15 | 07 | 2019

Education Minister and far-right religious leader from The Jewish Home (HaBayit HaYehudi) political party, Rabbi Rafi Peretz, ignited a firestorm of protest Saturday night, July 13, when he told a Channel 12 television interviewer that he believes the obscurantist practice of “gay conversion therapy” – trying to change a gay individual’s sexual orientation – is effective. Peretz said that he himself has participated in providing such “treatment” to gay individuals in the past.

Anti-occupation activist Jonathan Pollak was attacked in Tel Aviv on Sunday, July 7, and suffered cuts on his arms and face. Pollak is one of the founders of Anarchists against the Wall, an organization that is openly against the occupation of the Palestinian territories.

“I left my workplace for lunch and saw two people following me,” he told journalists, “I thought they were police, as there is a standing order to arrest me.” The men called him a “fucking leftist,” shoved him to the ground and began hitting him. At one point, one of them pulled a knife and began cutting him. “They got stressed at this point and ran away,” he said.

Students affiliated with Hadash who study at Tel Aviv University in Ramat Aviv reported over the weekend that settlers belonging to a “Price Tag” group spray-painted racist graffiti outside student dormitories at the university.

The Hadash students’ organization told journalists that settlers broke into the surroundings of the dormitories and spray-painted racist, hate and anti-Arab graffiti on walls.

Following reports that Arkia Airlines is planning to lay off 250 out of its 650 employees after the closure of Tel Aviv’s Sde Dov Airport, the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel) has declared a labor dispute with the carrier.

“Even though the employment security of Arkia’s workers is ensured by a collective agreement signed by the parties in 2013, with specific mention of the possibility that activity at Sde Dov might be terminated, the company is planning to unilaterally fire hundreds of workers without consulting their representatives, as required,” a spokesperson for the Histadrut said.

An Associated Press (AP) investigation released on Monday, July 1, reveals that the Jewish American Falic family, owners of the chain of more than 180 Duty Free Americas (DFA) shops in the United States and Latin America, funds a generous racist philanthropic empire in Israel that runs through the corridors of power and stretches deep into the occupied West Bank.

The report details how the Falic’s have donated at least $5.6 million to settler organizations in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem over the past decade, funding synagogues, schools and social services as well as far-right and racist causes considered extreme even in Israel.

An off-duty police officer shot and killed a young Ethiopian-Israeli, Salomon Teka, 18, in Kiryat Haim north of Haifa on Sunday evening, June 30. The young man’s death was confirmed at Rambam Hospital in Haifa after he was taken there in critical condition by paramedics.

A large number of police from the Nesher area and a coastal district arrived at the scene of the shooting and began an investigation into the incident. They determined that an off-duty officer had been in a nearby playground with his wife and his three children when he saw a fight taking place nearby. The police also established that the off-duty officer’s pistol had been fired. However, they refrained from giving details about the incident for more than two hours, except for issuing a laconic notice, inasmuch as a policeman was involved in the shooting. The latter was arrested on Monday morning, July 1, and is to be interrogated by the Police Investigation Unit (PID).

Jewish and Arab residents of Upper Nazareth (“Nazareth Illit,” in Hebrew) last week voted to change the name of the northern city, in a move the mayor said was designed to put an end to widespread confusion with the neighboring Arab city of Nazareth. The deputy mayor of Upper Nazareth, Dr. Shawki Awauda (Hadash), said it was “time to give the city an independent identity, and put an end to the chronic confusion” between the city and its neighbor, historic Nazareth.

A prison parole board authorized on Wednesday, June 19, the immediate release of a woman who was sentenced to life in prison in 2002 for the murder of her abusive husband.

The decision to release Dalal Daoud after serving 17 years in prison was supported by the State Attorney’s Office and the Committee for the Prevention of Domestic Violence.

Hadash and religious officials in Nazareth demanded last week that the city cancel a planned visit to be held today and tomorrow, June 23-24, by a Nigerian pastor and televangelist, Temitope Balogun Joshua. The reactionary clerical figure plans to hold mass events on Mount Precipice, outside the southern edge of Nazareth, 2 km southwest of the modern city center.

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