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Suspending bus segregation won't solve a thing

The bus segregation plan is but one policy in a massive system of occupation, which is growing not only geographically but also institutionally, politically and conceptually. 

On Tuesday night the plan to segregate Palestinians and Israelis on buses in the West Bank was put into effect, reported Haaretz. On Wednesday morning the Prime Minister decided to suspend the program, following criticism.

When each development is more awful than the last, perhaps there are no more wise arguments to be made. Instead, I have documented the cycle of attitudes around this week’s example, which reflects, in broad strokes, the deadlocked mentality of the conflict itself.

1. The Israeli Defense Minister justified the separation with the following logic, quoted in Haaretz:

According to this, any Arab majority situation is a security threat to a Jew. Israelis inside the Green Line may soon view any bus with 20 Arabs, 2-3 Jews passengers, a Jewish driver and a soldier as a security threat to Jews, even though the soldier is the only one with a gun. They may then prefer to segregate buses inside Israel too.

2. Those who favor segregation will back it up with any case of Palestinian violence, which they link to the huge, historic and intractable problems. The collective voice will say this:

It is true that a Palestinian driver charged into a group in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning in what is presumed to be a terror attack, injuring two police officers. He was shot and killed.

3. Haaretz reports that the former Central (District) Commander had said that mixed buses do not pose a danger. He observed that Palestinians taking the mixed buses into Israel have work permits, and have been deemed safe enough to work among Israeli civilians inside the Green Line.

4. Those who support segregation will ignore #3, those opposed do not believe #2 justifies segregation, or argue that repressive policies contribute to #2. Points 2 and 3 are mutually exclusive for most Israelis.

5. The bus segregation plan is one policy in a massive system of occupation, which is growing not only geographically but also institutionally, politically and conceptually. It is a sprawling multi-ministerial task force with mechanisms so complex that policymakers don’t know how to manage it, hence the slow-motion development, implementation and backtracking on this single policy.

Read more: Segregation does not...

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Shhhh, the Nakba made it to prime time

Israel’s top satire program takes on the Nakba. Sometimes humor can succeed in places where activism or advocacy fall short.

The tortured road of the Nakba towards a legitimate place in the Israeli historical memory has some unexpected twists.

Eitan Bronstein Aparicio and Dr. Eléonore Merza Bronstein recently explained that at first, it was mainly Palestinians who wished to commemorate the Nakba. Next came far-left wing Jews in Israel. Following that came the right-wing or oppositional Jewish Israeli approaches, such as “Jewish Nakba,” a phrase coined over the years as a name for the violent expulsion of Jews from Arab countries following the establishment of the State of Israel. Their piece highlights how defensive efforts to reject the history of the Palestinian Nakba, or turn Jewish history into a political rebuttal, actually acknowledge its importance. The first of these was the childish but notorious “Nakba – Bullshit” campaign by the bully-group Im Tirzu.

However, the recent appearance of the Nakba in popular, mainstream Israeli culture may be the most surprising roadstop of all.

With little blowback or social media shrieks, Israeli television viewers of all ilk were treated to a surprisingly detailed, historically informed re-enaction of the very Nakba most would prefer to ignore. This happened on Channel 2, the highest-rated, mainstream channel in the country. And not only on Channel 2, but on Eretz Nehederet, the most beloved, top-ranking satire show in the land. And that would have been enough, but the show went further, broadcasting the practically subversive skit in its Independence Day episode. Had Channel 2 been a public company, it would have violated the Nakba Law, which stipulates that a public organization observing the Nakba on Independence Day can lose its public funding.

But perhaps what can’t be done through activism or advocacy can be accomplished by humor. When we laugh, we forgo the pain and think about the content of what made us laugh. Maybe that way we forget to be shocked at the choice of content to begin with.

It’s hard for an un-funny writer to re-create humor through description, especially in translation. It’s even harder when the text is so zippy and quippy, slapping silly jokes and gravitas together like candy-coated medicine.

You can watch the episode  here (Eretz Nehederet, Season 12, episode 11, starting around 35 minutes). Otherwise, several highlights stand...

