This is the watchword in Israel today, no matter the price. Late last night (Monday), I was driving home from work and listening to the talk show hosted by Jojo Abutbul, who is sort of an old-time folk hero in this country – a Mizrahi Jew with down-to-earth wisdom. An Israeli common man. He speaks mainly to an older, Likud-oriented Mizrahi crowd, which is still very reflective of Israeli mainstream views, and is disproportionately represented in Sderot and some of the other towns near the Gaza border that have taken the brunt of Hamas’ rockets. Jojo Abutbul and his callers…Read More... | 38 Comments
This week: Protests in the West Bank, U.S. and Tel Aviv as Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip kill 121 Palestinians, including at least 27 children, and injuring more than 800. Related: Why are there are no white flags in Gaza? Blame Israel and Hamas both for Gaza’s civilian deaths What Israel’s ‘precision bombing’ of Gaza looks likeRead More... | 1 Comment
For 14 years, the Israeli communities in the Gaza vicinity have dealt with regular rocket and mortar attacks. But not everyone shares the hardline views most often heard when news cameras show up. As 'Operation Protective Edge' began this past week, Social TV went to the area and found some different voices. Related: Live blog: Escalation in Gaza - July 2014 Why are there are no white flags in Gaza? Dispatch from Gaza: You can never be emotionally ready Why I object to this military campaign, even as missiles fall on my cityRead More... | 3 Comments
A frank discussion about everything we don’t mention when talking about rockets and bombs and Gaza. Let’s talk about fear, about poverty, about angst and about racism. By Lilach Ben David Let’s talk about Gaza. Let’s talk about a small strip of land that god didn’t forget about, but about which we are certainly trying to forget. Let’s talk about one of the most crowded populations in the world; or to be more precise, it was made to be one of the most densely populated places in the word, because until 1948 most of its inhabitants lived in Yaffa, in Bir…Read More... | 7 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
When Gila Hashkes arrived at UC Berkeley as a Jewish Agency Israel Fellow, she felt like she was jumping into the heart of pro-Palestinian activism. Her job was to organize Jewish students on campus, strengthen their connection to Israel and give them tools to justify its policies. But after a year-long journey of digging deeper into the conflict, being pushed by both her Jewish and Palestinian peers and glimpsing the ‘mentality of fear’ that grips the American Jewish community, she had an awakening of sorts, moved back to Jerusalem and now works for equal rights for all. Tom Pessah sits…Read More... | 52 Comments
Israel's Hasbara Ministry is starting early these days. 'Yedioth Aharonoth' profiles the 10-year-old children who are being trained to 'make the case for Israel,' and tests their new skills. Yedioth Aharonoth published today a story about two 10-year-olds from Sderot, Noa and Christopher (quite the Jewish name there, eh?) who have been “hired” (the kids volunteered) by the Ministry of Hasbara (Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry) to explain Israeli positions. After school, the kids went to a special Hasbara course in which they honed their skills in English and practiced standing in front of cameras. Here are the answers…Read More... | 97 Comments
There has been a lot of nationalism, warmongering and even racism in the Israeli media this past week, and inflammatory militaristic statements are still heard everywhere. So I thought it would be a good opportunity to post this video by filmmaker Itamar Rose. Several months ago, Rose traveled with a Palestinian friend to Sderot, which has been hit by rockets more than any other Israeli town, and asked locals to play the role of Palestinians in front of the camera. The outcome is worth watching. (If you cannot properly see the video, click here to watch it.) Some people might wonder how…Read More... | 70 Comments
I spent Thursday in Kiryat Gat, Kiryat Malachi, Ashkelon and Sderot--the Israeli cities under Hamas fire. I spoke to dozens of Israelis; support for Operation Pillar of Defense was unanimous, though no one thought it would bring lasting peace. Most felt it would bring temporary quiet; many believe that Israel needs to reoccupy the Gaza Strip. At a commercial center in Kiryat Malachi, a short walk from the apartment building where three Israelis were killed Thursday morning by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, an elderly man selects tomatoes at a small produce stand. The 74-year-old man, who immigrated…Read More... | 10 Comments
There is a proven road to security for the people of the Negev: a total end to Israeli rule over the people who are shooting at them. Here is my suggestion for how Israel can bring peace and quiet to the people living within rocket range of Gaza: lift the blockade of the Strip entirely (they get all the weaponry and fighters they want through the tunnels anyway); announce that in one year Israel will have no military or governmental presence whatsoever beyond the security barrier ("the wall") in the West Bank (the settlers will then leave of their…Read More... | 33 Comments
No. I don't like the concept of conflict tourism, but you see, people put me down for not engaging in it. Whenever exchanges of fire erupt between the IDF and the militants in the Gaza Strip, I find myself being discarded as "the detached Tel Avivian who'd rather sip his cappuccino then spend two hours in Sderot under fire." Try and make a political comment after being thus accused. Try saying that the IDF was first to strike this time around (as it often is) and that Netanyahu may well be maintaining tension in order to keep the Israeli public…Read More... | 27 Comments
By Ilan Manor As his father fights for his life in a New York City hospital, Sonny Corleone is faced with uncertainty. The attempt on the Don's life could constitute a declaration of war by one of the other New York crime families. Entrenched in the family compound, Sonny is encouraged to wait for the dust to settle before mobilizing the troops. His closest advisor, theconsigliore, hopes that clearer minds will prevail as he is aware of Sonny's susceptibility to his own temper and knee-jerk reactions. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the Netanyahu government. Within hours of the horrid…Read More... | 1 Comment
There is a direct connection between the Israeli government's disdain towards casualties among the "enemy's" civilian population, and its indifference to the fate of its own civilians. The next war, unfortunately, will probably see both groups badly suffer. As I have written here in the past, there are strong indications that Israel may be inching towards war with several of its neighbors. We have good reason to believe this war will have a devastating impact on the non-Israeli side. But what about ordinary Israeli civilians? How will they fare in such a war? Sadly, it seems there is cause for…Read More... | 2 Comments
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