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Analysis

  • WATCH: Bringing Israelis face to face with Gaza closure

    Although the Gaza Strip is only about 50 kilometers from the city of Hebron in the West Bank, few people are given permission to travel this short distance. One Israeli filmmaker decided to bring Gaza's separation policy to the heart of the Israeli mainstream. By Tania Hary Any illusions that Israel’s policy on Gaza is only about security surely should have been dispelled by the events of this week. Israel’s highest court struck down the petition of Gaza’s only Olympian runner, Nader al-Masri, who had asked to be able to travel to Bethlehem to race in the second annual Palestine…

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  • Carpe diem, America! Your chance to ditch the Is/Pal conflict is here!

    Sometimes you just have to wait for the right opportunity. It could be a sports game, where you wait for your rival to make a mistake. It could be a blind date gone bad, where you wait for that phone call you planned earlier with your best friend. It could be that windfall you needed to finally buy that house. It’s always about a set of conditions that finally, at the right time, converge to make an opportunity. That opportunity has come for the United States. John Kerry has blamed the Israelis (or did he?) for the recent impasse. The…

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  • Israel grasps at a crumbling narrative

    Blaming the peace talks' failure on Palestinian 'rejectionism' is nothing more than a flimsy attempt at flipping reality on its head. With commentators now referring to the peace process as a “corpse,” Israeli talking heads and politicians are scrambling to manage the narrative of the dying animal. The first task today is to finesse the blame laid squarely on Israel by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. One radio commentator spoke quite factually about “Kerry’s mistake.” But it’s hard to finesse an unprecedented shift of tone from an American administration. It isn’t exactly like America suddenly supported a negative UN…

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  • Headlines say ‘Kerry blames Israel’ – who would have dreamt it?

    If the road to the UN was open to the Palestinians before, now there may as well be a red carpet on it. It goes without saying that Kerry’s blaming of Israel for the blow-up in the peace talks is a great thing, a bigger win for the fight against the occupation than anyone could have expected to come out of this process. From the time about a year ago that these negotiations were a twinkle in Kerry’s eye, the name of the game for Israel and the Palestinians was to avoid being held responsible for their inevitable failure. The…

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  • Israeli court says Palestinian doctors can work, as foreigners

    The case of Palestinian doctors from East Jerusalem, who the Israeli Health Ministry and Council for Higher Education have prevented from working, presents Israel with a question: Are Palestinian institutions foreign or domestic? The Jerusalem District Court this week ordered the Israeli Health Ministry to stop playing politics with the professional futures of 55 Palestinian doctors and to allow them to practice medicine in Israel. Why were the medical school graduates of Al-Quds University denied the opportunity to work in Israeli hospitals in the first place? The Health Ministry refused to allow them to take medical certification exams because Israel’s…

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  • Settlers confront IDF soldiers, and 'price tag' finally makes news

    Clashes between settlers and Israeli forces left several border policemen hospitalized Tuesday morning. While the mainstream media was quick to condemn the settlers' behavior, it missed the bigger story. We have been asking here for some time why the so-called "price tag" attacks don’t get the media attention they deserve. For those unfamiliar with the term, price tag attacks refer to attacks by radical settler groups – “hilltop youth” and others, mostly from the settlement outposts – on Palestinians and their property, including: beatings, arson, graffiti on mosques, and most frequently – the destruction of olive trees. The name “price…

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  • WATCH: When refusing army service is a privileged position

    A group of 50 Israeli high school seniors recently sent letters to the prime minister declaring that they will refuse to serve in the army on ideological grounds. But refusing to serve the occupation can be a privileged position, one that is not afforded to various groups of Israelis of certain socioeconomic and religious backgrounds.  Read more on Israel's latest class of refusers: Israeli teens tell Netanyahu: We will not take part in occupation

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  • The rejectionist: Netanyahu and the peace talks

    The Palestinian leadership changed, the political circumstances shifted, administrations came and went, but every round of talks involving Netanyahu follows the same dynamic, and ends the same way. When talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators resumed last summer, a couple of pollsters asked Israelis whether they think Prime Minister Netanyahu actually supports the two-state solution – which, at least in theory, was the agreed-upon goal of the process. The results didn’t receive enough attention at the time: one poll, published on Channel 2’s website, found that 50 percent of the public didn’t think Netanyahu genuinely adopted the two-state solution, as…

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  • Weekly Notebook: On Bibi's lies, BDS, reality shows, and more

    New feature: A selection of Larry Derfner's sociopolitical outbursts on Facebook (and one email) for the week ending Saturday, April 5.    WHAT HAVE THEY DONE FOR US LATELY? FB reaction to commenter who asks, “What have the Palestinians done to advance peace recently?" (Sunday, March 30): Close, daily security cooperation with the IDF and Shin Bet for 10 full years. They've arrested thousands of Hamasniks. It's a key reason why terror is so low, and the only reason why you don't see massive anti-Israeli demonstrations. Palestinian forces are policing the Palestinian population areas - the cities, the villages, the…

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  • Netanyahu's 'gift' of Palestinian statehood

    Statements by Israel's prime minister give insight into the -- problematic -- way he views peace talks with the Palestinians. And Naftali Bennett's emptiest threat yet. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday reiterated one of the most problematic views that he and his government hold -- that any future Palestinian state, if there ever is one, will be a painful, albeit generous gift from him to the Palestinian people. Responding to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s intent to accede to 15 international treaties and conventions, Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting: “[The Palestinians] will achieve a…

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  • Disturbing the 'peace' in Jerusalem's holiest site

    The past 15 years have seen a revival of Jewish extremist movements seeking to upend the status quo around the Temple Mount in the name of multicultural ideals. Betty Herschman says failing to see through this veneer could lead to the enflaming of one of the world’s most combustible hotspots. By Betty Herschman The current intensification of religious extremist activities on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif is not a new phenomenon, but rather the ultimate realization of a slow, decades-long crusade. The story behind today’s mounting pressures - from increased attempts to ascend and pray on the Mount to legislative challenges to…

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  • Resource: Undermining the status quo at the Temple Mount

    The Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif is one of the most complicated and sensitive issues on Israel’s agenda, activating friction points between Israel and the Palestinian population, and the Arab world at large. Over the past several hundred years, a status quo has been maintained according to which the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif area is an area reserved for Muslim prayer and the Western Wall is a prayer area reserved for Jews. Over the last decade, the status of these areas has gradually shifted, driven by a revival of activity by Jews determined to strengthen the status of the Temple Mount complex as a…

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  • On the collapse of the Kerry talks: The 'outrageous hypocrisy' of Tzipi Livni & Yair Lapid

    Raviv Drucker is a prominent Israeli journalist and political analyst with his own program (co-hosted) on Channel 10 News. He's one of my favorites, because he's supremely well informed, doesn't suffer fools (gladly or otherwise) and back in the day was generous with his knowledge toward novice journalists who speak Hebrew with a weird accent (could be me; I'm not saying...). Below is the blog post he published on Friday in response to the claim, put out by Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid, that the (still unofficial) collapse of the Kerry-sponsored talks is all the fault of  Mahmoud Abbas, the president…

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