Photos by Ryan Rodrick Beiler
Celebrating the anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the annual human rights march in Tel Aviv brought together a cross-section of Israeli activism on Friday, December 7, 2012. There are the usual leftist political parties, peace groups, various civil and human rights organizations, and a strong representation of Palestinian citizens of Israel. Though smaller than in recent years--an indicator of the continuing rightward swing of Israeli society and politics--the march still offered an opportunity for voices of dissent against the Israeli government and solidarity with Palestinians and other marginalized groups to be heard in the streets of Tel Aviv.
Activists with Zochrot, an organization dedicated to educating Israeli about the Nakba in which Palestinians were forced from their homes in 1948, carry "returnee documents" promoting the right of return for Palestinian refugees. The UN included the right of return in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. Only a day later the UN passed Resolution 194 calling for the return of all Palestinian refugees as soon as possible to their homes.
Bedouin citizens of Israel march to protest the destruction of their traditional way of life and demolition of their homes and villages. In September 2011, the Israeli government approved the Prawer Plan to forcibly relocate tens of thousands of Bedouin citizens in the Negev (Naqab) Desert from their "unrecognised" villages to government-approved communities.
A Bedouin child rides on his father's shoulders while leading chants through a loudspeaker.
A rare sight in downtown Tel Aviv: the Palestinian flag flies over passing marchers.
An Israeli activist holds a poster asking "Who Killed Mustafa Tamimi?" Tamimi was killed on December 9, 2011, when he was shot in the face with a tear gas canister at close range by an Israeli soldier during a weekly demonstration in the West Bank town of Nabi Saleh. Also pictured on the poster is Lieutenant Colonel Shay Ben Yshai, the direct commander of the soldier who killed Tamimi. To this day, no legal action has been taken against those responsible for Tamimi's death. The "Who Killed Mustafa Tamimi?" campaign aims to hold both the soldier who pulled the trigger, as well as his commanders and other military leaders, responsible for his death.
Right-wing counter-demontstrators wave Israeli flags and hold photos of Knesset members Michael Ben-Ari and Aryeh Eldad of the Otzma LeYisrael or "Strong Israel" party.
African immigrants organized by Amnesty International demand their rights. Israel has come under criticism for its treatment of asylum seekers and other refugees, many of whom have been denied their legal rights and have been detained, abused, or deported.
Bedouin citizens of Israel carry balloons singifying equality. Since its founding as a "Jewish state", Israel has institutionalized discrimination against its non-Jewish citizens, especially the indigenous Palestinian populations that somehow managed to remain after the Nakba in 1948.