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  • The Syrian child who became a symbol in Beirut — and Germany

    Twelve-year-old Fares al-Khodor sold roses in West Beirut for five years until he was killed in an airstrike during a visit to his hometown in Syria. Touched by the massive outpouring from people who knew him in Lebanon, artist Yazan Halwani brought his memory all the way to Germany. By Avi Blecherman Yazan Halwani, a Lebanese street artist known as “the Banksy of Beirut,” went all the way to Dortmund, Germany in order to paint a portrait of Fares, a refugee Syrian child who was killed recently in the ongoing war. Fares al-Khodor, 12, charmed business owners and passersby with…

  • Five years on: Why the Arab Spring is here to stay — and win

    Despite highly destructive counter-revolutionary forces like a-Sisi in Egypt and ISIL in Iraq and Syria, there are grassroots movements across the region demanding governments that serve the people — all of the people. By Yoav Haifawi* On Friday, August 28, 2015, demonstrators in southern and central Iraq (those parts of the country not under “Islamic State” control) held their fifth consecutive “Friday protests” against government corruption, lack of basic services and the sectarian structure of power sharing. On Saturday, August 29, Lebanon’s “You Stink” movement held its largest demonstration yet in “Martyrs’ Square” in the middle of Beirut – undeterred…

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  • How the IDF's hi-tech revolution cheapens Palestinian lives

    The IDF is developing new technology that will eventually cut down on the need for soldiers to go to the front lines. What does this mean for the Palestinians whose lives will hang on the decision of a machine? The Israeli army is optimistic that there will be no need for soldiers to be stationed on Israel’s borders in the future. Not because there will be peace, and not because there will be no need to maintain militarized borders. Rather it is because they are working towards unmanned, weaponized patrol vehicles that will do the job instead. A blog post on…

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  • Israel sells its story on a new Lebanon war, and the 'Times' bites

    If you're going to publish ominous warnings portending the killing of scores of civilians, shouldn't you verify the grounds and ask why? In an article published on the New York Times website today, Israel sells the author, Isabel Kershner, the pretense for its next war: its claims that Hezbollah has dramatically beefed up its military infrastructure along Israel's northern border. [tmwinpost] Those claims on their own don’t come as much of a surprise. It’s been widely acknowledged that Hezbollah has increased its capabilities in southern Lebanon. Nor is the overt battle cry the most ominous part of the piece. What's most concerning is Israel’s…

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  • Why Israel picks fights with Hezbollah

    And why it will probably pick another one before too long. After Hezbollah’s fatal attack on Israeli soldiers Wednesday, the two enemy sides are in a rare configuration: they’re even. Israel killed six Hezbollah guerrillas and an Iranian general on January 18, so Hezbollah killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded seven more, and now they’re quits, for the time being. They each told UN peacekeepers in south Lebanon that they didn’t want to escalate things anymore, they wanted calm, and that clearly seems to be the case today. What an opportunity. From this point forward, Israel and Hezbollah could start…

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  • Israeli soldiers killed in Hezbollah retaliation attack

    Two Israeli soldiers are killed in a cross-border attack on an Israeli patrol road with anti-tank missiles. A Spanish soldier serving with UNIFIL is reportedly killed by Israeli retaliatory shelling. Israeli politicians call for harsh response. Israel killed a Hezbollah commander a week earlier. Two Israeli soldiers were killed in a cross-border attack on the Lebanese border Wednesday morning, for Hezbollah quickly took responsibility. A Spanish soldier serving with UNIFIL, the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon, was killed in Israeli retaliatory shelling. The border attack comes a week after Israel assassinated a Hezbollah commander and an Iranian general in 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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  • Does a strengthened Hezbollah make Israel safer?

    The catastrophic outcomes of another Israeli-Hezbollah conflict  for both sides is likely deterring escalation into all-out war.  By Aaron Magid Since the Gaza war ended, Israeli media quickly shifted its focus to the next conflict - with Hezbollah. Channel 2 aired an extensive interview with a senior Israeli military officer under the headline “The 3rd Lebanon War” detailing the immense costs such a clash would incur, as if another conflict with Hezbollah is a pre-determined fact.  Referring to the threat, longtime Israeli journalist Ben Caspit warned, “not since the War of Independence has the sovereignty of the Jewish State been in such peril.” Ironically…

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  • Don't cry for me: A letter from a little girl in Gaza

    With Palestinian children in Gaza bearing the brunt of Israel's offensive on the Strip, this is what one little girl may have written to us – had she the chance. By Sam Bahour As the latest horrific obscenity of Israel’s aggression against the Gaza Strip continues, the death toll mounts. Palestinian children are paying the highest price, both those who are killed and wounded, and, maybe even more so, those who survive. Since I have written for decades about how Israel’s prolonged military occupation and endless violations of international law – let alone its blatant disregard for its very own…

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  • After indicting Hamas, Netanyahu declares war on all Palestinians

    From arrests to home invasions to airstrikes, the repercussions of Bibi's finger pointing are being felt throughout the West Bank and Gaza. Reports surfaced yesterday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering "expelling" Hamas leaders from the West Bank, ostensibly as punishment for the alleged kidnapping of three Jewish teenagers. The scheme harkens to December 1992, when then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin famously banished 415 Palestinians to what was considered a no-man's-land just over the Lebanese border. Literally dumped on a hilltop and stateless, these accused members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad set up camp in the harsh winter --…

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  • ‘The Shin Bet was very nice, and therein lies their racism’

    Majd Kayyal, the Palestinian journalist from Haifa who Israel detained incommunicado when he returned from Lebanon, speaks to +972 about what it's like visiting Beirut as a Palestinian, his Shin Bet interrogation and why Israel wants to deter Palestinian citizens of Israel from visiting the Arab world. Text by Rami Younis Photos by Shiraz Grinbaum/ He just sat there. I’d look at him occasionally, taking little sips from his cold beer, looking very peaceful, almost aloof from all the phones and commotion of activists around him. He’d give a piece of advice or share a joke with whoever was beside…

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  • How one Palestinian citizen challenged Israel's 'enemy state' policy

    Majd Kayyal's right to travel and participate in a conference in Beirut is far more important than his right to fulfill his role as a journalist. That right belongs to him as a human being, an Arab and a Palestinian who has absorbed the cultural richness of Lebanon's capital. By Salah Mohsen The release of Majd Kayyal, journalist and web editor at Adalah, after five days of detention and complete isolation from the outside world - without the right to meet with an attorney or have his case heard due to a sweeping gag order - proves that his detention…

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  • Israel’s ‘war between wars’ backfires

    A self-fulfilling prophecy is playing out in the north. After nearly eight years of quiet, Israel’s northern border got stormy over the past week. The culmination of the tit-for-tat violence was a bomb placed on the border with Syria that wounded four Israeli soldiers, one seriously, which was followed by an Israeli air strike on a Syrian military base that killed a soldier and wounded others. Amos Harel, Haaretz’s military affairs correspondent, wrote the following: There has been no such series of events in the north since the Second Lebanon War in 2006. The pace is starting to resemble the…

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