On this day in 1949, Israeli democracy was born

The first government of Israel

February 14th is Valentine’s Day, but for Israel it is a special anniversary, as the Knesset marks its 68th birthday. On February 14th 1949, the First Israeli Knesset convened, lead by the elected Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, marking a pivotal event in one of the most exceptional and underappreciated elements of Israel’s story – the story of Israeli democracy.

Guardian letter repeats lie that there are “millions” of actual Palestinian refugees

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Most the world’s actual refugees today are from three war-torn countries – Syria (4.9 million), Afghanistan (2.7 million) and Somalia (1.1 million). Perhaps the reason why Anish Kapoor didn’t mention Palestine when he spoke out against “abhorrent government policies” towards refugees is because he broadly knows these figures, and understands intuitively that there are relatively few actual Palestinian refugees in the world.

UKMW prompts 2nd correction in 2 weeks to Times of London claim Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital

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Though most countries don’t recognize Jerusalem as the capital (for diplomatic reasons pertaining the peace process), Israel declared Jerusalem its capital in 1949 (only ‘West’ Jerusalem until 1967) and the Knesset, Supreme Court, Prime Minister’s Office, Bank of Israel and most government ministries are located in the city. So, it would seem intuitive for journalists and editors – whatever their views regarding the political issues at play – would use the word “Jerusalem” to convey this simple fact to readers.

Indy tries to tie Trump ‘Muslim ban’ to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians

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Trump’s ban on citizens of seven foreign countries from entering the US represents a completely different dynamic than what he’s trying to describe in the Palestinian territories. There’s no Israeli “ban” on Palestinians. There are checkpoints and other security measures erected to prevent terrorism on both sides of the green line, but tends of thousands of Palestinians pass into Israel each day to work, visit family and receive medical care.

Here’s what the Guardian doesn’t want you to know about obstacles to a two-state solution

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Beyond the bias within this specific Guardian analysis, the truth is that UK media coverage of negotiations similarly suffers from the failure to take Israeli concerns seriously – rational fears born of the failure of past territorial withdrawals to bring peace, and a refusal to ignore the reactionary Palestinian political culture which – most Israeli believe – lays at the root of the conflict.

The Israeli occupation, Emily Hilton and the eternal privilege of the spotless mind

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By turning a complex and vexing political dispute into a binary moral paradigm, reducing the historical and diplomatic complexities of a more than 100 year-long conflict to one territorial dispute, and dismissing authentic, historically-informed Israeli fears of Palestinian intentions as nothing more than a failure of empathy and imagination, Emily Hilton is certainly not “challenging narratives”.