Pro-peace rallies in Israel, Tel Aviv Saturday, Haifa Sunday


This video says about itself:

21 October 2015

Israeli cafe offers discounts for Jews and Arabs who sit together

A hummus cafe in Israel is seeking to foster understanding amid a series of violent incidents by offering a discount for Jews and Arabs who sit together.

From the Gush Shalom peace movement in Israel:

Stop the Madness! Protest march in Tel Aviv, rally in Haifa

Saturday, October 24, 7:30 pm – marching from the Rabin Square, Tel Aviv. Sunday, October 25, at 7:30 pm – rally at the Cinematheque Square, Haifa.

At 7:30 pm on Saturday, October 24 the march will set off from Rabin Square to the Defense Ministry gate on Kaplan St., Tel Aviv. The march was initiated by Peace Now and joined by various other peace and human rights groups.

These difficult times – days of violence, fear and pain – are only reinforcing our understanding that there will not be real security here until there’s peace through a negotiated solution.

Only a political process that will lead to the end of our control over millions of Palestinians will end the bloody conflict between the two peoples and allow Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace and quiet. The only way to prevent further deterioration is through a two state solution.

Join us this Saturday – *To protest the government actions that are pushing us away from a solution. *To protest extreme right-wing provocations. *To call upon Israeli society to choose a different path.

Transportation: If enough people register, there will be buses from Jerusalem, Haifa and Be’er Sheba – register here.

Contact: maya@peacenow.org

Haifa – Jews and Arabs stand together for a common future. Sunday, October 25, at 7:30 pm – rally at the Cinematheque Square, Haifa

We, Jews and Arabs, Arabs and Jews, will not give in to fear and despair. On Sunday, we will stand together in the city of Haifa – a city that can and must lead the way towards a shared life in complete equality. Standing together, we will call for a peace based on independence and justice to both peoples, for full equality in all spheres of life, for an end to racism and discrimination.

Arabs and Jews, Jews and Arabs, we all want to live in security. True security can only be security without occupation and without bloodshed. Only with an end to occupation and a move towards a just peace can we put an end to the killing and hatred, build an different reality and ensure security to all of us.

The terrible violence and fear on the streets did not come out of the blue. The time has come to address the root cause of the cycle of bloodshed: the system of control and separation which denies to millions of Palestinians their right to independence and a life of dignity. Instead of dealing with this root cause, the government goes on pouring ever more gasoline on the fires of incitement and violence.

On Sunday, October 25, at 7:30 pm we will hold a rally at the Cinematheque Square, Haifa (Merkaz HaCarmel, 142 HaNasi Avenue).

Starting at 5:30 pm, there will be in the same location a creativity workshop for children, in Hebrew and Arabic. Bring your entire family, to take part in a manifestation of shared life!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1481267028845995/

FRIDAY PRAYERS at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque ended peacefully yesterday after Israel relaxed restrictions, allowing Palestinian men of all ages to enter: here.

Israeli army kills Jewish ‘Palestinian’ ‘terrorist’


This video says about itself:

Israel: Arabs & Jews march for peace in Jerusalem

17 October 2015

Arabs and Jews marched through Jerusalem in solidarity on Saturday, protesting against the recent cycle of violence that has rocked Israel and Palestine.

From the Times of Israel:

Military police probe Wednesday night’s shooting of Jerusalem man by soldier

Israeli man was killed after altercation on bus with two soldiers who say they suspected he was a terrorist

Military police investigators are joining the investigation into the shooting death of an Israeli man Wednesday night in Jerusalem by two IDF soldiers who said they believed he was a terrorist.

The victim was shot and killed by a soldier on a bus near the western entrance to the capital on Wednesday night, after a physical altercation he had with two soldiers in which both sides apparently concluded the other was a Palestinian terrorist.

After the lynch mob killing of an Eritrean refugee in Israel who had nothing to do with terrorism, ‘for terrorism’ …

After a fanatical nationalist stabbed a Jewish shop assistant for supposedly being Palestinian …

Time to stop this vicious cycle of violence, and of hallucination instead of reality.

