As 2013 comes to a close, +972 Magazine's editors and bloggers took time to look back at the year that was, and share the articles that most resonated with them - in no particular order. 'They're all named Mohammad nowadays' In one of the most heartfelt posts of the year, Mya Guarnieri describes the difficulties of confronting discrimination, identity politics and occupation while searching for an apartment in Bethlehem. Read the article here. 'I am pro-Israel too': Reflections on +972's use of the term When some +972 writers used ‘pro-Israel’ to negatively describe right-wing politicians and activists, Dahlia Scheindlin stood up,…Read More... | 1 Comment
During a recent interview with Charlie Rose in New York, Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid tacitly reveals why the Israeli-Palestinian conflict endures and why Israel will only accept peace on its own terms. Over the past week or so, as the United Nations General Assembly brought leaders from around the world to New York, several of them made their way onto American political talk shows. Charlie Rose, one of America’s best and most watched interviewers, hosted a number of political leaders from the Middle East, including Bashar al-Assad of Syria (from Damascus) and Hassan Rouhani of Iran. Rose also interviewed…Read More... | 68 Comments
In the face of repeated sexual harassment and offhand racist comments by friends and acquaintances, one writer turns her anger into a reformulation of her identity. The awakening of sorts follows Amnon Levy's Hebrew-language TV documentary series, "The Ethnic Demon." By Naama Katiee (Translated from Hebrew by Rachel Beitarie) I’m about to finish high school, and I’m taking the bus. A guy sits himself besides me, places his hat between us and starts playing with it. Five minutes pass and I begin to suspect he is stroking my thigh. I’m not sure though. My heart is pounding but I stay mute, and…Read More... | 14 Comments
The debate over recent child subsidy cuts rests on empty myths and demagogic misinterpretations of Arabs and Haredim. They are not simply parasites and they are not the same, but Israeli journalist Shmuel Rosner is upset and that's what matters. It is seldom worth writing an entire blog post just to deconstruct that of another commentator, especially when terrible global events are more important than poor punditry. But reading Shmuel Rosner’s latest post in the New York Times, my heart sank. The piece isn’t just foolish – it actually contributes to the most divisive dynamics of Israeli society through demagoguery…Read More... | 42 Comments
This might be remembered as a key moment in determining the future of the occupation. In an effort to preserve the alliance with settlers and maintain its current settlement policies, the government will demand key provisions of the EU guidelines be changed or postponed. One of the most important rounds of talks on the future of the territories Israel occupied in 1967 is about to take place – and it’s not the meeting between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators this week. The Israeli government is seeking to modify the new guidelines set by the European Union, which will forbid cooperation with Israeli institutions…Read More... | 18 Comments
After a stormy night session, the coalition was able to pass the necessary amendments and election laws that would make it more difficult to topple a government and eliminate small factions. Left-wing and Palestinian members of Knesset protested the legislation in 'silent speeches.' Ultra-Orthodox MK Eichler spoke to the Arab public in Arabic, saying 'we are with you.' (video below) During the last session of the Knesset before its summer recess, the coalition was able to pass a first reading of the “governance legislation,” - an amendment to Israel's Basic Laws - which would make it more difficult for the…Read More... | 33 Comments
Finance Minister Yair Lapid raises taxes on alcohol, then claims it was because of a binding agreement with the OECD. Problem is, the OECD has no clue what he's talking about. After only a few months in office, local news and social media arenas seem to be catching Finance Minister Yair Lapid with a new faux pas almost daily. Be it wrong economic figures, misunderstandings, misquotes or others - Lapid just can't seem to keep up the appearance of someone who actually knows what he's doing. But if until now his unfortunate mishaps were limited to the scrutiny of domestic critics, today…Read More... | 8 Comments
To register their recent success, Secretary of State Kerry and the Obama administration destroyed whatever was achieved in the last two decades. For the first time since the 1991 Madrid Conference, the starting point for the negotiations are the positions of the Israeli right. The headlines celebrating the fact that “Israelis and Palestinians are talking again” were misleading. The Palestinian Authority is no more than a regional council in a territory controlled by Israel. Since the PA is completely dependent on Israel for almost all of its functions, Israelis and Palestinians are talking all the time, including on the political…Read More... | 14 Comments
Responding to the EU's decision to limit all joint projects at the Green Line, Prime Minister Netanyahu displayed a confrontational attitude, vowing not to let anyone 'harm' the settlers. UPDATE: This post has been updated with clarifications from an EU source regarding the nature of the new guidelines. Read the full guidelines here. The European Union’s decision to limit all joint projects with Israel beyond the pre-1967 borders accomplished what all of President Obama’s speeches and Secretary of State Kerry’s diplomatic missions have failed to – it put the occupation back as the top story on the Israeli agenda. The new…Read More... | 8 Comments
About 4,000 demonstrators gather in central Tel Aviv o commemorate two years since the first tent was erected on Rothschild Boulevard. on July 14, 2011, launching the largest struggle for social justice in Israeli history – aka, the Israeli Summer or J14. The thousands of demonstrators for social justice marched from Rothschild Boulevard and Habima Square to the corner of Kaplan and Ibn Gvirol, where they were joined by about 200 activists who marched from the poorer Hatikva neighborhood in south Tel Aviv. The second group focused their protest on the demand for social housing. In the combined rally, speakers…Read More... | 9 Comments
Last week I wrote about the outdated feeling the debate over the occupation renders. One commenter wondered why both Larry Derfner (who also commented on the article) and I are “disappointed” with Knesset members from Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, even though they say the very same thing we write about on this site. I didn’t vote for Lapid, but his pact with the extreme right is enough of a reason to dismiss any hope that he will contribute to the end of the occupation in the foreseeable future. However, the issue here is not the existence of one, or…Read More... | 11 Comments
In his attempt to tackle the housing crisis that is largely responsible for his rise to power, Finance Minister Lapid fails to address affordable and public housing, and is setting himself up for a battle with environmental groups. By Jesse Fox Late last month, Finance Minister Yair Lapid made a dramatic announcement: Israel’s government, he said, would encourage construction of some 150,000 long-term rental apartments over the next decade. “We have a national emergency,” he explained, “which threatens an entire generation of young people, who fear they will never have an apartment.” The announcement came after the first meeting of…Read More... | 1 Comment
In the beginning of his 2004 book on the psychology of world leaders, political psychologist Jerrold M. Post explains his guiding question: When does the personality of the leader affect political behavior? According to Matthew Kalman and Matt Rees, the self-anointed (and self-published) maverick authors of the e-book Psychobibi (DeltaFourth, 2013) the answer is simple: always. Ever wonder why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems to contradict himself, take steps that sabotage his own success, or behaves in a way guaranteed to earn the wrath of critical allies, mirth of the press, contempt of the public? For those unsolved enigmas…Read More... | 1 Comment
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