January 2010

A number of my readers have asked me about the difference between a settlement and an outpost. This distinction is typically made, in the minds of Israelis, as the difference in formal recognition by the government versus the informal establishment of small caravans, often by the most radical fringes of settler society. This distinction, however, […]

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“They sat [the child] down and put his hand on the chair and simply broke it right there on the chair,” recounted a female IDF soldier. The blogosphere is burning today with the recently published accounts of female soldiers in the IDF, who are expected to compensate for their relative physical weakness with extraordinary violence […]

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Occupation by the numbers

by Yaniv Reich on January 29, 2010

Sometimes numbers are worth a thousand words. And if the numbers aren’t enough, the selection of maps on this website (which can be found under the Resources tab) can provide another couple thousand words worth of images. Length of the West Bank-Israel border: 196 miles. Projected length of West Bank wall: 437 miles. Projected proportion […]

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One terrible consequence of Israeli (and Western) racism toward Arabs is that a number of what should be unnecessary defenses of Arab behavior must be made. I don’t want to be in the position of defending Hamas, for example, and yet the absurd caricature of that complex organization must be countered. Ditto on the recent […]

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Its a news day full of tension and contradictions. First, the good—and most important—news. The Israeli army is preparing to move the route of the segregation wall in Bil’in village, where it had annexed Palestinian land and sparked weekly, mostly nonviolent protests against the land grab, according to an IDF officer’s pledge disclosed to the […]

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Sitting in my hand is Alan Dershowitz’s official critique of the Goldstone Report. I am going to devote time in the near future to rebutting some of the ridiculous claims he makes. To foreshadow my criticisms, Dershowitz’s primary tactic is to exaggerate willfully the claims made by the Goldstone report so he can shoot them […]

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This is a rather scintillating example of the paradox of modern Israeli nationalism. Published in a right-wing newspaper, Arutz Sheva, the article describes how commandos and mercenaries from around the world come to Israel in order to undergo training by the Israeli Defense Forces, which “exposes foreign soldiers to Israel [and] creates a better understanding […]

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Ehud Barak is one the last Labor people standing. He sold out what were the purported values of Israel’s center-left Labor party in order to gain a seat (defense minister) in the most right-wing government Israel has ever had (the current one). By doing so, he helped facilitate the unprecedented collapse of one of the […]

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From a few thousand miles away, or even from the relative safety of a television image in Tel Aviv living room, it can seem as though the spiral of violence in the Middle East spins ruthlessly with no end and no beginning. In this confusing situation, people then insert their own ideological perspectives: each suicide […]

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In today’s Ha’aretz, Bradley Burnston writes an op-ed in which he fulminates against the critics of Israel’s current mission in Haiti. He starts by saying “thank you” to the IDF medical team, continues by saying “That’s it”, suggesting that’s all he wants to say, and then launches into a tirade against “Israel bashers.” Quick on […]

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