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How not to be sexually harassed in the IDF

May Fatal is a young soldier who was sexually harassed and perhaps stalked by her superior in the army. That’s nothing new. Sexual harassment in the IDF has been a dirty, loosely kept secret for decades, known to most women and plenty of men in Israel.

Few women ever go public with their experience, and even fewer do so with their own identity.

Last year, Fatal submitted a complaint against her commander Lt. Col. Liran Hajbi, a battalion commander in the Givati combat brigade, within the army system. The case made the press but she remained anonymous. In December, military prosecutors reached a plea bargain with Hajbi: he was removed from IDF service, but avoided criminal charges in a civilian court.

Last week Fatal broke her anonymity by protesting the plea bargain in an impassioned Facebook post. In so doing she became one of the few victims of sexual harassment to reveal herself publicly, rejecting the single initial and pixelated face commonly used to protect anonymity. Many have come to feel that hiding one’s name and blotting out faces on TV conveys that the woman has been shamed and strips her of her identity, making it harder for the public to relate to her.

Fatal’s post generated a series of headlines, analyses and further developments. She was attacked online for having photos of herself in a bathing suit on Facebook, supposed proof of her temptress character. MK Shelly Yachimovich wrote a lengthy response arguing for Fatal — and every woman’s — right to both wear a bathing suit and not be harassed.

Over the weekend, Gili Cohen wrote in Haaretz about  a trend of women revealing their own experiences of harassment in the army, on Facebook and elsewhere, and what it means. The article asks for the umpteenth time what happens when a woman steps forward and complains. Why don’t more women do so? Is the pain worth the price? If more women do it, will the process become less intimidating? This question is becoming central to the debate. A survey published Sunday shows that 98 percent of those who have experienced harassment do not report it to the police.

Cohen quotes Rachel Tevet-Weisel, the Israeli army’s “advisor to the Chief of Staff on women’s issues,” saying she encourages women to step up and speak out. But the advisor’s also had some thoughts about how sexual harassment can be avoided (my translation):

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Are Israelis ready for a confederated two-state solution?

A +972 poll puts the details of one such plan to the Israeli public, and finds that a majority supports the general approach.

The new year begins with speculation about the possibility of a change of government in Israel. But it is not at all clear that even a more centrist government can advance a two-state peace process with the Palestinians. Israelis and Palestinians are pessimistic about both the potential for successful negotiations or the feasibility of the two-state solution. On this point, the two publics, frankly, are more realistic than various policy circles.

In response, some people this past year began exploring other options, rather than succumb to the status quo. The initiatives center mostly around various confederation-style models, not as pipe dreams but as realistic alternatives.

One such effort by the Israel-Palestine Center for Creative Regional Initiatives (IPCRI) (as mentioned in +972’s initial poll report, full disclosure: I participate in it) has tried to break through some of the non-negotiable elements of Israeli and Palestinian two-state demands. IPCRI’s “Two States One Space,” is similar to another initiative called “Two States, One Land,” with Israelis and Palestinians who have been working together for about two years. Both visions involve two separate entities with distinct national identities, based on rough geographic definitions. There would be open borders, high cooperation, and phased but broad freedom of residence. The idea is to avoid uprooting most Israeli settlers, and accept Palestinian refugee return claims in a way that avoids trampling Jewish identity in Israel. Jerusalem is united but shared.

Read also: Israelis reject the status quo, fear int’l isolation

Our survey was the first to put these ideas to a quantitative test, with questions developed together with IPCRI. And after hearing all of the specific items in detail, a majority of Israelis – 56 percent – and even an absolute majority of Jews (51 percent) supported the general approach – precisely the same level that currently support the classic two-state formulations such as the Clinton and Geneva plans in Hebrew University surveys.

As we very often see in research about conflict resolution in this region, the whole – public support for the total framework package – is greater than the parts. Support for nearly all of the line items is lower than the 56 percent majority above. But the reactions to those items are surprising...

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+972 poll: Joint Arab list would raise voter participation

The three Arab lists in the Knesset are expected to run together in response to a raised election threshold. Asked about self-identity, the majority consider themselves Arab, but a growing and significant minority call themselves Palestinian.

