Hundreds of Arab citizens of Israel have been detained in recent weeks, including dozens of minors. Abusive interrogations and preemptive arrests suggest that many of the tactics of occupation have crossed the Green Line. By Hagar Sheizaf (Translated by Ofer Neiman) The murder of Muhammed Abu Khdeir and the military onslaught in Gaza have brought about a wave of protest among Arab citizens of Israel. Reports on that wave should be supplemented by unprecedented data: more than 410 Arab citizens of Israel have been arrested on various grounds related to their participation in demonstrations since July 5, according to data provided…Read More... | 15 Comments
This is the watchword in Israel today, no matter the price. Late last night (Monday), I was driving home from work and listening to the talk show hosted by Jojo Abutbul, who is sort of an old-time folk hero in this country – a Mizrahi Jew with down-to-earth wisdom. An Israeli common man. He speaks mainly to an older, Likud-oriented Mizrahi crowd, which is still very reflective of Israeli mainstream views, and is disproportionately represented in Sderot and some of the other towns near the Gaza border that have taken the brunt of Hamas’ rockets. Jojo Abutbul and his callers…Read More... | 38 Comments
I know of many Palestinians who do not like Hamas. Yet for them, the Gaza war is about the siege - part of their own war of independence. Israelis refuse to get that. In The Fog of War, Errol Morris’ excellent documentary, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara speaks about a certain inability to understand the enemy – one that stems from a lack of empathy. In the film, McNamara, a brilliant systems analyst, who is today associated more than anything with the Vietnam War, says that part of President Kennedy’s successful management of the Cuban Missile Crisis was his…Read More... | 87 Comments
There were non-lethal ways to preempt Hamas’ underground attacks, but the Netanyahu government rejected them all. Here is the current, ostensibly airtight rationale for whatever the IDF chooses to do in Gaza: armed Hamas militats are coming up out of tunnels that start in Gaza and end not far from kibbutz and moshav communities on the Israeli side. So if the IDF doesn’t go as far into Gaza as necessary to destroy the last of these underground passages, sooner or later Hamas will succeed in carrying out “catastrophic” terror attacks, as Netanyahu puts it. The army has stopped several of…Read More... | 56 Comments
(Translated from Hebrew by Sol Salbe) Sometimes it feels like this is some sort of a test. Will the leftists mourn now? Will they say that they feel the pain? Will they dare criticize the war now that our soldiers have died? So there, yes, it hurts. I know that that doesn't necessarily apply to everyone, but it hurts me. From the moment I heard of the horror yesterday morning, it was as if a stone was laid on my heart. I prayed that it wouldn't be one of the friends whom I know are there. I was partially relieved…Read More... | 11 Comments
Israel denies Bedouin citizens basic services in life but claims them as civilians when they die. Over 400 Palestinians have been killed since Israel began its current military operation in Gaza. According to the United Nations, approximately three-quarters of Gaza’s dead are civilians; many are children. In Israel, two civilians have been killed. One was a Bedouin, the 32-year-old Oudi Lafi al-Waj, who lived in an unrecognized village in the Negev (Naqab) desert, near Dimona. Several Bedouin children have also been injured by rocket fire since Israel began “Operation Protective Edge.” Bedouin villages do not have air raid sirens, nor…Read More... | 9 Comments
Someone asked me an innocent question: “What is the position of Israelis who are against the war?” There are obvious answers. First, this is a disproportionate war that harms huge numbers of civilians. The IDF is bombarding an area that it has already imprisoned by occupation from 1967, and then through suffocating border, movement, import and export control since 2007. Its residents have been stateless since 1948. It is attacking by air, land and sea, while Hamas attacks civilians in Israel through rockets and now through terrorist infiltration, at an increasingly frenzied pace. Second, escalation breeds escalation. The south of…Read More... | 47 Comments
