Lessons from the Gaza Disengagement ?>

Lessons from the Gaza Disengagement

The most commonly heard argument against the two state solution in the current political discourse is based on the failure of the Disengagement from the Gaza Strip to attain peace or even improve Israel’s situation vis-à-vis Gaza. Israeli politicians and political commentators across the right wing political spectrum constantly invoke the failure of the 2005 Disengagement as incontrovertible proof that territorial concessions to the Palestinians will inevitably lead to further death and suffering and may even endanger the existence of…

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What’s a Mother to do? ?>

What’s a Mother to do?

A Palestinian terrorist attempted or succeeded in killing Israeli civilians and died during that act. Where does that leave the mother? There are a couple of options for her. One option is to embrace her child’s act. This choice doesn’t just embrace terrorism, but also violence as a path for change and progress. A mother who chooses this path is continuing the cycle of violence instead of choosing to break it. This mother is not ostracized, but rather taken in…

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When I Accidentally Protested the Army in Uniform ?>

When I Accidentally Protested the Army in Uniform

Awhile ago, when I was in the army, minutes after some shabbat ended, I got a call telling me to rush back to base. Many people can relate to that sucky call. I pack my bag, put on my green uniform, and head to the closest bus stop which happens to lie between Givat Shmuel (where I live) and Bnei Brak (a predominantly ultra-Orthodox town). As I’m waiting for my bus, I hear singing coming from Bnei Brak. It’s getting louder…

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Unified but Unequal in Jerusalem ?>

Unified but Unequal in Jerusalem

A few months ago while writing about the occupation as a whole, I started researching East Jerusalem in all of its complexities. Most of what I found then I didn’t post, so in honor of Jerusalem Day, I’ve decided to share my findings. To start, East Jerusalem was conquered in 1967 during the Six Day War from Transjordan and (all but) formally annexed soon after. What does “all but formally annexed” mean? It means that Israel passed laws to extend…

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Two Deaths in Gaza ?>

Two Deaths in Gaza

In the summer of 2014, I had the misfortune of spending about two weeks in the Gaza Strip fighting what seems in retrospect to have been a meaningless war.  For better or for worse the experiences I had during that time were intense and traumatic and are deeply etched in my memory.   I’ve been interested in Israeli history and politics since I first came to Israel in 2009, but since my experiences in the military, I’ve spent a lot more…

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Cries of the Intifada Generation ?>

Cries of the Intifada Generation

I got off the bus shaking and distanced myself from it. I instinctively put the metal bus stop between me and the bus. If it blows up maybe I won’t die. I let myself breath when it finally pulled away. Legitimate fears? Or trauma-induced panic? I got on the bus two stops earlier. It was crowded, but I saw an open seat in the back next to a Middle Eastern looking man. He was sitting on the outside seat with…

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חוק היובל ?>

חוק היובל

Imagine if the Knesset passed “חוק היובל”. וְקִדַּשְׁתֶּם אֵת שְׁנַת הַחֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה וּקְרָאתֶם דְּרוֹר בָּאָרֶץ לְכָל יֹשְׁבֶיהָ “We commit after 50 years of settlements to release our attachment to land so that order can take hold. We love our land, but the Jubilee teaches us that owning it all is not an end unto itself. We sanctify this 50th year by promising peace, the holiest gift we can offer. We reach out to our Palestinian neighbors and hope that they will…

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How Do We Protect Future Azarias? ?>

How Do We Protect Future Azarias?

In the throes of these past days of intense polarization here in Israel, I want to share something that surprisingly crosses the political spectrum; few celebrated the verdict of Elor Azaria. If so, what’s the partisan debate? Where do the right and left disagree? Many on the right make their disdain very clear, and are loudly and vocally supportive of Elor. This manifests itself in coming out against the military, the IDF legal system, and the IDF rules of engagement….

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My Trip to the Temple Mount ?>

My Trip to the Temple Mount

  Today was the day. For months I’ve been trying to make it up to the Temple Mount with little success, but I hoped it would go more smoothly this time.  Last time I tried going up, I prepared some things to say up there. Some quotes from both the Quran and the Tanakh about Moses and respecting holy places. This time, though, as I walked towards the Old City, I just tried mentally preparing myself. Was this a political visit? A religious…

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My Thanksgiving Love Letter ?>

My Thanksgiving Love Letter

Thanksgiving has many aspects of sacrifice in it in its traditional story. One example is the self-sacrifice of the Pilgrims in search of a better place to live and raise their family. They put their lives on the line in an attempt to better the lives of themselves and their families. The Native-Americans, also, sacrificed in many ways in order to accept the newcomers. They sacrificed time and resources to give to these strangers.    For years, we Americans have used this (albeit…

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