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  • 'To be Ethiopian in Israel is to be constantly struggling for something'

    The shooting of Yehuda Biadga reignited tensions between Israel’s Ethiopian community and police, who have long been accused of using a heavy hand against the country’s minorities. ‘Police brutality is a result of racism against black people in this country,’ Ziva Mekonen-Degu says. For the third time in as many years, thousands of Ethiopian citizens of Israel demonstrated against police violence this week. On Jan. 18, officers gunned down Yehuda Biadga, a 24-year old Israeli of Ethiopian background, who was wandering the streets of his neighborhood in the city of Bat Yam, just south of Tel Aviv. According to family…

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  • A new framework for viewing Israel's regime in the West Bank

    The existing frameworks we have for addressing Israel's rule over the Palestinians are flawed and becoming less relevant. Comparing it to other regimes that share one of its prominent characteristics, institutionalized discrimination, can create space for new ideas. By Yariv Mohar In the 51 years since Israel seized control of the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians, Israelis, and the international community have come up with various frameworks for understanding and trying to resolve the situation. While the international community still prefers to think about Israel’s military control as a form of temporary occupation, more and more people have begun framing…

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  • JVP just declared itself anti-Zionist and it's already shifting the conversation

    'We often play the role of being able to say things that the rest of the movement cannot,' Jewish Voice for Peace director Rebecca Vilkomerson says in a wide-ranging interview about the group's decision to come out as opposed to Zionism, how to fight the conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, and recent attacks on Black-Palestine solidarity. Jewish Voice for Peace’s announcement that it opposes Zionism, published quietly on its website earlier this month, has thus far come and gone without much fanfare or public attention. It simply wasn’t surprising for many. “This doesn't change anything about our focus or our…

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  • Women's March Jewish outreach director: 'Anti-Semitism can be unlearned'

    In her first interview since calls began for the Women's March leadership to resign amid allegations of anti-Semitism, Jewish director of communications Sophie Ellman-Golan speaks about confronting anti-Jewish prejudice within the movement, the attempts to delegitimize the organizers, and how the March is putting forth a more inclusive vision. After the mass shooting of 11 American Jews in Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue on October 27, the first person who called Sophie Ellman-Golan — the communications director for the Women’s March — was Linda Sarsour, in tears. She asked Ellman-Golan, “What are we going to do?” and said her next call…

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  • The future is the center: Meet the parties shaking up Israeli politics

    Caught between growing extremism on the right and a battered left, Israelis are flocking to a new crop of centrist politicians who prioritize economic issues over solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Galia Ben Haim discussed her political opinions while driving back from jail. In addition to her day job, she volunteers at a women’s prison.  The inmates, she says, committed their crimes after Israel’s social institutions failed them. In the last two elections the 48-year-old mother of four says she voted for Yesh Atid, the centrist party founded by TV icon Yair Lapid in 2013. She is considering supporting them a third time when Israel holds…

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  • The law to provide Israel's underprivileged schoolchildren with a decent meal

    The 'hot meal law' was enacted 15 years ago, anchoring the right of hundred of thousands of children to eat one hot meal a day. Yet its still entails some challenges, including expanding it to all children suffering from nutrition insecurity and improving the quality of sustenance. By Yonit Naaman and Tammy Riklis In 2004 Israel passed the Hot Meal Law. The law, a result of work done by different parties in the civil society, led by the “Yadid” organization, stated that students in kindergartens and schools under the Israeli Ministry of Education, will be provided with a hot meal daily during long school days. A…

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  • For Michelle Alexander’s critics, Palestinians don’t deserve civil rights

    The uproar by Jewish establishment figures over Alexander's New York Times essay in support of Palestinian rights echoes the reactions of white Americans to the Civil Rights Movement decades ago. Michelle Alexander’s powerful New York Times essay on Saturday (“Time to Break the Silence on Palestine”), ahead of the commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, was arguably a milestone for the Palestine movement in the U.S. [tmwinpost] First, for who wrote it: Alexander, the author of the seminal book The New Jim Crow, is a renowned lawyer and public intellectual respected for her activism and scholarship on racism in the U.S.,…

