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Motorcycle diaries: A brief moment of humanity with an Israeli policeman

He had no idea Palestinians couldn’t import high quality motorcycles. I had no idea Israeli policemen could be so friendly. How one motorcycle brought us together during a traffic stop in the middle of the West Bank.

By Bassam Almohor

Israeli police stop — Thursday, September 24, 2015.

An Israeli policeman standing at the entrance to Ofra settlement, just east of Ramallah, motions for me to park on the side go the road. He walks slowly with his M-4 rifle, inspecting the license plate on my motorcycle, then pats my shoulder: “With all due respect, this is great; you wear your helmet, your gloves, your jacket.. this is perfect.”

- So this is a new motorcycle?

- Yes.

- And you just take it everywhere?

- Everywhere in the West Bank.

- Oh nice, I am a biker too, you know. I have a big bike, a Honda CB 900, here take a look (he takes out his smartphone, and scrolls through photos of his bike.) Take a look, it’s all shiny and big.

- Very nice, is this your girlfriend riding on the back?

- No, this is my wife.

- Lovely. My wife doesn’t like to ride with me. Only my son.

- You take your son, wow.

- Yes, but only short distances in the city.

- But why don’t you get a big bike, this is only 250cc?

- Well, we can’t. The Palestinian importer is only allowed to bring in this bike.

- What? You mean you can’t get bigger one?

- No, and I can’t buy these from Israel either.

- But I see big motorcycles. The other day I stopped two Palestinians riding 600cc Hondas.

- Yes, perhaps they are the only ones.

- Too bad.

- Well, actually for the West Bank, and with the limited area we are allowed, 250cc is not that bad.

- Yes, that’s true. I have this 900 and there’s not much road out there. I live in Ariel, do you know it?

- Yes, of course I know it. I actually drove past it yesterday.

- I take my bike and drive those roads. I take my friends and they all love it, especially the hilly countryside — it’s great.

- Yes, Palestine is beautiful.

- I love riding here you know. So where are you coming from now?

- Well, I started at 6 a.m.,...

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What Abbas should have told the United Nations

What if the Abbas had announced this was his last UN speech as Israel’s security contractor? A reimagined version of the speech that wasn’t. (Read or watch Abbas’s actual speech.)

By Rida Abu Rass

H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the General Assembly,
H.E. Mr Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations,
Excellencies, heads of delegations,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I come before you today from Palestine to sound the alarm about what is happening in Jerusalem, about what is happening in the West Bank and Gaza and about what is happening in Israel. I come before you to sound the alarm about what has been happening to Palestinians for 67 years, in our own homeland.

We are often accused of refusing. Of refusing to negotiate, of refusing to settle, of refusing to compromise. In 1948, we were a naive, agrarian, developing people. 100 years after the spring of nations — that glorified winter of failed revolutions that gave rise to nationalism in Europe — we still knew nothing of nationalism and self determination. In 1948, when the Jewish people declared the establishment of the state of Israel in Mandatory Palestine, partition was out of the question for us. In the eyes of our forefathers, there was not a single doubt that this land belonged to us, for we have been living in it and nourishing it for longer than we can remember. We had no other land.

But we no longer refuse. For over 20 years, we have done nothing but reach out our hands for peace.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I remind you that history was not kind to us. Jewish militants, determined to create a state for themselves, ethnically cleansed us from our land in 1948. Those Palestinians that remained in Israel suffer from systematic discrimination every day. The Gaza Strip and the West Bank have been under one occupation or another for 67 years. Our brothers and sisters in Lebanon and Syria, third generation refugees, are drowning in the Mediterranean Sea.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We have had enough. We Palestinians understand the Jewish people’s unparalleled trauma. We realize the Jewish need for a safe homeland. But must their safety come at our expense?

Contrary to Netanyahu’s false accusations, we have continuously recognized Israel’s right to exist peacefully in its internationally recognized borders for over 20 years — despite the...

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Oslo has become a tool for Israeli expansionism — it's time to let go

The Oslo Accords have been manipulated for the unspoken goal of Jewish annexation of West Bank land. So long as both governments adhere to this failed system, they will be unable to pursue a real peace agreement.