Nearly 70 percent of Arabs citizens of Israel intend to vote if the three existing Arab parties run on a joint list, compared to 56 percent who voted in the 2013 elections, a new +972 poll found. But the call to boycott the elections holds powerful sway. A majority of 54 percent says that if there are such calls to boycott the elections, they will decide not to vote, leaving only 46 percent at present who are committed to voting despite such calls.

As the wave of speculation about unification of the three Arab lists swells, there is a flurry of concern about low voter turnout in the Arab community. Since the boycott against elections in 2001 when fewer than 20 percent voted, recent cycles have seen just half of Arab voters participating. The newly raised electoral threshold means that any one Arab party might not be represented in the Knesset, unless they run together.

Click here to read more on the +972 poll here

There has been a presumption that Arab voters are fed up with party politics and ego games just as much as Jewish voters, and that for Arabs, uniting would give people a boost of faith in their representatives’ willingness to put personal interest aside, to better represent the people.

And sure enough, by contrast to other indications that still only half of Arab voters will participate based on the current lists, we found the following:

• When asked “if the parties unite into one list, what are the chances that you will participate in voting?” 68 percent of Arab respondents said they would “definitely” vote, the closest indicator of actual intentions.

• One-third (32 percent) in total responded “possibly,” “there’s a 50-50 chance,” or “I won’t vote.”

Yet against this new finding, the threat of calls to boycott still lurks. Respondents to this survey were very mindful of the possible call to boycott. We asked:

“If leaders in the Arab community call to boycott and not participate in the elections, will you vote despite that, or will you decide not to vote?”

• A high portion, 40 percent,...

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+972 poll: Israelis reject the status quo, fear int'l isolation

Over 70 percent of Israelis are worried about international isolation. Half believe settlements strengthen Israeli security and over half support a breakthrough vision for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – roughly the same rate of support for the traditional two-state paradigm. But one-quarter support an apartheid vision for the future. Half the population supports anchoring Jewish identity in law – but over half either oppose doing so or have no opinion. Fully three-quarters support President Rivlin’s conciliatory approach and criticism of the government.

The contradictions and convictions of Israelis at the end of 2014, and the beginning of the election cycle, in a special +972 Magazine poll. Information about the poll is found at the end.

The conflict: Status quo out, apartheid up, new paradigms in?

+972 Magazine’s survey indicates a sea change in consciousness inside Israel, and a dawning realization that things cannot go on as they are. Ninety percent of the respondents reject the option of continuing the status quo on the conflict.

Roughly since the construction of the separation barrier in the mid-2000s, the notion of a sustainable status quo settled into mainstream Israeli thinking and has held for nearly a decade. Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was low on the list of priorities in Israeli survey research.

Since the outbreak of Operation Protective Edge, I have often been asked whether the war would shatter support for the status quo. Until now, there has been no consistent empirical evidence that it has.

We asked people about their preferred general vision for the future of the conflict and gave four options: “Thinking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which of the following options do you prefer?”


We now know that 90 percent of Israeli respondents favor something other than the status quo. But in the next graph, this data can also be compared to the polls marked * which were conducted by the organization Blue and White Future with an identical sample for the Jewish respondents and very similar question wording. Note the major changes:

 • Support for a status quo is falling steadily – a process that actually happened between 2012 and 2013; our current survey confirms a real trend.

• Support for a two-state solution remains completely unchanged.

• There is no statistical change in support for an equal one-state solution.


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Majority of Israeli Jews support bus segregation, survey finds

Surveys by Israeli Democracy Index and Tel Aviv University find that most Israeli Jews prefer separate buses for Jews and Palestinians in the West Bank; one-quarter of Arab respondents support the torching of Jerusalem’s only mixed Jewish-Arab school. 

As Israel heads into election cycle, a shower of political punditry will yet again distract everyone from the issues that affect people’s lives. That is the main reason, in my opinion, why the prime minister wanted elections. He has exhausted all other means of doing nothing.

