About Me

Hagit Ofran

Hello and welcome to my blog.  I am the Settlement Watch director for the Israeli peace group Peace Now.  Peace Now is Israel’s most veteran and diverse peace movement (see the About Peace Now tab for more information about our group). The blog is co-authored by Kate Stoia, to whom I wish to thank for her dedication and help in bringing my stories and thoughts into words.

Beginning in 1990, Peace Now decided that one of the most problematic elements of Israeli foreign policy — and one which could potentially derail any future peace talks — was the building and expansion of settlements in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.  For our explanation of the history of East Jerusalem since it was captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, see the About East Jerusalem tab, above.

East Jerusalem has become a no man’s land, visited only by its residents (mostly Palestinian), diplomats, and ideologically motivated Israeli settlers.  I have been recognized as Israel’s foremost expert on West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements, and am is responsible for monitoring, scrutinizing and analyzing of Israeli construction and planning of settlements in the West Bank. My work includes traveling daily throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem monitoring settlement-related developments, commissioning and examining aerial photos of settlements and scrutinizing official Israeli documents.We feel that the more people know what is happening inside East Jerusalem, the better our chances of building a lasting peace in the Middle East are.  Please join me as I journey into this disputed area which is important to so many and known to so few.

I’d be happy to read your comments to this blog, and I ask that commenters respect the following rules:

1) Please refrain from insults, harassment, slander, vulgarity or racism in general.

2) If you don’t agree with a fellow commenter or the blog owner, you are encouraged to make your point – calmy and civilly. Personal attacks are grounds for loss of commenting privileges.

10 Responses to About Me

  1. Yoji Hanaoka says:

    hi! I’m a journalist working for one of the major newspapers of Japan, The Mainichi Newspapers. I’ve been posted to Jerusalem this April. I’m looking forward to receiving all your information and meeting you in the near future.

    • Great, Yoji. I look forward.

    • Eli says:

      Hi Yogi,

      Thank you for visiting our country. I certainly hope that you don’t take this blog at face value, and that you search out alternative points of view. The tone of this blog is hate-filled and hostile. It refuses to brook even thoughtful opposition to its monolithic views. As such, I sincerely hope that you make the time and effort to speak to (and try to understand) other points of view.

      Good luck with your posting in Jerusalem!

      • Richard says:

        Hi Eli,

        These are serious allegations you are making.

        Could you put a bit of meat on them in order to help anyone try to understand the other points of view? A bit more fact and a lot less invective would be most helpful.

  2. Margaret Rachel Frank says:

    The Orthodox Jewish Community is up in arms over this issue. I decided to find out what I could about it for myself. I greatly enjoyed reading your report on the march which gave me an appreciation for the residents. I agree that it is unfortunate that the media will always look for the negative thus fueling the hatred. I have been amazed that intelligent people are listening to the right wing media in this country and believing anything that is negative about President Obama simply because he expressed dismay at Netayahu’s announcement that he intended to build in the east of Jerusalem. Thank you for your article.

  3. Dear Friends
    Isupporet you in your action Ihope peace for all

  4. Michael Fox says:

    Love your work, ladies.

    Know that we’re fighting here in the US for a just and peaceful solution to the conflicts in your back yard. Please know that more and more people in the US are realizing that Nazi’s are everwhere — including in the rank and file of my country, and the right wing Israeli members of government. They’re just using a different name. A fascist by any other name would smell just as bad, and you’re a breath of fresh air. Please keep up the great work. You’re an inspiration!

  5. Clif Brown says:

    Thank you for your on-the-spot reporting, exactly the kind of thing needed to open the eyes of my fellow Americans to what unquestioning U.S. support of Israel is doing – allowing exactly the opposite of the liberty and equality America proclaims itself to represent to the world. This behavior of the settlers is analogous to the situation seen in the U.S. with regard to African-Americans not so long ago. We painfully got beyond the crude stage of evictions, yet now hypocritically pour money into an Israel that flagrantly abuses the human rights America should defend. I’m working to wake up my fellow citizens and your documentation is quite valuable in the effort.

  6. Hagit,

    Ever since I attended one of your settlement tours two ago I’ve been a big fan of your work and have relied upon PN’s Settlement Watch Dept. for invaluable, current information about Israel’s settlement regime. I consider Israel’s actions in East Jerusalem to be particularly troubling – I look forward to visiting your blog regularly and will certainly urge others in the American Jewish community to do the same.

    Rabbi Brant Rosen
    Evanston, IL

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