Have you ever noticed that speeches by the Israeli prime minister tend to sound a lot like: ‘Iran, Iran, Holocaust, Iran. Iran, Iran, Iran. Holocaust Iran…’? Are you scared yet? Ami Kaufman has a wake-up call for you.
In the recent elections, Israelis clearly articulated what they don’t want, less clear was what type of future they do want. Ami Kaufman has a wake-up call for you.
One group of Israeli citizens already won the Israeli elections — before voting even began. Ami Kaufman has a wake-up call for you.
Did you know that in 15 out of Israel’s 20 elections one in three people living under Israeli rule haven’t had a vote? Ami Kaufman has a wake-up call for you.
Israeli social media is talking about one thing today: the video showing Israeli passengers cursing and threatening a flight attendant on their way to Varna, Bulgaria.
The headlines are pretty much the same all over, and include the words: “Watch: The Ugly Israeli,” in reference to what Israelis see as the rude behavior they are notorious for worldwide.
However, few (including mainstream media) paid attention to the little gem hidden in the video, a one-liner that epitomizes the casual racism so widespread in the Jewish state.
The flight attendant refuses to sell chocolate to a passenger (apparently he was busy with another passenger, it’s difficult to discern the exact reason). Things heat up. Then, her sister sitting across the aisle says at 0:28 in the video below: “She just wants to buy chocolate, what is she – an Arab?”
Of course, this is understandable. The only reason a flight attendant refuses to sell chocolate to someone is because they’re Arab.
September 11, 2001. I get off the bus from northern Tel Aviv that takes me to 21 Shocken St., where the Haaretz building is located. As I enter the doors I’m greeted by a colleague from the Hebrew news desk, who says “Wow, you’re going to have quite a shift.” I was night editor of the English edition of Haaretz at the time.
Intrigued, I ask “Why?”
“You didn’t see? A plane just hit one of the World Trade Center towers.”
I ran to my office, saw other staff members staring in awe at the television screens, and turned on my TV. I got there just in time to watch the second plane hit.
I started to tremble, and immediately picked up the phone to David Landau, editor in chief. “Did you see what’s going on?!”
“So, when are you coming in?”
“Seriously, when are you coming?”
“You’ll be fine. Call me if you need anything, I’ll help from here.”
“Are you crazy?!?!”
We were both right. He was crazy, and I was fine. I put out a good paper, and got it sent on time.
David Landau, who passed away yesterday due to an illness, was my first mentor in journalism. He was my boss, my teacher, my friend. He was this to many people, so influential a person to the lives and careers of dozens, if not hundreds.
Already, much has been said about him since he passed. To fully grasp what a special man he was, I sincerely recommend reading the beautiful obituary written by Anshel Pfeffer here, and the very moving farewells from his two colleagues Gideon Levy here, and Chemi Shalev here. They have portrayed much more beautifully than I ever could the complexity of David, his life story and amazing accomplishments, his few minuses and hundreds of pluses.
As many do, I also remember my first encounter with David. It was my interview for an internship at the Haaretz English edition he had just founded about six months earlier. I’ll never forget his first words to me as I entered his office:
“Well, that’s a horrible shirt to wear to an interview.”
In retrospect, it was. For some odd reason I was wearing a bright orange short sleeve button down shirt.
This wasn’t to be the last time David critiqued my attire. On my wedding...Read More
From bombs dropped on innocent children in Gaza to the increasing gap between rich and poor, there are many good reasons why the current government needs to go.
1. Israel is going to early elections, but not because this government went on an unnecessary adventure in Gaza killing 500 innocent children only a few months ago.
2. Israel is going to early elections, but not because this government failed in making any progress toward ending the occupation of millions of Palestinians, while continually denying them the basic right to determine their own future.
3. Israel is going to early elections, but not because this government breeds hatred of anyone who is not Jewish.
4. Israel is going to early elections, but not because this government is interested in remaining a democracy for Jews and a Jewish state for Arabs.
