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Israel's top news channel: Gov't asked us to show more Gaza devastation

Israeli consumers don’t want to know what’s happening on the other side, the station’s foreign editor explains. ’We don’t serve the regime, we serve the consumerist regime.’

By Oren Persico / ‘The 7th Eye

Palestinian children carry goods that were rescued from the village of Khuza'a, which has undergone of intense attacks and was largely destroyed during the Israeli offensive.

Palestinian children carry goods salvaged from the Gazan village of Khuza’a, which underwent of intense attacks and was largely destroyed during the Israeli offensive, Operation Protective Edge. (Photo by Activestills.org)

During this summer’s Gaza war officials in the Prime Minister’s Office and Defense Ministry contacted Israel’s Channel 2 News, asking why they were not broadcasting more images of destruction caused by the army’s bombing in Gaza.

Speaking at a panel discussion at Netanya College last week, Arad Nir, the company’s foreign news editor, said the news channel did not comply with the government’s request, instead decided to show what its viewers demanded.

The panel, which also included journalists Dror Feuer, Prof. Motti Neiger and Attoney El-Ad Mann, dealt with freedom of speech in Israel and the Israeli media’s coverage of Protective Edge.

“The Israeli media allows itself to be controlled by its consumers — it does this of its own volition,” said Nir.

“My personal, in-house claim is that if we provide our audience with a different type of journalism, even in certain doses, if we make it good enough and interesting enough — the public will know how to handle it,” he continued. “The media here has a kind of patronizing and arrogant attitude toward the public.”

Nir also spoke about the differences between the Israeli media’s coverage of the war as opposed to global media coverage.

“In Protective Edge, out of the 15 hours of straight news coverage per day showing what happened in this war, there were only 10 or 15 minutes dedicated to what happened on the other side,” he said, adding that “only five minutes of out two hours of every prime time news broadcasts were dedicated to what was happening on the other side, and not always [even that].”

“As someone who sits in front of the screen all day, I see two completely different wars,” the Channel 2 News editor explained. “There is one war that you see on BBC, CNN...

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A House of God no more

‘I refuse to let my humanity be stripped away. I refuse to build my national aspirations on the blood of civilians.’

By Talal Jabari

Israeli emergency services volunteers remove blood, according to Jewish tradition, from the scene of an attack by two Palestinians against Jewish worshippers at a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Har Nof in West Jerusalem, November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with guns, a meat cleaver and knives burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead by Israeli forces. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli emergency services volunteers remove blood, according to Jewish tradition, from the scene of an attack by two Palestinians against Jewish worshippers at a synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Har Nof in West Jerusalem, November 18, 2014. Two Palestinians armed with guns, a meat cleaver and knives burst into a Jerusalem synagogue and killed four Israelis before being shot dead by Israeli forces. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

The first thing I do every morning before getting out of bed is to turn off my phone’s airplane mode and read the news. There’s never any positive news, and I’m sure starting off the day this way probably isn’t healthy, but nevertheless, that’s what I do. On Tuesday, I woke up, as did many others, to this story: four dead Israelis in a synagogue shooting.

Personally, I just can’t accept gunning down people who are in the middle of prayer. After all, synagogues, churches and mosques are houses of God. But God wasn’t at home in the Kehilat Bnei Torah synagogue on this particular morning.

There are people who will disagree with me. Indeed there are those who even celebrated the attack at the synagogue. It’s possible some of them see it as vindication for the deaths caused by the Israeli army during the last Gaza war, revenge for the brutal slaying of Mohammed Abu Khdeir by Israeli settlers, or as protest over the ongoing situation at Al-Aqsa Mosque or some sort of retribution for the death of Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni a day before.

What is certain from the events of the past six months is that increasingly, this conflict is stripping people of their humanity — on both sides of the divide.

As a human being, I find the synagogue...

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Jerusalem: Against the dying of the light

The streets are seething, a tautness hangs in the air, clinging to one as if walking through cobwebs. Yet in the middle of it all, I find a most profound reparation by the simplest means. A crack of light, and my heart hurts less.

By Natasha Roth
natasha1

“Do not go gentle into that good night.”

