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  • A new settlement is born in Hebron

    As peace talks teeter, three families move into what will be the first new settlement in Hebron since the 1980s - with the full support and blessing of the army. Three Israeli settler families moved into a contested home in the West Bank Palestinian city of Hebron, following a years-long legal battle and culminating on Sunday with the authorization of Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. The new, fortress-like building signifies the first new settlement in Hebron since the 1980s. The building in question, which is strategically placed between the Old City of Hebron and the major Jewish settlement of Kiryat…

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  • On using 'emergency measures' against 'price tag' vandals

    The Israeli defense minister has raised the idea of using administrative detention against violent settlers. But there are more interests at play than meets the eye. As I wrote here last week, "price tag" – attacks by fringe settler groups perpetrated against (mostly) Palestinian property and civilians – finally hit the national news in Israel. The reason was the object of (one) of the latest attacks: a small IDF post near Yitzhar that settlers stormed, and the tires of the regional commander's jeep, which were slashed when he visited the same settlement. The honor of the general’s tires worked where the…

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  • Weekly Notebook: On 'the Jews,' ‘price tag,’ Colbert and more

    New feature: A selection of Larry Derfner’s sociopolitical outbursts on Facebook for the week ending Saturday, April 12. THE GREAT COLBERT As he moves into the mainstream of the mainstream (taking over the David Letterman show), a reminder of Stephen Colbert’s unforgettable roast of George W. Bush (and the press) at the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner (FB status, April 12): This is to the Bush years what Edward R. Murrow's famous TV takedown was to the McCarthy era. In 2006 it was finally sinking in on America that Bush and his wars were a disaster, and that the press had…

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  • The other ‘1 percent’: On refugees and Passover

    When we look around us this Passover, we are not the ones in need of protection, and we are not the ones escaping slavery. Somehow Israel has missed this role-reversal. Text by Rebecca De Vries and Natasha Roth Photos by Karen Zack Freedom of movement and the right to liberty do not apply to anyone who is not a citizen or resident. So spoke the Knesset's legal representative at a High Court hearing on the Prevention of Infiltration Law at the beginning of this month. The statement adequately summarises the attitude of the Israeli government - and much of the…

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  • A Passover lesson: 'And then we were free'

    By Eli Valley Eli Valley is a writer and artist whose work has been published in New York Magazine, The Daily Beast, Gawker, Saveur, Haaretz and elsewhere. Eli is currently finishing his first novel. His website is www.EVComics.com and he tweets at @elivalley.

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  • Netanyahu gains popularity as peace talks collapse

    The prime minister's personal popularity goes up, while the Likud and Habyait Hayehudi gain seven more seats between them if elections were tomorrow. The Left loses four seats. Coalition troubles aside, 'peace' remains electorally toxic.  The biggest losers from the collapse of the peace talks are the pro-peace parties, a Haaretz weekend poll suggests - a finding unlikely to delight those hoping Netanyahu would swap his hard-right coalition partners for more moderate ones. According to the poll, conducted soon after the peace talks went into a spiral due to a cancelled prisoner release and the newly announced settlement building plans…

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  • Kicking the neoliberal habit

    After the 2008 global financial crisis, some of Israel's neo-liberal fundamentalists sobered up from capitalist dogmatism and became 'social.' This led them to discovering Scandinavia, and lately they have been busy marketing a biased and union-free capitalist version of the 'Nordic Model' in Israel as well. By Yossi Dahan (Translated from Hebrew by Orna Meir-Stacey,  Edited by Ami Asher) It is interesting to follow the socioeconomic discourse in Israel as it developed over the past three decades. To see how the social-democratic dictionary and debate, which had previously been the province of few – a discourse revolving around values such as social…

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  • What progressive Jews can do for Mideast peace

    The Middle East peace process is very much a partisan issue in American politics. Until J Street figures out how to solve the problem of Likud penetration of the Republican Party, there is no American solution for the Middle East. By Thomas G. Mitchell It appears that Secretary of State John Kerry’s mediation in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has come to an end as Israel refuses to release the last group of security prisoners that it previously promised to release. This is because Jerusalem has no confidence in the peace process, partly based on expectations of the Palestinians and partly based…

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  • Im Tirtzu founder joins Liberman's party

    Head of the movement that once threatened to sue Wikipedia for describing it as 'right-wing,' takes a senior position in one of Israel's most right-wing parties. Ronen Shoval, co-founder of the Im Tirtzu movement, has joined Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman's Yisrael Beitenu party to serve as the CEO of its international branch. Shoval, who retired in January as the chairman of Im Tirtzu, will also be Liberman's candidate in the upcoming World Zionist Congress elections. In an interview with NRG-Maariv earlier this month, Shoval said his aim was to "rejuvenate" the party and the global Zionist institutions. He also…

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  • PHOTOS: Palestine Marathon promotes 'right to movement'

    Under the theme, 'Right to Movement,' some 3,200 runners criss-crossed the streets of the West Bank town of Bethlehem in the second annual Palestine Marathon. Text and photos: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org Some 3,200 runners competed in the second annual Palestine Marathon in the streets of the West Bank town of Bethlehem Friday. The race's theme, "Right to Movement," is based on Article 13 of the UN Human Rights Charter and highlights the many ways in which Palestinians' movements are restricted: by the separation wall, checkpoints, roadblocks, and other aspects of the Israeli occupation. As in last year's inaugural race, marathon runners…

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  • PHOTOS: Publicly remembering the Deir Yassin massacre

    Activists walk through a West Jerusalem neighborhood carrying the names of some 100 men, women and children massacred 66 years ago by Zionist militias in the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin. They are met with curiosity, indifference and open hostility. Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org Jewish Israeli, Palestinian, and international activists carried three black panels bearing some 100 names through the streets of what is now the Givat Shaul neighborhood of West Jerusalem on Thursday. They marched to commemorate the massacre and displacement of the Palestinian village of Deir Yassin by Zionist militias 66 years ago on April…

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  • The peace process needs a whole new outlook

    Instead of using the talks as a replacement for progress, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators would do well to define guiding values that should be the basis of both process and solutions. One of the problems with the flagging Kerry negotiations is that they are heavy on ‘process,’ and not much about ‘peace.’ That could be due to the fairly accurate cliché that the outlines of the two-state solution are “largely known.” Negotiations and civil initiatives from 2000 onwards – Camp David to the Arab Peace Initiative –  overlap on the core issues, with differences of details. On the other hand,…

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  • Oslo Accord architect Ron Pundak dies at 59

    Ron Pundak, one of the architects of the Oslo Accord, died Friday at the age of 59. In 1993, Pundak, an expert on Middle East history, was working under Yossi Beilin, who was then the Israeli deputy foreign minister. At the time, Israel was holding formal negotiations in Washington with a Palestinian team, but the talks were heading nowhere and the promise of the Rabin government seemed to be fading away. Along with Yair Hirschfeld, Pundak initiated a secret back channel between Israeli and PLO officials (contact with PLO members was still illegal when Rabin took office), first in London…

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