February 2008

In the strange world of Israeli academia, an Arab college lecturer is being dismissed from his job because he refused to declare his “respect for the uniform of the Israeli army”. The bizarre demand was made of Nizar Hassan, director of several award-winning films, after he criticised a Jewish student who arrived in his film studies class at Sapir College in the Negev for wearing his uniform and carrying a gun.

After a seven-year battle for justice, Aseel Asleh’s parents and those of another 12 Palestinian demonstrators killed inside Israel at the start of the intifada heard that the policemen responsible for the deaths would almost certainly never stand trial. Israel’s attorney-general, Menachem Mazuz, told the families that the investigations were being wound up. In most cases there was a lack of evidence, he claimed, and in the cases where there was evidence the policeman had acted in the belief that their lives were in danger.

Olmert slips the noose

7 February 2008

The families of some of the 119 soldiers killed during Israel’s attack on Lebanon 18 months ago, backed by disgruntled reserve army officers and the Likud Party, stepped up their calls for the head of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert this week after publication of the much-delayed Winograd Report. But for the moment it looks as though Olmert will cling on to power, if only by the skin of his teeth.