I am sitting in an archway in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, taking a break from guiding a friend who is visiting from the UK. He is smoking a cigarette, and I am photographing the street sign across from us. We are on Misgav Ladakh Street, and as with all street signs in the Old City, the name is written in Hebrew, Arabic and English. On this sign, however, the Arabic has been completely covered by two identical stickers featuring a slogan in Hebrew, which translates roughly as: “Our soldiers’ lives come before the lives of the enemy’s civilians.” On a doorway across from the sign, next to us, the same stickers have been used to spell out – also in Hebrew – “The Lord is King.” The phrase about soldiers’ lives became popular during the summer, when the country shrouded itself in brute nationalism during Israel’s latest attempt to cripple the Gaza Strip. This message, and many others like it, appeared on posters, banners and bumper stickers throughout the country. What surfaced on social media was even less palatable.

The stickers, and their obscuring of the Arabic lettering on the street sign, are a most violent revision by the simplest means. They are a perfect distillation of how oppression against Palestinians works in this country: cover, conceal, remove, rub out. Build a house, knock down a house, plant a tree, place a wall, place a sticker.

Aside from the most recent cycle of ruination in Gaza, nowhere is this methodology currently more evident than in Jerusalem. The city – particularly the East – is under a series of slow-burning sieges that are gradually reaching the end of their fuse: official government settlement plans; unofficial settler takeovers of Palestinian property; the entire ethos of EladAteret Cohanim, the Temple Mount movement and their ilk; street-level thuggery perpetrated by fascist groups such as Lehava; house demolitionsracist vandalism; night-time round-ups and arrests, including of children.

Two attacks on or near the Jerusalem light rail that left four dead,...

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'Draft dodger law' robs Israel's poor of higher education

The vast majority of draft dodgers and deserters refuse to serve for economic reasons. Those youngsters, who already come from Israel’s weakest communities, are the ones who will be harmed most by a new law that strips them of funds for higher education.

By Sahar Vardi

New IDF conscripts put on uniforms for the first time, November 20, 2006. (Photo by IDF Spokesperson)

New IDF conscripts put on uniforms for the first time, November 20, 2006. (Photo by IDF Spokesperson)

While clashes between in East Jerusalem took place surrounding the funeral of Yusuf al-Ramouni, and as the government was busy arguing about the ‘Jewish nation-state bill,’ the Knesset voted on the final approval of the “Draft-Dodgers Law.” The media coverage of the law, first proposed during ‘Operation Protective Edge’ this summer, primarily conveyed that draft dodgers will not receive any governmental subsidies for higher education. They will not receive state-funded scholarships, but more importantly, they will receive no tuition subsidies, which will means they will pay roughly four-times more than their peers.

The “law” is actually an amendment to Israel’s Council for Higher Education Law of 1958, and determines that people who did not serve in the military, and who were not legally exempt from serving, will not receive any governmental funding for their education. This means that anyone who did receive a legal exemption: Palestinians, the ultra-Orthodox, those who are exempt for psychological or other medical reasons, as well as recognized conscientious objectors, will all not be affected. So who does this bill affect?

At any given moment there are roughly 5,000 deserters from military service in Israel. About 3,000 of them never showed up for conscription and are commonly referred to as “draft dodgers.” Another 2,000 or so started their service but deserted mid-way. According to non-profit organizations working with these youth, the vast majority of them (up to 90 percent) desert for economic reasons.

In January 2015, for the first time since 1986, conscripted soldiers will get a pay raise. For most — non-combat — soldiers they will get NIS 500 ($130), up from NIS 352 ($91.50) a month. With or without the expected increase, these figures mean that anyone from a low-income family literally can’t afford to serve in the military. These youth, for lack of any better choice, just go on and...

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Five killed in attack on Jerusalem synagogue

Two Palestinian men murdered four Jewish worshippers with a meat cleaver, knives and a pistol in a gruesome attack at a synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem Tuesday morning. Eight others were wounded, four seriously. The two attackers were shot dead by Israeli police in a firefight at the scene.

Update: A police officer succumbed to his wounds late Tuesday night, bringing the death toll to five.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu quickly put out a statement blaming Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas, pointing to what he described as their incitement. For his part, Abbas quickly condemned the attack.