By Nathan Hersh

The Oslo Accords are the banner accomplishment of the Israeli peace movement. But their impact on the West Bank is no longer to orchestrate a phased withdrawal of Israeli forces, which they intended to do. Instead, the leadership in Israel has become increasingly populated by settlers and their sympathizers, and it has used the Oslo Accords for its own ideological pursuits.

The lasting accomplishments of the Oslo Accords—the division of the West Bank into Areas A, B and C; the cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian security forces and the creation of the Palestinian Authority—have different uses under Netanyahu’s premiership. Ministers and MKs from coalition parties frequently call for the annexation of Area C instead of withdrawal from it; Palestinian police forces maintain order in the areas Israel does not want to operate in and the Palestinian Authority is implicitly cosigning all of it. The Oslo Accords have been manipulated to strengthen the occupation, not dismantle it.

I first recognized the political utility of the occupation for Israel as a soldier in the West Bank. My unit was protecting Israeli civilians, preventing Palestinian violence directed at Israeli settlers and containing Palestinian protests. As soldiers, our concerns were not meant to extend beyond those objectives, and questions about the direction our actions were leading our country were irrelevant; such thoughts were dangerous distractions from the imperative to keep our country and our people safe.

The army’s objectives are simple and its mission is clear: security above all else. But the military occupation of the West Bank does not exist in a vacuum. It exists in a context of official Israeli rejection of Palestinian national self-determination and sustained, illegal settlement expansion. A military occupation in this context is not purely about security; it is meant to protect the behaviors of the state.

This blindness ignores the Israeli policies that instigate violence. The growth of settlements, the refusal to negotiate with the non-violent Palestinian Authority and the current coalition’s rejection of the two-state solution makes any serious reference to the Oslo Accords’ potential for peace profoundly out of touch. And while the Accords remain an example of each side’s past willingness to make peace, that...

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Are European settlement labels a double standard?

Israeli government allegations of an EU double standard are largely grounded on misguided or incomplete information.

By Lorenzo Kamel

In 2005 the European Union clarified that products originating in areas beyond Israel’s pre-1967 lines do not benefit from preferential tariff treatment under the EU-Israel Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Ten years later, on September 10, 2015, the European Parliament passed an historical resolution calling on the EU to issue labels for products from those areas — settlement products. It passed 525 to 70 (with 31 abstentions), and will likely be effective from October 1 of this year.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely reacted by saying Israel would not accept “discrimination” between goods produced in different parts of “its territory.” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon argued that labeling goods “reeks of boycott.” Echoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Nahshon claimed that, “Europe treats Israel with sanctimonious hypocrisy, while it doesn’t raise the issue of similar solutions in Northern Cyprus and Western Sahara.”

Allegations of an EU double standard are largely grounded on misguided or incomplete information. Just as the EU does not support Israeli entities in the Palestinian territories, the EU does not provide support to Turkish entities established in Northern Cyprus under Turkey’s national law. Just as it relates to Israeli nationals in the occupied Palestinian territories, the EU evaluates the most suitable implementation methods for “individual projects” in Northern Cyprus, where perhaps half of the estimated 300,000 residents were either born in Turkey or are children of settlers.

As the EU itself clearly states in its own report, it does not enter into financing agreements with the Turkish Cypriot authorities, “because they are not officially recognized by the international community, the [EU] Commission has primarily implemented the assistance by entering into contracts directly and acting as the sole contracting authority.”

These EU policies are carried out with the express purpose of “facilitate[ing] the reunification of Cyprus” and with the aim of “improving the contacts between the two communities.” They are fully consistent with international law, including with Article 43 of the Hague Regulations, according to which building infrastructure is to a certain extent part of the occupier’s obligations, as long as the infrastructure is built for the benefit of the local population.

As for the Western Sahara case, the EU signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) only with Morocco and not with any other entity that lays claim...

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The Syrian child who became a symbol in Beirut — and Germany

Twelve-year-old Fares al-Khodor sold roses in West Beirut for five years until he was killed in an airstrike during a visit to his hometown in Syria. Touched by the massive outpouring from people who knew him in Lebanon, artist Yazan Halwani brought his memory all the way to Germany.

By Avi Blecherman

Yazan Halwani, a Lebanese street artist known as “the Banksy of Beirut,” went all the way to Dortmund, Germany in order to paint a portrait of Fares, a refugee Syrian child who was killed recently in the ongoing war.

