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ultra-orthodox

  • Once there's no Palestinian suspect, the media loses interest

    The media played a key role in turning a Palestinian man into the top suspect in a recent child rape case. But ever since charges against him were dropped, the press seems to have lost interest in the case. By Uzi Benziman If you Google the recent rape case of a seven-year-old ultra-Orthodox girl in an ultra-Orthodox settlement in the West Bank, you will find tens of thousands of results. At least until June 25. [tmwinpost] After all, that was the day Mahmoud Katusa, a Palestinian from a nearby village who was falsely indicted on child rape charges, was released from prison once it became clear…

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  • How the media helped turn an innocent Palestinian into a child rapist

    Mahmoud Katusa, who was falsely accused of raping a 7-year-old Jewish girl, fell victim to a press and a public atmosphere that views Palestinians as guilty until proven innocent. By Uzi Benziman In order to understand the false allegations against Mahmoud Katusa, a Palestinian man from the West Bank who was wrongfully accused of raping a 7-year-old Jewish girl, one should listen to what Dr. Suzy Ben Baruch, the former head of the Israel Police Juvenile Department, told Army Radio last week. [tmwinpost] Speaking on an evening show, Ben Baruch firmly stated that Katusa's was “the perfect case.” The victim's "early…

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  • The right wing in Israel is in a deep crisis

    Snap elections just weeks after Israelis went the polls are the result of a rivalry between Liberman and Netanyahu, but that's just part of the story. The right is immersed in a crisis of identity, leadership, and politics. By Meron Rapoport What happened to Avigdor Liberman? Why did he insist on cutting short what will become the shortest Knesset term in Israeli history? Was it his deep personal hatred for Netanyahu or was he simply settling a score? Was it an opportunity to build himself up politically before disappearing alongside his small, sectorial party? [tmwinpost] Amid all the questions remains…

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  • Why are Israeli liberals suddenly courting a far-right nationalist?

    Liberman's political maneuvering may just bring about King Bibi's downfall, but that doesn't mean secular liberals should forget the reasons they opposed him all these years. Avigdor Liberman has, over the past decade, exerted a greater impact on Israel’s political discourse than any other lawmaker. In just a few years, he made once unthinkable ideas — such as stripping Palestinian citizens of their citizenship and forcing them to swear oaths of loyalty to the Jewish state — part of the mainstream discourse. [tmwinpost] Today, Israeli liberals and their intelligentsia are ready to ignore or brush aside Liberman’s racist, hyper-nationalist remarks and polices, while…

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  • The price Mizrahim pay for serving in the Israeli army

    Mizrahim are forced to carry out the dirty work of the occupation, coming face to face with their Palestinian subjects in the West Bank. It doesn't have to be this way. It is hard to know for sure what kind of considerations are at the heart of the growing crisis between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Liberman, which may result in snap elections, should they not be able to form a coalition together. [tmwinpost] But there is something almost ludicrous about the fact that they are unable to agree upon an issue that, in all respects, is one of…

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  • Netanyahu will do all he can to destroy Jewish-Arab alliances

    The alliance between Palestinian citizens of Israel and the Jewish left has historically been viewed as a threat to the rule of the right. That's why Netanyahu is doing everything he can to undermine it. By Eli Bitan The Israeli right knows exactly how to harm the left: by making its alliance with Palestinian citizens not only impossible but illegitimate, thus drawing away its power. The Jewish left, for its part, has historically done enough to undermine this alliance. But recent events have created new possibilities — and that's why the right is coming out with guns blazing. [tmwinpost] This dynamic is…

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  • This is what it looks like to be hit by Israel's 'Skunk'

    The 'Skunk,' a foul-smelling liquid most often used to suppress Palestinian demonstrations, is now finding a new target: ultra-Orthodox Jews.  For much of the past year, Israeli forces have been using a foul-smelling liquid shot from a water cannon at high velocity to try and put down a burgeoning protest movement by ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem. On Sunday, Activestills photographer Oren Ziv captured the weapon, known as the "Skunk," firing at the protesters, and striking a Palestinian from East Jerusalem who was accidentally caught in the melee. [tmwinpost] The protest was held by the followers of Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, the head of a radical Jerusalem ultra-Orthodox…

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  • What's dividing Israeli society? Just don't mention the occupation

    Is it possible to discuss the sources of Israeli disunity without addressing the country’s military regime in the West Bank and siege on Gaza? Can Israelis ever accept Palestinians as part of that conversation? The plight, let alone the very existence of millions of disenfranchised people living under Israeli military rule, was nowhere to be found at the Anti-Defamation League's first-ever Summit on Social Cohesion in Israel Tuesday. Actually, that's not entirely correct. [tmwinpost] “We are no longer the occupiers, we have become the occupied,” former Defense Minister and erstwhile Labor Party leader Amir Peretz declared ironically to the hundreds…

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  • U.S. Jews can’t expect Israel to be liberal only where they want it to

    Liberal American Jewry is up in arms after the Israeli government nixed a deal to allow men and women to pray together at Judaism's holiest site. But if American Jews want their interests in Israel safeguarded, they must rid themselves of the fantasy of a nonexistent Jewish pluralism. The Netanyahu government created an uproar across the Jewish world on Sunday by rolling back an agreement to create an egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall where men and women could pray together. The compromise would also have brought representatives of the Reform and Conservative movements into a committee meant to manage that space. [tmwinpost] That arrangement…

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  • WATCH: Police suppress ultra-Orthodox demo against arrest of IDF deserter

    Police arrest 15, use water cannons against hundreds of ultra-Orthodox demonstrators who hit the streets of Jerusalem to protest the jailing of an IDF deserter.  Text by Eli Bitan, photos by Oren Ziv / Activestills.org Hundreds of young ultra-Orthodox men protested Thursday night in Jerusalem against the jailing of ultra-Orthodox IDF deserters. The demonstration is part of a larger protest movement against the arrests of Haredi deserters, which began immediately following the Jewish holiday of Purim by a radical faction of the ultra-Orthodox movement. On Thursday the protesters blocked central roads in Jerusalem, including the main entry to the city. The police used…

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  • Religious pluralism cannot be separated from the fight against occupation

    As the 50th anniversary of the occupation draws near, those who consider themselves to be on the left cannot hide behind the battles that keep us in our comfort zone. By Emily Hilton Confrontations erupted at the Western Wall last week between security forces and activists from Reform and Conservative movement, after the activists broke through security barriers with torah scrolls in their arms, defying the ultra-Orthodox authorities that run the holy site. [tmwinpost] The prayer rally was staged after the government failed to implement a resolution approved in January to create a pluralist prayer section at the southern end of the Western…

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  • IDF spending millions on 'advertorial' content in Israeli media

    The IDF has spent NIS 28 million on advertising in various media outlets, despite claims to the contrary. By Itamar Bazz The Israel Defense Forces purchased advertorial content in media outlets, according to an investigation by The Seventh Eye. In an interview to radio station “Kol Ha’ayin” last year, IDF Spokesperson Moti Almoz said the army is not involved in purchasing advertorial content and that media outlets that publish IDF content do so for their own editorial reasons and without receiving any compensation. But data obtained by The Seventh Eye and the organization “Hazlacha” indicate that in certain cases IDF…

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