All posts tagged: Israelis

Biden sanctions aim to curb Jewish settler attacks. Some Israelis fear a wider impact.

Biden sanctions aim to curb Jewish settler attacks. Some Israelis fear a wider impact.

JERUSALEM (RNS) — Attacks by Jewish settlers on Palestinians in the West Bank have continued despite sanctions that President Biden introduced on Feb. 1 against settlers accused of violence. So far, four Israelis have been denied access to any property and bank accounts they may have in the U.S. and are barred from entering the country. France and the United Kingdom have also sanctioned more than 30 individuals. “We are talking about Jewish terror,” said Avi Dabush, the CEO of Rabbis for Human Rights, an Israeli nongovernmental organization. “Their ideology stems from religious fanaticism.” According to that ideology, only Jews have the right and even obligation to live in what was once the biblical Land of Israel, and Palestinians are not welcome.  Although the young men and teenagers who commit violence comprise only a tiny fraction — estimates range between a few hundred to 3,000 or 4,000 — of the nearly 500,000 Jews who live in the West Bank, their actions have long inflamed tensions between Jews and Arabs. The tensions have only grown since …

Newly Vulnerable, Israelis Remain Traumatized and Mistrustful

Newly Vulnerable, Israelis Remain Traumatized and Mistrustful

After the Hamas invasion on Oct. 7, Doron Shabty and his wife and their two small children hid in Sderot, near the border with Gaza, and survived. A reservist in the infantry, he went into the army the next day. He just returned after more than 100 days in Gaza, having lost friends. Mr. Shabty, 31, who sees himself on the political left, said he felt no sense of revenge, even if other soldiers did. Nor did he justify every act of the Israeli military, expressing sorrow over the many thousands of Gazans killed in the fight against Hamas. But he said he felt certain that to restore Israelis’ faith in their country’s ability to protect them, there cannot be a return to the situation of Oct. 6. “We can’t live with an armed Gaza — we just can’t do that,” he said. “And in order to disarm Gaza, you need to pay a terrible price.” The shock of Oct. 7 was emotional, physical and psychological, undermining the idea of security, both personal and national, …

Young Israelis block aid to Gaza while IDF soldiers stand and watch

Young Israelis block aid to Gaza while IDF soldiers stand and watch

KEREM SHALOM, Israel — It’s approaching 1 a.m. Yosef de Bresser, 22, is in the thick of planning. He fields calls from the car as it zips along dirt roads just outside southern Gaza near Egypt. “Are people there?” he asks. Around 40, he’s told. He taps out a WhatsApp message to rally more: “We sleep tonight in Kerem Shalom and block aid and fuel to Hamas! Do you want to sleep here with us? Shuttles are running throughout the night and day.” Before Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7 and the war that ensued, Kerem Shalom was the main commercial crossing between Israel and Gaza. Today, it’s one of just two entry points for lifesaving food and medicine to the besieged enclave, where aid agencies say civilians are on the brink of famine. But De Bresser and his three companions are determined to keep any trucks from getting through, and they aren’t bothered if innocents suffer: “War is war,” De Bresser shrugs. The United States didn’t care about civilians when it blew up Hiroshima …

These Israelis and Palestinians Are Still Working for Peace. Just Quietly.

These Israelis and Palestinians Are Still Working for Peace. Just Quietly.

On a sunny January day, dozens of Israelis and Palestinians crowded into a small house in a town outside Bethlehem, as their compatriots fought in the Gaza Strip, to talk about a subject that has become nearly taboo in their cities and towns: How to build a lasting peace. “This thing is not appropriate in the community we live in,” said Aya Sbeih, a Palestinian member of the group that was meeting in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Combatants for Peace. “So I keep it a secret.” Many peace groups have been struggling since Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack and Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, which have hardened the positions of many Israelis and Palestinians. But some activists, including those in Combatants for Peace, have quietly started to resume their work. Ms. Sbeih, a member of the group for seven years, said she had come to several recent meetings with newfound doubts about peace activism, at least in the current climate. And some attendees said they now feel uncomfortable speaking publicly about their work. But Ms. Sbeih …

Expert: A two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians might actually be closer than ever

Expert: A two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians might actually be closer than ever

As the war in the Gaza Strip enters its fourth month, on the surface it might seem like possibilities for long-term, peaceful solutions are impossible. Even before the Oct. 7, 2023, attack on southern Israel by Hamas-led forces from Gaza, many analysts were already declaring the idea of a two-state solution dead. There are real barriers to the creation of a Palestinian state alongside a separate Israel. For example, the current Israeli government rejects the creation of a Palestinian state, and Hamas refuses to recognize Israel. After Oct. 7, some analysts think the barriers are even more insurmountable. As a scholar of political violence and conflict, I think the unprecedented scale of violence in Israel and Gaza is creating equally unprecedented urgency to find a solution, not just to the current violence, but to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Few, if any, historical conflicts neatly compare to the one between Israelis and Palestinians. But there are similarities in the fall of apartheid in South Africa in the early 1990s, when growing international pressure and an intensifying war …

