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+972 Magazine's 25 most-read posts of 2018

From Google Maps’ erasure of Palestine, to Israel’s Eurovision win, to the new Jewish-Arab movement that plans to save the Israeli left, here are the most popular articles we published this past year.

By +972 Magazine Staff

25. ‘We’ll ensure it doesn’t escalate to violence — on our end’

It’s hard to believe now, but 2018 began with a glimmer of hope for the residents of the Gaza Strip, as nonviolent activists planned mass demonstrations at the Israel-Gaza fence demanding freedom and the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Ahmed Abu Artema, one of the organizers of the “Great Return March” spoke at the time to +972’s Rami Younis about why he believed hundreds of thousands of people would show up, and what message he’d like to send to Israelis. Read the interview here.

Palestinians demonstrate near Khan Yunis by the border fence between Israel and the southern Gaza Strip on March 09, 2018. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90

Palestinians demonstrate near Khan Yunis by the border fence between Israel and the southern Gaza Strip on March 09, 2018. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/ Flash90

24. In memory of the first lawyer to bring the occupation to court

Felicia Langer was a Holocaust survivor, a communist, and one of the first Israeli lawyers to defend the Palestinian residents of the occupied territories in the Supreme Court. Read human rights attorney Michael Sfard’s eulogy here.

Felicia Langer exits the High Court in Jerusalem, after the hearing of the appeal against Bassem Shaka's expulsion. November 22, 1979. (Herman Hanina)

Felicia Langer exits the High Court in Jerusalem, after the hearing of the appeal against Bassem Shaka’s expulsion. November 22, 1979. (Herman Hanina)

23. Who profits from keeping Gaza on the brink?

Keeping Gaza on the verge of collapse keeps international humanitarian aid money flowing to exactly where it benefits Israeli interests, writes Israeli economist Shir Hever. For the full article, click here.

Palestinians wait to cross into Egypt through the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip after it was opened by Egyptian authorities for humanitarian cases, February 7, 2017. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Palestinians wait to cross into Egypt through the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip after it was opened by Egyptian authorities for humanitarian cases, February 7, 2017. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

22. New film uncovers ‘rotting foundation’ of U.S. Israel lobby

A new Al Jazeera documentary provides a sobering look at a lobby that continues to defend Israel’s control of Palestinian lives, despite the many Americans turning against it. Click here to read more.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the AIPAC Conference in Washington D.C. on March 6, 2018. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the AIPAC Conference in Washington D.C. on March 6, 2018. (Haim Zach/GPO)

21. ‘Apartheid is a process’

With the passage of the ‘Jewish Nation-State Law,’ Israel constitutionally enshrined discrimination against its Palestinian population. ‘We don’t have to keep looking for policies that resemble Jim Crow,’ Attorney Fady Khoury told +972’s Edo Konrad. Read the interview here.

Palestinians cross the Bethlehem checkpoint as they head to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City to attend the third Friday prayers of Ramadan on June 1, 2018. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

Palestinians cross the Bethlehem checkpoint as they head to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City to attend the third Friday prayers of Ramadan on June 1, 2018. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

20. We are all accomplices to Israel’s massacre in Gaza

On May 14, Israeli snipers gunned down 60 Palestinian protesters who took part in Gaza’s “Great Return March.” At the time, Mairav Zonszein wrote: “There has been no outrage. We all let this happen. But it is not too late to speak out.” Read the article here.

Protesters carry away someone who was shot by an Israeli sniper along the Gaza border, May 14, 2018. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Protesters carry away someone who was shot by an Israeli sniper along the Gaza border, May 14, 2018. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

19. Arabic was an official language in Israel for 70 years, 2 months, and 5 days

Why upend the status quo of the past 70-plus years? Ask the Israeli government.

Israeli Border Police officers guard the entrance to Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, September 21, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli Border Police officers guard the entrance to Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City, September 21, 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

18. How Google Maps is erasing Palestine

Ever wonder what it’s like for Palestinians to travel between Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks in the West Bank? A new report details the ways Google Maps’ mapping process in the occupied territories serves the interests of the Israeli government, while contradicting the company’s stated commitment to human rights. Read Henriette Chacar’s article here.

Israeli soldiers inspect Palestinian cars at the Beit Furik checkpoint, near Nablus, West Bank, May 27, 2015. (Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

Israeli soldiers inspect Palestinian cars at the Beit Furik checkpoint, near Nablus, West Bank, May 27, 2015. (Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org)

17. My great-grandfather saved Jews. Now I’m in jail for refusing to enlist in the IDF

Matan Helman, an Israeli conscientious objector, pens a poignant letter about his Dutch great-grandfather, Richte Taklenbroch, who refused to enlist in the Nazi work camps during the German occupation of the Netherlands. Richte escaped and joined the underground resistance. Read the letter here.

