By accusing Palestinians of attempting to 'ethnically cleanse' Jews, Netanyahu is not only distorting history, he is actively delegitimizing both the Palestinians and the Israeli Left. By Na’aman Hirschfeld “Ethnic cleansing is the forced removal of ethnic or religious groups from a particular territory with the intent of making it ethnically or religiously homogeneous. That’s the generally accepted definition of the phrase, and there are no differences of opinion on that.” These words were written by Moshe Arens in an op-ed published in Haaretz last month. Arens went on to ask: “So why did Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent use of that phrase cause…Read More... | 16 Comments
From surreal exaggerations to outright lies, Netanyahu dished up another batch of nonsense utterings to a foreign audience in Berlin this week. We picked three of the best and broke them down for you. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has something of a track record of saving his most nonsensical and demonstrably false statements for foreign audiences. Although honesty is also not his strong point on home turf, it's when he's speaking in English that he gets really creative. Less than four months after his bumbling attempt to pin the Holocaust on the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem aroused equal parts derision and mirth…Read More... | 4 Comments
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…Read More... | 39 Comments
Thousands of Israelis demonstrate in central Tel Aviv against the government's unwillingness to reach an agreement with the Palestinians. Photos by Yotam Ronen, Oren Ziv / Activestills.org Thousands of Israelis participated in a protest march in central Tel Aviv Saturday night against the Netanyahu government's policies in the West Bank and the continuing violence. The demonstrators, many of them from Peace Now — which organized the event — and the left-wing Meretz party, along with several members from the Arab-Jewish Hadash party and Da'am Workers Party, marched from Habima Square to the IDF headquarters on Kaplan Street, waving Israeli flags…Read More... | 3 Comments
While Netanyahu was busy blaming a Palestinian for the Holocaust, a group of Jewish activists asked the World Zionist Congress what it was planning to do to end the occupation. Hours before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made headlines for telling the World Zionist Congress that a Palestinian inspired Hitler to exterminate the Jews, a group of Jews from around the world came to that very same congress to remind delegates of the conditions in which Palestinians live. [tmwinpost] The group, comprised of members from both the Center for Jewish Nonviolence and the Israeli left-wing group, All That's Left, arrived at…Read More...
Israelis need to realize that neither Abbas nor the PA, nor Hamas are responsible for Israelis' security. Israeli leaders are — and they are failing miserably. The sense of terror and anxiety has become palpable everywhere. The fear is visceral. The consistent flow of news alerts and bloody videos informing of another attack and another attack is paralyzing. I'm practically living inside my Twitter feed, looking on in horror at the events. The Palestinians going out to stab Israelis every day — many of them teenagers — are on veritable suicide missions. It's like there's a zombie movie happening on…Read More... | 2 Comments
By stalling while deepening the occupation, successive Israeli leaders — of whom Netanyahu is only the most recent — have dragged Israelis and Palestinians into a dance of death. Ingmar Bergman's classic 1957 film The Seventh Seal tells of a medieval knight who returns to Sweden from the Crusades, only to find that the plague has swept his country. At this point, Death (personified as a tall, pale figure in a black cowl) appears to the knight, informing him that his time on earth is up. Not wanting to face up to the inevitable, the knight challenges Death to a…Read More... | 1 Comment
The Israeli Right has offered up legislation to deal with stone throwing, supported new settlements, and at times even championed annexation. The result has only led to a worsening security situation. In the thick of a wave of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, Israelis are either looking backwards to figure out how we got here, or forward to see if tomorrow things will get worse. And tomorrow looks like a mystery; the Israeli media treats Palestinian violence like the autumn rains that began this week — it comes and goes arbitrarily. [tmwinpost] But what about the longer-term future? Is there any…Read More... | 2 Comments
Lacking any ability or will to deal with the political stalemate, Netanyahu has a vested interest in presenting the current situation in Jerusalem as a showdown between radical Islam and the West. Who will pay the price? By Yael Marom The latest clashes at Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the death of Israeli Alexander Levlovitch as a result of Palestinians throwing stones at his car, have awoken the Israeli media and the prime minister. They tell a very specific story: Palestinians have come together to ruin the Jewish New Year. Why? Perhaps they have something against apples and honey. [tmwinpost] But like…Read More... | 2 Comments
Eleven months after the disappearance of two Israeli citizens into Gaza, it seems as if the public has simply forgotten all about them. By Anat Yorovski In early July, the Israeli press reported that two Israeli citizens, Avera Mengistu and a Bedouin whose name has not been released for publication, are being held in Gaza, likely under Hamas captivity. The press followed the story for a number of days, along with a bit of criticism against Prime Minister Netanyahu. And then—silence. The Israeli public has quickly moved on to other things, and I’d like to understand why. I believe that a…Read More... | 1 Comment
Administrative detention does not allow the accused to learn the charges against him, and therefore cannot defend himself against it. It’s a sort of parallel universe where due process doesn’t exist, and you go to jail simply because someone said so. By Talal Jabari In February, a viral video showed an Israeli passenger on an Israeli airline who really wanted to purchase duty-free chocolate and who felt that she was being neglected by the flight attendant. That feeling of neglect quickly turned into anger, and she began shouting, “What am I, an Arab?” to the support of at least one…Read More...
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…Read More... | 1 Comment
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…Read More... | 18 Comments
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