AxisMundi Jerusalem

Inside Israel and the Palestinian Territories

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“Big Brother” bumbles into West Bank


bb2_3112_live_boker5It’s a reality television show whose contestants are isolated from the outside world, but “Big Brother” in Israel has managed to set off yet another controversy over Palestine policies.

Cameras at the studio-cum-commune outside Jerusalem caught Edna Canetti, a 54-year-old liberal activist, telling fellow residents over the weekend she wanted to see a peaceful popular campaign against Israel’s West Bank occupation.

“It bothers me that you’re silent. What’s needed is a revolt,” she declared after refusing to play along with a challenge in which contestants were divided into two groups — “rich” versus “poor” — with a plexiglass barrier between them.

Shifting to Middle East politics, Canetti said Palestinians should similarly tell Israel: “Shove your laws … We’re not going through that checkpoint and we’re not showing you IDs … This is our land.”

Awkward Silence

We’ve all had them. You’re with a friend, or a colleague and suddenly the conversation runs into a cold stop. The dreaded awkward silence can roll in like an icy fog.

When it happens to us, it’s uncomfortable enough. But when it happens to world leaders, a television camera is there to capture the quiet.

Want peace? Blunt Iran, Netanyahu aide says

As Benjamin Netanyahu’s top pick for national security adviser, Uzi Arad will be key to crafting the foreign and defence policies of the incoming Israeli government.

Arad is a retired official of the Mossad intelligence agency who served under the hawkish Netanyahu during his first term as prime minister in 1996-1999. That period saw Israel pursuing U.S.-sponsored interim peace negotiations with the Palestinians, as well as tentative rapprochement with Syria.