as the Customs Bill, this legislation regulates U.S. trade relations with foreign countries and includes the pro-settlement language in a provision that, ostensibly, is about defending the state of Israel against boycotts. It is part of a broader campaign, waged in Washington and in state capitals across the country, that seeks to undermine growing grassroots support for the boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel and reverse Washington’s longstanding opposition to settlements in the occupied territories.
Back in July, Congress passed a similar provision as part of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill. The State Department responded with a statement rejecting the pro-settlements language, noting that “[e]very U.S. administration since 1967—Democrat and Republican alike—has opposed Israeli settlement activity beyond the 1967 lines.” The administration’s rejection provoked a harsh critique by one Washington Post blogger who writes on both legal issues and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The blogger, Eugene Kontorovich, testified on the BDS movement and ways to combat it before the Subcommittee on National Security of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform last July. Now, with the Customs Bill in the spotlight and likely to soon come before President Obama, the arguments presented in his critique—which apply equally to the settlements-related provision in the Customs Bill—bear close scrutiny.
APN & Peace Now on the NGO bill
7/12/16: APN condemns new anti-democratic Israeli law
1/21/16: APN Q&A: Israel’s new NGO Bill – what it is, what it means
12/27/15: APN Statement: Anti-NGO Bill - Hate Crime against Democracy
1/11/16: Lara Friedman for JTA: No comparison b/w NGO bill & US law
1/10/2016: Peace Now's Anat Ben Nun for Newsweek: Israel's NGO Bill is an Attempt to Crush Critics of the Government
1/4/16: Peace Now report: Who is Funding Israeli Right-Wing NGOs?
12/31/15: Briefing Call: The threats facing Israeli democracy w/ Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer
--Yedioth political analyst Shimon Shiffer says Israel’s leadership must stop ‘managing’ the conflict and must initiate solving it.*
You Must Be Kidding:
"I had no political motive in placing the work [here], and as long as I am Knesset speaker, it will stand in the Knesset."
--Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein speaking at the unveiling of a controversial monument in the Knesset building commemorating Israel's 2005 disengagement from the Gaza Strip and evacuation of the Gush Katif settlements.**
Op-ed: As Im Tirtzu's supporters saw last week, the fervent quest to implicate others as traitors can quickly go too far. Israel's witch hunters need to stop now, before it's too late.
"Let there be no hope for informers", says the Shemoneh Esrei prayer. That harsh saying has many different and interesting religious interpretations, but when I was young, me and the other kids at a secular school in Tel Aviv took it literally: Bad things are in order for people who inform on their buddies. We wrote the words on a large piece of cardboard paper, and hung it on the wall next to the principal's office.
Since his office was near the restrooms, one child made a slight change to the sign, switching the Hebrew words to mean "Let there be no hope for those who pee." It created a small controversy, one of many. The school itself closed down years ago. Its restrooms now service the coffee shop that has since opened nearby. Whenever I schedule a meeting there, I make sure to give that wall a respectful visit. Not because of the restroom: Because of the informers.
--Natalie from Bethlehem responded to the Airbnb request of an Israeli journalist who got mixed responses in her probe about whether Palestinians would rent their homes out to Israelis.*
You Must Be Kidding:
“If we don’t translate Hebrew books, how will we know what’s being written about us? This book in particular was written about our society. How long will we hide our heads in the sand?”
--Amr Zakaria, the Egyptian translator of the book by Israeli journalist Jacky Hugi, slammed the Egyptian parliamentarian who demanded a government probe into how an Israeli book was allowed into the Cairo International Book Fair.**