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gaza war

  • Isaac Herzog, leader of the non-opposition

    Many people are describing opposition leader Isaac Herzog's maiden speech in the 20th Knesset as the speech that could have won him the election. But is he offering an alternative that's any better than Netanyahu? By Samah Salaime Mabrouk on you, the new government تشوفو على وجهها الخير – may it bring only good things. That's how we, the naïvely optimistic Arabs, congratulate people on new things. Regardless of what we feel, we know how to congratulate. But let's not spend any more time on the new government. Sooner or later, Israel's 34th government will join its predecessors in the…

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  • How I became involved with Breaking the Silence

    When I ran into an old classmate who suggested that I testify, I told him I had nothing to tell. He insisted, and only then I realized how wrong I was. By Avihai Stollar Back in 2008, I ran into Dotan, a former classmate from high school. We started chatting and he told me he was active in an organization called Breaking the Silence. He told me that its members are former soldiers who had served in the Occupied Territories and now strive to expose the Israeli public to the day-to-day reality of the occupation. To this end, he said,…

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  • Testimonies: 'This is How We Fought in Gaza'

    Breaking the Silence, an organization of Israeli combat veterans who want to expose the Israeli public to the realities of the occupation, publishes a report compiling over 60 testimonies of soldiers and officers who served in 2014's Gaza war, Operation Protective Edge. The testimonies in this collection close the yawning gaps between what the IDF and government spokespersons told the public about the combat that took place in Gaza, and the reality described by the soldiers who took part in the operation. The testimonies reveal the guiding military principle of “minimum risk to our forces, even at the cost of…

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  • Redefining civilians and legitimate targets: Israeli soldiers testify on Gaza war

    Two themes are present in almost all of the 60-plus testimonies collected by Breaking the Silence from Israeli soldiers who fought in the last Gaza war: loose rules of engagement and systematic, wanton destruction. But can the new documentation serve as a catalyst for change inside Israel? Internationally? By Mairav Zonszein and Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man Breaking the Silence, an Israeli organization of military veterans, released on Monday a collection of testimonies from nearly 70 soldiers and officers who participated in Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip last summer. It has been 10 months since the 50-day assault, which killed…

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  • Learning to photograph while running in Gaza

    Opening at Jaffa Theatre on Thursday as part of Tel Aviv's Solidarity Festival, an exhibition will feature the work of Activestills, including Gaza photographer Basel Yazouri. Having joined Activestills a few months before last summer's offensive, his work has been published in various international platforms, including +972 Magazine. But unlike his Israeli colleagues, the 19-year-old Gaza City resident is prevented from attending his own exhibition. We interview him about living and working in Gaza, and documenting one's own community in wartime. Tell us about covering the last war in Gaza. It was my first intense photographic experience. I used to cover day-to-day life before…

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  • Sorry Israeli leftists, I've got no sympathy for you

    Half of Israelis are 'stuck' with a prime minister they didn't want. All Palestinians are stuck with a president who lost his democratic mandate years ago. By Talal Jabari I have spoken to quite a few Israelis following Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest win at the polls earlier this month who talk about their disappointment in his re-election. I am sure that a lot of people who campaigned for other parties — those who felt like there could actually be a change of photo on the walls of the Prime Minister’s Office — were truly disenchanted. After all, that change looked quite…

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  • WATCH: Noam Sheizaf at J Street: Nobody is talking about Gaza

    Speaking at the 2015 J Street Conference in Washington D.C. on Sunday, +972 co-founder and writer Noam Sheizaf participated in a plenary panel called "Does Liberal Zionism Have a Future?" Sheizaf called out both the conference and liberal American Jewry for the lack of discussion about the latest Gaza war. (Watch the full panel here.) Later in the discussion, Sheizaf explained the dichotomy between liberalism and Zionism as it manifests itself in Israel, concluding that talk of diplomatic solutions must be preceded by a real civil rights movement.

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  • Jewish nationalism and the new Palestinian politics in Israel

    It seems somehow difficult to remember now, but the Israeli general elections were announced on the crest of a tidal wave of nationalist hostilities — unusually pronounced even by the standards of Israel-Palestine. This past summer, rogue Palestinian militants abducted and killed three Israeli teenagers from a hitchhiking post outside a West Bank settlement. When they were found, a clique of young Israelis kidnapped a Palestinian boy, beat him, and burned him alive. The weeks that followed were replete with incidents of Jews and Arabs coming to blows in cafes, on public transport and on the street; a longstanding neighborly…

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  • The casualties of the next Gaza war

    The awful experience of the past few years suggests that in about two years time will be ripe for yet another war with predictable outcomes: thousands of dead, each and every one of them a person who meant the world to their families and loved ones. By Hagai El-Ad One month after the end of the war in Gaza – was it the second Gaza war? The third? – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stood in front of the UN General Assembly and declared that, “no other country and no other army in history have gone to greater lengths to avoid casualties…

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  • The thin line between incitement and freedom of the press

    On the face of it, a protest by Likud youth against one of Israel's most prominent newspapers seems like a non-issue. But in the context of last summer's war and the growing threats against left-wing journalists, freedom of the press may no longer be able to protect the media. By Gaby Goldman Journalists, editors, media outlets - we all love simple stories. Something straightforward, black and white, good or bad. And this is what makes it harder for me to admit that the Likud party's demonstration in front of the Yedioth Ahronoth daily's building on Sunday night is not a simple…

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  • What do you call a politician who promises more war?

    Election season is a time when most people expect to be presented with a hopeful vision for the future. In Israel, every single leading political figure is promising more of the same. Israel’s election season officially went into full swing over the weekend as lists of candidates were finalized and the deadline for parties to merge came and went without any last-minute surprises. While very few of the major parties have published official platforms for the upcoming elections, their leaders and senior officials are beginning to shape what voters can expect from them. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, head of the…

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  • Bombing homes in Gaza: 'It was supposed to be their shelter'

    Human rights group B'Tselem exposes — and protests to the Israeli government — home demolitions, Gaza style. They fled when the flyers fell from the sky, Israeli military orders dropped like confetti on the masses. Evacuate, they said, or else. Seek shelter now. One week of sorties, and Ibrahim made the call: We leave now — my wife and I, our seven children, our children's children. But the Abu Shuqah family never found shelter. The closest they came was a cardboard factory -- somewhere between Bureij and Nusseirat, two refugee camps along Gaza's coastal flats. "We stayed in the storeroom…

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  • UN aid agency to Gazans: Sorry, but there's no money

    Only $135 million of pledged donor money has been delivered to Gaza, hundreds of millions short of what's needed, the UN agency says. As a result, it is suspending its aid programs for those most affected by the war. By Yael Marom UNRWA, the UN relief agency charged with providing aid to Palestinian refugees, announced Tuesday that it is suspending its financial aid program to the thousands of Gazans whose homes were destroyed during Operation Protective Edge last summer. The program was intended to assist them in repairing houses, as well as renting apartments for those who have remained homeless…

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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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