5. Israel is going to early elections, but not because this government harmed its standing in the international community with every day that has passed, particularly with Avigdor Liberman as foreign minister.
6. Israel is going to early elections, but not because this government has brought relations with the U.S. to a low never seen in its history.
7. Israel is going to early elections, but not because this government failed in lowering the cost of living.
8. Israel is going to early elections, but not because this government only made efforts to survive another day, rather than lead.
9. Israel is going to early elections, but not because this government keeps taking care of tycoons, not narrowing the gaps between rich and poor.
10. Israel is going to early elections, but not because this government wants to pour billions more shekels into the defense establishment rather than into health, education and welfare.
Israel is going to early elections for one reason, and one reason only: because Sheldon Adelson said so.
Public and private sector Arab leaders in Israel fear the new basic law could threaten their long-standing economic, cultural and political dominance in the Jewish state. (Satire)
The Jewish Nation-State law, a new bill that the Netanyahu government is pushing through the Knesset could bring about the end to their political domination over Jews in Israeli society since the state was founded in 1948, Arab leaders are warning.
Mohamed el-Rasmi from Sakhnin told +972: “We’re really worried. We’ve been dominating Israeli politics since 1948. What now? We won’t have any more Arab ministers? No Arab minister of defense? Of treasury? Of education? The thought alone makes me shudder. If we have no representation in government, we’ll basically be second-class citizens!”
Over the past few days, +972 Magazine spoke to various leaders in both the public and private Arab sectors about the new bill and its consequences. There seems to be a wide consensus that the outcome could be quite grave.
Hamdan Younis, a businessman from Taibeh, said he fears for his livelihood. “It’s always been the Younis’ and 11 other Arab families making money off of the land’s resources. The water, the phosphates, the gas in the Mediterranean. We’ve been screwing the 99 percent over for decades – why does it have to stop now? Why? Because we own the media? Is that it?!”
“What will happen to all the Arab cities in planning?” asked Mustafa Mahmid, who owns a large construction company in Tira. “New Arab towns have popped up like mushrooms after the rain until now – where does this leave me? Will they stop approving new towns? You know what this will mean, don’t you. We’ll have to live basically on top of each other, with sewage running in the streets! When’s the last time you saw an Arab town like that!?” he added, enraged.
Fadi Jabarin, minister of education, believes the law could have an astounding effect on the Israeli school curriculum. “I am afraid that if this bill turns into law, Israelis will stop learning about the Nakba. They might even stop learning about Arabs at all. What will they learn about then? The Holocaust? Bar Kochva? Bialik? After all these years Israelis have been studying and quoting Mahmoud Darwish, wouldn’t that be a shame?” said Jabarin.
Other leaders expressed concern for the more basic and symbolic. Interior Minister Mahmoud Majadli said he...Read More
How a popular columnist fools readers into a false understanding of the situation in Israel/Palestine.
Oh man, is he smooth.
There is a reason Roger Cohen is a columnist in The Grey Lady: he is a fabulous writer. He is also extremely convincing, and his op-ed from yesterday, “Two Ideas of Israel-Palestine,” is no exception. It reads so well that I am sure he basically had most readers eating out of the palm of his hand.
And if that’s the case, boy, did they fall for it.
Because what Roger Cohen did yesterday is spoon-feed his readers one of the core principles of Liberal Zionism, without which they basically have nothing to say in their political arguments in living rooms all over the world, from Ramat Aviv to Brooklyn. And that core principle goes like this: the blame rests equally on both sides.
The “beauty” of this op-ed, focusing on the roots of the conflict, lies in its simplistic three-part structure. If you haven’t read the piece yet, you should – because the way it is built is crucial to understanding Cohen’s mindset.
I won’t deal much with the opening graph, mostly because Cohen himself is too lazy to put recent events into context. All he does is state that “the facts” – that Palestinians killed Jews in a synagogue during the recent wave of violence. Way to go for giving your readers a good picture about what’s going on Jerusalem, Cohen!
