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Analysis

  • Annexation is happening whether Netanyahu is reelected or not

    Netanyahu's declaration that he will annex parts of the West Bank is alarming, but it only names a process that was long ago put into action, and which is now part of the mainstream Israeli discourse. Four years ago, on the eve of Israeli elections, Benjamin Netanyahu promised in a television interview that there would never be a Palestinian state on his watch. He retracted the statement a few days after winning, but only those who wanted to believe him actually did. Opposing Palestinian statehood has always been Netanyahu’s policy. He has diverged from it on rare occasions, when he…

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  • Poll: Jews, Arabs much less divided than Israeli politics lets on

    A 'Local Call' poll shows a broad range of areas where Jews and Arabs see the benefits of cooperation. But that doesn't mean Jewish Israelis are ready to let Arabs hold positions of power, namely joining the government. The surprising bit: most Arabs would support their parties joining an Israeli government. Judging from the current Israeli election cycle and the various campaigns competing, it would be easy to conclude that Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel have completely failed to build a shared life together. The campaigns are filled with insulting and racist messaging that is being disseminated every which…

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  • No Bolsonaro, visiting Yad Vashem doesn't make you a 'friend of the Jews'

    Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro's visit to Israel this week is just the latest step in Netanyahu's warming relations with a new cadre of authoritarian leaders.  By Sergio Storch Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s four-day visit to Israel demonstrates just how important the South American country has become to Netanyahu over the past few years. [tmwinpost] The trip includes a visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s renowned Holocaust museum, which commemorates one of the worst tragedies in history and sets out to ensure that genocide remains a thing of the past. For many, Yad Vashem serves as an inspiring example of how crucial collective…

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  • Win or lose, Netanyahu has already cemented his legacy

    In his 10 years in power, Netanyahu has engaged in race-baiting against his own citizens, declared the occupation a permanent feature of Israeli reality, and shifted both the national and international conversation on Palestine. It is time to acknowledge that these are no mere trends — but his very legacy. Ten years after he was elected prime minister, it is nearly impossible to imagine an Israel without Benjamin Netanyahu at its helm. An entire generation of Israelis has come of age in the Netanyahu era, and much of what young Israelis have internalized about politics, about their identity, and about Israel is the result of…

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  • In Gaza's Return March, echoes of an Apartheid-era massacre

    The Sharpeville Massacre, in which South African police gunned down 250 black protesters, marked a turning point in the struggle against Apartheid. But it would take another 34 years until democracy finally came to South Africa. A cautionary tale for Palestinians. His art lies scattered across an unkept room, amid tarps and spent cans of paint. In the far corner, a giant head of papier-mâché sits propped beside a stencilled wall, where the artist has traced the likeness of a British tank. The image, the color of soot and blood, evokes a particular kind of armored vehicle — the Saracen — which,…

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  • Why these Israeli elections actually matter

    Netanyahu looms so large that he has become a symbol of everything that’s right and wrong with Israel. But behind the symbol stand two very substantive visions of where Israel is headed. Like most weeks over the last decade, this was a week of Netanyahu. It began on Saturday evening when the prime minister gave a rare, surprise live television interview on Channel 2. The interview was his first to a mainstream Israeli media outlet in four years, guaranteed to make news for that reason alone. From there he flew to Washington to receive a prize from President Trump: American…

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  • LISTEN: Suffering in Gaza isn’t a humanitarian issue, it’s an Israeli political decision

    Recent rockets fired into central Israel by armed groups in Gaza were not ‘mistakes,’ as both Hamas and Israel claim. The counter-intuitive context, Tareq Baconi explains, is a Hamas attempt to get Israel back onboard with a cease-fire agreement. Excerpts from The +972 Podcast. Hamas and Israel reached a cease-fire agreement last November following months of Egyptian-mediated negotiations. Under that agreement, Israel was supposed to ease restrictions on the movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza. Hamas was supposed to curtail protests along the fence. Tareq Baconi, Ramallah-based analyst for the International Crisis Group and author of…

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  • Everywhere you go in Gaza, you see people wounded in the Return March

    Hasan al-Kurd, one of the organizers of last year's Great March of Return in Gaza, says the protests gave people in Gaza a reason to live. In a frank interview, he talks about the shocking number of casualties, how Hamas took over the nonviolent initiative, and what he would do differently today. “This is kind of like our anniversary,” I say to Hasan al-Kurd, one of the organizers of the Great March of Return in Gaza. “It is,” al-Kurd chuckles, “I never expected that we’d still be going for a full year.” The first time Hasan and I spoke was…

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  • This doesn't need to happen: Another pre-election war on Gaza

    We need leaders who can talk about ending the siege, about ending the occupation, about equality, freedom, and security as the only solution for both Israelis and Palestinians. By Haggai Matar and Oren Ziv The rocket fired from Gaza that destroyed a home and wounded seven people in central Israel Monday morning, took Israelis by surprise. On the one hand, that's totally understandable; we aren’t used to rocket fire in the Tel Aviv area, and certainly not rockets that exact such a devastating price. An attack on civilians, on a sleeping family, is a terrifying thing. [tmwinpost] On the other…

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  • Talk of Golan annexation leaves out those expelled from it

    President Trump's recognition of Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights has been widely celebrated by Israelis. But do those same Israelis know of the hundreds of thousands of people expelled from the territory during the 1967 war? By Tom Pessah The vast majority of Israelis are still unaware that over 130,000 residents of the Golan Heights were expelled from their villages, towns, and cities during the 1967 war. In fact, over the past decades, the territory has become a “consensus” issue among most Israelis, with many seeing no reason to return it. So while President Trump stunned the world last week by recognizing Israel's annexation…

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  • In Israel's elections, only the far right is talking about democracy

    A new campaign ad by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked signals that this time around, only the far right is talking about democratic norms — and how to undo them. Does the opposition have a response? Of all the aspects of political campaigns that voters love to hate, none is more maligned than the political advertisement. The term “30-second spot” has become synonymous with dumbing down, mudslinging, and manipulation of political campaigns ever since the Daisy Ad. [tmwinpost] But punchy ads are great. They can help de-code the strategy each party has chosen, and short scripts packed with narrative are enormously…

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  • You have the power to stop apartheid: An open letter to AIPAC

    American Jews, who play such a central role in what happens in Israel, can put an end to the oppression of Palestinians on both sides of the Green Line. But only if they tell Israelis that enough is enough. By Marzuq al-Halabi Dear AIPAC leaders, In one of his most famous poems, “Think of Others,” Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish asks the reader to keep the other in mind at all times. This, he writes, should apply whether we are preparing breakfast, paying our water bill, or declaring war. I wonder, then, whether you, as you take part in your annual conference next week think about us over…

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