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  • Europe, wake up and smell the coffee

    Netanyahu's Israel openly mocks the values that Europe claims to hold dear. When will European leaders stand up and reject the unacceptable reality of the past 50 years? By Hagai El-Ad European foreign ministers attending Prime Minister Netanyahu’s breakfast in Brussels this Monday may find their thoughts wandering, as the guest of honor once again speaks of Iran, self-indulgent whining of "double standards," and “the only democracy in the Middle East.” Some breakfasts are more difficult to swallow than others. [tmwinpost] And so, given a recent speech by a certain American president, the attending ministers’ thoughts may drift — perhaps…

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  • Calling Bibi's bluff: Why Israel depends on a liberal, open Europe

    Netanyahu can bash the EU all he wants. At the end of the day, the future and security of Israel depends on its political and economic ties with the EU, not vice versa. By Eitay Mack (translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman) Last Wednesday, the media leaked a recording of a private conversation between Netanyahu and the heads of state of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. In that conversation, Israel's prime minister portrayed the European Union as a madman who puts its own future and security at risk. According to Netanyahu, the EU's madness stems from its refusal to keep silent…

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  • We don't have the privilege of being Islamophobic

    Israelis tend to warn of the 'Islamization' of Europe in the wake of attacks like those in Brussels. But the fear of Muslims in a country where Jews and Muslims must live together is simply not an option. After events like the terrorist attacks in Brussels or Paris, it has become common to hear Israelis say that "Europe is finished" or that it is being "conquered by Muslims." In fact, people say these things even when there are no attacks. Regardless of inherent racism, I do not really understand the logic behind such statements. In France, seven percent of the…

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  • Don't equate Paris attacks with those in Tel Aviv

    Suggestions that terrorism in Paris springs from the same well as terrorism in Israel are misleading and dangerous. Erasing complexity may be a comfort in difficult days like these, but conflating the varying causes of violence won't help us end it. There are troubled currents flowing from unlikely sources these days. Terror attacks have continued to mar Iraq, Lebanon, Nigeria, Yemen, Mali and others over the past two weeks, but the global chatter surrounding such events increased disproportionately with the attacks in France. Suddenly, two of Europe’s major capitals - Paris and Brussels - started receiving the kind of attention…

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  • Is Israel recognizing the Palestinian national unity government after all?

    If the Israeli government insists on boycotting the new Palestinian unity government, how can it also insist on pouring money into the Palestinian Authority? By the end of June, Israel is expected to once more sit at the same table as the Palestinian Authority - the same Palestinian Authority that it has been so adamant on boycotting following the formation of the new national unity government. The two parties will sit together with the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), a coordinating body formed in 1993 to regulate donations from various states to the PA, with Israel as a monitoring party, at…

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  • Notes from Brussels: Israel, U.S. and the growing European involvement in the conflict

    Attendants at a conference on the peace process in Brussels couldn't believe their ears after what the representative of Israel's settler party had to say. The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and MP Marietje Schaake of the Netherlands hosted an event in the European Parliament in Brussels on the European Union's role in the Israel/Palestine question. I participated in the first of two panels - below are some of my impressions from the day's events: This was the third discussion of this sort that I took part in within just three weeks. In that sense, I think that 2013 was…

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  • Photos of the week: Asylum seeker struggle picks up steam

    This week: African asylum seekers continue their struggle in Israel, Afghan asylum seekers march in Brussels, Palestinians block traffic and plant trees, activists promote joint struggle while opposing normalization, visitors express solidarity in the Jordan Valley, and officials demolish homes in South Africa.                      

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  • EU diplomats to Brussels: Put your money where your mouth is

    Written in between the lines of the EU heads of mission report on Israeli settlements is a sense of frustration with the EU's inaction against Israel. The EU makes regular statements against Israel's illegal settlement enterprise, but takes no action despite the existing tools it has at its disposal. At face value, the European Union heads of mission report on the Israeli settlement enterprise is a scathing indictment and call to action against Israel’s illegal settlement activities. In between the lines, however, the report reflects a frustration by European diplomats and bureaucrats at their own governments’ inaction. They are not…

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  • Heads of Europe's biggest economies meet in Rome

    Rome, Italy -- Leaders from Germany, France, Spain and Italy meet in rare 4-way meeting to try to reach consensus on Euro crisis plan ahead of critical summit in Brussels. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, easily the biggest fan of the Euro currency among those who attended the so-called “Mini-EU Summit” alongside her on Friday - the heads of government from France, Spain and Italy – arrived at Rome’s Villa Madama Palace a little more reassured than she could have expected just one week ago. In recent days, voters in economically-troubled Greece chose a centrist, pro-bailout government just one month after…

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