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Analysis

  • 'But you don't look like an Arab'

    Years of failed coexistence projects between Jews and Palestinians, which were always intended to show Jews that we too are human beings, made me realize that enough is enough. By Muhammad Kabha Years of failed coexistence projects between Jews and Palestinians, which were always intended to show Jews that we too are human beings, brought me to the conclusion that enough is enough. On the day I first opened my eyes I met my dad’s Jewish friends. They were very nice. “Kiffi,” the blonde soldier who worked as a server in the wedding hall where my dad cooked, loved me.…

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  • Being a Mizrahi woman in the Left

    My leftism is beyond the establishment, and it stems first and foremost from my experiences as an outsider. By Netta Amar-Shiff I grew up in a house that was mostly involved in maintaining family unity and keeping the mitzvot, all within the geographical radius of my home, my synagogue, and my school. Although I never knew who or what Arabs were, I knew a little bit of Arabic, since I lived with my grandmother, may her memory be a blessing, for several years. When I was young knowledge of the language did not serve as a bridge for anyone in…

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  • Building an alternative reality means building community

    In an era when settlements are a given, when criticizing the occupation is tantamount to treason, and when there is no viable alternative to the Right, building a community is one way to create a new reality. On Thursday night, bloggers, editors, photographers, designers, readers, journalists and supporters of +972 Magazine and its Hebrew sister site, Local Call, gathered together to officially welcome our new executive editor, Sawsan Khalife. [tmwinpost] Arabic, Hebrew and English filled the Anna Loulou, a small bar in Jaffa's Old City. Some of us hadn't seen each other in a long time, while others had never met…

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  • The end of normalcy for Israeli settlements?

    Stricter trade guidelines, harsher rhetoric and corporate responsibility campaigns all send a clear message: Israel's closest allies are no longer willing to passively accept the occupation, and the only consensus on settlements is that they are illegal. The United States appears to be following the European Union in taking symbolic steps to challenge the aura of normalcy with which Israel has cloaked its settlement enterprise for decades. United States Customs officials published a notice last week clarifying that U.S. law does not permit goods manufactured in the West Bank, including in Israeli settlements, to be labeled as “made in Israel.”…

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  • Don't be fooled: Bibi and Im Tirzu are one and the same

    The latest campaign of incitement in Israel is so extreme even the Right has condemned it. The irony? Its message is entirely in line with that of the government. A single day after right-wing Culture Minister Miri Regev proposed cutting funding to artists and cultural institutions that are “not loyal” to the State of Israel, quasi-fascist organization Im Tirzu launched a campaign to name and shame artists who support human rights and anti-occupation groups. [tmwinpost] Several weeks ago, Im Tirzu, a hyper-nationalist organization that an Israeli court ruled resembles a fascist movement, launched another campaign accusing human rights and anti-occupation…

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  • What keeps the IDF up at night? Depends on where you get your news

    Seven leading Israeli news outlets went to the same briefing with a senior defense official, and wrote six entirely different stories about it. In an era when few people read beyond the headlines, how we understand the world around us is increasingly polarized. Most people do not read past the first few sentences of online news articles. Even more don’t read past the headline at all. And yet, a large percentage of those who read only the headline nevertheless go on to share that article on social media. (You can read more about that here and here.) [tmwinpost] I mention that because the…

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  • Netanyahu's race-baiting was long-planned, not a 'lapse in judgement'

    The prime minister's Election Day warning that 'Arabs are coming out in droves to the polls' was the culmination of months of focus groups and a clear-eyed strategy from Likud operatives, a new Channel 2 report reveals. By Mitchell Plitnick Controversial comments by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about heavy voter turnout in Israel’s Arab sector were not one-time mistakes but part of a broader strategy executed by the Likud campaign, a report broadcast Monday by Israel’s Channel 2 News demonstrated. Netanyahu was heavily criticized, at home and abroad, for his last-minute plea for right-wing voters to support him at the polls…

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  • When do Israelis care about dead Palestinians?

    It seems that Israelis only pay attention to Palestinian lives when a left-wing activist is accused of sending Palestinians to their death. For the past two weeks, the country has been in an uproar around the fate of one Palestinian, Abu Khalil, whose death has been pinned on Ezra Nawi, an Israeli left-wing activist. Nawi was the recent subject of a right-wing sting operation, which showed him disclosing information to the Palestinian Authority about a land swap between Abu Khalil, a resident of the South Hebron Hills, and an Israeli settler. According to the PA, selling land to Jews is…

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  • When homophobia becomes a tool for political persecution

    The campaign against the Left in Israel reaches a new low: a planned protest at the wedding of an anti-occupation group's director and her wife-to-be. It shows that when dissent is characterized as treason, there is no area of one's life that is off-limits. It's a clear sign of the times when protesting at someone's wedding is considered a legitimate form of political activism. It's an even clearer sign when such a suggestion barely raises an eyebrow and when someone responsible for educating young people actually gets on board with the idea. [tmwinpost] But this is exactly what happened in Israel…

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  • We need a center-left political alternative in Israel

    This is not a time for ideological purity. There is an overriding goal and that is ending the Occupation. By Jeremiah Haber Since the election of Ehud Barak as prime minister in 1999, if not earlier, there has been no center-left in Israel. Of course, there has been something referred to as “center-left” but that was only relative to the so-called Right of the Likud, Kadima, Shinui, Yesh Atid, and defunct parties whose names I forget. Former prime minister Ehud Barak managed almost single-handedly to destroy the center-left, which had supported recognition of the rights of the Palestinians to self-determination,…

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  • Stop asking whether Israel is Jewish or democratic

    This isn’t a choice between 'Jewish or democratic' — the only question is whether Israel can still become a true democracy. For some years, the political center-left in Israel has committed itself to the idea of a Jewish and democratic state. For these mostly secular and traditional people, “Jewish” used to mean some sort of cultural character, and democracy meant free and fair elections. This political camp is deeply committed to the balance between those two ideas and believes that when one overtakes the other, we are lost. [tmwinpost] Thus if Israel is too “Jewish,” it risks becoming a halakhic…

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  • In the Jewish state, equality for Arabs is impossible by definition

    Isn’t it time to finally ask why every single attempt to achieve full equality for Palestinian citizens has failed? By Umar al-Ghubari (translated by Richard Flantz) This week the Israeli army radio, Galei Tzahal, conducted a survey which, among other things, polled the attitude of Israeli Jews regarding full equal rights for Arab citizens of Israel. The results of the survey, conducted among 503 Jews, revealed that the Jewish public in this country is almost equally divided on this issue. 45 percent oppose full equal rights for the state’s Arab citizens, 43 percent are in favor, 6 percent replied “it…

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  • It's open season on anyone opposing the occupation

    There is a campaign being carried out against anyone actively opposing the occupation in Israel, and it doesn’t matter if you’re an activist in the field, a human rights attorney or a former soldier talking about what you were ordered to do. "Activists from the shady organization, "Ta'ayush," who we tracked from within and outside, behind closed doors and during clashes on Saturdays, are going to fall one by one. Don't worry friends. We will finish off Ezra Nawi and move on to Guy Butavia… and many others." That message was published and quickly spread on Facebook following the arrest…

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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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