See also here.

URI AVNERY wonders if the extremist colonisers of the Occupied Territories have taken over Israeli politics.

Israelis and Palestinians march for peace in Jerusalem


This video says about itself:

17 October 2015

Jews and Arabs marched together through the streets of Jerusalem calling for an end to violent attacks. CNN’s Oren Liebermann reports.

Jewish Rapper Says Music Can Unite Israelis And Palestinians: here.

Eritrean bystander beaten to death after being mistaken for ‘terrorist’ in Israeli bus station attack: here.

Israeli, Palestinian anti-violence demonstration tomorrow


This 19 March 2014 Israeli TV video shows an interview with Adam Keller.

Adam Keller (born 1955 in Tel Aviv-Yafo) is an Israeli peace activist who was among the founders of Gush Shalom, of which he is a spokesperson.

From the peace movement Gush Shalom in Israel:

We will not surrender to despair – We will stand together!

Jews and Arabs march together in Jerusalem – Saturday night, Oct. 17.

Starting point – at 8.30 at Gan HaSus, Jerusalem.

Arabs and Jews want to live in security. Real security, without occupation and without killing. We know that only with a just solution to the conflict will be able to stop the killing and the hatred, to build a different reality. A reality of security.

Neither the terrible violence in the streets nor the fear was created in a vacuum. We must struggle against the root of this bloody cycle: A regime of control and separation that denies millions of Palestinians their right to freedom and equality. The Jerusalem Municipality distances itself from responsibility, and the government of Israel ignores the urgent need to address the root of the conflict. Instead, the authorities simply continue to pour gasoline onto the fire of incitement and violence.

We, Jews and Arabs, will not surrender to despair or to fear. On Saturday evening, we will stand together, in Jerusalem, the heart of the cycle of bloodshed which is also the place from which any solution must begin. We will demand freedom for both peoples, equal rights and equality before the law – this is the only possible solution to to violence, killing and hatred.

Facebook event here.

Register for transportation from Tel Aviv, Jaffa and Haifa: here.

Contact: +972-(0)52-5830724

For years
The “experts” said:
“Not having peace
Is not terrible.
It is possible
To manage
The conflict.”

They were wrong.
It IS terrible.

HUNDREDS of Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian villages with petrol bombs on Saturday night as the Israeli crackdown escalated: here.

Jeremy Corbyn and British Labour Friends of Israel


Shlomo Anker from Britain says about this video he made:

Jeremy Corbyn speech at pro-Israel event

29 September 2015

The event was by Labour Friends of Israel. The organizers invited Palestinians and their supporters too. The atmosphere was wonderful and pro-Palestinians and pro-Israel people were chatting.

One heckler got attention from the media, but he was drunk as red wine was served.

Many Jews like myself voted for Corbyn and many more who did not vote for him now fully support him as leader.

By Shlomo Anker in Britain:

Labour Friends of Israel warm to Corbyn

Friday 9th October 2015

The new party leader and his pro-Palestinian views both had a surprisingly friendly reception from the group, found SHLOMO ANKER

BEFORE Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour Party leader, there was talk of tension within the party — especially from the right-wing media. People suggested that some in the party would even leave and form a SDP style split.

So the reaction of the pro-Israel lobby group Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) is interesting, especially with so much discussion of Corbyn’s views on the Middle East and his record of being very sympathetic to the Palestinians.

At the Labour Party conference, LFI had two main events and its reaction to Corbyn was surprising. Instead of fostering tension and paranoia towards him, the atmosphere was positive and Jewish Labour members both in and outside of LFI are really starting to warm to him. Or to put it another way: Jewish Labour members realise that what the media has said about Corbyn is not true.

One LFI event was a broad discussion about a two-state solution. The speakers in general only spoke in defence of Israel, which included the usual exaggeration of the threat from Iran. It was disappointing that the oppression of the Palestinians was hardly mentioned.

