RSS-Update: Challenge - A Magazine covering the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict CHALLENGE is a leftist magazine focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict within a global context. Published in Tel Aviv, it features political analysis, investigative reporting, interviews, eye-witness reports, gender studies, arts, and more. Its editorial staff includes Jews and Arabs. en Thu, 09 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0200 Thu, 09 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0200 s.CMS 2017 CHALLENGE, Tel Aviv The Saudis and the Arab spring The entire world was astonished when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman embarked on a sweeping crackdown and purged some of the kingdom's most important princes and businessmen. Within a day, he announced the creation of an “Anti-Corruption Committee.” Saudi Arabia’s billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was arrested along with at least ten other princes, several government ministers and former ministers, as well as two of the late King Abdullah's sons. They have been corralled into a luxurious hotel once frequented by Saudi sheikhs. This is indeed a coup. Politicians and commentators are crossing fingers for the young prince in the hope that this gambit pays off, and that Mohammad bin Salman will succeed in taking control of all branches of power that are now held by the 15,000 members of the House of Saud. Yacov Ben Efrat Thu, 09 Nov 2017 00:00:00 +0200 Israel is being dragged into the Syrian war "The government is dragging us into war," cautioned Maj. Gen. (res.) Amiram Levin in [i]Yediot Aharonot[/i] (October 22), warning that “any person with eyes in his head must mobilize to end this government’s term before we reach a disaster." It seems that Levin is asking Israelis to give more than they can. Netanyahu is popular, and apparently those who have "eyes in their heads" are a minority. Further, it is doubtful whether Levin's eyes were always open. If they were, he might have awakened much earlier when there was still time to prevent the calamity. The Syrian crisis was not born last week. Yacov Ben Efrat Thu, 26 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0200 The line linking two films: [i]Foxtrot[/i] and [i]The Attack[/i] I have not seen Shmulik Maoz’s film [i]Foxtrot[/i], nor his earlier one [i]Lebanon[/i], but that won’t prevent me from talking about them because after all, we are dealing here exclusively with politics. Nor have I seen the last two films by Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri, [i]The Insult[/i], which has just been released, and [i]The Attack[/i] from 2012. The four films - two in Hebrew and two in Arabic - are much more connected than we think.[i]foxtrot[_i]_and_[i]the_attack[_i] Yacov Ben Efrat[i]foxtrot[_i]_and_[i]the_attack[_i] Sat, 23 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0300 Going with the wind Hurricane Irma, rapidly approaching the coast of Florida, is a meteorological phenomenon. But its political implications are equally far-reaching. Yacov Ben Efrat Sat, 09 Sep 2017 00:00:00 +0300 Our pal Mohammad Dahlan returns to the fray The humanitarian situation in Gaza is on the verge of exploding in our faces. But commentators continue to reassure us that Hamas has no interest in another round of war. In Israel, we want this summer to pass quietly. At least four governments are responsible for the humanitarian disaster in Gaza: the Palestinian Authority (PA), Hamas, Israel and Egypt - each helping to bring Gaza to the brink of collapse. Yacov Ben Efrat Fri, 14 Jul 2017 00:00:00 +0300 Gaza: Darkness before the storm Darkness envelops Gaza—literally. Israel has limited the supply of electricity to two and a half hours per day. It is questionable whether there is a place in the world where people would keep quiet under such circumstances, but Gazans challenge all possible conventions. It’s as if they had returned in time to 1948, when they crowded into refugee camps. There is no humanitarian disaster in Gaza, says Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Food drips through the Israeli intravenous tube straight into the Gazan stomach. Admittedly, the water is foul, yet an optimist can claim that Ramadan meals are romantic by candlelight. Yacov Ben Efrat Sat, 24 Jun 2017 00:00:00 +0300 Abu Mazen: The peace camp's partner or gravedigger? About 15,000 people gathered in Rabin Square to mark 50 years of Occupation and call for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One by one, leaders of the peace camp took to the stage, from “Buji” Herzog to Ayman Odeh, as President Abu Mazen’s message echoed in their ears: "There is no stronger voice than the voice of a just and comprehensive peace, just as there is no stronger voice than the right of nations to self-determination and freedom from the burden of Occupation. The time has come to live — both you and us — in peace, harmony, security and stability. The only way to end the conflict and the fight against terror in the region and the world is a two-state solution based on the June 1967 borders, Palestine by Israel’s side.” Strong words intended to breathe life into a camp that has lost faith in itself and continues to believe in the slogan of “two states,” which has become obsolete and has no way of being realized. Yacov Ben Efrat Wed, 31 May 2017 00:00:00 +0300 Barghouti will not bring salvation The Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike led by Marwan Barghouti has global repercussions. The Israeli political-security cabinet discussed the issue in light of the strike's potential to ignite widespread unrest in the West Bank and sever the “idyllic” security cooperation between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel. Yacov Ben Efrat Wed, 26 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0300 What prompted Assad to use sarin gas? The Hebrew version of this article was published several hours before the United States attacked the Syrian airport near the city of Homs with Tomahawk cruise missiles. This was President Donald Trump's response to Bashar al-Assad's use of deadly sarin gas. Though the response is clearly a message of deterrence, the fate of the Syrian people is not Trump's only concern; he also wants to demonstrate the contrast between himself and his predecessor Barack Obama. It is also his desire to shrug off the cloud of suspicion that has haunted him since taking office, namely the FBI investigation into his team's collusion with Russian president Vladimir Putin. It is important to define who is responsible for the overall tragedy in Syria, and especially to address the impact of Trump’s policy as it stood [i]before[/i] the images of horror from Idlib began flooding TV screens, newspapers and the social networks. Yacov Ben Efrat Sat, 08 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0300 It's the Settlements, Stupid! Jason Greenblatt is undoubtedly an intriguing personality. Beneath his black skullcap lies a shrewd real estate dealer who knows marketing and is skilled in identifying business opportunities. Greenblatt dons or doffs the skullcap according to the occasion. On March 19, 2017, he participated (without skullcap) as an observer at the Arab League Conference on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea. But returning home, via Ben-Gurion Airport, Greenblatt accepted the blessing of the head of the Ponevezh Yeshiva, where the skullcap returned to his head.! Yacov Ben Efrat! Sat, 01 Apr 2017 00:00:00 +0300