Israeli emergency personnel remove victims’ bodies from the Jerusalem synagogue where two Palestinians killed four worshippers and seriously wounded seven others. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli emergency personnel remove victims’ bodies from the Jerusalem synagogue where two Palestinians killed four worshippers and seriously wounded seven others. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

ZAKA volunteers collect blood, according to Jewish ritual, at the scene of a Jerusalem synagogue where two Palestinians killed four worshippers and seriously wounded eight others, November 18, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

ZAKA volunteers collect blood, according to Jewish ritual, at the scene of a Jerusalem synagogue where two Palestinians killed four worshippers and seriously wounded eight others, November 18, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Families mourn as the victims of a terror attack at a Jerusalem synagogue are laid to rest, Jerusalem, November 18, 2014. (Photo by Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Families mourn as the victims of a terror attack at a Jerusalem synagogue are laid to rest, Jerusalem, November 18, 2014. (Photo by Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

According to Palestinian and Israeli media, the attackers were from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber. When their identity became known, residents said, Israeli police closed the entrance to the neighborhood with concrete blocks.

Police were reportedly using the “Skunk” truck to spray putrid water near the attackers’ families’ homes, along with other crowd dispersal means as clashes broke out. Police arrested 12 relatives of the attackers, according to Ma’an, and a number of others were injured.

Israeli police outside the family home of one...</img></img></img></div><a href=Read More
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Apartheid or not, separation is the reality

After nearly 50 years of occupation, it has become impossible to differentiate between Israel’s ‘security concerns’ and flat-out apartheid policies.

By Hagai El-Ad

“So far as the issue is security, these considerations are relevant and the role of the minister of defense indeed is to defend Israeli citizens. And I also realized that he said he did not give that kind of directive, so it’s all okay [...] but I realized that it’s the result of pressure from settlers who do not want to travel with Arabs on the bus. I read what was said at the Knesset committee discussion, [and] it is intolerable that they claim that they need to have their own buses, because no one got up for a woman or for someone old or it’s not convenient for them or unpleasant. That’s apartheid. Security is security. That is why I contacted the Attorney General asking him to look into this. If it’s security reasons per se, it’s something I can not only live with, but also back. But if it comes from settler, political pressure [because] it is not comfortable for them [and] unpleasant for them to travel with Arabs in the very places they wanted to live at, knowing that these are places where Palestinians live, that is unacceptable to me and I will work against that. This discrimination is prohibited by law in the State of Israel.”

This quote, from a recent radio interview with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, is a uniquely transparent example of how people who perceive themselves as moral – Livni of course being one of them – manage to wrestle with themselves in order to justify acts that cannot be justified. After all, if an act were morally unacceptable, one would certainly be against it. But the desire is to succeed in holding on to a self-perception of being moral while also supporting the occupation. Therefore it is necessary to find a way, every time, to justify that which is unjust. In this way both the occupation and one’s morality can remain untouched.

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Is every Palestinian kid who throws stones a terrorist?

In a reality where children aged 10 and 11 are arrested by 18- and 19-year-old soldiers who have been indoctrinated for military service since kindergarten, this kind of discussion seems completely out of place. A human rights attorney spends the day at one of the occupation’s more bizarre PR events.

By Smadar Ben-Natan

Israeli Border Police officer detains a Palestinian child at a protest in Kufr Qaddum, January 25, 2013. (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Israeli Border Police officer detains a Palestinian child at a protest in Kufr Qaddum, January 25, 2013. (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

“Involvement of Children in Terrorism.” That was the rather confusing name given to a conference organized by the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC).

What is the context for discussing the involvement of children in terrorism? What is meant by the word “terrorism?” Are we supposed to be more afraid of these children? Are we to condemn terrorism for the moral corruption of conscripting children? Do we try and help those children trapped in its claws? Should we punish them severely or have mercy on them?

The confusion only grew in light of the fact that the conference marked the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the Israeli Juvenile Military Court in the West Bank. The fact that minors in the West Bank have been brought before military courts for nearly 50 years should have provoked shame and embarrassment. Instead, the establishment of this court is a source of great pride for the military court system in the occupied territories.

