For the sake of both the residents of Israel's south and the Palestinians, we must speak about Gaza as a place with real people, rather than as a science experiment. Over the past few years, the Israeli public discussion has reduced conditions in Gaza to one of two situations: either it's the place where rockets are fired from, or it's the place where rockets are momentarily not being fired from. Responses to the rocket fire are determined accordingly: attack with vigor or hold back; refrain from entering the Strip or recreate the "achievements" of Operation Cast Lead; allow building materials…Read More... | 34 Comments
In order to avoid theocracy, apartheid and civil war, one Israeli believes it is time for her fellow Jewish citizens to start re-imagining their identity. By Dorit Naaman Fine, I am not yet a Palestinian Jew, but in 10 to 15 years - and certainly in my lifetime - this place will be called Palestine, and I will be a citizen of Jewish-Israeli heritage. By saying I am a Palestinian Jew I am being neither flippant nor provocative, as my critics would likely hasten to argue. Instead, I am analyzing the current reality and describing the future - utopian, or…Read More... | 42 Comments
The organization's face has changed significantly since 1964, most dramatically in the past 20 years since Oslo. The PLO must find a way to include the diaspora, empower grass roots activism and keep alive its founding spirit as a national liberation movement. By Samer Badawi Take one look at the website of the Palestine Poster Project, and you’ll get a glimpse of another era, when the iconography of the Palestinian struggle came in bold hues attached to even bolder slogans. Among the collection is a gold-tinted composition by the renowned Palestinian artist and art historian Kamal Boullata. The caption is…Read More... | 3 Comments
The Israel army almost automatically rejects building permits for Palestinians in 60 percent of the West Bank. One of the least sexy aspects of the conflict, a new court case aims to challenge the discriminatory regime of building permits and planning. The Israeli High Court of Justice on Monday will hear a petition asking to restore planning rights in Area C of the West Bank to Palestinian local and district planning committees, which were abolished by the Israeli military in 1971. The petitioners, local Palestinian leaders and Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations, hope to give Palestinians a say in…Read More... | 2 Comments
While Palestinians and their leaders historically took their cues from anti-colonial resistance in Vietnam, Cuba and Algeria, their struggle has, over time, become similar to the fight against apartheid in South Africa. With the failure of the Oslo Accords, new, often overlapping approaches have proliferated, leading Ran Greenstein to find out what a genuine anti-apartheid model would look like in our time. By Ran Greenstein How can we define and understand the essence of the struggle against political oppression in Israel/Palestine? On the face of it the answer is simple: the target is the Israeli regime and its practices. But, is…Read More... | 16 Comments
And nobody objects. I was listening on the radio to the prime minister's speech in the Knesset on Wednesday for the 18th anniversary (on the Hebrew calendar) of the Rabin assassination, and it just struck me how far we’ve come in this country. Bibi Netanyahu is now preaching to Israel the lessons of Rabin's murder. And nobody says anything. Members of the Rabin family sitting in the Knesset, whatever they were thinking, didn’t say a word. Neither did the MKs of the Labor Party or Meretz, or MK Ahmed Tibi or anybody else who lived through that time and understands…Read More... | 11 Comments
Former Sephardic chief rabbi and spiritual leader of Shas was known for efforts to reconcile Jewish law with modernity, advance the status of Mizrahi Jews in the Israeli religious establishment and in Israeli politics and society. Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the Sephardic-Haredi Shas party passed away Monday at the age of 93. Yosef recently suffered from a series of health problems, specifically with his heart and lungs. He was hospitalized several times in the last month. Yosef was a complex and not always well understood figure. He was know for his groundbreaking rulings which tried to incorporate…Read More... | 9 Comments
History has shown that the longer the ultra-Orthodox are excluded from the Israeli coalition, the more likely are the chances that they forge alliances with left-of-centre and dovish partners. Could the Haredi parties be the ones to tip the balance in favor of a peace agreement? By Romana Michelon As of late July, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is once again making global headlines. Largely the result of the diplomatic efforts made by US Secretary of State, John Kerry, this is the first time since 2010 that chief negotiators representing Israel and the Palestinian Authority confront one another in direct, albeit…Read More... | 4 Comments
There is much to say about the justness (or unjustness) of the Oslo process, specifically the economic and human impact it has had over the last two decades in Israel and Palestine. What follows is a snapshot. By A. Daniel Roth Twenty years ago this week Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat signed the historic Oslo Accords. A few months later, in the spring of 1994, the Paris Protocol - the blueprint that would define the economic relationship between the Palestinians and Israelis for the next two decades - was signed. Continued violence and events such as the assassination of Prime…Read More... | 27 Comments
“We have a real problem. There is no physical separation and the level of hostility is very high.” This is what a Jewish Israeli member of the board of the French Hill Community Council told Haaretz's Nir Hasson, referring to tensions between his Jewish neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, and the adjacent Palestinian neighborhood of Issawiya. Such tensions led the Jerusalem Municipality to dig a ditch this week between the two. Issawiya is at the foot of French Hill, down the road from the Hebrew University just east of the Green Line, with a population of about 17,000. French Hill was…Read More... | 3 Comments
How Israel succeeded in diluting the implementation of the Oslo Accords through a combination of hypothetical worst-case military scenarios and the misleading and incorrect attribution of the term 'security zones' to diplomatic texts. By Shemuel Meir Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regularly declares that in any agreement with the Palestinians, "security zones" – code for large settlement blocs and the "Jordan Valley" – will remain under Israeli sovereignty. But what is the origin of "security zones," which repeatedly appear in the discourse of Israeli decision makers? The following is an analysis of "security zones" and the stories that we tell ourselves. The main…Read More... | 8 Comments
Can Israeli, Palestinian and American negotiators learn from their mistakes in order to bring about a peaceful resolution to the conflict? New negotiations offer hope like a quarter-drop of water splashed onto scorched and desiccated earth. How quickly such a drop can be absorbed as if it never was, and ground into the dust by the overwhelming forces of failure. Once, hope went beyond a drop: in 1993, the Oslo Accords were a shining symbol of progress. After years of despair and death, it has become synonymous with failure for many. Yet it is the only model for agreements actually…Read More... | 11 Comments
The tactic of punishing Israel for the occupation was finally beginning to take a psychological toll - then the U.S. secretary of state rode to the rescue. The Palestinian Authority was planning to go to the UN in September, in line with the 20th anniversary of the failed Oslo Accords, and begin the process of taking Israel to The Hague over the occupation. Israel was scared, with good reason. But now that fear has lifted. Assuming that the preliminary Israeli-Palestinian talks in Washington lead to full-blown peace negotiations, which is a safe assumption – the Palestinians aren’t going to walk…Read More... | 6 Comments
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Assault on Gaza
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PHOTOS: Another day of destruction, death and displacement in Gaza http://t.co/lPv1zyTHAo by @activestills http://t.co/s1GLSda571
VIDEO: Four minutes of terror in Shuja'iyah as Palestinians flee their homes amid intense bombardment http://t.co/a1p83FYydO by @lisang
The Telegraph publishes the names of 132 Palestinian children killed so far in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge http://t.co/2h1Gj1Pjx3
RT @lisang: No more foreign journalists in or out of Gaza via Erez, announces Israel's Gov't Press Office (via @glcarlstrom & @HughNaylor).…
Israeli military kills 50 Gazans; International airlines halt flights to Israel http://t.co/DXKHl8v2t5 by @edokonrad
'Whether Palestinian or Israeli, I mourn death wherever it strikes' http://t.co/QlQJT2AFOX
Despite their heavy losses, Gazans continue to support Hamas. Why? http://t.co/felLZmd42h