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'There is no moral occupation': Why I refuse to serve

Mattan Helman was supposed to serve in the Nahal Brigrade in the occupied territories. Instead, he will refuse to enlist as a conscientious objector, a decision that will land him in jail.

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In the Galilee, Palestinians and Israelis grapple with a dark past

A joint trip by Israeli Jews and internally displaced Palestinians to the village of Mi’ar, which was destroyed and depopulated during the 1948 War, brings up the ghosts of the past.

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After 5 months in jail, it's time to talk about why I refuse to serve

Ofir Averbukh has served more than 150 days in Israeli military prison for his refusal to be conscripted into the army. In the following interview, Ofir explains why he is only going public about his refusal now, and why Israeli youth should view choosing to be conscripted, not just refusing, as a decision of significant moral weight.

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Soldiers testify on how IDF sent asylum seekers back to Egypt

Despite High Court rulings and official Defense Ministry procedures, Israeli soldiers sent back over 40 asylum seekers to Egypt in June 2015. The IDF top brass tried to cover up the incident.

Israeli soldiers turned away two groups of Sudanese asylum seekers crossing into the country in June 2015, sending them back to Egypt in breach of Israel’s High Court of Justice, according to a new investigative report by Israel Social TV. New testimonies from the soldiers reveal how the army’s top command and the IDF Spokesperson tried to paper over the incident.

“I was in the operations room when they reported that 27 refugees had crossed the fence,” says D. a former IDF soldier who served in the Caracal Battalion. “They were detained, bound, and sent back… the battalion commander tried to hide this from the company, and the operations room deleted records.” Those records were changed to conform with what the IDF had hoped to present, he adds.

Another soldier who was present told Social TV: “I was in the operations room. They remember this incident but they said that the army erased all the videos connected to the incident, and that we should not talk about it.”

Some of the soldiers wrote down their testimonies in a notebook, which include descriptions of Israeli soldiers hitting asylum seekers with sticks as the latter were trying to climb over the border fence. Later, they were told to tie them up and send them back to Egypt. The soldiers then reported to Egyptian security forces that the asylum seekers had never crossed the border. According to the testimonies, after rumors began spreading among the soldiers, the battalion commander informed his soldiers that the IDF top brass was taking care of the issue.

Despite the army’s attempts to whitewash the incident, even the Defense Ministry itself admitted that it had indeed taken place and that it contradicted its official procedures.

According to international law, it is forbidden to send a person back to a country if his/her life is in danger. In 2011, the state announced that it would cease sending back asylum seekers that had just crossed the border from Egypt. The High Court ruled that should the state seek to return someone, it must do so in accordance with international standards.

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Ultra-Orthodox team up with left-wing Israelis to fight police brutality

In their struggle to combat the state’s attempt draft them into the army, ultra-Orthodox Israelis have faced unremitting police brutality. Now they are teaming up with left-wing and human rights activists to put a stop to the violence.

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WATCH: Car repair shops transformed into art galleries in Israel's north

It isn’t every day that you can see art exhibitions in a hummus shop, a mosque, a car garage. The Mediterranean Biennale aspires to take art out of the confines of the museum and to display works by artists from Israel, Palestine, the Middle East and Europe in unexpected, everyday locations.

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The media's role in shaping Jewish-Israeli attitudes toward Arabs

Whenever members of the Israeli government make outrageous statements or accusations against the Arab or Palestinian population, they are rarely challenged by the press that broadcasts those allegations into homes. The  Knesset, Israel’s parliament, recently held a conference on the media’s role in perpetuating incitement against Arabs in the country.

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What do Palestinians think of the Green Line?

In the last episode, Rami Younis explored how the Green Line has been effectively erased from the Israeli education system and what that means for the next generation of Israelis. Now he sets out to hear what the Green Lines means for Palestinians.

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Who's afraid of the Green Line?

The Green Line, the boundary between Israel and the Palestinian territories recognized by most of the world, has been all but erased by the Israeli education system. Rami Younis, also of +972 Magazine, talks to educators about how it happened, and what it means.

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Meet the Palestinian youth planning their return

A group of young Palestinian citizens from the northern city of Umm al-Fahm, descendants of families displaced in 1948 of their villages, meets every week to discuss identity, national oppression, and the Nakba. As part of the ‘Odna’ project — return in Arabic — the teenagers focus on planning of the return of the Palestinian refugees.

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WATCH: What do regular Israelis think of the Green Line?

What is the Green Line, and what does it symbolize for regular Israelis? Has the Green Line been forgotten in society’s consciousness? We hit the streets of Tel Aviv to hear what regular Israelis think of the Green Line. Some of their answers might surprise you.

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She dreamed of being an IDF pilot — now she's refusing to enlist

As a child, Noa Gur Golan dreamed of being a pilot in the Israeli Air Force. But as she got older and became exposed to the occupation and the siege on Gaza, she decided to ditch her dream and refuse to serve in the army. Now she speaks about the support of her family, her pacifist views, and why she would rather sit in jail than be released on medical grounds.

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What would happen if Palestinian refugees could return?

One of the biggest remaining gaps between the Israeli and Palestinian positions has always been the fate of Palestinian refugees, millions of whom live in refugee camps across the region. So what happens when regular Palestinians and Israelis get together to talk about the fate of the refugees — in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square?

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