Read +972′s special coverage: Children Under Occupation

The session dedicated to the Juvenile Court served as yet another self-congratulatory event of the military court system. Its participants included President of the Military Court of Appeals Nathaniel Benisho, former president of the court Aharon Mishniot, president of the Israeli civil juvenile court system Galit Vigotzki-Mor and Deputy Attorney General Raz Nazari. The high-ranking members of the Israeli civilian legal system exemplified the extent to which the Israeli legal system is involved in the legislation of military law in the occupied territories — and in maintaining the occupation, including the facade of benevolence.

To avoid any doubt, trying minors in a juvenile military court is always preferable to trying them in regular military courts. However, both are terrible options that give...

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Kafr Kanna isn't Ferguson, it's much worse

Imagine that at the peak of the Ferguson protests, President Obama — or any other American official — had issued a formal statement threatening to revoke the citizenship of African Americans who chose not to keep their mouths shut.

By Seraj Assi and Lawrence McMahon

Arab youth clash with Israeli riot police in Kafr Kanna, Israel, November 8, 2014. The protests took place after an Arab man from the village was shot and killed by Israeli policemen. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Arab youth clash with Israeli riot police in Kafr Kanna, Israel, November 8, 2014. The protests took place after an Arab man from the village was shot and killed by Israeli policemen. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli police shot dead a young Arab citizen in the town of Kafr Kanna in the lower Galilee this past week. Numerous reports have suggested that the victim, Kheir Hamdan, was shot simply because he was an Arab. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemingly conceded the same conclusion when, prior to any investigation whatsoever into the incident, he issued a statement scolding Arab youth.

In the meantime, local journalists rushed to compare Kafr Kanna to Ferguson, Missouri, invoking the shooting of African-American teenager Michael Brown as a parallel example of a racial divide. Kafr Kanna, however, is not Ferguson, and here is why:

The conflict between the Arab minority of Israel and the State is not truly an American-style “civil rights” struggle. Arabs in Israel cannot be classified as second-class citizens when senior Israeli officials, including Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, continue to portray them as enemies from within, a demographic time bomb, and a fifth column population. While the Arabs in Israel experience exclusion and brutality just as African Americans do, they also face — to use a popular phrase — an existential threat.

Read also: The difference between Israel’s racist cops and America’s

The so-called Liberman Plan, named after the foreign minister, proposes transferring territory in Israel populated by Arabs to the Palestinian Authority in exchange for territory in the West Bank populated by Israeli settlers. Liberman grumbles that it makes no sense to create a Palestinian state devoid of Jews while Israel has turned into a bi-national state with over 20 percent Arabs.

In other words, the Israeli foreign minister wants...

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Hundreds of Palestinians, Israelis protest collective punishment in East Jerusalem

Over 800 people marched in the streets of Issawiya to call for an end to the mayor’s policies of road closures, petty fines and home demolitions.

By Moriel Rothman-Zecher

In the midst of the heightened tension gripping much of Jerusalem over the past few weeks, over 800 people marched peacefully through the village of Issawiya Wednesday, calling for an end to collective punishment of East Jerusalem residents and protesting the occupation. The majority of marchers were Palestinians from the neighborhood, along with a sizable contingent of outside activists, both Palestinian and Israeli, coming from the nearby Hebrew University campus and elsewhere to show solidarity with the people of the Issawiya. The march, organized by an ad-hoc coalition of Palestinian and Israeli activists, was intended to highlight the ways in which residents of East Jerusalem, and Issawiya in particular, have faced severe collective punishment over the past few weeks.

The demonstration yesterday began at 4:00 p.m., and was guarded by dozens of Border Police officers dressed in riot gear and armed with tear gas, rubber bullets and other crowd dispersal measures. Some of the officers were mounted on horseback, and behind them a “skunk” vehicle loomed.

Palestinian protesters and Israeli activists demonstrate against new concrete blockades put in place by Israeli police restricting access to the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya, November 12, 2014. Israeli police had blocked off three of the four entrances leading to Issawiya due to recent clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli police. (Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Activestills.org)

Palestinian protesters and Israeli activists demonstrate against new concrete blockades put in place by Israeli police restricting access to the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Issawiya, November 12, 2014. Israeli police had blocked off three of the four entrances leading to Issawiya due to recent clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli police. (Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Activestills.org)

Haithem Mahmoud, a resident of Issawiya who attended the march, explained to me that for the past two weeks, two of the three main access roads into Issawiya have been blocked off. I asked him what the explanation was for these blockades, and he said that police had informed them that the roads were blocked in order to “stop stone throwing by youth.”

