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Golan Heights

  • The legitimacy of land grabs in the Trump era: From the Golan to Crimea

    Trump’s administration needs to come to terms with the unacceptability of states snatching territory from other states through armed force and keeping it — no matter what rationale the historical context might provide. By Paul R. Pillar The main takeaway from the recent G-7 summit obviously is the striking damage to U.S.-allied relations from Donald Trump’s posturing and accusations about trade. Also worth assessing, however, is a different and milder disagreement between the U.S. president and the other summit participants. [tmwinpost] With support only from the Italian prime minister, the front man for a newly installed populist coalition in Rome,…

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  • The Syrian ceasefire in the Golan is good for Israel

    Netanyahu called Trump and Putin's ceasefire in Syria a 'bad deal.' But it could be the one thing that prevents Israel from being dragged into war — whether by miscalculation or military escalation. By Shemuel Meir The dramatic announcement by presidents Trump and Putin of a ceasefire in “south-west Syria” earlier this month was greeted in Israel with skepticism. Official Israel wasn’t impressed with the agreement reached by the two superpowers to establish and enforce a buffer zone on Israel’s northern border in the Golan Heights, free of all military activity. [tmwinpost] In the first Israeli cabinet meeting held after…

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  • The Syrian refugees Israelis prefer to forget

    As opposed to Palestinian refugees, the fate of the Syrians expelled from the Golan Heights by Israel in 1967 was covered up and hidden from public awareness. Even today, most Israelis believe the area was largely empty of Syrians, and anyone who may have been there fled voluntarily. By Irit Gal Among the Syrian refugees fleeing their burning country to the European countries that were kind enough to open their gates, there are those who belong to a second generation of refugees. The first fled in 1967 when the Syrian Golan Heights were conquered by the Israeli army. In contrast to the refugees in the West Bank and…

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  • Israel inching closer to a war nobody wants

    Increasingly hawkish rhetoric directed at Hezbollah, along with providing humanitarian aid to Syrian rebels, may lead Israel into a war no one wants. Israel's interest is a stable Middle East, but it won't happen without an end to the occupation. By Asher Kaufman At the annual Herzliya Conference last week, the head of the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate, Maj. Gen. Herzi Levi, told the crowd that "Iran, the Assad regime, and Hezbollah — these are the main threats in the region... and a major threat to the State of Israel." Levi added that "one can clearly see Hezbollah building a military industry with…

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  • Mapping the Palestinian villages erased and replaced with Jewish towns

    A new map seeks to provide new information on the Palestinian cities, towns, and villages that were erased and replaced since the inception of the Zionist movement. By Tom Pessah Immigrants coming to Israel are unlikely to know the name “Mlabes,” but Israelis are more acquainted with it. After all, it is the name of a local newspaper, a young singer, a shawarma joint, and a chapter of the Israeli Scouts. [tmwinpost] But all these have one thing in common: they are associated with the city of Petah Tikvah, northeast of Tel Aviv. According to the Petah Tikvah City Archive's website, Mlabes was the…

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  • Don't call it a comeback: Really, please don't come back

    Ehud Barak isn't the 'only hope' to defeat Netanyahu. He is, however, the most dangerous prime minister Israel has ever had. It seems Ehud Barak is planning a return to politics: posters have appeared calling on him to “run” (where exactly is unclear), and now even Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy reluctantly voiced the opinion that for all his faults, Barak is “the only hope” to defeat Netanyahu because he is “so much more brilliant than his politician peers." But before the buildup of yet another great white hope commences, a reminder might be in order. [tmwinpost] Barak was arguably the…

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  • Finding home in a new memory: A journey to the Golan

    Maintaining a boundary between support, solidarity and an acknowledgment of Israel’s wrongdoing toward Palestinians without appropriating the memory is an ongoing and constant effort. In Mansura, I found something different. By Eitan Bronstein Aparicio For years, I have been acting in the realm of the political memory, the construction of memory, deconstructing and erecting myths. I launched an organization dealing with memory. But somehow, I always remained external to the memories I touched upon: it was the Palestinian memory, which isn’t mine organically. I organized visits of Israelis to the Palestinian villages Israel destroyed during the Nakba and I initiated the…

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  • Why Netanyahu is doubling down on the Golan Heights

    In less than a week, the Israeli prime minister admitted to military action in Syria and declared to the world that Israel will never relinquish the Golan Heights, which it unilaterally annexed 35 years ago. By Shemuel Meir What led Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to wake up one fine day and declare, during a highly publicized but insignificant reserve duty exercise in the Golan Heights (and without the army Chief of Staff present, as is customary) that “we struck Syria dozens of times”? Was it a slip of the tongue stemming from the overconfidence that has become so typical lately?…

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  • The silent occupation: Bringing pre-1967 Golan Heights back to life

    With war raging over Israel's border with Syria, it's easy to forget that the Golan Heights — a buffer between the two countries — is occupied territory. But occupied it is, and the landscape bears witness to a history of violence and expulsion. "The sky fell to earth, the stars turned to stones..." — Elias Khoury, Gate of the Sun I’m standing at the top of a crumbling minaret, looking into Syria. The tower belongs to a mosque in the destroyed Circassian village of Sur’aman, whose ruins are gradually being consumed by the woods around them. In the distance lies…

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  • Yitzhak Rabin never supported Palestinian statehood

    For 20 years the Israeli Left has utilized selective memory to reinvent the late prime minister. In reality, Rabin only wanted to grant the Palestinians limited autonomy, a goal he achieved through the Oslo Accords. By Yakir Adelman Ahead of the 1992 elections in Israel there was a televised debate between Yitzhak Rabin and incumbent prime minister Yitzhak Shamir. At the end of the debate Shamir was allowed to ask his opponent a question of his choice: “Do you really want a Palestinian state within the land of Israel?” Rabin answered decisively: “I oppose a Palestinian state between us and the…

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  • First, do no harm: Israel and the Druze in Syria

    Some Druze in Israel are campaigning for intervention to save their kin on the Syrian side of the border, but the Druze in Syria reject the idea out of hand. Instead, they are demanding that Israel stop supporting the people threatening to massacre them. By Rabah Halabi ISIL and Jabhat al-Nusra are fanatical religious movements that pose a danger first and foremost to moderate and enlightened Islam, then to the Arab world, and humanity itself. These same dark forces are threatening the wellbeing and very existence of the Druze in Syria, because of their religious beliefs, which they have held…

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  • Why Israel picks fights with Hezbollah

    And why it will probably pick another one before too long. After Hezbollah’s fatal attack on Israeli soldiers Wednesday, the two enemy sides are in a rare configuration: they’re even. Israel killed six Hezbollah guerrillas and an Iranian general on January 18, so Hezbollah killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded seven more, and now they’re quits, for the time being. They each told UN peacekeepers in south Lebanon that they didn’t want to escalate things anymore, they wanted calm, and that clearly seems to be the case today. What an opportunity. From this point forward, Israel and Hezbollah could start…

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  • With Egypt strike, Israel violates two borders in three days

    Two incidents in three days, in which Israel’s military was caught with its hand beyond its borders, raise questions of sovereignty and what it means to Israel. Sovereignty is a funny thing. Some countries claim more of it than they really have, some don’t have full control over their sovereign territory or airspace, and others willingly cede some of their sovereignty for a number of reasons. Two cases of Israel violating the sovereignty of its neighbors made headlines in the past few days. The first incident involved Israeli combat soldiers infiltrating Lebanon’s borders on Wednesday. Israeli violations of Lebanon’s airspace, maritime…

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