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Rape By Deception

Sabbar Kashur has been convicted of "rape by deception" after having consensual sex with an Israeli woman who believed he was a "Jewish bachelor looking for a long-term relationship." Reports from Jerusalem Post and Al Jazeera. Haaretz asks if this conviction sets a dangerous precedent for future cases. Al Jazeera's English-language Israel/Palestine blogger Sherine Tadros argues the 18-month conviction is racist.
posted by griphus on Jul 21, 2010 - 223 comments

Liebster Max, meine letzte Bitte

Dearest Max, my last request: everything that can be found in my posthumous papers (thus in boxes, cupboards, desks, at home and in the office, or wherever else they may be that you come upon them) of diaries, manuscripts, letters, my own and those written to me, sketches and so on, should be burned unread and without remnant, even all the written or drawn things that you or others have, that you might have asked for in my name. If there are letters that people will not turn over to you, at least they should promise to burn them themselves.”
posted by griphus on Jul 19, 2010 - 37 comments

Raw Footage of Marmara

Hour-Long Raw Footage of the Israeli Defense Forces' Boarding of the Mavi Marmara. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by griphus on Jun 11, 2010 - 145 comments

I hear babies cry and I watch them grow. They'll learn much more than we'll know. And I think to myself: What a Wonderful World

You may not know who Israel "Brudda Iz" Kamakawiwoʻole was, but you're probably familiar with his medley of "Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World," which has been included on several movie soundtracks and used on television shows & commercials throughout the world.... [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 8, 2010 - 72 comments

Another one under the bus...

Helen Thomas, going rogue. White House corespondent since the Eisenhower administration, Helen Thomas, has "retired" at the age of 89 after saying something unacceptable to a Rabbi at a White House Jewish heritage event on May 27th, 2010. Thomas "told a rabbi at a White House event last week that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine" and go back to Germany and Poland." She has also been rebuked by the White House, calling her remarks "offensive and reprehensible..." [more inside]
posted by daq on Jun 7, 2010 - 283 comments

Egyptian men married to Israeli women can be stripped of citizenship

"A court in Cairo has upheld a ruling urging the government to consider stripping Egyptian men who are married to Israeli women of their citizenship."
posted by bluedaisy on Jun 6, 2010 - 44 comments

"We Con the World"

The YouTube clip, set to the tune of the 1985 charity single We Are the World, features Israelis dressed as Arabs and activists, waving weapons while singing: "We con the world, we con the people. We'll make them all believe the IDF (Israel Defence Force) is Jack the Ripper."
While the Israeli government has apologized for distributing links to the video, Israeli government spokesmen nevertheless maintain that the video is "fantastic" and "what Israelis feel." And not just any Israelis: the video was produced by and stars, among others, the Jerusalem Post's deputy managing editor Caroline Glick.
posted by orthogonality on Jun 6, 2010 - 153 comments

You Sank My Humanitarian Aid!

The Gaza Freedom Flotilla is attempting to bring humanitarian aid into Gaza from the sea. Those who ride on the five ships do so for their own reasons. Others are skeptical. The Flotilla has enjoyed the nominal support of Turkey. In retaliation, Israel has taken a shot at Turkey's wallet. [more inside]
posted by quakerjono on May 30, 2010 - 793 comments

The Israeli Threat

"Immediately after an attack by Israel, and even with no Iranian response, the United States is likely to begin significant defensive deployments to the region. Its attempts over a period of a year to negotiate with the Iranians make the Obama Administration more vulnerable to domestic pressures to be strong in its reaction to an Israeli strike.

At an early stage after an Israeli attack, the United States would be faced with deciding whether to passively await casualties or to attack Iranian military capabilities on its own. The United States would probably decide to finish the job on Iranian nuclear facilities and destroy as much as possible of Iran’s capability to project combat power."
The Israeli Threat: An Analysis of the Consequences of an Israeli Strike on Iranian Nuclear Facilities [PDF]. [more inside]
posted by klue on May 25, 2010 - 127 comments

Available in three sizes.

