Alternative Information Center

Report: Israeli academic institutions' role in the occupation

A new report by the Alternative Information Center aims to inform and empower the debate on an academic boycott by giving information not on the Israeli violence and violations of International law and human rights, but on the part in the Israeli occupation played by the very academic institutions in question, and how vulnerable are they to a possible boycott. 

Activists urge boycott of Jerusalem literature festival

The first International Writers’ Festival is scheduled to take place 11-15 May 2008 in Jerusalem, just three days after Israel’s official celebrations of 60 years of independence. Substantially financed by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, this festival must necessarily be seen in the context of the Israeli government’s wider public relations campaign to bring international artistic, cultural and political figures to brighten the state’s image on the international stage. 

Israel's oil refineries privatized: the Palestinian economy perspective

Over a year has passed since Israel privatized its oil refineries in Haifa and Ashdod to private companies. The Haifa refineries were bought by a group of investors lead by the Ofer brothers, two of Israel’s richest capitalists through their company Israel Corp. The Ashdod refineries were bought by the Paz petrol company owned by Zadik Bino. What may appear to be an internal Israeli matter, has in fact a crucial impact on the Palestinian economy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well. 

Education in Jerusalem: Separate and unequal

When Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1967, it assumed responsibility for the well-being of East Jerusalem’s population and for fulfilling their rights, regardless of religion or ethnicity. The right to education is one of the most basic rights, and is an essential prerequisite for the plural democracy Israel claims to be. Education is especially important because in the long term it determines a population’s ability to deal with the rest of society on a par. The education system in Israel maintains and expands gaps between the Jewish and the Palestinian Arab sectors. In East Jerusalem the differences and discrimination are especially stark and apparent. 

Human rights worker released after two years in administrative detention

Ahmad Abu Haniya, the AIC Youth Project Coordinator, will be released from administrative detention this morning (Tuesday 14 May), after two years of imprisonment without trial or charges. Ahmad was detained at a checkpoint on his way to work on 18 May 2005 and placed in administrative detention, which is imprisonment without trial or charges. 

Occupation and Aid

There is no need to go into details, once again, about the extensive damage caused to the Palestinians by the Israeli occupation forces. We have heard much already of the mounting poverty rate, that GDP has fallen by 9% during the first half of 2006, that 25% of the Palestinian work force is suffering from a severe loss of income due to the sanctions on the PA, and that welfare payments have fallen by US$180 million. Moreover, Per-capita consumption in Palestine has fallen by 12%. Deep poverty is reaching alarming proportions, in Gaza it is already at 79.8%. Additionally, food insecurity is also at very high levels, reaching up to 41% in Gaza. 

Hebrew University discriminates against Arab citizen visitors

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem demands that Palestinian citizens of Israel who wish to visit its campuses present a character reference from the police as a condition for entrance. An email to this effect was received today by the Alternative Information Center (AIC), which was planning to host a publications stand at Hebrew University next week for the opening of the 2006-2007 academic year. The AIC received an email stating that “every participant [of a publication stand] planning to come to the university who is a minority member must bring an (official) character reference.” ‘Minority member’ is an oft-used racist term in Hebrew to refer to Palestinians. 

Human rights groups condemn "targeted assassinations"

Human rights groups based in the occupied Palestinian territories are concerned regarding the intensified Israeli campaign of “targeted assassinations” of Palestinian activists. In an open letter to diplomatic missions they stated that the policy of “targeted assassination” “not only circumvents the fundamental right to due process but also risks the further destabilisation of an already volatile political situation.” With ten Palestinians killed in the last five days the human rights groups call on the international community to demand an end to the illegal Israeli practice and to ensure the respect of international humanitarian law. 

International Campaign to Free Tali Fahima

On Sunday, July 17, Tali Fahima’s trial sessions will be continued. On this occasion, we are calling on all solidarity movements around the world to join us and let the people of the world and the State of Israel know that the persecution and unjust incarceration of the woman who represents hope for a future of friendship and commonality between Palestinians and Israelis will not pass unnoted. Tali Fahima, a Jewish Israeli woman, has been harassed by the Israeli General Security Services for over a year for defying the apartheid logic set by the occupation forces and showing public solidarity with the people of the Jenin refugee camp in their daily efforts to stay alive and resist their oppressors.