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  • Watch out war criminals, Mahmoud Abbas is coming for you

    The PLO chairman told the UN that he won't allow war criminals to escape punishment. The only problem: He still hasn't applied to join the International Criminal Court, the one act that could actually lead to such punishment. By Talal Jabari There was an image that circulated on social media a few years ago that showed the area most of us consider to be Palestine – meaning the land occupied by Israel in the 1967 war – as an archipelago. It’s really not that far off. The permanent checkpoints across the West Bank make clear that travel for Palestinians is…

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  • Letter to the EU: Help! Everybody here has lost their minds

    An open letter to the president of the Council of the EU: Don’t give us any more money to pay for the salaries and air conditioners, not in Tel Aviv and not in Ramallah. As far as I’m concerned, my Horizon 2020 is stuck underneath some house in Gaza that collapsed atop all of its inhabitants from an Israeli missile strike. By Yoav Shemer Kunz To: His Excellency Matteo Renzi Prime Minister of Italy Current President of the Council of the European Union I regretfully inform you that the citizens of the State of Israel have completely and officially lost…

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  • Truth is the first casualty when war is declared

    The recurring elements in the manipulation of public opinion and discourse in wartime also appeared during ‘Protective Edge.’ Shaked Spier brings you the Ten Truths, Ten Commandments and Ten Lies of war. By Shaked Spier The truth Several truths dominated the hegemonic discourse in Israel during and since “Protective Edge”: 1. Israel doesn't want war, we only defend ourselves 2. Hamas was solely responsible for this war 3. The Hamas leadership is evil and looks evil 4. Israel is defending a noble cause, not special interests 5. Hamas carries out intentional atrocities; we only make mistakes (“collateral damage”) 6. Hamas…

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  • Representing Palestine, not Israel: Arab Idol's contestants from Israel

    The Shin Bet interrogated them, the judges were sympathetic. Their selection as representatives of Palestine, however, sparked a political controversy. Will Manal Moussa or Haitham Khalailah, both Palestinians from within Israel’s borders, manage to repeat Mohammed Assaf's achievement and win the Arab Idol contest? By Yael Marom (translated from Hebrew by Shoshana London-Sapir) One year after Gazan Mohammed Assaf won Arab Idol, the Palestinians have two new and promising contestants in the pan-Arab competition in Beirut. Manal Moussa, 25, from Deir al-Asad and Haitham Khalailah, 24, from the neighboring village of Majd al-Krum were chosen to represent Palestine in the contest,…

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  • How my Jewish grandfather spent WWII in a German uniform

    What if I told you that my late grandfather was a Jewish Soviet spy who infiltrated a Nazi army unit during World War II to support partisans, Jews and the Red Army? This is the true story of Jacob Ingerman, recently published as an e-book in English, titled, 'A Jew in the 'Service' of the Reich.' Trying to tell my grandfather's war story is quite difficult, considering how completely imaginary and unbelievable it sounds. His is the story of a Jewish man who wore Nazi uniforms for three years while actually serving as a Soviet spy, marching through Ukraine, Poland, Germany…

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  • The mirage of Israel's 'diplomatic horizon'

    The term 'diplomatic horizon,' a catch-phrase among Israeli politicians and the media, points to the need to offer a viable diplomatic plan together with military efforts against Palestinian violence. But can it offer Palestinians a real vision for their longing for statehood? By Prof. Elie Podeh Israeli political jargon occasionally invents “laundered” terms designed to create an illusion of a reality that does not exist. Such is the concept of the “diplomatic horizon,” which has become popular among politicians and the media. Even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during Operation Protective Edge, said on August 20 that “dramatic changes in the region promise…

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  • WATCH: Can gender equality in the IDF promote a feminist agenda?

    The demand for gender equality in Israel has led women to strive for integration into the ranks of the IDF command. For some the army is a stepping stone to senior civil positions after service. But does the integration of women in combat and commanding roles in the military promote a feminist agenda? And can gender equality in the IDF ever pose a real challenge to male hegemony in Israel? Related: WATCH: Former female Israeli soldiers break their silence Is the IDF the world's most liberal institution?

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  • How the army helps settlers establish illegal outposts

    Through the use of civilian security coordinators in settlements and outposts, the IDF has, essentially, privatized law enforcement in the West Bank. A further aspect of this symbiotic relationship is the army's use of the coordinators to promote de facto recognition of unauthorized settler outposts. By Yossi Gurvitz, for Yesh Din Our first post about our report “The Lawless Zone” focused on the unclear relationship through which Israel effectively privatizes powers in the field of defense, law enforcement and policing, and transfers these to Israeli settlers. The security coordinators are residents of West Bank settlements who receive quasi-military powers. Although they are…

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  • How to talk occupation at a Rosh Hashanah dinner and make it out alive

    What were you thinking? Everyone in the family noticed that anti-war status you posted this summer, and the hasbara video they sent that you didn’t ‘like.’ Tonight they are going to air it all. The Rosh Hashanah holiday dinner is a dangerous event for Israeli leftists — especially after this past summer. Remember that angry post you uploaded to Facebook about Shujaiya, or the settlement budget, or about people who put Israeli flag badges on their profile pictures? Present at your holiday dinner will be at least two cousins who noticed and have been waiting two months to take it…

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  • A slightly ‘less crazy’ Israel

    A few thoughts on the decision to shut down Israel's detention facility for African asylum seekers, what the High Court ruling says about the gratuitous and political arrests of Palestinian protesters in Israel, and the assassination that only took place if you read Hebrew.   1. A slightly ‘less crazy’ Israel Following the Israeli High Court decision on Monday to shut down Holot and cancel the piece of legislation that permitted the indefinite detention of African asylum seekers (the way the law was written, non-African asylum seekers were never in danger of indefinite detention), Darfuri refugee Mutasim Ali wrote in…

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  • Another Israeli act of military madness in Syria

    On Tuesday morning the Air Force shot down a Syrian fighter jet for no good reason on earth. For the first time in 30 years, a Syrian fighter jet on Tuesday morning strayed over the border with Israel – or rather, over the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, which rightfully belongs to Syria. Israeli military officials reportedly think it was an accident. They also think the Syrian jet was on its way to bomb Al-Nusra jihadists on the Syrian side of the border. The incursion of the Syrian plane lasted two seconds. It got about 800 meters onto the…

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  • 'A new page in human history': Darfuri refugee on landmark court ruling

    Mutasim Ali is happy but he is not celebrating the landmark court ruling that will set him and thousands of other African asylum seekers free by the end of the year. There is a long, bumpy road ahead, he says, but 'Israel will be a better place and it is our responsibility to make it so.' By Mutasim Ali A new dawn has come. A tremendous success has been achieved by everyone who believes in justice and equal rights for mankind. I wasn’t surprised by the resolution of High Court of Justice. No smart person would think differently. The reason why…

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  • Israel's High Court orders closure of 'Holot' refugee detention facility

    Asylum seekers imprisoned in Holot celebrate the ruling but warn that it's not clear what will happen next. Israel’s High Court of Justice on Monday struck down key parts of a law that allows the indefinite detention of African asylum seekers in Israel's ‘Holot’ detention facility, also striking down a section that permits the automatic year-long detention of newcomers. The court ordered the state to shutter Holot within 90 days. Almost exactly a year ago, the court struck down a previous version of the law that authorized the detention of asylum seekers, prompting lawmakers to quickly draft a replacement —…

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