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When Israel grabs land, the U.S. grabs a thesaurus [satire]

The U.S. State Department spokesperson and her deputy are finding it difficult to  continue condemning Israeli plans to build more settlements in the West Bank.

Marie Harf, Deputy State Department Spokesperson: Hi Jen.

Jen Psaki, State Department Spokesperson: Hi Marie, sup?

Harf: Not much. Hey, did you see Obama’s suit?

Psaki: I know, right?? What’s UP with THAT?

Harf: I literally spilled my vente pumpkin spice latte.

Psaki: I know, right?? Anyway, sup?

Harf: So, the Israelis announced they’re gonna do this huge land appropriation.

Psaki: Fuck. Not again.

Harf: I know, right??

Psaki: So listen, type me up something along the lines of “We condemn in the strongest terms, the –”

Harf: — sorry, we can’t use “condemn”.

Psaki: Why not?

Harf: Used it before.

Psaki: Oh. OK. So, let’s do “decry”.

Harf: Nope.

Psaki: We did “decry”?

Harf: Yup. Just before the Biden visit, remember?

Psaki: OK, OK. How about “denounce”?

Harf: Nope.

Psaki: “Deplore”?

Harf: Sorry.

Psaki: Wait, how many times have they done this?

Harf: Do you really want me to answer that?

Psaki: No, no… I don’t. OK, “bemoan”?

Harf: Nah.

Psaki: We’ve used “bemoan”? What kind of press secretary would use that? Jesus.

Harf: I know, right??

Psaki: “Lament”?

Harf: Not sure, but I just shiver at the thought of what Matt Lee might say about that.

Psaki: Yuck.

Harf: I know. Yuck. Matt Lee. Blechhh…

Psaki: “Disapprove”?

Harf: Nope.

Psaki: “Regret”?

Harf: Ha, you’re funny.

Psaki: “Oppose”.

Harf: Nah, don’t forget AIPAC.

Psaki: Fuck!

Harf: I know, ri–

Psaki: –Shut up, Marie!

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Israeli right-wing politician: 'Annex territories, grant Palestinians citizenship'

Israeli right-wing politician and former IDF general Efi Eitam has made remarks that few would have expected to hear from him.

Former IDF general and politician Efi Eitam is known for his extreme right-wing views and sharp tongue. From calling Arabs a “ticking bomb” to a “cancer,” Eitam has never shown much warmth for his neighbors.

Which is why it was surprising to read reports from the national religious website Srugim, quoting Eitam as saying the following remarks in a panel held last night to commemorate Berl Katznelson:

The State of Israel should annex Judea and Samaria and grant full citizenship to all Palestinians. Demography is not a numerical predestination, it is an expression of the joie de vivre of the nation. When a nation is happy, its number of children grows, that’s why I’m not scared of demography. Whoever can’t live with Arabs is not a partner of mine.

I trust the Arab public in Israel, it has proved itself. I have no fear of a bi-national state, the solution is not B-class citizens nor high fences. It is a simple and humane solution, Palestinians must be granted full rights and should vote for the Knesset. Whoever truly wants peace, should agree to accept more Arab citizens to his state, and whoever is part of the State of Israel whose borders need to be between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea for many reasons, needs to be a citizen with full rights and obligations.

Now, I’m not that naive to believe everything coming out of Eitam’s mouth. The bi-national state he talks about is probably not exactly what we think it is. But since there are more and more voices on the right talking about one state, it’s important to listen, find the nuances, and try to understand where these people really stand.

Is the right going through a major shift in ideology – or is this a different way of reaching the same target? My money’s on the latter, but… never say never?

Related:
What is the Israeli Right’s one-state vision?
Bennet’s response to Palestinian UN bid: Annexation
Palestinians repopulate Jordan Valley village, in protest of looming annexation

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Scores of Israelis injured in ‘Showing Empathy’ challenge [satire]

Dozens of Israelis have shared videos of themselves attempting to show empathy for Palestinian dead as part of the latest craze on social media, only to need medical service themselves.

When Alex from Ramat Gan posted his video challenging Israelis to say “It’s horrible to see Gazan children die” – but without saying the word “but” afterwards – he never thought the attempt to gap bridges would cause so much pain and injury.

“I saw the ALS challenge being so successful, I thought I could do something similar in this field. I just wanted to put something out there to show that we Israelis actually do give a damn, so I started the SE – Showing Empathy – challenge,” Alex told +972, “but I didn’t know it was going to be so hard for people.”

As of yesterday, over 200 Israelis have been rushed to hospital with various tongue injuries after attempting the challenge.

