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Palestinian groups present 'war crimes' evidence to the ICC

The International Criminal Court prosecutor is conducting a ‘preliminary examination’ into the 2014 Gaza war. But are Israeli officials at higher risk of prosecution for illegally building settlements in the West Bank?

Four Palestinian human rights organizations submitted research, testimonies and documentation to International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on Monday, which they said contain evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israelis during the 2014 Gaza war.

The four Palestinian human rights organizations, Al-Haq, Al-Mezan, Aldameer and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), said the information they handed over to Bensouda on Monday detailed “illustrative instances” of murder, torture, intentional attacks on civilians and and civilian targets, and extensive destruction that had no military necessity.

“We have provided the Office of the Prosecutor with enough information for it to determine that there is a reasonable basis to believe that senior Israeli military and civilian officials committed crimes against humanity and war crimes during the offensive against Gaza,” Al-Haq director Shawan Jabarin said after hand-delivering the materials to Bensouda in The Hague on Monday.

In accordance with the process laid out in the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the International Criminal Court, Bensouda opened a preliminary investigation into the situation in Palestine on January 16, 2015, 15 days after Palestine joined the court.

Following the preliminary examination, the ICC prosecutor will decide whether or not to open a full-fledged investigation, which can result in criminal indictments of individuals suspected of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In the current phase, the ICC prosecutor is gathering information from publicly available sources, as well as from individuals or groups, states, international organizations and from NGOs like human rights organizations. She then “take[s] steps to analyze and verify the seriousness of information received, including through a rigorous and independent source evaluation process.”

In a progress report published prior to the submission from the Palestinian rights organizations, Bensouda’s office said that it had thus far received 66 such communications containing information about alleged crimes committed since the start of the 2014 Gaza war, submitted by both individuals and other organizations.

‘Israel is unwilling to hold its soldiers accountable, Palestine is unable’

One criterion the prosecutor must take into account, the principle of complementarity, will be particularly important when deciding whether to open a full-fledged investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel.

Complementarity means that if Israel investigates its...

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Why Israel’s education minister thinks hope is dangerous

The politicians in Israel’s government want nothing more than for Palestinians to simply give up on statehood. They’re not so clear on what happens next.

The man in charge of educating the next generation of Israelis believes that the driving force behind terrorism is hope.

Yes. You read that correctly.

“Terrorism is not a result of the Palestinians losing hope but rather because they have hope,” Bennett said earlier this week. “A Palestinian state is their hope … If we stop their hope, the motivation for terrorism will drop.” (Hebrew)

The idea is composed half of logic and half of delusion.

The logical side, that some terrorism is driven by hope, is grounded in the academic study of terrorism. Terrorism is, after all, a tactic — a tactic designed to alter the behavior of a government or society to advance a desired political or social change. In this case, Palestinian terrorism — like less abhorrent types of resistance — is rooted in national hopes and aspirations, which depending on the ideology at hand, can range from ending the occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, to ridding all of historic Palestine of its Jewish presence.

Every national liberation movement in the history of mankind has used violence to advance its goals. The father of Israeli right-wing ideology, Ze’ev Jabotisnky, understood as much. “Every native population in the world resists colonists as long as it has the slightest hope of being able to rid itself of the danger of being colonized,” he wrote in his famous essay “The Iron Wall.”

“That is what the Arabs in Palestine are doing, and what they will persist in doing as long as there remains a solitary spark of hope that they will be able to prevent the transformation of ‘Palestine’ into the ‘Land of Israel’,” Jabotinsky wrote, imploring an idea nearly identical to that being propagated by Bennett over 90 years later.

That’s the logical part.

The delusion is the idea that statehood is the end-goal of Palestinian resistance. Bennett’s worldview does not consider that statehood is a vehicle for redressing the fundamental human and political grievances of Palestinian individuals and society: the denial of basic civil and human rights; that Palestinians, deprived of any legitimate power, are unable to provide security for themselves and their property; having no say in choosing the leaders whose decisions affect every...

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Netanyahu won. Here’s how to beat him

By accepting that the two-state solution will just have to wait until Israel is ready to accept it, the White House has effectively conceded to Netanyahu’s strategy: declare support for two states — in theory — while continuing to deny Palestinians their most basic rights and liberties.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s strategy for defeating the prospect of Palestinian statehood has always been to stall. Sure, he introduced a few tactical roadblocks along the way like “security zones” and demanding recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, but the wider strategy has always been to feign engagement until momentum swings back in his favor.

