Israeli media insists on portraying the West Bank as the Wild West and its Palestinian inhabitants as savage stone-throwers, all the while masking the reality of armed settlers and a trigger-happy military. By Talal Jabari If I were to describe a movie equivalent of the West Bank in words, it would be part way between a scene from John Carpenter’s Escape from LA, mixed with a little of your favorite Spaghetti Western, with strong hints of Heart of Darkness – the book, not the movie. Well at least that’s the impression I get from some of the Israeli press, which…Read More... | 32 Comments
When Israeli spokesmen defend the IDF's actions in Gaza by asking what you would do if rockets rained down on your home, the example of Northern Ireland can serve as one response. By John Jackson Over the last weeks Israeli government spokesmen have provided cover across international TV and radio airspace for their military onslaught in Gaza. They’ve tried their best to respond proportionately, even when a small minority of irritating journalists insists on asking questions about the massacre of children. However, there have been times when these spokesmen had no other choice but to wheel out the big gun, set…Read More... | 31 Comments
Ariel Sharon's strategy in Gaza of "Divide and Rule" failed, and we are yet to see a successful military solution for the Strip. Is there anyone in the Israeli leadership with the courage and power to lead a political solution? By Lev Grinberg The Israeli government has drawn the IDF and the entire country into a deeply complex situation, one that the country has not experienced since the 2005 disengagement from Gaza. It is the result of a fundamental misunderstanding: The model of control in Gaza built by Ariel Sharon in 2004 has collapsed. That framework was based on land…Read More... | 6 Comments
Who came out of the Gaza war the victors, and who were the losers – or, rather, who lost more and who lost less? By Talal Jabari Another ceasefire between Israel and Hamas-led Gaza – this time costing more in terms of life and property than the last time. It will probably cost less than the next time; 2016 if the trend stays constant. At the end of any battle, it makes sense to step back and look at the bigger picture. You want to assess who won and who lost – or at least who lost more and who…Read More... | 26 Comments
Beyond an unprecedented degree of destruction in Gaza, Israel's latest offensive on the Strip brought with it unrivaled levels of racism and incitement back home. By Elizabeth Tsurkov The war between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza would appear as the latest round of fighting between Israel and Hamas; however, this war was different from previous rounds of fighting on both sides. The level of destruction in Gaza was unprecedented, while in Israel anti-democratic and racist forces gained much more prominence and influence compared to previous wars. As in all other nations during times of war, the Israeli public rallies…Read More... | 13 Comments
The status quo of the occupation has reached a new level of violence and destruction, but there is no political power in sight that can impose a change on the ground. 1. Israel paid more than it expected for a bit less than it wanted. Israel’s strategic goal in this war was to maintain the status quo on the Palestinian issue. Prime Minister Netanyahu outlined this notion from the first days of the war, when he presented his ceasefire formula: if Hamas stops shooting, we stop shooting. Israel got most of what it wanted, but at a greater price than expected,…Read More... | 47 Comments
Palestinians in Gaza celebrate after Israel and Hamas declare a long-term ceasefire to end 51 days of fighting that left at least 2,104 Palestinians and 68 Israelis dead, as well as one Thai national working in Israel. While both Hamas and Israel have declared victory, those most affected by the war are left homeless and mourning. Related: Did Gaza win the war? PHOTOS: Losing your home twice in one warRead More... | 2 Comments
The Israeli Broadcast Authority and the Israeli Supreme Court knew in advance what the reaction would be to a radio advert reading out the names of children killed in Gaza, and that’s why they banned it. By doing so they’ve taken a bit of our freedom. By Hagai El-Ad (translated by Hadas Leonov) Muhammad Malakeh, two years old; Siraj 'Abd al-'Al, eight years old; Sarah al-'Eid, nine years old; Saher Abu Namus, four years old; Ahmad Mahdi, 15 years old. Some facts should not be permitted to be broadcast in public. Merely hearing them is dangerous: It could cause people…Read More... | 9 Comments
The terms of Tuesday's ceasefire declaration matter less than the new leverage, measured in international will, with which Palestinians now approach the negotiating table. As a much-anticipated ceasefire took hold Tuesday, punctuating Gaza's horrifying stretch without sleep or succor, spontaneous celebrations erupted throughout the Arab world. But the most jubilant displays were, of course, in Gaza itself, where residents shed the anxiety of a 50-day Israeli war for the simple pleasures of an evening outside. It had too long been a pleasure denied. For most of Gaza's 1.8 million Palestinians, the right to congregate, to walk the streets without the…Read More... | 42 Comments
Israel and Hamas announced Tuesday evening that they had agreed to an Egyptian-brokered, open-ended ceasefire, after seven weeks of fighting left more than 2,200 people dead and tens of thousands wounded, the vast majority Palestinians. Although the ceasefire went into effect at 7 p.m., both sides engaged in violence until the last minute. In Israel, a mortar attack killed two men in Kibbutz Nirim. Palestinians reported that an airstrike destroyed a seven-story building in Beit Lahiya. Officials from both Hamas and Islamic Jihad stated that the ceasefire included an Israeli agreement to ease its blockade of Gaza to allow relief…Read More... | 2 Comments
Musa, Widad and thousands of Palestinian children in Gaza had cried out for the world’s attention when they broke the Guinness World Record. Had we heeded their message, perhaps the sky over Gaza today would not be choked with plumes of smoke. By Nitin Sawhney and Roger Hill Four years ago we began making a documentary film focused on two charismatic teenagers in the Gaza Strip, whose passion for kites seemed unusually spirited in a place beset by years of blockade and deprivation. Along with thousands of other Palestinian children, they were determined to break the Guinness World Record for…Read More... | 12 Comments
The answer has nothing to do with alleged militants. The third of three Gaza towers felled by Israeli F-16s housed, among other offices, a media consultancy representing several international news organizations. But when Al Basha Tower was hit early Tuesday morning, that consultancy had already been driven out by Israeli shelling, which had destroyed its eighth-floor office on July 30. "The first time we were hit, it was a random Israeli shell," said Saud Abu Ramadan, who has owned the office since 2007 and works as a stringer for American, Spanish, and Japanese news outlets. "But this time," the 50-year-old…Read More... | 17 Comments
Five members of the Joudah family were killed by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza on Sunday. Yedioth Ahronoth, one of Israel's most widely-read papers, dedicated not a single word to the incident. Monday's issue of Yedioth Ahronoth, the "newspaper of the country," includes not a single mention of the fact that the IDF killed a mother, her four children and another two-year old girl on Sunday. Nothing. Doesn't exist. Didn't happen. This morning, Yedioth readers were greeted with plenty of information about what happened in southern Israel. The front page discusses the tragic death of four-year-old Daniel Tragerman, as well…Read More... | 21 Comments
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