Rivka, from Petah Tikva, told +972: “I twied not to fay fa word ‘but’ like Alex did in his wideo, but fen my tongue got all tangled up and I had to caw fa pawamedics.”

Some injuries weren’t all tongue related. David from Tel Aviv said that “I really tried not to say it, but when I got to the word ‘die’ I felt this uncontrollable urge to say something more. I put my hands over my mouth, but it wasn’t working, I could feel the ‘but’ coming out, so I tried to turn off the camera before it happened and tripped over my sofa.” David has three fractured ribs and a sprained ankle and is still recovering in hospital.

Another patient in the bed next to David was recovering from reconstruction surgery to her tongue after biting so hard on it in an attempt to avoid saying “but,” she cut the vital organ in two.

Today Alex is asking people not to attempt taking the challenge. “So far I’m the only one who’s succeeded. I just don’t want people to hurt themselves anymore. Enough is enough. Children are dying, but it’s just not worth it. Oh shit. Did I just say that? Can you take that out?”

Related:
‘Living with political depression in Tel Aviv is harder than dying in Gaza’
Even Israel’s top satire show thinks ‘apartheid’ is the word

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Not even a 'bump on the wing' these days when killing Palestinians

No one in Israel really talks about the killing of innocent Palestinians anymore. There was a time when we murdered people and it actually bothered us.

On Tuesday, the IDF attempted to kill Mohammed Deif, the military leader of Hamas in Gaza, by dropping five one-tonne bombs on a home. As these lines are written it is not yet clear whether Deif was killed. What can be said with certainty, however, is that his wife and eight-month-old son definitely were.

Deif has been on Israel’s wanted list for years. On Tuesday night it saw a chance, and despite the fact that it knew of other innocent civilians in the building, it went after him. The decision was made.

And as we’ve seen in the past few weeks, this is not the first time.

But no one in Israel really talks about these things anymore. I say this because I remember a time when we used to. There was a time when we murdered people and it actually bothered us.

I was reminded of this recently after watching a short documentary made by military analyst Yoav Limor for Israel’s Channel  2, called “The Human Shield.” If you understand Hebrew I highly recommend watching it, for it gives deep insight into the chilling justifications and rationalizations Israelis make for killing innocent people.

One poignant segment is that of human rights attorney Michael Sfard, who compares what is happening in Gaza today to what happened in 2002 when Israel killed then-Hamas military chief Salah Shehadeh. Sfard points out that there was a debate about the morality of killing Shehadeh, who died together with 14 innocent people that day, many of them children.

I’ve been writing for years about what this country is turning into before my eyes. The total lack of empathy for suffering on the other side is a result of deeply ingrained racism. In my eyes the Israeli response, or shall I say the lack of it, to the recent massacres in Gaza is the epitome of the unraveling of Israeli society over the past decade.

The Hebrew Wikipedia entry on the assassination of Shehadeh in 2002 states that the killing “gained criticism among left wingers in Israel.”

That wasn’t the only thing that happened back then. There were threats of taking pilots, officers and politicians to The Hague for war crimes....

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'Forward' editor: Compare Israel only to Mideast states

Just because Sisi and Assad are close by doesn’t mean their disgusting policies seep through the border and infiltrate the Israeli system, poisoning our minds. Why not compare ourselves to countries we actually want to be more like?

I gotta tell you, I’m really tired of this.

I’m tired of Jewish right wingers in Israel and the U.S. who say things along the lines of, “Christians have it bad here? You should see what goes on next door in Syria and Egypt,” or things like, “you want to talk to me about human rights? Look at how Assad is butchering his own people, then come talk to me.”

Jane Eisner, editor in chief of the Jewish Daily Forward, did just that:

First of all – yes. But my question to Eisner and others who use this weak argument is this: why do you always compare Israeli policies to those in its nearby vicinity? If a country is in a certain region, it gets a green light to act in a certain way?

If one can only compare Israeli society to Egypt and Syria, does that mean one can only compare U.S. society to Canada and Mexico? Can one compare French democracy to Australian democracy, or is that way too far? Can British and American societies be compared, even though the Atlantic separates them?

Do Americans boast about the democracy in their country only in North America? Or do they compare it to the rest of the world (and try to teach others how to do it)?

Why can’t Israeli “democracy” be compared to Germany? To Ghana? To China? to India? To the Maldives? To Russia? To Finland?

What is this ridiculous obsession with comparing ourselves only to those that are geographically close, and not to those you actually want to be more like – even if they’re 10,000 miles away?