“They’re treating the whole village like trash,” he continued, “It’s harder to get food, harder to get medicine. Students are late for...

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My afternoon with Yasser Arafat

Ten years after Arafat’s death, an Arab citizen of Israel reflects on a solidarity visit to the father of Palestinian nationalism in his besieged Ramallah compound.

By Seraj Assi

PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat in Davos, Switzerland, January 28, 2001. (UN Photo/Evan Schneider)

PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat in Davos, Switzerland, January 28, 2001. (UN Photo/Evan Schneider)

Ten years ago, on November 11, 2004, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died in mysterious circumstances in Paris.

Theories ranged from natural causes to assassination. The French, Russian and Swiss teams that investigated the cause all agreed to disagree. In a sense, Arafat was made in the image of Palestine: the mystery of his life and death remains largely unsolved.

I met Arafat three years before his death. That was in late December 2001, nearly one year into the Second Intifada. The country was touching off a new spasm of violence. Israeli tanks and troops had already moved in force and put Palestinian cities under curfew. In the wake of three suicide bombings inside Israel, Arafat was grounded and confined to his headquarters in Ramallah. He claimed to have orchestrated the uprising.

Those who witnessed the failure at Camp David were hardly surprised. To steal a line from Alexis Tocqueville, no other event in Palestinian history was so inevitable yet so completely unforeseen. In this view, Arafat, the usual scapegoat who was widely blamed for the collapse of the talks, did orchestrate the uprising.

By that time, I was attending the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The visit was an act of solidarity organized by a group of fellow Arab students. The idea was to remind the Israelis that Arafat was our leader too. Having witnessed Israel’s brutality against Palestinians on both sides of the border, we sensed that our destinies were now intertwined.

I remember travelling for two hours to cross the 10 miles separating Jerusalem from Ramallah. Roads were partly destroyed, partly blocked with concrete blocks, piles of dirt, and deep trenches. For us, as for many Palestinians across the border, this unbearable interruption in time and space was yet another consequence of the Oslo Accords.

After an extra hour in the line, we finally passed the last checkpoint and walked all the way to the Mukataa, aka, the Arafat Compound. We were greeted by the guards and guided to an office complex with...

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How police lied about the deadly shooting of Khir Hamdan

I was sure that with all of their past experience, Israeli police would finally learn how to tell a decent lie. It turns out that the boys in blue could stand to learn a thing or two.

By Rami Younis

I spent the last week in Amsterdam, where I hoped to disconnect and forget about the racism and the violence of Zionism, to see Ajax — my favorite soccer team since childhood — defeat a formidable opponent in its home stadium like in the good old days, and for a bit of nostalgia.

The first goal was achieved. The second one? Not so much: Messi destroyed us fairly easily. On game day I witnessed an arrest in real time: three Dutch police officers jumped on a suspect mid-crime at the central station. How strange it was to see a quiet arrest — no batons, tasers or pistols drawn. The arrest was so non-violent that the handcuffed suspect didn’t utter a sound — as if he was an equal party to the arrest.

This kind of thing is so far from the reality in Israel that I found myself making an effort to tie it into our everyday experience. “Look at that,” I said to my friend. “And now imagine this kind of thing happening where we come from, and that the suspect is Arab.”

Lying with spelling mistakes

It took me 15 minutes after landing to get caught up on the events of the past week. Between all the violent incidents only one thing managed to (still) surprise me: Israeli police are such terrible liars that is simply embarrassing. I was sure that with all of their past experience, the boys in blue would finally learn how to tell a decent lie. How disappointing.

The site Arabs48 gathered all the press releases to the Arab media after the shooting death of 22-year-old Khir Hamdan (Arabic). The statements, which were given by police spokesperson Luba Samri in terrible Arabic (as expected), reflect the police’s pathetic attempts at whitewashing the killing. In its first message released at 2:23 a.m., police announced that the “22-year-old who was killed attacked the police with a knife, and after they shot several warning shots in the air, police were forced to shoot him.” In the second statement, released at 3:27 a.m., the police stated that they were bringing in reinforcements “due to high tensions...

