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Analysis

  • WATCH: Shas' stunning election ad is a challenge to both Right and Left

    The ultra-Orthodox party, which has drifted far to the right over the past several years, reaches out to the all the Israelis who are not middle-class - which is to say, the majority.  Shas, the party founded by the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and today led by Rabbi Aryeh Deri, is usually seen as the narrowly-sectorial party of the Sephardic ultra-Orthodox. Even the kingmaker status it had enjoyed for nearly two decades is usually (and rather haughtily) ascribed by commentators to their ability to march a docile and obedient religious minority to the polling stations, rather than to broad popular…

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  • Is Eastern Europe the next front for fighting the occupation?

    While Israel's behavior has managed to antagonize many European countries, some former Soviet states have yet to take a stand against the occupation. That may just change soon enough. By Inna Michaeli The vile and repugnant behavior of Avigdor Liberman and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs toward Sweden (one of my favorite countries) has re-lit a spark of optimism. At least among those of us who hope that international pressure will force Israel to end the occupation. When it comes to international relations it isn't the human rights violations or war crimes that cause antagonism toward Israel. Rather, it is the…

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  • This election, Liberman's racism is going mainstream

    Liberman launched his election campaign under the slogan 'Ariel to Israel, Umm al-Fahm to Palestine,' once again signaling his willingness to expel Palestinian citizens from the country. The only difference? This time around he is being flagged as a moderate. By Samah Salaime Egbariya Every time Avigdor Liberman opens his mouth to speak, one can smell hate and fear-mongering. In a speech during his election campaign launch Thursday morning, Liberman went a step further in his racist and inciting speech against Israel's Arab citizens. While his Yisrael Beiteinu party is being investigated for a major corruption scandal, Liberman is pulling…

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  • Losing my faith in humanity: Six years since 'Operation Cast Lead'

    Somewhere between that Saturday, when the gates of hell had opened on Gaza, until the ceasefire 22 days later, everything I had known about human beings, about my society, even about myself had been blown to pieces. By Lilach Ben David It happened exactly six years ago. Three weeks of murder, blood and unfathomable cruelty came to a sudden halt. All of a sudden the noise was gone. As my life quieted down following weeks of protests, violence, news and arguing, I felt it for the first time. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that for the first…

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  • Four years, one dead Palestinian and a closed investigation

    What does an Israeli military investigation of the killing of a Palestinian look like? An utter waste of time. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz On Friday, January 16, 2009, stormy demonstrations took place throughout the West Bank, as Operation Cast Lead was in full force in Gaza. The Israeli media did not report the many civilian casualties caused by IDF fire in the Gaza Strip. The Arab media, however, reported on it extensively. Yesh Din wrote about a failed investigation by the Military Police Criminal Investigations Division (MPCID) about a shooting that day in Bil'in here. That same day…

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  • Election analysis: A shared Netanyahu-Herzog government?

    Herzog and Bibi’s political interests and the fragmented Knesset that is likely to emerge after the elections might force Likud and Labor into a power-sharing deal. Avigdor Liberman and President Rivlin already support the idea. The Israeli Labor Party, which will participate in the upcoming election under the banner of “The Zionist Camp,” held its primaries this week. Former party leader Shelly Yachimovich won second place (first place is reserved for party leader Isaac Herzog); Stav Shafir and Itizik Shmuli, two of the leaders of 2011’s social protest movement, were elected in top places. Altogether the list leans a bit…

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  • How one soccer match tells the entire Palestinian story

    On Friday morning, the Palestine national soccer team will face off against Jordan, a team with a majority of Palestinian players, in the Asian Cup. Whether they choose to or not, the 22 players on the field will tell the story of refugees, occupation, checkpoints and the connection between home and diaspora. Oh, and they'll also play soccer.  By Yonatan Mendel May 30, 2014 will go down as one of the biggest days in the history of Palestinian soccer. It happened far away from home, in Malé, the capital of Maldives. Palestine made it to the final round of the AFC…

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  • The decline of Christian Zionism

    America's largest Christian Zionist organization boasts about its numbers. But while their influence is a given, many Christians are slowly but surely seeing the justice of the Palestinian cause. Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org Christians United for Israel (CUFI), the largest Zionist Christian organization in the U.S., recently sent an email blast celebrating the milestone of “2 million members.” The Washington Post’s right-wing blogger Jennifer Rubin dutifully reported on the CUFI press release, which included an additional list of impressive numbers: According to CUFI, it has “driven hundreds of thousands of emails to government officials, held 2,162 pro-Israel events in cities…

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  • Should a joint Arab list trump Jewish-Arab unity? Not so fast

    The temptation of the Arab parties to unite in order to form a stronger political bloc is great. Everyone wants to give Liberman the election surprise of a lifetime. But what is the cost? By Sinai Peter Israel's upcoming elections came out of nowhere. Despite the early warnings and the raising of the electoral threshold many months ago, no significant steps have been taken toward ensuring the parliamentary future of some parts of the Left and the Arab parties. As a result, attempts to form a joint Arab list with Ra'am, Ta'al, Balad and Hadash only recently began, and any…

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  • Why Michael Oren's diplomatic plan doesn't hold water

    The esteemed historian, former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. and CNN commentator is now back in Israel running for public office, and he has a plan. The problem is it doesn't align with the facts. By Shemuel Meir It turns out that "spin" isn't exclusively in the Israel's prime minister’s domain. Michael Oren, Israel's former ambassador to Washington and current diplomatic poster boy for Moshe Kahlon's "Kulanu" party, recently laid out the nascent party's policies vis-a-vis the core issues of the Palestinian conflict, and how to put an end to the crisis between Israel and the U.S. According to Oren…

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  • Israel's truthiness on Palestinian academic freedom

    In denying that Israel limits academic freedom in Palestine, the Israeli embassy in Washington seems to forget about the Palestinian students and academics whose movement it restricts. By Sari Bashi The Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C. recently decried as baseless "the accusation that Israel arbitrarily limits the entry of foreign nationals who seek to lecture, teach and attend conferences at Palestinian universities." The embassy appears to be responding to protests and calls by American academics to boycott Israeli academic institutions, in response to restrictions on students and scholars accessing Palestinian universities. And yet in explaining Israeli travel policy, the embassy's…

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  • On being murdered because some people can’t take a joke

    If anything, satire in our society runs the risk of being too safe, of making its targets appear less dangerous than they really are. In cutting them down to size, satire sometimes humanizes as much as it disparages. By Don Futterman This week 17 French citizens were murdered because some people literally can’t take a joke. Artists were martyred for mocking Islam and Islamic extremists, police lost their lives because they were charged with protecting those artists’ right to free speech, and Jews were slain because they were Jews. A joke, for or an instant, inverts the way we look…

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  • It's always 9:15 in the West Bank military court

    As Palestinians wait for their day in military court, time stretches and blends like a cruel psychological experiment. People walk in circles to stay warm. The broken clock on the wall shows 9:15. The only ones who know what time it is are the soldiers. By Alma Biblash Sunday, Ofer Military Court, the West Bank: Around 30 Palestinian men and women wait an average of five hours for their hearings, or of their incarcerated loved ones. They are waiting inside a corral called the “family waiting area" — a metal cage, inside which there is a caravan with chairs and a…

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