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  • The tragedy of the lost Yemenite children: In the footsteps of the adoptees

    Between the years 1948 and 1952, thousands of Yemenite babies, children of immigrants to the newly-founded State of Israel were allegedly taken away from their parents and given up for adoption to Ashkenazi families. Now, poet and activist Shlomi Hatuka goes back and speaks to the adoptees about one of the most painful, covered-up stories in the history of the state. By Shlomi Hatuka (translated by Miriam Erez) Dedicated to my grandmother, who gave birth to twins in a hospital, and came home with only one of them. May her memory be a blessing. In Tsipi Talmor’s documentary film, Down…

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  • Ari Shavit: Apocalypse now, apocalypse forever

    Ari Shavit, one of Haaret'z most renowned columnists, has been warning Israelis of the coming apocalypse from time immemorial. But whether he is talking about the Iranian nuclear program or a future Palestinian state, not one of Shavit's nightmare scenario's come true. Perhaps it is time we stop taking him seriously. By False Prophet Blog (translated by Jordan Michaeli) Should Ari Shavit be taken seriously? We are, after all, talking about a senior commentator from Haaretz here. When a significant event takes place, the newspaper's editors almost always decide to publish his commentary. Apparently, serious people see Shavit as an…

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  • Haaretz's financial paper doesn't hide its anti-union agenda

    TheMarker journalists toy with statistics to reverse the correlation between cause and effect, portraying unions, once again, as protectors of the privileged. TheMarker, Haaretz's economic supplement (which over the last several years has gained a life of its own), is at it again. A report and corresponding article (only the latter of which made it online in Hebrew) published Tuesday take a look at a recent survey by the Central Bureau of Statistics on organized labor in Israel. The survey shows that the more stability workers enjoy at the work place, the higher their wages and the more collective bargaining agreements they…

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  • 'Free Ahmad Qatamesh'

    Accused of being a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmad Qatamesh has been under administrative detention since March 2011, without trial or indictment. Now Qatamesh, who calls for one democratic state between the river and the sea, is having his detention extended under the premise that he is 'a threat to the security of the area.' By Noam Rotem (translated by Jordan Michaeli) At the time of writing of these lines, Israel holds 5,069 security prisoners, of which 134 are held under administrative detention. The authority Israel assumed upon occupying the West Bank - to detain…

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  • Israeli rock legends' reunion signals end of an era

    Over the past several months, legendary Israeli rock band Kaveret ('Beehive' in Hebrew) reunited to hold what is likely to be its final round of performances. For many, the group - which skyrocketed to global popularity in the 1970s with its clever songs and absurd skits - is part and parcel of Israeli identity. But a closer look at the hysteria surrounding the reunion reveals an Israeli identity longing for the days when white culture was the rule, and Mizrahi and Arab culture existed on the margins. By Edan Ring It seems that lately it has been impossible to ignore…

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  • When Zionism is racism: Ron Dermer and Bibi Netanyahu, on the record

    Imagine if a politician in another country had bragged about lowering a minority group's birthrate - like Netanyahu and his new ambassador to the U.S. did. Ron Dermer, who was named by Netanyahu yesterday to be Israel's new ambassador to the United States, is known as an even more right-wing Republican version of his boss. Haaretz's Barak Ravid wrote: Dermer's positions on policy are far more extreme than Netanyahu's. European and American officials have expressed shock by his positions on the settlement issue, on peace talks with the Palestinians, and on the principle of an independent Palestinian state. It gets…

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  • Between admiration and cynicism: Mixed opinions of the Egyptian revolution in Israel

    While many Israeli media reports praise the crowds who led (to) the overthrow of Mohammed Morsi, conservative writers continue to view the Arab Spring with skepticism | The common view is that the regional turmoil relieves some of the pressure on Israel over the Palestinian issue. In the morning following the overthrow of Egypt’s Mohammed Morsi, there isn’t a single unified voice coming from Israeli officials and the national media. While some pundits welcome the Muslim Brotherhood's removal from power (pointing mainly to its very hostile rhetoric towards Israel) others think that Morsi ended up being surprisingly cooperative with Israel.…

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  • IDF soldiers to West Bank children: 'We are the army, be careful if we see you'

    IDF soldiers posted leaflets in the West Bank village of Qadum warning children to refrain from attending demonstrations. The leaflet, photographed yesterday at the weekly protest in the village by activist Lior Ben-Eliyahu (the children's eyes have been hidden by +972), show photographs of four children from the village, probably taken by soldiers at previous demonstrations. The message reads: "We are the army. Be careful if we see you, we're going to catch you or come to your house." This is most likely a private initiative by soldiers serving in the village. Just recently Ma'ariv published an extensive story (Hebrew)…

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  • Stephen Hawking's message to Israeli elites: The occupation has a price

    By choosing to avoid the Presidential Conference - an annual meeting of Israeli generals, politicians and business elites with their international fans, Prof. Hawking reminds that the occupation cannot be forgotten or avoided. A response to Haaretz's Carlo Strenger. The British Guardian on Wednesday reported that Prof. Stephen Hawking has cancelled his appearance at the fifth Presidential Conference due to take place this June, in protest of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. The report was later confirmed by Cambridge University. A spokeperson for the Jerusalem-based conference called Hawking’s decision “outrageous and improper." One of Haaretz’s leading lefty columnists, Carlo Strenger, wrote an open letter to Hawking echoing…

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  • May Day: The revival of Israeli organized labor in the post-J14 era

    Although many critics claim the J14 movement failed by not challenging the occupation or achieving sufficient results for Israeli workers and the middle class, a wave of revived labor organizing indicates new potential for worker power -- a May Day update. One thing is certain: personally, it's been a hell of a ride. About 18 months ago the new Union of Journalists in Israel (UJI) was set up and I quickly joined. It took us a couple of months of hard work until April 22, 2012 when the UJI announced it was officially representing journalists in 10 media organizations; I…

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  • A reluctant reader: 'Haaretz,' paywalls and liberal Zionism

    One Palestinian journalist's meditation on being forced to pay for Haaretz, the only paper he can rely on, but one that also espouses a nationalist ideology he cannot accept. 'I'm fated to be a reluctant reader -- and a reluctant citizen.' By Hakim Bishara It’s morning and I desperately need the news. Where I live, one needs to know what awful things to expect outdoors before leaving the house. I often think of those people who have a favorite newspaper of choice. They develop an easy kinship to the paper: “Have you seen my newspaper?”, they ask around the house;…

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  • WATCH: Israeli journalist discusses her article defending Palestinian stone-throwing

    Amira Hass, who drew heavy criticism from Israeli media about her op-ed in Haaretz last week defending the right of Palestinians to throw stones, and was accused of incitement to violence by the Yesha Council (of West Bank settlements), appeared on Democracy Now this week to discuss her article. I have embedded the interview below, which is in two parts, and highly recommend watching it. Hass speaks so directly and cooly about the situation as she sees it - saying plainly that Israel has become a foreign ruler in this place and cannot expect to survive this way. You can understand from her…

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  • John Locke on nations' right to resist occupation

    The fallout from Amira Hass' Haaretz article in which she stated that "throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule" continues. There are many responses in the Hebrew media and blogesphere, and some interesting debates, mostly on Facebook. As some readers noted in the comments to my previous posts, there were several UN resolutions (not all of them having to do with Israel/Palestine) that affirmed this right, but there wasn't much legal writing on the issue. However, John Locke, an English philosopher and one of the fathers of Liberal thinking, had very clear words to say (Second…

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