In his book The Unspoken Alliance, writer and academic Sasha Polakow-Suransky references documents released by the South African government, indicating that Shimon Peres offered nuclear warheads to PW Botha's apartheid regime. Israel strongly denies the claims.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth on May 24, 2010 - 79 comments

The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment

Among American Jews today, there are a great many Zionists, especially in the Orthodox world, people deeply devoted to the State of Israel. And there are a great many liberals, especially in the secular Jewish world, people deeply devoted to human rights for all people, Palestinians included. But the two groups are increasingly distinct. Particularly in the younger generations, fewer and fewer American Jewish liberals are Zionists; fewer and fewer American Jewish Zionists are liberal. One reason is that the leading institutions of American Jewry have refused to foster—indeed, have actively opposed—a Zionism that challenges Israel’s behavior in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and toward its own Arab citizens.
The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment
posted by y2karl on May 18, 2010 - 105 comments

Tzvia Greenfield

Tzvia Greenfield is the first ultra-Orthodox woman to serve in Knesset, the Israeli legislature, representing the left-wing party Meretz. Her 2001 book Hem Mefahadim ("They are afraid,") an attack on rightism and insularity among the ultra-Orthodox, drew death threats. Despite her sharp criticism of the religious community ("The big issue here is a very delicate one. That is children. Large families thirty years ago was six children; now there's 13 or 14 - from one wife. I believes the glorification of bringing as many children as possible is a definite way of ensuring women can't bring their advantages into effect - subjugation.") she still lives an observant life in the ultra-Orthodox community of Har Nof. "They disagree with my ideas but they know me as religious and halachic person. They cannot see any blemish in my practice except for one thing- we have a dog." At least one haredi denies that Greenfield is Orthodox at all. (The dog comes up.)
posted by escabeche on May 11, 2010 - 56 comments

Freedom of the Press vs. Israel's Military Secrets

An Israeli journalist, Anat Kam (23), has been under secret house arrest since December on charges that she leaked up to 1,000 highly sensitive, classified military documents suggesting the IDF breached a court order against assassinations in the occupied West Bank, to Ha'aretz reporter Uri Blau. A court-imposed gag order first proposed by the Israeli government and now apparently supported by Kam's lawyers is preventing media investigation and coverage of both her arrest and the charges of espionage and treason against her in Israel. Blau is reportedly now self-exiled in London, and negotiating his return with Israeli authorities. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 5, 2010 - 38 comments

Suicide Bombers: Religious fanatics, or simply resisting foregin military occupation?

Suicide bombers from Lebanon, the West Bank, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Chechnya have two things in common: they are Muslim and they live under occupation. University of Chicago Professor Dr. Robert A. Pape, who has assembled a comprehensive database of every (or nearly every) suicide bombing since 1980, has been the most prominent proponent of the view that it is occupation, not religion, that is the single most important motivating factor for suicide bombers... more than 95% of suicide bombers come from countries under occupation... Pape and his colleagues at the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, ask What Makes Chechen Women So Dangerous? -Via The Washington Note
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Apr 1, 2010 - 88 comments

Gaza's tragically peculiar economy

Gaza's tragically peculiar economy - Last week Palestinians marked the 1,000th day of the "siege" of the Gaza Strip. The continuing economic embargo, with its attendant social and economic effects on the more than 1.5 million Gazans, makes for a depressing story. Equally depressing is the extent to which this situation has somehow become accepted as normal and acceptable by much of the international community. [more inside]
posted by nevercalm on Mar 23, 2010 - 64 comments

What's a little identity theft between friends?!

"To go to bed a citizen and wake up as a wanted terrorist is shocking." The British Government has strongly denounced the Israeli government's use of 12 forged British passports linked to the recent assassination in Dubai as a "hazard for the safety of British nationals in the region". The government has announced that they are expelling an Israeli diplomat -- the first such expulsion in twenty years. New biometric passports will be issued, and the government has issued a travel advisory for Israel, warning citizens "We recommend that you only hand your passport over to third parties including Israeli officials when absolutely necessary." Possibly forged Irish, French, Australian, and a German passport were also used for the assassination, according to investigators.
posted by markkraft on Mar 23, 2010 - 83 comments

Oregon professor discovers secret FBI plot

Dr. John Hall, a tenured Portland State University professor of economics, is now on administrative leave pending an investigation into his incrimination of Zachary Bucharest, a 30 year old veteran of the Israeli army, as a potentially armed and dangerous FBI informant and agent provocateur in front of his Economics 445/545 class. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Mar 7, 2010 - 90 comments

BBC interview with Hassan Yousef's son prior to his book launch

'Son of Hamas' who spied for Israel
posted by Neekee on Mar 3, 2010 - 16 comments

Globalization is Weird

Avatar goes to the West Bank. What better way to express your peoples' long-standing grievances against military occupation than a little James Cameron inspired role playing? [more inside]
posted by cal71 on Feb 12, 2010 - 29 comments

Arachnophobes may wanna skip this one....

