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West Bank kidnapping

  • Palestinian unity is no substitute for a viable political system

    Where do the U.S. and Israel want Hamas: as part of a transparent political system, or in underground tunnels? By Sam Bahour Palestinian “unity,” reconciling tensions between Hamas and Fatah, is being revered as the foundation that can extract Gaza from the misery wrought upon it by yet another brutal Israeli military onslaught. The devastation from what Israel called “Operation Protective Edge” is overwhelming: nearly 2,000 Palestinians dead, over 10,000 wounded and paralyzed, and a third of the 1.8 million people in Gaza homeless. Added to this human tragedy is the rabid destruction of Gaza’s civilian infrastructure. Palestinian political “unity”…

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  • After Abu Khdeir murder, an ugly collision of homophobia and racism

    After Mohammed Abu Khdeir was burned to death, many Israeli Jews insisted he died at the hands of Palestinians. They seized on unfounded rumors of his alleged homosexuality rather than facing the truth of the horrible act. By Shaked Spier (Translated from Hebrew by Yossefa Mekyton and Shaked Spier) Alongside the pain, belligerence and anger, it is important to say a few words about homophobia and racism, and how the two manifested after the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir. When the burned body of the Palestinian boy was found following public  incitement against Arabs - which peaked after the abduction and murder…

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  • This is a war of choice. Netanyahu's choice

    Netanyahu is no hero, and the tragedy is our own. Prime Minister Netanyahu fired Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon on Tuesday, after the latter criticized Netanyahu for holding fire, and even called him "a lefty," which is probably the worst thing you can say to someone in the current political atmosphere. Sacking Danon is not a risky move (Danon is a far-right politician with little parliamentary support), but firing him helped Netanyahu present himself as “moderate” and “restrained” leader. Yossi Verter says similar things in Haaretz, as does Ron Ben-Yishai in Ynet; even I wrote a few good things about this aspect of Bibi's…

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  • An open letter to the family of Mohammed Abu Khdeir

    As Israel and the Palestinians descend further into open violence, concerned Israelis challenge their fellow citizens in an attempt to forge a joint Israel-Palestinian resistance to violence.  (Translated from Hebrew by Idit Arad and Matan Kaminer) Our hands shed this blood, our hands set Mohammed Abu Khdeir on fire, our hands fanned the flames. We have been living here for too long to claim that we did not know, we did not understand, we were not able to foresee. We witnessed the actions of the vast machine of incitement to racism and revenge operated by the government, the politicians, the…

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  • Dispatch from Gaza: You can never be emotionally ready

    I have witnessed two wars and even more escalations, and yet I have never been ready for the trauma.  By Abeer Ayoub GAZA - It’s 2 a.m. and the electricity is off for the night. I can’t sleep because of the extremely hot weather and my two sisters are lying next to me checking the news on their cellphones. My sisters and I were discussing whether there will be another Israeli offensive again after the recent attacks between the two sides. We tried to dismiss the idea but everything taking place around us indicates it’s possible. We decided to sleep…

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  • Our problem with selective sympathy for young victims

    When our sympathy only reaches out to the children of one nation alone, we have condemned all of them to this atrocious cycle of violence. The news spread in a flash. After 18 days of tense waiting, the three bodies of the abducted Israeli boys were finally discovered, with their families’ worst fears realized. Gilad Sha'ar, 16, Naftali Fraenkel, 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19, were murdered in cold blood, not far from the site where they were snatched as they hiked home together. There aren’t enough words to express the loss of a child. It is a language that only…

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  • Analysis: The end of the 'cheap occupation' era

    Israel may soon have to say goodbye to its tight-knit cooperation with the Palestinian Authority and the relative calm that comes with it.  The discovery of the bodies of three Israeli teens who have been missing for the last 18 days, along with the public calls for vengeance heard in Israel today, could mark the beginning of a new era in the West Bank – one that is considerably less stable. This might not be a third intifada but it is also not the relative calm or the close military coordination Israel enjoyed over the last five to six years.…

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  • Israeli right demands punitive measures against Palestinians following abductees' murder

    Palestinian teenager killed in clashes in Jenin while Israeli Air Force strikes over 30 targets in Gaza. Hamas still denies involvement in the deadly kidnapping. In response to the murder of the three Israeli teenagers kidnapped two weeks ago, the Israeli Air Force struck 34 targets in Gaza Tuesday night, while four rockets were fired into southern Israel from the Strip. In the West Bank, the Israeli army killed 16-year-old Yusef Abu Zaga in Jenin after it entered the city to make arrests. Israel's High Court approved the destruction of the home of Ziyad Awad Tuesday morning. Awad is standing trial in military court…

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  • When 'The New York Times' embeds its reporters with the IDF

    Embedded journalism is a controversial issue. Many claim that it replaces oversight and criticism with propaganda. I tend to agree. This admiring tone was evident in the pieces published by embedded Israeli reporters this week during the IDF's crackdown on Hamas in the West Bank. It must have also been part of the reason why Haaretz chose not to run such a report. The New York Times' Jodi Rudoren had no such concerns. Just like reporters from Israel Hayom and Yedioth Ahronoth, Rudoren was embedded within an army unit conducting searches for the missing teens. The report she filed is not a news item—it's…

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  • Beyond mission creep: Why Operation Brother’s Keeper isn’t working

    Eleven days later, Israel’s latest operation has been a costly, disruptive rampage that seemingly aims to incite rather than stabilize. By Julie M. Norman Israel’s "Operation Brother’s Keeper" is not working. It is also exploitative, legally questionable, and strategically absurd. Launched 11 days ago, the operation has yielded no new information regarding the location or well-being of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel, the three teenagers who were kidnapped while hitchhiking in the West Bank last Thursday night. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu maintains that Hamas is responsible for the abduction, yet no evidence has been made public, and…

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  • When the canons roar, the Israeli Left remains silent

    It appears not much has changed since Operation Cast Lead, when opposition leader Haim Oron tragically decided to support the military offensive. Rather than apologizing and giving evasive answers to the media, the Left, led by the failed opposition leader, should be standing up to yell 'enough!' By Elinor Davidov It took seven days of "Operation Brother's Keeper" for the leaders of the Israeli Left in the opposition to say, sofly, that there is a problem with the current military operation, with its goals and with its implementation. For the first time, a week of collective punishment, a closure on the…

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  • Kidnapping is proof the occupation can't protect Israelis

    Israelis deserve a leadership that is capable of interrupting the cycle of violence; they deserve more than juvenile assurances of retaliation. By Nathan Hersh Last month MKs Yariv Levin (Likud) and Orit Strock (Jewish Home) submitted a series of bills seeking to annex Area C of the West Bank to Israel. What would things look like today had the government agreed? Such a vote would have been a victory for the Jewish Home party and the rest of the Greater Israel crowd, but it would result in a security nightmare. The kidnapping of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel…

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