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This time Haneen Zoabi went too far

Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi bravely came out against violence directed at women and the way firearms are being used to terrorize the residents of Arab towns. But the demand for ‘social oversight’ over the mosques takes the matter one step too far.

By Samah Salaime (translated by Sol Salbe)

A painful and very important discussion is taking place in the Arab community in Israel, especially among those who are active on Facebook. And at the center of it is Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi. The conversation harks back to the women’s marathon in the city of Tira and the violent threats against its organizer — a woman. So you would have already heard of and been impressed by the support offered by members of the Joint List for the struggle by Arab women against violence as well as the exclusion of women from the public sphere.

For Zoabi this is an issue close to her heart; it stokes the fire in her belly. She posted a status on Facebook in which she asked who are those “barbarians” who are terrorizing the lives of residents with their violence and their weapons. Zoabi wrote of social terrorism against women, and women’s freedom of movement, expression and conduct.

Ostensibly, her comments were both just and on point — the phenomenon of Arab towns being ruled by a handful of armed violent criminals is a painful affliction in our community. Just yesterday a resident of Jaljulya was murdered by gunfire. Last week a school principal was shot and severely wounded in Kuseife. But Zoabi’s post went on to analyze the situation of religious coercion and incitement against both women and men who offer a different voice. And more significantly — Zoabi hinted at a link between clerics and extremists who seek control through violence and firearms. She added a clause in which she demanded that all the political movements, including the Islamic Movement must enhance their “social control” of clerics and imams in Arab towns and villages. They need to supervise what is said in the said in mosques on Fridays. “There are some people who think it is their own fiefdom,” wrote Zoabi.

Naturally, this statement angered many people who mobilized to defend Islam, the clerics and the Islamic Movement, whose members had condemned the shooting of the women’s marathon organizer and, alongside all the Joint List Knesset members,...

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Segregation is here, just look at Israel's legal system

Although segregated buses provide a clear and obvious picture of discrimination, applying different laws to individuals living side by side may prove to have far greater legal, ethical and strategic consequences for Israel.

By Gerard Horton

On Wednesday, May 20, 2015, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced the freezing of a plan to segregate passengers on buses traveling in the West Bank based on their race or nationality, less than a day after the regulation came into effect. The chief architect of the plan, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, has made it clear that this is a temporary suspension and not a cancellation.

While the regulation presented a public relations disaster for Israel, one must wonder whether its suspension motivated by something more, such as a genuine concern that it would amount to state-sponsored discrimination based on race or national identity? Unfortunately, the answer to this question appears to be negative. If you’re looking for evidence, just look at the Israeli state’s continued application of dual legal systems in the West Bank based on nationality.

Since 1967, Israel has exercised penal jurisdiction over both Palestinians and Israeli settlers living in the West Bank. Although Israeli military law technically applies to all individuals in the West Bank, in practice civilian law is applied to settlers. Accordingly, if an “Israeli” (as defined in the regulations) present in the West Bank is charged with an offense, he or she can be tried before a civilian court. This means that an Israeli in the West Bank, although in theory subject to concurrent jurisdiction (civilian and military), will invariably be prosecuted in a civilian court as a matter of public policy.

In practice this means that two children in the West Bank committing the same offense, such as throwing stones, are dealt with under two distinct legal systems, depending on who is Palestinian (military jurisdiction) and who is a settler (civilian jurisdiction). Not surprisingly, the child prosecuted in the civilian system will be afforded greater rights and protections.

It is important to note that in most conflict situations the issue of unlawful discrimination does not arise. However, it does arise in the context of the West Bank as a direct consequence of Israeli settlement activity. While there is no serious dispute as to the legal status of the settlements, there is also no lawful justification upon which Israel can discriminate between...

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Jerusalem megaplex caught demanding 'Jewish only' drivers

For months on end Cinema City Jerusalem demanded that a contracted taxi company send only Jewish drivers for some of its workers. When the company refused, the megaplex cut its ties. An investigative by our Hebrew site, Local Call, in cooperation with ‘Ulpan Shishi,’ Channel 2′s flagship news broadcast.

By Yael Marom

“If she wants a Jewish driver, she’ll get a Jewish driver, I don’t understand what difference it makes.”

“The two of them just asked for a Jewish driver.”

