Analysis News
  • Gaza quiet shows Hamas' pragmatism

    Despite violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank, for the past three months Hamas has maintained calm on the Gaza border — curbing rocket-fire against Israel. By Aaron Magid Opponents of Hamas often accuse the Islamist organization of acting irrationally. In a National Review article titled, “Hamas’ Suicidal Tendencies,” the author writes, “[w]hy is Hamas pursuing such a self-destructive strategy? Ideology.” Yet, in the months since the Gaza war, Hamas’ leadership in Gaza has repeated its pragmatic approach by not launching rockets into Israel, instead choosing to downgrade its ideology so that it may fight Israel more effectively in the…

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  • Bill aims to strip citizenship, curb speech — a bellwether of Israel's Right

    A senior Likud MK is proposing to suspend much of Israeli democracy. His bill has zero chance of passing muster, but it does show where the Israeli Right thinks the future of the conflict lies.  MK Yariv Levin (Likud), chairman of the House Parliamentary Committee, is pushing a new directive — temporary legislation — to "combat terrorism" that amounts to perhaps the most sweepingly anti-democratic legislative project in recent years, whether implemented or proposed. The directive is extraordinarily harsh even by Israeli measure, and is almost certainly unconstitutional on several levels. It is meant to apply both to the occupied Palestinian territories and…

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  • Israel’s UN ambassador puts another nail in the two-state coffin

    'Imagine the type of state [Palestinian] society would produce. Does the Middle East really need another terror-ocracy?' Prosor said in a speech on Monday. In recent years Israeli government officials have learned that rejecting the rights of Palestinians should always go hand-in-hand with a verbal commitment to the creation of a Palestinian state. But the consensus in Israel is moving toward the right, and Israeli officials are more explicit than ever in their rejection of Palestinian statehood or any form of equal rights for Palestinians, for that matter. Since his appointment, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has made it clear that…

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  • Is the 'Jewish nation-state' bill good for anyone at all?

    A law seeking to prioritize and designate Israel as the Jewish nation-state is exposing the crazies in Israel's government. This proposed basic law would codify and demarcate the state as something that belongs only to a subset of its citizens. The cabinet on Sunday passed a preliminary reading of a law — with the weight of a constitutional amendment — that would declare Israel to be the nation-state of the Jewish people. In order to pass the vote, Prime Minister Netanyahu put forward 14 principles on which the basic law’s final wording will be based. Democracy is in there as an afterthought, equality…

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  • Abiding by international law — when it's convenient

    Israeli institutions seek to obtain the benefits of the international legal order while refusing to accept the corresponding burdens and obligations. By Gerard Horton For some time now the Israeli army's Military Courts’ Unit has distributed a five-page briefing paper to foreign delegations visiting military courts in the West Bank. The briefing paper is intended to persuade the reader that the military courts — which have been used to prosecute approximately 755,000 Palestinian men, women and children since 1967 — were established, and are currently operating, in accordance with international law. The document commences with the following statement: The Military…

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  • Open Mic: Israel has failed to outlaw torture

    Israel Social TV gave a microphone and a camera to Dr. Ishai Menuchin, executive director of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCABI), and asked him to speak about Israel’s obligations under international treaties, its failure to outlaw torture, and its abysmal record of investigating allegations of torture by state agents. Related articles: Legal experts cannot erase Israel's history of torture What the bones remember: Israeli doctors talk torture Knesset extends legislation that facilitates torture

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  • Why religious Jews are divided over the Temple Mount

    As tensions between Jews and Muslims come to a head in Jerusalem, it is worth remembering that one of Israel's most prominent rabbis strictly forbade Jews from visiting Judaism's holiest site in the wake of the Six-Day War. By Nissim Leon Recent news reflects a surge in conflict between Muslims and Jews in Israel surrounding the question of control of the site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram Al-Sharif (the “Noble Sanctuary”). Against this background, some of the country's leading Mizrahi-Sephardic rabbis are voicing a strident position forbidding Jews from visiting the site. Thus,…

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  • A West Bank water crisis for Palestinians only

    When Israel's national water company operates more than 40 wells in the West Bank, appropriates Palestinian water resources and controls the valves, is it any surprise that priority is given to Israeli settlements? By Stephanie Westbrook Qarawat Bani Zeid is a small Palestinian town of 3,500 north of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. There are no Israeli settlements in the immediate vicinity. The route of Israel’s separation wall does not run through the area and Qarawat is in Area A — under the full control of the Palestinian Authority. And yet, Israel’s military occupation and discriminatory policies manage to cut into…

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  • Roger Cohen thinks Israelis and Palestinians just need to get along

    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…

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  • Goodbye status quo: Israel's impending moment of truth

    There are no guarantees that the near future will herald freedom for Israel/Palestine. It will, however, shatter the perception of comfort that has paralyzed Israel since the beginning of the millennium. By Ran Greenstein When we look at the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a curious pattern can be detected. Every 20 or 30 years a major turning point is reached. This happens in part due to pure coincidence, and in part due to natural processes involving generational change, which takes two or three decades to mature. The cycle started in 1897 with the foundation of the Zionist movement, which…

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