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Gilad Schalit

  • Archaic gag order lifted: Two Israeli civilians being held in Gaza

    This is the third time in five years — that we can discuss — in which Israeli authorities have tried to use comprehensive gag orders to stop the publication of stories of public interest. This also is the third time that the Internet has made a mockery of such efforts to control information. A 28-year-old Israeli man, Avraham 'Avera' Mengistu, crossed into the Gaza Strip in October 2014 and never returned. +972 and the Israeli media has been unable to tell you anything about Mengistu until today, when a nine-month comprehensive gag order was lifted on the entire affair as…

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  • Analysis: How Israel taught Hamas that violence is effective

    The Islamic group has good reason to believe that violence will work for it, and maybe even set the stage for diplomatic engagement with Israel: it has in the past, both for itself and the PLO. It is ironic that Israel rushed to point to the kidnapping of three Israeli teens as the reason it cannot negotiate with a Palestinian leadership affiliated with Hamas. Indeed, in the wake of the kidnapping -- regardless of the outcome -- Israel will very likely use the event as an excuse to stay away from the already comatose peace talks with the Mahmoud Abbas’s…

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  • Hunger-striker Samer Issawi is another statistic in an unjust legal system

    Unlike Prisoner X, there is no public outrage in Israel over the way the legal system is preventing Samer Issawi from receiving a fair trial. But then again, Issawi is Palestinian. Samer Issawi, the Palestinian prisoner who has been on an intermittent hunger strike for over 200 days, had his day in court on Thursday. According to the sentence handed down by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, one might ostensibly believe that Issawi would be released on March 6, when his prison term is completed. But Samer Issawi is Palestinian, and therefore subject to a multi-layered legal system in which his…

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  • Ex-political prisoner shares journey though Israeli jails

    There were 4,937 political prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention centers in November 2011 according to Adameer, a Palestinian non-governmental organization. Yazan Abdulhadi was one of them before he was released on November 28, 2011, between the two swaps of the deal between Israel and Hamas to free Gilad Schalit (not as part of the deal). On January 7, 2012, he agreed to give an interview that would be published in +972 Magazine. The conversation took place in Ramallah, at Café Pronto. By Alexis Thiry Yazan spent 15 months in Israeli prisons, accused of being a member of a student…

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  • Noam Schalit - instead of Knesset, go home

    It's not enough that for years, Israeli society dropped everything it was doing and ultimately risked people's lives to bring Noam Schalit's son home. Now he wants Israeli voters to send him to the Knesset. The whole Gilad Schalit saga was so weird, so unnatural, so out of proportion - why didn't we all just commit mass suicide to show how much we cared about him? - and now it's gotten plain disgusting. Noam Schalit is running for Knesset, on the Labor Party ticket. It's not enough that an entire country basically dropped everything for this guy's son, for this guy himself - it's not enough that countless victims…

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  • What do genocide, Schalit have to do with Palestinian prisoners?

    The recent curtailment of the rights of Palestinian prisoners was presented by Israel as leverage designed to secure the release of Gilad Schalit. But Schalit has been released, while the sanctions remain. This past summer, somewhere around the fifth anniversary of Gilad Schalit's capture, and several months before his release, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israel Prison Service launched a new policy restricting the rights of Palestinian political prisoners (commonly known as "security prisoners"). The new restrictions, on top of existing discrimination between criminal and political prisoners, included an increased use in the solitary confinement of prominent leaders; a…

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  • WATCH: Livni explains why she opposed Schalit exchange deal

    Livni speaks out on the prisoner swap, regional relations and the Arab Spring - but dodges a question on settlement policy During her visit to France this week, Kadima leader and head of the opposition Tzipi Livni sat for an interview with Annette Young of France 24's English-language service. Previously foreign minister in the Olmert government, Livni comes across as an intelligent and thoughtful person who avoids populist rhetoric. Surprisingly for a politician, she also gives the impression of being quite modest - even self-effacing. She seems to be so engaged in the interview that she's actually enjoying it, as…

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  • This government WANTS Hamas for its "partner"

    Mahmoud Abbas' popularity in the West is a headache for Benjamin Netanyahu. It's no wonder he'd rather do business with Hamas If I were Bibi Netanyahu, that’s what I’d want. I’d say to myself: “Mahmoud Abbas is a pain in the neck, he’s popular with the West, he makes Israel look bad – he cooperates with us and we don’t cooperate with him, so he goes to the UN and makes us look bad. Puts pressure on me to do things I don’t want to do and couldn’t do even if I wanted to, which I don’t. But Hamas? Hamas…

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  • Rick's Weekly Wrap: The boy is back in town

    Welcome, one and all, to the Weekend Holyland Wrap. No, you cannot take your haz-mat suits off. There's still Schalit Fever in the air. And smoke. And keep those helmets on. They'll be needed too. This here is the extreme tour version. | Raging Rechavia “Rick” Berman gives you the week’s top stories as they ought to be told. A weekly feature on +972 By Rechavia “Rick” Berman So "the boy*" is back in town. By now, if you read this most excellent and informative website I have the privilege to share space on, you have heard all about Bibi…

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  • Neocon lobbyist marks Schalit release with calls for genocide?

    Right? I mean, that's the immediate impression when you read it (h/t Political Correction). Rachel Abrams, who blogs at Bad Rachel, sits on the board of the Emergency Committee for Israel, the very same group that tried accusing Occupy Wall Street of anti-Semitism. Take a deep breath: Yeah. Rwanda, make way, here comes Mrs. Abrams. Even if you take out the actual howl for blood, that's just about one of the most hate-filled rants I've ever laid my eyes on. It's almost as if she wrote it to give readers a useful sample of what hate-speech really is. If that's…

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  • Hoping Bibi’s Schalit photo-op could be a Dukakis moment

    As my colleague Dimi Reider posted yesterday, the social networks are swamped with pictures of PM Binyamin Netanyahu popping up in famous historical photos, after seeing him in almost every picture that the government released yesterday during the Schalit prisoner swap. The momentum seems to be in full swing, and anyone who opened up their Facebook this morning was most probably met by a whole new batch of funny photos. Here are a few more: I can’t help but hope that the PM’s efforts to promote himself so aggressively yesterday could actually backfire somehow. It reminded me of the notorious…

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