A new and previously unknown species of spider, Cerbalus Aravensis, (photo) has been discovered in the dune of the Sands of Samar (map) in Israel's southern Arava region along the Israel-Jordan border by a team of scientists from the University of Haifa-Oranim. Cerbalus is the largest arachnid of its type in the Middle East, with a leg-span that can reach up to 5.5" (14 cm). Unfortunately, its habitat is endangered thanks for rezoning for agriculture and sand quarries. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 12, 2010 - 81 comments

What Israel can teach us about (airport) security

What Israel can teach us about (airport) security. At Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, it’s all about eye contact. Expert: “[T]hey’re not looking for liquids, they’re not looking at your shoes. They’re not looking for everything they look for in North America. They just look at you... Even today with the heightened security in North America, they will check your items to death. But they will never look at you, at how you behave. They will never look into your eyes... and that’s how you figure out the bad guys from the good guys.” Oh, and get this: “The goal at Ben Gurion is to move fliers from the parking lot to the airport lounge in 25 minutes tops.”
posted by joeclark on Dec 31, 2009 - 184 comments

Rethinking organ donation policy

In response to shortfalls in organ donation, policy is undergoing a serious rethink in several countries. In Australia, the government has just lifted a ban on animal-to-human transplants. In the UK, the Chief Medical Officer has called for presumed consent, while in Israel a new law gives donor card carriers a legal right to priority treatment if they should require an organ transplant. Many are looking to Spain, which leads the world, having seen the number of deceased donors per million people - a commonly used benchmark - increase from 14 in 1989 when a new system was put in place to 34.2 last year. Interestingly, people committing suicide have a higher rate of donating organs than average.
posted by MuffinMan on Dec 21, 2009 - 99 comments

Kotel everybody?

A women's prayer group was expelled from the area of Jerusalem's Western Wall on Wednesday for wearing tallitot and reading from the Torah, in violation of an Israeli Supreme Court ruling that restricts these activities to men in the area directly in front of the wall. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the majority of non-Orthodox rabbinical students are female, with the Reform movement being the most female-dominated, leaving some communities struggling to revitalize men's participation in the religion.
posted by albrecht on Nov 20, 2009 - 51 comments

Inside Gaza

"Every opportunity for peace in the Middle East has been led to slaughter" Lawrence Wright in The New Yorker writes about the Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip nearly eleven months ago, talking to Palestinians, Israelis and aid workers. Political context combined with incredibly saddening everyday civilian life.
posted by smoke on Nov 4, 2009 - 45 comments

The House on Garibaldi Street

The capture of Adolf Eichmann is one of the more daring spy operations in the post WWII era. The story spans 17 years, beginning with Eichmann's clandestine escape from the Allied forces and the Nuremberg trial, and ending with his hanging in Israel. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Nov 4, 2009 - 23 comments

The Times They are a-changin'

American Jews Rethink Israel: The US-Israeli relationship is largely unparalleled in history, with a monolithic Lobbyist . This is changing.
J Street, a decidedly more liberal Jewish lobby than AIPAC, seems to be having a hard time making friends. ( self loading video) Perhaps, as the comment suggests, it is being thwarted by the religious right?
J Street And World Order - an analysis.
What’s Driving the Jihad Against J Street - Matthew Yglesias
Mondoweiss thinks J Street is scaring the shit out of the old Israeli lobby.
posted by adamvasco on Oct 21, 2009 - 58 comments

Asaf Avidan and the Mojos

He was born in Israel, spent four years in Jamaica, studied cinema and worked as a voice actor. Now, at 29, he sings like Janis Joplin and is the first Israeli musician to sign a four-record label with Sony Columbia. Ladies and gentelmen, presenting Asaf Avidan[youtube]. [more inside]
posted by alona on Oct 9, 2009 - 23 comments

The Bride Who Crawled Through a Tunnel

"Gaza Love Story: The Bride Who Crawled Through a Tunnel" "He lived in the Gaza Strip, she in the West Bank. It seemed as though the Israeli blockade would prevent their marriage. Then May risked her life to crawl through a smugglers' tunnel into Gaza and join Mohammed. Now they face an uncertain future together."
posted by shetterly on Oct 7, 2009 - 14 comments

i think plastered skulls is a pretty cool guy. eh sits in the dirt and doesn't afraid of anything

