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  • An organic intellectual and social justice pioneer: A profile of Shlomo Swirski

    A profile of one of the most influential people in the struggle for social justice in Israel. Although he was kept out of academia, perhaps it was for the better. Who knows how much we would have lost had he wasted his days trying to sneak an article into the American Journal of Sociology. By Yossi Dahan (Translated from Hebrew by Aviel Lewis, edited by: Ami Asher) My first encounter with the name Shlomo Swirski was in the early 1980s as a student reading his book, Not Backward but Made Backward (1981). The rumor about the underground, green-covered book travelled by…

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  • The IDF: We’re broke, send more money

    The IDF has overspent its budget by nine million NIS, and has the temerity to demand more money The IDF announced yesterday (Hebrew) that it faces a deficit of NIS 5.2 billion, which it somehow misplaced. Actually, the deficit is considerably larger – some nine billion (9,000,000,000) NIS, about USD 2.4 billion  – but it owes 5.2 billion to the military industry, and, given it has considerable clout in the Knesset, it figures it’ll get it back somehow. A significant part of the expenses termed “unexpected” by the IDF were, according to it, expenses for defense of the home front. Among…

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  • Israel policy myth #1: security is our first concern

    Although Israel does face some significant security threats, it is very hard to explain the priorities and decisions of its leadership by the need to address these threats. This is the first part in a series about the top ten myths regarding Israeli policy. Even some critics of Israeli policy regarding the Palestinians and Arab states would concede that it is motivated by security concerns. Indeed, these policies are often attacked for being excessively focused on security, at the expense of the country's values and long term interests. Security is the most frequent justification articulated by Israeli leaders in defense…

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  • Carmel fire scapegoats, part II: the settlements

    The settlements are a moral and practical disaster, but they are the symptom rather than the cause of Israel's ills. This is the second in a series of three posts, examining arguments, which have resurfaced following the Carmel fire, that assign the blame for Israel's problems to the ultra-orthodox or the settlements. To read the first post, dealing with the ultra-orthodox, click here. The third and final post will examine the myth of Israel's "silent majority" of "responsible citizens".   The settlements are a moral and practical disaster. They have already exacted a brutal toll from Palestinians, but eventually, Jews…

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