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uri avnery

  • Yes, the right of return is feasible. Here's how

    Seventy years after the violent displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, it is time to undo the injustice and to allow whoever desires to return as equal citizens to do so, while respecting the rights and identities of all who live in Israel-Palestine. By Tom Pessah (translated by Yoni Molad) For millions of Palestinians worldwide, the right of return is a fundamental issue — the most important precondition for resolving the conflict. However, in Israel the matter is raised haphazardly and is not really dealt with seriously. Haokets recently published a series of important documents culled from the state archives, which show how…

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  • Fifty years of opposition

    Each decade of the occupation has brought changing fortunes to prospects for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and varying levels of opposition to Israel's military rule. After half a century, could there finally be a proposal that stands a chance? Fifty-fever marking the anniversary since the 1967 war has swept both the Israeli Left and the Right. The Right is dreaming up ever more creative ways to celebrate Israel’s triumph — the culture minister recently wore a dress screen-printed with scenes from Jerusalem to the Cannes Film Festival — while the Israeli Left is grasping for ways to remind a…

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  • The gruesome murder of five Arab boys refuses to disappear — 55 years on

    Beaten, tortured, and shot to death: this is the story of five Arab boys who met a gruesome fate at the hands of Israel's security forces in September 1961. Ben Gurion's government refused to tell the truth of what really happened. By Makbula Nassar Last week marked 60 years since the Kafr Qasim massacre. Although the event is seared into our collective consciousness, it was not the only horrendous crime committed by Israeli security forces against innocent Arab citizens during the dark days of the military government, which lasted from 1949 until 1966. September marked 55 years since the mysterious deaths of George…

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  • Emigration as a political act

    The Israeli government has guaranteed the non-viability of a two-state solution and apartheid has already arrived. I will not sacrifice my children’s future for a hopeless struggle. By Na’aman Hirschfeld The immigration of young Israelis to Berlin is troubling “because it is precisely these young women and men who are needed in Israel,” explains veteran left-wing activist Uri Avnery in a recent Haaretz oped (Hebrew). “It is precisely those who are energetic, full of initiative and seekers of freedom, who are needed to save the state from the hands of Netanyahu and his associates.” [tmwinpost] “The common excuse [for emigration] is…

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  • How three Israeli journalists brought Arafat into Israeli homes

    Fifty years after the founding of the PLO, journalist Anat Saragusti talks about the first interview Yasser Arafat gave to an Israeli media outlet, looking for the real story in Beirut under siege, and the importance of pushing the limits of society’s comfort zone. By Anat Saragusti This story can go in a number of directions. It can be a story about war, or about different world views, it can be a political story or a societal one, and it is of course, first and foremost a journalistic story. For me, it’s all of those things together. It was the beginning…

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  • Boycott goes on trial in Israel's High Court

    Civil rights organizations argue the 'anti-boycott law' has created a chilling effect, stifling debate on one of the most divisive issues facing Israeli society. If that's the case, the state counters, then how has BDS grown so much in recent years? In a hearing that felt at times like the political boycott itself was on trial, an extended panel of nine justices from Israel’s High Court of Justice heard arguments for and against legislation targeting calls to boycott Israel on Sunday. It was the second such session following petitions by civil rights groups asking the court to strike down the…

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  • His finest hours: On Sharon's murderous legacy

    From the Qibya massacre, to Sabra and Shatila and the dirty tricks, lies and deceptions that made the West Bank settlements what they are today, Ariel Sharon has caused unimaginable damage to Israel, its army, morality, and political life. (Translated by Sol Salbe) On Saturday night, as soon as  Ariel Sharon's death became known, our hyperactive education minister, Shai Piron, rushed to announce that teachers would devote part of the following day's lesson to Sharon's legacy. These classes would be based on prepared outlines which were supposed to be distributed in the morning. You can get a really good idea of what…

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  • The Russians came, the Russians stayed: A response to Uri Avnery

    In a recent article, seasoned veteran of the Zionist Left Uri Avnery claimed that the influx of Russian-speaking immigrants to Israel, living in self-imposed ghettos, is what pushed the country to the right politically. Lia Tarachansky counters that the Russian-speaking community never 'mingled' with other Israelis because it was never invited to do so, and that Avnery is ignoring the many contributions the immigrants made to the country. By Lia Tarachansky I was born in Kiev into a shifting, uncertain reality. While I was only learning to read, my parents split, the Chernobyl nuclear reactor blew up and the Soviet Union collapsed. I…

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  • Are Israelis living in a 'fear society,' or a 'free society'?

    As much as left-wing protesters have to fear Israeli cops, they have to fear even more the Israeli "street" the cops are shielding them from. In his 2004 book The Case for Democracy, Natan Sharansky (with co-author Ron Dermer, head of Bibi Netanyahu's brain trust) popularized his "town square test," which he called the threshold test of whether a society is free or not. It went like this: If a person cannot walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm, then that person is living in a…

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  • Response to Joseph Dana: A case for liberal Zionism

    Yes, Zionism is at odds with liberal values. But it’s less at odds than the alternative; moreover, it has the capacity to be liberalized almost without limit. I want to take issue with Joseph Dana’s claim that liberal Zionism is a “dishonest system of thought.” I don’t, however, want to take issue with his statement that “the Zionist ideology, in so far as it privileges one ethnic group over another, is at odds with liberal values.” I won’t argue with that second point because I’m an honest liberal Zionist, and I don’t think any honest liberal Zionist, such as Bernard Avishai or…

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  • Peace activist Rachel Avnery passes away

    Rachel Avnery, journalist, educator, photographer, peace activist, wife of Uri Avnery, passed away this weekend. Haaretz carried this short obituary notice by Uri: RACHEL AVNERY The one and only, partner in life and struggle laureate of the alternative Nobel peace prize IS GONE She passed away peacefully, painlessly, after a prolonged illness. In accordance to her wishes, the body was cremated. The ashes were scattered by the seaside. Please refrain from any and all condolences visits, phone calls or messages. We will hold a memorial evening for her in due time. Uri Avnery

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