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  • The final moments of Israel's settlements in Gaza

    Ten years after covering Israel's Gaza Disengagement from both the Israeli and Palestinian sides, Lisa Goldman recalls four scenes that tell four very different stories and perspectives of those final weeks in Gaza. Exactly 10 years ago, Israel withdrew its troops and settlements from Gaza in an event that was officially called the disengagement. It was a hugely controversial decision on the part of then prime minister Ariel Sharon, who rammed the proposal through the Knesset. The godfather of the settlement movement had betrayed the settlers, and they were outraged. The local media led with the disengagement story for months,…

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  • Jerusalem posters call to ban Arab workers

    Posters reading "Jews only employ Jews" were spotted near the entrance to Jerusalem Friday, three days after two Palestinians killed five Israelis in an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue. Above the slogan in smaller letters, at the top of the Israeli flag-shaped poster, it reads: "Biblical law determines" and at the bottom it reads: "Did you know?! The terrorists that committed the massacre in Har Nof - were employed in the synagogue and its surroundings." One of the attackers indeed was reported to have worked in a grocery store next to the synagogue. Whoever crafted the racist message grounded it in…

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  • Don't cry for me: A letter from a little girl in Gaza

    With Palestinian children in Gaza bearing the brunt of Israel's offensive on the Strip, this is what one little girl may have written to us – had she the chance. By Sam Bahour As the latest horrific obscenity of Israel’s aggression against the Gaza Strip continues, the death toll mounts. Palestinian children are paying the highest price, both those who are killed and wounded, and, maybe even more so, those who survive. Since I have written for decades about how Israel’s prolonged military occupation and endless violations of international law – let alone its blatant disregard for its very own…

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  • Israelis express support for military, reoccupation of Gaza

    I spent Thursday in Kiryat Gat, Kiryat Malachi, Ashkelon and Sderot--the Israeli cities under Hamas fire. I spoke to dozens of Israelis; support for Operation Pillar of Defense was unanimous, though no one thought it would bring lasting peace. Most felt it would bring temporary quiet; many believe that Israel needs to reoccupy the Gaza Strip.  At a commercial center in Kiryat Malachi, a short walk from the apartment building where three Israelis were killed Thursday morning by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, an elderly man selects tomatoes at a small produce stand. The 74-year-old man, who immigrated…

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  • The beautiful south: An afternoon in the Gazan firing range

    No. I don't like the concept of conflict tourism, but you see, people put me down for not engaging in it. Whenever exchanges of fire erupt between the IDF and the militants in the Gaza Strip, I find myself being discarded as "the detached Tel Avivian who'd rather sip his cappuccino then spend two hours in Sderot under fire." Try and make a political comment after being thus accused. Try saying that the IDF was first to strike this time around (as it often is) and that Netanyahu may well be maintaining tension in order to keep the Israeli public…

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  • Why the inconvenient truths of the Nakba must be recognized

    By Tom Pessah Limor Livnat was furious. The minister of culture was speaking at a Knesset discussion about the Independence Day arrests in Tel Aviv, following an attempt by a small non-profit called Zochrot to commemorate the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948. The Israeli police surrounded the Zochrot office in central Tel Aviv, preventing the activists from exiting. One person spent a night in jail for reading aloud the names of destroyed Palestinian villages from a history book. But Livnat’s anger wasn’t directed at the police, but rather at those arrested: I went in with my iPhone to the…

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  • Gaza and the Negev: Setting the stage for the theater of war

    This is a post about how Israel prepares for war. I don’t know if we are going to war. But the awful attack on a school bus by an anti-tank missile fired from Gaza on Thursday, seemed tailor-made to push Israel over the edge. Following weeks of escalation between the IDF and Hamas, the airwaves went into broadcast interruption mode and by the weekend, southern residents went into the shelters, said Israel radio, as the crossfire continued. In the hours after the bus attack, the surrounding Negev communities felt like a well-designed Israeli stage set for war. There was the…

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  • When violence fills the leadership vacuum

    As usual, when a new cycle of violence approaches, the papers are full of prophecies by this military analyst and that political pundit on how long it will last, who will blink first, is Hamas interested in escalation, can Islamic Jihad be curbed, can Israel afford this and will it do that. After only a few tense days, it looks like we’ve got a green light from almost everyone. The Prime Minister is ready: "In the last two weeks there have been parties attempting to disturb peace and security," said Benjamin Netanyahu prior to Sunday's cabinet meeting. "We don't want…

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