Fares al-Khodor, 12, charmed business owners and passersby with a special smile and and captivating personality on Hamra Street in West Beirut, where he sold roses. He first came to Lebanon in the end of 2010 at age seven with his family and quickly became a fixture on Beirut’s streets, lugging around his makeshift vase of roses.

Fares was killed in a coalition airstrike that missed its target and hit his family home in the northern Syrian city of Hasakah in July. He and his family visited their hometown every summer.

“I did not know him as well as others,” Halwani wrote on his Facebook wall, “[but] I remember him and his distinctive smile from the few times I bought flowers from him.”

“I decided to paint him on a building in Dortmund (Germany) during the Huna/K Festival, so that he can keep on spreading his positive vibe, and charming pedestrians to buy flowers from him,” Halwani continued. “I think I also wanted to say that people who flee their houses in Syria have a good reason to do so. Fares was not an add-on to Beirut, he was an integral part of it; during his stay in Syria he was not safe. I regret not painting him during his life.”

Halwani, 22, was invited to Dortmund by the organizers of the Huna/K Festival of art and Arab culture, which began last week and will continue until October 4. He enlisted the help of the Anne Frank School in the city, whose students enthusiastically pitched in. The students were split into three groups: one that worked on the drawing on the wall with Halwani, another that dealt with the Arabic calligraphy that was also drawn on the wall, and a third that documented the entire project.

Explaining why he created the mural in Germany and...

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How a 'security threat' disappears in the blink of an eye

A month ago, administrative detainee Muhammad Allan was deemed a major security threat to Israel. Now the army has decided to release him on the condition that he does not go back on hunger strike.

By Yael Marom

One day a man wakes up to find out he no longer constitutes a threat to the State of Israel. After being imprisoned for an entire year without trial, going on hunger strike for more than two months until he suffered brain damage, was sent back to administrative detention once he began his recovery and went back on hunger strike, the army has decided to release Muhammad Allan.

On Tuesday it was announced that Allan’s administrative detention will not be extended, and that the army will agree to release him on November 4. According to a report by Haaretz, the defense establishment confirmed that the military prosecution will not extend Allan’s administrative order, stating that “his release is conditioned upon him not going back on hunger strike.”

Allan, a 33-year-old attorney from the village Anabous near Nablus, was detained on November 6, 2014. Since then he has been held in administrative detention without having been accused of any wrongdoing. After his detention was renewed a second time — without allowing him a chance to defend himself — he decided to go on hunger strike.

Throughout the strike, the defense establishment claimed that Allan is a member of Islamic Jihad, has been involved in violent activities, and served a three-year sentence after he was convicted for taking part in recruiting suicide bombers and aiding wanted suspects. Even after he was arrested yet again in Barzilay Hospital, the defense establishment claimed that Allan was supporting terrorist attacks, and that it has “a great deal of severe” intelligence on him. The Israeli justice system has yet to present any evidence to back up those claims.

Allan’s struggle reveals the defense establishment’s arbitrary and vengeful decision making process, and the complete lack of any monitoring of the state’s use of administrative detention, which is meant to be used only in special cases. These mechanisms make it possible to determine whether a person is such a grave threat that he/she need to be immediately imprisoned without access to evidence against them, and to release him/her only after the ostensible danger disappears.

So how did November 4 become the date on which Allan will no...

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Abbas' peace project has hit a dead end

He chose the path of moderation. He agreed to a small Palestinian state alongside Israel. He won the support of America and Europe. He proved his obligation to maintaining security for Israelis. And he got nothing in return. The tragedy of Mahmoud Abbas, part one of a two-part series.

By Menachem Klein

Many hopes were pinned on Mahmoud Abbas after he succeeded Yasser Arafat in 2004.

For the international community, Abbas was the polar opposite of his predecessor. From 2000 and until his death, international leaders had grown tired of Arafat, while Abbas still earns their praise. And Western leaders had good reasons: unlike Arafat, Abbas is not theatrical; they could always count on his word. He was one of the architects of the Oslo Accords, and openly opposed the violence and terrorism of the Second Intifada, which to his mind was catastrophic for the Palestinians.