The strategy has worked pretty well so far, largely because the formulation for peace on the table and the process established for reaching it was, it now appears, doomed to fail. Israel’s current crop of leaders will never agree to the creation of a truly sovereign Palestinian state or a just resolution to the refugee problem, two issues on which no Palestinian leadership will ever compromise.

All Netanyahu has had to do is appear like he is willing to try but never actually budge too far, blame domestic political considerations and geopolitical turmoil for his hesitance to go out on a limb, and declare that despite his best intentions there is no partner for peace. Or maybe the timing is off. Or maybe ISIS. Or Iran.

For years the prime minister has been fairly open about his opposition to Palestinian statehood, it’s just that he has learned to use dog whistle terms to talk about it, and even then generally only in Hebrew. For instance, early last summer, before the Gaza war, Netanyahu said in a rare question-and-answer portion of a press conference that “there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.”  The prime minister’s bravado went right over the heads of most of the media at the time.

During the 2015 election campaign, Netanyahu hinted at and then said explicitly, albeit reluctantly and only in Hebrew, that a Palestinian state will not be born on his watch. The world noticed that time but only because elections were in full swing, and the prime minister was eventually forced to roll back his statement. He does support Palestinian statehood in principle, Netanyahu clarified once his victory was sealed and electoral concerns...

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Israel admits right-wing violence works

The highest court in the land delays the demolition of a synagogue built atop stolen Palestinian property, fearing retribution by right-wing extremists. Has terrorism officially won in Israel?

The State of Israel just validated the very concept of “price tag” violence, which Israel officials have often described — but never legally defined — as terrorism.

The state on Tuesday asked the High Court of Justice to delay the court ordered demolition of a West Bank synagogue built on stolen Palestinian land. The state’s main argument in asking for the extension, which the court begrudgingly granted, went as follows: “Police believe that demolishing the building is likely to lead to violent acts by extremist right-wing actors against Arabs and Muslim religious symbols.” (Hebrew)

In other words: we do not want to enforce the law because we are afraid the criminals will punish us for it. Or, in even clearer and scarier words: we have accepted that terrorists will make us pay a price for carrying out pre-declared, court-ordered, and government sanctioned duties.

There is no singular definition of terrorism, but most include a few basic concepts: the use of violence against non-military targets to influence a government or society in order to advance political aims.

What happened in the settlement of Givat Ze’ev this morning? A group of people openly declared their readiness to use violence in order to resist the demolition of a building built on stolen land, and convinced the police and the government of the State of Israel to declare that they are too scared to enforce the law.

An affidavit from the highest echelons of Israel’s police force warned that the fallout from the extremist right wingers is “likely to spread beyond the borders of Givat Ze’ev, where the synagogue is located, into the territory of the West Bank and the rest of the country, significantly harming security and public order.”

Is that it? Has terrorism won?

Of course not — it’s just that it’s effective. Horrendous, contemptible and an affront to humanity. But effective.

Poll: Most Jewish Israelis think Arab citizens support terror

Violence may not always be the deciding factor, but it has served the settler movement well. The Park Hotel takeover in Hebron on Passover of 1968 led to the establishment of the first Jewish settlement inside a Palestinian city. The Ibrahimi Mosque massacre in 1994 led to the complete...

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Israeli minister weighs population transfer — of kittens

Arguing that spaying and neutering violates Jewish law, Israel’s agriculture minister proposes a crime against humanity — against cats.

We knew it would happen sooner or later. The occupation has finally come home to roost. The darkest of Israel’s injustices, mass displacement and population transfer, is now threatening the Tel Aviv left-wing establishment’s holiest of holies — cute, little kittens.

Israeli Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel is proposing a full-fledged population transfer of Israel’s stray feline population, or rather all of its males, or females. No, seriously. We’re not making this up.

The transfer plan was revealed in a letter from the minister that was published by Yedioth Ahronoth on Monday. According to the report, Ariel, a religious Jew, is looking for alternatives to spaying and neutering the cute little creatures because he believes doing so violates Jewish law.

