The recent escalation in violence has caused many in Gaza to support renewing armed struggle against Israel. Hamas, however, is wary of firing rockets, preferring to cheer on Palestinians from the sidelines. By Abeer Ayyoub GAZA CITY — While usually considered one of the most volatile places in Palestine, the Gaza Strip seems to be taking a “let’s wait and see’’ approach to the most recent round of violence with Israel. Since the start of the escalation earlier of this month, the besieged, Hamas-ruled enclave has not immediately reacted to the events at Al-Aqsa Mosque. Only on Friday, October 9…Read More...
No matter what happens next, we must ensure that things do not go back to the way they were. The way things were before this 'wave,' or 'round' of violence was an occupation that is about to turn 50. Israelis have experienced suicide bombings, shootings, tractor attacks, vehicular attacks, and stabbings over the past decade. Palestinians have experienced massive military operations in the West Bank, the violent suppression of legitimate protest everywhere, discriminatory police brutality and societal racism inside Israel, and four wars in Gaza. What’s taking place right now in Israel and Palestine is not new. It has been…Read More... | 5 Comments
The relative quiet on the ground in recent years, enforced by the Palestinian Authority on Israel’s behalf, led Israelis to believe they can enjoy peace and prosperity without ending the occupation. Thirteen years passed between the First Intifada, which broke out in December 1987, and the start of the second in October 2000. Both intifadas lasted for roughly five years. It has been 15 years since the start of the Second Intifada, and 10 years since it ended. [tmwinpost] If history and experience teach us anything, the timeframe is exactly right for the arrival of a new generation of young…Read More... | 75 Comments
In both Gaza and Ramallah the Palestinian leadership hasn’t gotten involved in the latest wave of violence. They’re not condemning it, they’re not supporting it, and they’re certainly not offering Palestinians any vision. But Israelis shouldn't take comfort. One of the hottest topics in the media recently is the question of whether we can call whatever is happening here lately an intifada. Regardless of whether or not there is an intifada, the source and solution still lie in the hands of the Israeli government, which chooses escalation instead of quiet and ending the occupation. But all that aside, it’s still…Read More... | 23 Comments
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…Read More... | 15 Comments
What we're seeing today is not a new intifada, but an ever-more sophisticated version of the one Palestinians have been fighting all along. In a pre-interview with a television news producer yesterday, I found myself stammering over a familiar question: as a Palestinian, do you have any hope for the future? Steeped in the day-to-day of our "conflict" with Israel, I find it difficult to respond to such banalities - not least because I'm in no position to represent all Palestinians. So after attempting something articulate with the producer, I decided to get in touch with my friend, Emad Burnat, the…Read More... | 5 Comments
Americans involved in Kerry initiative give interview indicting Netanyahu government and exonerating Palestinian leader Abbas. Yedioth Ahronoth’s Nahum Barnea, Israel’s No. 1 print journalist, has a long interview on Friday with unnamed U.S. officials involved in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, giving their view of why they failed. The interview is quite a bombshell, as well as a historic document. (Hours after this post went online, Yediot translated the interview and put it up on its English-language website.) The quote from the Americans that’s likely to make the most news is this: It seems we’re in need of another intifada to…Read More...
In honor of International Women's Day, Abeer Ayyoub pays respect to her mother, who taught her that being a woman in Gaza is as much about liberation as it is about survival. By Abeer Ayyoub Although March 8th has always marked International Woman's Day, this year was the first time I ever felt like it belonged to me as a Palestinian woman. Perhaps it is because I recently turned 25, or perhaps it is because of the awareness I have gained regarding my role as a Palestinian woman living in Gaza. Early on, I felt that I had to become…Read More... | 2 Comments
Israel’s national lore tends to prefer the image of an economic miracle, where Jewish spunk and pluck made the desert bloom and gave rise to an unbeatable hi-tech industry. The reality, however, reveals a far different picture. A tiny exclusive Tel Aviv chef restaurant posted a warm message of support on Facebook for its beloved Eritrean cook, who is on strike this week. Another trendy Tel Aviv eatery posted a sign asking its customers to understand why it is serving food on disposable plates. According to Israel's state-run Channel 1 news, on the third day of strikes and protests by African…Read More... | 20 Comments
A settler in the Jordan Valley was killed in his yard Thursday night. This is the third such incident in the West Bank in less than a month. A retired Israeli colonel was killed in his home last night (Thursday) in the Brosh Habika settlement in the Jordan Valley. The incident brings the number of Israeli casualties in the West Bank to three in less than a month. According to his wife, Seraiah Ofer was attacked with iron rods and axes in his front yard. She escaped through a hole in the back fence, while her husband was beaten to…Read More... | 34 Comments
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;…Read More... | 18 Comments
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…Read More... | 18 Comments
Threat of Palestinian Authority's collapse forces Netanyahu, who has humiliated Abbas and his people as often as possible, to try to placate them. At the beginning of this week, when Palestinian riots threatened to get out of hand, especially if one of the hunger-striking prisoners died, what did Netanyahu do? He gave in. He announced on Sunday he was giving the Palestinian Authority its customs taxes for January, which he'd held back to punish Mahmoud Abbas for winning recognition for Palestinian statehood at the UN last November. Palestinians throw stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers, PA security troops do…Read More... | 7 Comments
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