“A woman needs to make it to Mevaseret Zion, I would like a Jewish driver to come pick her up.”

“One must ask gently and diplomatically for a Jewish driver for the girls.”

These were the words the manager and shift manager at Jerusalem’s Cinema City used when talking to the ride coordinator of the taxi company that drove movie theater workers home at night (the company employs both Jewish and Arab workers). The discriminatory demands were made in recorded phone conversations, as well as by special vouchers that had the words “Jewish driver” written on them, for which Cinema City paid a high price. Local Call was able to get a hold of both the recordings and the vouchers, which are now being exposed for the first time in a special investigative report that conducted in cooperation with “Ulpan Shihi,” the flagship weekend news program on Israel’s Channel 2.

After a long period of time in which the ride organizer at the cab company tried to object to Cinema City’s discriminatory and racist demand, which directly affected the livelihoods of Arab taxi drivers, a senior manager at the movie theater threatened that Cinema City would cut its ties with the company — a threat that eventually became reality.

According to Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation as well as Israel’s Equal Opportunities Law, discriminating against workers due to their origin, nationality or religion is strictly forbidden.

A Jewish driver is part of the service

At the end of February 2014, Jerusalem’s glitzy Cinema City, which includes 19 movie theaters and a small shopping mall, opened to the public. The “A. Mor Hasaot” transportation company won the tender to provide taxis for approximately 20 workers. The company provided nine permanent drivers for the job — three of them Jewish and six of them Arabs from East Jerusalem.

Thair Raga, a 36-year-old cab driver from East Jerusalem, was appointed...

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Lifelong refugees: Palestinian boat people search for a new home

After escaping the horrors of the Syrian Civil War by boat, a group of Palestinian refugees washed up on the shores of Greece. Now they are wandering the streets of Athens without food or shelter.

By Samah Salaime

After four days at sea, with no food or fuel, 175 Palestinian refugees were rescued by the Greek navy. After fleeing the horrors of war in Syria for neighboring Turkey and paying huge sums to their smugglers, who promised to bring them to Italy (not to mention ensure they had entry permits, as well as food and drink), the refugees found themselves living in the streets of Athens. Dreaming of reaching Europe on one hand, while facing the possibility of deportation on the other.

Some of those same refugees are members of the Salaime family, from the Palestinian village Sajara, which was destroyed in 1948. My family’s village.

As it made its way to the beaches of Greece, the same boat carrying the Palestinian refugees washed up on the shores of my consciousness. That’s it, I can no longer pretend that that the war in Syria is far removed from me or my children. Now that members of my village, along with other refugees, have escaped from Yarmouk and Al-A’idan refugee camps, there are people who will tell the story. There are photographs of the boat and there are children begging for a piece of bread, after they lost all their food at sea. There are the tears of a helpless mother as she faces her children.

And there is the human trafficking between Syria, Turkey, Egypt and Italy. “War traffickers,” said Abu Ahmad Salaime, a 54-year-old engineer who was chosen to head the group of refugees who left Turkey in an old, rusty boat carrying 175 people.

There was no single whole family on the boat. Everyone has been separated between Syria and Turkey. “They don’t put the entire family on one small boat in the middle of a huge sea,” said one of the survivors. And anyway “who has the money to pay the smugglers, who take between $5,000 and $10,000 per person? This is the equivalent of an entire house in a Syrian camp. So imagine, Samah, binti, what we had to do to get here. We’ll make it where we make it, and then we’ll demand family reunification. This is how everyone does it.”

The photos and...

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License to Kill: Why did the IDF shoot the Qawarik cousins 29 times?

Saleh and Muhammad head out to their agricultural land. A settler stops them and calls the army. Four soldiers arrive. One of them empties his magazine into the two. Three other soldiers claim they didn’t see anything. The IDF says that the cousins attacked the soldier, then retracts the claim. No one is brought to justice. The fourth installment in a series examining the case files of soldiers who killed unarmed Palestinian civilians. [Read parts one, two and three.]

By John Brown* and Noam Rotem
Translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman

This series of reports deals with cases in which “uninvolved” Palestinian civilians were killed, as well as the superficial investigations into those killings conducted by the Israeli Military Police. No one has been brought to justice in any of these cases, but this case is unique nevertheless. Not because of the victims, whose names are remembered only by their families. Not even because of the soldier who took their lives, and, according his own testimony, even ripped down a poster mourning their deaths. The unique aspect is the way the IDF Spokesperson changed its story.

