Having a daily routine to go back to that is free of violence is a privilege that most Israelis have and most Palestinians do not. I was out last night in Tel Aviv at a poetry book launch for a good friend when the news flashed on my phone that there was a shooting in the Sarona Market. I got that sinking feeling in my gut and couldn't take my eyes off Twitter, even as I continued to drink my beer and listen to the recitation of deeply moving and thoughtful contemporary Hebrew poetry. Life does go on here despite…Read More... | 13 Comments
What's in a name? A lot, it turns out. Why the name 'Israel' alone just isn't doing the job. PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat touched off a sizable media storm when he asked to remove an Israeli flag hanging above his head as he addressed the Haaretz conference in New York this week. Veteran journalist Dan Margalit from the pro-Netanyahu newspaper Israel Hayom called the conference organizer’s decision to comply a “burning and outrageous mistake.” [tmwinpost] But I can’t get worked up about the flag. In fact, lately I have a hard time saying the name Israel at all. And…Read More... | 39 Comments
Nearly 50 years after the occupation of Hebron, Israel still hasn't figured out how to stop Palestinian violence. If you have been attuned to the internal Israeli conversation over the past few days, you'll have noticed that the drums of war are beating once again. In a piece published Friday, Haaretz's military and defense expert Amos Harel describes a growing rift among Israel's leadership surrounding the recent violence that has, for the most part, moved from Jerusalem to the West Bank — and specifically the area surrounding Hebron. [tmwinpost] Following a sharp increase in lethal attacks against Israeli soldiers and…Read More... | 4 Comments
Just as nobody seriously believes that Israel upholds Palestinians' basic human rights, it should come as no surprise when it fails to bring to justice those who violate those rights — even if the victim is an American citizen. I had to rub my eyes and reread the headline in Haaretz this morning: "Cop Who Beat Up Palestinian Teen Gets Six Weeks Community Service." I must have misread. Not six weeks jail time? Or at least six months community service? No. Just six weeks (45 days) of community service for a policeman who repeatedly and brutally punched and kicked 15-year-old…Read More... | 3 Comments
When leaders from center-left aren't willing to deepen the struggle against the occupation, it's hard not to feel that they, too, prefer the status quo. Notes from the Haaretz Conference for Peace. The most genuine moments at Thursday's Haaretz Conference on Peace came from two right-wing speakers — Yariv Levin and Ze'ev Elkin, both ministers in Netanyahu's government — who unequivocally called the two state-solution a "hallucination," which they have no plans of ever implementing. Since neither of them have any intention of granting citizenship to Palestinians under occupation, they view the current situation as the solution. Around the same…Read More...
As violence against Israeli Jews declines, the Israeli media has gone back to business as usual. Palestinian newspapers, on the other hand, are full of stories of death, arrests, and all-out war. For the past several weeks, during what the Israeli press has deemed a "wave of terror," included stabbings and extrajudicial killings in the streets, the Israeli media has accurately reflected the anxiety that has seized the public. In essence, that meant that as long as Jews were being stabbed the headlines screamed war. But the moment violence against the Jewish public receded, the Israeli media was quick to…Read More... | 2 Comments
Two of Haaretz's biggest names claim the violence in Jerusalem reveals the failure of 'bi-nationalism.' Perhaps they have forgotten that over 300,000 residents there live under occupation, rather than in any type of sovereign state. The stabbing of an Israeli soldier in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba and the killing of two Palestinian demonstrators in demonstrations held in Gaza and the West Bank were just the latest events in the downward spiral of violence across Israel/Palestine. Earlier this week, Haaretz published two different op-eds claiming that that very violence is both the result and the harbinger of the…Read More... | 2 Comments
New polls show most Israelis supported last summer's Gaza war, are not interested in taking in Syrian refugees, and agree with Netanyahu on the Iran deal. At the start of a Jewish New Year, Israelis took stock of their lives in a series of polls. The highest circulating newspaper, the free right-wing daily Israel Hayom, wrote flashy headlines on the cover of its holiday supplement about what “Israelis” think, but conducted its survey only among Jews. Haaretz’ survey included Arabs but not politics, instead posing fun questions about life habits and some public issues, while ignoring the conflict. The Peace…Read More... | 10 Comments
A new document published by the IDF's chief of staff rebuts Netanyahu's attempts at consensus-building on the Iran nuclear threat. The so-called Israeli consensus on the Iranian threat took another blow on Thursday after IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot published a new document titled “IDF Strategy.” News on the document was published in Haaretz, describing Eizenkot's five-year plan for building up the army under financial restrictions, which includes plans for slashing budgets, re-allocating funds, and prospects for bringing other security agencies into the fray. The document also lists the gravest threats presently facing the Israeli military: Islamic State, Hezbollah,…Read More...
A number of senior columnists and reporters say that Israel should be pleasantly surprised by the deal struck between the P5+1 and Iran over the latter's nuclear program. Netanyahu — and his mouthpiece — digs in his heels. Although the pushback from the Prime Minister’s Office was immediate and unchanged, many senior figures in the Israeli media appeared to be pleasantly surprised by the details of the Iranian nuclear deal Thursday night and Friday morning. Ron Ben-Yishai, the senior military analyst for Israel’s most mainstream newspaper, Yedioth Aharonot, penned a column early Friday morning in which he said the deal…Read More... | 5 Comments
Seventy years ago it was the Zionist militias who dug underground tunnels and hid weapon caches among the civilian population. So why is it so difficult for Israelis to understand when Hamas does the same today? Whether we like to admit it or not, the Israeli press intentionally ignores the realities of Gaza. One would be hard-pressed to find articles about the fall-out from last summer's Gaza war, including home reconstruction, destroyed infrastructure, high unemployment rates and the trauma that will likely stay with many of the victims for the rest of their lives. Even during the war itself, Israel's…Read More... | 28 Comments
Out of the main Israeli news websites, only Ynet decides to play down its coverage of the attack on MK Haneen Zoabi. By Oren Persico As opposed to all the other major Israeli news sites, only Ynet decidedly toned down on its homepage Tuesday's attack on Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi, according to The Seventh Eye's media survey. The incident occurred around noon on Tuesday at a political conference attended by female members of Knesset, including Zoabi. During the attack, a right-wing activist poured juice on Zoabi's face, while Joint List spokesperson Emilie Moatti was hit over the head with a flagpole.…Read More... | 4 Comments
What does it feel like to be thought of as someone who endangers democracy? Sometimes, all it takes is having dark skin, curls and a kippa. Thoughts on Mizrahi identity from Haaretz's Conference on Democracy. By Eli Bareket Several weeks ago I attended the Israel Conference on Democracy sponsored by the liberal Haaretz daily. It was truly impressive. Around 1,000 polite and friendly people attended — those for whom Israeli democracy matters and who could set aside a day. Eva Illouz was also in attendance, and even said a lot of wise things such as, "democracy is a regime in which…Read More...
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