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Ashkenazis, it is time to acknowledge our racism

The easiest way to avoid being called racist is to only hang out with Ashkenazis. But I hate this, and need to admit that I treat Mizrahis differently. Now all that is left is to start making a change.

By Ruth Stern

When my friend and poet Shlomi Hatuka asked me to write something about Ashkenazis and Mizrahis, I became a bit worried. How will I write without people seeing my own racism?

The surest way to not demonstrate one’s racism is by avoiding. If I do not find myself around Mizrahis, black people or Arabs then I won’t be racist. I know this strategy well. When I came out of the closet as a lesbian, many of my closest friends became distant. It was easy for me to believe that they acted that way because they couldn’t stand the fact that I am a lesbian, but I believe that what they really couldn’t stand were their own feelings. They, of course, do not see themselves as homophobes. So where do such strong feelings come from? And what will happen should someone recognize them for what they are? So they took a few steps back – anything so that they don’t have to deal with that terrible feeling. But when they went away, I was left alone. I don’t want to do the same thing to Mizrahis.

My most immediate connection with what is happening today with the Mizrahis of Ars Poetica (a monthly poetry and music event, which features many up-and-coming Mizrahi poets) is that instead of erasing themselves, they are standing out. Instead of accepting integration they are speaking out. Just like I do not accept the idea of being the quiet lesbian who just wants to live a quiet life, and instead insists on kissing in public, making noise and not tolerating homophobia.

Mizrahi activists protest outside Finance Minister Yair Lapid's house, north Tel Aviv. (photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Mizrahi activists protest outside Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s house, north Tel Aviv. (photo: Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

That question of “why are you raising such a stink?” comes up again and again for me as well as for Mizrahis. They tell us that we are all the same – straight, gay, Mizrahi, Ashkenazi. Only you are making distinctions, they say, not us. But when you are part of the dominant...

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What Palestinian media is saying about the Jerusalem violence

From the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir to unrelenting settlement expansion and police harassment, the sources of anger in East Jerusalem are many. But the aspirations and provocations of right-wing Israeli Jews to change the status quo in the Aqsa Mosque compound seems to the driving force. A survey of major Palestinian newspapers.

By Henriette Chacar

Palestinian youth take cover behind a door as they shoot fireworks toward Israeli Border Police during clashes at a checkpoint between the Shuafat refugee camp and the rest of Jerusalem, November 6, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinian youth take cover behind a door as they shoot fireworks toward Israeli Border Police during clashes at a checkpoint between the Shuafat refugee camp and the rest of Jerusalem, November 6, 2014. (Photo by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Many Palestinians are calling it the “Car Intifada.” In the span of just a couple of weeks, three Palestinian residents of east Jerusalem made their vehicles into weapons and ran over pedestrians, killing four Israelis and wounding dozens more. This is hardly a new terror tactic, but the proximity of the attacks on top of intensifying tensions in Jerusalem all contributed to it its name — to it even being given a name.

So what’s going on in Jerusalem? Why is this happening now? And what is the Palestinian media’s narrative of the latest events in Jerusalem?

Since Israel seized control of Jerusalem’s Old City in 1967, during the Six Day War, Israel has vowed to maintain the status quo at the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif. That arrangement stipulates that non-Muslim visitors may visit but may not pray at the site. Over the years Israeli authorities have largely enforced those rules, although a series of recent events has made Palestinians increasingly suspicious of Israel’s intentions.

Photos of the month: The holy city nears its boiling point

Palestinian media was reporting perceived Israeli challenges toward the status quo on the Noble Sanctuary since early June, even before the war in Gaza broke about. The June 3rd headline in Palestine’s most widely read broadsheet, Al-Quds, read: “Israel bans Muslims, allows Jews to enter al-Aqsa Mosque.” Citing local sources, the news item mentioned that, “more than 60 extremist settlers stormed the mosque courtyards on Tuesday and performed Talmudic rituals under police protection. Meanwhile, Palestinian worshipers were prohibited from entering al-Aqsa...

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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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