But the real gem is the second part of his piece, which include two long paragraphs in which Cohen attempts to bring up every argument possible from each side’s story. Both are equal in length, making the reader think that these are simply two parallel lines that will never meet. They’re just too entrenched in their own narratives. Everybody’s right.
The worst is his last paragraph:
The sheer arrogance of telling us that “you guys just better get along already ‘cause you’re stuck with each other,” especially from one living in a country who has enabled the occupation of millions for almost 50 years, is shameful and enraging.
I’ve got news for you, Roger Cohen, this isn’t some kind of Cold War between two nuclear powers. This is a rich, armed-to-the-teeth colonial regime that has been stepping on the neck of an oppressed people for 47 years. That’s the narrative. That’s the story.
Your nice maneuver of...Read More
Even as the flames spread from Jerusalem into the West Bank and back over the Green Line, Israeli leaders are showing no restraint in their statements and actions. It feels like they just don’t care anymore.
These are tough, disgusting times in Israel/Palestine. The flames in Jerusalem, which were ignited well before the recent war in Gaza, seem to be climbing higher every day, spreading to the West Bank and inside the Green Line as well.
The recent events also seem to be bringing out some of Israeli leaders’ true color. Yitzhak Aharonovitch, the Israeli public security minister (something equivalent to a police minister), had some very harsh words after the last attack by a Palestinian who ran over a group of Border Police and pedestrians in Jerusalem, killing two and wounding others. After a police officer killed the attacker on the scene, Aharonovich said that, “the sentence for any any terrorist who harms civilians is to be killed.” He added that all such events should end that way. To hell with the rule of law, right guys?
But who would have thought that the police would heed their boss’ call so soon? On Saturday evening cops shot 22-year-old Khir Hamdan from Kafr Kanna (well inside Green Line) in the back after he attacked a police van with a knife. No taser, no shooting towards the legs. Just a bullet in the chest as he was running away. To make things worse, instead of calling an ambulance they dragged him into the van like he was a sack of potatoes, while still alive. I’m pretty sure I saw that scene on a Sopranos episode; I just can’t remember which season.
Obviously, the killing heated things up. As would be expected of a wise leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thought this might be a good time to try and calm things down — to be the responsible adult. Oh sorry, scrap that! Instead, just like his public security minister, Netanyahu poured some more gas on this bonfire, showed his true colors as well and just hours later announced he “will instruct the interior minister to evaluate revoking the citizenship of those who call for the destruction of the State of Israel.” Or, in other words, “I don’t have anything to say about shooting Hamdan in the back and you Arabs better...Read More
The FBI has found traces of sodium thiopental in several areas in the White House, causing staff to stop holding back their true feelings on Israel.
Just 24 hours after a senior administration official called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “chickenshit,” FBI agents found traces of sodium thiopental, also known as the “truth serum,” in several areas of the White House. The findings could explain the remarks given to Jeffrey Goldberg in his Atlantic interview.
According to FBI agent Dana Mulder, traces of the liquid were found “in the Oval Office as well. We’re still conducting some tests, but it looks like there’s been some tampering in the kitchen, too.”
“If the serum was put in food given to other staff,” Mulder added, “it could explain why we’re seeing other West Wing officials saying what they really think about Israel and the peace process.” Indeed, over the past day various officials have been especially candid about the Jewish State, its policies and its leaders.
One staff member told +972 Magazine what he had been hearing over the past day: “It’s all coming out. It’s as if people are actually stating facts about Israel and forgetting all about AIPAC. No fear!”
Media outlets across the world have been quoting various officials over the past 48 hours, all of them with very strong words for Israel. One administration official was recently quoted saying: “They keep Arabs off buses and expect us not to call it apartheid? Fuck that!”