In 2003 Western leaders and Egypt forced Arafat to appoint Abbas prime minister, while transferring over some of the famed leader’s authority to his future successor. The conflict between Abbas and Arafat led to an increased appreciation for the former, whom the world viewed as an ideal leader. It was hoped that through his leadership the Palestinians will undergo the same change that Abbas himself underwent. The man who began as a supporter of armed struggle and the establishment of a Palestinian state to replace Israel has, since the 1980s, supported negotiations and a small Palestinian state alongside Israel. The Israeli peace camp was sure that the public that elected Abbas president would stand behind him when it came time to make peace with Israel.

Abbas won the support of both the Palestinian people and the Palestinian establishment. He is the last founding father of Fatah still around today. Abu Eyad and Abu Jihad, who were his superiors, were both killed, while Farouk Kaddoumi rejected Oslo and became irrelevant. Marwan Barghouti became more popular and militant than Abbas, but he challenged the old guard and never won international support. Furthermore, Israel was never interested in releasing him from prison. Abbas was, and remains, a more convenient rival.

The subcontractor

But it wasn’t only his age and veteran status that worked in Abbas’ favor. Thanks to international support he is viewed as the only person who can force Israel to end the occupation and win independence for his...

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Why won't Saudi Arabia travel to Palestine for a soccer match?

Between implicit recognition of Israel, or simply a desire not to travel through military checkpoints, the Saudi Arabia national team does not want to play against Palestine in Jerusalem. 

By Yoni Mendel (translated from Hebrew by Sol Salbe)

Last April the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur witnessed the Asian draw for the regional groups’ stage of the 2018 World Cup. As soon as the first group was drawn out, the Palestinian representatives knew that times ahead were going to be tough — and not only on field. Knowing who was selected to Group A was enough for them to work it out. Asian Group A included the following teams: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Timor Leste (East Timor), Malaysia and Asia’s rising star: Palestine.

The Palestinians, who last year achieved the huge milestone of qualifying for Asia Cup for the first time in their history, knew that the preliminary stages for the 2018 World Cup contains some huge hurdles. These hurdles would be there long before coach Abdel Nasser Barakat starts wracking his brain as to the opening line up of his team. The first thing the Palestinians need to ensure is that their games actually occur. There are many non-sporting obstacles facing the Palestinian team, and naturally these obstacles are related to the tremendous difficulty of bringing together the national team’s players. The players reside in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, within Israel itself, in various Arab states and in the countries of Europe and America. Furthermore they travel using foreign passports, laissez-passers or refugee ID cards. Even getting them together for training is a strain.

Secondly, there is the problem of exiting and re-entering the areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority. The permit regime, the ongoing occupation of the West Bank, and the blockade of Gaza, has made it difficult for team players to leave for abroad and return. Whether they are coming and going via the Allenby Bridge crossing (Jordan), the Erez Crossing (Israel-Gaza) or the Rafah crossing (Gaza-Egypt), trouble looms. Even those players who have received the relevant permits are liable to be forced to go through security interrogations. Some get stopped at this point. Thus the team’s composition depends not only on the coach and their physical fitness, but to a large extent the on the Israeli authorities’ whims as to who can come and go and who may not.

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Did Israel really score a victory over Egypt at the IAEA?

The Prime Minister’s Office and the Israeli media were keen to report a on the triumph of squashing an Egyptian initiative to subject Israel’s nuclear capabilities to IAEA inspection. Bold claim, but is it true?

By Shemuel Meir

Around Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, headlines in Israel hailed a “victory” over Egypt on the nuclear front. Taking their cue from Prime Minister Netanyahu and his close advisor, Dore Gold (who also happens to be director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), they portrayed the results of the vote at the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as the crowning achievement of Israeli diplomacy in recent times.

The reports kept repeating that 61 states had supported Israel by rejecting the proposed resolution to have Israel accede to the NPT and place it under the IAEA’s comprehensive safeguards. No one cared to mention that this came as no surprise. No one noticed that there was really no victory over Egypt. First of all this was not an Egyptian draft but one presented by the Arab Group. An identical proposed resolution by the group of Arab states regarding “Israel’s Nuclear Capabilities”(INC Resolution) had failed in previous years as well. There were years when we actually “won,” with America thwarting the endeavors of the Arab Group, preventing it from even bringing the issue up for vote. In 2014, for example, the same draft resolution was rejected by a similar majority of 58 countries in Israel’s favor. Contrary to Netanyahu’s assertion, the slight majority tipping the scales in Israel’s favor has remained quite level, without having increased in any significant way.

