Zehava Galon, They Stopped Trying to Show They Care [ssba]

Zehava Galon, They Stopped Trying to Show They Care

Two children were orphaned on Friday. In a split second the few memories they had of their father became the only memories they will ever have of him. They’ll have to make up the rest from stories and photos, and from the void in the lives of his relatives.

I don’t know what happened near the Ofra Settlement on Friday and why the Iad Zacharia Hamid was shot to death. Yedioth Ahronot explained that the soldiers felt threatened because Hamid got too close to the secured booth in which they were stationed. It might be true. But two children lost their father, and someone, probably an 18 year-old, has to live with it now.

Just recently Reserve General Uzi Dayan described how he had covered up the killing of five unarmed Palestinians, and everyone was fine with it. This week an unarmed Palestinian was killed in El Fawaar and 32 were injured, mostly in the knees. Some will never walk again. Perhaps the soldiers felt threatened there too. It is hard to judge a kid who enters a Palestinian village and fears for his life. But the media and politicians gave this incident almost no attention.

We and the Palestinians live in an insane routine. Both sides pay a hefty price. Though there is no doubt that the Palestinians pay a heavier price. Over the last few weeks we’ve gotten reports of more raids and more injured. Not all the injured were armed. I understand that people have given up on solving the conflict, but too many times it seems that politicians have given up as well. Every week more people die and more get injured. Every year or two we have a military operation in Gaza. But at the moment the only thing the government cares about is a scandal involving the Minister of Transportation. They’ve stopped even trying to show that they care.

You can find the original post here.

Translation: Dana Mills

Zehava Galon, The Insanity of Investing in the South Hebron Hills [ssba]

Zehava Galon, The Insanity of Investing in the South Hebron Hills

Haaretz discovered that Israel Vows to Advance ‘Strategic Plan’ to Develop South Hebron Hills. Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank is discussing a massive investment in the construction, including industrial complexes, a medical center and housing units. A huge investment of money and blood for a fantasy.

How many of you have ever been to the South Hebron hills? Would you move there with your children? Probably not. In fact, only 8,000 Jews settled in this dangerous area. Two of the four areas in which the security fence has been compromised are in the south Hebron hills. And settlements there are a major target for terrorist attacks. Dafna Meir was murdered in Atniel and Hillel Ariel was murdered in Kiryat Arba. When the Knesset’s Foreign and Security Committee members visited the area, residents told them that their children have difficulties sleeping at night. They cannot even get into bed without checking that all doors and windows are locked. Imagine that. A local doctor told the Knesset committee that adults there take far more anti-anxiety medication than in the rest of Israel. ​​The terrorists who carried out the recent attack in Sarona in Tel Aviv came from there. So did the terrorist who murdered Hillel Ariel. Read More »

Zehava Galon, Two Years after Operation Protective Edge [ssba]

Zehava Galon, Two Years after Operation Protective Edge

It is terrifying to think that next time it might be you. You’ll open the door and a military officer will be standing there with a death notification. This time it will be you who has to figure out how to live with the loss. How to get out of bed into a world where the person who was supposed to be with you is no longer there, realizing you will never argue again or share private jokes. We all suppress this fear, perhaps because we cannot otherwise go on. But we all know – that there are those among us who pay the price of wars, military operations and terrorist attacks. Any name can be drawn up in this terrible lottery including yours and those closest to you. And we also understand that when a bereaved parent says that s/he has “paid the price” only a few fully understand what s/he means. Read More »

Zehava Galon, Rivlin’s Dishonesty [ssba]

Zehava Galon, Rivlin’s Dishonesty

President Rivlin delivered a major speech at the European Parliament this week. Rivlin spoke against the French peace initiative and negotiating a peace agreement.

“Respect Israeli sovereignty and its democratic decisions making process,” Rivlin told the Europeans. This is a beautiful sentiment, but Rivlin too knows that Israel’s democratic decisions impact the lives of Palestinians. They were not given the right to vote. No one respects their wishes. Palestinians are part of the story. This conflict is happening to them too.

Rivlin made some excellent points. He spoke of the difficulties in negotiations, the split between Fatah and Hamas and the need to promote economic and infrastructural development in the region. But I think, Rivlin was not entirely honest. The President drew an accurate picture, mostly. But it was only a partial picture.

