+972 and Local Call stand with colleagues Basel and Yuval

The attacks on Basel Adra and Yuval Abraham illustrate the repressive forces working to silence those who speak hard truths about Israeli apartheid.

+972 Magazine and Local Call unequivocally stand with our colleagues Basel Adra and Yuval Abraham against the vicious attacks that have sought to smear, harm, and intimidate them for speaking truth to power about the unjust realities in Israel-Palestine.

The two activists and journalists — Basel being a longtime writer for our sites, and Yuval our current reporter — have been subjected to an aggressive campaign after their film “No Other Land,” co-directed with Hamdan Ballal and Rachel Szor, won the Best Documentary Award and the Audience Favorite Documentary Award at the Berlinale film festival. The film is an insightful look into life and struggle in Masafer Yatta, Basel’s home region in the occupied West Bank, where Israeli forces and settlers are working to forcibly expel Palestinian communities from their homes.

In their acceptance speeches, Basel and Yuval humbly chose to use their platforms to spotlight the structures of oppression in Israel-Palestine and the need to challenge them. Basel stressed Germany’s responsibility to end its complicity in Israel’s brutal war on the Gaza Strip, while Yuval described the mechanisms of apartheid that separate the co-directors’ lives.

Since then, the Israeli public broadcaster Kan ran a segment accusing Yuval of antisemitism; Kan has since retracted the segment after the filmmakers filed a complaint. German politicians and media have leveled similar accusations, while the culture minister delegitimized Basel by stating she was only applauding the speech given by “the Jewish-Israeli journalist” at the festival. A right-wing mob attacked Yuval’s family home, and others are continuing to send him death threats. In his home in Masafer Yatta, Basel remains under constant risk of arrest, harassment, and assault by Israeli soldiers and settlers.

The campaign against our colleagues is indicative of several alarming trends. It illustrates the depravity of Germany’s discourse on antisemitism, which has twisted itself so far as to interpret statements against Israel’s occupation — even by Jews themselves — as anti-Jewish racism. It reflects the growing intolerance for hearing hard truths about Israeli apartheid, not just in places like Masafer Yatta, but also in Gaza, which continues to be besieged and bombarded. And it shows that many cannot comprehend a partnership between Palestinians and Israelis that recognizes their power dynamics and actively co-resists the systems of dispossession and domination that make them unequal under Israeli law.

Basel and Yuval’s film, together with their exceptional writings for +972 and Local Call, are part of a struggle for a better future for all people living between the river and the sea. We applaud the bravery of our colleagues, and recognize the burdens they are having to bear as a result of speaking out against injustice. We call on fellow journalists and all people of conscience to stand with Basel and Yuval, and we demand politicians and newsrooms be held accountable for their offenses.