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First Intifada

  • In the crosshairs: Israel's war of attrition on political dissent

    The attempt to outlaw Israeli human rights organizations means the Jewish state may soon be forced to shed its image of a liberal democratic state. Are Israelis ready for that? The war of attrition against Israel’s human rights community took a dark turn last week. Hardly anyone noticed. [tmwinpost] According to reports, Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin is currently working on a new bill that would outlaw Israeli anti-occupation NGO Breaking the Silence, along with any other organization that harms IDF soldiers or promotes boycotts of the Jewish state. The bill reportedly has the full backing of Prime Minister Netanyahu, who will review it for…

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  • The beat goes on: The story of Palestine's national dance

    The Palestinian-Israeli conflict gets more than its share of attention. And yet, listening more attentively to the narrative of the dabke, Palestine’s national dance, gives a new angle to resistance and struggle. By Dana Mills In July 2015 Palestinian activists in London took to the streets to hold a Day of Rage to commemorate the bloodiest day of the Protective Edge, Israel’s 2014 war in Gaza one year earlier. In addition to signs and posters, chants and cries, protesters stormed the British Museum and Barclays Bank in London with a dabke flash mob. In 2012, students at Arizona State University…

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  • War crimes and open wounds: The physician who took on Israeli segregation

    On the occasion of her 80th birthday, Ruchama Marton, the founder of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, talks about the atrocities she witnessed as a soldier, the enduring power of feminism, and why only outside help has a chance of ending Israel's military rule over the Palestinians. By Alon Mizrahi Ruchama Marton belongs to what you might call Generation 1.5 of Israel’s anti-occupation activists. She was slightly too young to belong to the small and avant-garde group that established the revolutionary socialist organization Matzpen in the 1960s, but old enough to have taken classes with firebrand Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz in Jerusalem. There, while…

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  • Israel's problem isn't Palestinian nationalism — it's Palestinians themselves

    Most of the circumstances that made the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ripe for resolution — or at least made the peace process attractive to both parties — have all but disappeared over the past decade. Many Israelis were likely happy to read The New Yorker article titled "The End of This Road: The Decline of the Palestinian National Movement" earlier this month. The piece is of particular interest due to where it was published — the liberal elite's most prominent magazine, which generally champions the Zionist Left and the American-backed two-state solution. [tmwinpost] The identity of its authors is also noteworthy: Ahmad Samih Khalidi was…

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  • America's BDS law is an attack on far more than free speech

    The world long ago made clear to the Palestinians that violence is not a legitimate path for seeking independence. Now Congress is trying to criminalize one of the few nonviolent tools left. A pair of laws currently making their way through the United States Congress would impose criminal sanctions on Americans who support an economic boycott of Israel or its illegal West Bank settlements. The bill follows in the footsteps of, and in some was surpasses the dozens of American states that have passed their own anti-boycott laws in recent years. [tmwinpost] The Senate bill, S. 720, known as the “Anti-Israel…

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  • Israel is still unable to deal with the catastrophe of 1948

    The fact that Israel is unable to swallow or get rid of the territories it occupied in 1967, makes it far more difficult for the state to recognize the catastrophe that befell the Palestinians during the 1948 War.  By Oren Barak Why does the State of Israel, which just celebrated 69 years of independence, struggle to deal with the unpleasant events in its distant past, especially not the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe in the 1948 War? [tmwinpost] Professor Avraham Sela and Professor Alon Kadish, two top scholars of the 1948 War from Hebrew University, recently published a book titled "The War of 1948:…

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  • 'If this hunger strike succeeds, it could mean revolution'

    He entered prison for the first time at the age of 10, was one of the founders of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, and became one of the representatives of Fatah’s security prisoners in Israeli jails. For the last decade, Ramzi Fayyad, who has been working to promote dialogue between representatives of released prisoners, views the the current hunger strikes as an opportunity. Orly Noy spoke to him about prison conditions, the failure to learn from past mistakes, and why the strike could help Palestinians on a global level. The hunger strike organized by Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails has been going…

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  • Two fathers, Palestinian and Jewish, find hope in solidarity

    When I first got the news that he had won, the first people I checked on were my Muslim mother and my son. But then I wrote my friend, Brad Brooks-Rubin. [tmwinpost] The connection wasn't coincidental. When my son was born, Brad was the first to visit him. A year later, I bought a life-sized playhouse and leaned it against the plastic siding of our rented home, just outside of Washington, DC. When my son was skeptical about his new toy, Brad crawled in first, wedged his head through the tiny window, and looked my toddler dead in the eye.…

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  • Popular resistance in Palestine: Decline and hope for change

    A decade ago popular protests against the separation wall, settlements, and occupation were the great promise of the Palestinian struggle. Now a new book takes a look at why these demonstrations were never actually able to bring out the Palestinian masses to the streets, and what activists can learn for the future. By Thimna Bunte In what may be the most insightful, comprehensive, and sensitive academic study of today's Palestinian popular resistance, Marwan Darweish and Andrew Rigby's new book, Popular Protest in Palestine – The Uncertain Future of Unarmed Resistance, provides an excellent analysis of Palestinian unarmed resistance to the Israeli…

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  • 'As long as we choose violence Israel will always defeat us'

    Mubarak Awad, one of the main organizers of nonviolent resistance during the First Intifada until Israel exiled him, talks about why only nonviolence can defeat the occupation, how Palestinians must convince Israelis that peace is their own interest, and his fears that without a new nonviolent movement more and more Palestinian youths will be drawn to armed resistance. By Waleed Shahid (First published in 'In These Times') The largest Palestinian uprising in the history of the Israeli occupation is largely forgotten today. In the 1980s, thousands of Palestinians took part in large-scale civil disobedience actions, strikes, pickets, boycotts and sit-ins…

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  • Despite its wishes, the EU only deepens the occupation

    The European Union is substituting pressure on Israel for dialogue. How else will it be able to continue building schools and solar panels in the occupied territories? The European Union is one of the most demonized bodies in Israel at the moment, and the hate is no longer coming only from the extreme right. The working assumption in the Israeli mainstream is that the EU is biased against Israel, that it supports different forms of sanctions and boycotts, and that it is trying to isolate Israel and force it to withdraw from the occupied territories. [tmwinpost] The truth is entirely…

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  • Goodbye status quo: Israel's impending moment of truth

    There are no guarantees that the near future will herald freedom for Israel/Palestine. It will, however, shatter the perception of comfort that has paralyzed Israel since the beginning of the millennium. By Ran Greenstein When we look at the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a curious pattern can be detected. Every 20 or 30 years a major turning point is reached. This happens in part due to pure coincidence, and in part due to natural processes involving generational change, which takes two or three decades to mature. The cycle started in 1897 with the foundation of the Zionist movement, which…

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  • Palestinians continue to create life from death

    Gaza’s injuries have provoked every Palestinian and created in us the desire for all Palestinians to live in unity in our lands occupied since 1948.  By Badia Dweik I was unable to recognize him from the photos I saw on social media sites. Neither could I recognize him from the hospital photos that showed him dead. I went to his funeral after Friday prayers, where thousands had gathered. Suddenly I saw a poster and on it the martyr's name, Nader Mohamed Idriss. I was surprised, since I had seen him only a few days before in the exact place where he…

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