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Palmach

  • Dismantling the occupation — brick by brick, book by book

    Like the children of countless American Jewish families, throughout her childhood Ayelet Waldman was told that trees were being planted in her name across Israel, something very few people questioned back then. “This is the first time I have ever planted a tree for Palestinians,” she says as she looks out at the West Bank village of Susya on a balmy day in the middle of June. “My grandmother would donate money to the Jewish National Fund, which would then plant trees in my name. She had no idea that the money she was giving would go toward the settlement…

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  • 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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  • Mapping the Palestinian villages erased and replaced with Jewish towns

    A new map seeks to provide new information on the Palestinian cities, towns, and villages that were erased and replaced since the inception of the Zionist movement. By Tom Pessah Immigrants coming to Israel are unlikely to know the name “Mlabes,” but Israelis are more acquainted with it. After all, it is the name of a local newspaper, a young singer, a shawarma joint, and a chapter of the Israeli Scouts. [tmwinpost] But all these have one thing in common: they are associated with the city of Petah Tikvah, northeast of Tel Aviv. According to the Petah Tikvah City Archive's website, Mlabes was the…

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  • Home demolitions: A reminder that the Nakba never ended

    The destruction of Hanaa' al-Naqib's home in Lydd this week is a reminder that Israel's dispossession of Palestinians didn't end in 1948 — it has simply taken on new forms. We could hear the wailing all the way from the entrance to the besieged neighborhood. It was a heartbreaking sound. We quietly make our way between the bushes, over the fence and past the train tracks, so as not to be detected. When it comes to the police, using words like "the media" or "photographers" doesn't really grant you access. We make it to the yard of one of the…

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  • Shulamit Aloni, 1928-2014: Mother and prophet of the left

    The woman who made human rights the central issue of the left's political agenda has died at 86. Fearless and true to her values, Aloni stood up to Israel's generals and rabbis until her very last days. Shulamit Aloni, founder of leftist Meretz party, former minister of education and the legendary mother of the Israeli civil rights movement, died Friday at the age of 86. Aloni served 28 years in the Knesset. She was elected for the sixth Knesset with Labor, but later left the party and established Ratz, an avant-garde party focused on civil rights. In 1984 Ratz became…

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  • 'Thanks for doing Zionism's filthy work': A response to Ari Shavit

    Israeli journalist Ari Shavit expresses gratitude for the perpetrators of the Lydda expulsion and massacre -- for doing the 'filthy work,' explaining that, even 'the critics of later years enjoyed the fruits of their deed.' A response to Shavit's 'Lydda, 1948', published in The New Yorker. By Ami Asher Palestinian historian Nur Massalha wrote that from time to time, starting as early as 1949, Israelis have been periodically washed by waves of revelations and remorse for the injustices that enabled the establishment of a Jewish State. As an Israeli Jew, I know them well: articles are published, impassioned debates keep you…

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  • Despite efforts to erase it, the Nakba's memory is more present than ever in Israel

    The Israeli Right has been waging a war on history in recent years, using extreme measures to remove evidence of the Nakba from the national discourse. It failed. Yedioth Hakibbutz is the weekly magazine of the United Kibbutz Movement. It is delivered every week to hundreds of Kibbutzim as part of the weekend edition of Yedioth Ahronoth, the best selling paper in Israel. Even at a time of diminishing political influence – there is not a single representative of the United Kibbutz Movement in the current Knesset – the Kibbutzim remain both a symbol and a stronghold of conservative Zionism, and the…

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  • WATCH: Right-wing group posts video of 'Haganah Castrator'

    The supremacist organization Lehava published a video on its website yesterday showing two former Palmach fighters from the Hagana, boasting about how they castrated Arabs upon orders from David Ben-Gurion himself. It's an old clip taken from a documentary made in 2010 called "Nevelot" (bastards). The movie tells about the lives of two men, Meir Lavetovsky and Yitzhak Weinstein, who were the inspiration for a TV show that went by the same name and also based on a book by Yoram Kaniuk. I did not see either the movie nor the documentary. I could not find much information about the two, but…

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  • Opinion: Extremist Rabbi Dov Lior has widespread support

    By Eyal Clyne On Monday 27 June, Rabbi Dov Lior was arrested by the Israeli police for refusing to report for questioning about his religious sponsorship of a book advocating racism and war crimes (i.e. “permitting” the killing of civilians in Gaza, according to Halacha). For decades many Israeli rabbis have often openly promoted violence and racist practices: some under the auspices of the army, the autonomous state-funded education system, local authorities and municipalities, and pre-military-religious schools; but this is the first time that a rabbi may be held accountable. The real story, however, began only after his release later that day.…

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