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TOPIC: israel


The Syrian Rapprochement With The Arab World Is Far From Complete

Despite the official "consensus" by Arab League nations to welcome Syria back to the organization after 12 years of suspension, several key countries were opposed on principal — including key questions still open in North Africa.

ALGIERS — Algerian diplomacy may appear strengthened by the Arab League's recent decision to reintegrate Syria. Yet neighboring Morocco conversely finds itself in an uncomfortable position.

After mirroring Saudi Arabia's position on nearly all regional issues, Morocco was caught off guard when the country decided to support Syria's reintegration.

On May 7 in Cairo, foreign ministers of Arab League nations agreed to welcome Syria back to the organization after 12 years of suspension.

This reinstatement will be subject to certain conditions imposed on Syria, including the return of refugees, facilitating the passage of international humanitarian aid across borders and working on preparations to hold elections.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is expected to attend the Arab summit scheduled in Saudi Arabia on May 19.

The decision was made by consensus, meaning it was accepted by all member countries, including those, like Morocco, who vehemently opposed this option just a few weeks ago.

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A New Palestinian Martyr, And Israel's "Other" Crisis That Won't Go Away

A Palestinian has died from a hunger strike in an Israeli prison, exacerbating the cycle of violence in the region. Israeli's protesting Benjamin Netanyahu''s right-wing government have little to offer to resolve the eternal crisis of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.


Khader Adnan, a 44-year-old leader of the radical Palestinian organization Islamic Jihad, had been imprisoned in Israel for the 10th time when he began his third hunger strike on February 5, which would prove to be fatal. The resident of Jenin in the West Bank was found unconscious in his cell Tuesday, and declared dead upon arrival at the hospital after 86 days of refusing food and medical care.

Israeli authorities claim that Adnan had refused all assistance, but an Israeli medical NGO asserts that Israel denied a request for hospitalization as his condition deteriorated.

Islamic Jihad immediately declared Adnan a "martyr," though he was accused of "endorsing terrorism," and rocket fire was reported after his death from Gaza , the organization's stronghold. However, the widow of the Palestinian activist addressed the leaders of the jihadist group: "You did nothing to save him while he was alive, so do nothing after his death," she said. "It is my nine sons who will avenge their father in due course."

The ancient "eye-for-an-eye" law of revenge is still holding strong.

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Yemen Stampede Kills 80, El Niño Returns, Hybrid Solar Eclipse

👋 Kumusta!*

Welcome to Thursday, where at least 80 are killed in a stampede during a food distribution event in Yemen’s capital Sana’a, climate scientists worry that the return of the El Niño may lead to record high temperatures, and Oceania is treated to a “hybrid” solar eclipse. Meanwhile, Vera Mantengoli in Italian daily La Stampa hopes that counting beds in Venice can be a wake-up call about over-tourism in la Serenissima.

[*Cebuano, Philippines]

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Trump Pleads “Not Guilty,” Zelensky In Poland, Forbes’ Richest

👋 Talofa!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where former U.S. President Donald Trump pleads not guilty to 34 felony counts, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrives in Warsaw, and Elon Musk is dethroned as world’s richest man. Meanwhile, Ukrainian journalist Anna Akage looks at why Vladimir Putin continues to delay a second round of nationwide mobilization, even as Moscow’s troops continue to suffer major losses in Ukraine.


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Catherine Cornet

On Israel's 'Phony' Fight For Democracy

Praise in the West has been heaped on the popular protests in Israel that have halted undemocratic judicial reform proposed by the Netanyahu government. But this supposedly noble fight for democracy doesn't apply to 20% of its citizens, not to mention the policies carried out in the Occupied Territories.


Protests against proposed justice system reforms have rocked Israel for weeks. Opposition to the reforms proposed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government — the most right-wing, xenophobic government in Israel's history — have been described in newspapers around the world as an example of people fighting to defend their democracy.

But for many Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, who have largely chosen not to participate in the protests, these are not demonstrations for democracy.

Palestinians, who make up 20% of Israel's population, have stayed home during the anti-government demonstrations because “the protesters are not calling for democracy for all citizens of the country, but only for the Jewish ones, thus perpetuating inequality and occupation," Ibrahim Husseini writes in Al-Araby Al-Jadid.

“Even before the current government of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel was a phony, reprehensible and completely anomalous democracy," the Balad party, a nationalist, left-wing Arab political party in Israel, wrote in a statement.

