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  • Ultra-Orthodox Jews tear down 'bat mitzvah' ads in Jerusalem

    Buses carrying 'Women of the Wall' advertisements are vandalized and attacked; until earlier this year the Egged bus company refused to run ads featuring photos of women in Jerusalem. Unlike the majority of Jewish communities in western countries, most girls in Israel do not usually have bat mitzvah ceremonies. A new Jerusalem campaign promoting the right of girls to have the ceremonies at the Western Wall has been met with violence by ultra-Orthodox elements in the city. Busses carrying the advertisements, paid for by Women of the Wall, have been vandalized and the posters themselves ripped off of public buses.…

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  • WATCH: Reflections on Gaza — from Likud to 'Women Waging Peace'

    Over a month after this summer’s devastating Gaza war, small groups of Israelis are starting to reflect on what was and what will be. From a debate hosted by the youth wing of Israel’s ruling Likud party to a new group called Women Waging Peace and the Parents Circle forum of bereaved families, Social TV visits with those who are ready to start talking. Related: Channeling loss to stimulate change: 71 days of dialogue In my name, in your name, in all of our names

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  • Nine more Jewish families take over Silwan homes in dead of night

    If settling Jews beyond the Green Line in Palestinian East Jerusalem is legitimate, why are organizations sneaking in settlers in the middle of the night? Nine Jewish Israeli families took over two empty buildings in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem overnight Sunday. According to the NGO Ir Amim, the families took control over 10 housing units in two buildings in the heart of Silwan. They moved in under the auspices of Ateret Cohanim, a settler organization based in the Muslim quarter of the Old City that works to create a Jewish demographic majority in East Jerusalem. This latest takeover comes…

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  • For near identical crimes, an Israeli and a Palestinian’s fate couldn’t be more different

    A Palestinian hit-and-run suspect is sent to prison and winds up dead; a Jewish suspected of a similar but deadlier crime in the West Bank is sent home to his family. By John Brown* (translated by Sol Salbe) Three months ago, on July 25, Raed al Jabari, a 35-year-old a father of five, was driving on Route 60 through the West Bank. He apparently fell asleep at the wheel (having earlier taken painkillers). Near the Gush Etzion Junction he hit a woman standing on the road. The woman was slightly injured. Immediately afterwards, he veered sharply back onto the road…

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  • Most Jewish Israelis oppose Palestinian state, new poll shows

    No poll is perfect, but this one happens to be an accurate reflection of the Israeli government's policies, much of its rhetoric, and the reality on the ground. A large majority of Jewish Israeli citizens (74 percent) oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 borders, according to a new poll conducted by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a right-wing think tank. The organization also found that 76 percent oppose a Palestinian state if it means dividing Jerusalem. The poll surveyed 505 Jewish Israelis, dividing them along their personal political orientation. Three hundred and four identified themselves as right wing,…

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  • PHOTOS: Palestinians watch harvest season disappear before their eyes

    In the village of Salem, as elsewhere in the West Bank, Palestinians are forced to harvest their olives according to the whims and restrictions of Israeli authorities. Photos and text by: Ahmad Al-Bazz/Activestills.org As every year in October, Palestinian families in the West Bank head to their groves in order to begin the olive harvest season. The harvest for any given family might take a few days or several weeks depending on the number of olive trees they have. In the village of Salem, near Nablus, the daily olive harvest routine is for families to go out at 6:00 in…

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  • Instead of voting to recognize Palestine, vote against occupation

    Opposing Israeli settlements is not necessarily a vote for Palestine. The British Parliament's non-binding, purely symbolic vote to recognize the "State of Palestine" on Monday was not as significant as the debate that preceded the vote (read the full transcript here). Several media outlets noted conservative MP Richard Ottaway's speech, a longtime Israel supporter who expressed genuine indignation with its latest announcement of more settlements as the reason behind his yes vote. As John Cassidy at The New Yorker put it, "for any true friend of Israel, Ottaway’s words will be hard to ignore." In fact, Ottoway sounded more like a spouse who has suddenly discovered…

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  • Defense Minister Ya'alon: I am not looking for a solution, I am looking for a way to manage the conflict

    Moshe Ya'alon is telling it like it is: What you see now in the West Bank and Gaza is Israel's solution.  Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon gave a few holiday interviews to the Israeli media. Ya'alon, who has been Netanyahu's closest partner in the coalition since the Gaza war, was fairly open when he spoke about the Palestinian issue, and a couple of his answers were especially telling. When asked by the pro-Netanyahu paper Yisrael Hayom whether he sees in Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas a partner for peace, Ya'alon not only rejected the idea, but went on to dismiss the mere…

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  • PHOTOS: Protests in Jerusalem over Aqsa Mosque closures

    Several members of Knesset join protests against heightened restrictions on Muslim access to the holy site while Jewish visits by right-wing activists increase due to Jewish holy days. Text and photos by Oren Ziv / Activestills.org Hundreds of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem and northern Israel demonstrated outside the Old City’s Lions’ Gate early Wednesday morning. Police prevented them from entering Al Aqsa compound. The protest was against right-wing Jewish activists entering the Aqsa Compound/Temple Mount at the same time that Israeli police are preventing Muslim men from entering the compound to pray. Police have stopped male worshipers under the…

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  • Family life forbidden for migrant workers in Israel

    Legal advocates decry Israeli policies toward migrant workers as inhumane and claim that they violate the laborers’ human right to family. Maris Delusong, a 36-year-old caregiver from the Philippines, is alone at Tel Aviv’s Central Bus Station. She stops at a sale rack outside a clothing store. She looks at the baby clothes, pulls a pink onesie off the rack and runs her fingers over the soft fabric. Her face is sad as she puts the outfit back and moves along. “It’s hard to be alone,” Delusong says. She found herself drawn to the baby clothes, she says, because “I…

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