In the discussion afterwards I decided to commment on the suffering of those in Gaza. The reaction I received was unexpected. Instead of people being upset with me, the Chair of LFI, Joan Ryan MP, very much liked my question and the organisers even came to shake my hand.

Pro-Palestinian activists later asked challenging questions and the organisers and pro-Israel members of the audience enjoyed the discussion — although one woman with a Free Palestine badge did get upset with the replies and walked out of the meeting.

The second event for LFI was their annual reception where high-level members of the Labour Party come to drink, eat and discuss the Middle East.

LFI invited plenty of people involved in Labour Friends of Palestine, as well as Corbyn and Hilary Benn. They both spoke alongside Errel Margalit (an Israeli Knesset member) and the deputy ambassdor of Israel. In his speech, Corbyn called for the end of the siege of Gaza but also praised the Jewish community for its work in defending refugees.

The Telegraph and the Times reported on this event but only mentioned a heckler who shouted “Oi oi, say the word Israel!” after Corbyn’s speech. The newspapers forgot to mention that the heckler had partaken heavily in the wine served at the event and is well known as a bit of an “eccentric” who gets so agitated that even the Daily Mail had an article on his bad behaviour.

The improvement of relations between Corbyn and LFI is partly down to the most pro-Israel of all the Labour MPs, Luciana Berger, being appointed to the shadow cabinet. Luciana was formerly the chair of LFI and unlike other pro-Israel voices in the parliamentary party, she is actually Jewish.

But I should not exaggerate. LFI still has strong disagreements with Corbyn and in my opinion LFI’s work needs reform.

Their priority seems to be mainly about Israel’s national security and they do not do enough to stand up for Palestinians.

The rank and file people in LFI are often peace activists but the speakers they invite at events tend to not be as left-wing.

Although while LFI are not supporters of Netanyahu and do formally oppose the occupation, the brutal reality of the occupation is generally not talked about at their events.

I wish that LFI could reform and be focused on peace activism and not on defending the actions of the Israeli military and sometimes its government.

Yet I must also criticise Labour Friends of Palestine too. I spoke with Graeme Morris MP who is the chair of the group and he seemed pessimistic about working with LFI. While he may be right about politics and is a charming fellow, Labour Friends of Palestine need to reach out more to LFI and begin to organise more joint events which will improve relations.

If we are going to have peace and justice in the Middle East, let us at least start with friendship between these two sides within the Labour Party.

Demonstration against occupation and violence in Israel, tomorrow


This video from the USA says about itself:

Israeli Peace Activist Uri Avnery on The Nicole Sandler Show

25 July 2014

Nicole Sandler speaks with the founder of the Israeli peace movement Gush Shalom, Uri Avnery.

From the peace movement Gush Shalom in Israel:

Protest Vigil against the Occupation and EscalationTel Aviv, Friday, October 9

Tomorrow, Friday, October 9, at 13:00 there will be held at the corner of Ben-Zion Boulevard and King George Street in Tel Aviv a Protest Vigil against the Occupation and Escalation.

Military operations and settlement construction are not the solution – they are the problem. Only a peace agreement can end the violence.

In between wars and military operations, right-wing governments construct more settlements. In between one round of futile negotiations and the next one, the government is creating facts on the ground which prevent the attainment of peace and security and which lay the ground for the next war. In between one peak of escalation and the next, the government repeatedly turns a blind eye to the violence of the nationalist settler gangs which rampage, burn and kill throughout the Territories. And in between one round of violence and the next, Netanyahu is convinced he has found the magic formula which will allow him to manage the conflict and to maintain the occupation forever.

Reality is now exploding in our faces. Moment by moment, the occupation becomes ever more violent and dangerous. This right-wing government is a grave danger to all who live here. We all, on both sides, pay the price – and it becomes ever higher, with every passing day.

The right-wingers assert that the answer to the escalation and the wave of violence is ever more use of brute force: more detentions, more killing, more shooting at minors and more construction of settlements. That is totally false. There is only one way to end the escalation and break the cycle of violence and death: a political agreement: ending the occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem, side by side with the State of Israel in its internationally recognized 1967 borders.

