Responding to the news that Israel plans to sign an agreement with the UAE that would temporarily “suspend” the Israeli government’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank, the New Israel Fund of Canada (NIFC) released the following statement:
The plans for Israel and the UAE to begin a process of normalization is welcome news for everyone who wants to see a more peaceful Middle East and, in particular, a stable and secure Israel existing in peace and security alongside its neighbours.
While we also welcome news that the Netanyahu government is retreating from plans to carry out a de jure annexation of the West Bank, his statement in announcing the deal – that he still remains committed to carrying out the plan – is cause for concern. It also does not end creeping annexation in the form of continued expansion of West Bank settlements.
The agreement between Israel and the UAE also fails to resolve the moral and political choice that Israelis — and all those who support a democratic Israel — still must make: end the occupation and build a future for an Israel that is just, free, and democratic, or continue to maintain an unjust dual legal system where Palestinians are both separate and unequal.
With the agreement Prime Minister Netanyahu is attempting to sidestep this choice.
Those of us who care about a democratic future for both Israelis and Palestinians know that no deal between Israel and the UAE can obscure the reality of occupation and no Israeli government will escape it.
By Libby Lenkinski, New Israel Fund VP of Public Engagement
Things are happening in Israel that I’ve never seen before.
On Saturday night, July 25 – and again on this past Saturday – I went to join the protests in Balfour Street, Jerusalem, in front of the Prime Minister’s residence.
The scale of this civic mobilization is spectacular. The media is reporting that last Saturday night’s protests brought as many as thirty thousand Israelis into the streets. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people were first-time activists, many who had never been to a demonstration before.
I’ve been to my fair share of protests in Israel and the West Bank, and this was really different. Continue reading
While much of the world talks about the “new normal” as COVID-19 has disrupted old routines, one thing about life in the West Bank has not changed: Jewish settler violence against Palestinians.
B’Tselem: The Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, an organization funded by the NIF global network, continues to document incidents of violence against Palestinians by Jewish settlers. “In June, we recorded 31 different violent events, including 9 physical assault cases, 5 house assaults and 11 cases in which damage was caused to property and agricultural produce. In three other cases, damage was caused to private property.” Continue reading
The anti-corruption demonstrations against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are becoming larger and more widespread. Last Saturday night, 10,000 demonstrators gathered outside the Prime Minister’s Residence on Balfour Street in Jerusalem. Thousands more rallied in Tel Aviv’s Charles Clore Park and there were nearly 1,000 protestors outside of Netanyahu’s private home in Caesarea. Hundreds more Israelis stood on highway bridges throughout the country. Continue reading