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  • Israel’s marriage police: An aberration from Jewish tradition

    From interrogations to blacklists to computerized databases, Israel's rabbinical authorities have adopted a coercive system of oversight that punishes violators of Jewish law's bans on 'certain' kinds of relationships. By Akiva Miller Everyone knows that Israel’s Jewish-Orthodox-controlled marriage system must change. But while activists, lawyers and politicians struggling to reform it have won some important battles in recent years, one of the most important factors behind the crisis — the rabbinical authorities’ system of databases, investigative methods, and coercive powers — has received too little attention. This system is best understood as a marriage police, motivated by an unprecedented zealousness…

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  • Zionist Christians’ war on the true meaning of Christmas

    The rhetoric of Christian Zionists consistently places loyalty to the modern state of Israel above the example and teachings of the Jesus born in Bethlehem whose birth Christmas celebrates. It's time to stop calling such groups Christian Zionists and instead use the term Zionist Christians, to more accurately reflect their priorities. Photos and text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org For the last two years, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest Christian Zionist organization in the U.S., has sent email blasts urging their supporters to fight back against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement by buying Christmas ornaments “Made in Israel.”…

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  • WATCH: A heartbreaking portrait of life in Hebron, in 9 minutes

    By Moriel Rothman-Zecher What does life under occupation look like for a teenage Palestinian? A new, powerful short film by filmmaker and activist Yuval Orr attempts to show exactly that, by following 15-year-old Awni Abu Shamsiya as he attempts to maintain some shred of normalcy in his hometown of Hebron. Hebron, where the occupation is in many ways manifested in its rawest form, is the only Palestinian city inside which there is an Israeli settlement. It is a junction of direct and daily conflict between Palestinian civilians, Israeli soldiers and Jewish-Israeli settlers. It is a city where streets are segregated between…

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  • The wave of Jerusalem attacks Israelis don’t hear about

    One hundred Palestinian bus drivers in the capital have quit their jobs because of such violence from Jewish racists. If you’d asked me how many East Jerusalem Palestinian bus drivers in the capital had quit their jobs because of the violence they’d faced from Jewish assailants, I’d have said oh, maybe three. When I read in Haaretz on Sunday (truly a must-read) that the number is roughly 100 — or one out of three Palestinian bus drivers in the capital — I was amazed. East Jerusalem Palestinians, on the whole, are poor; driving for Israel’s giant Egged bus cooperative is…

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  • From Gaza to Salameh: A Palestinian refugee's journey home

    A Palestinian refugee from Gaza journey's to his family's hometown in present-day Tel Aviv. Standing on what used to be the village cemetery, he feels the ghosts of the past as he must reckon with the currently reality. By Eitan Bronstein Aparicio (translated by Charles Kamen) On International Human Rights Day, he took advantage of his basic rights and returned to Salameh, which today is known as Kfar Shalem. It is the first time he has visited the place where his parents were born. His father was born in 1936 and was 12 when he, along with the rest of the…

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  • 'Truth commission' uncovers the history of Bedouin dispossession

    An informal 'Public Truth Commission' set out to find exactly what happened to the Negev Bedouin between 1948 and 1960. While Bedouin witnesses told stories of massacres, rape and expulsions, former Israeli soldiers said they were just following orders.  By Tom Pessah I identify as straight, so I cannot claim to know how it feels to be in the closet. But I do have friends who identify as LGBTQ, and they have taught me a little about what it is like: to constantly evade the subject is exhausting. If you demand that people hide such central parts of their identities,…

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  • The day that Mandela Square graces Jerusalem

    Like Mandela, we in Israel have fought for our liberation from colonialism. But the world Mandela inspires is far from accepting Israel's occupation of Palestine. By Ilan Baruch On December 5th, South Africa and the world commemorated the passing away of Neslon Mandela, one of the most illustrious men in the history of modern times. In the duration of my tenure as Ambassador of Israel to South Africa, Mandela was no longer playing a role in the political dynamics of the country, and ambassadorial courtesy visits to his office were nearly impossible. Thanks, however, to the extraordinary help of a prominent…

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  • U.S. torture report shows the danger of Israel's legal loopholes

    In American discourse, torture is a dark stain on the country's recent history. In Israel, there is no law against torture and the justification of its use is still mainstream. By Nadeem Shehadeh and Amjad Iraqi The United States Senate this week released its long-awaited report on the CIA’s use of torture during the so-called “War on Terror.” A significant revelation in the report was that the CIA relied upon an Israeli High Court decision on torture and other Israeli policies as legal justifications for its own torture practices. These include the vague concepts of “necessity” and “ticking bombs,” and…

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  • Disengagement? Israel's interests in Gaza are stronger than ever

    There is something ironic and self-contradictory about the Israeli Right's plans for managing the conflict instead of solving it: Israel doesn't have a real interest in truly disconnecting from Gaza. And Gaza isn't going anywhere. By Itamar Sha’altiel Over the past several years Yoaz Hendel has been been positioning himself as a natural candidate to be Israel's prime minister. With a column in Yedioth Ahronoth, his own radio show and an opinion on everything, Hendel is everywhere. Among other things, he also has an opinion on Gaza. It's worth taking a look at: According to Hendel, Israel has only two option:…

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  • How a Galilee Palestinian beat the odds to become an Arab Idol finalist

    On his way to the finale of one of the most important shows in the Arab world, Haitham Khalailah had to deal with the Shin Bet, restrictions on the movement of Palestinian citizens and the fraught connection between Palestinians in Israel and the rest of the Middle East. Will he be the second Palestinian in a row to be crowned winner? By Yael Marom and Henriette Chacar Haitham Khalailah, a 24-year-old Palestinian singer from Majd al-Krum, competed Friday night in the finale of Arab Idol - the most popular singing competition in the entire Arab world. Hundreds of millions of viewers…

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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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