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…Read More... | 69 Comments
Tens of thousands of Palestinians have languished for over 65 years in the Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp, waiting to return home. Now, through his documentary, Mahdi Fleifel reveals an essential side of Palestinian exile that is often forgotten: the human side. It was heartening that the Academy bestowed its highest honors this year to “Twelve Years a Slave,” a story about injustice and liberation, and recognizing America’s historic cruelty towards its people. Maybe it is the curse of the oppressed to achieve their greatest recognition only when the primary injury of oppression is long over, after it can really help. Palestinians…Read More... | 8 Comments
Two incidents in three days, in which Israel’s military was caught with its hand beyond its borders, raise questions of sovereignty and what it means to Israel. Sovereignty is a funny thing. Some countries claim more of it than they really have, some don’t have full control over their sovereign territory or airspace, and others willingly cede some of their sovereignty for a number of reasons. Two cases of Israel violating the sovereignty of its neighbors made headlines in the past few days. The first incident involved Israeli combat soldiers infiltrating Lebanon’s borders on Wednesday. Israeli violations of Lebanon’s airspace, maritime…Read More... | 13 Comments
Israel is now bombing the strategic interests not only of its preferred targets – Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Iran or other vastly inferior military powers – but of Russia. When I think of Israel’s continual acts of military "preemption," I think of a cocky kid who believes he can run across the freeway, so he tries, and he makes it, which makes him even cockier, so he tries again, and he makes it again, and by now he thinks he’s invincible, he’s invulnerable, so he’s running across the freeway whenever he feels like it. He’s become the hero of his…Read More... | 18 Comments
A new survey by the BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, a non-profit organization that works to defend and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees, attempts to understand how youth of Palestinian heritage (third or fourth generation of displaced Palestinians) identify with their ancestry. BADIL conducted a survey focusing on identity and social ties among Palestinian youth residing in Mandate Palestine (West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and Israel), Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. The results reveal that between 55 to 70 percent of the respondents in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon regard themselves as Palestinians; 45 percent of Palestinian citizens of Israel regard themselves as…Read More... | 3 Comments
Muhammed Assaf's victory on 'Arab Idol' should be a reminder to Israelis that there is nothing to fear. On the contrary, when it comes to our Arab neighbors, there is plenty to be proud of. By Noam Shaul I only discovered Mohammed Assaf, a contestant on the "Arab Idol" reality show and resident of Khan Younis refugee camp in the Gaza Strip about a month ago. Last Saturday, Assaf won the competition after hard work that was visibly accompanied by the support and veneration of much of the Arab world. I happened upon him after a friend of mine posted…Read More... | 14 Comments
The Syria nightmare has gotten worse than imaginable, and now the only thing conceivably worse is what can be expected in the foreseeable future. In this awful environment, some interesting data has appeared about public attitudes from two important parts of the world: the U.S. and the Middle East. Here are a few thoughts about the findings. Please read this as not as a collection of cold statistics, but as a tally of how human beings assess the lives and value of other human beings, their responsibility to humanity and their fears and morals. U.S. on Syria: 45 percent of Americans…Read More... | 11 Comments
In their haste to unify Jewish youth in support of Israel, American Jewish institutions have bred an often unrecognized racism among the next generation of community leaders. By Roi Bachmutsky Demonstrations in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah have come alive again as of this past Friday, aiming to show solidarity with the Shamasneh family who have appealed the impending eviction from their home. Unbeknownst to many, the struggle in Sheikh Jarrah reaches far beyond the borders of Jerusalem. In fact, it affects ethnic tensions half a world away by influencing how American Jewish youth internalize the separation between…Read More... | 6 Comments
Yesterday morning's air strike in Syria was apparently the latest instance of Israeli aggression posing as self-defense. No Israeli public figure I'm aware of has spoken out against yesterday morning's attack on an arms convoy transferring weapons (reportedly not chemical ones) from Syria to Hezbollah, which, according to foreign news agencies, was carried out by the Israel Air Force. Everybody here is scared - look what's happening in Syria, there's chemical weapons up there, the country's breaking up. "The entire area is raging and we must be prepared and strong and determined in the face of any possible development," Netanyahu…Read More... | 74 Comments
It's not what the Jewish majority likes to believe. A common Jewish Israeli criticism of Arab Knesset members is that they do a disservice to their constituents by focusing on high politics, mainly the Palestinian issue, instead of dealing with bread-and-butter economic issues that would really help them. (There may be something self-serving about this line of criticism, but who knows?) Last week I went to Jedeida-Makker, an Israeli Arab village a couple of miles inland from Acre, to hear Balad MK Haneen Zoabi give a campaign speech. The residents, including the local council head, indeed told her that she…Read More... | 42 Comments
+972 Magazine's Haggai Matar was recently awarded the 2012 Anna Lindh Mediterranean Journalist Award in the Online Media Category for his 12-part series "The Wall, 10 years on," which was first published on +972. The series surveys Israel's separation wall in the West Bank, or what Haggai calls the "biggest, most expensive and most influential construction project in Israel’s history." Haggai shared the 5,000 euro prize with Sophie Chamas (Lebanon), whose piece also won. Click here for the entire project: The Wall: 10 years on / Haggai Matar The award was first launched by the Anna Lindh Foundation in 2006 to recognize the role…Read More... | 7 Comments
On the 30th anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre, a Jewish American nurse who provided humanitarian aid in a Beirut hospital recalls her first encounter with IDF soldiers. Today, she asks them to take a few moments during the Jewish New Year to remember. To the IDF soldiers who were at Sabra and Shatila, September 2012 will mark the 30th anniversary of the massacre at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut. In 1982, the first day of Rosh Hashanah coincided with the final hours of that horrific event. This year, the first day of the Jewish New Year, September 16,…Read More... | 4 Comments
Israelis are ever so sensitive to threats from "the other side," be it Palestinian militant groups or Iran's leaders. It's understandable; nobody likes vows to wipe his or her country off the map. Yet for some reason, the same people become tone-deaf when it's Israel that threatens its neighbors. A well-known example is Israel's current foreign minister's offer - made in a meeting with foreign ambassadors! - to bomb the Aswan Dam in case of a confrontation with Egypt, causing the flooding of vast areas around the Nile. Except for some feeble condemnations, Lieberman paid no political price for his words, and Binyamin…Read More... | 98 Comments
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A look into the daily life of African refugees living in an 'open' detention center.
Kerry's peace process
Full coverage, commentary and analysis of the latest round of peace talks.
Plan to displace Bedouin
Will tens of thousands of Israeli citizens be evicted from their homes?
A series of striking infographics.
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Photos of the week are in http://t.co/DEqfHUmMAb by @activestills http://t.co/lmXoq1LmYS
More than any other act, one event has shaped the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for the last 20 years http://t.co/kIgCUcHfSz
Selective prosecution: In Israel, not all citizens are created equal http://t.co/gBr2baIUYs by @lisang
In Israel, not all citizens are created equal: On selective prosecution http://t.co/FMuYLqzGWk by @lisang
On Prisoners' Day, Palestinians and supporters struggle for freedom, by @activestills: http://t.co/7PXbq7gNgh http://t.co/oCLVh030ff