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  • Despite high hopes, Merkel calls village's demolition an 'Israeli decision'

    The residents of Khan al-Ahmar had hoped the German chancellor would demand Netanyahu back down from the imminent demolition of their hamlet. Instead, she called the matter an 'Israeli decision.'  By Oren Ziv Ever since Israel’s High Court of Justice gave its final stamp of approval to the demolition of the village of Khan al-Ahmar last month, residents and solidarity activists have been hoping that international pressure, especially from Europe, would delay or prevent the demolition. The activists have directed their efforts toward convincing members of the EU Parliament to openly oppose the move. They also hoped that the threat of…

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  • A place of dignity for refugees in Berlin

    An outpouring of hospitality is on full display at a shelter in the German capital, where volunteers insist on treating refugees as people, not just victims. But as the gifts pour in, how deep is the well of kindness — and what is brewing under the surface? BERLIN — A few young teenage Arab boys line up loosely, side by side, in a concrete courtyard. They are concentrating hard on four big guys dressed in black, who are busting hip-hop moves to music blaring from an amplifier. The boys bounce a little with the beat, then follow after the big…

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  • Refugee crisis: Stranded at Hungary's barbed wire border

    Thousands of Syrian, Afghani, and Iraqi refugees are stranded on the border with Serbia after the Hungarian government refused them entry. The refugees, however, aren’t giving up so fast. By Oren Ziv HUNGARIAN-SERBIAN BORDER — On Tuesday at around midnight, dozens of reporters and cameramen stand together on the Hungarian side of the border with Serbia. A representative of the Hungarian government, Zoltan Kovacs, steps away from the border crossing and tells the reporters: "Starting tonight the border is closed. Today almost 10,000 migrants crossed here, and we are determined to bring back Europe's borders. "Unfortunately the Greeks are not…

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  • PHOTOS: Anti-Zionists join rally against anti-Semitism in Berlin

    Our joint Jewish-Palestinian-German protest confused participants at the rally against anti-Semitism, and definitely confused the German police. We wanted to chip away at the automatic linkage between Jews and the State of Israel. Text by Inna Michaeli Photos by Oren Ziv/ BERLIN -- By the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Sunday, some 3,000 people rallied against anti-Semitism, at the initiative of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. As promised, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a speech. Many in the crowd were touched by her declaration of historical responsibility for the crimes of the past, and for ensuring that Jews are…

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  • +972 People of the Year: Bloggers' picks

      One would be hard-pressed to name a dull year in the history of the Middle East, and 2011 was no exception. It shares its beginnings with a domino effect of popular protest, sparked in Tunisia, which would ultimately see the fall of regimes whose iron fists had been decades-old fixtures. Even Israelis suddenly seemed to share grievances with their neighbors, with hundreds of thousands joining the largest protest movement in the country’s history. But the hopes voiced in the streets of the world have been matched by crackdowns – notably in Syria, to this day – and diplomatic deterioration. Europe…

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  • The “Obama Doctrine:” A blessing or a curse for the conflict?

    The end of the Gaddafi regime in Libya proved that U.S. President Barack Obama’s doctrine of “leading from behind” was a success. But the Obama Doctrine is not only a new approach to war - it extends to foreign policy on the whole, and therefore has already begun to affect the Israeli-Palestinian conflict When U.S. President Barack Obama decided to let other nations take a leading role during the war in Libya, the criticism was quick to come from every corner. They claimed he was doing too little, that he didn’t consult, that he was scared of using the air…

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