In the letter, Ariel suggests taking the budget for neutering and spaying and instead using it to “transfer dogs and cats of a single gender (all the males or females) to a foreign country that is willing to accept them.”

The wording, “finding a foreign country that would agree to take” them, is, of course, reminiscent of Israel’s efforts to deport African asylum seekers to third countries, often times in exchange for weapons or other unpublished quid pro quo arrangements.

Many asylum seekers who took part in such “voluntary deportation” programs were sent to Uganda and Rwanda, and have reported that they were left with no money or legal status, many being forced to live on the streets.

One must seriously question whether Israel will be able to negotiate a better, more humane deal for its unwanted feline infiltrator population. Even more worrying: will tabbys and white cats receive better arrangements than their darker-furred brethren?

And then there is the question of how to actually get the cats on planes? Will Ariel hire trappers? Will he leave a trail of cat nip or canned tuna? Or maybe he’ll just line the streets of Tel Aviv with cardboard boxes?

Zehava Galon, head of the left-wing Meretz party, responded to the forced transfer plan by suggesting “this is the time to find a foreign country that will agree to take [Minister Ariel].”

Which begs the question, what country would actually agree to take in the kittens? If no sovereign country is found to take...

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Tens of thousands mark 20 years since Rabin murder in Tel Aviv

For 19 years Israelis have been gathering in the spot where the prime minister, who championed the peace process, was gunned down. Today, many are questioning what his legacy really is.

Text by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man
Photos by Oren Ziv/

Tens of thousands of Israeli marked 20 years since the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin Saturday night in the Tel Aviv square where he was murdered, which now bears his name.

Memorial rallies have been held in Rabin Square every year for the past 19 year, although participation has shrunk in recent years, reflecting waning confidence in the peace process the slain prime minister has come to symbolize. Organizers said some 100,000 people attended Saturday night.

Israelis understand Rabin’s legacy in very different ways, especially 20 years after his death. +972 has published a number of those interpretations over the past few days.

While Rabin led the peace process with the Palestinians, after 20 years of failed attempts at reaching an agreement, some now point to the fact that he never even sought a two-state solution, Yakir Adelman reminded us. Others, like Ron Gerlitz, point to the fact that Rabin is Israel’s only prime minister to ever enter a political alliance with Arab parties in the Knesset.

Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man notes that Rabin changed his ways from a bone-breaking army general to a man of peace, which should inspire Israelis and Palestinians to start looking beyond the two-state solution in the quest for civil rights and peace. Noam Sheizaf reminds us that Rabin’s most important accomplishment was to recognize and acknowledge the Palestinian people, which we should not take for granted.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who facilitated the peace process two decades ago between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat, also spoke at the rally. Clinton offered his own take on the matter of Rabin’s legacy:

“Rabin’s legacy in one way is clear and untouchable. He risked his life to create and defend Israel. He spent his life serving Israel to advance your values and your interests. And he gave his life so that you could live in peace,” Clinton said.

Clinton added that one of the things he most admired about the late prime minister is that, “he never stopped seeing his adversaries as human beings whose children were entitled to the same opportunities as his own.”

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The incitement Netanyahu doesn't want to talk about

The Israeli prime minister casts blame on Arab MKs and long-dead clerics but won’t talk about the messianic incitement coming from his own government. And forget about a discussion on the occupation’s role in inciting violence.

Member of Knesset Basel Ghattas entered the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount on Monday in direct contradiction of instructions from Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli prime minister barred all MKs from entering the compound earlier this month in hopes of preventing provocations that are fanning the flames of violence that swept through Israel and Palestine over the past month.

The provocations Netanyahu was hoping to prevent, however, were not those made by Palestinian members of Knesset. With all due respect to Mr. Ghattas, he is far from a household name among either Israelis or Palestinians, and he does not hold enough sway to influence or provoke anything significant enough that might demand the prime minister’s attention.

The provocations Israel’s prime minister was hoping to prevent when he barred lawmakers from ascending the holy esplanade are those being made by ministers and officials in his own government. In one such provocation just this week, which Netanyahu wasn’t able to prevent, was when his own acting foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, said in a television interview that she dreams of seeing the Israeli flag fly over the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, calling the site the “center of Israeli sovereignty.”