Yet it’s worth remembering the issues. The following is a selection of public opinion data from the two recent Israel Peace Index surveys conducted by the Israel Democracy Index and Tel Aviv University.*  I’ve chosen a few themes that will likely be, or should be, central to the coming campaign debates.

Crisis in U.S.-Israel relations

- Sixty-two percent of Israelis think that relations between Netanyahu and the Obama Administration are poor or very poor, and even more, 70 percent, among the Jewish population.

- Forty percent believe this is the fault of the U.S., but 30 percent also blame the Israeli side. Another 20 percent think both are to blame. Thus, half the population believes Israel is at least partly to blame.

- However, a strong majority apparently believes that the tension between Israel and the U.S. is a matter of ebb and flow, rhetoric and posturing, with few consequences. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) disagree with the idea that continued deterioration of relations will lead to the U.S. no longer being a very close ally.

- Finally, Israelis were asked about concrete American policy steps to pressure Israel. Participants were asked their opinion if, “the United States no longer vetoes anti-Israel Security Council resolutions, greatly reduces its economic support for Israel, and stops providing Israel with the most advanced military equipment.” Nearly half of respondents, 48 percent, said these steps would harm Israel’s security, compared to just over 38 percent who said they could actually strengthen Israeli independence. There was minimal difference between Arabs and Jews regarding those who said it would harm Israeli security. However, more Jews, 40 percent, thought (or hoped) such measures would bolster Israel’s independence from the U.S.

Election time means heightened sensitivities. Taking such steps could easily cause a nationalist backlash against the U.S. that plays into the right. But...

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Liberman's de-patriation plan of illusions

Liberman’s proposal to cure Palestinian citizens of their ‘split personality’ violates pretty much everything democracy stands for.

Headlines blazed in Friday’s Yedioth Ahronoth announcing the outlines of a peace proposal released by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.

It’s not clear what prompted Liberman to release the plan at this moment – campaign considerations, a brief drop in attention as the “Jewish Nation-State Law” took center stage, or a distraction from Israel’s deteriorating foreign relations as yet another European parliamentary debate on Palestinian statehood was held on Friday, this time in France.

But there is nothing new about it for Liberman, who has been pushing his principles for at least four years now. It is not a shift in any political direction. The best that can be said is that it is easy to explain: two states along 1967 lines, and Israel annexes large settlement blocs. The kicker is Liberman’s key condition of “moving boundaries,” such that large swaths of land populated mostly by Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel would become part the Palestinian state.

He writes on the party’s website (my translation):

… the arrangement must include the land and population exchange plan. The arrangement…will allow Arab Israelis who do not identify with the State of Israel to become part of the Palestinian state. This will solve… the problem of Arabs in the Triangle and Wadi Ara…who can become citizens of the Palestinian state without leaving their homes, and it will also allow the Arabs in other parts of Israel, such as Jaffa, Acre, etc., who feel they are part of the Palestinian nation, to solve the problem of dualism and “split personality” they suffer from. They will be able to decide… If their identity is Palestinian, they can give up on their Israeli citizenship and become citizens [of Palestine]. The State of Israel must even encourage them to do so through a system of financial incentives.

dir="LTR">It is not totally clear whether Arabs in the Triangle or Wadi Ara will be given a choice, or if they will be summarily de-patriated. It is not clear whether they will be allowed to have dual citizenship, although based on the statement about Arabs of Jaffa it seems not. Maybe the most concrete innovation in this version is the generous offer of financial incentives for Arabs to leave Israel. 

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Is the 'Jewish nation-state' bill good for anyone at all?

A law seeking to prioritize and designate Israel as the Jewish nation-state is exposing the crazies in Israel’s government. This proposed basic law would codify and demarcate the state as something that belongs only to a subset of its citizens.

The cabinet on Sunday passed a preliminary reading of a law — with the weight of a constitutional amendment — that would declare Israel to be the nation-state of the Jewish people. In order to pass the vote, Prime Minister Netanyahu put forward 14 principles on which the basic law’s final wording will be based. Democracy is in there as an afterthought, equality treated weakly by guaranteeing individual rights, and allowing all people to preserve their culture and language.

