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  • Stop asking whether Israel is Jewish or democratic

    This isn’t a choice between 'Jewish or democratic' — the only question is whether Israel can still become a true democracy. For some years, the political center-left in Israel has committed itself to the idea of a Jewish and democratic state. For these mostly secular and traditional people, “Jewish” used to mean some sort of cultural character, and democracy meant free and fair elections. This political camp is deeply committed to the balance between those two ideas and believes that when one overtakes the other, we are lost. [tmwinpost] Thus if Israel is too “Jewish,” it risks becoming a halakhic…

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  • The new normal in Israel

    Violence, racism, fear and no political horizon: that is what Israel's leadership has to offer. Two Arab residents of Israel were taken off an Aegean Airlines flight to Tel Aviv Monday night after several Jewish Israeli passengers demanded they be removed, simply for being Arab. The Jewish Israeli passengers refused to take their seats — thereby preventing the flight from departing — until the two Arab men deplaned, Israel Radio reported. [tmwinpost] After a couple of hours, in an effort to de-escalate, the airline ended up offering the two Arab men a different flight and a free night at a…

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  • Trump is no more racist than mainstream Israeli policy

    Israeli politicians are joining the global pushback against Donald Trump's anti-Muslim racism. But guess what other country bans Muslim immigration? Just days after Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump announced that he will be visiting Israel by the end of December, the billionaire populist called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." Everyone is aghast, including several Israeli politicians, figures and organizations, who began expressing their disgust and indignation Wednesday morning. Some went as far as demanding that Trump be blocked from entering Israel's parliament, the Knesset, or to bar him from entering the country entirely.…

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  • The ghettoization of Israel's 'mixed cities'

    The banality of the ghetto: The term ‘ghetto’ migrated from Europe’s Jewish communities to Israel’s ethnically mixed towns — both as an idea and an institution for controlling the Palestinians who remained in Israel after 1948. By Daniel Monterescu In the aftermath of Jaffa’s conquest in 1948, Moshe Erem, director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Minority Affairs and Tel-Aviv City Council member, wrote to minister of minority affairs Bechor Shalom-Shitrit: ‘Ajami will be from now on surrounded by Jewish housing on all sides. We can assume that there is no threat to security in the city. But for some reason this was not…

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  • Hebron's Palestinians need hope, not military rule

    Nearly 50 years after the occupation of Hebron, Israel still hasn't figured out how to stop Palestinian violence. If you have been attuned to the internal Israeli conversation over the past few days, you'll have noticed that the drums of war are beating once again. In a piece published Friday, Haaretz's military and defense expert Amos Harel describes a growing rift among Israel's leadership surrounding the recent violence that has, for the most part, moved from Jerusalem to the West Bank — and specifically the area surrounding Hebron. [tmwinpost] Following a sharp increase in lethal attacks against Israeli soldiers and…

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  • Israeli hotels warn Jewish guests that Arabs will also be there

    Israeli Jews trying to book hotel rooms for the upcoming holidays being informed of far more than the price and terms, Channel 2 reveals. The latest  hotel courtesy. A number of hotels in Israel are warning Jews trying to make reservations for the upcoming High Holidays that Arabs will also be vacationing there, a report on Israel's Channel 2 News revealed Monday. In audio recordings of telephone calls made to the Crown Plaza, Club Hotel and Astral Hotel reservation lines, employees can be heard actively warning callers that before they book a room, they should take into account that Arabs…

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  • Arab school strike highlights Israel's discriminatory education policies

    All of Israel’s Arabic schools went on strike Monday in solidarity with 47 church-run schools fighting for equal funding from the state in comparison to Jewish religious schools. The discrimination in education is a microcosm of an entire system of inequity. Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett published an op-ed last week marking the start of the new school year. “This is the first time I’ve reached this day with 2.2 million students under my responsibility, besides my own four children,” he wrote, promising to ensure that all schools had the tools “to bring you [the students] and the entire education system to…

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  • Segregation in Israel does not begin or end on buses

    Whether or not the plan is scrapped, the fact is that Israel is a country where senior ministers propose and implement segregation — and keep their jobs. There is something disturbingly disingenuous about the 12 hours of furor that erupted over the segregation — and subsequent “desegregation” — of a handful of Israeli bus lines Wednesday morning. When Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered the “unacceptable” segregation scheme suspended, a sigh of relief could be heard sweeping through mainstream Jewish Israel. [tmwinpost] Democracy lives to see another day; the separation barrier once again kept segregation from infiltrating the Green Line. The bus…

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  • WATCH: IDF brings segregated streets back to Hebron

    IDF re-segregates main road leading to Cave of the Patriarchs, two years after it ostensibly put an end to the policy.   Israeli human rights group B'Tselem announced Thursday that the Israeli military has renewed segregation between Jews and Palestinians on the main street leading to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron since January. The military does not allow Palestinians to use the main part of the street and forces Palestinians to use a narrow, unpaved and rough pedestrian passageway. According to B'Tselem, this policy had been previously implemented between September 2012 to March 2013. It was was temporarily stopped…

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  • The long road to Bethlehem

    It wasn’t the soaring arches or the elegant windows, with their curved caps. It wasn’t that the first room of the house was built in 1808. It wasn’t the jasmine that, like a woman letting down her hair, released its heavy perfume at night. It wasn’t the olive, loquat, lemon, almond, and apricot trees that filled the garden. Nor was it that the fruit from that garden seemed sweeter here in Bethlehem than it was in Jerusalem. The apartment’s biggest selling point, in my landlady’s opinion? The well. She showed it to me the first time I saw the place,…

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  • Prisoners in our own homes: A look at life in occupied Hebron

    Twenty-one years have passed since Baruch Goldstein entered Hebron's Cave of the Patriarchs and massacred dozens of Muslim worshippers. Since then, Palestinians in the city have been placed under a harsh regime of separation and movement restriction. Some of us can't even leave our own homes. By Zleikha Muhtaseb Imagine that you are in your home, sitting on your comfortable couch, making a cup of tea or perhaps looking at the view through your window. You are safe and calm — here no one can hurt you. Now imagine that the front door of your home has been locked by…

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  • The Beaten Path: Tel Aviv's after hours - a night apart (part 12)

    Tel Aviv isn't a single bubble, but rather a bubble made up of myriad sexual, political and social identities. But between the sex, drugs and rock n' roll lies a city whose nightlife is also full of homegrown segregation. Part 12 of Yuval Ben-Ami’s journey through the Holy Land’s most popular tourist sites. It was American-Jewish thinker Abraham Joshua Heschel who proposed, in his essay dedicated to the holy Seventh Day, that the Sabbath is "a palace in time." “Judaism," he wrote, "teaches us to be attached to holiness in time, to be attached to sacred events, to learn how to consecrate…

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  • PHOTOS: Following arson, thousands march with integrated J'lem school

    Two first-grade classrooms were targeted by arsonists who left racist graffiti at one of the country's only mixed Jewish-Arab schools. Roughly 2,000 people — students, teachers and parents from “Hand in “Hand” schools from across Israel — marched through the streets of Jerusalem Friday morning to the Max Rayne bilingual school, which was the target of an arson attack last weekend. Many others joined the march in support the school and to speak out against racism, including activists and at least one member of Knesset, Jamal Zahalka of Balad. Last Saturday night, still unidentified arsonists broke into two first-grade classrooms,…

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