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In The News
Emma Albright, Ginevra Falciani, Laure Gautherin and Anne-Sophie Goninet

Mexico Border Fire, Ukraine Gets Western Tanks, Detectorist Jackpot

👋 வணக்கம்*

Welcome to Tuesday, where a shooting in Nashville leaves six dead, Ukraine receives much-awaited tanks from the UK and Germany, and an amateur treasure hunter hits the mother lode. Meanwhile, Italian weekly magazine Internazionale looks at an oft-overlooked form of gender inequality: street names.

[*Vanakkam, Tamil - India]

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Pierre Haski

Bibi Blinked: Can Netanyahu Survive After Backing Down On Judicial Putsch?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu has backed down in the 11th hour on his plans to push forward on a major judicial reform bill that had sparked massive protests.


Benjamin Netanyahu played the sorcerer's apprentice and lost. By announcing Monday night the suspension of his judicial reform, which has deeply divided Israeli society and brought hundreds of thousands of people onto the nation's streets, he signed his defeat.

One thing we know about the Israeli prime minister is that he has not said his last word: the reform is only suspended, not withdrawn. He promised a "real dialogue" after the Passover holiday.

Netanyahu is not one to back down easily: he had clearly gone too far, first by allying himself with extreme right-wing forces from the fringes of the political spectrum; but above all by wanting to change the balance on which the Jewish State had lived since its foundation in 1948. His plans threatened to change the nature of the state in a patently "illiberal" direction.

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Dominique Moïsi

U.S., France, Israel: How Three Model Democracies Are Coming Unglued

France, Israel, United States: these three democracies all face their own distinct problems. But these problems are revealing disturbing cracks in society that pose a real danger to hard-earned progress that won't be easily regained.

"I'd rather be a Russian than a Democrat," reads the t-shirt of a Republican Party supporter in the U.S.

"We need to bring the French economy to its knees," announces the leader of the French union Confédération Générale du Travail.

"Let's end the power of the Supreme Court filled with leftist and pro-Palestinian Ashkenazis," say Israeli government cabinet ministers pushing extreme judicial reforms

The United States, France, Israel: three countries, three continents, three situations that have nothing to do with each other. But each country appears to be on the edge of a nervous breakdown of what seemed like solid democracies.

How can we explain these political excesses, irrational proclamations, even suicidal tendencies?

The answer seems simple: in the United States, in France, in Israel — far from an exhaustive list — democracy is facing the challenge of society's ever-greater polarization. We can manage the competition of ideas and opposing interests. But how to respond to rage, even hatred, borne of a sense of injustice and humiliation?

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This Happened

This Happened - March 26: Israel-Egypt Peace

Signed on this day in 1979, the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty was a historic agreement, formally ending the state of war between the two nations and established diplomatic and economic relations.

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This Happened

This Happened - March 17: Golda Meir's Rise To The Top

Golda Meir became the Prime Minister of Israel on this day in 1969, following the resignation of Prime Minister Levi Eshkol. She was the first woman to hold the position in Israel and one of the few female leaders in the world at the time.
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Pierre Haski

Israel And The West: The Crisis Is Real

Israel's judicial reforms by its far-right government have been met by widespread protests. Now the country risks breaking long-formed bonds with key allies in the West.


PARIS — Which country in the world has just refused to receive Josep Borrell, Europe's top diplomat? Which country has a finance minister who travels to the United States and France without making any contact with the governments of these two countries?

That country is Israel, which is not used to being a near pariah in the Western world. It is true that the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was received in Paris by French President Emmanuel Macron, and also in Rome by Italian Council President Giorgia Meloni, and is currently in Berlin to meet with Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

But if Israel's head of state, with decades of personal relationships with both European and American leaders behind him, is received, it might not always be to have his government's choices praised.

At the heart of the problem lingers the political crisis that was triggered by the coalition that Netanyahu has built with the far right in Israel: the latter is carrying out a judicial reform deemed undemocratic by a large part of Israeli society. The protests that have been going on for weeks have a real international impact.

It is a sign of real unease when it did not even take three months to see such a deterioration in relations.

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Pierre Haski

Israel's Parallel Crises, And The Whiff Of Civil War

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's return to power with the most right-wing government in the country's history has revealed a deep schism in Israeli society between settlers and secularists.


Israeli society is facing an intense and unprecedented moment in its history. There have been other protest movements in the past, such as the hundreds of thousands of people gathered against the war in Lebanon in 1982 or the economic demonstration of tents on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv in 2011.

But in the current wave of protests, there is an existential dimension. It's different than during wars, where it's been literally the physical survival of the Israeli state; this is rather existential in its identity, political system, and the weight of religion.

This is sometimes difficult to understand from the outside, where we often view this part of the world through the lens of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is also escalating. An attack in Tel Aviv on Thursday reminded us that the two crises are evolving in parallel.

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