Actually, seeing as how it was all those cultured European Jews who founded the state and are still ruling it (as the Ashkenazi elite), shouldn’t Israel be compared to that continent?

Dear Jane Eisner: start comparing Israel to other countries you would like it to resemble more (maybe even your own!). Just because Sisi and Assad are nearby doesn’t mean their disgusting policies seep through the border and infiltrate the Israeli system, unbeknownst to us, and poison our minds.

Israeli policies are wrong. Period. Compare them...

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WATCH: The warped narrative of a settler - and of mainstream Israel

My first post about the settler-turned-YouTube star Orit Arfa ”did very well” – meaning it got a lot of hits. After writing it I felt a bit ambivalent about my “achievement.” Was I giving her too much attention? Was I providing this person with a stage to promote her ideology of justified (in her opinion) colonialism?

Fortunately, I didn’t have to give it too much thought. I was convinced, and still am, that shedding light on people like Orit Arfa is good for the cause.

Because that’s how people get to know that this is not just a problem of “crazy national religious settlers.” It’s also the behavior and narrative of the middle class secular settlers of Ariel, and the typical Israeli center-right set of beliefs inside Israel proper.

It’s the narrative of government after government for decades. The fanatic settlers are simply emissaries, nothing more, executing the Zionist mission.

It is the narrative of a majority of the Jewish population in Israel/Palestine who still believe that after 66 years of occupation and having the most powerful military in the region, that they are still the victims.

So, that’s why I told Arfa back then “don’t stop.” Keep on doing whatever it is you do. Keep making the worst, most obnoxious, vile and racist videos you can.

And she has.

And I’m glad for that. Because she let’s me show you, the reader, the true face of this country.

(I only wish she’d stop tagging me in her tweets every time she posts one of her travesties.)

Here’s the latest installment, which she posted on her Times of Israel channel.

Enjoy.

Related:
Inshallah, the Jews won’t stop
Close your books! We’re having a pop quiz in Hasbara!
The IDF: Strong like… Turkish coffee? 




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By taking a step back, U.S. gives hope to Israel-Palestine

President Obama and Secretary Kerry’s statements on Thursday are the most important – and positive – development to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in decades. Now we’ll have to see if they leave the stage for good.

After we all dealt with the surprising Hamas-Fatah unity deal for the past few days (is it good, is it bad?), the U.S. on Thursday gave the most important statement in President Barack Obama’s presidency concerning Israel/Palestine. Not only is it the most important, it’s probably the most positive development this region has seen since the Oslo Accords were signed.

It is the beginning of Washington leaving the stage.

For the past few months, Obama has been playing “bad cop,” showing little interest in an issue he saw as hopeless. Yet Secretary of State John Kerry, a.k.a. “good cop” (despite a few clashes with Netanyhu here and there), has been the one who claimed he will never give up.

Read +972′s full coverage of the peace process

But today, finally(!), they’re on the same page. First, Obama from Seoul:

And then the State Department:

As I wrote earlier, this current stream of events was a perfect chance, a perfect storm of sorts, for the U.S. to end its embarrassing, damaging handling of the conflict. The Washington-enabled occupation, with generous assistance from AIPAC, has deepened so much that the presence of apartheid in the West Bank can no longer be doubted. In all possible ways to measure success – the U.S. has failed miserably in bringing a solution to the region, or the sides any closer.

In fact, as the years went by the U.S. made things worse. It’s as simple as that.

It seems like the U.S. might be using this chance to get out. Now we have to see just how far Obama is willing to disengage, how much AIPAC will allow him to free Washington from this massive colonial project they have supported for so long. One can only hope that it will not be only a “pause” of Washington-led negotiations, as Obama said today, but a complete “cessation” of this fiasco.

So, yes – of all that has happened this week, today’s statements are by far the most important – and uplifting.

Because an end to American “mediation” could mean the beginning of an era...

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Carpe diem, America! Your chance to ditch the Is/Pal conflict is here!

Sometimes you just have to wait for the right opportunity.

It could be a sports game, where you wait for your rival to make a mistake.

It could be a blind date gone bad, where you wait for that phone call you planned earlier with your best friend.

It could be that windfall you needed to finally buy that house.

It’s always about a set of conditions that finally, at the right time, converge to make an opportunity.

That opportunity has come for the United States.

John Kerry has blamed the Israelis (or did he?) for the recent impasse. The Israelis are blaming the Palestinians, of course. And the Palestinians blame anyone they can (as they should).

It doesn’t really matter, since the whole blame game has no right to exist to begin with.

