Analysis News

Protective Edge

  • Gaza quiet shows Hamas' pragmatism

    Despite violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank, for the past three months Hamas has maintained calm on the Gaza border — curbing rocket-fire against Israel. By Aaron Magid Opponents of Hamas often accuse the Islamist organization of acting irrationally. In a National Review article titled, “Hamas’ Suicidal Tendencies,” the author writes, “[w]hy is Hamas pursuing such a self-destructive strategy? Ideology.” Yet, in the months since the Gaza war, Hamas’ leadership in Gaza has repeated its pragmatic approach by not launching rockets into Israel, instead choosing to downgrade its ideology so that it may fight Israel more effectively in the…

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  • Israel's top news channel: Gov't asked us to show more Gaza devastation

    Israeli consumers don't want to know what's happening on the other side, the station's foreign editor explains. 'We don't serve the regime, we serve the consumerist regime.' By Oren Persico / ‘The 7th Eye‘ During this summer’s Gaza war officials in the Prime Minister's Office and Defense Ministry contacted Israel’s Channel 2 News, asking why they were not broadcasting more images of destruction caused by the army's bombing in Gaza. Speaking at a panel discussion at Netanya College last week, Arad Nir, the company's foreign news editor, said the news channel did not comply with the government's request, instead decided to show what…

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  • The U.S. is also guilty in Palestine

    When an indigenous, stateless population is blocked access to opportunities for justice by superpowers like the U.S., something is wrong – deadly wrong. By Sam Bahour The U.S. is not a neutral mediator in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; it is an active participant and is guilty of the crimes being committed by Israel against Palestinians, most recently, the mass killings and destruction Israel wrought on the Gaza Strip during the summer. The reality that the U.S. is an active supporter of unimaginable suffering may very well be the motivating force behind the U.S.’s adamant attempts to block the Palestinians from using…

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  • Short-term memory loss champions of the world: Gaza? What Gaza?

    It's amazing with what ease and speed everyone — politicians, journalists and the public — can forget about Gaza. Who really cares about another five-year-old girl dying on the other side of the fence? Translated from Hebrew by Sol Salbe Only a few weeks have passed since the end of Operation Protective Edge and it seems as if Gaza never happened. Politicians are carrying on with their budget wars and the diversion provided by the start of the school year. The newspapers are again preoccupied with scandals about a former chief of staff and a weird misogynist cult. And everyone,…

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  • IDF's 'start-up nation' reservists refuse to serve the occupation

    One of the most striking points in the unprecedented refusal letter is the forceful argument that Israel’s policies vis-a-vis Palestinians are simply unrelated to defense –and they are a matter of choice. Forty-three members of the IDF's prestigious and secretive Unit 8200 have signed a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stating their refusal to serve in reserve duty related to military governance over Palestinians. The document, made available by Ynet, expresses their opposition in blunt language (my translation): We who came out of Unit 8200, men and women reservists past and present, declare that we refuse to take part…

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  • Israel's watershed moment that wasn't

    Liberals abroad seem to think that for Israel, Operation Protective Edge was a turning point -- a wake-up call telling this country that it couldn’t keep going on like this, from war to war to war with no chance for peace. +972 speaks to a number of powerful figures in Prime Minister Netanyahu's inner circle, past and present, to hear their vision of where Israel is headed following the latest Gaza war. On the first weekend after Operation Protective Edge ended in a cease-fire, I drove down to Sderot, the original rocket-plagued Gaza-border town and a stronghold of the ruling…

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  • Post-Gaza war poll: Hamas, Haniyeh and rockets popularity at all-time high

    More than two-thirds of Palestinians favor bringing Hamas' armed resistance model to the West Bank, although majorities in Gaza prefer that the PA take over key aspects of security and governance of Gaza. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli military leaders may have boasted of victory over Hamas last week following 50 days of warfare in Gaza, but a new poll shows Hamas with its highest-ever approval ratings among Palestinians since it took control of Gaza in 2006. In contrast, Netanyahu's approval ratings have plummeted: 50 percent of Israelis said they are dissatisfied with his conduct, compared with an 82-percent approval rating at…

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  • IDF reservist sentenced to military prison for refusing draft

    Update: The reservist has since decided to expose his identity. He is Gilad Halpern; the name has been updated here. An IDF reservist was arrested at Ben Gurion Airport Wednesday upon returning to Israel after fleeing call-up orders to serve in Operation Protective Edge. He was later sentenced to 21 days in military prison. Gilad Halpern, one of three reservists who spoke to +972 Magazine recently for an article about refusal (before he left the country), spent 15 days abroad following a military order to appear for active duty. When he received the order, just as the ground operation was…

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  • Who are the Israelis refusing the call of Protective Edge?

    On Saturday evening, another anti-war demonstration was held in Tel Aviv. A few hundred people marched and chanted and hoped that rumors of a drawdown were true. With minimal numbers and attention, the demonstrations have had little impact. But there doesn’t seem much else that those opposed to the war can do. Soldiers and reservists have another option: civil disobedience, refusal to participate. It is a huge taboo. The idea of avoiding IDF service in a society whose mythical founding narrative is about protection from existential destruction is anathema even in normal times. To refuse a draft order in wartime…

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  • Who are the Israelis fighting this war?

    This is Israel. These are the people I live with – children who become soldiers, and adults who have been soldiers. I want to see what became of those children, and what happened to make the adults around me who they are. This is a snapshot. **** An improvised IDF camp in southern Israel. I drive down to visit my cousin, taking his girlfriend with me, who has come by bus from Jerusalem so I can give her a lift from Tel Aviv. It is 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit), hotter in the dusty, beating sun of the south,…

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  • Beyond protest: War and the Israeli Left

    This article first appeared in Dissent Magazine. Many Israelis who define themselves as “on the left” (about 20 percent of the population on a good day) support Operation Protective Edge. It’s a small and lonely subset that is both left wing and opposes the war. Over the last month, this little constituency has faithfully staged demonstrations of a few hundred—with last Saturday’s rally reaching somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000, by organizers’ estimates—and has written articles of protest. But the demonstrators tend to use such general slogans as “Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies” or “No, no, we won’t let…

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  • VIDEO: Hamas militants film infiltration of IDF base

    Al Jazeera (Arabic) broadcast a video clip Tuesday night that it says was filmed by the Al Qassam Brigades, the Hamas military wing, as it carries out a military operation yesterday (Monday) at the Nahal Oz army base on Israel's border with Gaza. The film shows a group of armed men, their faces hidden by black dots, emerging from a tunnel dug under the wall separating Israel from Gaza. They run over to the army base and open fire as they enter it. At one point one they surround and shoot an Israeli soldier, whose cries are audible. The militants then…

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  • How can you possibly oppose this war?

    Someone asked me an innocent question: “What is the position of Israelis who are against the war?” There are obvious answers. First, this is a disproportionate war that harms huge numbers of civilians. The IDF is bombarding an area that it has already imprisoned by occupation from 1967, and then through suffocating border, movement, import and export control since 2007. Its residents have been stateless since 1948. It is attacking by air, land and sea, while Hamas attacks civilians in Israel through rockets and now through terrorist infiltration, at an increasingly frenzied pace. Second, escalation breeds escalation. The south of…

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