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  • ‘There’s a vicious fight in our community’: Simone Zimmerman talks Bernie for the first time

    By Isaac Luria Simone Zimmerman has become an inspiring figure for American Jewish progressives in recent months — and a boogey-woman for the Right. When the Bernie Sanders campaign fired her over a Facebook post — in which she used some “colorful language” to describe the Israeli prime minister — she became one of this campaign season’s proxy battles in the ongoing Jewish argument over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We sat down with Simone earlier this month for her first interview since being fired from the campaign, where she reveals exactly what took place inside the campaign, the right-wing attack that targeted…

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  • Why the struggle for LGBT rights in Israel is far from over

    Recent homophobic comments by Israel's religious leaders are a reminder that the struggle for a pluralistic society will only grow more intense in the years to come. By Yossi Dahan The recent remarks by Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, head of the distinguished IDF preparatory yeshiva in the West Bank settlement Eli, who called the LGBT community "perverts" and accused Reform Judaism of being an "offshoot of Christianity" — are not a coincidence. Not only do they express a moral opposition to what is happening within the army, they are part of a political attempt to signal to the IDF chief of staff and the army's…

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  • Why an economic boycott of Israel cannot succeed

    And why it might even hinder a political solution. By Yonathan Mizrachi Political movements calling for an economic boycott of Israel are working to advance a model based on the boycott of Apartheid South Africa and the critical role it played in ending white minority rule in that country. The parallel drawn between the economic boycott of South Africa and the one advanced by Palestinians and pro-Palestinians activists against Israel reinforces the view that Israel is an apartheid state. However without going into the question of whether Israel is an apartheid state, it is clear that one of the central…

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  • License to Kill: Forgery, evidence tampering and two dead teens

    Usaid and Muhammed Qadus are shot to death in their own village by a major in the Israeli army who claims he only fired rubber bullets. But the bullets were real, and he admitted to lying and committing forgery to cover up his crime. Instead of being charged with a crime, he is promoted. By John Brown and Noam Rotem (Translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman) In the "License to Kill" series thus far, we have surveyed eight Military Police investigation files regarding the killing of Palestinians by IDF fire. Despite the fact that none of those killed posed a danger…

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  • The Israeli Right still hasn't internalized that Palestinians exist

    Arabs are more present than ever in the Israeli public sphere, but attempts to marginalize them are growing at an even faster pace. A new law aimed at pushing Arab representatives out of the political system could wind up changing the rules of the game — in the worst possible way. The Knesset this week passed a law that will enable it to expel Arab MKs from their positions as elected representatives. The same day, a storm erupted over a program on Army Radio that examined a poem by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. Both events have one thing in common:…

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  • Homophobia rears its ugly head in Pride month in Israel

    'Sick,' 'perverts,' 'abomination,' 'blasphemers,' 'handicapped': Hate speech against Israel's LGBTQ community has reached fever pitch this week, and comes as police have detained queer activists and the High Court has capitulated to homophobia. The last seven days in Israel have been particularly hostile for the country's LGBTQ community. A steady stream of homophobic slander from nationalist and ultra-Orthodox rabbis has been bookended by two major pride parades facing serious threats and calls for counter-demonstrations. [tmwinpost] The sequence of events began with Be'er Sheva's pride parade, slated to take place Thursday last week. It would have been the southern Israeli city's first march, in lieu of…

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  • What Israel can learn from wave of global terror

    What’s happening in the world is far from the antiquated 'the world vs the Jews' paradigm. 'Us' and 'them' doesn't work anymore. We – Jews, Christians, Muslims and every other grouping of peaceful persons – need new categories to understand the violence. Beheadings in the desert, terror in major cities of the East and the West, racial and police shootings, mass shootings, an ax rampage in Germany and perhaps one thing – only – is clear: no part of the world is safe. The New York Times wrote that Israelis can teach France a few things about getting used to terror. But it’s…

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  • New Israeli law seeks to expel ‘misbehaved’ Arab parliamentarians

    Plenty of democratic countries have mechanisms for de-seating elected representatives, but those countries don't have rich histories of trying to ban politicians of one ethnic group. And their laws weren't designed to target specific unpopular politicians. On the face of it, there is nothing wrong with the “Expulsion Law” passed by Israel's Knesset early Wednesday morning. Lots of other parliaments have mechanisms for expelling elected representatives. In the U.S. Congress, all you need is a two-thirds majority vote determining that a member is guilty of “disorderly behavior.” What is wrong with Israel’s new law is that it targets one particular parliamentarian and her…

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  • How Israel's relationship with Egypt's Sisi might come back to haunt it

    Bonds with Israel cannot guarantee long-term stability of a regime that is not based on popular support and relies on oppression to maintain its rule. By Itay Mack (translated by Tal Haran) Egypt's foreign minister’s first visit to Israel in nine years, and his meeting to discuss an Egypt-backed peace initiative with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should not have come as such a surprise. Even the recent appointment of Avigdor Lieberman, the same person who called for the bombing of the Aswan Dam, as minister of defense, could not prevent this visit. [tmwinpost] Both sides urgently need a fictitious initiative. Netanyahu wants to try and halt the…

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  • Equality could be the ultimate deterrence to violence

    If the Israeli security establishment is looking for a proper way to put an end to violence, a little equality in the eyes of the law might go a long way. By Talal Jabari One of my very first assignments as a young journalist was to go to Shuafat Refugee Camp in East Jerusalem to take pictures and gather quotes pertaining to the demolition of several homes that day. I remember looking on as the bulldozers went about their work, and as the residents of the homes, male and female, wept helplessly as they watched their life’s savings collapse into neat…

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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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