Israeli activists demonstrate on Purim in support of Israeli conscientious objectors, March 24, 2016. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Israeli activists demonstrate on Purim in support of Israeli conscientious objectors, March 24, 2016. (photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

16. Birthright walk-offs get a taste of settler violence

In June, eight Birthright participants walked off their trip in order to learn firsthand about the occupation. While touring through occupied Hebron with Breaking the Silence, they witnessed the violence meted out against Palestinians and anti-occupation activists in the city. Read more here.

Israeli soldiers escort Jewish settlers as they tour the Old City of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, June 4, 2016. The Israel army has enforced segregation in the city for over two decades, restricting residents’ movement according to their religion. (Wisam Hashlamoun/FLASH90)

Israeli soldiers escort Jewish settlers as they tour the Old City of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, June 4, 2016. The Israel army has enforced segregation in the city for over two decades, restricting residents’ movement according to their religion. (Wisam Hashlamoun/FLASH90)

15. The color of racism: What many get wrong about race relations in Israel

When an Arab family declared their intention to move into Afula, a mostly Mizrahi middle-class city in northern Israel, the locals responded with racism and hate. Meanwhile, anti-racist activists accused the residents of promoting ‘white supremacy.’ Lihi Yona writes that understanding the ways Jewish supremacy and white supremacy intersect in Israel is the first step toward dismantling them. Read the full article here.

Israeli right-wing protesters shout at a pro-peace demonstration, Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, August 9, 2014. Hundreds gathered in Tel Aviv to protest Israel’s attack on Gaza, despite a police decision to revoke the demonstration permit. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

Israeli right-wing protesters shout at a pro-peace demonstration, Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, August 9, 2014. Hundreds gathered in Tel Aviv to protest Israel’s attack on Gaza, despite a police decision to revoke the demonstration permit. (Keren Manor/Activestills)

14. The new Jewish-Arab movement that plans to save the Israeli left

Standing Together, a new joint Arab-Jewish movement, is aiming to transform Israeli politics. It won’t be easy, but the Israeli left’s first step back to power might be believing that it can win again. Click here for the full article.

African asylum seekers and human rights activists, including Standing Together members, protest against deportation of asylum seekers at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv on March 24, 2018. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

African asylum seekers and human rights activists, including Standing Together members, protest against deportation of asylum seekers at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv on March 24, 2018. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

13. Israeli minister posts video with genocidal chants by fans

At the end of a Facebook video encouraging fair conduct by fans from Beitar Jerusalem, one of Israel’s notoriously racist soccer clubs, those surrounding Miri Regev break out into chants of ‘burn your village,’ directed at the opposing team — from an Arab city in Israel. Read the full story here.

Miri Regev with Beitar Jerusalem fans, January 22, 2018. (Screenshot from Miri Regev's Facebook video)

Miri Regev with Beitar Jerusalem fans, January 22, 2018. (Screenshot from Miri Regev’s Facebook video)

12. The far-right nationalist movement roiling Eritreans in Israel

A new militant anti-Muslim movement seeks to establish a Tigrinyan Orthodox-Christian state in what is now Eritrea and parts of Ethiopia. Known as “the Agazians,” the activists are deepening the divisions within the already fractious Eritrean opposition. Read more here.

A man holds an Eritrean flag as asylum seekers protest continued detentions and demand Israel examine their asylum claims, January 5, 2014. (Photo: Activestills.org)

A man holds an Eritrean flag as asylum seekers protest continued detentions and demand Israel examine their asylum claims, January 5, 2014. (Photo: Activestills.org)

11. How Childish Gambino explains the problem with Israel’s Eurovision win

Childish Gambino shocked the world this year with a new music video for his hit, “This is America,” which focuses on the oppression of African Americans. In the Israeli context, says Amjad Iraqi, the video serves to illustrate why audiences should focus on the injustices unfolding in the background of artistic performances – especially those representing the state. Read the article here.

Screenshot from Childish Gambino's music video for 'This is America.'

Screenshot from Childish Gambino’s music video for ‘This is America.’

10. In memory of Razan al-Najjar

The 21-year-old paramedic was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers while trying to aid wounded protesters near the Gaza-Israel separation fence. Many Israelis either refuse to believe she was actually killed or claim that her killing was somehow justified. Click here for more.

The photo of Razan that circulated on social media.

The photo of Razan that circulated on social media.

9. The untold story of Jewish anti-Zionists in Israel

For nearly as long as Palestinians have resisted their displacement, small groups of Jews have joined them. Ran Greenstein’s book, “Zionism and Its Discontents,” brings to life the complex, often contradictory story of those Israelis who saw Palestinian and Jewish liberation as one and the same. Read Joshua Leifer’s review here.

