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  • Moderate Islam meets Auschwitz

    For nearly 40 years, Mohammed Dajani Daoudi has felt that something was wrong with Palestinian politics. In 1975, while studying at the American University at Beirut (“doing everything except studying”), he was deported to Syria for political activities. Fatah operatives supplied him with a fake passport to get back. But they mistakenly put a Syrian exit stamp into the passport rather than an entry stamp; which looked odd when Syrian passport control moved to give him an exit stamp. The officer went to check with a superior, and Dajani says he grabbed his documents and fled back to Lebanon. The…

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  • Sentenced to life at birth: What do Palestinian refugees want?

    For more than 66 years, Palestinian refugees have been languishing in squalid conditions across camps in the Middle East. But do all of them agree that a return to Palestine is necessarily the best solution? Through her extensive research, Paula Schmitt finds that while different refugees may have different desires, hopelessness remains everyone's worst enemy.  By Paula Schmitt There’s something almost cruel about asking a Palestinian refugee whether he would accept living peacefully with Israel were he ever allowed to return. It feels like a sadistic exercise: treat a man like a lesser human, deny him a country, a house,…

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  • Liberman: Citizenship annulment is a condition for peace

    The foreign minister’s provocations may be damaging, but they create a clear and present danger when tied to actual policies. Avigdor Liberman has come roaring back again. When the Israeli foreign minister returned to his post following a lengthy corruption investigation that ended in anti-climax of acquittal, some thought he had been chastened by time or political pragmatism and softened his firebrand style. As if to cast aside those doubts, Liberman has given a stellar performance this week (and it's only Thursday). He insisted that his party will oppose any Israeli-Palestinian agreement that does not include territorial and population swaps,…

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  • 'Wave of Palestinian terror'? Not exactly

    It’s pretty difficult to pinpoint anything resembling a starting point for the latest violence; prior to last week, Israeli forces killed 19 Palestinians since July, compared to four Israelis who were killed. The violence is neither unilateral nor arbitrary. The latest escalation between Israel and the Palestinians has taken lives on both sides over the last week. The Israeli media is now describing the violence as a new “wave of Palestinian terror.” Commentators have said that it’s not clear yet whether this is a third Intifada, indicating an organized uprising, since the attacks appear to have been perpetrated by individuals.…

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  • Head of IDF’s Gaza command: Hamas is the new policeman in Gaza

    An Israeli army general says Hamas is stopping attacks against Israel and even 'keeps the peace' when the IDF operates along the border. Israel’s Channel 10 revealed the contents of a closed meeting between the head of the IDF’s “Gaza Command,” the top general responsible for the strip, and Israeli citizens living in the region. In the meeting, Brig.-Gen. Miki Edelstien confirmed what has been speculated for some time: that Hamas authorities are preventing all military activity against Israel and are even conducting crowd control near the border with Israel. However, Edelstein said that there is no direct cooperation between the…

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  • Israel's defense minister equates peace talks with murder of Israelis

    The man in charge of Israeli security provides his expert opinion that violence against Israelis is a direct result of negotiations with Palestinians and thus anathema to Israeli security. Can't the same be argued regarding Israeli violence against Palestinians? Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon blamed the recent murder of Israelis in the West Bank on the peace process. By doing so, he instantaneously undermined the government's involvement in U.S.-brokered diplomacy with the Palestinians, and made it clear that he opposes negotiations. Speaking at a conference Sunday night, and reported thus far in Ma'ariv (Hebrew) and settler-outfit Arutz Sheva in English, Ya'alon added that the…

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  • Hamas textbook incitement and Israeli manipulation

    Violence and incitement in education should be condemned on, and from every side. But clinging to and focusing only on the worst of the 'other side' can be even worse than incitement. The Hamas leadership in Gaza is replacing Palestinian Authority high school textbooks with its own, New York Times reported Monday. The Hamas textbooks, the story explains, promote militancy and a Hamas-tinted reading of history, Palestinian identity and the conflict. The report is upsetting. The last thing this conflict needs is even more extreme, hard-line and distorted renditions of its history for any of the parties involved. It is also disturbing because…

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  • Israel's twisted logic in keeping EU legislators out of Gaza

    Israel says allowing organizations to visit Gaza inherently 'strengthens Hamas,' even when no visits with Hamas officials are planned. Couldn't the same logic be used to argue for a boycott of Israel, considering Israel's occupation regime? Israel blocked a European Parliament humanitarian delegation from entering the Gaza Strip through Israel last week, claiming that the visit would "strengthen Hamas." The draft program of the trip, seen by +972, was scheduled to take place this week, October 27-30. The delegation was expected to enter Gaza through Israel's Erez Crossing on Monday morning after spending the night in East Jerusalem and leaving…

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  • Why did the IDF assassinate two Palestinian journalists?

    The Israeli army still refuses to comment on several incidents in which journalists affiliated with Hamas, but with no connection to military activities, were targeted. In response to an inquiry by an Israeli journalist, an IDF Spokesperson representative wondered why he cares about a couple of Palestinians that died 'a million years ago.' On November 20, during the Israeli army’s last operation in Gaza ("Pillar of Defense"), the IDF targeted a car on a Gaza City street with two cameramen from al-Aqsa TV - Mahmoud al-Kumi and Hussam Salama - killing them both. Al-Aqsa is the official television station of…

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  • Despite recent improvements, Israeli government can do more for Gazans

    The increases in movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza should serve as a reminder that Israel recognizes the need for civilian access, that the army can facilitate access when it is instructed to do so, and that more even more can be done. By Tania Hary The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, which, among other things, oversees what and who comes in and out of Gaza, recently published its monthly report for July. The numbers published in the report reveal that, given the closing of tunnels on the Gaza-Egypt border and a subsequent drop…

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  • The irrelevance of peace talks

    The world may continue to circle its favorite conflict with hypotheticals and speculation, but to Palestinians the objective remains the same: to continue to build pressure against the occupation.  By Talal Alyan It’s hard to determine what is less interesting: headlines about the potential resumption of peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis or the ensuing debates about what a solution should look like. The cynicism on both sides goes without saying. But it doesn’t seem to inhibit the eruption of discourse on the subject. The whole spectacle is tiresome for a number of reasons, the most salient being that the…

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  • Endgame: Conditions for the success and failure of the peace process

    What does the possibly-revived peace process John Kerry announced on Friday have going for it? - “Diplomatic Tsunami” – a catch-phrase that stands for high-level global isolation of Israel as punishment for its policies is the great fear on everyone’s mind in Israel this week. Israel is smarting from a recent spate of symbolic blows highlighting international opprobrium in new and painful ways: Stephen Hawking refusing to attend the President’s conference, and the new EU guidelines are two very significant examples of very mainstream figures increasingly putting actions behind words Israel has come to ignore. - Palestinian power play. The…

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  • Who deleted Gaza?

    Israeli policy conveys that there is no Palestine, only two chunks of land divided by people, politics and culture. Some international actors and many Israelis are convinced. Are Palestinians?   A recent New York Times report on the World Economic Forum held at the Dead Sea last month, carried the following headline: “Trying to Revive Mideast Talks, Kerry Pushes Investment Plan for West Bank.” The first paragraph of the article went on to explain: In an effort to revive the moribund peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Secretary of State John Kerry announced a plan on Sunday to invest as…

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