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  • Religion out, nationalism in: Will Hamas' charter divide the movement?

    Hamas new 'Document of Principles' ditches Islamism for frank positions on borders, international law, and human rights. But can the movement maintain unity as it inches closer to the ideas held by its rivals in the PLO? By Menachem Klein (translated by Philip Podolsky) Hamas' recently-revised charter, titled "Document of General Principles and Policies" sees the group go down a path that could eventually result in its fracturing. Once it chose to depart from the simplistic and monolithic guidelines of the Islamic Charter, it had no choice but to acknowledge the ideological differences that drive the movement's leadership apart (as do the inevitable power…

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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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  • Can a broad Palestinian civil rights campaign forge the way to peace?

    The ongoing hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners signals a potential new direction toward a resolution to the conflict. But the success of such an approach rests on how Israel chooses to respond. By Paul R. Pillar President Trump’s expressed desire to resolve, somehow, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is welcome, but the grounds for skepticism about this outweigh the reasons for hope. The principal reason for skepticism is the lack of evidence that Trump has distanced himself politically from the position, embodied in the right-wing Israeli government and its most ardent American supporters, that favors perpetual Israeli control of the occupied territories…

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  • Hamas' new charter reveals a willingness to change

    Despite what the usual media critics may say, Hamas' new charter is evidence of a movement in flux, and one that — when the need arises — allows itself to be guided by pragmatism. By Menachem Klein For a moment, before the familiar flood of mainstream news commentators will completely deny the obvious changes in the new Hamas charter, it’s worth stopping and thinking: If there’s no change at all, why have senior officials been debating the new version for many long months? If everything is empty words, what’s to debate? In reality, what looks like standing water to Israelis…

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  • As Palestinian divisions deepen, Arab actors seek two-state alternative

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is worried that ‘regional peace’ would prompt normalization between Arab states and Israel, while sidelining the two-state solution. Yet increasingly, Palestinian and Arab actors are pursuing a number of alternative solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. By Ella Aphek During Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s last visit to Washington, President Trump introduced a new formula for peace: “One state or two states, whatever both sides like.” Since then, Arab and Palestinian media coverage has acknowledged that not only Israeli policy, but also the failures of Palestinian leadership and ongoing conflicts between Fatah and Hamas, are to blame for the…

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  • Will we ever know the truth about World Vision and Hamas?

    Australia says it found no evidence that its World Vision funds were diverted to Hamas, as Israel alleges. But can the Israeli legal process be trusted? The Australian foreign ministry has not found any evidence that the Gaza head of a major humanitarian organization funneled Australian funds to Hamas, Australia’s ABC news reported Wednesday. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) conducted an investigation after Israel arrested a, Muhammed el-Halabi, the Palestinian head of World Vision’s Gaza office, and accused him of siphoning millions designated for humanitarian relief in Gaza to Hamas. [tmwinpost] Israeli authorities held el-Halabi for 50…

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  • The Palestinian leadership's wish for two states cannot be ignored

    With Hamas' new charter about to confirm the organization's commitment to a two-state solution, the unifying demand from the Palestinian leadership for a resolution to the conflict can no longer be denied. The debate over one state, two states, three states or something in between for Israel-Palestine has once again risen to the fore. At times, the one-state solution has been presented as the best, most likely and most realistic option, by figures as diverse as President Trump, Jewish Home head Naftali Bennett and eminent Israeli author A.B. Yehoshua, along with the radical Left (Palestinian and Jewish alike). [tmwinpost] But…

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  • Israel and Hamas need each other — now more than ever

    The fact that Israel has no desire to destroy Hamas and re-occupy Gaza means the next round of fighting will end much like the previous ones: a 'strategic tie' with enormous human suffering in both Israel and the Strip. By Doron Matza It is impossible to understand what is happening in the Gaza Strip without understanding the following paradox: the relationship between Israel and Hamas appears as a "zero-sum game," yet both sides cooperate with one another. [tmwinpost] For over a decade, Israel and Hamas have maintained a relationship of both confrontation and reconciliation. From the Israeli point of view, Hamas' presence in Gaza…

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  • I was IDF property for three years — today I'm traumatized

    Every time I hear about another Druze who refuses to go to the army, I think about how he won't have to suffer. He will avoid the trauma of becoming the human property of the IDF. By Fayez Abu Hayeh "Soldier, straighten up!" It was 2 a.m., I was lying on the ground, my backpack under me. The commander yelled: "Soldier, straighten up!" and I, an exhausted soldier, didn't understand. All I wanted was a place to escape to, a framework that would take me in. Today I understand that I was the IDF's property, like every Druze, like everyone who serves in this…

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  • German bank shuts down account belonging to Jewish peace group

    Bank für Sozialwirtschaft tells members of Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East, which includes a number of Israelis, that its account has been closed due to their support for BDS. Can a Jewish organization with Israeli members be considered anti-Semitic? Is it the job of a German bank to make that call? According to Bank für Sozialwirtschaft (Bank for Social Economy) the answer to those two questions is a resounding yes. [tmwinpost] Six weeks ago members of the group Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East, based in Germany, received a message from…

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  • Diplomacy or armed struggle? Palestinian factions look ahead

    Against the backdrop of a crisis of governance in Palestine and the brewing battle of succession, Palestinian Islamic Jihad is proposing a return to armed struggle. But is that what the Palestinian people want? By Ronit Marzan On October 21 of this year, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader Ramadan Shalah gave a speech marking 29 years since the movement’s founding. Shalah’s speech largely resembled those he has given in the past, but the historical and geopolitical context has changed. Twenty-three years have passed since the failure of the Oslo Accords and changes are taking place in the Palestinian, Arab-Muslim and international…

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  • Why Netanyahu’s offer to visit the Palestinian parliament is pure BS

    The Israeli prime minister tells the UN that he will 'gladly come to speak' to the Palestinian legislative body, which he conveniently forgets hasn't convened in nearly a decade. Outstretched hand for peace or PR ploy? Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu loves being dramatic at the UN. From his bag of props to awkward moments of silence to general theatrics, he always makes sure to grab a few headlines when visiting the General Assembly in New York. [tmwinpost] This year, one of Netanyahu’s biggest moments was when he invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to speak at the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, an ode to…

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  • Who are the ISIS supporters in Israel's prisons?

    The 46 ISIS-associated prisoners represent only 0.3 percent of the prison population and just one-tenth of one percent of all prisoners. Some went off to fight in Syria, while others expressed support for the group on social media. By Noam Rotem As of the end of June, Israel was imprisoning 46 alleged ISIS supporters, according to data provided by the Israel Prison Service (IPS). Out of over 17,000 people being held in Israeli prisons at the end of June, 37 percent of those prisoners, 6,369 people, are classified as “security prisoners,” and the rest as criminal prisoners. The “security” classification…

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