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  • Goodbye status quo: Israel's impending moment of truth

    There are no guarantees that the near future will herald freedom for Israel/Palestine. It will, however, shatter the perception of comfort that has paralyzed Israel since the beginning of the millennium. By Ran Greenstein When we look at the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a curious pattern can be detected. Every 20 or 30 years a major turning point is reached. This happens in part due to pure coincidence, and in part due to natural processes involving generational change, which takes two or three decades to mature. The cycle started in 1897 with the foundation of the Zionist movement, which…

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  • The mentality of conflict: Six steps to avoiding empathy

    From Protective Edge to the Jerusalem implosion, the mentality of conflict has been pushed under a microscope. During that time I’ve noticed a few axioms about how Israelis experience these wars. I imagine other sides in other conflicts may share them too, although they require pretty close scrutiny and insider knowledge – so I won’t venture to generalize. Here is what I’ve seen. “Our” in this case means “Israeli,” since I am one. 1. All our violence against their civilians is a matter of exceptions and anomalies, by bad apples and extremists. When they attack civilians, this represents the true…

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  • Israel's top news channel: Gov't asked us to show more Gaza devastation

    Israeli consumers don't want to know what's happening on the other side, the station's foreign editor explains. 'We don't serve the regime, we serve the consumerist regime.' By Oren Persico / ‘The 7th Eye‘ During this summer’s Gaza war officials in the Prime Minister's Office and Defense Ministry contacted Israel’s Channel 2 News, asking why they were not broadcasting more images of destruction caused by the army's bombing in Gaza. Speaking at a panel discussion at Netanya College last week, Arad Nir, the company's foreign news editor, said the news channel did not comply with the government's request, instead decided to show what…

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  • WATCH: Soldiers protect settlers attacking West Bank village

    Following the horrific terror attack in Jerusalem, IDF soldiers escort masked settlers as they pelt the village of Urif with stones. A group of about 50 — mostly masked — settlers from Yitzhar attacked Palestinians in the West Bank village Urif on Tuesday night under the protection and escort of IDF soldiers, Israeli human rights NGO Yesh Din reported. Video footage of the incident, which took place just hours after the horrific terror attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, clearly shows IDF soldiers not only doing nothing to stop the assault on Palestinians, but in fact guarding the settlers as they throw stones. Some…

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  • A House of God no more

    'I refuse to let my humanity be stripped away. I refuse to build my national aspirations on the blood of civilians.' By Talal Jabari The first thing I do every morning before getting out of bed is to turn off my phone’s airplane mode and read the news. There’s never any positive news, and I’m sure starting off the day this way probably isn’t healthy, but nevertheless, that’s what I do. On Tuesday, I woke up, as did many others, to this story: four dead Israelis in a synagogue shooting. Personally, I just can’t accept gunning down people who are…

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  • Punitive home demolitions are racist — and just plain wrong

    Law abiding societies do not exact punishment on uninvolved parties. And it certainly doesn't look good when the families of Palestinian terrorists are harmed while the homes of Jewish terrorists are left standing. One such punitive demolition leaves nine innocent people homeless Wednesday morning. “Do not discriminate between blood and blood,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday night, calling for international condemnation of a murderous attack inside a synagogue that morning. Moments later, he announced the steps he plans to take in response to the senseless bloodletting. “This evening I ordered the demolition of the homes of the terrorists…

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  • Jerusalem: Against the dying of the light

    The streets are seething, a tautness hangs in the air, clinging to one as if walking through cobwebs. Yet in the middle of it all, I find a most profound reparation by the simplest means. A crack of light, and my heart hurts less. By Natasha Roth “Do not go gentle into that good night.” I am sitting in an archway in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, taking a break from guiding a friend who is visiting from the UK. He is smoking a cigarette, and I am photographing the street sign across from us. We are on…

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  • 'Draft dodger law' robs Israel's poor of higher education

    The vast majority of draft dodgers and deserters refuse to serve for economic reasons. Those youngsters, who already come from Israel's weakest communities, are the ones who will be harmed most by a new law that strips them of funds for higher education. By Sahar Vardi While clashes between in East Jerusalem took place surrounding the funeral of Yusuf al-Ramouni, and as the government was busy arguing about the ‘Jewish nation-state bill,’ the Knesset voted on the final approval of the "Draft-Dodgers Law.” The media coverage of the law, first proposed during ‘Operation Protective Edge’ this summer, primarily conveyed that…

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  • Welcome to Netanyahu's 'resolution' to the conflict

    Netanyahu, Bennett and Lieberman all promised Israelis quiet and prosperity without having to end the occupation. This is what we got instead. Following this morning’s horrifying terror attack, it's not so difficult to imagine how Naftali Bennett, Avigdor Liberman or Benjamin Netanyahu might describe the current government if they weren’t its leaders. You can almost see them showing up at the scene of the attack and screaming into the microphones denouncing the “wicked government,” recalling every last pogrom in Jewish history. But no dice. Netanyahu has been prime minister for five years now and Liberman and the settlers, his partners…

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  • Five killed in attack on Jerusalem synagogue

    Two Palestinian men murdered four Jewish worshippers with a meat cleaver, knives and a pistol in a gruesome attack at a synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem Tuesday morning. Eight others were wounded, four seriously. The two attackers were shot dead by Israeli police in a firefight at the scene. Update: A police officer succumbed to his wounds late Tuesday night, bringing the death toll to five. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu quickly put out a statement blaming Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas, pointing to what he described as their incitement. For his part, Abbas quickly condemned…

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  • Conflicting reports on death of Palestinian found hanged

    It is still unclear whether Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni took his own life or had it taken from him. What is clear is that Palestinians have every reason to doubt the police's credibility. The minute news came out late Sunday night that a Palestinian man was found hanged at an Egged bus depot in Jerusalem, Twitter was awash with speculations as to whether it was suicide or murder. Israel Police quickly issued a statement that it did not suspect foul play. "According to an initial investigation, it appears there is no suspicion of criminal activity, in other words a suicide," police spokeswoman…

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  • The Beaten Path: Time traveling in Bethlehem (part 7)

    Seeking the past in a land with an overwhelming present can be challenging, and ever more so in the extremely compact city of Bethlehem. Part seven of Yuval Ben-Ami’s journey. If you want the world to hate you, turn Bethlehem into a prison. I can't fully fathom why my government wants the world to hate it (and me), but this is exactly what it has been doing in a lengthy, gradual process that has only intensified over the past decade. The separation barrier runs along the northern edge of the city. A monstrous concrete wall hugs the urban core like the…

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  • Apartheid or not, separation is the reality

    After nearly 50 years of occupation, it has become impossible to differentiate between Israel's 'security concerns' and flat-out apartheid policies. By Hagai El-Ad "So far as the issue is security, these considerations are relevant and the role of the minister of defense indeed is to defend Israeli citizens. And I also realized that he said he did not give that kind of directive, so it's all okay [...] but I realized that it's the result of pressure from settlers who do not want to travel with Arabs on the bus. I read what was said at the Knesset committee discussion,…

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