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  • PHOTOS: Palestinians watch harvest season disappear before their eyes

    In the village of Salem, as elsewhere in the West Bank, Palestinians are forced to harvest their olives according to the whims and restrictions of Israeli authorities. Photos and text by: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org As every year in October, Palestinian families in the West Bank head to their groves in order to begin the olive harvest season. The harvest for any given family might take a few days or several weeks depending on the number of olive trees they have. In the village of Salem, near Nablus, the daily olive harvest routine is for families to go out at 6:00 in…

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  • Instead of voting to recognize Palestine, vote against occupation

    Opposing Israeli settlements is not necessarily a vote for Palestine. The British Parliament's non-binding, purely symbolic vote to recognize the "State of Palestine" on Monday was not as significant as the debate that preceded the vote (read the full transcript here). Several media outlets noted conservative MP Richard Ottaway's speech, a longtime Israel supporter who expressed genuine indignation with its latest announcement of more settlements as the reason behind his yes vote. As John Cassidy at The New Yorker put it, "for any true friend of Israel, Ottaway’s words will be hard to ignore." In fact, Ottoway sounded more like a spouse who has suddenly discovered…

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  • Defense Minister Ya'alon: I am not looking for a solution, I am looking for a way to manage the conflict

    Moshe Ya'alon is telling it like it is: What you see now in the West Bank and Gaza is Israel's solution.  Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon gave a few holiday interviews to the Israeli media. Ya'alon, who has been Netanyahu's closest partner in the coalition since the Gaza war, was fairly open when he spoke about the Palestinian issue, and a couple of his answers were especially telling. When asked by the pro-Netanyahu paper Yisrael Hayom whether he sees in Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas a partner for peace, Ya'alon not only rejected the idea, but went on to dismiss the mere…

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  • PHOTOS: Protests in Jerusalem over Aqsa Mosque closures

    Several members of Knesset join protests against heightened restrictions on Muslim access to the holy site while Jewish visits by right-wing activists increase due to Jewish holy days. Text and photos by Oren Ziv / Activestills.org Hundreds of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem and northern Israel demonstrated outside the Old City’s Lions’ Gate early Wednesday morning. Police prevented them from entering Al Aqsa compound. The protest was against right-wing Jewish activists entering the Aqsa Compound/Temple Mount at the same time that Israeli police are preventing Muslim men from entering the compound to pray. Police have stopped male worshipers under the…

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  • Family life forbidden for migrant workers in Israel

    Legal advocates decry Israeli policies toward migrant workers as inhumane and claim that they violate the laborers’ human right to family. Maris Delusong, a 36-year-old caregiver from the Philippines, is alone at Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station. She stops at a sale rack outside a clothing store. She looks at the baby clothes, pulls a pink onesie off the rack and runs her fingers over the soft fabric. Her face is sad as she puts the outfit back and moves along. “It’s hard to be alone,” Delusong says. She found herself drawn to the baby clothes, she says, because “I…

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  • Facing increased right-wing violence, Israeli leftists learn to fight back

    Attacks against Arabs in Jerusalem became routine this past summer and in Tel Aviv left-wing activists faced violence from the Right. ‘We don't want to attack Baruch Marzel's headquarters or anything, but we believe the victimhood of the Left must end here,’ one activists explains. Thursday and Saturday nights in downtown Jerusalem have become terrifying. On those days, a group of youth gathers in West Jerusalem’s Zion Square, often next to a permanent pop-up stand manned by members of anti-miscegenation group Lehava. The youth meet there and then take to the streets chanting “Death to Arabs,” harassing and assaulting Arab cab drivers, women…

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  • West Bank mosque set ablaze in suspected settler attack

    The olive harvest is historically a period when settler violence against Palestinians and their trees increase. The name of a local settlement from which two youths were arrested last week is spray painted onto the mosque's wall. A West Bank mosque was set on fire and vandalized early Tuesday morning in what on the surface appeared to be a hate crime attack by Jewish settlers. A local Palestinian official, Hamza Dereya, said that Israeli settlers entered the village of Aqraba before dawn, according to official Palestinian news agency WAFA. The vandals set fire to the village’s mosque and spray painted…

