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  • WATCH: Netanyahu's deafening silence, the extended version

    The Israeli prime minister digs deeper into his bag of UN shtick. (Updated below with even better versions.) Israeli Prime Minister is known for his antics and shtick at the United Nations. In the past he has flaunted cartoon drawings of bombs, waved blueprints of Auschwitz and now he used a new prop — deafening silence. Deriding the entire world for ignoring threats to Israel by Iran, Netanyahu accused the representatives present in the UNGA chamber: “the response from every one of you here, utter silence. Deafening silence.” And then he went silent. With the most terrifying evil stare, or perhaps…

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  • Nabi Saleh's weapon against occupation: Humiliation

    The residents of the small West Bank village, who were recently propelled into the international spotlight, know that neither slingshots nor sophisticated camera angles are their best weapon against military rule. Many Israelis never heard of Nabi Saleh before a video of a soldier struggling with a child and his women family members went viral. It wasn’t just the violence of a soldier’s overwhelming might rushing the delicate body of an injured kid that made the video upsetting. There was something horrible about seeing a grown man lose his armed-to-the-teeth cool to a mere child, struggling and cursing as if fighting…

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  • Despite its wishes, the EU only deepens the occupation

    The European Union is substituting pressure on Israel for dialogue. How else will it be able to continue building schools and solar panels in the occupied territories? The European Union is one of the most demonized bodies in Israel at the moment, and the hate is no longer coming only from the extreme right. The working assumption in the Israeli mainstream is that the EU is biased against Israel, that it supports different forms of sanctions and boycotts, and that it is trying to isolate Israel and force it to withdraw from the occupied territories. [tmwinpost] The truth is entirely…

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  • One year since Gaza: Why there's no such thing as a 'precision strike'

    You often hear of an airstrike on Gaza being labeled a 'precision strike.' But how precise can a half- or one-ton bomb be when dropped on an area the size of Detroit? “In Gaza, we use bombs that are extremely precise, and strike only Hamas targets – not civilians…” - Lt. Omer, Israeli Air Force Pilot “None of us were fighting. We were not told that we would be attacked… [M]y sister, my mother and my children all died… We all died that day, even those who survived.” - Survivor of an airstrike in Khan Younis during Operation Protective Edge,…

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  • Accusing Israel of ‘genocide’: Major fail

    And deservedly so, because it’s a false accusation. This is not how to fight the occupation, this is how to help strengthen it. Mahmoud Abbas’ speech last Friday at the United Nations General Assembly gave the highest-profile-ever exposure to the accusation, popular among anti-Zionists, that Israel practices “genocide” against the Palestinians, and that the war in Gaza was a genocidal one. That’s the highlight of the speech that was picked for the headline in any number of major international news outlets; in Israel the speech is already known, and will be forever, as Abbas’ “genocide speech.” That one word seems…

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  • Gaza dispatch: Why the destruction in Beit Hanoun is different

    Local residents tell me that previous Israeli attacks on Beit Hanoun had targeted homes much closer to the border. This time, the military took aim at the center of town. Why?  As negotiations over a long-term Gaza truce draw to a close in Cairo, their success may hinge on a key Hamas demand – facilitating civilian access to the West Bank. The demand, say observers here, is about more than humanitarian needs. Linking the two territories would strengthen a Palestinian reconciliation deal forged in April – a deal Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to recognize. On the ground in…

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  • PHOTOS: Gaza's half-million internally displaced

    Photos by: Basel Yazouri and Anne Paq/ Text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler The most commonly cited statistic from Gaza is the death toll, now rising past 1,814, according to UN figures. Such numbers can be numbing, as absorbing the reality of so many faces and names is impossible. Yet another staggering figure that is difficult to comprehend is the number of people displaced from their homes, which the UN estimates at 520,000. Gaza's half-million displaced residents are one of the most obvious refutations of the the accusation that Hamas uses "human shields." The Guardian has reported "large numbers of people fleeing…

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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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  • Hamas: Missing soldier likely killed in Israeli air strike

    Israel continued to bombard Gaza overnight, as the Palestinian death toll rose to more than 70 after the collapse of Friday's UN and U.S.-brokered 72-hour ceasefire that was supposed to lead to negotiations to end the Israel-Hamas war. Rockets continued to be fired from Gaza into Israel early Saturday morning, with the Iron Dome intercepting some over Tel Aviv and Be'er Sheva. Hamas' armed wing stated Saturday that missing soldier Hadar Goldin may have been killed in Israeli air strikes following the incident in which he was captured and two other soldiers killed Friday. The group claims it has lost contact…

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  • AP: UN shelter shelled; more than 140,000 displaced

    The United Nations today confirmed "multiple dead and injured" at its shelter in Beit Hanoun, where Gazan families had sought refuge from non-stop Israeli shelling that has killed more than 700 Palestinians, most of them civilians. Chris Gunness, a spokesperson for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine refugees, said via Twitter that the agency had earlier today passed the shelter's "precise coordinates" to the Israeli military. Fearing an attack, UNRWA had "tried to coordinate with the Israeli army a window for civilians to leave," but "it was never granted," said Gunness. As reported by AP, the attack…

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  • Peace process: Only four options left

    Resolutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be reached either by agreement or evolution. As the peace talks stumble toward their formal end point, there are essentially four scenarios for political developments between the river and the sea, excluding resurgent violence: two states by agreement, two states by evolution, one state by agreement, or one sovereign entity by evolution. Policymakers should acknowledge these scenarios openly to assess what each one will mean for the future of the region. I recently proposed using basic values as a guideline to assess the desirability of such scenarios: reducing violence, realizing human and civil rights,…

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  • Israel grasps at a crumbling narrative

    Blaming the peace talks' failure on Palestinian 'rejectionism' is nothing more than a flimsy attempt at flipping reality on its head. With commentators now referring to the peace process as a “corpse,” Israeli talking heads and politicians are scrambling to manage the narrative of the dying animal. The first task today is to finesse the blame laid squarely on Israel by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. One radio commentator spoke quite factually about “Kerry’s mistake.” But it’s hard to finesse an unprecedented shift of tone from an American administration. It isn’t exactly like America suddenly supported a negative UN…

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  • Getting guns off the kitchen table – locally and globally

    How is it that Israel, a state with substantial arms exports, and which demands tight global scrutiny of the weapons purchased by its neighbors, has not signed a UN treaty to reduce violence against women and children? By Smadar Ben-Natan (translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman) The Knesset Committee for Advancement of the Status of Women is about to discuss a national action plan, initiated by a wide coalition of feminist NGOs, for the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325. The resolution calls for the adoption of a gender perspective in peace and security issues, or simply put – for…

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