At first, the IDF Spokesperson published the claim that “a terrorist attack with a pitchfork had been foiled at a checkpoint,” and that two terrorists had tried to attack a soldier using pitchforks. The IDF was later forced concede that the report was inaccurate, and then claimed that the soldiers were attacked with a bottle and a syringe. With every new report, the volume knob was turned down a bit, until the last one, a day after the incident, according to which the two cousins were not terrorists at all, but two young men stopped by settlers after they had entered their own land — without coordinating with the army. But the IDF Spokesperson’s story had already gained prominence. Every Palestinian is a terrorist until proven otherwise.

The chain of events, leading to the moment in which an anxious soldier fired 29 bullets into the bodies of the two cousins, Saleh and Muhammad Qawarik, farmers who woke up early that morning to work their land, shows the null cost of Palestinian lives in the occupied territories. This involves the dubious initiative of a settler with a vast criminal record, one hyperactive shooter and three soldiers who do not remember anything, having managed to miss all 29 shots.

The...

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Isaac Herzog, leader of the non-opposition

Many people are describing opposition leader Isaac Herzog’s maiden speech in the 20th Knesset as the speech that could have won him the election. But is he offering an alternative that’s any better than Netanyahu?

By Samah Salaime

Mabrouk on you, the new government تشوفو على وجهها الخير – may it bring only good things. That’s how we, the naïvely optimistic Arabs, congratulate people on new things. Regardless of what we feel, we know how to congratulate.

But let’s not spend any more time on the new government. Sooner or later, Israel’s 34th government will join its predecessors in the dustbin of history.

What I would like to focus on, rather, is the leader of the opposition, or, actually, why anyone would associate the word “opposition” with Isaac Herzog.

His maiden speech in the 20th Knesset last week was described by many as sharp and confrontational. I watched it again, I read the transcript again – to no avail. Maybe a closer look at his recent track record would do the trick?

Isn’t this the same Herzog who was chronically undecided about the proposal to disqualify Haneen Zoabi from running in the elections, ultimately voting to keep her out? Isn’t this the same Herzog who embraced Tzipi Livni, and gave her a center-left makeover, straight out of the “anything but Bibi” assembly line? Isn’t it the same Herzog who supported last summer’s Gaza offensive, and bragged about having been in the loop on January’s strike on Syria?

The most entertaining part of the speech was his unconvincing attempt at passing himself off as a bully. He cried: Mr. Prime Minister, don’t you dare raise your hand to the High Court of Justice, the media, and “Israel’s minorities.” I think the latter means us, the “Palestinians,” the “Arabs” of Israel. I wonder who the genius is who came up with the term “minorities.” We used to be the majority! That’s how I’d like people to describe us from now on: “Israel’s ex-majority.” It sounds nostalgic. And empowering.

So I listened to Herzog and asked myself: if a Jew comes near me and wants to hurt me, what should I do? Should I pick up the phone and call the Joint List or the Zionist Camp? Who would take better care of a poor Arab woman, Herzog or Odeh? I think I’ll just stick to Mace. It’s probably more effective.

He...

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For one Palestinian village: A judge, settler and demolisher

The High Court justice who gave the army a green light to expel an entire Palestinian village just happens to live in a nearby settlement, one of many that thrives on their dispossession.

By Dror Etkes

The Israeli army’s Civil Administration has issued 70 demolition orders in the Jewish West Bank settlement of Alon Shvut, and 70 demolition orders in the Palestinian village of Khirbet Susya over the years.

Beyond that coincidental number, the two towns don’t have much else in common. Located in Gush Etzion, just south of Jerusalem, Alon Shvut is one of the most prosperous and well-established settlements in the West Bank. Its 3,200 residents enjoy top-notch community services and a highly desirable quality of life not only in relation to their Palestinian neighbors, but also to the general Israeli population. Khirbet Susya, on the other hand, is a collection of tents, sheds and shacks that lack the most basic civil infrastructure. Its 350 residents are scattered on a few hilltops known only to a small number of people.

