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…Read More... | 21 Comments
As a fundamental human desire and right, peace traverses time and context. However, if it is to be realized it must be adjusted to political and social realities. By Nadia Naser-Najjab In a period degraded by extremes of violence and dehumanization, the sight of 10,000 Israeli protestors taking to the streets of Tel Aviv last Saturday to protest against their own government’s actions in Gaza appeared as a welcome chink of light illuminating unremittingly bleak skies. Despite being smaller in scale, the demonstration recalled the early 1990s, when large numbers of Israelis demonstrated in favor of peace, and the possibility…Read More... | 9 Comments
Where do the U.S. and Israel want Hamas: as part of a transparent political system, or in underground tunnels? By Sam Bahour Palestinian “unity,” reconciling tensions between Hamas and Fatah, is being revered as the foundation that can extract Gaza from the misery wrought upon it by yet another brutal Israeli military onslaught. The devastation from what Israel called “Operation Protective Edge” is overwhelming: nearly 2,000 Palestinians dead, over 10,000 wounded and paralyzed, and a third of the 1.8 million people in Gaza homeless. Added to this human tragedy is the rabid destruction of Gaza’s civilian infrastructure. Palestinian political “unity”…Read More... | 11 Comments
How is this Gaza war different from all the others? Former New York Times correspondent to Gaza, Taghreed El-Khodary, speaks about her time covering the siege of the Strip, and why the international media is slowly coming around to the Palestinian story. By Moriel Rothman-Zecher “I don’t mind being interviewed. Let’s plan the timing,” wrote Taghreed El-Khodary, formerly the Gaza correspondent for the New York Times and currently an editor at fanack.com, ’’I just need to make sure my sister and her family managed to escape their building in Rimal area in Gaza City.” I had reached out to Taghreed…Read More... | 6 Comments
The Gaza war should be seen as part of Israel's overall strategy, which aims to maintain the current status quo in the Palestinian Territories. One of the Israeli Right’s greatest political achievements was convincing the public that “we tried the Left’s ideas, and they failed.” Some even say that the current reality is the outcome of “the Left’s ideas.” Naturally, this claim comfortably avoids the responsibility that the Right had in torpedoing any attempt for peaceful reconciliation, from 1987’s London Accord to Netanyahu’s unilateral decision in 1996 to stop implementing Oslo. (For some reason, the video in which Netanyahu boasted…Read More... | 36 Comments
Israel's latest operation has brought about an end to the notion that Gaza can be separated from the rest of Palestine. The current war in Gaza demands we revisit the circumstances surrounding Israel’s “disengagement” from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Supporters of the war often claim that Israel left the territory and “got rockets in return.” The first rocket was fired from Gaza in 2001, but there is a more important point to be made here: one cannot evacuate a certain part of the occupied territories and expect the problem to be solved – at least in that particular area…Read More... | 10 Comments
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... | 43 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
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Assault on Gaza
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.@StateDept calls for “speedy, transparent” probe into IDF killing of 14-yr-old Palestinian-American Orwa Abd al-Wahhab Hammad
Is Hebrew U targeting its Palestinian students? http://t.co/zWvpDtL1QY
12 Palestinian students face expulsion from Hebrew U for solidarity protest w/ hunger strikers: http://t.co/zWvpDtL1QY
Hebrew University threatens Palestinian students with expulsion for political activities http://t.co/zWvpDtL1QY
RT @MairavZ: Some imp facts on Jerusalem, i.e. only 4.4% of city's welfare budget is allocated and spent in East Jerusalem http://t.co/o6si…