Agent Mulder told +972 that the effects of sodium thiopental usually wear off in a few hours, but it seems that the dosage used in the White House was high and that the effects could linger for another day or two. “We’re expecting some officials to still come out with other facts they don’t say because of politics, such as ‘the two-state solution is dead’ and ‘what happened in Gaza this summer was a massacre, no other way to put it,’” Mulder added. “That’s why we started the investigation to begin with. There’s just no way any administration official would be able to bluntly speak the truth like this to media without being under the influence.”
While in the White House helping cover the story, a +972 Magazine intern said: “I just passed a guy in the hall here who said ‘One-state solution? It’s been one state for 47 fucking years already!’...Read More
A new amusement park outside Tel Aviv celebrates the world of occupation, taking visitors through the wonders of apartheid and oppression, still ongoing just minutes away from the park.
After the huge success of his Mission to Israel tours (as seen in the ad above), where thousands of American Jews over the years tour the borders of Israel, meet Mossad agents, talk to Palestinian collaborators and walk the Hamas terrorist trail, Israeli entrepreneur Eli Soneh-Aravim has taken it up one level and opened the ultimate theme park for the American Zionist: OccupiedLand.
“The idea is for people to really feel how it is to oppress someone and not just fund and enable it for decades from abroad,” says Soneh-Aravim to +972. “The visitor becomes an apartheid activist for a day – it’s a feeling they’ll never forget,” he added.
The park map given at the entrance gives some information about the rides available to visitors:
It’s a Small Strip – Sing along to the classic tune “It’s a Small Strip After All” while on a delightful musical boat tour hosted by the children of Gaza. From a bombed dock, climb aboard a cozy boat and set sail along a 10-minute journey through mostly rubble, devastation and amputees.
Terrorists of the Tunnels – Probably one of the most beloved rides in OccupiedLand since it opened, ride through an open APC while surrounded by bloodthirsty Hamas terrorists. Escape through the maze of tunnels – but beware: there may be surprises around each corner! Careful not to bump into any goats being smuggled from Egypt!
The IDF Revenge – Dubbed the “scariest ride in the world”, riders on this mechanism are put in a red circle on the ground on their backs, as an F-16 flies over and drops 2 one-tonne bombs on them. Not for the faint of heart.
The Bibi Pendulum – Subjecting riders to various levels of angular momentum, this ride takes you all the way up to the sky high (and barely visible) two state solution and just seconds later swings violently towards an announcement on new settlements in the West Bank. Guaranteed to make your stomach churn!
Peace Process Carousel – Kids will love this classic. Sit on top of famous U.S. secretaries of state and Middle East envoys throughout the years and just keep going in circles! Forever! (Caution, this ride goes on for at least...Read More
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”.
Psaki: We did “decry”?
Harf: Yup. Just before the Biden visit, remember?
Psaki: OK, OK. How about “denounce”?
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”?
Psaki: We’ve used “bemoan”? What kind of press secretary would use that? Jesus.
Harf: I know, right??
Harf: Not sure, but I just shiver at the thought of what Matt Lee might say about that.
Harf: I know. Yuck. Matt Lee. Blechhh…
Harf: Ha, you’re funny.
Harf: Nah, don’t forget AIPAC.
Harf: I know, ri–
Psaki: –Shut up, Marie!
OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTERSubmit
- Ami Kaufman
Ami Kaufman was chief night editor for Haaretz, for the prominent Israeli financial daily Calcalist, and correspondent on Israeli affairs for 93.6 RAM FM, a joint Palestinian-Israel radio station. His interest in food and cooking led to culinary studies at the “Israeli CIA” (Tadmor, Herzliya) and a brief stint in the restaurant business.
He is a 2013 World Press Institute fellow.
His work has appeared in The Guardian, Haaretz, The Daily Beast, The Forward, The Huffington Post, El Espectador, The Jerusalem Post, The Jerusalem Report and more.
Born in Tel Aviv, Ami lives in Bat Yam with his wife and two daughters.
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