Analysis News

second intifada

  • Israeli air strike in Syria: Lies, aggression — at what cost?

    From close up, the assassination of a Hezbollah commander and an Iranian general was probably preemption. In the big picture, it was definitely aggression. During the Second Intifada, (late 2000-2004) Israel made a habit of carrying out “targeted assassinations” of Palestinian militant leaders. The Palestinians, in turn, had a predilection for blowing up buses and cafes. After an assassination of a high-up Hamasnik or Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades man, some Israelis and many foreigners would question whether it was a good idea, whether it was worth the risk, given the likelihood that the Palestinians would be out for revenge. The routine…

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  • Losing my faith in humanity: Six years since 'Operation Cast Lead'

    Somewhere between that Saturday, when the gates of hell had opened on Gaza, until the ceasefire 22 days later, everything I had known about human beings, about my society, even about myself had been blown to pieces. By Lilach Ben David It happened exactly six years ago. Three weeks of murder, blood and unfathomable cruelty came to a sudden halt. All of a sudden the noise was gone. As my life quieted down following weeks of protests, violence, news and arguing, I felt it for the first time. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that for the first…

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  • From Iran to the tunnels: Do we really have to live this way?

    Those who spot an existential threat at every turn, turn their backs on diplomacy and mock peace efforts are now astonished to find that the enemy has sought out their own weapons of attack. The tunnels are a self-fulfilling prophecy; the time has come to look for another way. By Nir Baram It is heartrending and frustrating to see us, citizens of a country full of accomplishment and potential, repeatedly stupefied by a cynical propaganda machine whose real intent is simply inaction. What is meant by “inaction”? To avoid putting forth any solution, to not present any creative initiative or…

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  • Why do Palestinians continue to support Hamas despite such devastating losses?

    I know of many Palestinians who do not like Hamas. Yet for them, the Gaza war is about the siege - part of their own war of independence. Israelis refuse to get that. In The Fog of War, Errol Morris’ excellent documentary, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara speaks about a certain inability to understand the enemy – one that stems from a lack of empathy. In the film, McNamara, a brilliant systems analyst, who is today associated more than anything with the Vietnam War, says that part of President Kennedy’s successful management of the Cuban Missile Crisis was his…

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  • On dual standards and the hypocrisy of peace

    Israel has no problem asserting an inviolable right to self-defense, while repeatedly denying the same right to Palestinians. The same state that decries Palestinian violence has no qualms meeting non-violent protests with fully armed aggression. By Nadia Naser-Najjab The ongoing conflict in Gaza has led international actors to reassert Israel’s right to self-defense. Any objection that these same actors have repeatedly failed to recognize, much less support, a Palestinian right to self-defense is routinely rejected upon the basis that it is not the international community’s role to take sides. Needless to say, in a context of open oppression and subjugation, this…

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  • Beyond mission creep: Why Operation Brother’s Keeper isn’t working

    Eleven days later, Israel’s latest operation has been a costly, disruptive rampage that seemingly aims to incite rather than stabilize. By Julie M. Norman Israel’s "Operation Brother’s Keeper" is not working. It is also exploitative, legally questionable, and strategically absurd. Launched 11 days ago, the operation has yielded no new information regarding the location or well-being of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel, the three teenagers who were kidnapped while hitchhiking in the West Bank last Thursday night. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu maintains that Hamas is responsible for the abduction, yet no evidence has been made public, and…

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  • Is Israel trying to force a third intifada?

    Israeli incursions in the West Bank are the largest since the Second Intifada, while airstrikes over Gaza continue for a fifth consecutive night.  "The 'party' tonight is lasting longer than usual," says my friend from Gaza. He recently married, and he and his wife moved to the top floor of an apartment building with panoramic views of Gaza City. For the last five nights, those views have given him a reporter's vantage point on a sustained Israeli bombing campaign - the longest since Operation Pillar of Defense, the nine-day attack on the 25-mile-long strip in November of 2012. At the…

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  • His finest hours: On Sharon's murderous legacy

    From the Qibya massacre, to Sabra and Shatila and the dirty tricks, lies and deceptions that made the West Bank settlements what they are today, Ariel Sharon has caused unimaginable damage to Israel, its army, morality, and political life. (Translated by Sol Salbe) On Saturday night, as soon as  Ariel Sharon's death became known, our hyperactive education minister, Shai Piron, rushed to announce that teachers would devote part of the following day's lesson to Sharon's legacy. These classes would be based on prepared outlines which were supposed to be distributed in the morning. You can get a really good idea of what…

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  • Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dies at 85

    Israel's former prime minister Ariel Sharon, who spent the last eight years comatose after a series of strokes, died on Saturday, January 11. He was 85 years old. A general, politician, statesman, and to many a notorious war criminal, Ariel Sharon was known to combine dogged personal ambition with strategic acumen and ruthlessness, which together shaped one of the most controversial and remarkable careers in Israeli political history. Born in the community of Kfar Malal in 1928, Sharon joined the Haganah in the mid 1940s, and first saw action in the run-up to the 1948 War, when his unit staged…

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  • PHOTOS: A decade on, Citizenship Law still denies Palestinians their rights

    By: Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills & Physicians For Human Rights-Israel, special thanks to Hiba Amara One of the fundamental rights to which a citizen is entitled is the right to marry and build a family in her or his own state. In practice, any person who marries an Israeli citizen is entitled to begin a procedure that will eventually lead to their recognition as a resident or a citizen of the state. This right was honored, in general, until just over a decade ago. In May 2002, at the height of the Second Intifada, the Israeli government decided to freeze this procedure for…

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  • Children in the crosshairs: Lessons from the al-Dura affair

    The continued discussion of the almost 13-year-old Al-Dura affair reflects the current Israeli government's inability to conduct serious and impartial investigations into violations of Palestinian rights. By Brad Parker On Wednesday, Philippe Karsenty, a French media analyst, was convicted of defamation for accusing a French television network of orchestrating video footage of the famous shooting of 12-year-old Mohammad al-Dura in Gaza during September 2000. Over the past 13 years, the shooting has been at the center of Israeli nationalist sentiments of victimization, whether by the media, the international community or anyone else that criticizes Israeli policies toward Palestinians. While the verdict may do…

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  • On the al-Dura affair: Israel officially drank the Kool Aid

    A look at the right-wing conspiracy-nut thinking that informed this week's blue-ribbon report on the infamous 2000 killing of a Palestinian boy in Gaza.  In the 13 years since Muhammad al-Dura was killed in an Israeli-Palestinian shootout in Gaza while cowering behind his father, masses of right-wing Jews have eagerly embraced a conspiracy theory of the 12-year-oid boy’s killing – that it was staged, a hoax perpetrated by Palestinians to blacken Israel’s name. This theory, promoted most avidly by Boston University Prof. Richard Landes and French media analyst Philippe Karsenty, depends on a view of Palestinians being superhumanly clever and fiendish,…

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  • The lie of 'state lands': Whitewashing the confiscation of Palestinian land

    The outpost of Derekh Avot, sitting on stolen Palestinian land, will soon be whitewashed and its lands will magically turn into 'state lands' which will be delivered to the settlers. By Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz A letter from the Officer of the Legal Advisor of the Commander, Judea and Samaria Area – the name the IDF attached to the West Bank - arrived recently at Yesh Din's offices. The letter said that soon, the Custodian of Government Property intends to announce the lands on which the outpost of Derekh Avot is located as Public Lands (commonly known as…

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