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Our Times 3

Human Rights

  • Why is Israel so afraid of Khalida Jarrar?

    When Israeli troops stormed the house of Palestinian parliamentarian and lawyer, Khalida Jarrar, on April 2, 2015, she was engrossed in her research. For months, Jarrar had been leading a Palestinian effort to take Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Her research on that very evening was directly related to the kind of behavior that allows a group of soldiers to handcuff a respected Palestinian intellectual and throw her in jail with no trial and with no accountability for their actions.

  • The World Cup is a crime scene

    But it’s because the World Cup, much like the Olympics, has become a profit-hungry corporate behemoth. Its crimes are not unique but those endemic to global neoliberal capitalism; a gangster capitalism of “free” markets, lax state regulations, and low taxes that enriches the global 1% and leaves the rest of us behind. Here’s a rundown of the World Cup’s crimes.

  • Lessons from the 70th birthday of the National Health Service

    This summer marks the 70th anniversary of the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS). When it was established in 1948, the NHS was the world’s first universal healthcare system. It quickly became a beacon of what a decommodified public service could be: open to all, free at the point of service and paid out of taxes. Healthcare was dispensed according to need and funded according to ability to pay.

  • Child separation: An ugly Canadian tradition

    Alternatives to incarceration must be found both for the still relatively small numbers of migrant families detained in Canada and the disproportionately high numbers of Indigenous youths populating Canadian prisons. Until Canada radically reforms its prison system and ceases to criminalize asylum seekers, our smug responses to the egregious actions of the United States are unwarranted.

  • A State That Belongs to Only Some of its Citizens

    There is a form on the Israeli Interior Ministry’s website, where one can order duplicate and translated copies of a birth certificate. On that form is a drop-down menu, above which it is written: “Nationality.” In that drop-down menu you will find a list of nationalities which defies all logic. The nationalities listed include ethnicities without their own states, states without distinct or exclusive nationalities/ethnicities, and long-defunct “minority rule” colonial constructs.

  • Israel Effectively Declares Itself an Apartheid State

    On July 19, Israeli lawmakers gave their final approval to the “Basic Law: Israel as the Nation State of the Jewish People” bill that unambiguously defines Israel as a state that belongs exclusively to the “Jewish people.” This is despite the fact that one in five citizens of Israel is an indigenous, non-Jewish Palestinian. Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset condemned the law, which enjoys constitutional power, as an “apartheid law.”

  • Hassan Diab: Nothing less than a public inquiry will do

    How and why did our former government facilitate the extradition of one of its citizens by withholding critical information that would otherwise have saved him years of torment? Given this egregious irregularity in judicial and government proceedings, and given that Canada’s extradition law offers few, if any, safeguards to protect the requested individual from extradition, it behooves all Canadians to ponder seriously the extent of their civil liberties.

  • Settler-colonialism targets youth

    As the world contemplates with horror the United States’ recent policy of separating immigrant and refugee children from their parents and detaining them for attempting to cross the border, it is important to see these disturbing events in a global context and to recognize them for what they are. Although such practices also take place in Canada, the reality is that anti-immigrant sentiment is pure hypocrisy in settler-colonial states like the United States and Canada.

  • Who is your oppressor?

    It’s hard to pinpoint when the bifurcation of all of society into either oppressor or oppressed was first articulated. Hegel noted that “[t]he Catholics had been in the position of oppressors, and the Protestants of the oppressed.” But one could safely argue that many spiritual holy men, from the Buddha to Jesus, have relied on these categories in one way or another to deliver their indictments of the world.

  • Why Canada’s overdose crisis is getting worse

    Even as dozens of supervised injection sites open across the country, there are still massive holes in Canada’s drugs policy. It’s not enough to simply expand a medical system that sees and treats people who use drug as criminals. Instead of making it harder to get drugs, we need to make it easier—and cleaner and safer.

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