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Aug 15 2013

Israel’s racist image is distorted

So-called “rampant racism” is a recurring theme in certain descriptions of Israel. Indeed, the relationship between Jews and Arabs in Israel is far from being a smooth one. How can it be when the two ethnic groups are engaged in a century-old violent conflict over the same piece of land? (more…)

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Aug 3 2013

Where is the Palestinian peace plan?

The current round of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will unfortunately follow in the footsteps of earlier rounds and end without an agreement. Why? The short explanation is that the Palestinians are simply not interested in establishing an independent state within the pre-1967 West Bank borders. Had they been interested, they could have created a state at least twice in the last dozen years or so. (more…)

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Jun 24 2013

The right to claim innocence

Jamal and Muhammed al-Dura

What is a man supposed to do, if he is accused of a crime that he believes he did not commit? Judging by some of the reactions to Israel’s recent claim that the IDF soldiers didn’t kill a Palestinian boy – well then, he should simply shut up. Never mind how much evidence he has on his side, he should nevertheless remain silent.

The case in hand is the al-Dura case, the iconic 13 year old Palestinian who was allegedly killed by Israel in the Gaza Strip on September 30th 2000, the first day of the Second Intifada (uprising) against Israel. TV footage broadcasted on that evening by the French television station France-2 showed Jamal al-Dura and his son Muhammed, ducking behind a concrete cylinder, and trying to protect themselves from an endless barrage of automatic fire heard in the background. After a few seconds, in which the father frantically waved his finger at the seemingly source of fire and yelled words in Arabic, a strange silence prevailed: the boy lied in his father’s laps, while the latter’s head tumbled towards the ground. (more…)

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May 21 2013

The Palestinian Textbook Fiasco

School children in Gaza (photo: Wissam Nasser/Flash90)

For years, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been accused of inciting violence by promoting the delegitimization of Israel and its people and, in some cases, even outright anti-Semitism, in its education system. According to both Israeli and third-party observers, the PA was ingraining future generations with a worldview that essentially prevented any long-term commitment to peace (let alone coexistence). So it was no surprise that a State Department-funded study called Victims of Our Own Narratives? Portrayal of the “Other” in Israeli and Palestinian School Books, published last February, sparked a firestorm that leapt from the otherwise parochial world of education policy straight into the headlines of newspapers around the world.

(This piece was originally published in The Tower Magazine)


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May 1 2013

Sephardi Stories, on the Record

Juliette Glaser shows her French passport (photo: Alex Broadwell)

“Sometimes I still have nightmares,” says Juliette Glaser to her interviewer, as she sits in front of a video camera in her Miami living room, recalling in a confident voice her childhood memories from Cairo—where she was born in 1941 and which she fled 15 years later. “They were putting the city on fire during the revolution of 1952. They were getting rid of King Farouk. The city was black, and there was fire everywhere. I remember Egyptians walking in the streets, holding big knives, saying, ‘We’re going to kill the Jews, where are the Jews? Any Jews around here?’ And we would hide in the basement, turn all the lights off, just shivering, shaking of fear.”

(This story appeared originally in The Tablet Magazine)


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