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    • Lebanons, part 7: The Land

      The last chapter in Yuval Ben-Ami’s anti-travelogue: an exploration of places unvisited. (Click here for the rest.) They say that in the Swiss countryside, one need not wear a watch or carry a cellphone to know the time. Towns are abundant, and each country church sports a functioning clock. Just look over to the next village, and you shall arrive punctually to your next Swiss engagement. This is accurate only at certain latitudes. There may have been a church in the valley below me, but I was too high up to tell it apart from other houses. The familiar land of rusti and…

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    • Lebanons part 6: The Bird

      Yuval Ben-Ami’s new project is an anti-travelogue: an exploration of places unvisited. (Click here for more.) The afternoon dragged on and the fog persisted. I passed the time playing catch with the friendly poodle with chewed up piece of rope, tossing it into the patch of snow outside the hut's door. Beyond that patch of snow, I knew, were the cliffs. The hut occupied close to a half the rock's crest, the snow covered the rest. Any false step, and that dog would plunge an entire kilometer, yet he galloped with utter confidence, knowing perfectly well the bounds of his tiny universe. I…

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    • Lebanons, part 5: The Smoke

      Yuval Ben-Ami’s new project is an anti-travelogue: an exploration of places unvisited. (Click here for more.) I made a bit of a headway. When the fog parted below me, the dark desert appeared at an exhilarating depth. Moreover: somewhere not far over my straining head, bits of grass stuck out, signaling the approaching end of the sheer cliff. I kept my eyes fixed on them while struggling up. The promised land of promised rest. There really was grass up there, and a bit of flat soil. I was far from the fall now, engulfed in sacred silence. I sat down to catch my…

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    • Israeli Polls: Jews want to ignore the conflict, Arabs think nothing will change

      The majority of Jewish Israelis think the international community will impose some sort of 'substantial pressure' on Israel soon. But they are disinclined to let such criticism affect the country's policy. A majority of Israelis see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as an existential problem, according to January’s monthly Peace Index survey conducted by Tel Aviv University and the Israel Democracy Institute. Indeed, a stabbing a day and a war every two years is no way to live. Yet Israeli Jews regularly vote for parties who perpetuate the same policies, and rarely protest Israel’s military rule over the Palestinian people in any significant numbers.…

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    • Israeli settlements have created a 'state within a state'

      Not only physical settler violence goes largely unpunished — the structural violence of those driving the settlement enterprise, in the form of open land theft and everything it entails, also goes largely unaddressed. What keeps the long arm of the law at bay? A primetime investigative news program revealed to all of Israel last week widespread forgery in the purchase of Palestinian land by Jewish settlers. The program, Channel 10's "Hamakor" ("The Source"), fronted by investigative journalist Raviv Drucker, uncovered corruption, distortion, manipulation and outright criminal activity on the part of buyers, lawyers and so-called "straw men" who helped push the fraudulent…

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    • Jewish pundits can't decide if they're happy about Bernie Sanders' win in NH

      Can an American politician who was born to Jewish parents just be an American politician who happens to be Jewish? Is Israel becoming less important in American politics? NEW YORK -- Bernie Sanders, the senator from Vermont, won the Democratic primary in the state of New Hampshire on Tuesday night. Sanders, who identifies as a social democrat, is Jewish. [tmwinpost] But when he spoke about his background in his victory speech he mentioned only that he was the son of Polish immigrants who were poor and little-educated, making it sound as though they might have been eating kielbasa and pierogi for…

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    • EU politicians to Israeli MKs: NGOs aren't enemies of the state

      Fifty MEPs send an open letter to their Israeli counterparts urging them to abandon legislation that singles out European-funded human rights and peace NGOs while not touching right-wing organizations. By Davide Lerner Dozens of members of the European Parliament published a harshly worded open letter to all members of the Israeli Knesset on Tuesday regarding the controversial “NGO law,” a new bill that selectively imposes transparency requirements on those largely left-wing associations receiving more than half of their funding from abroad. The bill passed the first of three readings in the Knesset late Monday night. [tmwinpost] The letter, promoted by UK Labour MEP…

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    • Hunger striking Palestinian journalist is dying, lawyer says

      The Supreme Court suspended Muhammad al-Qiq's administrative detention order but won't let him return to the West Bank; al-Qiq's attorney says he will only accept medical treatement in a Palestinian hospital. By Oren Ziv and Yael Marom Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq is on day 77 of a hunger strike protesting his administrative detention, a practice Israel uses to imprison people without having to charge them or bring them to trial. [tmwinpost] Al-Qiq is suffering from serious vertigo, has lost most of his sight and hearing, and can barely speak. Since the High Court of Justice “suspended” his administrative detention last…

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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