Hotovely’s statement followed weeks upon weeks in which Netanyahu reassured the world that his government has no desire or plans to alter the fragile status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque. In response, the prime minister was forced to release a late-night statement reassuring that the government’s policy has not changed, and that he “expects all members of the Government to act accordingly.” He did not mention Hotovely by name. He did not suggest she might be reprimanded, let alone dismissed from her position overseeing Israel’s foreign relations.

In comparison, Netanyahu reprimanded MK Ghattas by name and accusing him of seeking solely to “inflame the situation” by visiting Al-Aqsa. This will probably piss off a few people: Basel Ghattas probably did, as Netanyahu accused him, set out to create a provocation or at least score a few headlines Wednesday morning.

According to the “status quo,” the arrangements and power-sharing agreements that have been in place on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount for nearly 50 years, there shouldn’t be any problem with Ghattas...

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Israel’s Knesset gives a nod to settlement labels

In order to give preference to contractors located in West Bank settlements, won’t Israel’s parliament first have to distinguish them just as the EU plans to?

A key parliamentary committee advanced a draft law on Monday that would require the Knesset to give preference to West Bank settlement businesses in one-quarter of the goods and services it contracts.

The bill, sponsored by Likud MK David Bitan, is an attempt to strengthen Israeli businesses in the occupied West Bank in response to European plans to label settlement goods. The bill must still pass a number of legislative hurdles before becoming law.

MK Dov Khenin, of the Arab-Jewish Hadash party, was quick to point out the irony of the bill.

“In order to give a real preference to settlement products you need to [label] them, and in doing so, the Knesset is joining the growing worldwide trend toward labeling settlement products,” Khenin said following the committee hearing.

The European Parliament last month officially endorsed the labeling of settlement products, an official EU policy goal that has gone unimplemented for years. The EU’s free trade agreement with Israel has always demanded the distinction of settlement goods. Imports from the West Bank are subject to EU tariffs, unlike products produced inside Israel proper.

Before the Knesset Committee hearing on Monday, committee chairman MK Bitan attempted a shame the left-of-Likud Zionist parties into voting for his bill. Bitan added language that gives the same Knesset purchasing preference to other “periphery” areas in Israel, namely the Galilee and Negev.

And it worked, kind of. A few hours after the Knesset hearing the headline on right-wing news website NRG read: “Because of [the West Bank]: The Zionist Camp voted against the Galilee and the Nevev.”

It is through bills like this that the peculiarity of official Israel’s relationship with its West Bank settlements comes into focus. Whereas most governments give preference in bidding for contracts to suppliers and manufacturers located inside their own country, Israel is trying to do the same for business located outside of its borders.

Historically careful not to officially annex any parts of the West Bank — setting aside East Jerusalem for a moment — the Israeli government makes little distinction between its governance of areas within the area internationally recognized as its own and the “areas under its control” — the occupied West Bank.

That lack of distinction is most on display...

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Is Gaza still occupied? New video aims to settle the debate

What do you call a situation in which one country’s army controls a foreign population’s imports and exports, border crossings and airspace, population registry, and even how much electricity it can produce?

Israel pulled its troops and settlers out of the occupied Gaza Strip in 2005, during what became known as “the disengagement.” As a result of the disengagement most Gazans have almost no contact with Israeli soldiers these days. But does that mean the strip of land many call “the world’s largest open-aired prison” is no longer occupied?

Al Jazeera, with the assistance of Israeli human rights organization Gisha, which specializes in helping Palestinians with issues of freedom of movement, produced the following video examining the question:

Gisha noted that the video mistakenly asserts that Israel permits Palestinian fisherman to travel and fish only three nautical miles off the Gaza shore, but that is only part of the story.

As a result of various ceasefires negotiated during Israel’s wars with Gaza in recent years, fisherman are technically allowed to go six nautical miles off the shore, although there have been documented cases when the Israeli navy fired on — and in some cases killed — Palestinian fishermen inside permitted six-mile zone.

The Oslo Accords, however, stipulate that Israel allow Palestinian fishermen to operate up to 20 nautical miles off the coast. Israel uses the restrictions as one of many types of collective punishment levied in response to militant activity in the Gaza Strip, and even as an attempt to thin out democratic support for Hamas.

But I digress. Is Gaza still under Israeli occupation?

