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israeli occupation

  • Why Herzog's diplomatic plan looks an awful lot like apartheid

    Looking closely at Labor's plan, the logic behind it becomes clear: since it is difficult to envision a Palestinian state in the foreseeable future, Israel should no longer be ashamed of putting Palestinians in Bantustans. By Neve Gordon On Sunday night, Israel's Labor Party unanimously approved their leader's diplomatic plan. [tmwinpost] Labor's premier Isaac Herzog laid out his vision a few weeks earlier at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, telling the audience that he “wish[es] to separate from as many Palestinians as possible, as quickly as possible.” Herzog continued by explaining that “we’ll erect a big…

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  • Palestinians don't need incitement to know they are occupied

    Israelis refuse to understand what drives Palestinians to violence. After all, it is far more convenient to dehumanize them than face reality. There’s something self-righteous about calling Palestinians who violently resist occupation “terrorists,” while referring to the ones occupying them, also violently, as mere “soldiers.” It becomes even more grotesque when the people committing these desperate acts are minors, or even children. Even at the tender age of 11 and 13 they are still terrorists, even in so-called “liberal” newspapers like Haaretz. The fact minors that cannot be held criminally responsible for their actions is suddenly no longer relevant to these…

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  • Why the Israeli debate on the occupation misses the point

    In the eyes of most Israelis, democracy consists of two Jews arguing over the fate of the Palestinian. Natan Sharansky, the Chairman of the Jewish Agency, used his experiences as a prisoner of conscience in the Soviet Union in a recent op-ed in order to attack the activists of Israeli anti-occupation organization, Breaking the Silence, who do not shy from criticizing Israel's policies in the occupied territories outside the country. Let me be clear: there are no similarities between what Jewish political activists in Israel go through and the persecution of dissidents in the USSR, and Sharansky's contributions to human rights must…

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  • When equality is the biggest existential threat of all

    In these days of entrapping human rights activists and blacklisting 'traitors,' the concept of equality has become as radical as it gets — and a threat to everything the governing regime stands for. Last week Israeli lawmakers had the opportunity to take a first step towards enshrining equality in the law. They rejected this opportunity, voting down Joint List MK Jamal Zahalka's proposed amendment to include a clause on equality in Israel's Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. [tmwinpost] The vote was taken on a preliminary reading of Zahalka's bill, meaning that it was shot down before it even left…

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  • Being a Mizrahi woman in the Left

    My leftism is beyond the establishment, and it stems first and foremost from my experiences as an outsider. By Netta Amar-Shiff I grew up in a house that was mostly involved in maintaining family unity and keeping the mitzvot, all within the geographical radius of my home, my synagogue, and my school. Although I never knew who or what Arabs were, I knew a little bit of Arabic, since I lived with my grandmother, may her memory be a blessing, for several years. When I was young knowledge of the language did not serve as a bridge for anyone in…

  • Building an alternative reality means building community

    In an era when settlements are a given, when criticizing the occupation is tantamount to treason, and when there is no viable alternative to the Right, building a community is one way to create a new reality. On Thursday night, bloggers, editors, photographers, designers, readers, journalists and supporters of +972 Magazine and its Hebrew sister site, Local Call, gathered together to officially welcome our new executive editor, Sawsan Khalife. [tmwinpost] Arabic, Hebrew and English filled the Anna Loulou, a small bar in Jaffa's Old City. Some of us hadn't seen each other in a long time, while others had never met…

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  • Time to break the silence: An open letter to American Jews

    The American Jewish establishment, from the Federations to synagogues, must take a look in the mirror and decide whether this is the Israel it identifies with. If it isn't, it should speak up. Urgently.  Dear American Jewish community, I should start off with a full disclosure: I am only tangentially a part of you. I have been living in Israel for the past five years, and before that I was an Israeli-American living in the Bay Area (with a brief stint in Los Angeles), where us Israelis viewed ourselves as a semi-autonomous cultural group. For the most part, we were not…

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  • East Jerusalem's youth: Proof that managing the conflict doesn't work

    The blood of East Jerusalem's children, and the blood of their Israeli victims, is a reminder of one thing: there is no way to 'manage' the conflict. A year of mostly bitter, devastating events has finally come to an end. From the murder of 16-year-old Shira Banki at the Jerusalem pride parade to the grotesque behavior of the Israeli Right to the growing exclusion of Arabs from the public space, 2015 leaves behind it very few reasons for optimism. This was the year in which women continued to be murdered in horrifying numbers across the country, Gaza continued to bleed,…

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  • WATCH: Israelis say 'enough' to violence and occupation

    Since the beginning of October, more than 120 people — Palestinians and Israelis — have lost their lives, while hundreds of others have been wounded in the latest round of violence. Lives on both sides are cut short, entire families are torn apart, and fear and hatred reign in the streets. Dozens of Israeli activists heeded the call of their Palestinian counterparts and protested in front of the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv last week to call for an end to the violence.

  • There is no more 'Israel' today

    What's in a name? A lot, it turns out. Why the name 'Israel' alone just isn't doing the job. PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat touched off a sizable media storm when he asked to remove an Israeli flag hanging above his head as he addressed the Haaretz conference in New York this week. Veteran journalist Dan Margalit from the pro-Netanyahu newspaper Israel Hayom called the conference organizer’s decision to comply a “burning and outrageous mistake.” [tmwinpost] But I can’t get worked up about the flag. In fact, lately I have a hard time saying the name Israel at all. And…

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  • If only the army could investigate soldiers who harm Palestinians

    When it comes to prosecuting its own soldiers, it seems the military investigation system is set up to allow the IDF to dodge accountability. By Yossi Gurvitz, written for Yesh Din Who is in charge of the military investigative system when soldiers harm Palestinians? This turns out to be a rather complex question that the IDF is at pains to answer. The running of the investigation itself is the responsibility of Military Police Criminal Investigations Division (MPCID), but it does not always decide whether to open an investigation. In cases of a suspected crime during operational activity, the decision over…

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  • What does it say when the IDF is the sanest voice in Israel?

    When members of the opposition are trying to outflank Netanyahu on the right, even the IDF seems like a saner alternative to Israeli politicians. By Yoni Mendel "A nation in uniform," "an army that has a state," "a democracy of army bases." In academic research of the critical kind, Israel is understood as a militaristic state. This, among other things, is what the sociologist Baruch Kimmerling meant when he said, "whether we want it or not — we are a clearly militaristic society, and this militarism is also a central principle around which Israeli society is organized." Uri Ben Eliezer…

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  • Hebron's Palestinians need hope, not military rule

    Nearly 50 years after the occupation of Hebron, Israel still hasn't figured out how to stop Palestinian violence. If you have been attuned to the internal Israeli conversation over the past few days, you'll have noticed that the drums of war are beating once again. In a piece published Friday, Haaretz's military and defense expert Amos Harel describes a growing rift among Israel's leadership surrounding the recent violence that has, for the most part, moved from Jerusalem to the West Bank — and specifically the area surrounding Hebron. [tmwinpost] Following a sharp increase in lethal attacks against Israeli soldiers and…

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