Despite the 30-odd kilometers that separate the two communities fate has connected them, and as happens from time to time, rather ironically. It turns out that the man who decided the fate of Khirbet Susya, which is the current incarnation of a village that is thousands of years old, is Supreme Court Justice Noam Sohlberg, a resident of Alon Shvut. Alon Shvut is a settlement, which contrary to the Zionist mythology of Gush Etzion, only a very small part of which was purchased by Jews before 1948.

Settler activists in Alon Shvut, like many other settlements, have for years refused to accept the very concept of privately owned Palestinian land. There too, despite all the self-righteous high talk of neo-Orthodox renaissance, Justice Sohlberg’s neighbors are bent on persistently uprooting, with a certain degree of success, the agricultural activity that had been cultivated by local Palestinians for generations.

A few weeks ago Justice Noam Sohlberg rejected a petition by the Khirbet Susya village council for injunction stopping the state from demolishing their homes and expelling their residents from the land they had been forced onto when the state seized their village lands in 1986 and established the Jewish settlement of Susya. In his decision, Sohlberg wrote:

The immediate consequence of the ruling is that the army can now demolish the village and expel its residents at any moment, despite...

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The real roots of violence in Jerusalem

On Jerusalem Day, it is worth asking what effective response we can offer for the violent crisis that has raged in the city for almost a year. Some observers blame ongoing discrimination against East Jerusalem residents for the rage and violence that erupts from the Palestinian population in the city. The response they propose is based on narrowing gaps and ending discrimination. This is also the solution proposed – at least declaratively, and after a wholesale “strong arm” approach – by right-wingers, who do not conceal the fact that their chief motivation is to prevent the division of the city. However, the immediate motives behind the wave of violence that began last summer were not the shortage of classrooms, dilapidated infrastructure, or even house demolitions. The tinder-box was ignited by the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, the war in Gaza, and the pressure applied by the Jewish Temple Mount organizations – all factors at the heart of the wider national conflict.

The current reality in Jerusalem is unique against the background of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Jerusalem is the only place where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians live in daily friction with Israelis and with the Israeli authorities. There is no Israeli presence in Gaza, and the same is true in Areas A and B in the West Bank (with the exception of military incursions, which can create havoc but do not occur on a daily basis). In Area C, which is under full Israeli control, there are no large Palestinian population centers capable of waging a struggle that can challenge Israel. This reality enables Israel to have its (occupation) cake and eat it, too. Jerusalem is the only place where Israel has not managed to “disengage,” and accordingly, it was predictable that it would be in Jerusalem that the illusion of the “shrapnel in the rear-end” would be shattered. (Naftali Bennett famously compared the Palestinians to shrapnel left in the body that one must simply learn to live with.)

In other words, even if it was only up to the Palestinians, there could be no solution to Jerusalem that did not involve a solution to the national conflict. In reality, of course, it will take two to stop the violent tango. I intend to devote most of this article to the Israeli partner in the dance, which under present circumstances is naturally the dominant of...

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In 2015, memory of Nakba has inched closer to Israeli mainstream

Two Nakba-themed events were organized by groups you’d least expect, suggesting that the legacy of the Palestinian catastrophe has ventured beyond Palestinian and leftist circles.

By Eitan Bronstein Aparicio and Dr. Eléonore Merza Bronstein

 

Until a few years ago, inside Israel Nakba Day was marked primarily on Independence Day. It was a family and community tradition among internally displaced Palestinians going back to the days of the military government. After the Oslo Accords it developed into large, popular political demonstrations.

Three years ago, Tel Aviv University students started holding a memorial ceremony on Nakba Day itself, May 15. The event created a huge scandal and the mainstream media gave voice to supporters of the ceremony as well as to its opponents. It might have seemed, had we not known better, that half the population was in favor of publicly commemorating the Nakba and that the other half was against it.

Other organizations had already been marking Nakba Day, but the students raised the bar for memorial activities in the public sphere — at an Israeli university and on the land of Sheikh Munis, a Palestinian village destroyed in 1948, which they made sure to highlight. Since then, Nakba Day has become more and more central in activities memorializing the disaster that took place in the country in 1948.

This year, alongside the various Nakba memorial activities are two events that do not mark the memory of the Nakba, but have appropriated the name of this great tragedy for themselves. Taking a closer look at those events can teach us a thing or two about the way the Nakba discourse has developed in Israel.

