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  • For Washington Post, cheap labor is key to Mideast peace

    A recent article in 'The Washington Post' praises efforts by the Israeli government to bring in cheap labor from Jordan as a sign of growing peace. The problem? It all comes at the expense of Palestinian workers. By Hagar Shezaf A Washington Post article published earlier this week praised a new pilot project between the governments of Jordan and Israel as a “little peace” in the Middle East. To support the argument, the article applauded the fact that room cleaners named Ahmad and dishwashers named Mohammad are being brought in from Jordan to work in Israel’s southern city of Eilat.…

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  • Israeli hotels warn Jewish guests that Arabs will also be there

    Israeli Jews trying to book hotel rooms for the upcoming holidays being informed of far more than the price and terms, Channel 2 reveals. The latest  hotel courtesy. A number of hotels in Israel are warning Jews trying to make reservations for the upcoming High Holidays that Arabs will also be vacationing there, a report on Israel's Channel 2 News revealed Monday. In audio recordings of telephone calls made to the Crown Plaza, Club Hotel and Astral Hotel reservation lines, employees can be heard actively warning callers that before they book a room, they should take into account that Arabs…

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  • Palestinians ruled by secret regulations even the army can't explain

    Whether they want to attend family gatherings, open a business or visit sick relatives, Palestinians under occupation must adhere to military regulations, the vast majority of which are hidden from public scrutiny. By Maayan Niezna "There are no secret laws in Israel. […] Legislation that is passed secretly and kept away from the eye of the public is one of the characteristics of a totalitarian government, and is not in line with the rule of law" (Judge Cohen, Civil Appeal 421/61, State of Israel v. Haz [4], pg. 2204-2205) No one knows why, but Israel has a regulation that prevents Palestinians…

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  • The Beaten Path: Seeking refuge in Eilat (part 9)

    Israel was borne of a need to escape a violent Europe. Now Israelis feel a constant need to escape a violent Israel. The deconstructed tourist trail reaches the deepest south, which is where they often go. Part nine of Yuval Ben-Ami’s journey through the Holy Land’s most popular tourist sites. Off the Sinai smuggling routes, there's a place called Coral Beach - that's where you wanna go, to get away from it all. It is only a short bus ride from central Eilat, so you can get there fast and take it slow. Just don’t go wandering the hills on your…

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  • 'Not born for happiness': Israel as a Russian opera

    The ultimate tale of a missed opportunity, now staged by the Bolshoi on Tel Aviv's opera stage, resonates strongly in an Israeli heart that still recalls an old hope. It does not end like an opera. No diva is sprawled on the stage, a dagger in her heart and a high D♭emerging emerging from her throat. I remember stepping out of "Eugene Onegin" stunned. Could there really be an opera that dealt with real life, rather then the melodramatic opera universe? Did Pushkin and Tchaikovsky both just send me off with the message: "life sucks, deal with it?" It was…

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  • The Round Trip part 19: Mr. Kalaboush

    From Taba to Taba via trouble. The government issued a severe travel warning, urging Israelis to stay out of the Sinai Peninsula. I've bumped into those occasionally in newspapers and on the radio over the past few days, yet am still planning to venture in briefly. It's not that I doubt the sincerety of the warning: while much Israeli fear-mongering is unfounded propaganda, Sinai terror alerts are sometimes followed by a fair bit of blood. I simply owe my readers and myself a true taste of the Egyptian border. This will be a difficult border to follow. The road running…

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  • The Round Trip part 18: Details, details

    From Aqaba to Eilat via an intolerant electric appliances store, a metaphoric volleyball court, and a strange play of reflections. The first thing I notice in Jordan is a picture. It is hanging over my hotel bed: a representation of Rachel's Tomb near Bethlehem in its "before" state (for its "after" state, see the end of part 13). The second thing I notice are tall curbs. Jordan has insane curbs and consequently so do many West Bank cities, which were once subject to Jordanian civil engineers. I figure that such curbs impede parking on sidewalks, but they must also force…

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  • The Egyptian revolution (as seen from a hotel room in Eilat)

    A simple weekend vacation in the south had some more meaning as the region was changing around us The magic of it all I happened to be in Eilat this weekend for a deserved rest as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was spending his last hours in Cairo. I was watching Fox News (that’s all they had - what can I do?) as the reporter suddenly heard the crowd at Tahrir square begin to roar. The roar was getting louder and louder, and nobody could figure out what was going on. Only a few minutes later, it was understood that the…

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