Ukraine war survivor overcomes cancer to help traumatized Israelis

Ukraine war survivor overcomes cancer to help traumatized Israelis

Given just months to live, courageous Christian missionary says ‘sharing Gospel’ most important thing LOVES PARK, Ill. — A Ukrainian couple facing their own life-and-death battle with advanced cancer are helping others suffering from anxiety and despair on the frontline of the Israel-Hamas war. Ukrainian-born Jew Yura, 51, and his wife Luda, 53, who has undergone major surgeries and multiple rounds of chemotherapy to treat Stage 4 cancer, left Ukraine to live in Israel, only to find themselves facing Hamas’ rockets — and a devastating medical diagnosis. Initially, doctors gave Luda only 3-6 months to live. But she has defied expectations, with doctors saying her condition is currently stable — a “miracle” that she attributes to answered prayer. The couple — their last name withheld for security reasons — serve as Christian missionaries supported by U.S.-based Slavic Gospel Association (SGA, www.sga.org) in the Israeli city of Ashkelon, just 8 miles from Gaza. Ashkelon has come under attack since the war started last October. “Despite her illness, Luda bravely comes with me everywhere,” said Yura, the pastor of a Russian-speaking evangelical …

Israelis carry arms in public – in pictures | World news

Israelis carry arms in public – in pictures | World news

Hamas’s attacks on Israel on 7 October have had a huge impact on Israelis’ sense of security, with more than 260,000 new applications for weapons licences being submitted, according to the ministry of national security, and with 300,000 reservists often carrying their weapons with them• This subheading was amended on 6 February 2024 to add in information about reservists. Source link

Until Israelis and Palestinians see more than a ‘faceless enemy’, there will never be peace | Samir El-Youssef

Until Israelis and Palestinians see more than a ‘faceless enemy’, there will never be peace | Samir El-Youssef

One question has been frequently asked since the beginning of the Hamas-Israel war: “What will happen when hostilities end in Gaza?” And the only positive answer thus far has been a call to resume peace negotiations endorsing a two-state solution. This solution, it’s been claimed, is the only way to prevent what happened on and since 7 October from ever happening again. The hope of establishing a Palestine state alongside the existing state of Israel is not impossible to achieve as long as sincere efforts are made by all concerned parties. According to Gordon Brown, such hope was actually within inches of being reached during his premiership in 2008. But would that have been sufficient to bring about a lasting solution? Thirty years ago, Palestinian and Israeli leaders began peace negotiations that resulted in the Oslo accords of 1993, and the ensuing peace process. But this was only the conclusion of a reluctant realisation that Palestinians and Israelis could no longer deny the right of the other side to exist. Palestinians could no longer consider …

Many Israelis Want Netanyahu Out. But There Is No Simple Path to Do It.

Many Israelis Want Netanyahu Out. But There Is No Simple Path to Do It.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is on his last legs, it is widely believed, and will be forced to relinquish his post once the war against Hamas in Gaza ends. He is historically unpopular in the opinion polls and blamed for the governmental and security failures that led to the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, the killings of an estimated 1,200 Israelis and the difficult war that has followed. He faces a long-running trial on a variety of corruption charges. And he has defied President Biden on American efforts to create a postwar path to a two-state solution, with a demilitarized Palestine alongside Israel. While opposition to a Palestinian state is popular among Israelis, defiance of Washington is considered risky. But Mr. Netanyahu, 74, known everywhere as “Bibi,” has been a remarkable dancer through the complicated choreography of Israeli politics, having survived many previous predictions of his downfall. And new elections in Israel are not legally required until late October 2026. “We’d all like to look past Bibi,” said Anshel Pfeffer, an analyst with …

What Claudine Gay Got Right and the International Court of Justice Got Wrong

What Claudine Gay Got Right and the International Court of Justice Got Wrong

In 2003, Warner Bros. released the much-hyped Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, some 12 years after the previous installment in the franchise. The celebrated critic Roger Ebert was not impressed. The movie, he wrote, “abandons its own tradition to provide wall-to-wall action in what is essentially one long chase and fight, punctuated by comic, campy or simplistic dialogue.” Unfazed, the film’s promoters proudly emblazoned Ebert’s verdict on their advertising. Well, four words of it: “Wall-to-wall action.” Context matters. It can completely change the meaning of a phrase or an act. And yet, since October 7, many otherwise thoughtful and intelligent people have abandoned context and turned themselves into the political equivalent of Terminator 3’s PR team. When the subject is not the movies but matters of the Middle East, the consequences of this sleight of hand are far graver than some dubious promotional puffery. Exhibit A: The U.S. Congress. In December, Republican Representative Elise Stefanik grilled Claudine Gay, the then-president of Harvard University, about anti-Semitism on campus. The exchange went viral and ultimately triggered …