The first is called “The Great Nakba: Riots, Deportation and Displacement of Jews from Arab countries.” It is being organized by Arab Jews (we doubt whether many of them would define themselves as such) and will take place in south Tel Aviv. The headline of the event and the titles of the scheduled talks suggest that the occasion will address the loss of Arab Jews who were uprooted from their countries during the early years of the State of Israel, as well as the impact of the establishment of the state.

Alongside Nakba Day, it appears that the title, “The Great Nakba,” is actually saying that “our Nakba is bigger than yours.” The event organizers are, therefore, well aware of the Palestinian Nakba and are seeking to prove...

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Even in Gaza, you can't have a film festival without a red carpet

The human rights film festival sends a message that Gaza is not just a strip of flattened homes, poverty and militants, as the media tends to portray it, says one of the organizers. ‘The people of Gaza are human beings, who love life, who seek peace, and who want to go to the movies, to live normal lives.’

By Avi Blecherman

While Israeli entertainment reporters have been busy covering the DocAviv documentary film festival in Tel Aviv in recent days, but nearby, another rather exceptional film festival came to a close Thursday evening in the Shujaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City — a festival dedicated entirely to films about human rights.

Shujaiyeh, where the festival was held, was the scene of some of the heaviest fighting and destruction during last summer’s Gaza war, in which Israel flattened large swaths of the crowded neighborhood. Some 100 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed there on July 20, 2014. Many of those killed and injured were women and children.

I spoke with festival organizer Saud Aburamadan, a veteran journalist and resident of Gaza on Thursday — in Hebrew.

Saud, tell me a little about the festival, please.

This is the first film festival held in Gaza, ever. A group of filmmakers and journalists in Gaza, who aren’t affiliated with any [political] organization organized the unusual festival, out of the belief that everyone deserves a bit of dignity and quiet.

The director of the festival is Palestinian filmmaker Khalil al-Muzain, and the Jordanian Karma Film Festival sponsored us. We have films from Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Russia, and other countries. There are 180 films, 28 of which were selected by the professional committee to be screened over the past three days.

How did local residents react to this initiative?

Look, part of our complicated reality here is that there hasn’t been even one movie theater in all of Gaza since the First Intifada. I know Gazans in their twenties, my children for example, who have never been in a movie theater. We live with the conflict and under siege, it’s a hard life. People are preoccupied with survival, how to feed their families, how to find work, how to protect their families and their children during wars.

When we were looking for locations to screen the films we arrived in Shujaiyeh in eastern Gaza City, a large...

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A tragically unexceptional story of life and death under occupation

Three decades ago the Israeli military government canceled my sister-in-law’s Palestinian residency because she studied abroad for ‘too long.’ Now, Israel is denying her one last visit with her dying father. But my family will not allow her case, like thousands before it, to be buried in silence.

By Sam Bahour

If you prick us, do we not bleed?
If you tickle us, do we not laugh?

If you poison us, do we not die?
And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?
~Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice

My father-in-law, Mughira Barghouty, is dying. At age 91, his health has severely deteriorated over the last six months. He has three daughters: Sawsan, Serene and my wife, Abeer. Serene and Abeer  live in Ramallah and have become full-time caregivers to their now bedridden father. Sawsan lives in Amman, Jordan. Of late, Mughira has repeated a single request: to touch his daughter Sawsan’s hand one last time. It was about to happen on the last day of April. Sawsan got all the way to the Israel border crossing, Israeli tourist visa in hand, but she was denied entry and told to go back to Amman. The family is crushed, but not surprised.

We live one floor above my in-laws, thus the bulk of calls for assistance come to my wife first. The calls are sometimes frantic, from my mother-in-law who notifies us that Mughira has fallen while trying to get out of bed. We rush downstairs, many times in the middle of the night, to deal with the situation. At other times, the calls range from mundane daily needs to assistance using the bathroom. The end of life is difficult to watch. Its ending is similar to its beginning — messy, chaotic, and fully dependent.

In such situations, the family’s main goal is to comfort their loved one. In our culture, if there is any possibility whatsoever to care for the dying person in their own home, this is the preferred option. The home truly does have a much more comprehensive meaning than in the West — and we are all engaged in a collective comforting exercise. Several months back, understanding that his health was failing, Mughira made a simple request: he wants to touch the hand of his third daughter, who lives in Amman, to bid her...