Israeli soldiers hold down an Israeli activist during a demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. (photo: Activestills)

Israeli soldiers hold down an Israeli activist during a demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. (photo: Activestills)

8. Ad for Israeli maternity ward portrays fetus as future soldier

Yes, it’s as absurd as it sounds.

An advertisement for Ichilov Hospital's Lis Maternity and Women's Hospital. (Screenshot)

An advertisement for Ichilov Hospital’s Lis Maternity and Women’s Hospital. (Screenshot)

7. The Palestine movement taught me to confront anti-Semitism

On American university campuses, pro-Palestine activists are routinely smeared as anti-Semites seeking to destroy Israel. But contrary to what pro-Israel activists claim, the BDS movement has been instrumental in challenging anti-Semitism on the left. Click here for the full article.

UC Berkeley students demonstrate after the student senate the student senate did not overturn a veto on a bill that would divest from American companies profiting off the occupation. (photo: Ramsey El-qarey)

UC Berkeley students demonstrate after the student senate the student senate did not overturn a veto on a bill that would divest from American companies profiting off the occupation. (photo: Ramsey El-qarey)

6. Nabi Saleh is where I lost my Zionism

By the time +972’s Lisa Goldman began going to Nabi Saleh, she had spent about four years reporting on what she saw in the West Bank and Gaza, watching detachedly as her politics moved ever leftward. What she witnessed in that small West Bank village was the last straw. Read the full article here.

Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli troops during a protest to show solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, Nabi Saleh, West Bank, April 21, 2017. (Flash90)

Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli troops during a protest to show solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, Nabi Saleh, West Bank, April 21, 2017. (Flash90)

5. The myth of the Gaza ‘border’

What Israel fears more than a Palestinian state is a Palestinian population it cannot disown, and the myth that Gaza is “separated” from Israel helps it balance that fear. That myth must be broken, and that racist fear must be exposed, writes Amjad Iraqi. Read the full article here.

Palestinian protesters inside the Gaza Strip throw stones in the direction of an Israeli military position on the other side of the border fence, Gaza Strip, December 8, 2017. (Ezz Zanoun/Activestills.org)

Palestinian protesters inside the Gaza Strip throw stones in the direction of an Israeli military position on the other side of the fence, Gaza Strip, December 8, 2017. (Ezz Zanoun/Activestills.org)

4. Why Israel’s Eurovision contestant became a target for BDS

Netta Barzilai stunned Europeans this past year with a feminist anthem that won the annual Eurovision Song Contest. Despite her undeniable talent, Barzilai is still the official representative of a country that, for more than half a century, has denied millions of people basic rights under a brutal military occupation, writes Orly Noy. Read her full article here.

Netta Barzilai seen during a press conference after the first semifinals of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. (Wouter van Vliet, EuroVisionary/CC BY-SA 4.0)

Netta Barzilai seen during a press conference after the first semifinals of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. (Wouter van Vliet, EuroVisionary/CC BY-SA 4.0)

3. Videos show Israeli soldiers sniping unarmed protesters in Gaza

As Gaza’s ‘Great Return March’ turned into a full-fledged popular protest movement, the Israeli army scrambled to explain the growing body count. Infographics were released. Talking points were distributed. Israel was defending its sovereign border, they said. Then came the videos.

Israeli snipers seen on the border with Gaza during the Great March of Return, March 30, 2018. (IDF Spokesperson)

Israeli snipers seen on the border with Gaza during the Great March of Return, March 30, 2018. (IDF Spokesperson)

2. Denying Palestinians the right to challenge oppression

Attacks against the UK Labour Party for its newly adopted definition of anti-Semitism only contribute to the silencing of Palestinian voices, the potential criminalization of their struggle against Israeli policies, and the negation of their demands for freedom and equality, say two London-based human rights activists. Read the article here.

Illustrative photo of pro-Palestine protesters in London, June 10, 2018. (Alisdare Hickson/ CC BY-SA 2.0)

Illustrative photo of pro-Palestine protesters in London, June 10, 2018. (Alisdare Hickson/ CC BY-SA 2.0)

1. ‘I won’t fly refugees to their deaths’: The El Al pilots resisting deportation

The Israeli government announced late last year that it would begin deporting asylum seekers to third countries, where they would be vulnerable to exploitation, humiliation, human trafficking, frequent arrests, and possible death. Months before the plan was nixed, at least three pilots for Israel’s flag carrier published declarations publicly refusing to take part in the forced deportations. Read more here.

An El Al pilot hangs out the window of one of the carrier's planes. (Illustrative photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

An El Al pilot hangs out the window of one of the carrier’s planes. (Illustrative photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

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