A Balance of Interests: Reading Hamas (LFriedman at The Forward)

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The Forward's interview with Mousa Abu Marzook highlights some fundamental truths about peacemaking: You make peace with your enemies, not your friends; you make peace not to be nice, but because it is in your self-interest; real peace must reflect a balance of interests, not an imbalance of power, and security arrangements, not trust, will be the foundation of any peace treaty.

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'Crying terrorism': Israel's political use cheapens the term (LFriedman at +972)

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In characterizing all non-violent Palestinian measures as terrorism, Israel insults the memory of victims of real acts of terror.

Yesterday was Yom Hazikaron, Israeli Remembrance Day. Every year on this day Israelis stop to remember their fellow citizens who have given their lives for the sake of Israel, whether in wars or at the hands of terrorists.



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Lara Friedman at the Daily Beast: Israel's Less-Than-Resilient Democracy

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According to the latest article by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, Israeli democracy is "more robust and effervescent than ever."  Reading his lengthy piece, a variation on Queen Gertrude's quip comes to mind: "The Ambassador doth protest too much, methinks."

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Op-Ed: Stop the excuses, boycott the settlements

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Peter Beinart's recent New York Times article advocating a settlement boycott has sparked a spectacular public display of Jewish angst. Apparently for many who view themselves as the judges, advocates and juries of what is "kosher" progressive Jewish activism, his suggestion is beyond the pale.

They agree that settlements are a problem, even a shonda, but boycott fellow Jews? Heaven forbid. And even if it weren't Jewishly distasteful, it wouldn't work anyway, so don't go there.
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Don't Prove Walt and Mearsheimer Right

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A recent Saturday Night Live episode opened with a sketch that said a lot about America's views on war with Iran. In the sketch, Andy Samberg, playing Rick Santorum, tells the audience that the coming presidential campaign is about two things: "One, making the family once again the center of our nation's public policy, and two, starting a war with Iran, as a favor to Israel, whether Israel asks us to or not." Samberg forgot to add: "and whether or not it's actually good for the U.S., Israel or the Jews."
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Will Nonviolent Protest Spark a 'Palestinian Spring'?

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It is a now famous story: A young Arab man, fed up with the injustices of life under a military regime, decides he's had enough. By demonstrating his readiness to die to protest these injustices, the man powerfully asserts his own humanity and that of millions of his compatriots. His dramatic display of self-sacrifice inspires millions and his name becomes known across the Middle East and beyond.
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Israelis Reluctant on War with Iran

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With the drumbeat of war against Iran growing louder in Washington, and as thousands of hardline activists prepare to flood Capitol Hill on Tuesday, the voice of the Israeli public on this issue is all but lost. A new poll by Maryland University and the leading Israeli Dahaf polling firm shows that Israelis, realizing the dire consequences of a military strike on Iran, are not as gung-ho as one might expect.

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Shaking the Kaleidoscope in Iran (Foreign Policy)

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Discussion of military action against Iran is again taking center stage. It takes me back to a late September 2002 meeting, when I brought a former senior Israeli official to see the late Congressman Tom Lantos, then the ranking minority member of the House International Relations Committee. Our meeting focused on Iraq, with Lantos arguing passionately for pre-emptive U.S. military action against Saddam Hussein, who he compared to Hitler.

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As the Illegal Outpost of Migron Goes, So Goes All of Israel (Huffington Post)

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The fate of Migron, an illegal outpost in the heart of the West Bank, is about to be decided. The implications of this decision are about far more than the future of a handful of settlers in a single outpost. This decision will be a litmus test of Israeli rule of law and, ultimately, of Israel's capacity to make peace with the Palestinians.

How can one outpost be so important?

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Peace Now: Migron Aerial Photos and Legal Docs Revealed

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Peace Now today released the 'Migron File' - a comprehensive dossier containing all the facts and figures, aerial photos and copies of legal documents related to the illegal outpost of Migron (which the Netanyahu government is working frantically to find a way to legalize).

The "Migron File" can be viewed online or downloaded here.

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