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The farewell party of the mezuzah-kissers

Philip Weiss on
A right-wing rally in Tel Aviv. (Photo by Allison Deger0

Running like an angry outsider, Netanyahu declared Sunday night at a nationalist Jewish rally that he was the only one who could stand up to Washington’s pressures, that he would keep building in occupied Jerusalem, and he had never evacuated settlers. So why did Obama meet with this man more than a dozen times?

Selective voting in the land of Greater Israel

Gil Maguire on
Mideast Israel Palestinians

There is no democracy in Greater Israel. Millions of Palestinians under occupation have no votes, and no rights. We need to send a strong and clear message to our fellow citizens and to our representatives in Congress that Israel’s abhorrent behavior is immoral and unacceptable.

Even if Netanyahu loses, he can still win

Allison Deger on
Isaac Herzog

Days away from elections in Israel on March 17th, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party may not be able to recover from the dive it took in the polls this week. They are down—more than they have been since campaigning began in December. He is expected to get 21 seats while the Zionist Camp headed by Labour’s Issac Herzog and Hatuna’s Tzipi Livni, would get 24. However, Israeli elections are determined by voting blocs and not individual parties. And so even if Bibi loses, he can still win. And if that happens, it wouldn’t be the first time.

We may not have Netanyahu to kick around anymore

Philip Weiss on
Likud office in Netivot, closed up with peeling posters

Liberal Zionists are thrilled by the latest polls out of Israel. People are whispering that Benjamin Netanyahu is fading in the Israeli elections. That he made a historic blunder by trying to go over Obama’s head and address both Houses of Congress last week, that Israeli Jews are wise to the damage he has done to the US-Israel relationship and they are abandoning Likud. But would the Zionist Camp be any real improvement?

On first campaign stop in West Bank, Netanyahu warns that ‘radical elements’ want to take over Israel

Allison Deger on
Palestinian workers wait for transportation to go back to the West Bank, next to election campaign billboards of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Likud party leader, in Bnei Brak, Israel. (Photo: Oded Balilty/AP)

With more than a half-million Israeli citizens living over the Green Line in occupied Palestinian territory, it was only a matter of time before a frontrunner made a campaign stop there. For weeks election posters have plastered major intersections and checkpoints across the West Bank. Then yesterday morning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Judea and Samaria division headquarters with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in Beit El, outside of Ramallah, becoming the first party leader to hold a settlement election event.

Options for a non-Zionist Israeli voter

Ofra Yeshua-Lyth on
Campaign posters for the "Zionist Camp" and Likud party. They say (top) "It's us or him" and (bottom) "It's us or them."

“This is not something we should be discussing” is the mantra that unites Israeli discourse across left and right in the upcoming Israeli elections. Ora Yeshua-Lyth writes that the debate about the central issues in this campaign: corruption scandals, wars, the high cost of living and the housing crisis, extreme social gaps and the lack of compassion for the weak would all be understood easier when placed against the background and core principles of the Zionist state. But this issue is off the ballot.

The Nakba Day denial

Eyal Weizman, Nick Axel, Steffen Kraemer, Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Jacob Burns on

Denial is an important and often underemphasized dimension of Israel’s violence toward Palestinians. The Forensic Architecture team explains how the Nakba day killing of 17-year-old Nadeem Nawara and 16-year-old Mohammad Abu Daher in 2014 is a microcosm of how Israel denies historical crimes and daily incidents equally. The Nakba day massacre was denied, just like the Nakba of 1948 it was commemorating.

Palestinian leaders respond to Netanyahu’s Congress speech

Allison Deger on
Netanyahu speaking to Congress

Last week when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to Congress in hopes of blocking a possible nuclear deal with Iran he did not mention the Palestinians once. To officials in the West Bank, this omission showed Netanyahu would rather the occupation stay invisible.

Two-state-solution is at last disputed in Israeli elections (though not ‘nation state of the Jewish people’)

Philip Weiss on
Netanyahu at a news conference last November, from Israeli government press office

At long last the Palestinian issue is entering the Israeli election campaign, with the two leading Jewish factions competing over the two-state solution. Netanyahu’s Likud came out against a two-state solution, while the challenger Zionist Camp has come out for it. Though notice in the platform released yesterday that the Zionist Camp is parroting a Jewish-nationalist Netanyahu position that actually caused his government to fall last October: the “unequivocal” assertion that Israel is the “nation state of the Jewish people.”

Thoughts upon reading a book by a colleague

Hatim Kanaaneh on
Cover Art Montage ~ On the Brink: Israel and Palestine on the Eve of the 2014 Gaza Invasion (Photo: Just World Books)

Deaths of Palestinian infants due to cold have occurred not just recently in Gaza but for years in the Galilee. The answer from the Israeli Health Ministry was to blame the victim by saying the problem could only be addressed by community development, Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh reports

Palestinian leaders vote to end security coordination with Israel, a cornerstone of Oslo and the occupation

Allison Deger on
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas holds a

Palestinian leaders decided Thursday night they will “end all forms of security coordination with Israel,” a much-criticized practice of shared policing across the West Bank and a staple of Israeli-Palestinian relations over the last two decades. Still the announcement included one loophole where Israel could salvage the security arrangement, signaling the Palestinian leaders could be seeking to leverage Israel’s security concerns as a tactic for the release Palestinian VAT-taxes frozen during the winter after the Palestinians acceded to the Rome Statute, joining the International Criminal Court (ICC) where they can charge Israel with war crimes.

Israeli navy kills Palestinian fisherman, 25

Kate on
Hatem Moussa photo of Gaza fishermen, August 2014

Israeli naval boats opened gunfire Saturday on Palestinian fishermen offshore al-Sudaniya to the northwest of Gaza, killing one and detaining two others. Tawfiq Abu Rayyala, 25, was shot with a bullet in the abdomen and was transferred to hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.

Israeli voters not impressed by Netanyahu’s speech to Congress

Allison Deger on
An Israeli worker hangs posters of Israeli Prime Minister and leader of the Likud party Benjamin Netanyahu under the slogan 'It's us or them', in Jerusalem, Israel, 08 February 2015.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on Tuesday elicited strong opinions from U.S. elected officials with rave reviews from Republicans and condemnation from several Democrats. But back home Israelis were nonplussed over the talk—if they watched at all.

Bil’in marks ten years of resisting the occupation

Allison Deger on
Tear gas canisters collected at the end of Bil'in's tenth anniversary protest, February 27, 2015. (Photo: Allison Deger)

Plumes of teargas wafted up the terraced hillside of the West Bank village of Bil’in on Friday when over 1,000 demonstrators marked ten years of weekly protests against Israel’s separation wall and occupation, outside of Ramallah. Israelis drove in from Tel Aviv, and international activists and Palestinians from nearby towns flocked to march from the center of Bil’in, to the hamlet’s agricultural grounds. As with every Friday, clashes ensued once protesters reached the outskirts of town where olive orchards and patch vegetable farms buffer Israel’s concrete barrier and one of the most populated settlements, Modi’in Illit.