Rivlin said that “any political agreement that an elected government brings before the Israeli Knesset will be approved.” Maybe. But last I checked our elected government included some representatives who would angrily oppose any agreement. Only yesterday, the Deputy Defense Minister said he supported annexation. Last I checked, this was the Jewish Home’s platform. We know that this is also the platform many Likud members support too. We know, because they told us so explicitly. In fact, last I checked, Rivlin himself was a vocal supporter of the one-state solution.

So perhaps it is true that if our elected government brought an agreement to the Knesset, the Knesset would approve. But I don’t think this government wants an agreement. I think the government has a two-faced policy: they want to talk about an agreement, while continuing to build settlements. There are advantages to talking. It reduces the international pressure and creates a political space to continue building settlements. This is another thing Rivlin did not mention.

Settlements were not mentioned in the speech. I searched. No settlements, no outposts. And this is important because the settlements are the main reason the international community pressures Israel. We know because our friends around the world tell us. Settlement construction disturbs them because they fear the government is building in order to create irreversible facts on the ground and avoid an agreement. The more Israel builds, the more settlers will have to be evacuated [when and if an agreement is reached]. The economic cost will be huge, but the suffering will be even greater. The government is incentivizing hundreds of thousands of Israelis to move to the occupied territories, and one day they will find themselves leaving behind the homes they had built there.

The Government’s policy is to manage this eternal conflict. This is the life Netanyahu promises us: continued military rule over the Palestinians, an alienated world and recurring rounds of violence. Netanyahu thinks this is a stable status quo. I think we are experiencing the collapse of this model, and Israeli citizens are paying in blood. It is delusional to think that we can lead a normal life here while ruling over millions of Palestinians. There is no status quo. By rejecting the French initiative Rivlin and Netanyahu are leading us to a one state.

Some in the government support a one state solution. Can anyone imagine this on-state will be founded on equal rights to Palestinians? Would those who promoted legislation aimed at getting the Arab parties out of the Knesset give Palestinians the right to vote? The current government has even hampered the five-year plan to assist the Arab sector. Only this week we learned that poverty rates in East Jerusalem increased by eight percent. Inequalities produce terror — terror will be used to justify the inequality — and we will live in a bleeding country.

It is important to discuss Rivlin’s argument. There are indeed enormous difficulties in negotiating with the Palestinians. And the failure of negotiations increases despair and violence. We cannot deny it. I agree that we can do a lot to improve the situation in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem and that we can take confidence-building measures right now.

But Netanyahu is on his way to Europe to attempt to soften a Quartet report on – surprise, surprise – settlement building. Rivlin was clearly trying to help. But I do not think he is helping. I don’t think it helps anyone to continue that charade pretending that the status quo is stable and that settlement construction doesn’t endanger our future.

This is the truth. Everyone can see it. That mask is long gone.


Translation: Maya Haber

You can find the original text here.

Zehava Galon, Too Hefty a Price [ssba]

Zehava Galon, Too Hefty a Price

Yesterday the lives of ten families changed forever. Four people were murdered and six injured in a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv. People who simply wanted to hang out and relax. In split seconds of horror, they became news. I send condolences to the families of the victims. Few know what they are going through right now. I wish a fast and easy recovery to the wounded, and believes that the state will do everything in its power to help them.

What a dreadful evening.

For months Israel has been facing a wave of terror that refuses to fade. On such occasions it’s easy to say there is “no hope” and speak of “the need for deterrence.” This indeed is what the government is doing. But I do not think we can afford to bury our heads in the sand and hope the terrorism wave will pass just because we suppressed the Palestinian population even further. We cannot continue managing the conflict, carefully controlling the flames, without forcing more Israeli families to pay a terrible price. If we continue down the same road, we will continue arriving at that place. It is difficult to speak of a peace process after such a terrible event, but eventually we’ll have to sit down and talk peace. Because what we have right now is not the best we can achieve. Neither is it good enough. Too many families paid a too hefty a price too many times. We cannot ask more families to pay this price.

13346421_1136315219792165_2810880550708256813_nThe text is a translation of Zehava Galon’s Facebook post. You can find the Hebrew original here.


Zehava Galon: Israel is Turning into a Facsimile of Worldwide Antisemitism [ssba]

Zehava Galon: Israel is Turning into a Facsimile of Worldwide Antisemitism

Today Zehava Galon wrote a Facebook post against racism:

Three stories in the news today:

A Jewish guy calls a gym asking to join. They respond, “We’d love to have you. Come join.” An Arab guy calls ten minutes later and they tell him, “We’re booked throughout February.”

