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  • Suspending bus segregation won't solve a thing

    The bus segregation plan is but one policy in a massive system of occupation, which is growing not only geographically but also institutionally, politically and conceptually.  On Tuesday night the plan to segregate Palestinians and Israelis on buses in the West Bank was put into effect, reported Haaretz. On Wednesday morning the Prime Minister decided to suspend the program, following criticism. [tmwinpost] When each development is more awful than the last, perhaps there are no more wise arguments to be made. Instead, I have documented the cycle of attitudes around this week’s example, which reflects, in broad strokes, the deadlocked mentality of…

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  • Beyond Netanyahu: On the collapse of the so-called Left

    Many in the Israeli Left saw the recent election defeat as a danger to democracy. But if the Left wants to win elections, it needs to let go of its anti-Mizrahi fear-mongering and racism. by Elad Ben Elul (translated by Joshua Tartakovsky) In order to understand the outcome of the recent elections in Israel, one has to step away from the two central conceptual frameworks that make up the discourse of most Israelis, but in fact do not capture the complex reality below the surface. One has to step away from the traditional boxes of “Right” versus “Left” and of…

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  • The silent majority of complacency: Israel's right-wing voters

    The 20-kilometer road from “Israel proper” to the West Bank settlement of Ariel used to be narrow and slightly risky, running past a few Palestinian villages where teenagers might want to throw a rock at a passing car with yellow Israeli plates. But no more; now there’s a wide, sleek, protected highway that doesn’t pass anywhere near a Palestinian village, and on whose lanes not a single green Palestinian license plate can be seen. No, the status quo is not static. Ariel itself seems much bigger than I remember, with wide boulevards swooping up and down the rim of the…

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  • Final polls show Zionist Camp with biggest lead yet

    Herzog and Livni may have the upper hand over Netanyahu, but even if they win the election, they won't have an easy time putting together a coalition. The latest election polls published Friday show Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni's Zionist Camp leading Prime Minister Netanyahu's Likud party by four seats. According to Project61, an independent polling project that aggregates and attempts to correct biases in the major pre-election surveys, the Zionist Camp is currently polling at 24 seats as opposed to Netanyahu's 20 seats. According to Israeli election law, polls are not allowed to be published after Friday. While the polls…

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  • The political brilliance of Netanyahu's Congress speech

    Whether or not Israel faces consequences for his diplomatic strong-arming, the Israeli prime minister will have accomplished the only two things that matter to him: trying one last time to kill an Iran nuclear deal and convincing Israeli voters that he is the only one who knows how to ensure their survival. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s maneuver to give a pre-election speech to a joint session of Congress is politically brilliant. Within the bounds of his political considerations, Netanyahu can’t lose, even if the political blowback and diplomatic consequences continue to snowball. It’s easy to forget but there is…

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  • The Israeli government's election gift to West Bank settlers

    Netanyahu tells supporters at a settlement campaign event that Israel will continue to build in the West Bank, as his Likud party competes with more hawkish parties for settler votes. Erekat calls for boycott, divestment in response. Less than a month and a half before general elections, the Israeli government published tenders for 430 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank on Friday. The move could be interpreted as a gift of sorts to the right-wing electorate as the ruling Likud party fights for votes with the further-right Jewish Home party headed by Naftali Bennett. While Netanyahu has ruled…

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  • The 'anti-Zionist' camp goes mainstream in Israeli elections

    Both Netanyahu and Livni are leveraging their international influence for electoral gain: Netanyahu in Congress and Livni at the United Nations. And, will the real Zionist camp please stand up? Elections are almost always referendums on the incumbent, and an incumbent always has an advantage against any challengers. One of those advantages is the ability to demonstrate leadership and to exploit platforms unavailable to his or her challengers, i.e. speaking before a joint session of Congress. Such advantages tend not to be fair, or even legal in some cases. In Israel, for instance, there are laws that prevent public servants…

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  • Netanyahu: Those who call to destroy Israel should have citizenship revoked

    Just hours after thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel demonstrated in the northern Israeli village of Kafr Kanna Saturday in response to the overnight killing from close range of 22-year-old Khir Hamdan by police, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued the following statement: Israel is a nation of law. We will not tolerate disturbances and rioting. We will act against those who throw stones, block roads and call for the establishment of a Palestinian state in place of the State of Israel. Whoever does not honor Israeli law will be punished with utmost severity. I will instruct the Interior Minister to evaluate revoking the citizenship…

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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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  • The mirage of Israel's 'diplomatic horizon'

    The term 'diplomatic horizon,' a catch-phrase among Israeli politicians and the media, points to the need to offer a viable diplomatic plan together with military efforts against Palestinian violence. But can it offer Palestinians a real vision for their longing for statehood? By Prof. Elie Podeh Israeli political jargon occasionally invents “laundered” terms designed to create an illusion of a reality that does not exist. Such is the concept of the “diplomatic horizon,” which has become popular among politicians and the media. Even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during Operation Protective Edge, said on August 20 that “dramatic changes in the region promise…

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  • What to expect from the Israeli Right after Protective Edge

    Progressive forces in Israel need to be prepared: The Israeli Right has yet to exhaust all of its options for dealing with the Palestinians. The alternatives to Netanyahu's status quo involve moves toward a Greater Israel and full segregation based on extreme nationalism and hatred. By Mati Shemoelof (translated by Rotem Nir) If there is one thing we should have learned from the past couple of months, it’s an appreciation of just how high the stakes are in Israel. The Israeli Zionist Left is not capable of leading this country to serious change; change will only come when the Right betrays its…

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  • Netanyahu tweets Foley execution shot to score points against Hamas

    Bibi went there. [This post has been updated.] The official account of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went on a roll today comparing apples and oranges ISIS and Hamas. First there was a Venn diagram comparing some of the key similarities between the two groups (although inexplicably skipping some of the equally relevant ones, such as that both group use guns, sport woolly balaclavas and operate east of Sicily.) Then, however, the prime minister stepped it up a notch by using a frame from James Foley's murder video and a frame from Hamas's 2012 summary execution of suspected informants, to indicate that ravens and…

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  • Will there be peace if Palestinians lay down their arms?

    The world expects millions of people in Gaza and the West Bank to happily and quietly live under occupation. While laying down arms is a positive step towards peace, it is not enough to end this conflict. Written with Dr. Marc Gopin In the past few weeks the pro-Israel pundits have been recycling an argument that runs as follows: If Palestinians were to lay down their guns tomorrow, there would be no war. If Israel were to lay down its arms, there would be no Israel. This argument is based on two false assumptions about Palestinians. The first statement is…

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