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Occupation increasingly a touchstone for Israeli-German relations

After 50 years of diplomatic relations, the Israeli-German partnership is strained by mounting German dismay over Israel’s settlement policy and reinvigorated anti-Semitism in Germany.

By Angela Gruber

Israel and Germany are marking 50 years of diplomatic relations this week. While most people probably aren’t reeling with excitement in anticipation of the countless festivities (especially on the German side) to mark the occasion, the anniversary does serve as a good occasion to take stock of the relationship between these two countries.

Can Israeli-German relations ever be normal? Should they, after the Holocaust? Is Israel more entitled to German support than other nations? Or is this a poisoned chalice no side should lobby for? And where do the Palestinians stand in that equation?

German Chancellor Willy Brandt once described the relations between Israel and Germany as, “normal relations [that] are very special in nature.” A few decades later, I believe his words still ring true. And yet they mean something different today.

Fifty years after David Ben-Gurion and Konrad Adenauer forged an unlikely partnership, Israel and Germany are partners with strong ties in economy, science, culture, sports, and of course, politics. Not only are diplomatic ties strong between the two countries, there is also deep and broad cooperation between the two civil societies.

Probably most controversially, Germany is a major supplier and funder of Israeli arms, subsidizing up to 50 percent of the costs (for example with the Dolphin-class submarines) of armaments, including the subsidized sale of new warships announced this week. Israel’s security was and still is an essential part of the German Staatsraison, and no German politician has ever grown tired of saying as much.

But in recent years, Germany and Israel’s interpretations of what this cornerstone of foreign policy means and how it should be interpreted in day-to-day politics have drifted apart. Germany is taking baby steps toward being more outspoken about the Israeli occupation, and that is increasingly straining its relationship with Israel (see timeline).

Nevertheless, Khalil Shikaki from the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah thinks Germany could support the Palestinians much more, even without hurting its relations with Israel.

“Palestinians want much stronger economic relations with Germany, which is also something Israel should support,” he told me.

Shikaki recently directed a public opinion survey asking Palestinians about their views on Germany. Most...

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Israeli-German relations: Timeline of a difficult relationship

Read more here on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany.

By Angela Gruber

September 1951: Germany’s Chancellor Konrad Adenauer recognizes his country’s guilt over the Holocaust in his governmental statement [German]: “Unspeakable crimes have been committed in the name of the German people. They oblige us to moral and material reparations.”

September 1952: The “Luxembourg Agreement“ about reparations for the Jewish victims of the Nazi regime is signed. It prompts controversy both in Israel and Germany.

December 1957: In a secret deal, Israel and Germany negotiate military cooperation, with Germany supplying armaments to Israel. It still does today.

May 1965: After increased cooperation and exchanges in the fields of sport, culture, science and economics, Israel and the Federal Republic of Germany establish diplomatic relations. Asher Ben-Natan is Israel’s first ambassador to Germany. Rolf Pauls is named the first German ambassador to Israel.

June 1973: Willy Brandt is the first German Chancellor to visit Israel, describing “normal relations [that] are very special in nature.”

September 1973: Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), receives a warm welcome in East Berlin by Erich Honecker, Chairman of the SED party in East Germany. The German Democratic Republic (DDR), in contrast to its Western sister state, followed an anti-Israel, Arab-friendly foreign policy driven by the Cold War.

July 1975: Yitzak Rabin becomes the first Israeli prime minister to visit Germany.

November 1989: The Berlin Wall falls and paves the way for Germany’s reunification. Israel follows the events with concern. In a letter to Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir calls a reunified Germany “a deathly danger for the Jews.”

March 2008: Israel and Germany initiate governmental consultations to foster relations between the two countries. The same month, Angela Merkel declares in the Knesset: “The security of Israel will never be negotiable for me, as the German Chancellor.”

February 2011: Israeli-German relations are strained, as Germany votes in favor of a UN Security Council resolution calling the Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory illegal. The resolution is vetoed and stopped by the U.S.

November 2012: Germany abstains from a vote granting Palestine the status of a non-member observer state with the UN, while Israeli officials wanted a German “no” vote.

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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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