Jesse Rosenfeld

See no evil: Canadian government denies torture in Israel

According to Canadian foreign affairs minister Maxime Bernier and the Harper government Israel does not practice torture. After it was exposed that Canada had Israel and the United States listed as offenders in a training manual for diplomats about torture, the two countries were promptly dropped on 19 January with Bernier’s expression of regret and embarrassment. EI contributor Jesse Rosenfeld reports. 

Prisoner release clouded by thousands still in custody

Thousands gathered at the presidential compound in Ramallah on 3 December 2007 to welcome 429 Palestinian prisoners just released from Israeli jails as part of what Israel has called a “goodwill” gesture. Nonetheless, behind the cheering and flag waving, the feeling was bittersweet as the families of the released were overjoyed to have their loved ones returned, while there remained an atmosphere of cynicism towards Israel’s “gesture.” Jesse Rosenfeld writes from Ramallah. 

Uprooted and displaced

Standing on a hill at the edge of Idhna with the displaced farmers Muhammad Talab and Muhammad Ibrahim Natah, the only visible remnants of their destroyed village is a patch of white dust just on the other side of Israel’s wall. Despite being part of the occupied West Bank, the Israeli military destroyed the 267-person farming village of tents and tin houses west of Hebron on 29 October and allegedly ordered villagers to relocate to Idhna. EI contributor Jesse Rosenfeld reports from the occupied West Bank. 

Where have all the trucks gone?

The roads to Gaza were long, dusty and, apart from Israeli military vehicles, almost completely empty on 24 October as tanks doing military exercises were far more prevalent than trucks carrying goods towards the border. The crossings are the only way Gaza can receive goods and Israel has been blockading them since June, recently tightening the blockade further with cuts to fuel and pending cuts to electricity. The once busy checkpoint crossings now lie empty. EI contributor Jesse Rosenfeld writes from outside the Gaza Strip. 

Israeli parliamentarian condemns country's 'apartheid': Jamal Zahalka speaking in Montreal, Toronto

MONTREAL (CUP) — Palestinian rights groups across the world have labelled this week “End Israeli Apartheid Week,” in an effort to highlight the marginalization and oppression Palestinians face as a result of Israeli polices. As part of the events, Jamal Zahalka, a Palestinian-Israeli member of Israel’s parliament, is giving a lecture titled “Debunking the myth of Israeli democracy” in Montreal and Toronto. The lecture is organized by Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights. 

Jewish Like Me

Like most kids growing up Jewish, I loved Israel. I identified with the country and saw my Jewish identity expressed in it. Maybe it was because I found inspiration in an Israeli culture that seemed to focus on youth. I liked how David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, referred to the “New Israeli Jew” — strong, committed and independent — as opposed to the idea of a “European Jew” — weak, emasculated, and dependent. The Israeli myth allowed me to reject the stuffiness of North American Jewish culture while keeping a sense of an imagined community that was still accepted, and even encouraged, by my family and community. As I explored this more, I began to realize that Zionism was synonymous with a violent colonization and occupation of another people. 

Press For The Rest: Reshaping a loaded term for the media

Possibly the best source for finding news and information on the daily effects of Israeli occupation, interpretation of major events happening in the Middle East, and establishment of context for the conflict is alternative media source Electronic Intifada (EI). The term “intifada” is Arabic for “popular uprising,” and the intent of EI is to provide a Palestinian voice of the experience under occupation. When I spoke with EI founder Ali Abunimah, he explained that the name EI came out of the 1990s when Palestinian people from around the world started to use the internet as a tool of self-expression and a response to the mainstream press’s distortion of the conflict.