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  • Now is the time for American Jews to speak up on Israel

    As an Israeli in the U.S. I learned that criticizing Israel is not an option for many American Jews. But there is a legitimate way to criticize Israeli policy, and if you care about someone or something you won't let it go astray. By Abraham Gutman We were sitting in front of a lagoon at the top of a volcano in Costa Rica. We were happy to get some rest after the three-hour hike, and took a short swim in the freezing water. With us was a group of tourists along with a local guide. There was a Dutch man,…

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  • ZARA presents: A striped pyjama with a yellow star for your child

    Following  outcry, Zara parent company removes product worldwide, while Zara Israel apologizes and says the shirts will be 'exterminated.' It's a SHERIFF shirt for your three-year-old. Obviously. What else could it be?   I mean, here, take a better look: It even says Sheriff in (transparent, cutout) letters across the star. Why, what else does it remind you of? The shirt is produced in Turkey and appears to be available in Zara's Israeli, French, Albanian and Swedish online stores. I've reached out to Zara and will update this post with the company's reply. Update 1pm IDT: Zara parent company Inditex…

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  • Ceasefire: Israel, Hamas reach open-ended deal to end fighting

    Israel and Hamas announced Tuesday evening that they had agreed to an Egyptian-brokered, open-ended ceasefire, after seven weeks of fighting left more than 2,200 people dead and tens of thousands wounded, the vast majority Palestinians. Although the ceasefire went into effect at 7 p.m., both sides engaged in violence until the last minute. In Israel, a mortar attack killed two men in Kibbutz Nirim. Palestinians reported that an airstrike destroyed a seven-story building in Beit Lahiya. Officials from both Hamas and Islamic Jihad stated that the ceasefire included an Israeli agreement to ease its blockade of Gaza to allow relief…

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  • New law would demote Arabic language in the name of 'social cohesion'

    Members of Knesset say law builds a 'collective identity' that will preserve the 'values of democracy.' By Orly Noy A group of MKs from Yisrael Beiteinu, Likud and Jewish Home recently submitted a bill that calls to rescind the status of Arabic as an official language in Israel. On its own, the bill is neither out of the ordinary nor surprising, as it joins a long list of draft laws that were brought before the Knesset plenum over the past years, including the Citizenship Law, the Nakba Law, the Loyalty Law, the Basic Law that declares Israel as the nation state…

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  • WATCH: Children long for kites, not bombs, in Gaza skies

    Musa, Widad and thousands of Palestinian children in Gaza had cried out for the world’s attention when they broke the Guinness World Record. Had we heeded their message, perhaps the sky over Gaza today would not be choked with plumes of smoke. By Nitin Sawhney and Roger Hill Four years ago we began making a documentary film focused on two charismatic teenagers in the Gaza Strip, whose passion for kites seemed unusually spirited in a place beset by years of blockade and deprivation. Along with thousands of other Palestinian children, they were determined to break the Guinness World Record for…

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  • Why did Netanyahu take aim at Gaza's tallest towers?

    The answer has nothing to do with alleged militants. The third of three Gaza towers felled by Israeli F-16s housed, among other offices, a media consultancy representing several international news organizations. But when Al Basha Tower was hit early Tuesday morning, that consultancy had already been driven out by Israeli shelling, which had destroyed its eighth-floor office on July 30. "The first time we were hit, it was a random Israeli shell," said Saud Abu Ramadan, who has owned the office since 2007 and works as a stringer for American, Spanish, and Japanese news outlets. "But this time," the 50-year-old…

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  • As violence rises, Muslim moderates must do more

    My colleagues at 'Let Us Build Pakistan' and I have discovered various overlapping interests on certain issues and we occasionally cross-post material that we think our audiences would find relevant. Here is one such article I found interesting. Against the background of a fresh wave of violence in the Middle East, a Muslim writer calls for introspection. By Asif Zaidi The following book review in The Telegraph addresses two recently published books mainly defending British Muslims. A friend sent me the article, hoping that it will help me “see the light.” But I believe the review downplays some significant problems.…

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  • Gaza deaths aren't worth a mention in leading Israeli newspaper

    Five members of the Joudah family were killed by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza on Sunday. Yedioth Ahronoth, one of Israel's most widely-read papers, dedicated not a single word to the incident. Monday's issue of Yedioth Ahronoth, the "newspaper of the country," includes not a single mention of the fact that the IDF killed a mother, her four children and another two-year old girl on Sunday. Nothing. Doesn't exist. Didn't happen. This morning, Yedioth readers were greeted with plenty of information about what happened in southern Israel. The front page discusses the tragic death of four-year-old Daniel Tragerman, as well…

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  • Why does the Israeli left oppose MK Haneen Zoabi?

    The Zionist left doesn't oppose Zoabi because of her controversial comments or her participation in the Gaza flotilla. It opposes her because she calls for full equality. (Translated by Sol Salbe) Last week Haaretz columnist Ravit Hecht wrote that any true leftist ought to oppose Haneen Zoabi. True, Hecht did concede that the question "is not a legal question but a moral one"; that is, she recognizes Zoabi's right to continue serving in the Knesset (truly magnanimous of you, Ravit!). However, later on in the piece she falls squarely in line with all the right-wing accusations against Zoabi, from support for terrorism…

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  • PHOTOS: Losing your home twice in one war

    Photos and text: Basel Yazouri / Activestills Sixty-year-old Ibrahim Abu Odeh, otherwise known as Abu Alaa, lives in Beit Hanoun, Gaza. He was forced to flee his house with his family and the rest of the residents of Beit Hanoun, who ran in search of “anywhere close, safe, and provides shelter” when the Israelis began striking it. Abu Alaa lives in a three-story building with six apartments. Each one is occupied by one of his five married sons and their families. That makes 33 people in total, 21 of them children. “We were all gathered on the ground floor,” he…

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  • Scores of Israelis injured in ‘Showing Empathy’ challenge [satire]

    Dozens of Israelis have shared videos of themselves attempting to show empathy for Palestinian dead as part of the latest craze on social media, only to need medical service themselves. When Alex from Ramat Gan posted his video challenging Israelis to say “It’s horrible to see Gazan children die” - but without saying the word “but” afterwards - he never thought the attempt to gap bridges would cause so much pain and injury. “I saw the ALS challenge being so successful, I thought I could do something similar in this field. I just wanted to put something out there to…

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  • No, Hamas isn’t ISIS, ISIS isn’t Hamas

    But equating the two is Netanyahu’s latest way of hypnotizing people into supporting the Gaza war. He gets away with it because people are afraid that if they challenge this idiotic slogan, they’ll be accused of ‘defending Hamas.’ Anybody who isn’t a shill for Israel can see through Netanyahu’s new slogan, “Hamas is ISIS, ISIS is Hamas.” It’s such a crude attempt to brainwash people, to put the most horrifying image in their minds and associate it with Gaza, thereby cleansing Israel of those images of Gaza’s agony. Like he’s been doing his whole career, Netanyahu is insulting people’s intelligence,…

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  • 'Pay the price for peace': Israelis demand ceasefire

    Some 400 protesters gathered in Tel Aviv Saturday night to protest against the war in Gaza, calling for an end to the blockade of the Strip and the Israeli occupation in general. The protest was organized by the the Coalition of Women for Peace and the socialist Da'am Workers Party. The protest was set to take place in Habima Square in central Tel Aviv, however police prevented the demonstration from taking place there and moved it to a nearby street. During the protest a rocket was fired from Gaza toward Tel Aviv and intercepted by the Iron Dome. The protesters chanted…

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