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  • Refugee crisis: The long journey through Europe

    They arrive as families or individuals. They hail from Syria, Iraq, or Afghanistan. They travel by sea to Greece or by foot through Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, and Austria. Hundreds of thousands of refugees are seeking countries to host them. Activestills photographers were there to capture the journey. Photos by: Yotam Ronen, Oren Ziv, Mareike lauken, Keren Manor /, photo editing: Anka Mirkin Related: Israel cannot turn a blind eye to worldwide refugee crisis Searching for a way into Europe: A photo dispatch from Hungary Refugee crisis: Stranded at Hungary's barbed wire border

  • Searching for a way into Europe: A photo dispatch from Hungary

    One by one, day by day, Europe is closing its gates to refugees desperately searching for a way in. Confused, exhausted and frightened, at times they don’t even know what country they are in. Two Activestills photographers follow refugees as they make their way toward Germany. Photos and text by Keren Manor & Mareike Lauken / The train rolls to a stop at a small town on the Hungarian border town, Hegyeshalom. Some 1,500 refugees, the vast majority of them from Syria and Afghanistan, descend and start marching along the tracks in silence. Outside the train station and alongside the…

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  • Why EU recognition of Palestine isn't enough

    If the European Union wants to play a more active role in Israel-Palestine peacemaking it should first articulate a common policy and decide whether it can continue playing second fiddle to Washington. By Charalampos Tsitsopoulos Much has been made of recent European initiatives to symbolically recognize a Palestinian state in pre-1967 borders. On December 17, 2014, a European Parliament resolution supported “in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood.” The move followed similar resolutions in individual European parliaments in previous months. Meanwhile, there was no shortage of commendation for European recognitions, welcomed by the Arab League as a measure that will “undoubtedly…

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  • The world is letting Israel get away with it again

    The assault on Gaza has hurt this country’s image, and it doesn’t care. There’s no doubt that this past month of heavily televised overkill in Gaza – well, heavily televised everywhere but here – has hurt Israel’s standing in the world. The IDF has killed too many civilians, wiped out too many families, bombed too many UN shelters. Even Washington has used words like “indefensible” and “disgraceful” to describe some of Israel’s acts. And while the world’s powers-that-be don’t like Hamas, they do like the Palestinian Authority and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, and they know very well that the Netanyahu government…

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  • Israel overstates Gaza exports to Europe, won't budge on West Bank ban

    The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), which regulates the movement of goods into and out of the Gaza Strip, flaunts having allowed limited export of goods from Gaza to Europe. While there is certainly value in the move, Gaza's economy would be far better served were the ban on similar exports to the West Bank lifted.  By Gisha So what exactly are “dolavim?” A type of crate. (In its translation from Hebrew to English, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, or COGAT, inexplicably referred to the containers or crates as “plane trees.” Huh?) Has Gaza started exporting crates?…

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  • Izzie in HolyLand - Part 23: Europe can go shtup themselves

    Izzie in HolyLand is back after the Europeans decide to go all the way with their response to building in E1 and... reprimand! Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Izzie: Yes Ruthie? Ruthie: Ms. Holyland, Prime Minister David Cameron for you on line 1. Izzie: OK. Cameron: Ms. Holyland? Izzie: Yes, David, how are you? Cameron: I’m good, I’m good. Thank you. Izzie: Mazel Tov on the baby. Cameron: Excuse me? Izzie: The baby, the baby! You know, Katie and Will’s? Cameron: Ah, of course. Yes, yes. Thank you so much Ms. Holyland. If I may, I’m calling you on another topic. Izzie: Sure, go…

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  • European fickleness ahead of UN vote as immature as Israeli response

    As I was witnessing how Israel lost European support last week ahead of the Palestinian statehood bid at the UNGA, I felt like it reminded me of something. But I couldn’t remember what. The day after the vote, it dawned on me. As I was watching my daughter play with her kindergarten friends during a Hanukkah party, I saw exactly what the Europeans looked like. I witnessed my kid and her friends quickly decide on something, and then change their mind instantly to something opposite - you know, the usual kindergarten peer pressure. It reminded me exactly the European show…

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  • WATCH: World boxing champion makes bid for Ukrainian parliament

    World Boxing Champion Vitali Klitshchko is running for parliament in Ukraine's elections on Sunday.     KYIV, UKRAINE - A popular personality in a country where sports figures do quite well, Klitshchko is promising to rock the political status quo. Some have said the boxer is being used by political elites to further their own causes, but his first coach said politics was a natural transition for the man. At a rally on Thursday night, one day before the last day of official campaigning, Klitshchko promised closer cooperation with Europe.  Ukraine has been badly hit by the economic woes of the…

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  • Heads of Europe's biggest economies meet in Rome

    Rome, Italy -- Leaders from Germany, France, Spain and Italy meet in rare 4-way meeting to try to reach consensus on Euro crisis plan ahead of critical summit in Brussels. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, easily the biggest fan of the Euro currency among those who attended the so-called “Mini-EU Summit” alongside her on Friday - the heads of government from France, Spain and Italy – arrived at Rome’s Villa Madama Palace a little more reassured than she could have expected just one week ago. In recent days, voters in economically-troubled Greece chose a centrist, pro-bailout government just one month after…

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  • Time to re-boot the peace industry - here's how

    By Arik Segal What is known in Israel as the Israeli "Peace Industry" – a broad reference to civil society organizations and individuals working to advance peace – is facing some tough challenges in 2012 and 2013. The possibility of a preemptive Israeli attack on Iran, political and economic developments in Europe that will make it less supportive of peace-building initiatives, and the next general elections in Israel which seem likely to affirm Likud's leadership, will make peace seem so remote that the work of peace organizations could lose relevance. Despite working on the level of civil society, peace-promoting NGOs…

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  • Learning lessons from Portugal's elections

    What do politics in Lisbon teach us about fixing the problems in the Middle East? The Middle East has always fascinated me. And like many others, it has always frustrated me. My first university degree was in political science, of which the foundation is the belief that there is a science – yes, science – to politics. In theory, formulas can be applied to similar situations. Yes often, those involved in the “world’s longest conflict” think it is beyond parallels. So where they exist, I try to find them. And I landed in Lisbon, which reminds me nothing of Tel…

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