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  • Palestine's battle for hearts and minds in the Arab world

    A new Palestinian PR campaign attempts to recast the conflict by comparing Israeli violence against Palestinians to methods used by Islamic State. By Jacob Wirtschafter CAIRO — Eager to re-enlist Egyptian public opinion to their cause, the Palestinian Embassy in Cairo hosted a rare press conference Thursday outlining Ramallah’s current diplomatic agenda. The agenda includes a definitive UN Security Council resolution with a timeline for two states, deployment of international forces to protect the population of the West Bank, and an international fact-finding mission to determine the “root causes” of the current phase of the conflict. [tmwinpost] It’s a hard…

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  • Gaza truce ends as Cairo negotiations hit deadlock

    A 3-day truce between Israel and Palestinian factions comes to an end after negotiating parties fail to reach a deal in Cairo ceasefire talks. UPDATE: At about 10:30 a.m. Friday morning, the Israeli Air Force began striking targets in the Gaza Strip, following rockets fired by Palestinian militants into Israel from the Strip. The rocket barrage brought to an end a 3-day truce that was set to expire early Friday morning. Haaretz reported that there were disruptions to flights to and from at Ben-Gurion International Airport, following the resumption of rocket attacks from Gaza. Israeli airspace was shut for 30 minutes, from 7:30…

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  • Gaza war: It's about keeping the Palestinians under control

    Israel has been waging a single war since the mid-70s. Its goal is to avoid sharing power or assets with the other people living on this land. The Gaza war wasn't about creating a new order, but about maintaining the old one.  At the time of this writing, Operation Protective Edge has come to an end and the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel is delicately holding. Though indirect talks are taking place in Cairo, reports from the negotiations indicate an Israeli refusal to lift the siege on Gaza. Hamas has vowed to fight on if the ceasefire doesn't hold, but…

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  • Jerusalem terrorist attacks leave one Israeli dead; Israel, Hamas agree to 72-hour truce

    Two terrorist attacks left one Israeli dead and several wounded in Jerusalem on Monday. The first attack, which took place around 1:30 p.m., occurred after a man driving a digger used his vehicle to flip over a public bus, killing one and wounding five others. Just several hours later, a gunman on a motorcycle opened fire on a hitchhiking station near Hebrew University, severely wounding an Israeli soldier. The gunman fled the scene. According to Haaretz, the assailant in the digger attack, Naif Jabis, drove his vehicle out of a construction site, hit a 25-year-old passerby, before turning toward a nearby square.…

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  • Gaza war diary: 'A second of silence, then the bombs go off'

    Despite the danger, Walid Abuzaid couldn't be separated from his home in Gaza for very long. And though coming home means facing possible death, he refuses to give in to hate.  By Walid Abuzaid Thursday, June 27 I was in Cyprus when it all started. When we heard about the kidnapped teens, we were thrilled by the possibility of another prisoner release. Hamas would be held responsible for the kidnapping, but we treat our prisoners well – at least the one prisoner we've ever had. It's my last night in Cyprus and one of so few in which I smile…

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  • WATCH: Egyptian journalist urges Israelis in Hebrew: Stand up to 'Bibi and Lapid'

    Israel's Channel 10 news anchor Guy Zohar interviewed Egyptian journalist and political activist Heba Abo Seif live from Tahrir Square on Tuesday. Abu Saif, who spoke excellent Hebrew, assured Zohar that the military stands behind the Egyptian nation, and urged the Israeli people to stand up to their own government. She specifically references "Bibi and Lapid," saying that Israelis should not remain silent if they are not getting what they were promised. She also said that Egypt "will never be Syria," referencing the unity between Egyptian nation and the military. Here is the video interview, translated in full (Note it…

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  • From Umm Kulthum to Woody Guthrie: Thoughts on cultural sovereignty

