The Challenge to Human Rights in Israel–a Democracy under Threat

The current increase in racism in Israel should be put into context. It reflects, at a crude and populist level, and ‘unfortunate’ tendency in goverment, police, military, the media and various right-wing NGOs to take no prisoners when it comes to confrontly those who challenge current practices.
This report from a women’s NGO is incredibly sobering reading, particularly because it accounts for hundreds (so it seems) of disturbing incidents over the past couple of years, incidents which challenge the idea that democracy is healthy and unchallenged. However, I frankly wish that NGOs in the region could issue such reports without being beaten up or jailed by their muhabbarat (secret police).
Take this quote as an example:
” Under the public atmosphere created, members of the media also joined the scathing attack against the organization. In the radio program “The Final Word” broadcasted on July 17th 2009, the anchor Kobi Arieli asked: “why don’t our strongmen beat them [leftists] up and send them home scared?” His co-anchor, Irit Linur claimed: “the organization concocted a report”, and concluded with a demand from the organization’s members: “verify your report, you scum”. It is reasonable to assume that Linor did not read the report, in which Breaking the Silence clearly notes that all testimonies were examined and verified by independent sources and other testimonials which could not be verified were not published. ”

AJDS eyewitness account: Human rights on the West Bank

Professor Linda Briskman is the Chair of Human Rights Education at Curtin University in Western Australia. She is currently on academic study leave in the UK. These are her own views.
In a refugee camp in the West Bank, I observe a group of children play-acting to the mirth of onlookers. Three small boys masquerading as Israeli soldiers feign the merciless beating of other Palestinian child actors. In the childhood make-believe worlds with which I am familiar, guns are disallowed and children are protected from the violence permeating television and movie screens. But the lived reality in Palestine is not a world of Barbie dolls and the Wiggles. Here childhoods are lost as a third generation experiences the diminishment of fulfilling lives in the camps.

The BDS Debate and the Apartheid Analogy

The AJDS resolution on selective boycotts of West Bank products resulted in great hostility from the ‘powers’ in the Jewish community, even the AJDS took care to distinguish what it resolved from more radical ‘boycott’ Israel positions.
More recently, the resolution of the NSW Greens Party to support full BDS sanctions has also been condemned, by not only strong Zionists, but other Greens, because for its hard line that bespeaks a disconnection with realistic conflict resolution.

Anti-Semitism is a scourge, but what is happening on campus?

The Anti-Defamation Commission in Victoria, recently issued a report claiming anti-Semitism and fear on campuses in Victoria Australia. However, the report can be criticized on methodological grounds for how the survey of students was conducted, and the disputed terminology and other material on which the report is based.