Here are seven of the main reasons why “Basic Law: Israel – the National State of the Jewish People” is wrong for Israel and should not be passed.

No solutions. The prime minister’s 14 articles do not deal with cost of living and they do not protect the residents of Sderot or the woman whose house was burned yesterday by violent Israeli extremists. It doesn’t lower tuition fees for students or the price of chocolate pudding, connect Negev Bedouin to the water grid or create jobs for factory workers laid off in Arad. It doesn’t address the growing chasm with the Western world and the crisis of relations with the U.S. Yet this is what the government is doing while its citizens wait, and suffer.

Freeze a flawed reality. While the proposed basic law will effect little tangible change, it will go a long way toward anchoring the current situation of de facto discrimination into law. I recently got into a big argument with a foreigner who accused Israel of being racist in its “DNA.” I was heated. “Like all human beings, people can change,” I shot back. “Bad regimes can turn to other directions.”

Now the law is making exclusivity and inequality part of Israel’s legal DNA. Yes we are changing – but not in the right direction.

Clinging to crazy. The debate over the proposed Jewish nation-state law exposes the deepening isolationism of the small clutch of extremists at the country’s helm. They long ago isolated Israel from the Western and Arab worlds. Now, just as the prime minister and his henchmen contradict their own security chiefs when the latter don’t fall into line, this bill pits...

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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 nature of all their people.

2. They don’t believe our facts, because they want to incite their people. We don’t believe their facts, especially when they are filmed, because they are lying.

3. All our violence is justified as response, punishment, or deterrence from further attack. A good example is everything that happened in Gaza this summer. All their violence – such as everything happening in recent weeks – is unprovoked, arbitrary; because they hate us and want to exterminate us.

4. #3 justifies us supporting attacks on them, including civilians. When they support attacks on civilians, it’s proof that they are barbarians.

5. When they kill our civilians, they must condemn them – even when they do, it’s not enough. When we kill their civilians, condemning or even observing the events is the mark of radical leftists and traitors. It warrants cries of “death to Arabs and leftists,” heard frequently.

6. When they say bad things about us , it’s incitement; when we say bad things about them, it’s true.  Primitive, bloodthirsty, beasts, sexual predators, Islam as a religion of blood and death and worse – these are becoming daily fare.

What I am not saying here: There is no condoning terror and violence against civilians, ever.  There is no condoning incitement to terror and violence against civilians. I have nothing to say in support of such things.

But it is becoming maddening to hear and see the very behavior we fear among them, within ourselves, over and over – and lie that we are not doing it. That we are better, superior, above them. Accusing one side without realizing where we too are guilty is nothing other than a...

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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 the occupation and settlements activities which lead to further confrontations with the Palestinians and torpedo the chances for a compromise.

It is clear that the prospects for Israel’s security and existence depend on the existence of a Palestinian state side by side with Israel. Israel should recognize the state of Palestine and Palestine should recognize the state of Israel, based on the June 4 1967 borders.

Your initiative for recognizing the state of Palestine will advance the prospects of peace and will encourage Israelis and Palestinians to bring an end to their conflict.

The petition was started just days before a discussion and vote over recognition of the State of Palestine in the UK Parliament in October. “From Thursday night to Sunday morning [before the vote on a Monday – DS], we had over 300 signatures,” explains Alon Liel, formerly an ambassador and later the Director General of the Israel Foreign Ministry, who joined with two other Israelis to lead the initiative. With the first critical mass of supporters, he told +972 Magazine, they sent the letter to contacts within the Liberal Democrat party. From there it found its way to others, and made an appearance in the heated discussion in Parliament. Labour MP Grahame Morris said:

At this point, Tory MP Cheryl Gillan added:

That vote passed overwhelmingly by MPs who attended, 274 to 12, in favor of the British government recognizing Palestine alongside the State of Israel. With no binding force the UK government is unlikely to take any action. Meanwhile, Israel tried to deride the vote as a “symbolic” gesture.