Writing in Jadaliyya last year, Lisa Hajjar explained:

Another explanation comes from the United Nations, which takes a more technical approach, arguing that the Occupied Palestinian Territories as a whole are still occupied by Israel, Gaza is a part of the OPT, and therefore Gaza is still occupied.

But the key to the answer lies in Hajjar’s explanation — effective control.

Israel controls life in the Gaza Strip in an astoundingly diverse array of ways. The Israeli Air Force controls the airspace over Gaza. Israel’s navy controls sea travel to and from the coastal strip. The Israeli army controls all of the currently accessible land crossings and decides who can travel through them.

Israel’s army controls the only terminals for commercial...

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WATCH: Jewish extremist tries to stab 'rabbi for human rights'

Volunteers and activists were accompanying Palestinian olive harvesters in the West Bank to help protect them from settler attacks.

A right-wing Jewish extremist threw stones at and attempted to stab president of Rabbis for Human Rights, Arik Asherman, following an olive harvest coordinated with the Israeli army on Friday. Nobody was significantly injured in the incident.

Rabbi Asherman and a group of Israeli and international activists arrived to accompany Palestinian farmers to their privately owned olive orchard, located near the illegal Israeli outpost of Gideonim, which is an offshoot of the Itamar settlement.

Following the harvest, the Palestinian farmers noticed suspected Israeli settlers stealing olives and another setting fire to the hillside. Rabbi Asherman said that because firefighters did not arrive quickly, he went to try and put out the fire himself.

At that point, the masked man who set the fire, ostensibly a settler from the nearby outpost, tried to prevent Rabbi Asherman from reaching the site of the blaze, threw stones at him and pulled out a knife and repeatedly swung it toward him. The man kicked and punched Asherman.

Rabbi Asherman and other activists remained at the scene in order to direct the army and police toward the attacker, he said in a statement, but it took police 30 minutes to arrive. At that point the attacker had already fled.

Rabbis for Human Rights often accompanies Palestinian farmers in order to help protect them from settler attacks.

The organization’s website explains: “Our presence in the groves with the farmers helps keep them safe, as extremists are far less likely to cause problems when they know Israelis and internationals are present.”

A police spokesperson responded to the attack on Friday by blaming the incident on a provocation by “left-wing activists and anarchists.” She said officers were searching the area for the suspect.

Between 2005 and 2014, according to human rights group Yesh Din, only four out of the 246 criminal complaints of damage to olive trees that it monitored resulted in indictments. In total, only 7.4 percent of West Bank Israeli police investigations into complaints from Palestinian victims of offenses committed against them or their property by Israeli civilians result in indictments, according to the organization.

“From the moment the olive harvest begins, we witness a series of serious incidents involving attacks on harvesters and damage to trees,” Noa Cohen...

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It's in times of violence we need most to talk about peace

Both Israelis and Palestinians need to start thinking far beyond what their leaders are offering them.

Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas will never make peace. They will never succeed at stopping the violence, and they will never see eye to eye on anything other than the incompatibility of their respective visions.

Don’t get me wrong: both men want peace. Even Benjamin Netanyahu, despite everything you’ve heard, is not a bloodthirsty warmonger who dreams of keeping an entire population under military rule in perpetuity. No. He is a master politician whose worldview dictates that the Jewish people will never be safe and that Muslims in general, but Palestinians in particular, are the greatest threat to it.

That world view is the driving force behind the only two issues in which Netanyahu has ever fully invested himself in his political career: preventing Iranian nuclear proliferation, and ensuring that Israel does not give up strategic military control of the West Bank and Gaza. It’s not that he wants to rule over the Palestinians, it’s just that they happen to live on the land over which he will never agree to cede control.

There will never be a Palestinian leader who agrees to Netanyahu’s terms for peace — terms that preclude any semblance of a sovereign Palestinian state. There will also never be any occupied and subjugated people that does not employ violence, sometimes abhorrent violence, to resist an oppressive military regime that offers them no avenue or hope for equality and dignity.

So if there isn’t going to be peace — and by peace, I mean the two-state paradigm beyond which few people seem able to think these days — then what can be done about the violence? How can we get back to normal?

