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zionism

  • Why is Mahmoud Abbas negotiating on behalf of Gaza?

    When they emerge from the rubble, as they always do, who among Gaza's Palestinians will look to Abu Mazen as their legitimate leader? The Fatah chief is reportedly in Cairo today to meet with Egyptian strongman Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, whose "ceasefire proposal" to end the bloodshed in Gaza was promptly rejected as "a joke" by the Hamas leadership on Tuesday. Today's Haaretz affirms why: Senior Israeli officials and Western diplomats said the reason the Egyptian ceasefire initiative was so short-lived is that it was prepared hastily and was not coordinated with all the relevant parties, particularly Hamas. Why, then, had Abbas…

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  • I am a Palestinian Jew, or at least I will be

    In order to avoid theocracy, apartheid and civil war, one Israeli believes it is time for her fellow Jewish citizens to start re-imagining their identity. By Dorit Naaman Fine, I am not yet a Palestinian Jew, but in 10 to 15 years - and certainly in my lifetime - this place will be called Palestine, and I will be a citizen of Jewish-Israeli heritage. By saying I am a Palestinian Jew I am being neither flippant nor provocative, as my critics would likely hasten to argue. Instead, I am analyzing the current reality and describing the future - utopian, or…

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  • At Hebrew University, Arabic textbooks reflect a Zionist reality

    At Hebrew University, the narratives in Arabic and Hebrew language textbooks glorify Zionism and blur out any sign of the occupation. The next step? Using force against Palestinian students who dare to protest that very narrative. Fadi Asleh (Translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman) Israeli Independence Day is also Palestinian Nakba Day. This is one of those days that is charged with memories, pain, political views, identities, etc. The very choice of name for this day reveals one's culture, identity and distinct political standing. And language is a front no less important (or violent) than other fronts. According to the…

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  • WATCH: The warped narrative of a settler - and of mainstream Israel

    My first post about the settler-turned-YouTube star Orit Arfa "did very well" - meaning it got a lot of hits. After writing it I felt a bit ambivalent about my "achievement." Was I giving her too much attention? Was I providing this person with a stage to promote her ideology of justified (in her opinion) colonialism? Fortunately, I didn't have to give it too much thought. I was convinced, and still am, that shedding light on people like Orit Arfa is good for the cause. Because that's how people get to know that this is not just a problem of "crazy…

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  • Liberating Israeli Jews from the dark legacy of the Nakba

    The Nakba has been relegated to the dark basement of Zionist ideology, where people are afraid to tread or even look. The ghosts of the past, however, will only disappear once the sin of 1948 is recognized. By Anwar Ben Badis What happened in 1948 is the greatest sin - greatest sins always follow the sinners, they do not disappear. They are etched into our memory forever. Among Palestinians, the Nakba is the open wound of the past, present and future. It is a wound that one cannot live with so long as it continues to physically, emotionally and morally…

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  • The burden, and wall, of Zionism

    Zionism has come to refer not to the many ways of building Israel, but to a litmus test. Any answer other than ‘I am a Zionist,’ is akin to being un-American in the 1950s. I didn’t join a Labor Zionist youth movement at 14 because I thought of myself as a Zionist. Actually I shied away from group identities, bouncing among social cliques at school and staying away from team sports. My parents just didn’t know what to do with me one summer and they heard about a nice Jewish camp, not too expensive. The Habonim-Dror camp turned out to…

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  • Letter of support for the ultra-Orthodox struggle against draft law

    Over 70 Israeli activists publish an open letter in support of the ultra-Orthodox community, as it struggles against a new law that would draft its young men into the army or national civil service. (Translated from Hebrew by Asaf Shalev) We, civilians and activists – religious, masorti (tradition-committed) and secular - wish to express our support for the struggle of the ultra-Orthodox community against forced military enlistment. There must be an end to the empty rhetoric employed by the Israeli government and its constituent parties that are calling for the "sharing of the burden" of military service, by which they…

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  • For the sake of peace, it is time to put an end to negotiations

    After 20 years of a failed and fictitious peace process, there is no more room for 'processes' that serve as substitutes for peace. There is nothing left to clarify between the two sides. The only possible compromise for a peace agreement is well known. By Rona Moran and Hana Amouri (Translated from Hebrew by Itamar Haritan)  The ongoing “peace” negotiations are headed for failure. Everyone knows it. Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu know it, as do the leaders of the Palestinian Authority, who are participating in the negotiations under heavy American pressure. The U.S. knows it too…

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  • How a Zionist can oppose the Jewish state: A response to Shmuel Rosner

    A recent 'New York Times' profile of religious Jews who are highly critical of Israel and sympathetic to the boycott movement sent some in the Jewish blogosphere into a frenzy. In a fascinating response to Israeli journalist and blogger Shmuel Rosner, Jeremiah Haber explains how one can be a Zionist while opposing a Jewish state. By Jeremiah Haber It is understandable that two bloggers, Shmuel Rosner and Liel Leibovitz, couldn’t understand my views since they never took the time to read them. Rosner based his criticism on a few words that he admits he has no desire to try to understand; Leibovitz based…

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  • Rewriting injustices: A response to Danny Orbach on Palestinian refugees

    An in-depth article on Palestinian refugees and their attitudes toward return and peace had some in the liberal Zionist camp up in arms. In a response published last week, Danny Orbach accused Paula Schmitt of doing a disservice to the refugees by nurturing their 'disastrous, futile fantasies' and distorting the events of 1948. Now, Schmitt responds to the allegations. By Paula Schmitt Debating Zionists or staunchly religious people is like playing a board game where your pieces must move like chess while your opponent's pieces can move like checkers. Only one side of this battle follows rules and abides by…

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  • Searching for a genuine anti-apartheid struggle in Israel/Palestine

    While Palestinians and their leaders historically took their cues from anti-colonial resistance in Vietnam, Cuba and Algeria, their struggle has, over time, become similar to the fight against apartheid in South Africa. With the failure of the Oslo Accords, new, often overlapping approaches have proliferated, leading Ran Greenstein to find out what a genuine anti-apartheid model would look like in our time. By Ran Greenstein How can we define and understand the essence of the struggle against political oppression in Israel/Palestine? On the face of it the answer is simple: the target is the Israeli regime and its practices. But, is…

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  • Cabinet OK's razing Bedouin towns to build Jewish settlement in their place

    After being expelled and relocated in the 1950s, the residents of Umm al-Hiran are about to lose their homes once again - this time to make way for a Jewish national-religious settlement. (This post has been updated.) The Israeli government on Sunday made one of its most outrageous decisions in recent years (and there is no shortage of those, as you know). The cabinet held a special session in Sde Boker - the Kibbutz in which David Ben-Gurion is buried – to approve plans to build a new Jewish town (along with several others - all for Jews) in the northeast…

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  • ‘Religion and politics’ in Israel: The mythology of Jewish nationalism

    The State of Israel has never attempted to build a national identity that would be ‘liberated ’from Jewish ‘religion.’ Instead, it has focused on the construction of a national identity distinct in one critical respect: it is reserved for Jews only. By Yaacov Yadgar One of the more controversial legislative bills being currently pushed forward by the ruling coalition in Israel, a proposed ‘Basic Law:  Israel—the Nation-State of the Jewish People’, seeks to enshrine and ensure, constitutionally so, the State of Israel’s ‘Jewish identity’ as the nation-state of the Jewish People. Several aspects of the proposed bill draw immediate attention: first,…

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