Plastered Skulls! In the Middle East in the early Neolithic, one common burial practice involved digging up a previously-buried body, removing the skull, and using plaster over the skull itself to sculpt an image of the face of the deceased. Many seem to think these skulls were made as a form of ancestor-worship, but some disagree. Three such skulls were discovered a little over a year ago at Yiftah’el, in the lower Galilee. Here's a short article about the find. Here's a brief overview of prehistoric and early historic art, which features a really swell picture of a plastered skull.
posted by Greg Nog on Sep 29, 2009 - 11 comments

Sex, bribes and videotape

FBI whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds, has gone on record with her allegations of government corruption and treason. (previously)
posted by ryoshu on Sep 22, 2009 - 98 comments

Are Peace Negotiations in the Cards?

Are Peace Negotiations hosted by Russia and France in the cards? Today, President Obama is meeting with Israeli PM Netanyahu and the Palestian Authority's Abbas and then hosting a three-way meeting with both leaders. Officially all parties claim they have "low expectations." [more inside]
posted by Ironmouth on Sep 22, 2009 - 38 comments

Wonder what this will do for book sales?

Bin Laden's Reading List for Americans [more inside]
posted by up in the old hotel on Sep 15, 2009 - 50 comments

A Palestinian Hebrew of Jewish origins

The first Jewish member of the Revolutionary Council of Fatah talks about a unique political journey.
as the small number of white members of the ANC widened its legitimacy during the apartheid era in South Africa, other Jews can be attracted to participate in Fatah, transforming it into a broader-based movement that stands for equal rights for both Arabs and Jews in a federated state.
Uri Davis whose motto is Against Israeli Apartheid — for Freedom and Justice in Palestine.
posted by adamvasco on Aug 23, 2009 - 82 comments

Two killed in Tel-Aviv hate crime on gay youth club

Saturday, Aug 1, a gunman walked into a gay youth club in Tel Aviv at app. 22:40 pm and started firing a gun indiscriminately at the teenagers who were there. Twelve were injured, four of them in critical condition, and two were instantly killed. [more inside]
posted by alona on Aug 3, 2009 - 49 comments

Nice weather for protests.

June has been a good month for political upheaval and mass protest. Peru (update), China, and Iran were discussed here previously. But how many of the following were you aware of: Canada, Thailand, Honduras, Venezuela, Bangladesh, Kashmir, Pakistan, and India? The latter four reflect a quite serious electricity shortage throughout the Indian subcontinent, during a record-breaking heat wave that has caused over 100 deaths. But don't worry, not everyone is dealing with life-threatening problems. In Israel 30,000 turned out to protest a parking lot. Meanwhile, Indymedia continues to cover all the bourgeois first-world protests you've never really wanted to know about.
posted by shii on Jun 30, 2009 - 8 comments

writers as journalists

When authors and poets write the news "It was on an average Wednesday that a very serious Israeli newspaper conducted a very wild experiment. For one day, Haaretz (scroll down and select June 10th) editor-in-chief Dov Alfon sent most of his staff reporters home and sent 31 of Israel’s finest authors and poets to cover the day’s news. Read articles on integration at the giraffe enclosure, love in the cancer ward, mosaics in Tel Aviv, addicts at the Jerusalem rehab centre, and a visit to the grave of a holy man, among others. [via]
posted by dhruva on Jun 12, 2009 - 10 comments

Obama and the Mideast Conflict

Barak Hussein Obama: anti-Semitic Jew Hater. Some 130 protesters gathered in front of the American Consulate in Jerusalem Wednesday afternoon to rally against U.S. President Barack Obama, who had just launched his Middle East tour, during which he is expected to reach out in friendship to the Muslim world. [...] As more than a dozen local and international journalists looked on, the protesters chanted "No, You Can't" and waved posters saying "20 new 'settlements' by 2010 - Yes We Can!" [more inside]
posted by ornate insect on Jun 3, 2009 - 259 comments

The city that sits alone, with a wall in its heart

Mountain air, clear as wine
And the scent of pines
Brought by the twilight breeze
With the sound of bells
Shortly before the Six Day War of 1967 an amateur singer performed [YT] an elegy for the then-divided city of Jerusalem "locked in a dream ... with a wall in its heart". [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on May 21, 2009 - 8 comments