Media reports and communications issued by the Prime Minister’s Office concerning the proposed IAEA resolution were conspicuously replete with superlatives and self-praise. The tone was set by the prime minister’s tweet, published only a few minutes after the vote in Vienna, before the news agencies even had time to break the news to the world. The idea was likely to flood the media space without letting anybody spoil the party. Netanyahu praised the diplomatic campaign led by his office and the Israel Atomic Energy Commission. Along the way, he “incriminated” the European Union, which would have preferred to keep a low profile on this issue. The EU does not seem to have appreciated either the hug or Netanyahu’s message, which pointed out that all EU member states voted as...

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The women who used to run Palestine's movie theaters

A new film documents the story of a Palestinian woman who wanted to open up a movie theater in Nazareth in the 90s. But a closer look reveals that women were running Palestine’s cinemas long before.

By Eli Aminov (Translated to English by Connie Hackbarth, Alternative Information Center)

A recent article by Nirit Anderman published in Haaretz covers a new film that will be screened next week at the Haifa International Film Festival. “Nazareth Cinema Lady,” directed by Nurit Jacobs-Yinon, tells the story of Safaa Dabour, a Palestinian who grew up in a wealthy and religious Muslim family in Nazareth. In the 1990′s Dabour began to fulfill her dream of establishing a cinematheque in the city of Nazareth.

Despite the opposition and derision suffered from her family, as well as the pressure she faced from her conservative society, which prefers that woman fulfill their traditional tasks in the home and not participate in the public spaces, Dabour succeeded in realizing her dream in 2003. She had the idea after she was forced, like other residents of Nazareth, to go to Tel Aviv’s Cinematheque to see a Palestinian-directed film.

It is likely that the author of the article, the film’s director and perhaps even the film’s heroine do not know that this isn’t the first time a woman has run a movie theater in Palestine. They certainly don’t imagine that this situation, in which Palestinian women face limitations and difficulties concerning their participation in the public sphere, such as the lack of such spaces in Arab society and the perception of a woman running a movie theater as something extraordinary, is a direct result of the establishment of the State of Israel. This lack of knowledge is not the result of ignorance, but rather of intentional actions by the Israeli establishment in what can be termed as “memory killing.”

Existing patterns of behavior in Palestinian society in Israel are not the result of an historical continuation of traditional patriarchy that controls society, but a renewed phenomenon created following the 1948 War. It was during this year that urban Palestine was annihilated and Palestinian society was thrown backwards from the 20th century to the previous one. This is because the social situation of women in urban Palestine during the British Mandate was much better than the situation under Israeli rule today.

Take Ophelia Butrus for example. She was an exiled Palestinian...

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Photo exhibit challenges Zionism's most popular myth

Using haunting aerial photographs of the Negev Desert, American artist Fazal Sheikh challenges the notion that the desert was an unpopulated land before Zionism made it bloom.   

By Tom Pessah

In “Caravan Song,” the late Arik Einstein sings of a caravan of Zionist immigration and settlement that began in the 19th century and continues to this day. Most of the song is in his own voice, apart from one line in which he lovingly imitates David Ben-Gurion promising that the Negev will bloom.

It is less acceptable today to talk of a people without a land populating a land without a people, but that is not the case for the Negev, still seen as an empty desert waiting for Jews to finally make it flourish.

A new exhibition by American artist Fazal Sheikh challenges this mythology through haunting aerial photographs of the area, which expose the many layers of its history. The project, named “Desert Bloom,” was a result of collaboration with academics such as Eyal Weitzman and Oren Yiftachel, local activists like Haia Noach, Nuri al-‘Oqbi, and Siyakh al-Turi, and experts on deciphering aerial photographs.

The resulting images were part of a recent exhibition (“This Place”) in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The exhibition will be traveling to the Norton Museum of Art, in West Palm Beach, Florida, from October 15, 2015 to January 15, 2016, and then to the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York, from February 12 to June 5, 2016.