Palestinians reported numerous incidents of looting by IDF soldiers during Operation Brother's Keeper in the West Bank. Here’s the first case documented by Yesh Din. By Yossi Gurvitz for Yesh Din During Operation Brother’s Keeper, IDF soldiers invaded thousands of houses in the West Bank, under the pretext of looking for the three kidnapped teenagers. These raids give us brief glimpse at the differences between Palestinians living under Israeli control and Israeli citizens. For instance, were someone to be kidnapped in Petah Tikva, no one would imagine placing the city under curfew, preventing its denizens from traveling abroad or carrying…Read More... | 18 Comments
The real aim was to annihilate anything within marching distance of the border - including, it turns out, a hospital housing elderly patients and international activists there to protect them. When he launched his war on Gaza 10 days ago, Benjamin Netanyahu instructed his military commanders to "take the gloves off." Yesterday, they put on brass knuckles. Shedding even the pretense of "precision" - a lie that has so far left at least 45 Palestinian children dead - Israeli tanks and warships shelled Gaza indiscriminately ahead of a ground incursion that Netanyahu claimed was aimed at destroying tunnels along the border…Read More... | 41 Comments
Israel has no problem asserting an inviolable right to self-defense, while repeatedly denying the same right to Palestinians. The same state that decries Palestinian violence has no qualms meeting non-violent protests with fully armed aggression. By Nadia Naser-Najjab The ongoing conflict in Gaza has led international actors to reassert Israel’s right to self-defense. Any objection that these same actors have repeatedly failed to recognize, much less support, a Palestinian right to self-defense is routinely rejected upon the basis that it is not the international community’s role to take sides. Needless to say, in a context of open oppression and subjugation, this…Read More... | 16 Comments
No amount of Tweeting, tagging, posting or liking will save Gazans from an Israeli ground invasion. So why bother? By Corey Sherman Recent political upheavals in the Middle East tend to have a social media subplot, whether it's how savvy youth use it to subvert harsh authority, or how states manipulate access to it so as to stop such subversion. There’s the story about how State-Department-Official-cum-Google-Ideas-Chief, Jared Cohen, requested that Twitter delay a scheduled maintenance of their network to enable Iranians to continue to use the platform to organize during the harsh crackdown on post-election protests in 2009. Or how…Read More... | 10 Comments
Netanyahu is no hero, and the tragedy is our own. Prime Minister Netanyahu fired Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon on Tuesday, after the latter criticized Netanyahu for holding fire, and even called him "a lefty," which is probably the worst thing you can say to someone in the current political atmosphere. Sacking Danon is not a risky move (Danon is a far-right politician with little parliamentary support), but firing him helped Netanyahu present himself as “moderate” and “restrained” leader. Yossi Verter says similar things in Haaretz, as does Ron Ben-Yishai in Ynet; even I wrote a few good things about this aspect of Bibi's…Read More... | 14 Comments
When they emerge from the rubble, as they always do, who among Gaza's Palestinians will look to Abu Mazen as their legitimate leader? The Fatah chief is reportedly in Cairo today to meet with Egyptian strongman Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, whose "ceasefire proposal" to end the bloodshed in Gaza was promptly rejected as "a joke" by the Hamas leadership on Tuesday. Today's Haaretz affirms why: Senior Israeli officials and Western diplomats said the reason the Egyptian ceasefire initiative was so short-lived is that it was prepared hastily and was not coordinated with all the relevant parties, particularly Hamas. Why, then, had Abbas…Read More... | 34 Comments
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VIDEO: Hamas militants film infiltration of IDF base http://t.co/ASHiFtslvA
In just one hour, Israeli air strikes level an entire #Gaza neighborhood http://t.co/3pIorp65fI
WATCH: Israeli air strikes level the neighborhood of Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza: http://t.co/EfqfOC1a39
'We are waiting here to see if we are meant to live or die' http://t.co/EfqfOC1a39
VIDEO: The destruction of a whole Gaza neighborhood in one hour. http://t.co/EfqfOC1a39
VIDEO: Civilians have no safe place to go in #Gaza http://t.co/EfqfOC1a39, by @AzizAbuSarah
If 'destroying tunnels' was Bibi's reason for war, what on earth are tanks doing so close to heart of Gaza? http://t.co/kwkI0QMxC8