Palestinian musician expelled from West Bank

Wafa Younis is an Arab Israeli musician who organised a youth orchestra in the Jenin refugee camp. She recently brought her orchestra to play for Holocaust survivors at an Israeli old age home. The performance was strongly criticised by Palestinians as a hostile political act. Now the orchestra has been disbanded, its performance space sealed, and Ms Younis has been expelled from the West Bank. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Apr 2, 2009 - 49 comments

A chance for a Middle East peace

Syria Calling: The Obama Administration’s chance to engage in a Middle East peace.
posted by homunculus on Mar 30, 2009 - 17 comments

"We Should Kill Everyone There"

IDF in Gaza: Killing civilians, vandalism, and lax rules of engagement. "During Operation Cast Lead, Israeli forces killed Palestinian civilians under permissive rules of engagement and intentionally destroyed their property, say soldiers who fought in the offensive." Can Israel dismiss its own troops' stories from Gaza? [Via]
posted by homunculus on Mar 19, 2009 - 106 comments

Crying Freeman

Chas Freeman says goodbye. While not a direct appointee of President Obama or in a position to make policy, Chas Freeman found himself the middle of a firestorm over being selected as chairman of the NIC. [more inside]
posted by cimbrog on Mar 16, 2009 - 30 comments

Dinga dinga dee!

Missiles! and girls! [SLYT]
posted by sonic meat machine on Mar 10, 2009 - 25 comments

Digital Archaeological Atlas of the Holy Land

The Digital Archaeological Atlas of the Holy Land is a comprehensive spatially-referenced database of current archaeological knowledge of all periods of Levantine history and prehistory. Spatial search is a good entry point, as are the Palestine Exploration Fund historic maps. You can also search by time period or dig into the many ancient Empires of the area. Or just look at everything in the database. The site is a work in progress, but a cool one powered by a consortium of over 30 professional archaeologists. May require Google Maps. via
posted by Rumple on Mar 3, 2009 - 4 comments

Historical Maps of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Holy Land Maps and Ancient Maps of Jerusalem both showcase parts of Eran Laor Cartographic Collection. Both collectiona can be browsed by cartographer and date. Here are some of my favorite maps: 1497 perspective map of Jerusalem, Jacotin's 1818 map of Nazareth, Jordan and Acre, 1685 perspective map of Jerusalem, 1482 Ptolemy of the Middle East, 1751 map of Egypt, Arabia and the Middle East and 1928 perspective map of Jerusalem (complete with Hebrew guide). [Another part of The Eran Laor Cartographic Collection previously on MetaFilter]
posted by Kattullus on Mar 2, 2009 - 5 comments

For Thirty Euros, A Palestinian Artist Will Tag The West Bank Wall For You

For €30, a Palestinian artist will tag the West Bank wall for you.
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Feb 25, 2009 - 36 comments

Casualty of War

The Gaza Doctor. Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish is a Palestinian doctor, trained in Israel, educated at Harvard and King's College. He worked at Palestinian and Israeli hospitals, and gave commentary on Israeli TV about the medical crises facing Gazans. His life changed just days before withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza strip.

Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) concluded its investigations of the incident, admitted responsibility, and in part, ascribes blame to Hamas. The University of Toronto has offered Abu al-Aish a teaching position. He remains uncertain about his future .
posted by terranova on Feb 23, 2009 - 42 comments

Hampshire Divests from Israel?

Did Hampshire College Become the First to Divest from Israel? It is being reported that Hampshire has divested from 6 corporations that provide Israel with military equipment and services in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza. Students for Justice in Palestine claim success. But the University claims that the decision had "nothing to do with Israel." This move is being hailed as a landmark victory by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign which calls on "people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era."
posted by lunit on Feb 17, 2009 - 45 comments

Turkey: A Return to Power at Considerable Cost?

"Turkey is emerging as the crucial power in the Muslim world." But after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent walkout from a Davos panel discussion and his confrontational words to Israeli leader Shimon Peres, some wonder whether Turkey is forfeiting its role as a peace-broker, attempting to smoke-screen its own oppressive actions against press, intellectuals, and ex-military, and possibly hurting its chances for full EU membership.
posted by terranova on Feb 3, 2009 - 32 comments

Is [Israel + Palestine=Isratine] > [Israel / Palestine]?

Israel + Palestine = Isratine? Or so it should be, Libyan leader Qaddafi argues, promoting the one-state solution. While he is not the first to raise the one-state solution, it is a bold proposal, particularly so soon after the widely-condemned Israeli atrocities in Gaza.
posted by Azaadistani on Jan 22, 2009 - 135 comments

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