The Electronic Intifada

Photostory: Bethlehem prepares for Christmas


Palestinians are barred from making the trip to Bethlehem unless they have special Israeli permits allowing them to leave the West Bank. A towering wall of gray concrete slabs, 30 feet high, cuts across what once was the main road into the town. Shops are shuttered or empty, and the streets are deserted. After more than five years of Israeli attacks, the Wall separating Bethlehem from Jerusalem has been completed and the Palestinian town revered by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus is preparing to celebrate Christmas behind a wall. “It is turning the city into a big prison for its citizens,” said Mayor Victor Batarseh. 

Unrecognised villages in the Negev expose Israel's apartheid policies


Eighty thousand Palestinian Bedouin Israelis live in unrecognised villages in the Negev desert in the south of Israel. The villages are deprived of basic services like housing, water, electricity, education and health care. With the adoption of the Israeli Planning and Construction Law in 1965, 45 villages in the Negev were not declared as existing. Recently, Bangani Ngeleza and Adri Nieuwhof visited the region. They write about the serious consequences this has had for villagers in these “unrecognised villages”. Bangani Ngeleza and Adri Nieuwhof say that pressure must be put on Israel to abandon its apartheid policies, including its refusal to recognize the existence of villages composed of its own citizens living within its national borders. 

US Corporate Media Erases Israeli Role in Rise of Hamas


The US corporate media has started to examine Hamas’ victories in Palestinian municipal elections last Thursday. However, if The New York Times’ coverage is any indication, an honest evaluation of Israel’s role in increasing Hamas’ popularity is unlikely. Revelations over the last year have forced the US corporate media, with the New York Times at the forefront, to re-evaluate their role in promoting the Iraq war and occupation. Sadly, no such re-evaluation is underway with respect to Israel/Palestine. Israeli occupation, expansionism and human rights abuses still generally pass without comment. 

Breaking Down the Wall


It is estimated that Israel’s Annexation Wall will be completed in the early part of 2006. When it is finished it will annex 47% of the West Bank, and hand it over to the settler population. At least 15% of Palestinians will be left outside the wall1, completely isolated from the rest of society, and over 222,098 refugees for the second or third times will experience, “land confiscation, destruction of property, and denial of access to their lands thus directly affecting their means of livelihood”2. In the end, it is not an over exaggeration to say that the entire Palestinian society will directly suffer by its completion, in addition to the seemingly unstoppable illegal Israeli practices that continue unhindered. 

Help EI Make Intelligent Noise


For four years, The Electronic Intifada has, with your support, worked to bring light to this darkness through award-winning original investigative reporting, sound analysis and features. At a time when the mainstream media’s attention is increasingly dominated by repetition of cliches and conventional wisdom, EI remains committed to making intelligent noise. In 2005, the Electronic Intifada saw over two million visitor sessions and the original material we produce continues to be picked up and used by journalists, activists and educators all over the world. 

Racism in Israel


In 2003, Susan Nathan moved from her comfortable home in Tel Aviv to Tamra, an Palestinian town in the northern part of Israel. Nathan had arrived in Israel four years earlier and had taught English and worked with various progressive social organizations. Her desire to help build a just and humane society in Israel took an unexpected turn, however, when she became aware of Israel’s neglected and often oppressed indigenous Palestinian population. Despite warnings from friends about the dangers she would encounter, Nathan settled in an apartment in Tamra. There she discovered a division between Israeli Jews and Palestinians as tangible as the concrete wall that surrounds the Palestinian towns of the West Bank and Gaza. 

Solana exposes European bias towards Israel once again


The European Union threatened today to curb aid to the Palestinian Authority if Hamas wins next month’s Palestinian Legislative Council elections. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, following his recent shelving of a report critical of Israeli policies in Jerusalem, said during a visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories that if Hamas won the elections, it would be “very difficult that the help and the money that goes to… the Palestinian Authority will continue to flow”. Relations between Israel and the EU have warmed recently, with Israel agreeing to allow EU representatives to monitor the crucial Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. 

Paradise Now nominated for Golden Globes


Yesterday at the Beverly Hilton, the motion picture ‘Paradise Now’ was nominated in the best foreign language film category for the 63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards. The 63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards will take place Monday, January 16, 2006, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel with a live telecast airing on NBC. Last week, Philip Berk, President of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced that sixty foreign language films have been qualified for the 63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards. Earlier this week, it was announced that the film is a finalist for the Broadcast Film Critics Association award and has won the National Board of Review award. 

Letter: EU's Solana pushes cover-up of Jerusalem report


EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana successfully lobbied EU foreign ministers to suppress a report documenting the devastating effects of Israel’s separation wall and colonies in Occupied East Jerusalem. Solana argued that publishing the report would hurt Israeli sensitivities and would cause the EU to lose influence. Electronic Intifada co-founder, in a letter to Solana, argues that EU indulgence of Israel is like the action of “a person who provides an alcoholic with money for booze and a car to drive while drunk while saying that to do otherwise would offend the sensitivities of someone who is a great danger to himself and others.” 

Haaretz.com runs ad discouraging Jewish abortions as "only solution" to Arab population growth


In an incredible example of how acceptable even the most extreme manifestations of anti-Arab racism have become in Israel, the website of the leading English/Hebrew daily, Ha’aretz today ran a front page advertisement that warned: “If the Arab population in Israel will reach 40% the Jewish State will be nullified. For the only solution press here.” The link lead to the website of an Israeli group that campaigns against abortion and offers material and emotional support to pregnant mothers before and after their babies are born.