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  • South African Jewry erupts over Palestinian keffiyeh

    After South African Jewish schoolboy Josh Broomberg donned a Palestinian keffiyeh in solidarity with Gazans at the opening of the World Debating Championships, the local Jewish community exploded in a torrent of vitriol against anyone who dared to deviate from the strict communal line of full support for Israel's military operation in Gaza. By Yoni Bass When Josh Broomberg left for the World Debating Championships in Thailand last month, he left as one of the crowning products of South Africa’s Jewish community, which stands at a humble 60,000 people. He was the deputy head boy of King David Victory Park Jewish day…

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  • Netanyahu is talking to Hamas. It's about time

    Without Hamas, there will be no interim agreement and no long-term solution. The notion of the 'moderates' reaching an agreement between themselves while the 'fundamentalists' are ignored or even dealt with forcefully is a dangerous illusion. For the past week Israel has been negotiating with Hamas in Cairo. While the Palestinian delegation to the talks includes a representative of Mahmoud Abbas, and while the Egyptians are the ones carrying the messages back and forth between the two parties, everyone knows exactly what this is all about. These are no longer talks about prisoner exchanges, but rather a first attempt to touch…

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  • 10,000 protest in Tel Aviv for a just peace, end to occupation

    Under a coalition of Israeli left-wing political parties and organizations, thousands gathered in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square in the largest anti-war demonstration since the outbreak of violence in Gaza. (Moriel Rothman-Zecher and Haggai Matar contributed to this report) Some 10,000 Israelis flooded Tel Aviv's Rabin Square under the slogan “Changing direction: toward peace, away from war” in the largest anti-Gaza war demonstration in Israel since the outbreak of hostilities more than one month ago. The protest was scheduled to take place last week, but was postponed after the police and Home Front Command revoked its permit, ostensibly to stop large gatherings during…

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  • PHOTOS: Israeli forces kill Palestinian and bulldoze his family house

    In an overnight raid in the West Bank village of Qabalan, Israeli forces kill 24-year-old Palestinian Zakaria Al-Aqra and injure six others. They then bulldoze part of his family's house. Photos and text by: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org At about midnight on August 11, the Israeli army raided the West Bank village of Qabalan near Nablus. As clashes erupted with the local residents, the military focused its operation in the eastern part of the village on a hill called Al Qantara. Locals reported that they heard fierce exchanges of gunfire at about 2:00 a.m. as the army surrounded two houses of the Al-Aqra…

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  • Every war, I lose more and more friends

    Sometimes I fantasize about what would happen if I were to be declared a traitor by the authorities. How would those women with whom I've worked for so long react. Now I'm beginning to understand. By Ruti Lavie (translated from Hebrew by Michal Wertheimer Shimoni) This week I unfriended another friend who reacted to my posts on Facebook with so much anger and rage I just couldn't take it anymore. How can one compare unfriending friends to losing lives, which has become so ubiquitous here? But life isn't a balanced affair. Technically it was very simple - a click on…

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  • In ceasefire talks, Netanyahu is letting Hamas win Gaza war

    The great mystery is: Why? In the Cairo ceasefire talks, Netanyahu is snatching diplomatic defeat from the jaws of military victory. I have no explanation for why he’s doing this and I have yet to hear a convincing one. There must be something Netanyahu knows that no one else does. Otherwise his concessions at the Cairo talks, after blitzing the Gaza Strip for five weeks, leaving Hamas able to do no more than fire short-range rockets over the Israeli border, and being hailed in Israel as a warrior king, make no sense at all. Meretz leader Zahava Gal-On gave an…

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  • Who will care about Israel's south when the rockets stop flying?

    Ever since the beginning of the war, jobs have evaporated in Be'er Sheva. Those who could afford to have left the city. And the worst part? The moment the rockets stop, the journalists and commentators will pack up their things and leave. Then what? By Daniel Beller I can't stand seeing cynical politicians, those with easy access to a microphone or camera, speaking about the "strong home front" in Israel's south. People have been living from siren to siren for more than a month, and earlier this week someone on the radio called for an end to the Home Front…

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  • Photos of the week: Gazans search for normalcy among the ruins

    What does life look like in Gaza after both the Israeli army and the media leave? Photos and Text: Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org People in Gaza are lost and uncertain. They cannot fathom what happened to them, and they cannot predict what might happen in the few next days. People whose houses were destroyed are living in schools. Those whose houses are still standing or damaged came back to live in them, but don't know how long they can stay. Many even went back to living in schools out of fear that the ceasefire will end. In Beit Hanoun, people are doing…

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  • Gaza dispatch: When tanks shell refugee camps

    In Jabaliya sustained Israeli shelling has obliterated entire families, leaving them homeless and with few options to rebuild. Scenes of destruction abound along Gaza's eastern border. From its northern tip to the southern town of Rafah, entire blocks along this 25-mile-long strip have been flattened, displacing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, overwhelming the makeshift shelters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, and threatening to delay the beginning of the school year here. But for all the trauma felt by the newly displaced, residents of Gaza's refugee camps have suffered an especially cruel fate since Israel began its ground…

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  • Palestinian-Jewish couple hires wedding security for fear of anti-miscegenation group

    An Israeli anti-miscegenation group is threatening a Palestinian-Jewish couple, calling for protests at the venue on the day of their wedding. Palestinian resident of Jaffa, Mahmoud Mansour, has reportedly hired 14 security guards to be present at his wedding next week to Morel Malka, a Jewish Israeli, for fear he may be harmed by members/supporters of the radical anti-miscegenation group Lehava.* According to a report in NRG (Hebrew), Lehava – whose mission is to prevent marriage between Jews and non-Jews, and thus "save the daughters of Israel" – got hold of a copy of the wedding invitation on social media and…

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  • POEMS: After a night full of missiles in Gaza

    Gaza-based poet Manal Miqdad wrote the following poem after a particularly violent and sleepless night in Gaza during Israel's Operation Protective Edge. Israeli poet Almog Behar penned a response, dedicated to Miqdad. After a night full of missiles, crying and fear, the sheet of the sky opens its heart to the light By Manal Miqdad (translated from Arabic by Sam Carlshamre and Chana Morgenstern) I speak my words unto God, O Gaza! After a night full of missiles, crying and fear, the sheet of the sky opens its heart to the light. But how can we wish you good morning,…

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  • When 'not in my name' is all you have in the face of a massacre

    A name is more human, more familiar and more expansive than any label can ever be. It is something that everyone in the world has in common. It is therefore in that name that I refuse to step in line behind a massacre masquerading as an existential and moral crusade. By Natasha Roth "Dyke, go live in Gaza." This directive was sent to me yesterday afternoon through Facebook, from a complete stranger. A little while later another message arrived, with an attached picture of the body of a murdered child, still lying on the floor of his bedroom – the…

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  • Challenging U.S. military aid to Israel

    I do not question whether there is a natural affinity between Israelis and Americans. I question, however, whether the nature of our friendship with Israel is coming at a larger cost not only to our interests but also to our values. At first I ignored the videos of people pouring ice on their heads. It seemed like a pointless stunt – like those old chain emails that demanded you forward the email to 10 others or something terrible would happen to you in the future. Soon enough, though, the Ice Bucket Challenge took over my Facebook feed and I had…

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