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  • The subtle nuances of Obama's eulogy for Shimon Peres

    With just a few months left in office, the U.S. president made sure to deliver a message to the Israeli people, and more pointed one to its leader. Nearly every aspect of Friday's state funeral for Shimon Peres, who died this week at the age of 93, had a subtext, or could be seen as a metaphor. The passing of the last member of Israel's founding generation (in Hebrew: Generation of the State / דור המדינה) felt as though someone ended a written sentence with a full stop marked in thick-tipped black marker. The End. The end of the aspirational ideals of the socialist…

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  • Denying Palestinian laborers access to justice

    A new Israeli labor regulation continues a trend of increasingly suspending rule of law for Palestinians in the West Bank, in this case leading to further segregation in access the courts. By Sawsan Zaher In the Israeli economy, dirty, difficult, and dangerous jobs often are left to some 170,000 foreign workers, among them 55,000 Palestinian workers from the West Bank. Numerous NGO reports and media exposes have documented the abuses faced by these workers. Yet the most vulnerable and exploited segment of Israel’s labor force now faces yet another barrier to justice: in August, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked issued a new regulation requiring most foreign workers to deposit…

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  • Why I'm not on my way to Gaza (the IDF had nothing to do with it)

    Technical problems left myself and almost 20 other women off the latest Gaza flotilla. Despite my disappointment, I wish these inspirational women nothing but a safe journey. "If everything goes according to plan, on Monday, September 26 an all-woman flotilla will set sail for Gaza. If everything goes according to plan, I will be on that flotilla." These are the words I wrote before leaving for Messina, Sicily to join the eighth Gaza flotilla. In fact there was good reason to be suspicious, since everything did not go according to plan. In fact my suspicions began even before leaving Israel. At that point…

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  • Abbas had to ask the Israeli army for permission to attend Peres's funeral

    While leaders around the world coordinated their visits with the Foreign Ministry, the Palestinian president was forced to ask permission from an occupying army. The irony. As a matter of diplomatic protocol, visits by heads of state are handled by the Foreign Ministry. The issue is so immutable that when the Israeli Foreign Ministry staff went on strike a few years, even a strategically important visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had to be canceled. Therefore, when former Israeli President Shimon Peres died earlier this week, the Israeli Foreign Ministry opened an emergency situation room to handle the expected flood of foreign leaders and…

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  • A Palestinian perspective on the legacy of Shimon Peres

    The distrust with which Palestinians treat the Israeli peace camp frequently appears as something of a surprise, and even affront, to international observers. But the difference between Israeli left and right is all too frequently one of degree, rather than kind. By Nadia Naser-Najjab Even those with only a passing familiarity with Israel or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will undoubtedly have some awareness of Shimon Peres. Peres was an elder of Israeli politics, whose own history has been inextricably interwoven with that of Israel. Older readers will (perhaps wistfully, perhaps not) recall something of Peres’s style of politics, which was almost the…

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  • Did AIPAC make a profit off its fight against the Iran deal?

    AIPAC may have lost the battle against Obama's Iranian nuclear agreement, but the conservative lobbying group appears to have come out on top nonetheless — to the tune of $30 million. By Eli Clifton Last year, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) led the charge against the Obama administration’s efforts to reach a diplomatic resolution to concerns about Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. Indeed, in many ways, AIPAC became the face of the opposition to Obama’s signature second-term foreign policy initiative. AIPAC committed to spending $20-40 million in television commercials opposing the deal and threw its considerable lobbying weight against the agreement.…

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  • The other, darker legacy of Shimon Peres

    Shimon Peres, the last member of Israel's founding generation, was feted internationally as a visionary man of peace. His legacy is in fact far more complex, and often nefarious The passing of Shimon Peres, at the venerable age of 93, precipitated an outpouring of elaborate obituaries and eulogies around the world, with news outlets noting that his political life spanned the entire history of the state of Israel from its founding in 1948. Peres was, in fact, the last member of the founding generation — the men and women who settled for ideological reasons in British mandatory Palestine and dedicated…

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  • Why Africa won't embrace Netanyahu

    No matter how many technological advancements or solutions to terrorism he offers, Netanyahu won't be able to convince African states to love Israel before the occupation comes to an end. By Ilan Baruch Spokespersons for the Israeli government have recently decided to define Israel's diplomatic ties with Africa as a strategic goal. During his visit to the continent in July, the Prime Minister's Office told the media that it hopes the African Union, based in Addis Ababa, will renew Israel's status as observer. Ethiopia's prime minister even went so far as to say that "Israel is working hard in many countries…

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  • The minister of culture who knows nothing about democracy

    Long before she walked out on a performance honoring Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, Israel's Culture Minister Miri Regev was using hateful, divide-and-conquer rhetoric against the country's minority groups.  Miri Regev, Israel's Minister of Culture and Sport, caused an uproar at last week's Ophir Awards, the annual red carpet ceremony for the Israeli film industry. First she ostentatiously walked out of the auditorium to protest the performance of a cover version of Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish's most famous poem, "Identity Card." Then she returned, only to give a speech in which she claimed Darwish's poem includes a line about eating the flesh of the Jewish nation. To…

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  • IDF Censor redacts 1 in 5 articles it reviews for publication

    The Israeli military censor has redacted, in full or in part, over 17,000 articles since 2011. While fewer articles have been censored in 2015 and 2016, the new IDF Censor is attempting to redact already-published information with alarming frequency. The Israeli Military Censor has outright banned the publication of 1,936 articles and redacted some information from 14,196 articles over the past five years. That is 1,936 articles that professional journalists and editors decided were of public interest but which never saw the light of day. In fact, the IDF Censor redacted at least some information from one in five articles submitted to it…

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  • Why I'll be on the Gaza flotilla this Jewish New Year

    In the days before Rosh Hashana, days of introspection and forgiveness, I am reminded that by virtue of my identity as an Israeli citizen I am responsible for the disaster and tragedy befalling the people of Gaza. Introspection begins with opening one’s eyes and recognizing one’s sins, and only then trying to repair them. There is no more Jewish act than that. If everything goes according to plan, on Monday, September 26 an all-woman flotilla will set sail for Gaza. If everything goes according to plan, I will be on that flotilla. Naturally, the decision to join the flotilla was preceded by…

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  • PHOTOS: Palestinians hold pray-in to protest road closures

    Palestinian residents of a village cut off by Israeli military closures hold prayer services at the roadblock to protest. Photos and text : Ahmad Al-Bazz / Activestills Tens of Palestinian residents of the village of Betia, south of Nablus, moved their Friday noon prayer from mosques to in front of Israeli dirt mounds that block the main entrance of their town, to protest an Israeli closure that was in its fifth day. The Israeli military roadblocks are unmanned, and entirely block Palestinian residents from using their vehicles on the main roads leading in and out of their villages. Palestinian protesters condemned what they consider to be…

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  • WATCH: 'They want to get rid of the idea of nonviolent resistance'

    The Israeli army really wants to see Palestinian nonviolent activist Issa Amro in prison. We ask Issa why he's facing 18 charges now, and what 'winning' would mean for him. Video by A. Daniel Roth, Aaron Rotenberg Nonviolent Palestinian organizer Issa Amro has been practicing and teaching nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience in the occupied city of Hebron since 2003, in part through the local activist group he helped establish and operates, Youth Against Settlements. Recently, the Israeli army announced that it plans to prosecute him for 18 separate charges going all the way back to 2010. [tmwinpost] Almost all of the charges are…

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