Despite the years of endless clashes of both personality and policy, this dramatic political saga really won't surprise you one bit. The rather lousy relationship between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and U.S. President Obama has been the subject of much discussion in recent weeks as former Ambassador Michael Oren brought already ridiculous levels of behind-the-scenes speculation to new lows. Years of public clashes over settlement construction, peace talks, negotiations with Iran, and more, have provided endless fodder fueling public clashes between the two leaders. There is one area, however, where President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu have suddenly, and perhaps…Read More... | 4 Comments
Chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee says every piece of legislation should be 'compatible with Jewish law.' From the moment Israel's founding fathers declared the independence of their state, Israeli politicians have been unable to agree on a formal constitution. Although the Declaration of Independence stipulated that a constitution be written by October 1, 1948, the 1948 war—as well as the inability of different groups in Israeli society to agree on the purpose and identity of the state—prevented that from happening. Every so often the idea of a formal constitution is floated by politicians and civil society,…Read More... | 3 Comments
You often hear of an airstrike on Gaza being labeled a 'precision strike.' But how precise can a half- or one-ton bomb be when dropped on an area the size of Detroit? “In Gaza, we use bombs that are extremely precise, and strike only Hamas targets – not civilians…” - Lt. Omer, Israeli Air Force Pilot “None of us were fighting. We were not told that we would be attacked… [M]y sister, my mother and my children all died… We all died that day, even those who survived.” - Survivor of an airstrike in Khan Younis during Operation Protective Edge,…Read More... | 15 Comments
The slate of Palestinian parties in the Knesset, aligned with neither the coalition nor the opposition, is quickly — and at times clumsily — discovering its own power. Lessons from Israel's natural gas debacle. By Samah Salaime There’s an old joke about a tyrannical lion who abuses a monkey in the jungle. Every time the lion sees the monkey he gives him a hard, loud slap, and asks him, “why aren’t you wearing a hat?” After a few good, hard slaps, the monkey decides to fight back against these unprovoked injustices. He starts to organize, enlists some animal rights organizations,…Read More... | 3 Comments
As more U.S. churches vote on divestment, Jewish Voice for Peace aims to provide key support to a movement often accused of anti-Semitism. An interview with JVP's advocacy director Sydney Levy. By Ryan Rodrick Beiler / Activestills.org This week, three more U.S. churches are voting on resolutions to divest from companies complicit in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory. A United Church of Christ (UCC) committee unanimously approved a divestment resolution Sunday night with a final vote by the church’s general assembly expected Tuesday in Cleveland, Ohio. [tmwinpost] The Episcopal Church is debating no fewer than seven resolutions related to…Read More... | 10 Comments
The IDF has all but refused to fulfill its obligation to hold Israeli settlers accountable under the law and to protect Palestinians from them. By Eyal Hareuveni For nearly 50 years the Israeli army has been treating settler violence against Palestinians as a decree of fate, some sort of force majeure that trumps it in the territories otherwise under its control and responsibility. In other words, the army has dealt with the phenomenon without actually dealing with it. [tmwinpost] International law, however, is quite clear that the occupying power, the Israeli army in this case, has an obligation to preserve…Read More... | 18 Comments
Should Iran and the West fail to come to an agreement, the battle will no longer be between the right and left, but rather between democratic forces and totalitarian ones. By Ahmad Rafat There is no doubt that the negotiators, whom these days are working to achieve a comprehensive deal on Iran's nuclear plan, do not want to drive a stake through these talks. Even France, which has been playing "bad cop" to the U.S.'s "good cop" in these meetings, is interested in reaching an agreement. It seems that the only country that stands nothing to gain is Russia (which…Read More... | 6 Comments
Activists on the Freedom Flotilla must understand that the blockade on Gaza is constantly evolving, and that the tactics of yesteryear may no longer be relevant. Putting the spotlight on humanitarian supplies allows Israel to divert attention from the worst parts of the blockade. By Itamar Sha'altiel The truth is that after five years it’s getting a little old. Israeli naval commandos once again take over a boat to Gaza, and again, it happens without any fuss. The Israeli defense minister once again claims that there is no blockade on Gaza, and once again the prime minister tells the activists…Read More... | 5 Comments
Does Israel have the right to turn millions of the people under its control into prisoners simply because it is afraid of what might happen once they are released? The UNHRC report on Gaza and testimonies published by local watchdog group "Breaking the Silence" have sparked yet another round of debate over the IDF's moral standards, or lack thereof. These debates have become yet another way for Israeli society — and at times, the international community — to talk about the occupation without actually discussing it. My heart goes out to the people at Breaking the Silence, since I have a feeling…Read More... | 11 Comments
What the government calls 'nationalist crimes' are not random acts of violence—they have a clear goal: dispossessing Palestinians of their land. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz From time to time, this country is shaken by a particularly severe wave of nationalistically-motivated hate crimes against Palestinians, often in the form of arson or desecration of a religious site. After each such incident, we are faced with the usual ritual: senior government or police officials stare into the cameras with a determined gaze; they call the acts unconscionable; they say they take the incident with a full measure of responsibility and severity; they…Read More... | 4 Comments
OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTERSubmit
Full coverage of the BDS movement, international pressure on Israel to end the occupation.
The Beaten Path
Travel writer and tour guide Yuval Ben-Ami deconstructs the Holy Land's tourist trail.
On the challenges facing a growing population of asylum seekers and refugees in Israel.
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