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  • Blaming Palestinians for their own deaths

    'All the targets hit by the IDF in Gaza were attacked morally; those killed are responsible for their own deaths. And Netanyahu – he just wants the Gazans to be safe.' By Hagai El-Ad It is moral because we told them to leave, and those who stayed did so at their own peril. It’s moral because Hamas encouraged them to stay, that’s why this is a self-inflicted genocide carried out by Hamas. The Palestinians who died in Shejaiya, in Khan Younis, actually everywhere and always, are to blame for their own deaths. Maybe it’s only the children who aren’t guilty…

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  • Beyond protest: War and the Israeli Left

    This article first appeared in Dissent Magazine. Many Israelis who define themselves as “on the left” (about 20 percent of the population on a good day) support Operation Protective Edge. It’s a small and lonely subset that is both left wing and opposes the war. Over the last month, this little constituency has faithfully staged demonstrations of a few hundred—with last Saturday’s rally reaching somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000, by organizers’ estimates—and has written articles of protest. But the demonstrators tend to use such general slogans as “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies” or “No, no, we won’t let…

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  • Israeli air strikes kill 120 Palestinians in single day; Hamas refuses truce without end to blockade

    Over 120 Palestinians were killed by Israeli airstrikes on Tuesday. as both Israel and Hamas evaluated a proposed humanitarian ceasefire. A top PLO official said that Palestinian factions in Gaza had agreed to a day-long humanitarian truce, a claim that was quickly refuted by Hamas. Israeli airstrikes also destroyed Gaza's only power station Tuesday morning. Amnesty International condemned the strike, saying it amounted to "collective punishment of Palestinians." The strike on the plant is liable worsen severe problems with Gaza's water supply, sewage treatment and power supplies to medical facilities. Meanwhile, the head of Hamas' military wing, Mohammed Deif, stated that…

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  • VIDEO: Hamas militants film infiltration of IDF base

    Al Jazeera (Arabic) broadcast a video clip Tuesday night that it says was filmed by the Al Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing, as it carries out a military operation yesterday (Monday) at the Nahal Oz army base on Israel's border with Gaza. The film shows a group of armed men, their faces hidden by black dots, emerging from a tunnel dug under the wall separating Israel from Gaza. They run over to the army base and open fire as they enter it. At one point one they surround and shoot an Israeli soldier, whose cries are audible. The militants then…

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  • Five Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza; Palestinian death toll hits 1,088

    As world leaders attempted to, once more, broker a humanitarian ceasefire between Israel and Hamas on Monday, the IDF announced that five Israeli soldiers were killed over the course of the day. Four of them were killed by mortar shell fire near the border with Gaza, while a fifth was killed in clashes with Hamas militants in the city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza. The Israeli Air Force pounded the Strip into the early hours of Tuesday morning, a day after its airstrikes killed a total of 44 Palestinians. Another 12 bodies were recovered from the rubble by medical teams…

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  • Why did Israel reject Kerry's ceasefire proposal?

    Is Israel willing to prolong the fighting and to intensify the killing and bereavement on both sides just so that its ally in Cairo gets the credit, rather than the Hamas-allied Turkey and Qatar?  By Elizabeth Tsurkov There is hardly any difference between the draft agreement presented by Kerry and the Egyptian proposal, apart from the question of who will be its sponsor: Cairo, or Turkey and Qatar? On Sunday morning, Haaretz's excellent diplomatic correspondent, Barak Ravid, published a commentary on the new draft proposed by the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry: The draft Kerry passed to Israel on Friday shocked the cabinet ministers…

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  • Gaza becomes Syria: Middle East geopolitics 2.0

    The bickering between countries over who has the right to negotiate over the Palestinians is nothing new. We've been here before. By Aziz Abu Sarah and Dr. Marc Gopin There are two main camps involved in negotiating a ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel. However, the players are not within the camp that most would have expected. What started as Israel vs. Hamas is quickly becoming a geopolitical issue involving many new actors. While this might seem good for some, it should be seen as terrible news for Palestinians and Israelis alike. Israel, Egypt and the PLO seem to be…

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  • Why Israel won’t sign any ceasefire that’s fair

    A fair ceasefire would bring major relief for Gaza, which would mean Hamas wins the war. The ceasefire that the world is now pushing for – one that, as UN chief Ban Ki-Moon put it, not only ends the fighting but also ends Israel’s “chokehold on Gaza” – is one that the Netanyahu government will not accept. It should accept it, because Gazans have the right to be free, but it won’t. Its rejection of John Kerry’s offer on Friday – which reportedly would have allowed the Israeli army to go on destroying Gazan tunnels even during a week-long ceasefire…

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  • Gaza war diary II: No one is safe, everyone is a target

    Walid Abuzaid offers a look into the everyday reality of living in Gaza during the current violence. As the fighting worsens, he asks why Palestinians should settle when they haven't got the rights they deserve. By Walid Abuzaid Thursday, July 17 It’s 10 p.m. when the power finally returns. The electricity has been down since 11 p.m. last night. The power company said the electricity lines were down during the bombardments and that there’ll only be six hours of electricity every day. I turn on the water heater so I can finally shower in the morning, since Eimar is asleep…

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  • Still no ceasefire agreement as Israel rejects Kerry proposal

    Amid intensive efforts to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Israeli cabinet rejected the latest U.S. proposal, yet agreed to a 12-hour suspension of fighting. In a press conference in Cairo with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stated that further efforts were needed to get all parties to agree on the terms of a ceasefire agreement after Israel rejected the proposal. He added that he was confident an agreement would be reached, though more effort was needed to work through issues of terminology in the proposal. Kerry did, however, get…

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  • COMIC: Google Glass for the Gaza gaze

    By Eli Valley Eli Valley is a writer and artist whose work has been published in New York Magazine, The Daily Beast, Gawker, Saveur, Haaretz and elsewhere. He is currently finishing his first novel. Eli’s website is www.EVComics.com and he tweets at @elivalley. More from Eli Valley: What if Mahmoud was named Jonah? A Passover lesson: ‘And then we were free’ Why even god can't reach a two-state solution

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  • ‘Finish the job’

    This is the watchword in Israel today, no matter the price. Late last night (Monday), I was driving home from work and listening to the talk show hosted by Jojo Abutbul, who is sort of an old-time folk hero in this country – a Mizrahi Jew with down-to-earth wisdom. An Israeli common man. He speaks mainly to an older, Likud-oriented Mizrahi crowd, which is still very reflective of Israeli mainstream views, and is disproportionately represented in Sderot and some of the other towns near the Gaza border that have taken the brunt of Hamas’ rockets. Jojo Abutbul and his callers…

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  • Why do Palestinians continue to support Hamas despite such devastating losses?

    I know of many Palestinians who do not like Hamas. Yet for them, the Gaza war is about the siege - part of their own war of independence. Israelis refuse to get that. In The Fog of War, Errol Morris’ excellent documentary, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara speaks about a certain inability to understand the enemy – one that stems from a lack of empathy. In the film, McNamara, a brilliant systems analyst, who is today associated more than anything with the Vietnam War, says that part of President Kennedy’s successful management of the Cuban Missile Crisis was his…

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