A factory in Jerusalem seeks a Jewish forklift driver to replace its Arab workers. The factory representative told a Ynet reporter who uncovered the story, “We have Arab [employees], but we want to hire our guys. We understand there’s a catch – Arab labor costs half as much.” It seems there’s another catch. The fact that this sickening discrimination is against the law doesn’t bother them that much.

Meretz MK Issawi Freij opened Yediot Ahronot this morning and found his picture in the place of MK Basel Ghattas alongside a story about Balad MKs [who met relatives of Palestinian terrorists]. Because what’s the difference between one Arab and another?


Issawi Frej’s picture this morning in Yediot Ahronot in place of MK Basel Ghattas 

Read More »

Ready to Fight for the Future of our Kid’s Education [ssba]

Ready to Fight for the Future of our Kid’s Education

The following is Dana Mills’ translation of Zehava Galon’s Facebook post:

This morning the Ministry for Education froze the Ministry’s support for pluralist Jewish education. In the last budget only 16.5 million NIS out of 290 Million NIS were allocated for organizations which offer a pluralistic alternative. The rest went mostly to Orthodox organizations. Today Naftali Bennett killed this orphaned lamb, too. Read More »

Incitement in the Halls of Knesset, Courtesy of Im Tirzu [ssba]

Incitement in the Halls of Knesset, Courtesy of Im Tirzu

Initiated by MKs backed by “Im Tirzu”, the Knesset Education Committee held a hearing today full of incitement against Breaking the Silence, so much so that it could not have been managed better even by Joseph McCarthy himself. We have no plans to vacate the stage for Knesset members who want to scrape some more political capital off the backs of Breaking the Silence, and no intentions of keeping quiet when we name those same Knesset members as enemies. The soldiers of Breaking the Silence are helping the IDF maintain moral character, and can teach the right-wing MKs who incite what it really means to love your country.

This was first written by MK Zehava Galon here. At this link, you can find a video transcript of MK Zehava Galon in Knesset. Text translated by B. Lana Guggenheim.

Fight Back Against Incitement! [ssba]

Fight Back Against Incitement!

“Im Tirzu” has released disturbing and dangerous propaganda videos, that encourage the killing of four human rights activists, accusing them of assisting terrorists and publishing their names and pictures under such slogans as “They live here and planted [sedition],” and “While we are fighting terrorism, they fight us.” In a matter of moments, these videos received hundreds of “shares.”

This is an explicit call to action for these people’s blood. The public atmosphere of violence assisted in spreading this material like wildfire, and is further encouraged by politicians’ blazing hatred and populist appeals. I am afraid for their safety.

Meretz MK Michal Rozin sent an urgent appeal to the Attorney General to open an investigation for incitement, but in the meantime, this dangerous video is making the rounds on social media. Help us stop it.

Here is how you report offensive content on Facebook to remove it:
1. Go to the “Im Tirzu” Facebook post here
. Click the arrow in the top right corner of the post, and mark “I do not like this post.”
3. On the next page, mark “I think it should not be on Facebook.”
4. On the next page, choose the option “It is harassment or hate speech.”
5. Then check the option for abusive post of an individual (or any other option that seems to fit)
6. And finally – most importantly – mark “submit to Facebook for Review.”

Let’s fight the madness and violence, let’s not leave the scene to instigatiors. Let us not abandon the human rights workers to be alone in this dangerous situation. It only takes a minute. If all the videos will be removed and we report them, it will be much more difficult to distribute it. Enter it, report the video, and share this post!

The original text was first posted by Meretz MK Zehava Gal-On here. Text translated by B. Lana Guggenheim.

Settlements De-Legitimize Israel, Not the EU [ssba]

Settlements De-Legitimize Israel, Not the EU

Zehava Galon spoke at the Haaretz Peace Conference today:

I do not understand how could the right-wing government be surprised by the EU initiative to mark settlement products. Could the PM and his right-wing government think it would be possible to convince the Europeans that the occupation is legitimate? That there is no difference between the state of Israel and the criminal settlement enterprise?

I said right now at the Haaretz Peace conference that the EU decision to mark settlements products, which are part of a widespread occupation economy, is not anti-Semitism nor is it hatred of Israel. It is merely an attempt to differentiate between legitimate sovereign State of Israel within the Green Line and the occupied territories.

It’s time for the Right-wing government to understand that occupation and conflict management carries an international price and an internal price. It is time that the people of Israel decide its worth sacrificing the international legitimacy of Israel for the sake of the settlements and the occupation.

Those who do not distinguish between the occupation and Israel are responsible for the de-legitimization of Israel.

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