But the implication that symbolic equals insignificant is belied by developments in Europe since the vote was taken. Just a few weeks later, Sweden became the most...

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'He should have been a hero, instead he's a murderer'

The parents of Israelis, killed and killers, are crying because they have lost their loved ones. They were betrayed by the lies.

Mother of a murderer? 

A border policeman is arrested for shooting a Palestinian teen at a demonstration in Beitunia with live fire; he faces murder charges. On Wednesday his parents are interviewed. Faces blacked out, the unmistakable sounds of betrayal and anguish pour from the shadows.

The mother’s voice shakes, then sobs. She pleads for the nightmare to end. “It’s tearing me to pieces. I can’t believe this is happening to me, to our family” she weeps. The state has abandoned her son. “He risked his life for the state,” she says over and over. “After all he contributed to the IDF, to the state, this is how they reciprocate?” The father begs: “don’t turn him into a scapegoat.” The mother is bewildered. “It’s a knife in his back.”

I am crushed watching them. They are right. They were told their whole lives that donating their sons to the military is the mission of all Israeli families. The cause of supporting the army to support the state spans the globe, uniting this mother in spirit with Hollywood stars who last week donated $33 million to the IDF. This isn’t just “Friends of the IDF,” it’s a family brought together for the cause of sacrificing its children.

Maybe the family wasn’t told those things explicitly. Who has to say it? This holy mission of the military is an eternal truth for very nearly all Israelis. Every day, the prime minister repeats that Israel is surrounded by actual existential threats. A stone and a nuclear bomb, maybe even a teenage protestor, the video shows, are one and the same.

The killing of the teens in Betunia wasn’t about following or refusing orders. I doubt whether anyone actually told the suspect to fire. In the moral worldview that defines Israel, he did everything right. Except it was wrong. Confused? So is the broken mother. Her son should have been a hero and instead he is a murderer. The prime minister keeps his seat, the Hollywood stars feel good about themselves. Only this family will pay. And of course, the families of the slain teens.

Listening to murder

Noy, the girlfriend of Almog Shiloni, a 20-year old soldier stabbed to death...

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The 'Jerusalem Intifada,' the president and the cliff

When the Left is right.

For years, Cassandras on the Left warned that the festering captivity of the stateless Palestinian population living under military rule would reach a breaking point. There would be a third intifada, maybe a bloodbath. At the very least, said the Left, there would be a drastic collapse of Israel as we know it — the Israel we dreamed of. Israel would become an isolated pariah state with a cruel elite ruling over a desperate, legally inferior people, or else a neutral political entity with no traces of Jewish anything. They said that the two-state window was closing at least five years back.

Now, journalists, diplomats, caring outsiders and erstwhile insiders long gone, ask me regularly if we are reaching these breaking points.

Here is what I see around me: in the last decade there have been four full-out wars and now possibly a fifth as the violence accelerates around Jerusalem. Four of those wars are from the last six years alone; the pace of open hostilities is quickening.

Inside Israel, even as the socio-economic and educational status of Palestinian-Arab citizens improves, racist antagonism is worse than at any time since the end of military rule over Arab citizens in 1966. Now the hostility flows from all directions: from elected representatives, government ministers, and some portions of the public as well.

Abroad, western nations that should have been Israel’s best friends are despairing. The Scandinavian and Western European countries who are so close to Israel in terms of a social-democratic ethos and socially liberal values; yet they are the most alienated by Israel’s policy regarding the Palestinians. They know the painful history, they welcomed Israel into all Western clubs despite the conflict. But younger generations no longer comprehend how the 20th century traumas justify the 21st century political anomaly of eternal occupation. Some are angry that Israel sells itself as a democratic society, then protests that criticism of occupation is anti-Semitic or hypocritical, because Syria is worse.

The representatives of these communities I have met — bureaucrats, civil society and citizens — strike me as neither anti-Semitic nor unsympathetic to Israeli suffering in this conflict. They are simply confounded as to why Israel does not reach the conclusion that seems most obvious: the policy of occupation must end. They do not understand why citizens tolerate it.

European allies are now eyeing policy to...

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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