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  • British Parliament recognizes Palestinian state in non-binding resolution

    The British lower house of Parliament passed a non-binding resolution recognizing the State of Palestine late Monday night. The measure passed 274 to 12, with most Tories abstaining. A spokesperson for British Prime Minister David Cameron clarified ahead of the vote on Monday that the resolution would not change the country’s diplomatic stance. Cameron stated his intention to abstain ahead of the vote. Ahead of the vote, Israel’s Labor party attempted to sway votes in the UK Labour party against the resolution, bringing allegations that the Israeli opposition was serving as Netanyahu’s unofficial foreign office. Read more on the vote…

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  • Ex-Israeli ministers, MKs, academics to British MPs: Support Palestinian statehood

    Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On criticizes Israeli Labor party for opposing the motion: 'Labor is conducting itself like another foreign office for Netanyahu's government.' Hundreds of Israeli public figures, academics, former ministers and Israel Prize laureates (the state's official civil decoration) signed a public letter calling British MPs to support Palestinians statehood in a symbolic motion set to face a vote in the UK's parliament on Monday. Among those who added their names to the letter are Nobel Prize laureate Prof. Daniel Kahneman, former Meretz ministers Ran Cohen and Yossi Sarid, four former MKs (including Naomi Chazan, the former head of…

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  • Labour MPs: Vote yes on Palestinian statehood

    In an appeal that demonstrates the complete bankruptcy of the peace camp, the Israeli Labor Party is  calling on its British counterparts to oppose the motion on Palestinian statehood Monday, 'in the name of peace.' Netanyahu couldn't have put it better. The British Parliament will vote Monday on a motion supporting the Palestinian Authority’s request to recognize it as a state. The vote is mostly symbolic, and the British government will still be able to take any form of action it wants. The big drama is taking place within the ranks of Labour. The opposition party is supporting the motion,…

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  • Elie Wiesel and Amos Yadlin congratulate East Jerusalem settlers

    Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin of the centrist think tank is among the signatories of an ad praising the Jewish settlers who entered 25 apartments in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan last week. 'By your act of settlement you make us all stand taller,' the ad reads. Yadlin and Wiesel serve on the public council of Elad, the organization behind the settlement in Silwan. One of the most dramatic settlement efforts in decades took place a couple of weeks ago, when 25 apartments in the Palestinian neighborhood Silwan, in East Jerusalem, were occupied by Jewish settlers. Silwan is the prize trophy…

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  • Does a strengthened Hezbollah make Israel safer?

    The catastrophic outcomes of another Israeli-Hezbollah conflict  for both sides is likely deterring escalation into all-out war.  By Aaron Magid Since the Gaza war ended, Israeli media quickly shifted its focus to the next conflict - with Hezbollah. Channel 2 aired an extensive interview with a senior Israeli military officer under the headline “The 3rd Lebanon War” detailing the immense costs such a clash would incur, as if another conflict with Hezbollah is a pre-determined fact.  Referring to the threat, longtime Israeli journalist Ben Caspit warned, “not since the War of Independence has the sovereignty of the Jewish State been in such peril.” Ironically…

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  • New Israeli theme park celebrates wonders of occupation (satire)

    A new amusement park outside Tel Aviv celebrates the world of occupation, taking visitors through the wonders of apartheid and oppression, still ongoing just minutes away from the park. After the huge success of his Mission to Israel tours (as seen in the ad above), where thousands of American Jews over the years tour the borders of Israel, meet Mossad agents, talk to Palestinian collaborators and walk the Hamas terrorist trail, Israeli entrepreneur Eli Soneh-Aravim has taken it up one level and opened the ultimate theme park for the American Zionist: OccupiedLand. “The idea is for people to really feel…

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