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Jerusalem

  • Remembering the history Israel swept aside in 1948

    In the late 19th century, travelers on the long road from Jaffa to Jerusalem could stop at a rest station to relax and have a cup of (overpriced) coffee. This past, and the story of Jerusalem opening itself to the world, has been lost in the Zionist retelling of history. By Yonathan Mizrachi There is an ongoing debate in Israel over whether an Ottoman-era site along the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway should commemorate the actions in 1948 of the late, deeply controversial Rehavam Ze’evi, or the Harel Brigade of the Palmach, the pre-state incarnation of the Israel Defense Forces. But the…

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  • 'The occupation will collapse. And then we'll build a moral society here'

    On Saturday night, thousands of Palestinians and Jews gathered in Jerusalem for an anti-occupation protest marking 50 years since the occupation began. Breaking the Silence head Yuli Novak spoke to demonstrators about the importance of solidarity and resistance to the violence and racism of the Israeli government. Below is a transcript of the speech, translated from Hebrew. By Yuli Novak These are dark, somber days. Our country is dominated by occupation, messianism, racism, ignorance, callousness, and violence. Blaming the right-wing government won't help. Nor will sitting in our living rooms fantasizing about the day they'll be replaced. And please, enough with the…

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  • One destroyed village and the ghosts of the past

    For decades, Jews and Palestinians alike would wander through the abandoned village of al-Walaja, encountering ghosts of the past, and facing the intimacy of a stranger’s home. By Natasha Dudinski A spring walk in Nahal Refaim. Blue sky, cheerful sun, red anemones, white almond trees, and the rocky green Jerusalem hills. It is the most beautiful part of the year, filled with hopes for something new; groups of weekend hikers dot the valley’s trails. I follow my own unbeaten path, zigzagging between the present and the past. [tmwinpost] The three stone houses along the road are there regardless of the season.…

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  • Unpacking anti-Arab racism in Israel

    A new law aiming to silence the Muslim call to prayer is just one manifestation of efforts to erase Palestinian culture and identity. But language and heritage aren't so easy to disappear. There is a building on Michelangelo Street in Jaffa, near where I used to live, which for a while featured the sentiment “We have no other country” graffitied in both Arabic and Hebrew, side by side. One day, the Arabic was painted over, presumably by the municipality, leaving only the Hebrew. Almost immediately, someone restored the Arabic. It was painted over again. This pattern continued until a friend publicly asked the municipality why…

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  • The home demolitions Israel's media isn't talking about

    The Jerusalem municipality has repeatedly refused to come up with master plans for its Palestinian neighborhoods. The result? It has taken to demolishing illegally-built homes.  By Michal Haramati and Sahar Vardi Forty Israeli Jews set out for a tour beyond Jerusalem's hills of darkness last week, paying a visit to the neighborhood of Ein al-Loza in Silwan. The tour was led by members of the neighborhood committee, who for over a decade have been trying to receive the same treatment from the Jerusalem municipality as residents of West Jerusalem do. The past few months has seen a steady increase in fines and especially home demolitions…

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  • My sister is refusing to join the IDF — and I couldn't be prouder

    In our childhood we would fight imaginary monsters. Today the monster of the occupation is far stronger — yet Atalya continues to bravely fight on, and is willing to pay the price for her beliefs.  By Amitai Ben-Abba Tomorrow, Tuesday February 6, my sister Atalya Ben-Abba will refuse to join the Israeli army and will likely be sent to prison. Atalya has seen more of the reality of our troubled region than most Israelis her age. She volunteered for a year of national service with her youth movement, Hashomer Hatzair, to work with kids on the margins of Israeli society in…

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  • Dear Trump administration: Don't mess with Jerusalem

    Moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem could ignite a spark that would set the entire region aflame. It's just not worth it. By James J. Zogby In just a matter of days, President-elect Donald Trump will have to decide on whether or not to make good on his promise to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. As we approach Inauguration Day, liberal and conservative commentators alike have offered a number of ideas as to how he can proceed. Ranging from “too cute by half” to just plain dumb, they should all be rejected.…

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  • Meet the women shaking up Israel's ultra-Orthodox community

    Israel's ultra-Orthodox community has been experiencing tremendous changes, all led by women, over the past few years. At a recent conference, a group of Haredi women spoke about the personal price they pay, and the chance we could one day see them in the Knesset. By Eli Bitan In mid-November, women from the organization "Nivharot" ("chosen" or "elected" in Hebrew) held a conference in Jerusalem's Mishkenot Sha'ananim quarter. It was attended by activists in the ultra-Orthodox community, both women and men, who are struggling to ensure Haredi women have the right to run in the next elections under the slogan: "Not Elected — Not Voting." Already in the months…

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  • Let’s talk about what UNESCO resolution does say instead of what it doesn’t

    The absence of an affirmation of Judaism's connection to the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif is being exploited to distract from Israeli violations of the status quo, and restrictions on Muslim-Palestinian access to the holy site. By Tom Pessah Anti-Semitism, for Netanyahu and much of the Israeli and Jewish press, is clickbait. Mention it and you can all but guarantee almost automatic outrage. Just like advertisers can avoid talking about why a car is expensive by using sexual imagery or even the word “sex” to sell it, the Israeli government can dodge difficult questions about its policy by “anti-Semitizing” those who raise these…

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  • A 'wave of violence' that never actually ends

    When the Israeli media talks about the latest 'wave of violence,' it leaves out the five unarmed Palestinians who were shot to death by soldiers and police officers in the past few months. The newspaper headlines over the past few days leave no room for doubt regarding what has been happening here lately. "Terror returns," read Yedioth Ahronoth's headline on Sunday, while Haaretz and Ma'ariv ran similar headlines on Tuesday morning. [tmwinpost] Indeed the last few days have been full of stabbing and vehicle-ramming attacks by Palestinians in Jerusalem and Hebron, the vast majority of them directed at soldiers and…

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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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  • The Israeli-Palestinian conflict doesn't have to be a zero-sum game

    A new poll shows that most Israelis and Palestinians support the idea of two states, but reject the practicalities of it. But there is a way out of this mess. By Michal Haramati A recently published opinion poll sought to answer our region's million-dollar question: is the two-state solution still relevant? Unlike many others, the poll was carried out simultaneously by the Israel Democracy Institute and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and included largely similar questions for both sides. The results are eye-opening. [tmwinpost] In keeping with previous polls, while the two-state solution is still preferred by…

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  • No, there is nothing 'Israeli' about Jordan's gold medal olympian

    A number of Israeli websites preferred to forget the fact that Palestinian-Jordanian olympian Ahmad Abu Ghosh's family comes from a village conquered by Zionist forces in 1948. How much nonsense can go into a single news item? The answer is, unfortunately, a lot. Nothing has angered me recently quite like an article published by the news site Virtual Jerusalem with the following headline: "Palestinian with Israeli Roots Wins Jordan's First-Ever Olympic Medal." That Palestinian olympian is Ahmad Abu Ghosh, 20, who was born in the Al-Nasser refugee camp to a Palestinian family from the village of Abu Ghosh (which according to…

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