There is no way one can put equal blame on Israeli occupiers and occupied Palestinians. Were blacks to blame for Apartheid?

So blaming isn’t really important.

What’s important is the opportunity. This an opportunity for the U.S. to finish its job as “mediator.”

I put that word in quotes, since we all know the best mediator is one who is impartial.

The U.S. was never that.

In fact, in its 20 years as “mediator” under the framework of the Oslo Accords, the U.S. has not only failed in bringing the sides any closer – it has enabled the deepening of the colonization process in the West Bank on every front.

If the U.S. had been a CEO of an enterprise, the board of directors would have kicked it out the door years ago for horrific management and results.

So, the U.S. is bad at this. It’s really that simple.

It also has other things on its mind.

President Barack Obama has proved again and again that he is much more a domestic affairs leader than a foreign affairs one.

Israel has proven again and again that it is not truly interested in ending the occupation.

The media, wrongfully so, is playing it out as if both sides don’t want to fix this.

But who cares?

You shouldn’t, America. It makes you look good. It makes it look like it’s their fault (even though it’s yours, too).

Just don’t do what you did last time, like James Baker. Empty threats, and you kept on mediating.

Now is your chance to get...

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Looking closely at Israeli eyes, to see if they know

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:My_eye.jpg

Lately I’ve been looking at Israelis closely.

I’ve been looking them straight in the eye, to see if they know.

If they have a clue.

Any clue.

About what’s in their future.

The not too distant future.

Most probably in the lifetimes of many of them.

I look at them closely.

And in particular places.

Places that are theirs, and theirs alone.

At least, what they think are theirs.

What they believe are theirs.

And I wonder to myself: do they know that soon they will have to share all this?

All this wealth, this land, these resources?

These rights?

Do they have any clue, that sooner or later, millions of people – who have been denied basic civil rights by them for almost 50 years – will be just like them?

Walking right next to them?

I look at the people I work with in the shiny, glossy buildings in the hi-tech hubs of our start-up nation and wonder: do they know that one day this will all belong to the “enemy,” too?

I look at them when I walk on the sunny boardwalks in Bat Yam and Tel Aviv. They look so happy. Do they know their kids will soon be running on the hot sands with young children from Tulkarem?

Are they ready for it?

Can they even grasp it?

Shouldn’t they start to?

Because that’s where this is going. Either a bi-national state, or a two-entity confederacy of some sorts.

But either way, the land will eventually be shared.

And rights will be granted.

So, I look at them, and I try to find some clue that they know where they’re headed.

Do they know that the water bill be shared?

That Yitzhak Tshuva will be stealing gas from a few more million people?

He already is, actually.

I look at them in the cafes. But most of them have Ray Bans or Gucci, so I can’t see their eyes.

I look at them in the posh shopping centers, sprouting like mushrooms in every town.

I look closely in their eyes at the airport.

I look at the security guards who won’t racially...

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Ladies and gentlemen, the prime minister of Israel: Mr. Iran Holocaust

I recently saw the above video of Prime Minister Netanyahu visiting a field hospital in northern Israel that treats the wounded from the war in Syria. As I watched, I realized something: there seems to be two recurring topics in the PM’s messages, two topics that are mentioned in just about every sentence he has uttered since taking office.

I requested an interview with the prime minister to ask him about his focus on those two things, and was surprised to get a “yes” from his office. So, here it is, +972 Magazine’s exclusive interview with the Israeli prime minister:

Ami Kaufman: Mr. Prime Minister, thank you so much for this interview, it’s a real pleasure.

Prime Minister: The Holocaust is all mine.

AK: Excuse me?

PM: I said, the Holocaust is mine, glad to have you.

AK: OK…

PM: 

AK: Anyway, let’s get started. Prime Minister, how are the negotiations with the Palestinians going these days? There seems to be a lot of pessimism in the air, is there something we should know?

PM: Iran.

AK: Iran?

PM: Yes.

AK: What about Iran?

PM: Holocaust.

AK: Excuse me?

PM: Holocaust.

AK: I see… Prime Minister, the cost of living in Israel is continuing to rise and putting huge stress on the middle class. Your government has basically done nothing to remedy the situation, what’s your response to that?

PM: Well…

AK: …Yes…?

PM: Iran.

AK: Iran is to blame for the cost of living.

PM: And the Holocaust.

AK: Iran is to blame for the Holocaust?

PM: …

AK: Sir?

PM: Iran?

AK: You don’t seem to be answering my questions.

PM: Iran Holocaust Iran.

AK: No, you’re not.

