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Issue 90, March/April 2005

Unilateral Give, Unilateral Take

The Labor Party has joined the government of Ariel Sharon, giving him the votes to disengage unilaterally from Gaza. When he Gives Unilaterally, our editorial notes, Sharon Takes Unilaterally. Within minutes of deciding to pull the settlers from Gaza, the government pulled 7% of West Bank land from the Palestinians for the sake of the infamous wall.

We proceed to the Summit at Sharm al-Sheikh, which starred Hamas – whose Absence was the strongest Presence. It has become the key factor – and the unacknowledged partner – in any future negotiation.

As a by-product of disengagement, a new specter arises: 10,000 soldiers have written that they will refuse any order to uproot Jews from Gaza. Those who denied leftists the right of conscientious objection now claim it for themselves. And have they the right? We examine the question, with the help of Huckleberry Finn, in Conscience vs. Conscience. We then turn to "Breaking Silence," a group of soldiers – servants of the Occupation – whose consciences have pained them to the point of confessing and documenting their deeds, bringing Hebron to Tel Aviv. They have not yet gone so far as refusal, raising the question Whether Confession is Enough.

Returning to Disengagement, Gazans are experts. They have gone through A Decade of it – from their jobs in Israel, from the West Bank, from the world.

Tali Fahima, an Israeli political prisoner, is accused of aiding and abetting the enemy. She went alone into Jenin, Crossing the Line, to shield a Palestinian militant from assassination. An Israeli journalist spoke with Tali just before she took her step and writes her story for Challenge.

After fighting unemployment in the building sector, the Workers Advice Center branches out to Reclaim Jobs for Arabs, especially women, in Agriculture.

Finally, Israel's Attorney General has just declared an end to anti-Arab discrimination in the sale of land. A "historic decision" – but is it? We explore the methods by which Israel will Still keep its Arab citizens Landless in Zion.

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