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settlements

  • 40 days and 40 nights: Building a new reality in Sumud Freedom Camp

    For 40 days and 40 nights, Palestinians, diaspora Jews, and Israeli activists learned to speak a new language of nonviolence, empathy, and steadfastness as we put our bodies on the line to protect Sumud Freedom Camp. By Sophie Schor Plato is famous for his allegory of a cave. In it, he employs a metaphor that if you were born in a cave and lived in a cave your entire life, captive and unable to turn your head, only seeing shadows cast on the stone wall, you would know no other reality than that. But if you were to leave the cave and walk…

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  • Israel: State of denial

    The Israeli government has fashioned the occupation into a 'permanently temporary' state of affairs — and made a policy of denial one of its cornerstones.  By Gershon Shafir Military occupation is a rare phenomenon in today’s world. A half-century-long occupation, like Israel’s control of Palestinian territories captured in 1967, is even rarer. Grappling seriously with its dynamics and consequences is made even more difficult by the fact that in the past half century, Israel has constructed not only settlements but also a three-story denial palace. Israel is now an official residence of occupation denialism. The most compelling demonstration of the…

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  • For settlers, there's no reason not to break the law

    How Israeli authorities avoid their duty to indict settlers who build illegally on other people's land. By Yossi Gurvitz/Yesh Din In August 2009, the residents of Kfar Aqeb, a Palestinian village near Ramallah, noticed 12 illegal structures being built on their land near the settlement of Kochav Ya’akov. The residents urgently petitioned the High Court of Justice, assisted by Yesh Din, demanding the court order an immediate halt to the construction. What happened next is a microcosm of the behavior of the law enforcement apparatus in the occupied Palestinian territories. [tmwinpost] The IDF's Civil Administration issued work stoppage orders on…

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  • The Israeli Left's plan to save the settlements

    The thinking behind Isaac Herzog's 10-point peace plan is the inevitable result of the unequal relationship between an occupying power and an occupied people. It is based entirely on Israel’s concerns, not on any notion that Palestinians have inalienable rights and are entitled to the same freedoms as everyone else. By Mitchell Plitnick Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog, head of the Labor party, issued a “10-point plan” for a restarted peace process this week. His stated goals in doing so are to stave off the Israeli right’s drive toward annexation of the West Bank, to preserve the settlement blocs, to…

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  • Want to end Israel's military regime? Stop calling it an 'occupation'

    Israel's control over the West Bank has long ago morphed into a regime based on ethnic discrimination and segregation. Let's start calling it like it is. By Yariv Mohar Recently we have been seeing the resurgence of a right-wing discourse that opposes both the annexationist far-right and the left. Instead of supporting far-reaching solutions, these rightists believe that the status quo in the West Bank is preferable and must be kept up for as long as possible. In any case, say the supporters of the status quo, we have not faced any significant international pressure against Israel; thus we can continue with…

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  • Compare and contrast: Israel's evacuation of Jews vs. Arabs

    Can you spot the difference? Compare and contrast: When Israel Police came to evacuate the Bedouin village Umm el-Hiran, they arrived at dawn and were armed withM16 assault rifles and black sponge-tipped bullets, the latter they still refuse to admit they used. They also shot several people with sponge-tipped bullets who the police claim were throwing stones. And this is how Israeli police officers arrived on Wednesday to evacuate the illegal outpost Amona, whose residents are on occupied land, in violation of both international and Israeli law. No helmets, no riot gear, no guns. Just blue sweatshirts in the middle of the…

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  • The dangerous new myth of 'Palestinian defeat'

    The idea that Israel must 'defeat' the Palestinians by demoralizing them until they accept whatever solution is forced upon them is gaining traction on the Right. By Nathan Hersh and Abe Silberstein The idea that instead of negotiating with the Palestinians Israel must first “defeat” and thoroughly demoralize them until they recognize its permanent presence in the region, has emerged from center-right policy circles in recent months. This broad idea takes many shapes, the most of extreme of which is articulated in Daniel Pipes’ front page essay in Commentary Magazine, and will presumably have some appeal to the incoming Trump administration. But…

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  • It didn't have to be this way in East Jerusalem's Silwan

    The neighborhood of Batan al-Hawa is today the site of major friction and tensions between Palestinian residents, Jewish settlers and the massive security presence that accompanies them. But things weren’t always like this, and they don’t have to be. By Hussam Abed Try and imagine this: Jews move into a Palestinian village and are welcomed with open arms. They become part of the local economy, share in joyous occasions and sad ones, and together with their neighbors form a unique, rich human tapestry. The tensions are the same you’d find in any society: they are not shaped along the rigid…

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  • U.S. abstention is a message to Europe: End Israel’s impunity

    The U.S. essentially admitted that its unyielding defense of Israel in the diplomatic arena was a disastrous strategy. With Obama bowing out, Europe will need to act on this lesson. Shortly after the UN Security Council passed its resolution criticizing Israeli settlements on Friday, the U.S. State Department issued a press statement by John Kerry explaining Washington’s decision to abstain from the vote. Kerry said that their goal was to “preserve the possibility of the two state solution,” adding that “We cannot in good conscience stand in the way of a resolution at the United Nations that makes clear that…

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  • The world is trying to save Israel from itself. Will we listen?

    As much as the the Right may deny it, the world is sending Israelis a clear message: the settlements are illegal and immoral. The faster we listen, the better off we will be. By Alon Mizrahi Let's talk about the issue itself. The issue is not Israel's reputation, not its legal status, nor the behavior of its right-wing government. The issue is settlements. On this issue one must repeat today what was true yesterday, the day before, and every day since 1967: the idea of settling for the purpose of marking territory — based on a worldview based on belligerence and supremacy — while placing…

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  • Five takeaways: What the UN Security Council resolution means

    In a 14-0 vote and with the U.S. abstaining, the UN Security Council passes a resolution reaffirming the illegality of Israeli settlements. What does it all mean, and what comes next? The UN Security Council on Friday passed a resolution condemning Israeli settlements, reaffirming their illegality, calling on Israel to cease all settlement activity, and rejecting any unilateral Israeli changes to the borders — including the annexation of East Jerusalem. [tmwinpost] The big drama surrounding the vote was that the United States decided not to exercise its Security Council veto. The Obama administration, unlike previous administrations, had for the past eight years…

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  • I'm Israeli, and I want to be blacklisted for boycotting settlement products

    I don't know what sanctions the Israeli government can impose on me for boycotting products made in the settlements, but I'll accept them proudly. By Eitan Kalinski Israel’s Minister for Strategic Affairs, Gilad Erdan, this week recommended to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon that a special committee be set up to put together a blacklist of companies, organizations and individuals that call for a boycott of products made in West Bank settlements. [tmwinpost] I, the undersigned, am not a limited company nor an organization; I am a private individual who has personally undertaken not to buy products from the settlements. It’s written…

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  • Nearly half of Americans support sanctions on Israel, poll finds

    As the Democratic party regroups ahead of the next election cycle, it would be wise for its leadership to examine areas where the Clinton campaign diverged from the party’s base. Israel-Palestine is one of those issues. The number of Americans who support imposing sanctions on Israel over its defiant settlement policies has shot up to 46 percent, the same percentage of Americans who voted for Donald Trump in the presidential election. [tmwinpost] That number has shot up nearly 10 percentage points over the past year, according to a national poll published by the Brookings Institute on Friday, on the sidelines…

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