PM: Holocaust Iran!

AK: Sir,...

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Israel crosses the tipping point, becomes an economic liability

Over the past three months Israel has seen a surge in European firms adjusting their business ties with the Jewish State. The knee-jerk response of its politicians is telling: the point of no return has been reached.

There’s been a lot of talk lately about how the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement against Israel is gaining traction. It’s pretty much a fact no one can dispute – those three letters are seen more and more in just about every news item about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But there has also been some speculation about a certain “tipping point” concerning the campaign, and when exactly it will arrive.

That point has been reached over the past three months, based not only the number and weight of businesses imposing various sanctions, but also on Israeli reactions to them.

This Economist piece from February 8th has an excellent summary of some of the latest developments, mainly the decision of Denmark’s largest bank, Danske Bank, to blacklist Israel’s Bank Hapoalim due to its involvement in the funding of settlement construction; the decision of the Norwegian Ministry of Finance in January to exclude the Israeli firms Africa Israel Investments and Danya Cebus from its Government Pension Fund Global; and Dutch water company Vitens decision from December, which provides water to 5.4 million people in the Netherlands, to discontinue all joint ventures with Israel’s national water supplier Mekorot, in protest over the Israeli company’s operations in the West Bank.

The Economist also quickly mentions the Sodastream-Scarlett Johansenn affair –  which brought unprecedented scrutiny to the apartheid reality that exists in the West Bank. The Sodastream affair was one of the biggest smacks to the faces against the occupation in recent memory. I personally found my own Facebook feed full of many who were indeed aware of the occupation, but were extremely surprised to find that Israel and its businesses were using the good ol’ colonialist theme of “we’re good for the natives.”

However, Since the Economist piece was published, there have been some more developments – and more importantly, Israeli reaction showing real nervousness. Just this morning, Haaretz reported that boycott pressure has caused two foreign bidders to drop out of a tender to build facilities in the ports of Haifa and Ashdod:

Royal Boskalis Westminster, a Dutch operator of ports that had submitted a proposal under the...

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Bennett goes berserk in response to facts in German

Jewish Home leader and Economics Minister Naftali Bennett could not stand it when European Parliament President Martin Schulz criticized Israeli policy earlier this week. But what ticked him off even more was that Schulz told “lies,” such as that Palestinians have less water than Israelis – and in German!

Apparently, Mr. Bennett can’t bear to hear facts, let alone in the German language. But to make sure, I met with the minister in the Knesset for a quick interview to check this thesis, with the help of Google Translate. The following is the transcript of our (imaginary) meeting:

Ami Kaufman: Mr. Bennet, thank you for taking the time to meet me.

Naftali Bennett: I’m not meeting you, you just barged into my office. Get the fuck out of here, you self hating Jew.

AK: I will, if I can just quickly ask you a few questions, I’ll—

NB: —Security!! There’s a leftist in my office!

AK: OK, OK, I’m going. I just want your response to this: “Die Welt ist rund”.

NB: Take that back. Take that back right away.

AK: “Zwei plus zwei gleich vier”.

NB: Security will be here any second, you better apologize for that one. Now!

AK: “Wasser gefriert bei null Grad Celsius”.

NB: Lies! Lies, I tell you!

AK: “Israel praktiziert Apartheid in der Westbank”.

NB: Get over here you—

AK: —Achhh… ugggg… you’re choking me… accchhhh…Mr. Bennet…

Related:
When reality becomes hate speech: President of EU Parliament visits Israel
In Israel, Holocaust obsession prevents real change

(This post is satire.)



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Israel's new motto: ‘Never trust a smiling Iranian’

There’s something that’s bothering Israelis these days, besides the Iranian nuclear program. It’s the Iranian Smile Assault.

I’m not kidding. That’s what the Israeli government and Israeli media are labeling the appearances of Iranian officials in various international forums.

When it was Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the talks for curbing Tehran’s nukes, Israelis couldn’t stand the sight of him smiling. “The Smile Assault of Zarif,” the headlines shouted in Israel.

And just yesterday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani got the same treatment in the Israeli media. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the goal of the “regime of the ayatollahs hiding behind Rouhani’s smiles” is to ease sanctions without giving up nukes.

That’s right, never trust a smiling Iranian, folks. Because if an Iranian is smiling there’s obviously something behind it. It’s not just a smile because that person might like to… ummm… smile. Or happens to be a nice guy. Or thought something was funny at the moment.

Nope. Persians smile because they’re liars. They’re devious motherfu…

And that, folks, is racism.

An Israeli Racism Assault.

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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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