The answer is two-fold. Firstly, when people talk about addressing the violence at times like these they are generally referring only to Palestinian violence directed at Israelis, not the structural violence of Israel’s occupation and the deadly physical violence it visits on Palestinians. Getting back to “normal” is the goal of Israel and Israel alone.

Secondly, we can fundamentally challenge and reshape the way we think about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its resolution. The first step in such a process might be to stop framing the conflict in national terms and instead think of the needs of all the individuals living in this land. National self-determination is very important to...

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Israelis and Palestinians are living in different worlds

There is something about the way that Israelis and Palestinians are discussing the violent events of recent weeks that suggests a new, particularly worrying dissonance between the two societies.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has always included a full-fledged war of narratives. From biblical and historical land claims, to the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem, to who started the 1967 war, to whether it’s a security fence or an apartheid wall, common ground is often nowhere to be found.

And yet, there is something about the way that Israelis and Palestinians are discussing the violent events of recent weeks that suggests there is a new, particularly worrying dissonance between the two societies on the most basic factual terms of reference.

Many Palestinians — as well as Palestinian media outlets in Israel, the West Bank and the diaspora — believe that the several dozen people shot dead by police while, or after carrying out stabbing attacks, were murdered in cold blood. There are varying levels of nuance, but the general narrative is that Israelis and Israeli security forces are executing Palestinians on the streets and then inventing stories of stabbings or attempted stabbings in order to justify the deadly shootings.

Israelis, meanwhile, are more and more willing to ignore assaults and unnecessary killings carried out by their security forces, violent attacks by groups of West Bank settlers, and to express complete contempt for the very idea that Palestinians might have valid concerns about violations of Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The distrust and disbelief of the “other side’s” narrative is nothing new, and both Palestinians and Israelis have ample excuses to distrust one another. Two examples from recent years come to mind.

The first was the murder of two Palestinian youths in the West Bank town of Beitunia in May of last year. Despite video evidence of the shootings, the entire Israeli establishment came out to deny responsibility and question whether the two youths were even dead. An Israeli Border Police officer was eventually charged with manslaughter in the case but only much later, after additional footage and forensic evidence appeared.

The second example came just a few weeks later: the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers at a West Bank hitchhiking post. While Israel exploited the kidnappings to carry out a massive military operation, many Palestinians publicly speculated that the three teens hadn’t actually been...

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There’s never been a better time to start building a shared future

No matter what happens next, we must ensure that things do not go back to the way they were. The way things were before this ‘wave,’ or ’round’ of violence was an occupation that is about to turn 50.

Israelis have experienced suicide bombings, shootings, tractor attacks, vehicular attacks, and stabbings over the past decade. Palestinians have experienced massive military operations in the West Bank, the violent suppression of legitimate protest everywhere, discriminatory police brutality and societal racism inside Israel, and four wars in Gaza.

What’s taking place right now in Israel and Palestine is not new. It has been going on for years, albeit with lower frequency. Levels of hate and xenophobia are rising. The demonization of the Other is as high as it’s been in recent memory. And nobody, absolutely nobody, has any reason to be optimistic. The most hopeful things anybody can muster is that: a) it could be worse; b) maybe it will wind down; c) it could be worse.

And they are right. It has been worse and it could get even worse than it was in the past. Or things could wind down. Neither Israelis nor Palestinians have a leader or civil society figure who is offering anything other than escalation or a return to the situation of three weeks ago. And neither of those options is any good.

Israeli authorities understand there is little they can do to counter the spontaneous type of attacks being carried out against Israeli security forces and civilians alike. The country’s security chiefs have offered nothing but praise for the Palestinian leadership in recent days, saying that Abbas and the PA security forces are doing everything in their power to lower the flames — but also that their influence is limited among those individuals participating in protests and carrying out attacks. Hamas, too, is taking steps to ensure the violence doesn’t creep any more than it has into Gaza.

Israel’s political leadership, on the other hand, is dropping blame like cluster bombs anywhere it even smells a Muslim leader with a little bit of influence. Abbas is inciting. Hamas is inciting. Haneen Zoabi is inciting. Jordan is inciting. Even Erdogan is inciting.

Back in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is schedule to attend a memorial for Rehavam “Gandhi” Ze’evi on Tuesday (nicknamed for his Gandhi-like appearance, not non-violence). Ze’evi, best known for his...

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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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Illustrations: Eran Mendel