    For an Israeli who has only known occupied, subdued and desperate Middle Eastern cities, there is something exciting about rediscovering the cultural world of a confident, proud Levant, cognizant of its traditions and histories. By Amos Noy (translated by Matan Kaminer) To 'Amar, with fond remembrance. Between the demand for "authenticity," which, while conscious of itself, is impossible (and has something petty and repressive about it), and the option of assimilation, or "self-effacing imitation" - one form of cultural oppression (which is, of course, a form of political oppression) - there is also third option: cultural sovereignty. I imagine that many…

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  • Postcards from Tahrir: 'No freedom, bread or social justice'

    As Egypt’s currency continues to fall and the IMF strings for a bailout package that will end fuel and food subsides, popular anger has turned on the country's first democratically elected president. Now, out on the streets of Cairo, protesters are being confronted by the same forces they fought in order to overthrow Mubarak in 2011. By Jesse Rosenfeld CAIRO – Concrete walls have replaced the barbwire at the end of my street, sealing off the banks, the Parliament and western embassies from the rest of Cairo’s downtown. With nothing but lines of riot police and armored vehicles filling the concrete cordon,…

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  • Block by block, Egyptians fight their past for a new future

    'For me, today is one of the days of the revolution,' Egyptian poet Zain El-Abdeen Fouad says, describing the recent unrest as part of a process of a continuing social transformation. 'The [revolt against Mubarak] sparked the revolution and it never ended. The revolution will continue until it achieves its goals.' By Jesse Rosenfeld CAIRO – Walking through Cairo’s Munira neighborhood on the third day of clashes since the second anniversary of Egypt’s revolution, riot cops sit behind barbwire awaiting protesters’ return following a night of clashes. Just blocks from Tahrir Square and the U.S. and British Embassies, the neighborhood…

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  • Where is the social protest movement in the Israeli elections?

    Did the revolution lose its sex appeal? Did the J14 leaders enable politicians to ignore them? Whatever the reason, it is clear that the main benefactor of this state of affairs is Prime Minister Netanyahu. By Ilan Manor With the elections just two weeks away, it has become apparent that the 2013 elections are no different than the ones held in Israel since the late 1980s. Once again, the debate revolves around a flailing peace process, a possible solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the security challenges facing the State of Israel. The line between the Israeli left and right…

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  • Deport the African refugees to Egypt? Not so fast

    Refugees in Egypt face regular threat of arrest, torture, and deportation to their countries of origin. The revolution has not changed that reality. On the life of one Darfuri refugee in search of protection. By Amir Heinitz "No one cares about what happens to refugees anyhow. Last week 300 Egyptians were detained without cause," expressed an employee at a Cairo-based refugee organization in response to the arrest of Monim Atron Soliman, a Darfuri refugee activist, just weeks before Egypt’s first democratic presidential elections. Fear runs deep. Publicly expression of political views constitutes a gamble. Unencrypted phone calls, emails or Facebook…

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  • South Tel Aviv stories: 'I left Sudan due to war and I'm still in a war'

    Sudanese refugee Abraham Alu saw his parents killed by militiamen when he was just seven years old. He discusses life in Israel and how he ended up here. The latest installment of the South Tel Aviv Stories. Abraham Alu, a 35-year-old refugee from what is now South Sudan, was on his way to the store last Wednesday night when an anti-African protest in south Tel Aviv turned violent. Jewish Israelis chased and beat African asylum seekers, broke the windows of a car full of African men, and smashed storefronts of African-owned stores in south Tel Aviv. Alu, who was headed…

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  • US criticism of Egyptian military crackdown insufficient

    We are all familiar with the frequent criticisms lodged at Washington for helping to fund (via billions of dollars in aid) the Israeli military's occupation of the Palestinian territories. But where are the cries against the billions of dollars given to Egypt's military, a military now engaged in one of the most shocking crackdowns on public protest? One might expect that the Arab governments who make such criticisms when it comes to Israel would remain silent on Egypt, fearing their own destabilization. But what about the "enlightened" West? The top diplomats from the UN, the EU and the US have…

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