Demo: Friday, October 9, at 13:00 – corner of Ben-Zion and King George, Tel Aviv.

Facebook event here.

Contact: Noa Levy +972-(0)52-3872231

Stabbed Israeli Jew mistaken for Arab criticises violence. ‘We are all equal,’ says Uri Rezken, wounded in vigilante attack, and it is a hate crime regardless of whether an Arab or a Jew stabs him: here.

Pro-peace Israelis persecuted


Francisco Goya, Execution of defenders of Madrid by the French army, 3 May 1808

By Uri Avnery in Israel:

The new face of Israel

Saturday 12th September 2015

Israel’s savage occupation and McCarthyite persecution of citizens who want peace have ruined its reputation, perhaps forever, says URI AVNERY

THE MISDEEDS of Napoleon’s occupation army in Spain were not photographed. Photography had not yet been invented. The valiant fighters against the occupation had to rely on Francisco Goya for the immortal painting of the resistance.

The partisans and underground fighters against the German occupation of their countries in World War II had no time to take pictures. Even the heroic uprising of the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw was not filmed by the participants. The Germans themselves filmed their atrocities, and, being Germans, they catalogued and filed them in an orderly way.

In the meantime, photography has become common commonplace. The Israeli occupation in the Palestinian occupied territories is being filmed all the time. Everybody now has mobile phones that take pictures. Also, Israeli peace organisations have distributed cameras to many Arab inhabitants.

Soldiers shoot with guns. The Palestinians shoot pictures.

It is not yet clear which are more effective in the long run: the bullets or the photos.

A test case is a short clip taken recently in a remote West Bank village called al-Nabi Saleh.

This is a video from al-Nabi Saleh village.

Every Israeli has seen this footage many times by now. It has been shown again and again by all Israeli TV stations. Many millions around the world have seen it on their local TV. It is making the rounds in the social media.

The clip shows an incident that occurred near the village on Friday two weeks ago. Nothing very special. Nothing terrible. Just a routine event. But the pictures are unforgettable.

The village al-Nabi Saleh is located not far from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. It is named in honour of a prophet who lived before the time of Mohammed and is said to be buried there. His extensive tomb is the pride of the 550 inhabitants.

Al-Nabi Saleh is build on the remains of a crusader outpost, which in its turn was built on the remains of a Byzantine village.

Its history probably goes back to ancient Canaanite times. They were in turn Canaanites, Judaeans, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and finally Arabs.

The latest occupation (until now) is Israeli. These new occupiers have no interest in converting the locals.

They just want to take their land, and, if possible, induce them to go away. On part of the lands of al-Nabi Saleh an Israeli settlement called Halamish (“flint”) was set up.

The conflict between the village and its new “neighbours” started immediately. Between them is an ancient well, which the settlers have renovated and claim as their own. The village is not ready to give it up.

Like in many other villages in the area, such as Bil’in, on every Friday, right after the prayers in the mosque, a demonstration against the occupation and the settlers takes place.

A few Israeli peace activists and international volunteers take part in them. The demonstrators are generally non-violent, but on the fringes teenagers and children often throw stones. The soldiers shoot rubber-covered steel bullets, tear gas and stun grenades, and sometime live bullets.

As in many small Arab villages, most inhabitants belong to one extended family, in this case the Tamimis. One Tamimi boy was shot dead in one of the demonstrations, a girl was shot in the foot. It is a Tamimi boy who features in the recent event.

The clip that rocked the world starts with one lone soldier, who was obviously sent to arrest a boy who had (or had not) thrown a stone.

The soldier jumps across the rocky terrain, looks for the boy who is hiding behind a rock and catches him. It is 12-year-old Muhammad Tamimi, with one arm in a plaster cast.

The soldier puts his arm around the neck of the boy, who cries in terror.

Soon his 14-year-old sister appears, and soon after that his mother and other women.

