Dossier: Israel

A rehearsal by students at the School of Acting in Ramallah (photo: Folkwang Universität der Künste)

The Gaza conflict

Can art heal in a time of war?

War alters societies, and art can serve to gauge the change. In the war-struck Middle East, artists are hindered in their work, and some are forced to emigrate. Some feel a sense of hopelessness, while others still firmly believe in the healing capacity of art. Ulrike Schleicher reports on different reactions to the current crisis within the artistic communityMore

Germany's foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the gathering of EU foreign ministers in Brussels on 22 July 2014 (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Germany's shared responsibility for the Gaza conflict and its end

Déjà vu in Gaza

For months, there has been an intense debate about whether Germany should assume greater foreign policy responsibility. Yet when it came to the conflict in Gaza, Germany's politicians have once again slipped into the role of the horrified bystander. By Muriel Asseburg und René WildangelMore

Yehuda Shaul, co-founder of the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence (photo: Quique Kierszenbaum)

Interview with Yehuda Shaul

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"The treatment of the Palestinians is the biggest threat to Israel"

Yehuda Shaul, a former soldier in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), is one of the founders of the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence. Marian Brehmer talked to him about Operation Protective Edge and the link between the Gaza war and the occupation of the Palestinian territoriesMore

Judith Katzir (photo: private)

Interview with the Jewish author Judith Katzir

Friendship across the divide

Judith Katzir is one of the most interesting young authors in Israel. Her books deal mostly with strong women who undertake journeys into their own past. Her new novel, "Tzila", is based on letters belonging to her great-grandmother and describes her journey to Gaza, where her Jewish family once lived. Igal Avidan spoke to the authorMore

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with his new government of national unity (Photo: Reuters)

Europe and the Gaza conflict

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"The Europeans must conduct a direct dialogue with Hamas"

In light of the inability of those involved in the Gaza conflict to make peace, Europe cannot just stand on the sidelines and watch. If it does, the conflict will come here. The ostracisation of Hamas has proved counter-productive. A commentary by Abdel Mottaleb El HusseiniMore

Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority President (photo: picture alliance/dpa)

The EU and the Gaza conflict

"Effective diplomacy needs engagement with all sides"

While Europeans are focusing on Ukraine and Iraq, the oldest of the Middle East issues will haunt them for some time. The wider Israel–Palestinian conflict needs the full attention of Europe, writes Mattia ToaldoMore

Amos Oz (photo: picture-alliance/ZB)

Interview with Amos Oz

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"For Israel, it is a lose-lose situation"

Israel's ground offensive against Gaza is justified but excessive, says Amos Oz in this interview with Dennis Stute. However, the Israeli writer is also critical of the Hamas strategy of attacking Israel from within civilian areasMore

A Palestinian boy sweeping up rubble outside a bombed-out building in Gaza (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

The Israeli–Palestinian conflict in Gaza

Propaganda war

The escalating conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas has been accompanied on both sides by massive propaganda drives. According to Joseph Croitoru, each side is attempting to speak directly to the opposing side through its propagandaMore

Dr. Mads Gilbert tends to a child in al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza, 2009 (photo Getty Images)

Interview with Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert

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"Nobody is safe in Gaza"

Professor of Medicine at the University of Tromso, Norway, Mads Gilbert is currently working at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza. He has been volunteering in Gaza on and off for the last 17 years and recently submitted a report to the UN on the state of the health sector in Gaza. In this interview with Roma Rajpal Weiss, Gilbert describes the present situation at the hospital and in GazaMore

Ruined buildings in the Gaza Strip, 19 July 2014 (photo: DW/Shawgy el Farra)

Israeli military offensive in Gaza

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Israel cannot win

All those whose opinions differ from the prevailing view are considered saboteurs. In this guest commentary, the Israeli writer Etgar Keret describes how the thought police are dominating his homeland and explains why the problems Israel faces cannot simply be bombed awayMore

Inside the El Ghriba synagogue in Tunisia (photo: dpa)

The Jewish community in Tunisia

"Everything is ok; we don't have any problems"

Once numbering over one hundred thousand, Tunisia's Jewish community has dwindled over the years. Its members practice discretion, but certainly have no desire to hide. By Sarah Mersch in TunisiaMore

Ruins of a house in Gaza after a rocket attack on 13.07.2014. Photo: Reuters

Escalation in the Middle East

Provocation and violence

What set off the new spiral of violence in the Middle East? Does Palestinian organisation Hamas deserve the blame? Bettina Marx doubts that's the case and takes a look back at developments in recent weeksMore

Raji Sourani. Photo: Tom Knutson/Right Livelihood Foundation

Interview with Raji Sourani in Gaza

"We are just soft targets: we are very cheap"

Raji Sourani is a human rights lawyer and founder of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, which documents and investigates human rights violations in the Occupied Territories. Jailed on six occasions for his work, Sourani is staying put in Gaza at the moment, and continuing to work under siege. He tells Roma Rajpal Weiss that people there have lost all hopeMore

Israeli soldiers near Hebron. Photo: picture alliance/AP

Israel's crisis politics

On hope and despair in the Middle East

The Middle East powder keg is threatening to explode. Anyone who still believes in peace must have hope – yet hope is precisely what is lacking. The Israeli writer David Grossman makes this appeal to his countrymenMore

Members of the Israeli army carrying out a raid in Hebron on 21 June 2014 (photo: Reuters/Mussa Qawasma)

The Israeli army in the West Bank

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The punishment of Palestinian citizens

Israel's heavy-handed acts of retaliation against both Hamas and Palestinian civilians are threatening to provoke a new escalation of violence. The Israeli military deployment in the West Bank is the biggest since the end of the second Intifada in 2005. A commentary by René WildangelMore

Pope Francis praying at the Israeli separation wall in Bethlehem (photo: Reuters)

Pope Francis in the Middle East

Gestures laden with symbolism

The visit of Pope Francis to the Israeli-occupied West Bank has lifted the spirits of Christians across the region. The Pope expressed his solidarity with the Palestinian people through actions rather than words: not only did he fly directly to the West Bank from Jordan instead of stopping in Tel Aviv first, he also prayed at the Israeli separation wall. By Kate ShuttleworthMore

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