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50 years too many

  • The Israeli media has kept us in the dark for 50 years

    Since 1967, the Israeli media has hid the ugly, everyday reality in the occupied territories. But even if they really knew, would Israelis still choose to end 50 years of military rule over the Palestinians? By Yizhar Be'er According to the democratic-liberal-utopian model, let us assume for a moment that every citizens has access to all the information about the reality that surrounds us. In this world, Israelis would know everything about what is being done in their names in the territories occupied in 1967. And what would happen then? [tmwinpost] Over the past few months I have been producing a radiophonic project…

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  • I was taught to hate Palestinians — until I met one

    I grew up believing the Arabs wanted to throw us into the sea. Then I met a Palestinian from Gaza, and started to question everything I was ever taught. By Osnat Ita Skoblinski As a young girl I believed that Arabs were evil. My belief wasn’t based on personal experience — it was just common knowledge. As befits a coastal country, Israelis would often talk about “throwing people into the sea” — either the evil Arabs throwing us into the sea, or us throwing them in first as a preventive measure. [tmwinpost] I spent first grade studying in a bomb shelter because…

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  • This summer's wave of protests gives us reason to be optimistic

    From asylum seekers demanding their wages to protests against the Gaza blackout to raising awareness over disappeared Yemenite babies, this summer's protests give us every reason to stay optimistic about this place. It's hot outside. The Israeli summer often brings with it a new wave of social and political protests, and yet it looks like summer 2017 will be a special one. [tmwinpost] Since the social justice protest of 2011 — and its successors in the following years — there has been a sense that Israeli citizens have lost faith in their ability to influence, change, protest, and get results. Meanwhile, the strengthening of…

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  • Want to end the occupation? Start talking to settlers and Mizrahim

    The very people the Left categorically rejects — Mizrahim and settlers — are exactly whom they need to make peace. By Avi Dabush Three weeks ago, I attended the Peace Now rally in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, standing among the “peace camp” and meeting many people whom I love and value. They are committed, devoted, and get out of the house to actually protest and work toward peace. [tmwinpost] As I was listening to the speeches, I thought of a poem by Roy Hasan that ends in the line “They’ll never make peace, because if there’ll be peace, all the…

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  • Ending the occupation isn’t enough

    Progressive Israelis and Palestinians have a crucial task: mounting a political movement that gives us an effective voice in forging the future of our country. By Jeff Halper As we reach the 50th “anniversary” of Israel’s occupation, it is hard to discern on the horizon either a workable political program or a focused political movement beyond the vague slogan: End the Occupation. The “solution” espoused by the Israeli peace movement for the past 50 years and by the PLO/PA for the past 30 years — two states for two peoples — has become as ritualized and fossilized as it is…

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  • Israel: State of denial

    The Israeli government has fashioned the occupation into a 'permanently temporary' state of affairs — and made a policy of denial one of its cornerstones.  By Gershon Shafir Military occupation is a rare phenomenon in today’s world. A half-century-long occupation, like Israel’s control of Palestinian territories captured in 1967, is even rarer. Grappling seriously with its dynamics and consequences is made even more difficult by the fact that in the past half century, Israel has constructed not only settlements but also a three-story denial palace. Israel is now an official residence of occupation denialism. The most compelling demonstration of the…

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  • After 50 years, military violence is the norm for Palestinian children

    Children under the age of 18 currently make up almost 50 percent of the Palestinians living in the occupied territories — and have grown up with systemic discrimination, settlement expansions, and war. By Jennifer Bing There are two places to visit if you want to know the human impact of Israel’s 50-year military occupation of the Palestinian territories: an Israeli military court and the sitting room of a Palestinian family. I have been to both. [tmwinpost] I work for the American Friends Service Committee, which has been involved in advocacy and humanitarian work with Palestinians for more than 50 years.…

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  • Fifty years of opposition

    Each decade of the occupation has brought changing fortunes to prospects for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and varying levels of opposition to Israel's military rule. After half a century, could there finally be a proposal that stands a chance? Fifty-fever marking the anniversary since the 1967 war has swept both the Israeli Left and the Right. The Right is dreaming up ever more creative ways to celebrate Israel’s triumph — the culture minister recently wore a dress screen-printed with scenes from Jerusalem to the Cannes Film Festival — while the Israeli Left is grasping for ways to remind a…

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  • Half a century of occupation threatens our international legal order

    Israel's policy of cherry-picking legal obligations vis-a-vis Palestinians undermines the credibility of our legal order established in the aftermath of World War II. This could have dangerous implications for the rule of law beyond the region. By Gerard Horton On June 7, 50 years ago, Israeli military forces occupied the West Bank and imposed martial law over the Palestinian population living in the territory. At the time, this measure was legal under the Fourth Geneva Convention (the Convention) which permits the use of martial law under specific circumstances and on a temporary basis. To this day, the military authorities continue to…

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  • 1968 poll shows what Jewish Jerusalemites thought of Palestinians

    A survey of Jerusalem's Jewish residents just months after the end of the Six-Day War showed that, even back then, the majority wanted little to do with their Arab neighbors — and as few reminders as possible that they were there at all. At the close of the Six-Day War in 1967, Jerusalem’s Jewish residents were surely elated, like most Israeli Jews, by the famous words, “The Temple Mount is in our hands.” But when it came to daily life with their new Arab neighbors, most quickly decided they would have preferred a land without a people. [tmwinpost] A survey conducted…

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  • The Israeli Left must show up to protest 50 years of occupation

    After 50 years of a racist military regime, it's time for the Israeli Left to go out and protest en masse — and, in the face of such an urgent task, to overlook our differences. Things can sometimes be very simple. Read, for example, the following invitation to the anti-occupation protest taking place in Tel Aviv this Saturday night: We will take to the streets en masse to protest against the absence of hope from the right-wing government, against the occupation, against violence and racism. This extremist group in the coalition, drunk on power, cannot be allowed to continue running…

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  • Israeli cops assault American Jewish activists in Jerusalem Day protest

    Israeli police forcefully dispersed American Jewish anti-occupation activists, who had gathered in the Old City to protest Jerusalem Day and the March of the Flags. Israeli police broke the arm of an American Jewish activist and injured several other anti-occupation demonstrators while forcefully dispersing a Jerusalem Day protest in the Old City on Wednesday. [tmwinpost] The demonstration, held at Damascus Gate by American and Israeli Jewish activists with IfNotNow, Free Jerusalem and All That's Left, took place during the March of the Flags, an annual right-wing parade that habitually results in violence against Palestinians from both its participants and the Israeli police units…

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  • Diaspora Jews must place our bodies on the line

    As internationals and Jews, we are unjustly privileged — and therefore obligated to take part in nonviolent direct action in support of the Palestinian struggle for freedom. By Leanne Gale My first protest in the West Bank was in 2012. On the advice of a college professor, I went to a demonstration in Susya, a Palestinian village in the South Hebron Hills. The village was then, as now, under threat of demolition. [tmwinpost] When we arrived, along with a few other American students affiliated with J Street U, there were already around 700 Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals present. The children of…

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