They all tear at the soldier, who tries to push them away with his other arm. During the wild struggle, the sister bites the arm of the soldier, the one which holds his gun.

The soldier is masked. This is a new thing. Why are they masked? What are they hiding? After all, they are not Russian policemen who fear the revenge of the gangsters. When I was a soldier, long ago, masks were unknown.

During the melee, one of the women succeeds in ripping the soldier’s mask off. We see his face — just an ordinary young man, recently out of high school, who is obviously at a loss of what to do. There seem to be photographers all around. One sees their feet.

Would the soldier have used his gun if the photographers had not been there?

Hard to say. Recently a brigade commander shot and killed a boy who had thrown a stone at his car. The army condones and even lauds such acts of “self-defence.”

For some minutes the scene goes on — the boy crying and pleading, the women pushing and hitting, the soldier pushing back, everybody shouting. Then another soldier approaches and tells the first soldier to release the child, who is seen running away.

We don’t know who the soldier is. It is hard to guess his background. Just a soldier, one of many who enforce the occupation, who face the demonstrations every week.

Another angle to the event is provided by one of the protesters off camera, so to speak, who was caught for a fleeting moment. He was recognised.

He is a teacher who bears the names of two illustrious persons, the zionist founder Theodor Herzl and the composer Franz Schubert. Herzl Schubert is a veteran left-wing peace activist. I have met him on many demonstrations.

On the morrow of the showing of the footage on all Israeli television stations, the cry went up to dismiss him. What, a leftist peace demonstrator in the schoolroom?

Schubert was not accused of preaching his opinions in class. His peace activities did not take place during working hours. The very fact that he took part in a demonstration in his own free time was enough. His case is now “being considered” by the Education Ministry.

This, by the way, is no exceptional case.

A respected female educator who was chosen as headmistress of an art school was blocked by the discovery that many years ago she had signed a petition calling on the army to allow soldiers to refuse service in the occupied territories.

The petition did not call for refusal but only respect for the moral decision of the refusers.

That was enough. The ministry, now led by nationalist-religious demagogue Naftali Bennett, promised “to consider the matter.”

These cases of a new McCarthyism concern, of course, only leftists.

No-one demands the dismissal of the rabbi who prohibits the selling or renting of apartments to Arabs. Or the rabbi who wrote that under certain conditions it is permissible to kill non-Jews, including children. Their salaries are paid by the state.

Many millions around the world must by now have seen the al-Nabi Saleh footage. It is impossible to assess the extent of the damage.

It is not that this clip is especially revolting. Nothing terrible happens. It is the face of the occupation, the present face of Israel, that imprints itself on the minds of the viewers.

For many years now, almost all news footage coming out of Israel has concerned the deeds and misdeeds of the occupation.

Gone and forgotten is the face of Israel as the progressive state created by the victims of the most hideous mass crime in modern history.

The state of pioneers who “made the desert bloom.” The bastion of freedom and democracy in a turbulent region.

That picture has long been wiped out. The Israel that presents itself to the world now is a state of occupiers, of oppressors, of brutal colonisers, of soldiers armed to the teeth who arrest people in the middle of the night and persecute them during the day.

This face changes the perception of Israel throughout the world.

Every TV clip and news item adds imperceptibly to this change. The attitude of ordinary people around the world, also including Jews, is changed. The damage is lasting and probably irremediable.

The terrified face of young Muhammad Tamimi may well haunt us for a long time to come.

• Uri Avnery is a former Knesset member and founder of Gush Shalom (www.gush-shalom.org).

Israeli government abuses racist violence for attacking civil liberties


This video from Israel says about itself:

We are the majority – marching the streets

28 June 2012

Israeli social protest is taking a more assertive approach as a response to the latest homophobic remarks of MK Anastassia Michaeli, the refusal of the Tel-Aviv city hall to allow the re-opening of tents on Rothschild Boulevard, and the aggressive arrests of protesters that have become common lately.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Israelis will also be jailed without trial

Today, 10:36

The Israeli inner cabinet has made it possible for Israelis suspected of violence against Palestinians to be jailed without trial. The measure was announced following the arson last week in two houses of Palestinians in the West Bank, where a Palestinian child was killed.

