Thursday, August 6, 2009

From Jewish Peace News - more Palestinian Evictions and Reaction toMurders at Tel Aviv LGBT Center

Two interesting articles this week from Jewish Peace News (

Israel’s “Hamas”: the Sheikh Jarrah evictions

The eviction by Israeli authorities of two Palestinian families (53 residents in total, including 19 minors) from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem on August 2 has produced extensive international condemnation. The evictions were authorized by Israeli courts in a highly controversial decision (here's a timeline of the 37-year case: ), and the Netanyahu administration's effort to hastily enforce the ruling seems intended to fortify Israel's disputed claim to sole sovereignty over Jerusalem. Beyond the shameful events themselves, what is particularly outrageous, writes Jerry Haber (the pseudonym of an Orthodox Jewish Studies professor who divdes his time between Israel and the US), is how Israeli national radio has dishonestly framed the information about the evictions of the al-Ghawi and al-Hanoun families.

Haber's article is a must-read, because it details a typical case in which the Israeli government-run media presents a version of events that fits the government's deeply distorted ethno-nationalist narrative, rather than the facts. He also dissects the blatant falsehoods of the Netanyahu administration's claim that Arabs can live anywhere in Jerusalem, and therefore so should Jews.

Haber concludes: "if you are a decent human being, you cannot but shout, My God, how long will this robbery -- or to use the Biblical Hebrew word, this 'Hamas' --continue? Isn't what we stole after 1948 and 1967 enough?" Read more:

Watch a video documenting the evictions.
Mairav Zonshein and Joseph Dana have a new video on the evictions, including an interview with the father of the Hanoun family, evicted yesterday:

A Response to the Murders at the Tel Aviv GLBT Center:

The following talk was given by Tamara, a queer activist from Tel Aviv, at a demonstration held in Berlin on August 7th, in solidarity with the Lesbian Gay Bi Trans community in Israel, following the mass shooting at the Tel Aviv LGBT youth center, killing two and injuring 15. Tamara's words at the Berlin demo, attended by some 2000 people, expressly and clearly linked the gun violence let loose at the LGBT center with Israel's militarized hypermasculine gun culture and connected the institutional persecution of queers in Israel with the violent institutional persecution and oppression of other groups and minorities; Palestinians, migrant workers, dissenting protesters. "Homophobia is racism," Tamara said. "Racism is homophobia."

For a video of the Berlin demonstration and Tamara's talk, see:

Rela Mazali


Last Saturday a nightmare came true: we were hunted down.

A faceless man went into a room full of youngsters and opened fire.

Now 2 of them are dead many wounded. Some teenagers outed on a hospital bed.

When the news of the murder came, it was all too easy for me to picture the scene - I used to spend most of my waking hours in this secluded basement flat in central Tel Aviv, the offices of the Israeli GLBT association, Haaguda, working on Pride and AIDS awareness events.

We felt very safe there. Confidant. We had the of City Tel Aviv on our side, hanging rainbow flags on demand. We had the police doing our bidding instead of detaining and forbidding.

Ok, we had to swallow a few LGBT - phobic jokes from officers, bureaucrats, and commercial sponsors. But we thought it was a small price to pay for ten’s of thousands marching in the streets of Tel Aviv, safe and proud, landing courage to countless kids across the country.

The price we paid now isn’t small. It is immeasurable. The life of 2. The health of 15 , a collective trauma.

I do not feel safe now In Tel Aviv. Our strong hold. Our ghetto. I feel grief stricken and furious and betrayed. Read more….

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