A file photo showing Benjamin Netanyahu holding up a glass of wine as he makes a toast. Nir Keidar

A Jewish Year and Its Curses: Holding Up a Mirror to Israel in 5778

As we celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, a look at the year that was

Tishri

A court decision allows the community of Kochav Ya’ir to restrict entry of Arabs to its swimming pool * Education Ministry initiative: Religious body to instruct secular people about how to bring about behavioral changes in children * Israel imposes exceptionally long closure of a week and a half on the West Bank * Aides to Education Minister Naftali Bennett lift the ban on writing racist replies to matriculation-exam questions

Heshvan

It is reported that Israel sent weapons to Myanmar during the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya there * Soldiers shoot to death a Palestinian who was in a car with his sister, explaining that he didn’t stop at their request * Taglit-Birthright stops offering encounters with Arabs during participants’ trips to Israel * Israel doubles waiting time for receiving an exit permit from the Gaza Strip * It’s learned that the state is operating a secret unit abroad against BDS activists * Israel Defense Forces demands that hundreds of Palestinians in the Jordan Rift Valley vacate their homes * Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit legitimizes expropriation of private Palestinian land

Kislev

Zionist Union supports deportation of asylum seekers * Testimonies of asylum seekers deported from Israel show some of them fell into ISIS hands and others were extradited to Eritrea * Ministry of Culture censors nudity in dance performances * Kulanu party members call for seven-year jail terms for activists in movements that advocate the boycott of Israeli products * State prosecution seeks to jail lawyer for writing a poem against a police officer * Education Ministry torpedoes meeting between Israeli and Palestinian bereaved parents * State demands that lesbians who become mothers declare that they are not sex offenders

Tevet

Member of Palestinian parliament jailed for year without a trial * Bennett presents plan to intensify ties between IDF and schools * Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu orders examination of possible forcible deportation of asylum seekers * Steep rise in number of requests from police to get personal information about Israeli citizens from media companies * Modesty supervisors enforce dress code at Ono Academic College

Shevat

Police announce that asylum seekers hid in attic during arrest operation in Ashdod * Comprehensive survey in U.S. shows plunge in support for Israel among Democrats * Deputy Minister Michael Oren initiates Knesset discussion to clarify whether Tamimi family from West Bank is real or a group of actors * Council for Higher Education censors criticism of gender separation in academia

Illustration.

Adar

Ministers decide to advance legislation to deprive High Court of Justice of power to deliberate petitions by Palestinians * Police jail man who spray-painted words “Shameful police” * IDF sets up checkpoints to collect personal details about Palestinians * IDF establishes “consciousness department” to influence opinion abroad * State violates High Court ruling demanding expanded living space for prisoners

Nisan

Kfar Vradim local council stops land sales because half the winners of bids were Arabs * Interior Ministry toughens policy and refuses to register lesbians as mothers for months * Defense establishment demands that left-wing organizations provide information about activists * State gives Ahed Tamimi, the Palestinian teen who slapped a soldier, an eight-month prison term * Chabadniks instruct pupils at secular primary school about advent of Messiah * State orders Eritrean grandfather of 59 to prove he isn’t 32

Iyar

IDF uses live ammunition against thousands of demonstrators on Gaza-Israel border * Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon agree to discuss abridging High Court’s authority * IDF calls for bids to erect “modern” fences to separate men and women on army bases * Government promotes legislation to make Diaspora Jews subject to authority of rabbinical courts in Israel * Principal reprimanded for inviting New Israel Fund representative to school, because “he should have known that Bennett is against them” * Female high-school students forced to sit in back rows of Kfar Sava auditorium because of presence of religious students

Sivan

Police falsely arrest 21 Israeli Arab demonstrators against IDF shootings in Gaza; court releases them, not before one of them breaks his leg during incarceration * Kfar Sava police demand that organizers of Gay Pride parade erect two-meter-high fences and choose a route bypassing Chabad House * Tel Aviv University prevents pro-peace activity for bureaucratic reasons * With Labor Party support, Knesset prohibits even discussion of the concept of Israel being a “state of all its citizens” * Housing Minister Yoav Galant draws up plan against “hostile Bedouin construction” and presents distorted data

Tamuz

Afula residents protest sale of home to Arab family * Public pool in south segregates Jews and Arabs * Science Minister Akunis thwarts appointment of academic to committee because she signed a petition years ago against army service in territories * Israel restricts fishing zone for Palestinians in waters off Gaza Strip

Av

Coalition passes nation-state law, which weakens status of Arabic and asserts that state will prioritize communities for Jews * IDF toughens modesty regulations, ranging from gender separation in smoking areas to ban on women’s short clothes * Police detain Conservative rabbi for allegedly officiating at illegal wedding ceremony * Shin Bet security service grills Israeli author at Ben-Gurion International Airport for supporting Breaking the Silence, warns him that although the organization “is not outlawed, it’s a slippery slope” * Israeli Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour jailed for five months * Left-wing activists detained at Taba border crossing with Egypt and interrogated about their opinions on Netanyahu

Elul

American journalist Peter Beinart detained at Ben-Gurion airport, asked about his ties with left-wing organizations * Education Ministry decides to fund evangelical-run project that “will deepen students’ ties to God” * Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz suspends construction work on bridge over Tel Aviv freeway, to forestall desecration of Sabbath * Young Jews attack Israeli Arabs on beach; settlers attack left-wing activists in Southern Mount Hebron area.

That was the year that was.

A Happy New Year to all.

Ori Mark is the editor of Haaretz Magazine.

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