Gideon Levy

Israeli journalist

Gideon Levy (Hebrew: גדעון לוי; born 2 June 1953) is an Israeli journalist and author. Levy writes opinion pieces and a weekly column for the newspaper Haaretz that often focus on the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

There can be no political prisoners in a democracy, nor detention without trial in a state of law. ... Political prisoners, detention without trial and unlimited imprisonment define tyranny.


"This Biography Makes It Clear: The Founder of the Palestinian Popular Front Was Right", Haaretz (15 April 2018).
  • I felt very sorry that I had not met this man.

"In a Democracy, Palestinian Lawmaker Khalida Jarrar Would Be Free" (21 June 2018)

"In a Democracy, Palestinian Lawmaker Khalida Jarrar Would Be Free", Haaretz (June 21, 2018).
  • The continued detention of Palestinian parliament member Khalida Jarrar can no longer be presented as a worrisome exception on Israel’s democratic landscape. Nor can the incredible public apathy and almost total absence of media coverage of her plight be dismissed any longer as a general lack of interest in what Israel does to the Palestinians. The usual repression and denial cannot explain it either. Jarrar’s detention doesn’t only define what is happening in Israel’s dark backyard, it is part of its glittering display window. Jarrar defines democracy and the rule of law in Israel. Her imprisonment is an inseparable part of the Israeli regime and it is the face of Israeli democracy, no less than its free elections (for some of its subjects) or the pride parades that wind through its streets. Jarrar is the Israeli regime no less than the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Liberty. Jarrar is Israeli democracy without makeup and adornments. The lack of interest in her fate is also characteristic of the regime. A legislator in prison through no fault of her own is a political prisoner in every way, and political prisoners defined by the regime. There can be no political prisoners in a democracy, nor detention without trial in a state of law. Thus Jarrar’s imprisonment is not only a black stain on the Israeli regime; it’s an inseparable part of it.
  • She is perhaps the bravest woman living today under Israeli control.
  • Jarrar could end up spending the rest of her life in prison; there is no legal impediment to this since all the pathetic arguments used to justify her continued detention could be deemed valid indefinitely. If she’s dangerous today, she’s dangerous forever. Political prisoners, detention without trial and unlimited imprisonment define tyranny.
  • The resistance should no longer be directed solely against the occupation. The resistance is to the regime in place in Israel. Her imprisonment is the regime and she opposes the regime under whose boots she lives.
  • All those who support her continued detention, anyone who is silent while she remains in jail, and all those who make her detention possible are saying: Forget democracy. That’s not what we are. Get used to it.


  • The greatest threat facing Israel is the democratic threat. There is no greater danger to the regime in Israel than its turning into a democracy. There is no society that opposes democracy like Israeli society. There are plenty of regimes opposed to democracy, but not a free society. In Israel the people, the sovereign, is opposed to democracy. This is why the current struggle, which presumes to be about democracy, is a masquerade.
  • When Israelis start asking themselves if they really want to continue living like this, alternatives will pop up. There are no miracle solutions and no guarantees of success. There's only one thing for sure: The alternatives have never been tried. We never thought about acting with self-control and restraint. It's for the weak. We never asked what's the outcome of all the killings and the assassinations. We never probed whether these wars contributed anything to our security, or whether they only fractured it. Now the jihad is already coming at Tel Aviv, and from under siege. One day people will learn to appreciate the determination and courage of those who managed to establish such a resistance force while inside a cage, even if we continue to scream and scream "murderous organizations."
  • Sedil Naghniyeh, 15, was standing on the roof of her house in the Jenin refugee camp with her father Adnan to watch the goings-on. An IDF soldier shot her in the head as her father looked on and on Wednesday she succumbed to her wounds... Sedil was a pretty girl, born and raised in the Jenin camp. Her father is the maintenance director of the camp’s Freedom Theater. The theater’s former director, Jonathan Stanchek, an Israeli now residing in Sweden, mourned Sedil on Wednesday. Her family had been his close neighbors during the 10 years he and his family lived in the camp.... Stanchek says he never heard the father utter an angry word at the Jews or the Israelis, even though three times they tore down his house, his brother had been killed, his son is in prison and on Wednesday his daughter died.

Oxford Union Debate


(The Motion: This House Believes a Two-State Solution in the Middle East is Unattainable.)

  • (An audience member wanted to raise a point of information.) No, no. I need to solve here an occupation of 50 years in 10 minutes and you'll take two minutes of (my time)?
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