As violence against Israeli Jews declines, the Israeli media has gone back to business as usual. Palestinian newspapers, on the other hand, are full of stories of death, arrests, and all-out war. For the past several weeks, during what the Israeli press has deemed a "wave of terror," included stabbings and extrajudicial killings in the streets, the Israeli media has accurately reflected the anxiety that has seized the public. In essence, that meant that as long as Jews were being stabbed the headlines screamed war. But the moment violence against the Jewish public receded, the Israeli media was quick to…Read More... | 2 Comments
For 19 years Israelis have been gathering in the spot where the prime minister, who championed the peace process, was gunned down. Today, many are questioning what his legacy really is. Text by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man Photos by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org Tens of thousands of Israeli marked 20 years since the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin Saturday night in the Tel Aviv square where he was murdered, which now bears his name. Memorial rallies have been held in Rabin Square every year for the past 19 year, although participation has shrunk in recent years, reflecting waning confidence in the peace…Read More...
People generally associate Rabin’s legacy with the Oslo Accords, for which he was later murdered. Less cited is the fact that Rabin’s revolution was dependent on a one-time collaboration with Arab members of Knesset. Today, just like then, that remains our premier task. By Ron Gerlitz When I was in basic training in the army, our commanders woke us up in the middle of the night to tell us Rabin had been elected prime minister. The night he died, I was on a naval patrol boat on a routine and not-so-heroic mission off the coast of Lebanon. The radio was…Read More... | 1 Comment
New polls find that a majority of Jewish Israelis support the ‘voluntary transfer’ of West Bank Palestinians, a majority want to strip East Jerusalem Palestinians of Israeli residency. It’s true that most peace efforts followed war and violence — but not because the Israeli public wants them. Even in times of crisis, a brave leader can change all that. The latest crisis of violence has become a successful campaign of terror: Israelis are profoundly shaken. Many have reverted to the Second Intifada mentality of personal risk calculations based on self-selected danger factors and fingers in the wind. People avoid Jerusalem and…Read More... | 6 Comments
For 20 years the Israeli Left has utilized selective memory to reinvent the late prime minister. In reality, Rabin only wanted to grant the Palestinians limited autonomy, a goal he achieved through the Oslo Accords. By Yakir Adelman Ahead of the 1992 elections in Israel there was a televised debate between Yitzhak Rabin and incumbent prime minister Yitzhak Shamir. At the end of the debate Shamir was allowed to ask his opponent a question of his choice: “Do you really want a Palestinian state within the land of Israel?” Rabin answered decisively: “I oppose a Palestinian state between us and the…Read More... | 9 Comments
Over 20 years later, the mutual recognition between Israel and the PLO teaches us one thing: despite the hatred, we have no choice but to live together. From year to year, the memory of Yitzhak Rabin goes from a political issue to a nostalgic one. Twenty years after his assassination, the Israeli public is inundated with memories of Rabin the IDF chief of staff, Rabin the smoker, Rabin the straight-talker, etc. The films and articles memorializing him usually obscure (and often do not even include) one specific image: Rabin shaking hands with Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn in…Read More...
Both Israelis and Palestinians need to start thinking far beyond what their leaders are offering them. Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas will never make peace. They will never succeed at stopping the violence, and they will never see eye to eye on anything other than the incompatibility of their respective visions. Don’t get me wrong: both men want peace. Even Benjamin Netanyahu, despite everything you’ve heard, is not a bloodthirsty warmonger who dreams of keeping an entire population under military rule in perpetuity. No. He is a master politician whose worldview dictates that the Jewish people will never be safe…Read More...
An attack on a television news crew indicates that the violence of the far right has reached the heart of Israeli cities. A television crew from Israel’s Channel 2 was attacked on Thursday evening by onlookers while covering a stabbing attack in the northern city of Afula. The reporter, Furat Nasser, is an Arab citizen, while the camera and sound man were Jewish. The men who surrounded them shoved and struck the sound man, who was later hospitalized. In the video men in the crowd can be heard cursing the police, the press, and Arabs. Channel 2 anchor Yonit Levy was…Read More...
'So we're going out, and here's the deal: we'll only drink in places where people were murdered due to inter-group hatred.' The seventh and final installment. For other nights click here. One April night in 2003, my cousin Yaron decided he needed a bass player. He was growing as a local blues musician and figured that some accompaniment would do no harm. He told his girlfriend, Shir, that he's popping over to Mike's Place, a blues bar on Tel Aviv's promenade, and left. He returned shortly afterwards, covered in blood and in a state of shock. While the band played at…Read More...
Without the Arab citizens there is no 'left-wing bloc' in Israeli politics. The only problem? The inclusion of Arabs was what led the Right to violently bring down the Left in the first place. By Lev Grinberg Since the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, there have been no political blocs in Israel. No Left and no Right — only survival combinations. Therefore, all the talk of the “size of blocs” only distorts the depressing reality in Israeli politics, wherein the real issues are barely discussed. The reason there have been no blocs since 1995 is simple: the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin was…Read More... | 6 Comments
On the face of it, a protest by Likud youth against one of Israel's most prominent newspapers seems like a non-issue. But in the context of last summer's war and the growing threats against left-wing journalists, freedom of the press may no longer be able to protect the media. By Gaby Goldman Journalists, editors, media outlets - we all love simple stories. Something straightforward, black and white, good or bad. And this is what makes it harder for me to admit that the Likud party's demonstration in front of the Yedioth Ahronoth daily's building on Sunday night is not a simple…Read More... | 14 Comments
Nearly 20 years after Yitzhak Rabin's assassination, the Israeli peace camp is still talking about annexation and separation. At the opening of Saturday night's rally marking 19 years since the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, a video of the slain prime minister's final speech was aired on giant screens, alongside shots of the protesters from that same night in November 1995. At the end of the segment, the screens showed an aerial view of last night's actual protest. Were the protest not significantly smaller than the one in 1995, it would have been difficult to tell the two apart. The opening…Read More... | 8 Comments
Ron Pundak, one of the architects of the Oslo Accord, died Friday at the age of 59. In 1993, Pundak, an expert on Middle East history, was working under Yossi Beilin, who was then the Israeli deputy foreign minister. At the time, Israel was holding formal negotiations in Washington with a Palestinian team, but the talks were heading nowhere and the promise of the Rabin government seemed to be fading away. Along with Yair Hirschfeld, Pundak initiated a secret back channel between Israeli and PLO officials (contact with PLO members was still illegal when Rabin took office), first in London…Read More... | 10 Comments
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