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  • Do Israelis have any idea how bad it is in Gaza?

    Nearly two million Gazans are living in a state of poverty and shortages, with few options of leaving and even fewer options for work. Nearly two million people who live in a giant prison, and Israelis cannot even begin to fathom how terrible their situation is. "I'm extremely concerned that if you leave Gaza in the state it's currently in, you'll have another eruption, and violence, and then we're back in a further catastrophe, so we've got to stop that," warned Quartet envoy Tony Blair during a visit to the Gaza Strip on Sunday. It was his first trip to the…

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  • Israeli air strike in Syria: Lies, aggression — at what cost?

    From close up, the assassination of a Hezbollah commander and an Iranian general was probably preemption. In the big picture, it was definitely aggression. During the Second Intifada, (late 2000-2004) Israel made a habit of carrying out “targeted assassinations” of Palestinian militant leaders. The Palestinians, in turn, had a predilection for blowing up buses and cafes. After an assassination of a high-up Hamasnik or Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades man, some Israelis and many foreigners would question whether it was a good idea, whether it was worth the risk, given the likelihood that the Palestinians would be out for revenge. The routine…

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  • No, Mr. Netanyahu, answers to terrorism are not all the same

    The prime minister compares Israel’s predicament with the Palestinians to France’s current one with jihadists, but the true comparison is to France’s struggle with Algeria in the 1950s and early 1960s. In Paris early this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drove home a message he’s been delivering for decades: "Israel supports Europe in its fight against terrorism, and it's time Europe support Israel in the same exact struggle." But he’s wrong. Europe and Israel are not caught up in the same struggle. They don’t face the same terrorism, either. Despite Netanyahu’s claim, which he says was only reinforced by the…

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  • War on Gaza: A promise Israeli politicians can keep

    As they head into elections, Netanyahu, Livni, Herzog, Lapid and Yishai can agree on one thing: even after nine military operations in 14 years, the only solution to the conflict with Gaza is another war with Hamas. By Yonatan Mendel Election season is upon us, which means that the country's best copywriters and campaigners are likely gathering with elected officials in meeting rooms in order to come up with a concise and clear message for the citizens of Israel - one that will inspire them to vote for those very same elected officials, and the brighter future they promise. Politicians and…

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  • +972's Story of the Year: Gaza

    Most of us have become so accustomed to Gaza’s suffering that we can hardly imagine a world without it. But imagine we must. During the fighting this summer, and in its aftermath, many believed the war would be a game-changer, that something would have to give — it hasn't. Activists, intellectuals and diplomats continue to advocate, but what about the Gazans themselves? Beyond violence, what is their role in ending the siege and attaining freedom? Samer Badawi tackles the questions — and the answers — left buried in the rubble. By Samer Badawi This is the first time that +972 is highlighting a…

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  • Gaza quiet shows Hamas' pragmatism

    Despite violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank, for the past three months Hamas has maintained calm on the Gaza border — curbing rocket-fire against Israel. By Aaron Magid Opponents of Hamas often accuse the Islamist organization of acting irrationally. In a National Review article titled, “Hamas’ Suicidal Tendencies,” the author writes, “[w]hy is Hamas pursuing such a self-destructive strategy? Ideology.” Yet, in the months since the Gaza war, Hamas’ leadership in Gaza has repeated its pragmatic approach by not launching rockets into Israel, instead choosing to downgrade its ideology so that it may fight Israel more effectively in the…

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  • No one left for Bibi to blame – except, of course, Abbas

    Israel is in a crisis – the heaviest Palestinian street violence in a decade, the threat of a full-blown third intifada – and here’s how Netanyahu is managing it: by seizing on the last available scapegoat. Outside of the Netanyahu government and its supporters, does anyone believe that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is inciting the rioting and terror in East Jerusalem? Does anyone think the gunmen and killer drivers and adolescent stone-throwers are taking their cues from Ramallah’s 79-year-old bureaucrat-in-chief? Conversely, does anyone think that if Abbas were to call publicly and repeatedly for an end to…

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  • Channeling loss to stimulate change: 71 days of dialogue in Tel Aviv

    The forum of bereaved families rests on the belief that the only way to end violence between Israelis and Palestinians is by recognizing the humanity of 'the enemy' through open and honest dialogue. That goal, however, appears to be as far away as ever. By Henriette Chacar It’s hard to imagine how one might begin solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by leading by example. The hundreds of members of the Parents Circle forum of bereaved Palestinian and Israeli families aren’t naïve, but they insist on trying. The Parents Circle Families Forum, a grassroots organization of over 600 Israeli and Palestinian families bereaved…

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  • Israel's watershed moment that wasn't

    Liberals abroad seem to think that for Israel, Operation Protective Edge was a turning point -- a wake-up call telling this country that it couldn’t keep going on like this, from war to war to war with no chance for peace. +972 speaks to a number of powerful figures in Prime Minister Netanyahu's inner circle, past and present, to hear their vision of where Israel is headed following the latest Gaza war. On the first weekend after Operation Protective Edge ended in a cease-fire, I drove down to Sderot, the original rocket-plagued Gaza-border town and a stronghold of the ruling…

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  • PHOTOS: Hundreds attend Ramallah funeral of young Palestinian killed by IDF

    A 22-year-old Palestinian man was shot in the chest by Israeli soldiers at about 5 a.m. Wednesday after troops raided the al-Amari refugee camp near Ramallah. Hundreds of people attended the funeral Wednesday of Issa al-Qatri, who was killed earlier by Israeli soldiers during a raid on the al-Amari refugee camp near Ramallah. According to Ma'an News Agency, soldiers entered the camp to arrest a wanted Hamas member when they were met with resistance from young men who threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the forces. The soldiers responded with live fire, injuring and killing al-Qatri. The 22-year-old was set to…

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  • Replacing the peace process with a civil rights struggle

    What would happen if Israeli progressives and their supporters demanded an end to the military court system, or called for freedom of movement for Palestinians? The answer: a lot. The two-state solution has long been transformed from a means (to solving the problem of the occupation) to an end. As I wrote here in the past, this change has had severe consequences as far as the Israeli political opposition is concerned. Those range from a de-facto acceptance of the status quo to a political alliance with the Right and support for all the latest rounds of violence. The excuses are always…

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  • PHOTOS: Israeli forces damage youth centers in Nablus raid

    A youth sports club and center for children with disabilities in Nablus sustain serious damage after Israeli forces raid a multi-story building in search of wanted Palestinians. Text and photos by: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org As happens almost every night in Palestinian cities, towns and villages throughout the West Bank, Israeli forces raided Nablus neighborhoods at 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Military jeeps spread out to different areas of the city, especially to refugee camps. The biggest military operation took place in the southern part of the city, where Israeli forces targeted six Palestinians who were sleeping in a local youth sports club. Their…

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  • Post-Gaza war poll: Hamas, Haniyeh and rockets popularity at all-time high

    More than two-thirds of Palestinians favor bringing Hamas' armed resistance model to the West Bank, although majorities in Gaza prefer that the PA take over key aspects of security and governance of Gaza. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli military leaders may have boasted of victory over Hamas last week following 50 days of warfare in Gaza, but a new poll shows Hamas with its highest-ever approval ratings among Palestinians since it took control of Gaza in 2006. In contrast, Netanyahu's approval ratings have plummeted: 50 percent of Israelis said they are dissatisfied with his conduct, compared with an 82-percent approval rating at…

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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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