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  • What Israel can learn from wave of global terror

    What’s happening in the world is far from the antiquated 'the world vs the Jews' paradigm. 'Us' and 'them' doesn't work anymore. We – Jews, Christians, Muslims and every other grouping of peaceful persons – need new categories to understand the violence. Beheadings in the desert, terror in major cities of the East and the West, racial and police shootings, mass shootings, an ax rampage in Germany and perhaps one thing – only – is clear: no part of the world is safe. The New York Times wrote that Israelis can teach France a few things about getting used to terror. But it’s…

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  • Stop fantasizing about a coup in Israel

    As the images of the attempted coup in Turkey flooded the media, some in the Israeli Left began fantasizing about our own version of a military takeover. Along with millions of others across the world, I closely followed the coup attempt in Turkey over the past weekend. Rather than being glued to the television, we stayed up until the early hours of the morning looking at Facebook Live feeds from the streets of Istanbul and Ankara. [tmwinpost] No less fascinating was the response to the coup attempt among many of my Facebook friends. Coups, it turns out, are an exciting…

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  • Gaza war diary: 'A second of silence, then the bombs go off'

    Despite the danger, Walid Abuzaid couldn't be separated from his home in Gaza for very long. And though coming home means facing possible death, he refuses to give in to hate.  By Walid Abuzaid Thursday, June 27 I was in Cyprus when it all started. When we heard about the kidnapped teens, we were thrilled by the possibility of another prisoner release. Hamas would be held responsible for the kidnapping, but we treat our prisoners well – at least the one prisoner we've ever had. It's my last night in Cyprus and one of so few in which I smile…

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  • PHOTOS: 'Stand-still' protests quietly take over Taksim Square

    Text and photos by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org Turkish choreographer Erdem Gunduz stood unnoticed in Taksim Square for several hours on Tuesday before his presence at Istanbul's flashpoint was announced on the social network Twitter and went viral. Hundreds soon joined his protest in solidarity. Later, Turkish police intervened, clearing the square and arresting several demonstrators. On Wednesday, hundreds came back, standing still in protest from morning until late at night.

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  • PHOTOS: Ankara protests grow as Istanbul clashes subside

    Photos and text by Oren Ziv and Yotam Ronen Istanbul: Police and protesters did not clash in Istanbul on Thursday night for the first time since the anti-government demonstrations began. Inside Gezi Park, protesters created different systems to serve the thousands of inhabitants, including: a medical clinic, library, a space where supporters can donate food and more. For the first time in days, the local municipality agreed to come to the park and remove the massive amounts of garbage that had accumulated. In Takism Square, people were dancing and singing until the late hours of the night. Ankara: Turkey's capital saw…

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  • Last Metro to Taksim, part 5: The siege of Constantinople

    A night that is almost too calm turns violent, then calm again, and then comes the day to make conclusions. Photography by May Castelnuovo. Click here for the full series.  It's 2 a.m. when we arrive back to Istanbul from Bursa. Istiklal Avenue is busier than at noon. Street musicians are everywhere, many playing "Bella Ciao," the struggle's adopted anthem. On our first day here, hearing it played in the square was a thrill. It took three days for it to become a chewed-up hit. Even here, with all these people about, the spirit of the struggle seems less than invincible. Young folk…

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  • Last Metro to Taksim, part 4: The expedition

    It's time to take a look around and see what's happening off the square, way off the square. Photography by May Castelnuovo. Click here for the full series.  ISTANBUL/BURSA, Turkey -- On the day we arrived, the metro station at Taksim Square was closed. The following day was a Monday. We took the train into town expecting to alight at least one station north of the square. To our surprise, the train went all the way to Taksim. The station was open and we emerged from it with our first sense of normality. It wasn't the normal kind of normality. For one, there…

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  • PHOTOS: Turkey's protests grow as labor unions join

    Photos by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org Protests continued in Istanbul's Gezi Park and Taskim Square amid intense use of tear gas and other forms of excessive force by Turkish police forces. Left-wing labor unions on Tuesday joined the protests, which began on May 28 over plans to redevelop Gezi Park but have spread to other cities and have expanded to address the Turkish government's increasingly authoritarian policies. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc has apologized for police tactics, saying, "the use of excessive force shown against the people who initially started this protest with the motive of protecting the environment was wrong. And it was unfair.…

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  • Last Metro to Taksim, part 3: Enter night

    The Istanbul team heads into the clouds of gas. It starts off pretty well. Photography by May Castelnuovo Click here for the full series.  ISTANBUL -- On Sunday night, newly reunited after the lost kidney scare, May and I went to dine with two compatriots. One was Or Heller, Channel 10's man, whom we tried to reach earlier, and Anshel Pfeffer, who reports here for Haaretz. I bit into the delicious Adana köfte and thought of Ruthie, who loves Istanbul so much, and would have come here if not for her work. What should I bring her when I return? Adana…

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  • Last Metro to Taksim, part 2: Day

    Two Israelis out to explore Istanbul's awakening are joined by two locals, or rather by 200,000 locals, and for a dance, no less. Yet they find themselves lost in memories of home, then simply lost. Photography by May Castelnuovo. Click here for the full series.  ISTANBUL -- We are at "The Kebap" restaurant, near Taksim square, right where we left off and with a great view of the Bosphorus. Now noises rise from the street outside. Young people are climbing from the ferry port of Kabatas: suburban kids from the Asian side. While at noon the ravaged square played home to a…

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  • PHOTOS: Demonstrators occupy Istanbul's Taskim Square

    Demonstrators in Turkey held their ground in Istanbul early Monday morning, after several days of protests against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a host of issues, ranging from the destruction of municipal parks to infringements on the country's secular character. In the early morning hours of Monday, June 3, protesters managed to barricade an area roughly 1.5 kilometers from Taksim Square in the east of the city. Police clashed with protesters on the edge of the barricaded area, near a soccer stadium, firing tear gas at them. Injured protesters were being taken to a makeshift field hospital set up…

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  • Last Metro to Taksim, part 1: Among the debris

    When two Israelis pop over to experience a neighboring country's revolution, they get their first glimpse of graffiti, in the full sense of the word. Photographs by May Castelnuovo (click to magnify in a new tab). Click here for the full series.  ISTANBUL – Nothing seems strange at first, Istanbul does seem atypically sleepy and empty on arrival, but then, it is a Sunday morning. The sense of normality persists on the way up the hill that cradles the historical district of Beyoglu. Even at the top, a few blocks away from Taksim square, it is only disturbed by a chemical stench,…

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