Suspects can be held for months under the measure. This so-called ‘administrative detention’ was so far only for Palestinians. The measure has been criticized internationally because the suspects have no rights in those circumstances.

So, now ‘legal equality’ for Israeli citizens and Palestinians by, after first undermining civil liberties for one group, undermining them for another group as well. While there is a clear danger that this policy will not just be applied against ‘Israelis suspected of violence against Palestinians’, the only category of Israelis which the NOS report mentions. Might it not also be applied against ‘Israelis suspected of OPPOSITION TO violence against Palestinians‘? Against Israeli opponents of homophobia, including homophobia in Israeli political parties in the coalition government; against people like the recently murdered girl Shira Banki? Against some of the many Israeli opponents of the Netanyahu government’s ‘austerity’ economic policies? Etc.

Wouldn’t it be better to have ‘legal equality’ for Israeli citizens and Palestinians by not having arbitrary jailing for anyone? And by thorough investigation, which there has not been so far, of the violent extreme right in Israel, their anti-Palestinian crimes, their bigotry against African refugees, their homophobia, etc.? Including their relationships to some politicians in Israeli coalition government political parties?

Israel’s Netanyahu government widens use of anti-democratic detention orders: here.

Forbidding Asylum Seekers From Living in Tel Aviv or Eilat Reeks of Racism. Israel’s government continues to abuse African asylum seekers without offering any kind of solution: here.

Even with an imperfect knowledge of Dutch, it was not difficult to make out that the article, covering an entire page, was referring to the murderous attack on the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem and the immediately following arson of a Palestinian family home at the village of Duma near Nablus, where a father and his baby son died. From Jerusalem, correspondent Derk Walters informed the Dutch readers of the alarming increase of violent extreme right groups upholding a Nationalist-Religious Messianic ideology. He recounted the openly voiced explicit calls for attacking Arabs and homosexuals and for the torching of Christian churches, and quoted extensively the sharp denunciations made from all parts of the Israeli political spectrum. The article ended with a question: “Is the Netanyahu Government capable of taking serious measures against the settlers, when some of the cabinet ministers are themselves settlers?”. Quite a few Israelis are asking themselves the same question. Read more: here.

Israeli television aired leaked video clips of an ultra-orthodox Jewish wedding where a guest stabbed a photo of Ali Dawabsheh, the toddler killed along with his parents in a firebomb attack on their home in the West Bank last July. Youths dancing with guns, knives and firebombs cheered him on and shouted anti-Arab slogans: here.

TWO Israeli settler extremists were charged yesterday with the brutal firebomb murder of a Palestinian toddler and his parents in July. Amiram Ben-Uliel, a 21-year-old West Bank settler, was named as the main suspect in the attack. A minor was charged as an accessory: here.

Israeli apartheid buses plan scrapped


This 2012 video is called Dividing Line – Segregation in Israel’s public bus lines.

After women having to sit at the back of some buses in Israel, almost more bad discrimination transportation news …

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Israel scraps scheme to ban Palestinians from buses

Rightwing defence minister had approved programme to stop Palestinians working in Israel returning to West Bank on Israeli buses

Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem

Wednesday 20 May 2015 09.21 BST

A ban on Palestinians who work in Israel from returning home to the West Bank on Israeli buses that service settlements has been suspended within hours of its instigation on Wednesday morning.

Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, ordered that the pilot plan be suspended after the rightwing defence minister, Moshe Ya’alon, had approved the scheme.

Opposition figures had described the plan as a humiliation and tantamount to apartheid.

“The decision to separate Palestinians and Jews on public transportation is an unnecessary humiliation that is a stain on the state and its citizens,” the Israeli opposition leader, Isaac Herzog, wrote on his Facebook page.

“This is another one of the prime minister’s mistakes, who is giving in to and supporting a horrible decision that has no connection to the security of the state,” Herzog added.

