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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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  • WATCH: Settlers assault, throw stones at Palestinian farmers

    The villagers of Ash-Shuyukh have been trying to reach their lands for 10 years — each time they are attacked by settlers. When they arrived there on Saturday, Israeli activists had cameras ready. Settlers attacked a small group of Palestinian farmers from the village of Ash-Shuyukh who came to work their land near the settlements of Pnei Kedem and Metzad on Saturday. As can be seen in video filmed by an Israeli activist with Ta'ayush, a direct-action solidarity group, the settlers threw stones and physically assaulted the farmers while a group of soldiers stood between the two and attempted to…

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  • [WATCH] Druze refusal in the Israeli army (part 1): A history lesson

    According to the mainstream Israeli narrative the Druze population in Israel is loyal to and maintains an alliance with the state, the most famous element of which includes mandatory military service. But is that really the whole story? The first episode in a four-part series looking at Druze in Israel, their relationship with the security forces, social equality and a not-so-new draft refusal movement.

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  • Is every Palestinian kid who throws stones a terrorist?

    In a reality where children aged 10 and 11 are arrested by 18- and 19-year-old soldiers who have been indoctrinated for military service since kindergarten, this kind of discussion seems completely out of place. A human rights attorney spends the day at one of the occupation's more bizarre PR events. By Smadar Ben-Natan “Involvement of Children in Terrorism.” That was the rather confusing name given to a conference organized by the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC). What is the context for discussing the involvement of children in terrorism? What is meant by the word…

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  • WATCH: Police spray putrid water on Palestinian homes, schools

    Two new videos catch a police 'skunk' truck spraying East Jerusalem neighborhoods with foul-smelling liquid. The smell was so bad that 4,500 students had to stay home from school. The "skunk" trucks drives slowly through the neighborhood. It is evening, and there is no evidence of clashes in the area. The truck proceeds slowly, sprays putrid-smelling water on a nearby building, continues on and shoots once again. When it's all over, the truck has tainted schools, homes, streets - entire neighborhoods - with its unbearable stink. Just like that. Two videos that were filmed this past week by Palestinian residents…

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  • Israeli petition to European lawmakers: Recognize Palestine

    Prominent Israelis call on European parliamentarians to formally recognize a Palestinian state. But what kind of impact can European votes have when the real power broker in Israel-Palestine relations is still the U.S.? Nearly 700 prominent Israelis, including former ambassadors, academics, IDF officers, top playwrights and poets, winners of the Israel Prize and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman have signed a letter appealing to the parliaments of various European countries to recognize Palestine in upcoming votes. We the undersigned, Citizens of Israel who wish it to be a safe and thriving country, are worried by the continued political stalemate and by…

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  • ‘Pallywood’: A particularly ugly ethnic slur

    And a very popular one among right-wing Israelis and Diaspora Jews. I've been writing for years against the "Pallywood" theory – the right-wing notion that videos showing Palestinians getting killed by Israelis are really elaborate fakes meant to blacken Israel's name. Yet it's only this morning I realized that the term "Pallywood," which was coined by Boston University Prof. Richard Landes, is an ethnic slur, and a particularly ugly one. It not only mangles the name of an entire people, it does so in the most contemptuous context – it links the name Palestinian with the telling of lies, and…

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  • PHOTOS: In Gaza, rebuilding is still over the horizon

    With the humanitarian crisis more dire than ever before, the extreme need in Gaza continues to far outstrip the trickle of resources allowed to enter. Photos: Anne Paq/Activestills.org Text: Ryan Rodrick Beiler Click here for +972's full coverage of the Gaza war Following Israel's seven-week offensive last summer, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been forced to cope with living conditions much harsher than the aftermath of previous wars. As winter approaches, UN estimates that some 18,000 housing units remain either destroyed or severely damaged, rendering more than 108,000 people homeless. Eyewitnesses report that many of those without adequate shelter are…

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