Below are five of these images, together with their captions:

Desert Bloom

5 • Latitude: 3 1°2 5‚ 1 4”N / Longitude: 3 4°2 8 ‚ 2 4”E
October 10, 2011. Decommissioned British-era munitions storage base near the Gaza border, constructed in the early 1940s in anticipation of an attack by the Germans from North Africa during WWII. Shown here are some of the 170 soil mounds built in a square missing rib formation as fortification and protection from the wind. Low walls along one side are to prevent an explosion from one storage space igniting a neighboring site. Following the German defeat by the Allied forces in the battle of al-‘Alamein, the fortifications proved unnecessary, and have not been used since 1942. The site is on the historical Bedouin villages of Abu Mwēlek/Hasanāt, of the Tarabīn tribe, which...

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The IDF must come clean about the Hebron shooting

Why is the Israeli army refusing to release its footage from the shooting of 18-year-old Hadeel al-Hashlamon? 

By Noam Rotem

Israeli soldiers shot to death Hadeel al-Hashlamon, 18, in Hebron last week while she was apparently on her way to school. Found inside the black bag she was carrying were notebooks, a blue Pilot pen, a brown pencil case, a cellular phone, and other things girls of her age take to school.

The IDF Spokesperson says that the metal detector at the urban checkpoint beeped when she passed through it, and that she ignored orders to stop from the soldiers, who the shot her. It was then discovered that she had a knife, and when she still didn’t stop they shot her some more.

Witnesses told various reporters that Hashlamon simply didn’t understand the orders being shouted at her — she didn’t speak Hebrew. The first shot was a warning shot at the ground, the second shot hit her left leg and dropped her to the ground, and a third shot immediately after that hit her in the right leg. Two eye witnesses say that at that point the soldier who fired the first shots approached her, crossed the metal barrier that was separating them, stood over her, and shot her again, in the stomach, and then in the chest.

One of the witnesses, Fawaz Abu Aisheh, was very close to Hashlamon while she was still standing inside the checkpoint. He was also photographed speaking with her by an activist from “Youth Against Settlements.” Shortly after the shooting he gave his testimony to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, in which he stated that when Hashlamon fell to the ground, after the first shot, her hand — which had been hidden until that point — was exposed and in it was a knife.

Abu Aisheh changed his story in his interview with The Guardian, forgetting to mention the knife. He remembered once again when he gave his testimony to Amnesty International, even noting the color of the handle — brown. That, despite the fact that in the photo of the knife distributed by the IDF, the knife’s handle is yellow. Another witness who was nearby, who also gave his account of the events to various organizations and international media, didn’t mention seeing the knife in any of his versions.

Hashlamon was left lying on the ground for a number of...

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Is Bibi using J'lem violence as an excuse to target all Arabs?

Netanyahu is trying to expand the open-fire regulations so that they target Arabs inside Israel. The outcome? Only more bloodshed. 

By John Brown* and Michal Rotem

For the past few weeks it has been difficult not to avoid reports on stone throwing in East Jerusalem.

Government representatives compete with one another over who will offer up the firmest way to deal with these youth in order to “do away with this phenomenon.” Of course none of them offers dealing with neglected East Jerusalem, the discrimination, the home demolitions, and the fact that 75 percent of East Jerusalem residents — and 84 percent of children there — live below the poverty line, or the fact that there is no framework to take care of children and teenagers after school is over. It is strange that not a single politician has offered to shoot settlers when they throw stones following the demolition of their illegal structures in the West Bank. The opposite is true: they are granted hundreds of new housing units.

Shooting teens

So what do they propose? Along with idiotic proposals by the Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan to block promotions for judges deemed to lenient on stone throwers, racist proposals by Culture Minister Miri Regev to revoke the rights of parents whose children throw stones, or simply war crimes under the guise of collective punishments, two proposals by the prime minister himself are already being implemented.

The first proposal is a minimum sentence for stone throwers, which was approved by the government on Thursday. “Like we did for sexual offenses,” said Netanyahu. This is such a baseless and humiliating comparison that there is really no point in discussing it, as it continues the right-wing’s long-standing tradition of using women in order to promote nationalistic goals.

The basic assumption of this proposal, as if a lack of deterrence is what allows for stone throwing, is a deceitful. The treatment of Palestinian teens and children by the authorities in East Jerusalem is already immoral and cruel (perhaps only the military regime in the West Bank exceeds it). A good portion of these children and teenagers are below the age of criminal responsibility, such that these penalties are not applicable to them.

So what do the politicians suggest? Just shoot them. They want to say: they may be too young...

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