The leader of Israel’s leftwing Meretz party, Zahava Gal-On, said: “This is how apartheid looks. There is no better or nicer way to put it. Separate buses for Jews and Palestinians prove that democracy and occupation cannot co-exist.”

The arrangement – which also drew immediate criticism from human rights groups – would have meant not only that Palestinians with permits to work in Israel would be unable to return home on buses used by Jews, but also that they would be required to leave Israel through the same checkpoint they entered, adding several hours to daily journeys.

Yariv Oppenheimer, the head of Israel’s Peace Now, described the scheme as “an ugly and racist policy that has no place in a democratic society”.

He added: “Security calculations are a cover for the settlers’ wanting to abuse the Palestinians and not see them, God forbid, on their way home to the settlement.”

The arrangement was first mooted last year after lobbying by settler organisations, but was not implemented. Under the scheme – slated to last three months initially – Palestinians entering Israel via the Rayhan, Hala, Eliyahu and Eyal checkpoints would only be able return home via the same checkpoints through which they left the West Bank.

Palestinians with entry permits – mainly working in the construction industry – enter Israel through smart crossings, which register them, and are then allowed to return by public transport with no need to register on their return.

Palestinians would also have been banned from using the Israeli Afik bus service, which runs along route 5 to the huge West Bank settlement of Ariel, and which they had shared with settlers, instead being required to use Palestinian public transport.

Before the ban was lifted, an Israeli defence official said: “Under a three-month pilot project, Palestinians who work in Israel will, starting Wednesday, need to return home by the same crossing without taking buses used by (Israeli) residents” of the occupied West Bank.

According to the Israeli website Walla, implementation of the plan was initially held up for several months following concerns from senior military officials. Their objections were eventually overruled by Ya’alon, who reportedly argued that it was necessary to supervise Arabs returning to the West Bank.

Settlers groups have long been campaigning to have Palestinian workers banned from the buses they use, including in evidence to the last Knesset, where they claimed they faced harassment from Palestinians using the bus services.

See also here.

Israelis demonstrate for peace, against Netanyahu


Israelis take part in a rally to ask for a change in the Israeli policy on March 7, 2015, on Rabin Square in the costal city of Tel Aviv

From AFP news agency:

7 March 2015 – 21H45

Tens of thousands of Israelis rally against PM ahead of vote

TEL AVIV (AFP) –

Tens of thousands of people rallied in Tel Aviv on Saturday against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and called for “change”, 10 days ahead of a general election.

The protest was organised by the Million Hands grassroots organisation that campaigns for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and the creation of a Palestinian state.

Police said more than 25,000 people protested in the city’s Yitzhak Rabin Square — named after the ex-premier assassinated there during a 1995 peace rally.

Organisers said twice as many people attended the rally.

“This is a demonstration by Israeli citizens who are demanding a change of politics, a peace agreement” between Israel and the Palestinians, said one of the organisers, Dror Ben Ami.

The current government has failed on the social and economic fronts and has not improved the security situation — the country has broken down,” he told AFP.

The rally was one of the largest anti-Netanyahu protests to be held in the run-up to the March 17 election, and reflects growing dissatisfaction with his rightwing government.

“We hope that the left will return,” said Ben Ami.

Netanyahu’s Likud party is almost neck-and-neck with the Zionist Union in opinion polls.

Another Netanyahu government is unlikely to press for peace as members of the current cabinet are opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state.

A former head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, Meir Dagan, also joined the protest and delivered a fiery address against Netanyahu.

“Israel has enemies but I do not fear them. What scares me is the current leadership of the country,” he said.

The crowds broke out in wild applause and shouted back: “Bibi go home!” referring to Netanyahu by his nickname.

See also here.

Singer Achinoam Nini says she was threatened at airport, called ‘Israel-hater’. In a post on Facebook, left-wing singer says she was told, ‘We’ll take care of you like Geffen,’ in a reference to writer who was attacked: here.