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west bank

  • Channeling loss to stimulate change: 71 days of dialogue in Tel Aviv

    The forum of bereaved families rests on the belief that the only way to end violence between Israelis and Palestinians is by recognizing the humanity of 'the enemy' through open and honest dialogue. That goal, however, appears to be as far away as ever. By Henriette Chacar It’s hard to imagine how one might begin solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by leading by example. The hundreds of members of the Parents Circle forum of bereaved Palestinian and Israeli families aren’t naïve, but they insist on trying. The Parents Circle Families Forum, a grassroots organization of over 600 Israeli and Palestinian families bereaved…

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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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  • IDF's 'start-up nation' reservists refuse to serve the occupation

    One of the most striking points in the unprecedented refusal letter is the forceful argument that Israel’s policies vis-a-vis Palestinians are simply unrelated to defense –and they are a matter of choice. Forty-three members of the IDF's prestigious and secretive Unit 8200 have signed a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stating their refusal to serve in reserve duty related to military governance over Palestinians. The document, made available by Ynet, expresses their opposition in blunt language (my translation): We who came out of Unit 8200, men and women reservists past and present, declare that we refuse to take part…

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  • PHOTOS: Israeli forces damage youth centers in Nablus raid

    A youth sports club and center for children with disabilities in Nablus sustain serious damage after Israeli forces raid a multi-story building in search of wanted Palestinians. Text and photos by: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org As happens almost every night in Palestinian cities, towns and villages throughout the West Bank, Israeli forces raided Nablus neighborhoods at 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Military jeeps spread out to different areas of the city, especially to refugee camps. The biggest military operation took place in the southern part of the city, where Israeli forces targeted six Palestinians who were sleeping in a local youth sports club. Their…

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  • How Israeli media obscures Palestinian humanity

    Israeli media insists on portraying the West Bank as the Wild West and its Palestinian inhabitants as savage stone-throwers, all the while masking the reality of armed settlers and a trigger-happy military. By Talal Jabari If I were to describe a movie equivalent of the West Bank in words, it would be part way between a scene from John Carpenter’s Escape from LA, mixed with a little of your favorite Spaghetti Western, with strong hints of Heart of Darkness – the book, not the movie. Well at least that’s the impression I get from some of the Israeli press, which…

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  • The victors of the Gaza war were also the losers

    Who came out of the Gaza war the victors, and who were the losers – or, rather, who lost more and who lost less? By Talal Jabari Another ceasefire between Israel and Hamas-led Gaza ­– this time costing more in terms of life and property than the last time. It will probably cost less than the next time; 2016 if the trend stays constant. At the end of any battle, it makes sense to step back and look at the bigger picture. You want to assess who won and who lost – or at least who lost more and who…

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  • No, Hamas isn’t ISIS, ISIS isn’t Hamas

    But equating the two is Netanyahu’s latest way of hypnotizing people into supporting the Gaza war. He gets away with it because people are afraid that if they challenge this idiotic slogan, they’ll be accused of ‘defending Hamas.’ Anybody who isn’t a shill for Israel can see through Netanyahu’s new slogan, “Hamas is ISIS, ISIS is Hamas.” It’s such a crude attempt to brainwash people, to put the most horrifying image in their minds and associate it with Gaza, thereby cleansing Israel of those images of Gaza’s agony. Like he’s been doing his whole career, Netanyahu is insulting people’s intelligence,…

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  • Gaza dispatch: Why the people support Hamas

    More than seven years of Israeli siege, a punishment for voting Hamas into power, have led Palestinians to rally around the party. After all, every time they look to Mahmoud Abbas for salvation, they are sorely disappointed. By Abeer Ayyoub GAZA CITY - With Operation Protective Edge becoming longer and more violent, questions over the attitude of the 1.8 million residents of Gaza toward Hamas are coming to the fore. Although both the international and Israeli media are concerned about Gazans, they are noticeably more critical of Hamas than they are of Israel. That concern is understood, but needs to…

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  • The West Bank may be on the verge of exploding

    Armed men roam the streets, enlisting people to the Al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade, Fatah officials call for the end to security coordination with Israel and Mahmoud Abbas is seen as the enemy of the people. Is the explosion closer than we think? By Gershon Baskin I have just returned from a work visit to Ramallah. I am very concerned and disturbed by what I heard from friends and colleagues there. The calm appearance of the city hides the sizzling bubbling under the surface. The West Bank is on the verge of explosion. As an illustration of what I've heard from people…

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  • Let's stop using the terms 'fascism' and 'democracy' from now on

    The debate over the state of Israeli democracy (or the rise of fascism) is code designed for lefty Zionists. Others don't get it, and it may even do more harm than good. Some thoughts following Haaretz's interview with Prof. Ze’ev Sternhell. There has been growing discussion over the last few weeks regarding the risk of fascism in Israel and the dangers to Israeli democracy, most recently in an extensive interview by Prof. Ze’ev Sternhell in Haaretz. I hold Sternhell in high regard, and his book, The Birth of Fascist Ideology, is among the few required readings in my undergraduate degree I actually remember in some…

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  • PHOTOS: Israeli forces kill Palestinian and bulldoze his family house

    In an overnight raid in the West Bank village of Qabalan, Israeli forces kill 24-year-old Palestinian Zakaria Al-Aqra and injure six others. They then bulldoze part of his family's house. Photos and text by: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org At about midnight on August 11, the Israeli army raided the West Bank village of Qabalan near Nablus. As clashes erupted with the local residents, the military focused its operation in the eastern part of the village on a hill called Al Qantara. Locals reported that they heard fierce exchanges of gunfire at about 2:00 a.m. as the army surrounded two houses of the Al-Aqra…

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  • In ceasefire talks, Netanyahu is letting Hamas win Gaza war

    The great mystery is: Why? In the Cairo ceasefire talks, Netanyahu is snatching diplomatic defeat from the jaws of military victory. I have no explanation for why he’s doing this and I have yet to hear a convincing one. There must be something Netanyahu knows that no one else does. Otherwise his concessions at the Cairo talks, after blitzing the Gaza Strip for five weeks, leaving Hamas able to do no more than fire short-range rockets over the Israeli border, and being hailed in Israel as a warrior king, make no sense at all. Meretz leader Zahava Gal-On gave an…

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  • IDF spokesperson expresses regret over killing of single Palestinian child

    You really have to give credit where credit is due. Even if it is to the IDF. Soldiers killed 12-year-old Muhammad al-Anati during clashes with local youth in the Hebron area on Sunday. According to reports, al-Anati was killed after being struck by a bullet in the back, and was not involved in the clashes. However, it seems that the IDF is willing to learn from past mistakes. This time, unlike recent similar events, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit immediately released a message [Hebrew] saying an inquiry had been launched and that the army expressed its regret over al-Anati's death. One can hope…

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