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    • Two months on, still no evidence of a 'fire intifada' in Israel

      The Israeli media and politicians' narrative of a Palestinian 'arson intifada' remains in place, despite there not being even a shred of evidence to support their story.  Over the last couple of days several people have sent me an article by Kalman Liebskind from last Friday’s Ma’ariv newspaper, which cited statistics from Israel’s Fire and Rescue Services on the wave of fires that swept Israel at the end of November. The piece claimed that almost all the fires investigated by the authorities were due to arson. Given how I wrote at the time that there were no known facts to suggest that the…

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    • Trump's wall would be a moral and practical failure — just like Israel's

      Donald Trump's proposal to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border was a cornerstone of his presidential campaign. But Israel's separation wall is a lesson in why such a project is dangerous, ineffective — and morally wrong. By Abby C. Wheatley and Oren Kroll-Zeldin Throughout his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump made constant reference to the 50-foot tall concrete wall he plans to build on the entire length of the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump’s plan is divisive, further polarizing an already fractured American public. And yet there seems to be little public awareness that nearly 700 miles of fencing already exists, or that…

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    • 250 high school students declare support for conscientious objectors

      Students at Tel Aviv's Ironi Alef sign petition in support of Tamar Alon and Tamar Ze'evi, who refuse to serve in the army over their opposition to the occupation. Over 240 Israeli high school students signed a petition on Friday morning in support of two conscientious objectors. [tmwinpost] The petition, organized by Mesarvot, an Israeli NGO that supports conscientious objectors, called to support Tamar Alon — a former student at Tel Aviv's Ironi Alef High School, where the petition was circulated — and Tamar Ze'evi. The two are now serving their fourth stint in military prison for refusing to serve in the…

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    • When some are more equal than others before the law

      The differing approaches to suspected law-breaking by Netanyahu and Palestinian MK Basel Ghattas expose just how selective the rule of law in Israel really is. Law is a deceptive concept. We like to take pride in being “law-abiding citizens,” and so tend to reject and condemn members of our community who have broken the law. Joint List head Ayman Odeh, for example, was quick to voice his disapproval of the news concerning Basel Ghattas, a Knesset member in his party who is suspected of smuggling cellphones to Palestinian prisoners. Immediately after the reports regarding Ghattas surfaced in December, Odeh emphasized…

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    • The dangerous new myth of 'Palestinian defeat'

      The idea that Israel must 'defeat' the Palestinians by demoralizing them until they accept whatever solution is forced upon them is gaining traction on the Right. By Nathan Hersh and Abe Silberstein The idea that instead of negotiating with the Palestinians Israel must first “defeat” and thoroughly demoralize them until they recognize its permanent presence in the region, has emerged from center-right policy circles in recent months. This broad idea takes many shapes, the most of extreme of which is articulated in Daniel Pipes’ front page essay in Commentary Magazine, and will presumably have some appeal to the incoming Trump administration. But…

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    • The problem with Israel's heroism addiction

      The flip side of Israel’s need for heroes created in uniform, weapon in hand, is the urge to preserve the ideals associated with them and to shield them from criticism — the ramifications of which have become disturbingly clear in the case of Elor Azaria. “A nation without heroes is a house without doors.” So says the grotesque, dictatorial general in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Autumn of the Patriarch,” after affording equal posthumous honors to several army officers who die in quick succession, no matter whether they were killed in a tragic accident or as a result of their own depraved activities. [tmwinpost]…

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    • Paris is a long way from Gaza

      The Paris Peace Conference will focus on Israeli settlements in the West Bank. That is because with greater and greater restrictions on movement, and by unraveling the ties that bind Palestinian society, Israel has effectively removed Gaza from the conversation. That is a terrible mistake. By Tania Hary This Sunday, senior diplomats and foreign ministers from 70 countries are expected to convene in Paris along with Palestinian officials to talk peace. According to reports, they’re expected to call on the parties to refrain from taking “unilateral steps that prejudge the outcome of final-status negotiations,” code for Israel to please refrain…

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    • It didn't have to be this way in East Jerusalem's Silwan

      The neighborhood of Batan al-Hawa is today the site of major friction and tensions between Palestinian residents, Jewish settlers and the massive security presence that accompanies them. But things weren’t always like this, and they don’t have to be. By Hussam Abed Try and imagine this: Jews move into a Palestinian village and are welcomed with open arms. They become part of the local economy, share in joyous occasions and sad ones, and together with their neighbors form a unique, rich human tapestry. The tensions are the same you’d find in any society: they are not shaped along the rigid…

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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