Only once Western democracies have committed their resources to ending the atrocities in Syria can they turn inward to rid their societies of the hate and bigotry that plagues them. By Ilan Manor Words matter. Words help us understand the world we inhabit and shape our response to events far and near. Some refer to the events unfolding in Syria with the words "civil war." These words, carefully selected by policymakers and politicians aim to prevent us from crying out against the atrocities in Aleppo and Homs. [tmwinpost] Civil wars are internal matters. So why should the UK or the U.S. or France intervene in…Read More... | 1 Comment
We who are Syria’s neighbors, among whom so many of Syria’s victims have sought shelter, owe it to them — and to ourselves — to speak honestly and without shame about this singularly Arab tragedy. In so doing, we must create space for our Syrian sisters and brothers to lift their voices above those of others. Khalil, the produce vendor, is producing a map, on a cardboard scrap, that tells of cherries. Sourced from points north, they are sweeter, he tells me, because they are darker. But I want to know how: how did Syrian cherries end up, fresh and firm,…Read More... | 20 Comments
The 46 ISIS-associated prisoners represent only 0.3 percent of the prison population and just one-tenth of one percent of all prisoners. Some went off to fight in Syria, while others expressed support for the group on social media. By Noam Rotem As of the end of June, Israel was imprisoning 46 alleged ISIS supporters, according to data provided by the Israel Prison Service (IPS). Out of over 17,000 people being held in Israeli prisons at the end of June, 37 percent of those prisoners, 6,369 people, are classified as “security prisoners,” and the rest as criminal prisoners. The “security” classification…Read More...
I hurt my leg, so I gave it a treat: a trip to sites across Israel/Palestine that tell of just how fragile the human body is. The doctor says my leg is fine, but I have doubts. I twisted it playing football (soccer, so be it) last autumn, tore a muscle and feared damage to the knee. I then went on to celebrate a "round" birthday. Forty is fairly young, but facing a new decade with an ache makes one ponder the human body and its weaknesses. The body feels different here in Israel/Palestine. It is a land where the…Read More...
In less than a week, the Israeli prime minister admitted to military action in Syria and declared to the world that Israel will never relinquish the Golan Heights, which it unilaterally annexed 35 years ago. By Shemuel Meir What led Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to wake up one fine day and declare, during a highly publicized but insignificant reserve duty exercise in the Golan Heights (and without the army Chief of Staff present, as is customary) that “we struck Syria dozens of times”? Was it a slip of the tongue stemming from the overconfidence that has become so typical lately?…Read More... | 3 Comments
With war raging over Israel's border with Syria, it's easy to forget that the Golan Heights — a buffer between the two countries — is occupied territory. But occupied it is, and the landscape bears witness to a history of violence and expulsion. "The sky fell to earth, the stars turned to stones..." — Elias Khoury, Gate of the Sun I’m standing at the top of a crumbling minaret, looking into Syria. The tower belongs to a mosque in the destroyed Circassian village of Sur’aman, whose ruins are gradually being consumed by the woods around them. In the distance lies…Read More... | 4 Comments
The Zionist dream is disappearing due to the rise of the messianic Right. Jews who are worried must know there is an alternative: building a society based on equality and democracy. The end of the Zionist era is upon us. Perhaps it is time to close this chapter in the history of the Jewish people. The Zionist movement has succeeded, and now it is time to take down the monster before it goes too far. [tmwinpost] You, our Jewish cousins, established a state in the most unjust way possible. One cannot hide the Palestinian people or what they have gone…Read More... | 5 Comments
It's no coincidence that a deal to normalize relations between Turkey and Israel was announced on the same day that Netanyahu pushed a natural gas deal through the Knesset. As usual, the Palestinians are the biggest losers — oh yeah, and the Greeks. Two years ago, when a major-but-ultimately-premature breakthrough in the frozen relations between Israel and Turkey was announced, I wrote a short and silly post explaining the development through the lyrics of Wu-Tang Clan mainstay Method Man: “Cash rules everything around me.” [tmwinpost] The Turkish energy minister declared at the time that his country was the only suitable…Read More... | 3 Comments
As we mark International Human Rights Day, it is worth challenging the myth that Israel's High Court is the defender of human rights in Israel. By Noam Rotem When he woke up from his nightmare one morning, Mr. Israeli discovered that the Israeli High Court had turned into a giant insect. Tasked with balancing the sickening populism of the legislative branch and fighting to protect Israeli democracy, the High Court has become the legal rubber stamp for the racist caprices of its overlords. This week, as we marked International Human Rights Day, Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority…Read More... | 21 Comments
The prime minister had a busy week. We were taking notes. 1. We could destroy Al-Aqsa — if we wanted to Netanyahu dedicated a good part of the past few months to swearing up and down that Palestinians are inciting violence by suggesting that Israel, Israelis or Israeli rule threatens Islam’s third-holiest site, Haram al-Sharif and Al-Aqsa Mosque. (Ignoring, of course, that members of his own government regularly incite against Al-Aqsa.) And then there was this. “If the Jews wanted to destroy Al-Aqsa it wouldn’t take much effort, not at all,” the prime minister told party members in a closed…Read More...
In a strange feat of partial resurrection, half of the railway between Haifa and Damascus is being fixed for reuse. Elisha Baskin's lens and Yuval Ben-Ami's pen follow it, focusing on the decaying and embalmed, rather than the freshly welded. (for the full, four part project, click here) For the next leg of the journey, Elisha and I meet at a train station, a living one. We are hung up on ruins, but Israel also boasts railway infrastructure that is largely modern, functional, and topped with a bonus bit of irony: our red trains are the same used for local…Read More...
Ironically, the boycott movement actually expresses some level of faith in Israeli democracy by assuming a little pressure might motivate it to change. When the most recent flotilla set sail for Gaza to protest Israel's eight-year blockade, Prime Minister Netanyahu wrote an open letter to the activists. In a tone dripping with sarcasm, he suggested they had taken a wrong turn on the way to Syria. It’s part of a theme repeated obsessively: “there are worse violations elsewhere, but no one ever protests them. Therefore, protesting the occupation on behalf of Palestinians is hypocritical, anti-Israel or anti-Semitic. Therefore, it can be…Read More... | 9 Comments
Some Druze in Israel are campaigning for intervention to save their kin on the Syrian side of the border, but the Druze in Syria reject the idea out of hand. Instead, they are demanding that Israel stop supporting the people threatening to massacre them. By Rabah Halabi ISIL and Jabhat al-Nusra are fanatical religious movements that pose a danger first and foremost to moderate and enlightened Islam, then to the Arab world, and humanity itself. These same dark forces are threatening the wellbeing and very existence of the Druze in Syria, because of their religious beliefs, which they have held…Read More... | 4 Comments
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