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  • An open letter to a future Israeli soldier

    I honestly believe you want the best for this country, but if you care about the Israeli society, there are other ways to make a difference. Joining the IDF only perpetuates the status quo — one that is bad for Israel and much worse for Palestinians. By Ido Liven Congratulations. You are 18 years old today. We don’t know each other but your birthday is especially important to me. Let me explain. When you were born, I joined the IDF. I shouldn’t have. [tmwinpost] Don’t get me wrong — it was a truly life changing experience. I met some of my best friends…

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  • A prison sentence that tells the true story of the occupation

    An 18-month prison sentence for Elor Azaria, who shot and killed a wounded Palestinian attacker last year, is a reminder that the occupation has no place for law and justice. There was something about the Elor Azaria trial that felt scripted. I only spent three days in court last year, watching Azaria testify, but while there I spoke with many other journalists who had been there for the entire trial. Oddly, despite the in-depth interrogation of every detail, everyone with whom I spoke felt the same way — that the trial's outcome felt predetermined. In an article I wrote for…

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  • WATCH: Israeli soldiers arrest Palestinian for filming them

    Soldiers arrest a Palestinian man before shooting his brother in the knee with a rubber bullet. Israeli soldiers arrested a Palestinian volunteer with an Israeli human rights organization before shooting his brother in the knee with a rubber bullet earlier this month. [tmwinpost] The incident took place on February 10 in the West Bank village of Adameh near Nablus as Israeli soldiers guarding the settlement of Yitzhar and its illegal satellite outposts fired tear gas at local Palestinian youths who were reportedly taking a walk nearby. When Ahmad Ziyada, a Palestinian volunteer with Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem and a…

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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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  • WATCH: Conscientious objector on why she refuses to join the IDF

    Atalya Ben-Abba, 19, recently refused to join the Israeli army on moral grounds and, like others before her, was sentenced to jail. Here, she talks about her reasons for conscientious objection. Read more: My sister is refusing to join the IDF — and I couldn't be prouder Israeli army jails two conscientious objectors for fourth time Israeli conscientious objector released from military prison after 160 days

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  • New Israeli campaign pushes racism in guise of two-state solution

    Former top generals and commanders in Israel have launched a new campaign that pushes for unilateral separation from Palestinians. But their messaging reminds us just how racist the notion of a Palestinian 'demographic threat' really is. A new campaign in Israel by a group of former top military and security officials warns that Palestinians will soon be the majority in the country. It is billed as a centrist, pragmatist approach to enhance Israel's security in lieu of a peace process, which it may be — but it is also blatantly racist. [tmwinpost] Launched Sunday to coincide with the Paris Peace summit that…

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  • The problem with Israel's heroism addiction

    The flip side of Israel’s need for heroes created in uniform, weapon in hand, is the urge to preserve the ideals associated with them and to shield them from criticism — the ramifications of which have become disturbingly clear in the case of Elor Azaria. “A nation without heroes is a house without doors.” So says the grotesque, dictatorial general in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Autumn of the Patriarch,” after affording equal posthumous honors to several army officers who die in quick succession, no matter whether they were killed in a tragic accident or as a result of their own depraved activities. [tmwinpost]…

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  • Why did the Israeli army conduct anthrax experiments on its soldiers?

    Ten years after it ended, most of the details of a secret trial that tested anthrax vaccines on Israeli soldiers remain unknown. Who was really behind the experiments, and were they even needed at all? By Ran Goldstein A hit TV show, “Taagad,” recently came to the end of its run in Israel. Set in an army medical center, it became a cult hit, to the extent that every currently serving soldier could quote its dialogue. But aside from its popularity, the show also reawakened one of the most serious affairs to have arisen in Israel over the last few decades — an…

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  • IDF sentences two conscientious objectors to month in prison

    Tamar Alon and Tamar Ze'evi will serve 27 days in military prison for refusing to serve in the occupation. The Israeli military sentenced two Israeli conscientious objectors, Tamar Alon and Tamar Ze’evi, to 27 days in military prison on Monday for refusing to serve in the army due to their opposition to the occupation. [tmwinpost] The young women first declared their conscientious objection at the Israeli army’s Tel Hashomer induction base in mid-November, saying that they refuse to take part in the oppression of the Palestinian people. They were sentenced to 10 days in military prison at the time. At…

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  • The IDF's new 'Visit Palestine' campaign refuses to say Palestine

    The Israeli army's new tourism campaign wants you to visit Palestine — just don't call it that. The Israeli military launched a truly bizarre rendition of a Visit Palestine tourism campaign over the weekend. Except the army couldn’t bring itself to say Palestine, the West Bank, or even mention that Palestinians live there. The video was published on the Facebook page of the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli military government that oversees the occupation of the Palestinian territories. The video mentions sites like Wadi Qelt, the Mar Saba Monastery and Nabi Musa, sites in the…

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  • In the West Bank, even calling the fire dept. has an ethnic dimension

    How does the IDF deal with brush fire? Depends whether it threatens Jewish or Palestinian property. By Yossi Gurvitz, written for Yesh Din In the beginning of May 2016, S., a resident of the West Bank village of Sur, returned to his village and immediately noticed heavy smoke billowing from his land. Normally in such cases one hastily summons the firefighters; but we are dealing with the West Bank under Israeli military rule, so things tend to get complicated. [tmwinpost] S. grows olives on his land, where he owns around 100 trees. He lives off the olive harvest, estimating that…

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  • Born again peaceniks: How ex-IDF generals clean their conscience

    For years they have served in high-ranking positions in the Israeli army, taking part in the most violent aspects of the occupation. Only once they leave do they suddenly discover that, perhaps, military rule isn't such a great idea. By now it has become a tired ritual: every once in a while a former high-ranking member of Israel's defense establishment "wakes up" and discovers — to his and his supporters' utter surprise — that over the past 50 years Israel has been maintaining a violent occupation over millions of people who lack basic rights. This week came Gen. Gadi Shamni's turn to…

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  • IDF releases conscientious objector after 67 days in prison

    Omri Baranes sat in military prison for 67 days for refusing to join the Israeli army. After spending 67 days in military prison, Israeli conscientious objector Omri Baranes was officially released from IDF service on Thursday. Baranes, from the city of Rosh HaAyin in central Israel, was recognized by an IDF committee as a pacifist and was thus released on conscientious grounds. The conscientious objectors committee originally rejected her request, leading Baranes to refuse to serve in the army and sit in prison. [tmwinpost] According to the IDF conscientious objectors who oppose all forms of violence or service in any army…

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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