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  • To save himself, Netanyahu is going to war with Gaza

    Even as Israel becomes chronically unable to form a government, the 'Gaza consensus' — the endless pounding of the strip into oblivion — persists. It could tip the scales in Netanyahu's favor. There is no military solution in Gaza. But Israel's leaders, who are too much at loggerheads to sit in a government together, are somehow able to agree that when it comes to maintaining Israel’s 12-year siege, there is only room for violent tinkering. [tmwinpost] That violence was on full display early Tuesday morning, when Israel assassinated Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata in his Gaza home while he slept; the projectile also…

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  • In the Hebron Hills, the settlers are the lords and the IDF does their bidding

    A new booklet by Breaking the Silence compiles dozens of accounts by former Israeli combat soldiers who served in the South Hebron Hills of the occupied West Bank.  Text by Rachel Shenhav-Goldberg In 2012, two Israeli residents of Mitzpe Yair, an unauthorized settlement in the Hebron Hills, spontaneously attacked an elderly, unarmed Palestinian man, beating him so badly that he was hospitalized. Since Israel is, according to the Oslo Accords, obligated to regulate all aspects of civilian life in the occupied territories, soldiers from a nearby army base were deployed to search for the perpetrators. [tmwinpost] The search was desultory and unsuccessful;…

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  • What would Israelis do if Palestinians disappeared overnight?

    In Ibtisam Azem's 'The Book of Disappearance,' Israelis wake up one day to a country without any Palestinians. Azem speaks to +972 about how, with this sudden vanishing of ‘the enemy,’ she confronts some of the darkest chapters of Israel's history. What would Israelis do if every Palestinian between the river and the sea disappeared at once? That is the premise of a newly-translated novel, “The Book of Disappearance,” by Palestinian writer Ibtisam Azem (translated by Iraqi novelist and translator, Sinan Antoon, and published by Syracuse University Press). Originally released in Arabic in 2014, Azem’s story is primarily narrated by two individuals: Alaa, a…

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  • The Mizrahi author whose book Mahmoud Abbas wants to distribute

    Ishaq Bar-Moshe started writing books in Arabic two decades after he emigrated from Iraq to Israel. It was a radical choice, given that the language aroused deep antipathy in Israel  — but Bar-Moshe was undeterred. By Naomi Niddam A few weeks ago, a representative from the office of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called Idit Shemer, an Israeli author, in Jerusalem. “We want to print a few copies of "Departing Iraq," by Mr. Ishaq Bar-Moshe,” said the voice on the phone. “Abu Mazen [Abbas’s nickname] is interested in distributing them at a conference for Arab leaders, which will take place soon in…

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  • For J Street, holding Israel accountable is still a step too far

    J Street's 2019 conference heralded a new willingness to tie military aid to Israel to its human rights record. But the organization was quick to reaffirm a status quo of unconditional aid — despite ongoing abuses. What at first looked like a sea change on the horizon has turned out to be much less. One week after Democratic presidential candidates discussed conditioning U.S. military aid to Israel at J Street’s national conference in Washington, the liberal pro-Israel group makes clear that it continues to support unconditional aid, despite ongoing Israeli human rights abuses and settlement expansion. [tmwinpost] A statement issued Monday…

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  • Israel killed 222 Gaza protestors since 2018. Only one soldier has been indicted

    As Othman Hiles began climbing the Gaza fence, an Israeli soldier opened fire and killed the unarmed 14-year-old. The soldier’s sentence? Community service. By Eyal Sagiv Two women and a teenage boy stand close to the fence separating Gaza from Israel, waving Palestinian flags. Four other teenagers approach. One of them, 14-year-old Othman Hiles, is wearing a white shirt and dark pants. He goes up to the fence, touches it, walks along it for a few yards, and touches it again. He puts his foot on the fence and starts to climb. As his second foot reaches the fence, a shot is…

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  • The unbearable heaviness of finding freedom outside Gaza

    ‘I have developed a strange belief that things might go wrong. I am afraid that I will be questioned or stopped. I am seriously unable to believe that I have the right to move.’ By Salsabeel H. Hamdan For a Palestinian, Gaza is a place from which escape is nearly impossible. Israel has, for the past 13 years, denied all but a tiny number of applicants the right to travel outside the congested, blockaded strip of land that is often described as the world’s largest open-air prison. For those fortunate few who manage to attain a permit to depart, the extreme…

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  • Palestinian families fight for relatives' remains held by Israel

    A recent Supreme Court ruling has rubber-stamped Israel's policy of withholding the bodies of Palestinians killed by its security forces. By Miriam Deprez Mohammad Elayyan discovered through a Facebook post that his 22-year-old son, Bahaa, had been shot dead by Israeli forces after allegedly carrying out a stabbing and shooting attack in East Jerusalem in October 2015. It would be another 325 days before he saw the body. [tmwinpost] “From that moment on, the agony and the long journey of struggle and pursuit of getting my son out of an Israeli refrigerator to be buried began,” Elayyan recalled, as he joined scores…

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  • J Street conference confronts America's 'blank check' to Israel

    WASHINGTON — In the shadow of the World Series, the reported killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and the one-year anniversary of the Tree of Life Massacre in Pittsburgh, 4,000 people gathered in the U.S. capital for J Street’s eighth annual conference, titled “Rise to the Moment.” In some ways, J Street did just that. The conference was dominated by the message that the U.S. government should no longer provide — as the organization's president, Jeremy Ben-Ami, put it — a “blank check” to Israel. “It is important for the U.S. to take a very close look at whether or not our…

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  • Israel is turning Palestinian students into criminals

    Israeli authorities have arrested at least 64 Palestinian university students since the start of 2019. That number is only growing. By Jaclynn Ashly Earlier this month, Mais Abu Ghosh, a student at Birzeit University in the West Bank, sent a letter to her family from Damon Prison in northern Israel. [tmwinpost] “I love you so much,” Abu Ghosh wrote. “I am fine as long as you and those whom I love are fine [...] You are in my mind and my spirit.” She asked her family to send greetings to her university friends and to her professors, “with no exceptions.” She…

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