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  • PHOTOS: Palestinians mark Prisoners Day, IDF responds with live fire

    Thousands of Palestinians mark Prisoners Day across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. President Abbas calls for releasing Palestinian prisoners, while Hamas calls for kidnapping Israelis. By Oren Ziv / Activestills and Haggai Matar Hundreds of Palestinians, Israelis and international activists marched in the West Bank village of Bil'in on Friday to mark Palestinian Prisoners' Day. Additional demonstrations took place in Ni'ilin, Nabi Saleh, Kafr Qadum, Ma'asara, as well as in front of the United Nations offices in Gaza. On Thursday, Palestinians also protested outside Ofer Military Prison to show solidarity with Palestinians being held in Israeli jails. The…

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  • Sorry Israeli leftists, I've got no sympathy for you

    Half of Israelis are 'stuck' with a prime minister they didn't want. All Palestinians are stuck with a president who lost his democratic mandate years ago. By Talal Jabari I have spoken to quite a few Israelis following Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest win at the polls earlier this month who talk about their disappointment in his re-election. I am sure that a lot of people who campaigned for other parties — those who felt like there could actually be a change of photo on the walls of the Prime Minister’s Office — were truly disenchanted. After all, that change looked quite…

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  • How one soccer match tells the entire Palestinian story

    On Friday morning, the Palestine national soccer team will face off against Jordan, a team with a majority of Palestinian players, in the Asian Cup. Whether they choose to or not, the 22 players on the field will tell the story of refugees, occupation, checkpoints and the connection between home and diaspora. Oh, and they'll also play soccer.  By Yonatan Mendel May 30, 2014 will go down as one of the biggest days in the history of Palestinian soccer. It happened far away from home, in Malé, the capital of Maldives. Palestine made it to the final round of the AFC…

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  • Security Council's election message to Israelis: Keep ignoring the occupation

    Israel and Washington together blocked a UN Security Council resolution calling for the implementation of a negotiated two-state solution within a year. Abbas's diplomatic efforts have hit a brick wall. The Israeli government came out with the upper hand yesterday at the United Nations Security Council: a joint effort by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry managed to gather enough votes to block a Palestinian resolution calling for a negotiated two-state solution and an end to the occupation within a year (full text here). Jordan submitted the proposed resolution on behalf of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.…

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  • PHOTOS: Thousands take part in Palestinian minister's funeral in Ramallah

    Text by Keren Manor, photos by Yotam Ronen, Oren Ziv / Activestills.org Thousands gathered Thursday morning at the Palestinian Authority headquarters in Ramallah to participate in the funeral of PA minister Ziad Abu Ein. Abu Ein, who served as the Palestinian Authority's settlement minister died the previous day during clashes with Israeli soldiers near the illegal West Bank outpost of Adei Ad. Palestinian President Mahmous Abbas attended the funeral, and declared three days of national mourning. The attendees marched from the headquarters toward a cemetery in the nearby city of Al-Bireh, where Abu Ein was buried.         Related: Palestinian…

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  • 10 years after Arafat: Where did the Palestinian leadership go?

    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…

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  • No one left for Bibi to blame – except, of course, Abbas

    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…

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  • There are no good guys in Jerusalem

    The attempt to assassinate a prominent right-wing Jewish activist in Jerusalem has brought the city to a boiling point. Now is the time for responsible leadership.  Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called the Israel Police’s decision to temporarily close the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount to all visitors — Jewish and Muslim — “a declaration of war” on the Palestinian people and the Islamic nation, speaking in the aftermath of an attempted political murder in the already tumultuous city. Yes, the increasing and more frequent restrictions on Muslim worshipers’ access to the Aqsa Mosque is a valid and serious grievance. Those restrictions,…

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  • Instead of voting to recognize Palestine, vote against occupation

    Opposing Israeli settlements is not necessarily a vote for Palestine. The British Parliament's non-binding, purely symbolic vote to recognize the "State of Palestine" on Monday was not as significant as the debate that preceded the vote (read the full transcript here). Several media outlets noted conservative MP Richard Ottaway's speech, a longtime Israel supporter who expressed genuine indignation with its latest announcement of more settlements as the reason behind his yes vote. As John Cassidy at The New Yorker put it, "for any true friend of Israel, Ottaway’s words will be hard to ignore." In fact, Ottoway sounded more like a spouse who has suddenly discovered…

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  • Defense Minister Ya'alon: I am not looking for a solution, I am looking for a way to manage the conflict

    Moshe Ya'alon is telling it like it is: What you see now in the West Bank and Gaza is Israel's solution.  Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon gave a few holiday interviews to the Israeli media. Ya'alon, who has been Netanyahu's closest partner in the coalition since the Gaza war, was fairly open when he spoke about the Palestinian issue, and a couple of his answers were especially telling. When asked by the pro-Netanyahu paper Yisrael Hayom whether he sees in Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas a partner for peace, Ya'alon not only rejected the idea, but went on to dismiss the mere…

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  • Labour MPs: Vote yes on Palestinian statehood

    In an appeal that demonstrates the complete bankruptcy of the peace camp, the Israeli Labor Party is  calling on its British counterparts to oppose the motion on Palestinian statehood Monday, 'in the name of peace.' Netanyahu couldn't have put it better. The British Parliament will vote Monday on a motion supporting the Palestinian Authority’s request to recognize it as a state. The vote is mostly symbolic, and the British government will still be able to take any form of action it wants. The big drama is taking place within the ranks of Labour. The opposition party is supporting the motion,…

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  • Why it may be time to rethink Abbas

    There is great desire and momentum for change in Israel and Palestine, yet a dire lack of leadership to harness it. If given the international support he needs, could Mahmoud Abbas be the one to guide that change? By Abraham Gutman Last week, on my way to listen to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speak at Cooper Union, I was talking to my sister on the phone. I told her that I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to feel going into the speech. As an Israeli, I tend to automatically get defensive when it comes to issues of Israel and…

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  • Accusing Israel of ‘genocide’: Major fail

    And deservedly so, because it’s a false accusation. This is not how to fight the occupation, this is how to help strengthen it. Mahmoud Abbas’ speech last Friday at the United Nations General Assembly gave the highest-profile-ever exposure to the accusation, popular among anti-Zionists, that Israel practices “genocide” against the Palestinians, and that the war in Gaza was a genocidal one. That’s the highlight of the speech that was picked for the headline in any number of major international news outlets; in Israel the speech is already known, and will be forever, as Abbas’ “genocide speech.” That one word seems…

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