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  • The dark side of Israel's economy

    Israel’s national lore tends to prefer the image of an economic miracle, where Jewish spunk and pluck made the desert bloom and gave rise to an unbeatable hi-tech industry. The reality, however, reveals a far different picture. A tiny exclusive Tel Aviv chef restaurant posted a warm message of support on Facebook for its beloved Eritrean cook, who is on strike this week. Another trendy Tel Aviv eatery posted a sign asking its customers to understand why it is serving food on disposable plates. According to Israel's state-run Channel 1 news, on the third day of strikes and protests by African…

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  • The festering legacy of Oslo: Jerusalem as 'indivisible' as ever

    “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…

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  • Oslo 20 years later: The origins and dangers of 'security zones'

    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…

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  • Don't cheer these peace talks

    To register their recent success, Secretary of State Kerry and the Obama administration destroyed whatever was achieved in the last two decades. For the first time since the 1991 Madrid Conference, the starting point for the negotiations are the positions of the Israeli right. The headlines celebrating the fact that “Israelis and Palestinians are talking again” were misleading. The Palestinian Authority is no more than a regional council in a territory controlled by Israel. Since the PA is completely dependent on Israel for almost all of its functions, Israelis and Palestinians are talking all the time, including on the political…

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  • Could E1 be the trigger that sparks a new round of violence?

    Israeli intentions to build in E1 have both the material and the symbolic significant that could turn into a trigger for a new uprising. It's time for a new path. By Jamie Levin and Craig D. Smith A good number of pundits have recently heralded the demise of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The culprit, they argue, is Netanyahu’s proposed settlement expansion in the area unceremoniously dubbed E1. While there seems to be consensus on a terminal prognosis for a Palestinian state, few have investigated what this will mean for the future of the Israeli-Palestinian relationship, which will…

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  • On anti-normalization, dialogue and activism – a response

    "Those who reject dialogue as a means of ending occupation are alienating even the most sympathetic activists by positing replacement of one monumental injustice - occupation oppression and dispossession - with another: envisaging the disappearance of most Israelis from the region." An argument for why the Palestinian struggle could benefit from a new approach to dialogue. By A.M. Poppy On 10 September 2012, Noam Sheizaf wrote here that his experience with the anti-normalization debate shows “the futility of any form of ‘dialogue’ at this point in time. As long as the political issue remains unsolved, such contacts make both sides more…

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  • How we created 'the world's only prison where prisoners must provide for themselves'

    A surprisingly candid op-ed from a high-level Israeli official explains the role the Oslo Accords played in allowing Israel to maintain the occupation. Dov Weisglass, former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's righthand man, recently had another very candid moment. After Before the disengagement from Gaza, Weisglass gave a famous interview to Haaretz in which he was honest about the rationale behind the move: the desire to fill the diplomatic vacuum and secure Israeli control of the West Bank forever. Last week he went back to Oslo. Weisglass published an interesting op-ed in Ynet in which he explained the value of the 1993 Accords from a…

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  • Transcend the two-state solution, create a federated state

    By Dan Goldenblatt For years now, the Israeli government has been involved in duplicity: it says it is preparing to turn over Area C to the Palestinians, as mandated by the 1993 Oslo Accords. On the other hand, Israel is making plans to expand settlements in that same area. Though a growing number of Israelis have clung to the Oslo Accords because of its promise of a sustainable Jewish demographic majority, it has become clear that Israeli government have not shared the same concern. Though difficult, depressing and for some even tragic, the Oslo promise has been a failure. It…

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  • Obama, Sarkozy are right to not believe Netanyahu

    This week, when the American president was attacked for his "open mic" rants with French president Sarkozy over the Israeli PM's character, it was hard not to remember this video from 2001, in which Netanyahu bragged on how he manipulated the Clinton Administration and stopped the Oslo Accords. [By the way, this clip was discovered and aired by Channel 10. Last week, it was revenge time for Netanyahu: The PM ordered all coalition members to oppose a new arrangement on the the channel's debts. As a result, Israel's second commercial channel - known for its aggressive and critical news desk…

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  • Who is behind the Eilat terror attack?

    The horrific terror attacks in Oslo some weeks ago provided a valuable lesson for journalists. Almost as soon as the attacks took place, journalists throughout the world rushed to place blame on Al Qaeda. Jennifer Rubin, a conservative blogger at the Washington Post known for her extreme views on Israeli politics, wrote that the attacks were committed by Al-Qaeda terrorists and used them to attack President Barak Obama’s foreign policy objectives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Her piece was left unchanged on the Washington Post website for a full 24 hours despite evidence that the perpetrator of the attack was, in…

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  • J Post apologizes for editorial following Norway attack

    It took them almost two weeks, but the Jerusalem Post finally apologized for the crazy editorial in which the paper called upon its readers to use the opportunity created by Anders Brievik's terror attack to discuss Europe's immigration policies. Perhaps Brievik’s inexcusable act of vicious terror should serve not only as a warning that there may be more elements on the extreme Right willing to use violence to further their goals, but also as an opportunity to seriously reevaluate policies for immigrant integration in Norway and elsewhere. Better late than never, I guess. Still, even in this apology there is…

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  • Cherry-picking your racists: A response to Yossi Gurvitz

    Yossi's Gurvitz latest piece, titled "This sick glee in the face of a terrorist attack", was probably the most controversial we ever posted on +972. We got loads of comments immediately, many of them very angry. The real bad ones were removed. I guess we lost some readers. I know that some followers on Facebook and Twitter blocked us. And we had strong disagreement over some parts of the piece among ourselves, expressed in the comments to the posts and in e-mail exchanges between the sites bloggers. Before I deal with some of the points Yossi raised, there is something…

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  • Brievik couldn't have said it better: Jpost wants us to use Oslo attack to reevaluate immigration policy

    Is it only me that find this quote particularity sick? This is from the Jerusalem Post's editorial, no less (my bold): Perhaps Brievik’s inexcusable act of vicious terror should serve not only as a warning that there may be more elements on the extreme Right willing to use violence to further their goals, but also as an opportunity to seriously reevaluate policies for immigrant integration in Norway and elsewhere. If you can stand it, read the rest here.

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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