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  • War is the new system of governance (and five other Gaza takeaways)

    The status quo of the occupation has reached a new level of violence and destruction, but there is no political power in sight that can impose a change on the ground. 1. Israel paid more than it expected for a bit less than it wanted. Israel’s strategic goal in this war was to maintain the status quo on the Palestinian issue. Prime Minister Netanyahu outlined this notion from the first days of the war, when he presented his ceasefire formula: if Hamas stops shooting, we stop shooting. Israel got most of what it wanted, but at a greater price than expected,…

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  • Why Israel won’t sign any ceasefire that’s fair

    A fair ceasefire would bring major relief for Gaza, which would mean Hamas wins the war. The ceasefire that the world is now pushing for – one that, as UN chief Ban Ki-Moon put it, not only ends the fighting but also ends Israel’s “chokehold on Gaza” – is one that the Netanyahu government will not accept. It should accept it, because Gazans have the right to be free, but it won’t. Its rejection of John Kerry’s offer on Friday – which reportedly would have allowed the Israeli army to go on destroying Gazan tunnels even during a week-long ceasefire…

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  • Jewish nationalism lost in the election, Jewish humanism won

    Jewish nationalism, in its belligerence and paranoia, is watching the world pass it by - and the overwhelming majority of Jews in America, Israel and elsewhere do not want that to happen to them. The split between humanistic Judaism and nationalistic Judaism goes back a very long time, but in recent years, the complete takeover of both Israel and the Republican Party by nationalist radicals has obviously sharpened that split, nearly creating schism within Judaism. (By "Judaism," I don't mean just the religion but all of Jewish civilization.) Every Israeli election is a battle between these two opposing Jewish camps,…

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  • Rick's Weekly Wrap-Up: 500K march more inflation than revolution

    Who can guess the name of a new political party to emerge in Israel? Why weren't trains running last night and why an Israeli law from 1985 stands between Israelis and democracy. “Rick” Berman gives you the week’s top stories as they ought to be told. A weekly feature on +972 By Rechavia "Rick" Berman Well, that was quite impressive. Regardless of actual numbers (and I personally doubt that there were more than 250 thousand people in Tel Aviv yesterday, but I could be wrong), it was a whole lotta people showing a whole lotta faith and hope - and…

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  • Yes, Mrs. Sara Netanyahu!

    This is a post I published in January 2010 on the “original” Half & Half blog, and I felt the urge to re-post it today after hearing about Sara Netanyahu’s new helper-fiasco. A Nepalese migrant worker, who is taking care of Mrs. Netanyahu's father, has claimed she was injured  during a confrontation with the Prime Minister's wife. --------------------------------------------------------------------- It's late at night at the Prime Minister's residence. Bibi is comfortably seated on his La-Z-Boy, reading Glenn Beck's latest novel. As his wife Sara walks in, he puts down the book, looks over the rims of his glasses at the title,…

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  • Evidence undermines gov't's claim that terrorists were Gazans

    The Minister of Defense and the Prime Minister claim the terrorist attack last week came from Gaza. They have yet to provide any proof  – and the evidence looks dubious An unknown group carried out a combined attack from Sinai into Israel, hitting a number of targets. Six Israeli civilians were murdered and two soldiers were killed; so were seven of the terrorists and a number of Egyptian security personnel. While the attacks were carried out, Minister of Defense Ehud Barak quickly told the public the people responsible were the Popular Resistance Committee of the Gaza Strip; within hours the…

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  • Scrutinizing the Guardians of Zion, Part I (Louis Frankenthaler)

    The following is part one of a two-part essay that attempts to address a rather lengthy problem.  It is characterized by a cadre of culturally and politically orthodox self anointed monitors and guardians of Israel’s "Zionist virtue". These Guardians Of Zion, (GOZs to be terse) have found it necessary to degrade democratic discourse, to debase civil society and to defile the public sphere with a distinctly uncivil, monist and monologically hegemonic non-dialogue, which not only delineates the boundaries of accepted speech, action and thought but also attempts to set out rewards and punishments for those who abide by these limits…

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