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  • Ahmad Tibi has a plan to unseat Netanyahu, but it means leaving his Palestinian partners

    Ahmad Tibi's recent announcement that he would split from the Joint List has rattled Palestinian citizens. In an interview, he speaks about the successes and failures of the list, why his party would be better off alone, and why he may join forces with Israel's centrist leaders. By Meron Rapoport Four years after it was established, the Joint List, which succeeded in uniting Israel’s Palestinian parties, is on its way toward dissolution. Dr. Ahmad Tibi, who heads the Arab Movement for Renewal faction, also known as Ta’al, made a surprising announcement last week, declaring he would run independently in the upcoming elections, set for April 9. The reason stems from Tibi’s…

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  • The attack on Iran that wasn’t: Ehud Barak’s autobiography

    As Israel's defense minister, Ehud Barak was determined to carry out a military strike against Iran's nuclear program. His book provides the tools to examine the limitations of the U.S.-Israeli relationship and the considerations Israeli leaders put into the decision to go to war. By Shemuel Meir "My Country, My Life: Fighting for Israel, Searching for Peace", Ehud Barak, St. Martin's Press, 2018. The title of Ehud Barak's recently published autobiography My Country, My Life declares that it is a book not just about Barak's life, but also a first person account of some the most important moments in Israeli…

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  • Israel's new 'apartheid road' is about more than just segregation

    Israel claims the new road, which separates Israelis and Palestinians by an eight-meter wall, alleviates traffic for settlers while helping Palestinians travel around the West Bank. Human rights activists say it will help create Israeli-only enclaves free of any Palestinian presence.  Israel unveiled a new segregated highway in the occupied West Bank last week, with a giant eight-meter concrete wall separating Palestinian and Israeli drivers on either side. Labeled the apartheid road by critics, Route 4370’s official reasoning is to alleviate traffic for Israeli settlers commuting to Jerusalem, as well as creating a new way for Palestinians to travel between the northern and…

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  • Fed up with myths, these American Jews are challenging their Israel education

    They grew up on the myths of a heroic Jewish state, joined Zionist organizations, and learned the talking points. But something along the way made them question everything. By Tom Pessah Some of the strangest encounters I had in the years I spent living and studying in the United States were with American Jews. I often felt like I had been dropped into a musical, with people expecting me to fit the mythical image of how an Israeli was supposed to behave. The only problem: I had no idea what my lines were supposed to be. [tmwinpost] I was asked about my time in…

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  • The Palestinian struggle is shifting to a civil rights movement, and Gaza is leading the way

    The Great Return March signals a shift for the Palestinian people, says scholar Tareq Baconi. Palestinians are no longer fighting for a state, and are increasingly demanding their full rights — primarily the right of return. The leaders of the Great Return March surprised the world when they organized the first demonstration along the Israel-Gaza fence on March 30, 2018. Tens of thousands of Palestinians participated. Already in the inaugural protest, Israeli snipers opened fire; they killed 14 Palestinians and wounded around 1,200 more. [tmwinpost] The protests turned into a weekly demonstration as tens of thousands of Gazans showed up along…

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  • Israel spraying herbicides inside Gaza violates int'l law, rights groups say

    In an urgent letter to Israeli military officials, three human rights groups demand that Israel immediately stop spraying the dangerous chemicals into Gaza. The Israeli army is continuing to spray dangerous herbicides on agricultural fields inside the Gaza Strip, three years since +972 Magazine first reported on the practice. This week, three Palestinian and Israeli human rights groups sent a letter to Israeli military officials demanding they immediately cease spraying the dangerous chemicals into Gaza. [tmwinpost] The latest instance of spraying herbicides, using a reportedly carcinogenic chemical, took place in early December. A variety of crops inside Gaza were damaged as a…

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